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Hot, Hot, Hot!

Hello everyone, we hope you had a fabulous August - the hottest day was 10 August with an average temperature of 38.5° C! Incredible!


We ploughed through, working on many projects.


We hope you are all settling back into the school routine!


In this month's edition we're going to update you on housing news as well as some of our many projects.


Transforming a Bedroom - Adding Practical & Financial Value


One of our long term clients has recently moved home - the first time in 24 years!

Our client is keen to make their new family work better for them but not sure where to start so we're giving them a helping hand. They asked us to find a space to add a cloakroom and a utility. Given they have sufficient bedrooms already it made sense to turn the bedroom nearest the front door and living spaces into a cloakroom and separate utility. Not only will these add practical value, these will also add equity to the property value.


Take a look at what the room looked like when it was advertised for sale.




So what have we done so far? We'll we've:


- removed the flooring and stripped the walls

- built a new wall to separate the bedroom in two, insulated and plaster boarded

- exposed the pipework in the cupboard which is now the entrance into the utility and re-routed this, including broadband and adding.

- added lintel to new entrance into utility and open up wall, make good and add door frame

- add drainage and plumbing for bathroom (toilet and vanity) and utility (washing machine and sink) and connected to external drainage and made good

- created window opening and added new window to cloakroom

- plastered walls and painted ceiling and walls

- fitted out new sanitaryware, radiator, LED spotlights and extractor fan in cloakroom

- added new radiator in utility

- levelled, where relevant, and laid incredible floor tiles

- designed and installed new cabinets, including larder to house large cleaning and ironing items in utility

- rehung door for cloakroom

- found matching door and door handle for new utility entrance

- found Oak 5 finger mosaic parquet tiles which will be used to tie in joints between hallway floor and cloakroom and utility

- electrics - new / repositioned sockets, switches and extractor


and much more!


Here's some of the journey ...



We're coming to an end on this phase, so join us next month to see the transformation and read our case study.


Air BnB Conversion


With holidays in the UK continuing to be popular, there has been and continues to be a real increase in demand for guest homes and Air BnB's.


Works are underway for another Air BnB client - the brief is to transform a garden annex into a fully functioning 1 bedroomed residence for guests.



So what have progress have we made so far? We'll we've:


- cleared out the space

- split the Annex into four zones - bedroom, living, kitchen and bathroom by adding stud wall framework and plaster boarding

- added additional insulation to a number of areas

- plaster boarded

- created trench to lay plumbing so this can be connected to the mains


Take a look ...



Tune in next month to see progress!


Snug Transformation


Last month we shared with you where we are on the transformation of another client project (here it is) - this time changing a home office into a snug.


Well, the client has signed off the detailed brief and selected their dream sofa, accent chair and pouffe after they visited the amazing supplier which is Arlo & Jacob in Marlow. We love working with Arlo & Jacob as we know they listen to our needs so together our clients get just what they want. Our client was delighted with their experience - thank you, once again to Rebecca and the team at Marlow.


Take a look at the before image ...



We can't wait to start putting this space together!



Interiors Transformation


We can't wait to tell you all about this incredible project - a 8 bedroom, 9 bathroom property in Bedfordshire. It even has its own Alpacas!


They need the full works! Help with renovation, interiors, layout, sorting and zoning. We've set out options on what can be done to make this home more suitable for their needs. More on this in a future blog.


Here's a sneak peek ...



Stay tuned ...


Case Studies - SOLD Staging Projects


We are very happy to announce that three of our client's homes have sold following our staging. These properties are:


Pinner Lane


This 5 bed family home had previously been on the market with no takers. It required some repairs and licks of paint! The homeowners did the repairs and painting and then then we sorted, staged and professionally photographed this incredible family home.


Read more on Pinner Lane here.


Furze House


This 5 bed Edwardian family home has been transformed with our repairs and staging. Our very own, Ceri Owen, sold this property in partnership with Keller Williams - significantly increasing the property valuation by over 126k!



Our client is over the moon, and says:


Deciding to work with sort style and stage is one of the best decisions I ever made. Ceri completely transformed a tired and dated house (and person) into something amazing (the house, not the person! )
She took the stress out of everything, and approached the project with extreme professionalism, a keen eye and incredible efficiency. She has an amazing ability to see what needs to be done, and is able to do this whilst still respecting personal taste. The end result is a house which appeals to a wide range of people, and which has increased in value.
Ceri’s has an enviable talent for sourcing goods and services, and her team is also brilliant. They are responsive, respectful and very good at their jobs.
I don’t have the words to recommend sort style and stage highly enough - they’ve given me back a house I had once loved but had fallen out of love with, and they’ve done it with speed, sensitivity and all round brilliance!
When it came to selling, it made absolute sense to ask Ceri for help, given she's become my trusted property expert. She hand held me through the entire process, including negotiating the highest possible sale price, finding and helping me negotiate the best purchase price for my next home. She even helped with packing and on move out and move in day, leaving at 11:30pm after we'd move into our new home. She's also helping us transform our new home so it suits our family needs better. It's been a rollercoaster with lots of emotion and Ceri has been there for each and every step. I can't recommend her enough - sort style and stage are incredible.

Read more on Furze House here.


Clifton Barn


This wonderful 4 bed family barn conversion had great character, potential and a very interesting layout with some real showstopping elements! We recommended some repairs here and there but ultimately what our clients needed help with was the sorting and staging!


With a large floorplan, this family needed help filling the spaces effectively. Take a look at the end result.


Read more on Clifton Barn here.


Virtual Staging


We work with one of our long term clients on a regular basis. This month we've been looking at the floorplan of their new build so we can show them how they can transform their shell into a multi generational family home.


One of the key areas they are struggling with, is visualising how they are going to use their vast open plan space. This will need to be able to accommodate living, kitchen and dining areas. We met on site, took measurements and then images. We recommended that we prepare visual images of how these spaces can work and the way we do this is with virtual renovation.


Take a look at one of these transformations ... building site to high end open plan kitchen / living areas. It's now obvious to our client, how they can use the spaces. And would you believe it - the images used to virtually renovate, came from our iphone!




Let us know what you think.


We'll be sharing more about this project in a case study to come - watch this space.


Trusted Partners


Have you noticed the new addition to the Partners section on our Homepage?


We're very happy to announce that Lok n Store are one our permanent list of Partners. We use Lok n Store all the time and cannot recommend Skinder and the team at Maidenhead, highly enough.

Whenever we use Lok'n Store, we know that our possessions are safe, secure, dry, clean, This definitely helps us in creating such a high level service for our clients! We highly recommend them.


If you're a business which we have worked alongside, we would be honoured to add you to ever growing list of trusted partners! Send us an email at info@sortstyleandstage.com to get this organised.



Housing Sector News

Rightmove

  • Asking prices fell by 1.9% (the largest drop since August 2018) as buyers were preoccupied by holidays, inflation and the highest Base Rate since 2008. This means the average housing price stood at £364,895.

  • Average prices are still £59,000 (19%) higher than those pre-pandemic of August 2019, with increased average earnings and the apparent downward trend in mortgage rates resulting in tentative steps towards improving buyer affordability.

  • The average five year mortgage rate is now 5.81%, compared to 6.08% three weeks earlier. Mortgage rates continue to improve.

  • A lack of available homes in popular areas is enticing buyers who don't want to miss out on reasonably priced homes - will 10% less housing stock thank in August 2022.

  • The number of sales agreed was 15% lower than the more normal market of 2019, although the first-time buyer sector has only seen a 10% reduction in sales, due in part to record rents and a continued shortage of rental property.

Looking at the five year asking price trend, it is obvious there is a seasonal dip at this time of the year. The question remains whether the back to school period in September will see an upturn in pricing. More on that next month!

Source: Rightmove


Tim Bannister Rightmove’s Director of Property Science, says:

“Our analysis shows that homes that are priced right the first time, rather than priced too high only to be reduced later, are not only more likely to find a buyer, but more likely to find a buyer quickly. This supports local agent reports of a two-speed market, with some properties for sale being overpriced and at risk of going stale, and many competitively priced homes which are attracting multiple prospective buyers. The lower level of agreed sales compared to this time in 2019 indicates the affordability challenges that many buyers currently face.
However, with sales holding up more strongly in the typical first-time buyer sector, the prospect [of] owning your own home remains an appealing option for those that can afford it, with the alternative being an extremely frenzied rental market, where rents are at record levels.”

Source: Rightmove


Learn more here.


Zoopla

  • UK house prices have risen 0.1% in the last year, the slowest rate since 2012.

  • The number of property sales is down 21% when compared to 2022.

  • Mortgage-backed sales are likely to be 28% lower than 2022r due to higher rates.

  • Faster wage growth is improving housing affordability.

  • Lower mortgage rates are key to boosting market activity in 2024.

The chart below, shows the impact of key events such as Covid, market re-opening, stamp duty holiday including inflation on the housing market.



The chart below highlights that we are presently seeing an increase in the level of reductions that sellers are having to make in order to achieve a sale. Turning this on its head, pricing sensibly avoids the need for a price reduction and in turn means that properties sell quicker.


In terms of the outlook, Zoopla expects the volumes of sales to improve in the next 2-3 years due to a number of factors including more flexible working, demographic trends from an ageing population, a stronger labour market and high immigration.


In terms of mortgage rates, Zoopla expect them to fall below 5% later this year. They expect any falls to mortgage rates are unlikely to impact the market and improve affordability further until at least the first half of 2024.


Zoopla conclude by indicating that house price growth is expected to be in the +2% to -2% range for the foreseeable future.


Learn more here.



Next Month


We're so excited with what's to come,


A key event in our calendar is this year's Maidenhead and Windsor Business & Communities Awards which is taking place on 22 September at The Castle Hotel Windsor.

We're incredibly proud to be finalists for two awards.






More news following this fabulous evening to come - we can't wait!


See you soon!



How we can Help You


If you are looking for inspiration or need help on the following:


  • Staging

  • Property refurbishment

  • Interiors

  • Garden Landscaping

  • Property repairs

Please reach out to us at info@sortstyleandstage.com to arrange a complimentary call to learn how we can help.



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