COVID-19 Statement

16.03.2020

The safety of our clients, staff and tenants is our number one priority. Therefore, Red Key Property Services and Fortis Properties would like to issue the following statement:-

Viewings in tenants’ and vendors’ homes will be minimised over the next 7 days and we will observe the advised 1 metre no-contact range where possible. We will also refrain from shaking hands; please do not take this personally as this is solely based on the advice given by the public health departments.

Staff will ensure they are fit for work and in the event of any staff feeling unwell with any one of the symptoms as described by the public health departments, they will be self-isolating at home for 7 days in line with current advice and will work from home where able to do so to limit and reduce the risk of the spread of germs.

Personal hygiene in the workplace has always and will continue to be a high priority. Therefore, to safeguard our staff and visitors, we ask that all visits our offices are kept to a minimum and are for essential appointments only.

Should one or both of our branches be forced to close temporarily due to staff illness or ‘work from home’ government advice, we will still strive to maintain high levels of service at all times. We are dedicated to ensuring no loss of service to our customers, so this will only occur in extreme circumstances.

In the event of maintenance issues at properties, works will be restricted to ‘most urgent and priority cases only’ to ensure tenants’ and contractors’ health and safety alike.

If your home is due to be inspected by a member of the Red Key Property Services or Fortis Properties teams, we will be in touch to rearrange your appointment. We will initially postpone inspections by 4 weeks, but will monitor government advice on an ongoing basis.

Please see the link below for advice from the World Health Organisation.

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Please check on those that are most vulnerable; friends, family and neighbours. Should you require any assistance from Red Key Property Services or Fortis Properties, are genuinely concerned about any aspect of COVID-19, or require clarification of the contents of this statement, please contact a member of the team.

We will continue to work as normally as possible until such time circumstances change and would ask for your patience with our reduced workforce and consideration for others at this time.

Please stay safe and take necessary precautions where possible.

Red Key Property Services and Fortis Properties

Green views Wenvoe Cardiff

This aspirational family home on Burdons Close, Wenvoe provides an inspiring view every time you open the curtains.

Every now and again we get a property that has something a little bit special. Sometimes it’s a beautiful kitchen, others it’s a generous living space. Although this property has both of those, it’s this view that really sets it apart from the crowd in its price range.

This three bedroom family home for sale is situated in the village of Wenvoe and backs on to green fields and a gorgeous tree line. The unobstructed view makes the garden feel endless and is sure to provide one lucky family with a sense of respite from busy modern life. Due to the built-up nature of Cardiff and the surrounding areas, opportunities like this don’t come along often and they are snapped up quickly when they do.

For more details of this home, see here for the full description and a video tour.

If you’d like to be one of the first to view this lovely property, call Leanne now on 02920 561 111 to secure your visit.

Happy house hunting!

Leanne, Isabelle and Jo at Fortis.

We are so excited to win Best Letting Agent in Cardiff South and West in the 2019-2020 British Property Awards!

After a series of mystery shopping exercises by the good folks at the BPA, Fortis Properties Cardiff was selected for our outstanding customer service in dealing with all manner of lettings enquiries. To succeed in winning Best Letting Agent, the various competition rounds thoroughly tested our local knowledge, as well as our experience in the property industry and our demonstration of excellent client care.

Anyone who follows us will know how much we value our clients, and the level of effort we put in to make sure each and every person feels valued and important, both to us as individuals and as a business. We strongly believe in the personal one-to-one service and going the extra mile for both our lettings and sales clients. We are simply thrilled to be recognised in this way (we may have done a little dance!).

We’d like to round off by saying a huge thank you to the British Property Awards and particular congratulations to Leanne, Isabelle and Linda for, once again, delivering above and beyond! Our award lasts for a year upon which time we’ll be back in competition with other Cardiff agents for the 2020-21 award! We’re told that in the new year, mystery shopping will commence for the Best Sales Agent award, which we are really keen to win. Having both awards for Cardiff south and west would simply mean the world to us. Wish us luck!

Best Letting Agent Cardiff south and west: Fortis Properties.

Promotional material for Best Letting Agent Cardiff south and west
property, kids flown the best, downsizing home

We love our kids, and to see them as fully-fledged, independent adults make any parent proud! Whether your offspring have gone to university or perhaps moved away for work or love, you have probably found yourself with an empty bedroom or two. So the question is: do you keep your spare rooms for guests, turn them into a gym or study, or do you decide to make a change and downsize your property? What are the pros and cons of downsizing and how might they affect you? Read on for our Top 5 Tips to bear in mind when considering downsizing your property:

reducing your bills, downsizing property

1. A Smaller property will likely mean lower monthly bills

Smaller properties are generally cheaper to run and so when making your decision, do think about the monthly cost of running your current home. More bedrooms generally mean higher heating costs. Your council tax will likely be higher, too. However, if you have less people than bedrooms in your home, you may be able to save money by installing a water meter.

money, saving money, pound coins

2. Could you make money on your spare room?
If the idea of having a lodger fills you with dread then skip this one, but if not, consider the benefits of the monthly rental income that a lodger generates. As well as this, it could also be someone to mind your home and pets when you’re on holiday. Of course, unless you know the person beforehand, you’re always going to be taking a chance with a new lodger, but if the person is clean and tidy, it’s a nice way to make extra money for very little effort.

property sale, househunting

3. A Smaller home in a better area?
This is one many folks are faced with. They have a sizable home but it’s become too big for them. However, they know that moving to a nicer area may mean sacrificing space. Think about how much of your home you actively use on a daily basis. 31% of homeowner’s waking hours are spent in the kitchen. If you’re not using one or more rooms in your house regularly, then that’s an expensive empty space.

helping kids with house deposit

4. Helping your Kids
It’s no secret that getting on the property ladder is tough for young people these days. By freeing up some of the money in your home you could help your kids with that all important first home deposit.

freeing up equity

5. The Trip of a lifetime
Have you always dreamt of visiting the Sydney Opera House, or perhaps seeing Vietnam by rail is more your thing? The money freed up from downsizing your home could fund an exciting adventure with memories that last for years to come.

Are you thinking of downsizing? Take a look at our free, quick valuation tool to get an idea of what your property could be worth https://www.fortisproperties.co.uk/value-my-home/

Estate Agent Cardiff

Cardiff landlord rent calculator

We all like to ensure we get value for money and of course, that’s true for Landlords in Cardiff, too. With several choices to make before renting out your property, how do you ensure you make the right decisions for the best return? Read on for our top six tips for saving money on your rental property and getting the best return on your investment:

Letting property, renting, Landlord, saving money

1. Choose the right Cardiff letting agent. Read their online reviews. Examine their fees and ask how they deal with maintenance queries and rent arrears.

Landlord mortgage, renting, property, Cardiff

2. Make sure you have the best mortgage product to suit your needs. We are in the best climate for buy-to-let mortgages since before the 2008 crash. There is lots more choice for Landlords now. Considering consulting a Mortgage Advisor to make sure you have the best deal.

Landlords, maximising rent, Cardiff

3. Occupation over rent pcm. Every day your property is empty is lost revenue. Be careful not to set your rent so high that you put off potential tenants. Consult your agent for setting the asking rent right in the first place and you’ll have an occupied rental property in no time.

tenant white goods, renting, Landlords

4. If you are considering providing white goods, include a fridge freezer. Tenants are not fond of small ice boxes in fridges and you’ll get a little extra rent for providing good cold food storage.

Simple Patio table set with fresh flowers on the top.  Rental property

5. Keep the outside space simple and easy to maintain. Not everyone has green fingers. A nice patio and a few pots will be much easier for your tenants to look after than an elaborate garden.

Landlords, rental property carpet

We hope this was helpful to you if you are a first-time or more experienced Landlord. We are a letting agency based in Fairwater, Cardiff and we serve Landlords all over Cardiff. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch!

For information on our services to Landlords, see here

Heather and Leanne

Cardiff Landlords, rental property, renting home, family

Cardiff Landlords

rental property, renting home, family

Cardiff Landlords: Have you noticed a difference in the type of tenants your property is attracting?

  • Almost 25% of new tenancies signed in the past year included children within the home.
  • The biggest number included a single child, followed by two children, then three, then four. This was consistent across the UK.
  • There are over five hundred more private rental homes with children living in them than back in 2010-2011.
  • In the years 2017-18 over 1.5 million privately-rented homes had children, up 37% from the years 2010-11.

So what’s causing this shift? Factors such as mortgage availability, rising house prices and availability of suitable properties are all contributors to these figures. The UK has a long-standing housing shortage, which may be pushing families into private rental accommodation. It is interesting to note that the highest figure is for families with just one child, implying that the eventual tenant ambition is to own their own home.

If you’d like to discuss the private rental market in Cardiff and surrounding areas, do give Heather and Leanne a call for even more focused information on 02920 561 111 or email info@fortisproperties.co.uk

property presentation

If you’re looking to sell your Cardiff home, then let us introduce you to the concept of home staging.  Home staging is the process of preparing your home for showcase in the housing market. It maximises your homes’ best features and tones down its flaws. Through careful styling and presentation, we can create that all-important emotional link between your home and the buyer. It’s about portraying a lifestyle that buyers really want and will pay more to have. Ultimately, people purchase with their emotions. Through staging, we can help the buyer achieve “that wow feeling” that inspires them to make an offer. Read on for some tips on staging your home:

 

Cardiff home

A bright, airy living room with good use of space

Homes need to be clean, bright, airy, and spacious. They should flow easily, have enough space to move around in, and not feel too ‘busy’ or claustrophobic. How you arrange your furniture and what accessories are in the room can make the difference between an ambient soothing room and one that a buyer can’t wait to get out of.

Top tip: If you struggle to move around a room easily, lose some furniture.

 

home staging with small accessories

Group together stylish accessories in key places

Styling and Accessorizing can be compared to putting on jewellery when getting dressed for a special party; it’s the little touches that make a big impact. Paying attention to numerous small details can join together to create something much more memorable.

Top tip: Group items in threes.

 

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. If you have a buyer right there in your home you’ve won half the battle, now give them something to invest their emotions and their money in. To put it simply, staging your home pays.

For a free, instant valuation for your home click here 

If you’ve watched TV programmes such as Homes Under The Hammer, you may be tempted to look for a bargain at a property auction.
It’s an increasingly popular idea.
In 2016, one UK property auction company alone sold more than £95 million worth of property.
Auctions are a place where you can pick up bargains if you’re prepared to refurbish and renovate houses. However, there are a few pitfalls.

Fortis Properties Managing Director Jamie Langley said: “You can easily get caught up in the emotion of the day and end up paying too much for a property.
“If you’re in a bidding war with another would-be buyer, it can be hard to let go and walk away. There is an understandable urge to beat them!
“If you haven’t done your research, it can also be easy to buy a property which will cost you far more than you had anticipated because of structural or legal issues which you didn’t pick up.”
Here are the top four dangers you could encounter by buying at auction:

1. You get auction fever and keep bidding past your limit.
This is so easy to do. You have a limit in mind, but someone else keeps on bidding, so you push through that limit to ensure you clinch the deal. The problem is this: You set that limit for a reason. Either you can’t afford more, or the property isn’t worth it. Either way, you’ll wake up with buyer’s remorse.

2. You don’t have time to view the property and end up with a money pit.
You see the details, you may even have a quick viewing, but you really need time to ensure you know exactly what you’re buying. Ideally, you’ll need to take a builder or architect with you to view it, to give you a realistic idea of the cost of renovations or repairs. They’ll also have an experienced eye which will pick up things you may not notice. Without doing this, a budget for renovations is in danger of being like someone sticking their finger in the air.

3. You don’t read the legal pack and miss something costly.
Whether it’s issues with the leasehold or freehold, problems with access, or disputes over boundaries, you need to be aware of all the potential issues. Renegotiating a lease could cost you thousands which you hadn’t anticipated spending.

4. You don’t get your finances in place speedily and end up paying out big bucks in interest.
If you don’t have all your finances in place before the auction, you could end up searching for a mortgage or bridging finance to ensure you don’t lose the property. This could be a very costly exercise. You’re not in the best position to find the best deals if you’re rushing this process.

Think auctions are your only option to get a property bargain? Think again! Local property experts will have an in-depth knowledge of the area which could help you find a property to renovate.
If you’re looking for a home in Cardiff, call our experienced team on 02920 561111.

On April 1, 2018, there will be significant changes to the tax system for house purchases in Wales.
A new Land Transaction Tax will replace Stamp Duty Land Tax.

The new tax will be payable when anyone buys or leases a building, depending on its value.
The aim is to modify and simplify the tax system, making it more relevant to Wales and making it fairer.
A series of bandings will make it a progressive tax. The higher the value of the property being bought, the higher the rate of tax to be paid.

The bandings also mean that the average first-time buyer will pay nothing in land tax.
For people buying a home up to £400,000 in value, all will pay the same or less than the current stamp duty tax.

Nine out of ten house buyers in Wales will pay the same or less under the new system.
Second home buyers will continue to face a higher land tax rate – at an extra 3% on top of the banding for the value of the home they are buying, the same as under the current stamp duty system.
For business premises, Wales will have the lowest starting rate of tax for purchases in Britain.
“From April, Wales will introduce the first Welsh taxes in almost 800 years, supporting first-time buyers and boosting business,” said the Welsh Finance Secretary, Mark Drakeford.

“The devolution of tax powers provides us with the opportunity to reshape and make changes to improve existing taxes to better meet Wales’ needs and priorities. I have always been clear that we will use these powers to help improve fairness and support jobs and economic growth in Wales…We are being bold but balanced and leading the way in creating a fair and progressive tax system.”

Fortis Properties Managing Director Damon Ormonde says: “The changes are likely to encourage first-time buyers into the marketplace, which is a positive move.

“The fact that Welsh land taxes for homes worth under £400,000 are less than for those in England, coupled with the planned scrapping of the Severn Crossings tolls, may also help encourage more people to widen their property search over the Welsh border and into Newport and Cardiff.
“However, the impact at the higher end of the market should be monitored.”

The residential land tax bandings:

Up to £150,000 – 0%
£150,000 to £250,000 – 2.5%
£250,000 to £400,000 – 5%
£400,000 to £750,000 – 7.5%
£750,000 to £1.5m – 10%
Above £1.5m – 12%

Non-residential bandings:

Up to £150,000 – 0%
£150,000 to £2m – 1%
Above £2m – 2%

The new system means the rate for non-residential leases will apply from a lower net present value threshold.
When it comes to freehold purchases and transactions with lease premiums, it is being forecast that 60% of taxable transactions will pay no tax.

How does this compare with England?

The clear winners are first-time buyers and those buying smaller homes – for example, downsizers.
Anyone buying a home worth under £150,000 will be £500 better off than those buying in England.
For anyone buying a £200,000 house, they will also pay £250 less than those buying a house worth the same in England.
For anyone buying a home worth up to £400,000, the tax is the same as in England.
Above £400,000, buyers start to pay more than their English counterparts.
For a £500,000 house, the difference is £2,500 more than in England.
For houses worth more than £750,000, the difference becomes more marked. A buyer of a £925,000 home in Wales will pay £17,500 more than a buyer in England.

Buying a new home in Cardiff after April 1, 2018? It’s vital you factor these tax bandings into your costs, especially if the property is worth more than £400,000. Get advice on the latest moves in the property market in Cardiff from our experts. Call us today on 02920 561111.

Saving up for a deposit on your first home in Cardiff can be a real struggle, especially if you’re on a low income.
There will soon be help at hand, though, with a new savings scheme created by the UK government, Help To Save.

What is Help To Save?

It’s a new government-backed saving scheme. The aim is to support working people on low incomes and help them build up their savings.
Over four years, regular savers can deposit up to £50 per month and could get up to £1,200 in tax-free bonuses.
It is open to people who receive working tax credits, and people receiving universal credit with a household income equivalent to at least £120 a week – 16 hours per week or more at the national living wage.
The scheme is administered by HM Revenue and Customs.

How does it work?

People can save up to £50 per month each.
Then, at the end of two years, a 50% bonus will be paid, based on the highest balance achieved during that time.
They can carry on for another two years and get another 50% bonus at the end of that.
So, anyone saving the maximum £2,400 over four years will get a £1,200 bonus.
The money can be withdrawn at any time, but that could affect the bonus being paid.

How can this help first-time buyers?

The savings scheme can be used alongside a Help To Buy ISA.
Like any other ISA, you can save into it monthly, up to maximum of £200 a month. When you’re ready to put your money into a deposit on your new home, the government will give you 25% of the balance of your savings.
In effect, you get £50 for every £200 you save. The maximum bonus paid is £3,000 for one person, or £6,000 for a couple who combine their savings.
You have to save a minimum of £1,600 in your Help To Buy ISA to qualify for the payments.
If you have a lump sum of up to £1,000, you can open the Help To Buy ISA with it in addition to the maximum monthly payment.
So, if you’ve been saving under Help To Save, you could put that amount into the ISA as your lump sum.
To qualify for the ISA, you must be a UK resident, aged 16 or over, and buying your first property.
The residential property you buy must be in the UK and cost up to £250,000 outside London or up to £450,000 in London. It cannot be a buy-to-let property and it must be mortgaged.
Your solicitor or conveyancer will apply for the bonus when you are buying your home.
You can only have one Help To Buy ISA, but can combine it with a partner’s, and you can transfer it.
They will be available to new savers until November 30, 2019. You must claim your bonus by December 1, 2030.
If your house purchase falls through, you will be able to re-open your ISA.

Damon Ormonde, Managing Director of Fortis Properties in Cardiff, said: “This is an excellent way to maximise your savings when you’re on a low income.
“It can take years to save a deposit for your first home, and it’s frustrating to see property prices increasing as you save,
“So, anything which helps reduce that time is a massive boost to first-time buyers. I’d encourage anyone who is eligible to take advantage of the Help To Buy scheme and the Help To Buy ISA.”

Are you looking for your first home in Cardiff? Call our local property experts on 02920 561111.