Phil’s Foreword

By at home

“Nothing defines us more than where we live.” And that is why we take our job so seriously. When you stop and think about your home you realise it is far more than a place to lay your head at night and somewhere that is warm and dry when the storms hit – both real and metaphorically.

Home is the roof over your head, it is the security and sanctuary in your life. It is also the place where you really can be yourself, where you can entertain your family and friends.

We all think we’ve got great taste and, of course, our homes reflect our personalities. It is these things that help make it secure, make it comforting.

But when it comes to selling your home, or buying a new home, there are ground rules that need to be obeyed to attract buyers. These days people are much more savvy about the little things that make a difference; from the smell of fresh coffee through to the lick of white paint to lift a gloomy room.

And that awareness means we all have to be on our game when it comes to dealing with property. What was the exception became the expected. To ignore such touches is to lessen your chances in the property market.

If 2004 was not the best of years for the property market, don’t fret. It is a case of looking to the future. Historically house prices have always, over a period, provided a great return and outperformed virtually all other investments.

If you are buying or selling you have to think through your strategies carefully and make the best of the conditions that exist at the time. Even if the property market was to stand stock-still for years, you’re better off owning your own home and paying off the mortgage. If you’re a first-time buyer – the earlier you get on the ladder, the less it’ll cost in the long-run.

And if you are a first-time buyer – get out there, get on the ladder because you need to do that to get into a bargaining position in the future.

In this magazine we provide all sorts of tips and hints to help you on your way. Yes it is scary, but a home of your own is a real home – and it is not an impossible dream.

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