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Moginie James... at home | Autumn 2011



I have recently purchased my fi rst house and I have limited funds to improve it. What are

the best improvements to make that will add value to the property?

Surveyor Bryan Long BSC (Econ), BSC FRICS of Bryan Long Partnership says... This is

a question I am often asked. Assuming the proper ty is in a reasonable condition, and the external fabric is free from signifi cant defects, there are a number of improvements I would recommend. Firstly, a modern and effective central heating system is essential. You are vir tually guaranteed to add the total cost of the installation to the value of the property. Adequate insulation is now seen as essential due to the rising cost of fuel. Not only will you add value to the house you will also save money, and there may be Local Authority grants available. Replacement of kitchen and bathrooms are always popular. The cost of modern kitchens and bathroom suites are surprisingly low and there is a massive “wow factor” to be gained. Internal decoration and fl ooring can create the much desired effect at relatively little cost. It is best to keep to neutral colours which will appeal to the majority of people, and try to avoid the more “unusual” colour schemes. Finally, if funds permit, the installation of UPVC windows, doors and fascia boards will not only improve the proper ty but will also incur less maintenance in future.


However, a year ago new neighbours moved in, who we unfortunately do not get along with. We now wish to allow the trees to grow in order to gain privacy – can we reverse this covenant?


the covenant but you would have to approach the person or company holding the benefi t of the covenant to negotiate this. They might simply refuse or they may be prepared to negotiate a release subject to a payment of a premium and their expenses. If the covenant is part of a scheme affecting a building estate then it is unlikely that they would be in a position to agree the release. The other




Once again, we grill Cardiff ’s most informed experts on the latest hot topics in the property game...

........... If you have a question for our panel email it to - ...........

When we purchased our home several years ago we agreed to a covenant of not allowing any plants, bushes or trees to grow more that 3' tall as we have stunning views over the city.

Nigel Morgan, Senior Partner at MLM Cartwright solicitors says... It may be possible to release

alternative of course, which I would not advise, is simply to ignore the covenant in the hope that this would not be noticed. You would however in that case have to be aware that the covenant holder would be entitled to enforce compliance of the covenant and in some cases perhaps even obtain damages.

As ever my advice is to consult your solicitor fully before taking any action in the matter

A friend recently informed me that credit searches affect my credit score – is this true?

Financial Adviser Neil Soundy of NSFS says... Your friend is correct. If you approach a number of lenders and they each run a credit search this could adversely affect your ability to obtain a mortgage. The best way forward is for

a broker to obtain a mor tgage promise cer tifi cate from a lender who performs a 'soft credit check'. This means it does not leave a credit footprint and you have a cer tifi cate to evidence to estate agents that you are fi nancially viable.

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