Barclays and the Skipton Building Society have marked the start of the home-buying season by slashing the rate for its two, three and five-year fixed-rate deals and also some of its tracker mortgages. At Halifax and Northern Rock, managers have also stepped into the price war, lowering rates on their two and three-year fixed rate buy-to-let mortgages. Other high street lenders are expected to follow suit, offering deals in a bid to tempt homeowners.
David Hollingworth at London and Country Mortgages says there were increasing signs that the mortgage market is loosening up, even for first-time buyers. 'Swap rates, which fixed-rate mortgages are linked to, have fallen back quite substantially over the last week, so there’s room for lenders to get more competitive,' he said, adding: 'We’re seeing more lenders offering cheaper deals, even at 90 per cent loan-to-value for the first time buyers.'
BUYING PROPERTY IN CRETE
The property market in Crete has undergone tremendous change over the last couple of years. Eight years ago, everyman and his dog appeared to be buying a property in Crete, but then, in 2008, someone suddenly turned the light off and developers, builders and estate agents woke up to find nobody was out there anymore!
Now, in 2011, Snobby is the only builder in Greece regularly advertising in the UK – with full pages in publications such as A Place in the Sun and features in many national newspapers and magazines. What’s happened to all the developers and estate agents? Visit Chania and estate agent offices have all but disappeared. Where have they all gone?
Unlike Snobby, other developers are weighed down by bank borrowings and so highly geared they can no longer afford to advertise. They have been forced to follow the marketing route of estate agents by advertising only on the internet – because it’s cheap. Google ‘buying Crete property’ and you get 16,700 possible searches. What does that mean for you? Is it one man and his dog? A website can still be live long after the business has died. Buying a house is all about trust. So what can you do to ensure you are armed with the total picture and all risks are minimized?
WHO ARE YOU DEALING WITH?
If you’re researching on the web, check for a guarantee of integrity. AIPP is the UK consumer protection federation safeguarding the interests of those buying property abroad. Before a company can carry the endorsement of the distinctive AIPP green and blue logo, the financial and operational criteria of the business is strictly vetted to ensure exemplary standards are being met. Snobby is one of the very few building companies in Crete to be recognized by AIPP.
QUALITY OF INFORMATION
A thumbnail picture and a few words is hardly a sufficient basis on which to gain a real insight into a property. If you see a house of interest on-line, ask for more information. If a company cannot send you a printed corporate brochure enclosing property details, then you have to wonder whether you’re dealing with a credible company. Are you prepared to incur the cost of air tickets and accommodation on the strength of something and nothing you’ve only seen on the web?
CHECK THE COSTS OF BUYING
Use an estate agent and you’ll be charged 2% of the property price as commission. Yes, that’s right, the buyer AND the seller both pay 2%. Then there’s the property tax, Notary costs, legal fees, utility connections which can all add up to around 20,000€ on an average two bedroom house. It’s worth bearing in mind Snobby always INCLUDE all purchase costs within the house price, so you know precisely how much to budget. With any other company you need to allow anywhere between 10% and 18% ON TOP of the house price.
ARE THERE BARGAINS TO BE HAD?
UK property prices have plummeted. In Spain a vast glut of unsold properties have driven prices into freefall. However, house prices in Crete have remained relatively stable, due mainly to the ratio remaining fairly balanced between the number of buyers in the market and the level of property for sale. Of course you may find what seems to be a really low priced property, but you do need to tread extremely carefully when chancing across a real bargain – or it could cost you dear in the end. There’s no such thing as a free lunch!
Snobby is probably unique in Crete for having no bank borrowings and is therefore able to structure its costs far more economically than most. That is why we can proudly claim Snobby prices are the lowest in Crete for new build detached homes. Check out the Snobby specification and be amazed at the unbeatable value on offer. Now is the time to buy in Crete. Now is the time to view a Snobby.
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