Our latest Newsletter is out now!

What a start to 2024!

The local property market has boomed this Winter and, here at Monks, we are prepared for a busy year!

Follow this link to read our first Newsletter of 2024 with a introduction from Judy Bourne and Patricia Baila, Directors and Co-owners, on what to expect for the year ahead.

 

 

At Home with Monks is our regular Newsletter, available to pick up in our offices or via email direct to your inbox.

Our aim is to share timely, original and relevant information about the local property market and about Monks – whether you are buying, selling or letting.

 

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Read next:  What makes us, us?  –  Meet the personalities  –  Welcome to Oswestry

 

 

Buying a brand-new home is so exciting, but it can feel a little daunting when faced with a plain white interior.  Interior designer Anna Kayiatou explains how she builds up layers of colour, curves and texture to create a home where you want to linger.

 

Sheepskin rugs, wooden furniture and spiky flower decorations all feature in Anna’s designs for a reason.  “I want people to reach out and touch things”, she explains. “Running a hand along a tactile surface makes us slow down and take in our surroundings.  Engaging our sense of touch triggers surprise and delight, and that’s exactly how a new home should make you feel.”

 

Anna is adding her designer touch to the four-bedroom Rhyn on Cornovii Homes’ new development at Ifton Green in St Martin’s near Oswestry.  With a spacious lounge, open-plan kitchen and dining room, and four very different bedrooms, Anna advises that each space should feel unique and yet complement your over-arching style.

 

A scheme of nature-inspired shades and textures unifies Anna’s design.  Creamy fabrics, mango wood furniture and cinnamon-hued accessories create a calming ground floor.

 

Upstairs the colours and fabrics are darker and richer with nods to the animal world:  peacock-green, charcoal-feathered herons, and cheeky brass monkeys.

 

Anna likes to introduce curves to soften a room and create movement.  An oval-shaped dining table is great for bringing people together and allowing easy access to the smart patio and garden beyond.  “This table is one of our best sellers!” smiles Anna, referring to her shop in Shrewsbury, Dutch Living, which sells furniture and accessories sourced from Holland, Belgium and Denmark.

 

Cornovii Homes have created a welcoming Show Home where you can relax and plan your next move.  To book your viewing, email Judy or call 01743 361422.

 

Read next:  Ifton Green, by Cornovii Homes  –  New homes  –  Oswestry

When you ask Anne Marie Taylor about Wem her eyes light up. “Kind, friendly, genuine, helpful and a diverse mix of characters… Wem grows on you!!”

 

Anne Marie has insider knowledge of the Wem property market.  She moved here 10 years ago, first deciding to rent and get a feel for the area, then buying her home from the owner after just 12 months. Wem hasn’t disappointed, delivering the perfect work and life balance, and even enticing her jet-set daughter to settle nearby.

“In Wem you get so much more house for your money”, explains Anne Marie. “And it is so well connected, especially by rail.  11 minutes into Shrewsbury with a £5 return ticket, and trains all evening!”

Anne Marie’s in-depth knowledge of Wem’s property stock means she can quickly match homes with prospective buyers or renters.  There are plenty of bungalows within walking distance of essential amenities, ideal for retirees.  There are grand period properties and detached homes down winding lanes for high-end buyers.  She knows the appeal of newly built homes and the draw of pre-loved properties in need of some TLC (and can recommend good local tradespeople to help!).

It’s the diversity of people she meets, and understanding their unique requirements, that Anne Marie says makes her job in Wem so interesting.

Anne Marie enjoys listing Wem’s surprisingly varied amenities. There is Yoga in the Townhall, as well as BYO-wine Movie nights.  A theatre with drama groups for all ages.  Local fresh produce and craft markets.  A delicious new patisserie.

For families, Anne Marie points out the local schools and popular scouts, brownies and clubs which offer holiday activities.  She has met many young couples returning to Wem to raise their families and emphasises again the value for money.

It’s clear that Anne Marie likes to help people and she cares about getting it right.

Read next:  Property search  –  About Wem  –  What makes us, us?

Inflated moving costs, high-interest mortgages and ever-increasing property prices are all conspiring to keep tenants in situ for longer.  If managed correctly, this brings benefits for landlords and for tenants.

 

So what should landlords be doing during a long tenancy?

  • Support tenants to access the right energy tariffs. With increases in energy prices and changes to tariffs, it is important that tenants can move to the provider that works for them.  As they are not the property owner, they may be unsure about changing providers or be unable to change without the correct paperwork.  Talk to your tenants about their energy usage patterns and support a move if necessary; you could save them a pretty penny and earn favour.
  • Check safety certificates are up-to-date.  With a rolling tenancy, it’s easy to lose track of when certificates were last issued.  Gas supplies need checking annually; electricity every five years.  An EPC report is valid 10 years, and even though the Landlord reform bill has not made achieving E-rating or higher a legal requirement, it is still good practice to provide an environmentally-sound building.
  • Build a good relationship.  Over time, a positive relationship can grow between tenant and Landlord.  Communicating your long-term plans for the property can make tenants feel settled.  In turn, they will be more likely to give a lengthy notice period if they do have plans to move on.  Both parties gain security.
  • Property maintenance. Whilst it is important to schedule regular visits to inspect your investment, if you can establish good routes of communication with tenants, they will likely flag up any issues within a good time frame. Furthermore, long term tenants are more likely to invest in your property.  This could be fresh decorating or improving the garden.
  • Wear-and-tear reduced.  Tenants planning to stay for several years will cause less incremental damage as they care for their home’s ongoing appearance.  This could be looking after carpets or employing a regular cleaner.  This can reduce the inevitable wear-and-tear costs at the end of a tenancy.
  • Schedule annual rent reviews.  Having a long-term tenant shouldn’t mean that you miss out on current market rates.   Finding a new tenant at a higher rent needs to be weighed against the losses of a void period and agency fees.  Suggest to your existing tenant a smaller increase than market levels and you both win!  Of course, this will be seen more positively if you are already addressing the points above!

Monks provide a Full Management Service and can handle all the above on your behalf.  If you have any specific requirements, we’re happy to adapt our services to suit them.  Our role is to represent the Landlord and to maximise your investment.

Contact Monks’ Lettings Manager, Lucinda Thompson for details.

 

Read more:   Full management service  –  Let only  –  Our 5-step process

Beth Griffiths and the Oswestry team received this glowing customer review which epitomises what Monks’ service levels are all about.

 

“I am very happy that I chose Monks to sell my house.  Beth Griffiths provided a dedicated, professional and personable service from beginning to end.  I felt looked after throughout the whole process.

I chose two agents, and Monks rose above.  The level of communication and overall service I received reflected the dedication they had to sell my house.  There was never a time when I felt they lacked anything in respect of a high standard of service and professionalism.

Beth guided and oversaw the whole process and along with colleagues beside her whose efforts I appreciate, brought together what was a smooth, positive and stress-free process.

I am enthusiastic in recommending Monks without hesitation.”

 

At Monks we pride ourselves on being a people-centred business that operates with the highest integrity.  The business attracts like-minded, loyal and committed people who strive to exceed their customer’s expectations.  Our ethos can be refined down to HOME:  Honest, Original, Motivated and Empathetic.

Recent reviews and local recommendations are so important when selecting an Estate Agent you can trust.  Well done Beth for leading by example.

 

Wasn’t it satisfying to see Shropshire listed in ABTA’s 10 Destinations to Watch in 2024?  Rich in history, a gastronomic paradise, beautiful countryside and a lively calendar of family activities…  oh yes, we know!

 

At Monks, we consider ourselves ‘county connoisseurs’ and love to share our passion for the Shropshire lifestyle.  We use our lived experience of local geography, history and communities to paint a picture of the properties we bring to market and add depth to the unique story behind every home.

 

Our team’s love of Shropshire brings a genuine touch to our service.  Ask Lucinda about her outdoor adventures in the Shropshire Hills, chat to Beth about child-friendly trips to Ellesmere or ask Anne Marie for tips on dog-walking around Wem.  Our roots run deep with staff born and raised the area, like Ethan in Oswestry.  While others like Patricia have moved from afar to choose Shropshire as their home.

 

Sharing insider information with potential buyers helps sell the lifestyle of a future home.  Details of a local sports club, available allotment plots, or walks with panoramic views can all inspire a connection with the property.  And let’s not forget the essentials of schooling options, transport links and which pub serves the best Sunday Roast!

 

Shropshire is the first UK destination to appear on the ABTA list which is designed to inspire British holiday makers.  This predicted wave of tourists presents a fantastic opportunity for anyone looking to invest in holiday lets, and these charming properties would all appeal to paying guests:  timber-framed townhouse in Shrewsbury, a former Post Office in Ruyton Xi, a chocolate-box cottage in Wem, and a picturesque holiday park near Oswestry!

 

“This idyllic English county on the Welsh borders has some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes, towns and villages. Shropshire is not only a rural gem, it was also the birthplace of the industrial revolution.”

ABTA report, January 2024.

 

So, whether you’re looking to settle in this stunning county or invest in a thriving tourist hotspot, Monks are here to guide you every step of the way.  Our knowledge and enthusiasm are why so many customers choose Monks as their local estate agent.

 

Read next:  Explore Properties –  LocationsMeet the Team

We have been having fun with New Year resolutions this month, trying to beat some of those bad habits and choosing some positive goals for the year ahead.

 

With an impressive mix of health, property and career goals, we will be following the team’s progress all year.

 

  • “I’m doing Dry January to give myself a healthy start. But I’m also conscious of supporting my favourite bars and restaurants at this notoriously quiet time of year, so I’m still going out but ordering alcohol-free cocktails!” laughs Judy.

 

  • “My goal is to plan ahead with more family time booked into my diary”, says Patricia, inspired by her recent trip to her native Spain.

 

  • Beth in our Oswestry office has career goals: “Completing my National Association of Estate Agents qualification (just one more unit to go!) and progressing to a Senior Sales Negotiator.”

 

  • “Drinking two litres of water every day!” is Lucinda’s focus, staying healthy and hydrated while she oversees the Lettings and Rental department.

 

  • James will be moving house this year, having already sold and bought properties through Monks and awaiting his completion dates. He jokes “I need to advise myself now which is never easy!”.

 

  • “My promise to myself this year is to declutter my life”, offered Amanda. “I have accumulated so many things over the years.  We all have things in our homes that may be just what some other family needs.”

 

  • “Move house!” commits Suzanne in our marketing department. “After almost three years of renting and watching the market change, 2024 feels like the right time!”

 

While the Monks team can’t help you with all your resolutions, finding new homes is where we excel.  So if you are planning on selling, buying or renting property in 2024, Monks can make it happen!

Read next:  Meet the Team  –  Contact Monks  –  New Homes