01392 202220   •   Residential Sales: sales@cooksleys.co.uk   •   Residential Lettings: lettings@cooksleys.co.uk   •   Student Lettings: students@cooksleys.co.uk
     
01392 202220   •   Residential Sales: sales@cooksleys.co.uk   •   Residential Lettings: lettings@cooksleys.co.uk   •   Student Lettings: students@cooksleys.co.uk
     
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Working and home schooling or maybe just for all of us trying our very best in these times ,every little helps 😉

The Guild of Property Professionals has issued tips for agents and other industry professionals having to cope with working from home and schooling for their children at the same time. Jennifer Scott-Reid, head of employee engagement and development at epropservices - parent company of The Guild - has these tips: -

Routine is key - “Something that most learnt during the mayhem and adjustment we all experienced during the first lockdown was that routine is essential. Children and young adults need routine, structure and boundaries, which is what school normally offers. So, get into a routine and get up and get dressed and start your day with having breakfast together. Be ready to start your planned activities at the same time school would normally start. Make the weekends different and have treat breakfasts like pancakes.” -

Create structure - “Let your family help you create the structure for the day and week and schedule it out. Write it down, so everyone who has been involved in the process can see what is going to happen and when. Build in a balance between fun times, learning activities, down time, and family time. The more you plan, the more time you will get. “Ideally, try to maintain regular school hours from home, so that your child doesn’t fall out of their existing routine. Then use this as a basis to build in wider activities such as exercise, relaxation time, and moments to be creative together.” -

Negotiate with your children - “Those within the property industry are no strangers to negotiations. It is important for children to learn social and life skills. Part of this involves teaching them that if they carry out the tasks they are required to do, they then get the opportunity to do the activities they want to do. “This is negotiation and you need to make sure to keep your end of the bargain, and if they don’t then they don’t get their choice of activity. Simple yes, easy no – you need to stay strong and consistent, however, if you can negotiate with your children you will teach them a vital life skill.” -

Get active - “Use resources like Joe Wicks and schedule a time in the day to do activities together. Schedule time to get out of the house – go for a walk, or to the park, set up an obstacle course in the garden, or scavenger hunt or set activities in discovering nature, or finding how many houses have red doors.” -

Schedule creative and fun time - “It is important to find time to be creative outside of schoolwork and computer time. Get books out, coloured pens, counters, blocks, whatever you may have to hand. Make a recipe with your family, work on a puzzle, go on an indoor scavenger hunt. Now’s the time to try something new. “You know your children so schedule around their good times, for example if a child concentrates better on schoolwork in the morning make sure you schedule accordingly and have fun time in the afternoons.” -

Remember, connection is still key - “Although we need to remain at home and physically distant, we can still be socially close and find separate time to connect with each other. “Setting up virtual play dates on a one-to-one basis, or creating virtual playgrounds, where children can come together to chat or play can also be a way of loosening up the scenario and feeling less alone. This can also be a great way for parents to compare notes and offer support to one another. However, please make sure parental controls are on, and that you remain aware of your child’s internet activity and encourage the child to be open with you about any ‘new’ people trying to make contact.” -

Embrace digital tools - “There are some brilliant resources online, so pick the ones that suit you and your children best – don’t feel you need to embrace them all. Think of them as a ‘pick and mix’ tub that you can dip into. “And don’t worry if they go on the Xbox or iPad for a couple of hours if you need the time to concentrate for work. Schedule it in to balance it with other activities, and your work schedule.”

Do what you can - “Not only is it difficult to juggle working remotely, but adding home-schooling makes it even more difficult. Added to this that a child’s attention span is around two to three minutes per year of their age, so it is important to keep your children engaged. “Though it may seem daunting, concentrate on the basics if you are feeling overwhelmed. Talk to your children’s teachers about what is achievable and what you can and cannot get done. Everyone’s situation is different, and schools will understand that there needs to be flexibility.” -

Create everyone’s own space - “Everyone needs their own space at times, and it is important that this is respected and created at different times during the day. “Remove distractions and let everyone have a place of their own - a simple space in which they can emote, do inner work, and reflect. Be kind to yourself - “Forget comparing yourself to others and shaming. It is a fictious world on social media – it’s not real or realistic

We again this year have chosen to donate to a charity very close to our hearts instead of sending out Christmas cards . We have chosen Devon Carers and we have donated £200 towards this fantastic Charity . Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy Christmas and New Year

Renters, too, want to head to the hills (and the coast)

 

After several reports of buyers wanting to leave the big cities and head to less crowded areas like the westcountry, now it appears that the rental market is heading in the same direction. Information collated by the property website Home says:

  • demand from renters in London, Birmingham and other cities has fallen sharply;
  • while demand in the south west is rising, pushing rents up 8% in a year;
  • favourite ‘must haves’ include a garden or terrace and access to the countryside.

Even before the pandemic the private rental sector was increasing – it’s now 20% of all homes in the UK. On top of that, the extra appeal of small cities like Exeter and of rural East Devon make buy to let a more attractive investment now than for many years.

 

The housing market is to remain open in the four week lockdown in England.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government confirmed the news on Saturday evening via Twitter, some hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lockdown until December 2.

A tweet from Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: "Q: Can I still move house? A: Yes – the housing market will remain open throughout this period. Everyone should continue to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus by following the current guidance."

That guidance, originally issued in August, says: “The process of searching for and moving into a new home is different because property agents, conveyancers and other professionals have modified how they work to reduce the risk from COVID-19. These changes could include doing more online, such as offering virtual viewings; vacating your current property during viewings; and ensuring your property is thoroughly cleaned before someone else moves in.

“We encourage all parties involved to be as flexible as possible and to be prepared to delay moves, for example if one of those involved becomes ill with COVID-19 during the moving process or has to self-isolate. It may become necessary to pause all home moves locally or nationally for a short period of time to manage the spread of coronavirus. We will let you know if this needs to happen.

“If you are about to enter into a legally binding contract, you should discuss the possible implications of COVID-19 with your legal professional and consider making contractual provisions to manage these risks. You should not expect to immediately be able to move into any home where people have COVID-19 or are self-isolating.

“Those renting a property, letting agents and landlords should be aware of and follow the government guidance on coronavirus and renting which contains further advice that may also be applicable such as on possession proceedings, repairs, maintenance and health and safety.”

For members of the public - prospective buyers and tenants, as well as vendors and landlords - the same government guidance note says: “You are free to move home. However, you may find the process of searching for and moving into a new home is different, as property agents, conveyancers and other professionals have modified how they work to reduce the risk from COVID-19.

“Initial viewings should be done virtually wherever possible. Property agents should be able to help you with this.

“Members of the public who are visiting an agent’s office or viewing a property should wear a suitable face covering as described in government guidance unless they are exempt from this requirement. This should be confirmed with the agent before arrival. Anyone with concerns should contact the agent in advance of their visit to discuss appropriate measures. The agent may require you to arrange an appointment before visiting the premises.

“All physical viewings where prospective buyers or renters will be entering the property should involve no more than 2 households inside the property at any one time. This includes any agent accompanying either party. Anyone in a support bubble with either household, however, will count as part of that household. 

“Please read the latest guidance on indoor gatherings and support bubbles.

Where prospective buyers who are currently from separate households wish to view the property on the same occasion, we advise that one household leaves the property to allow the other to enter. This allows for both households to view the property and ensures social distancing.

“Viewings should be arranged by appointment only and ‘open house’ viewings should not take place. When viewing properties in person, you should avoid touching surfaces wherever possible, wash your hands regularly and/or use hand sanitiser. If you need to be accompanied by small children, you should try to keep them from touching surfaces and ensure they wash their hands regularly.

If people are being shown around your home, you should open all internal doors and ensure surfaces, such as door handles, are cleaned after each viewing with standard household cleaning products.

“We recommend that you vacate your property while viewings are taking place in order to minimise unnecessary contact.

"Anyone involved in any aspect of the home-moving process should practice social distancing in line with public health advice.

“When moving between properties, you and those in your household should try to do as much of the packing yourself as you can. Where this is not possible, you should speak to removal firms in advance. There is further advice about this below.If you are particularly worried about the risk of infection, then speak to your landlord, estate agent or removers as they may be able to put extra precautionary measures in place.”

 

Rental market momentum is building

One big piece of news from this month’s RICS report is the uptick in landlord instructions. A total of +6% of contributors noted that they had experienced more landlords advertising rental properties in July, which is the first positive reading since 2016.

Over recent years, a number of changes have begun to affect some parts of the rental market. One major shift came from the introduction of Section 24, which changed some landlords’ tax bills. There’s also greater regulation in the market, such as more licensing schemes and new minimum requirements for some properties. Some of these changes have been good for the sector, improving standards in many properties. However, they have led a number of landlords to look to diversify, perhaps away from traditional buy-to-let.

On the tenant side, there’s been a “firm recovery”, according to +35% of surveyors. Tenant demand has increased for a third consecutive month, a significant recovery from the previous quarter. Looking to the future, +20% of respondents expect the market and rental prices to grow over the next year.

According to Elisabeth Kohlbach, CEO of Skwire, the rental market is the most positive area of  housing 

 

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