Utilising Space and Making some Money

Many people assume “landlord” means a person with a large property portfolio or to those who are investors with management companies and have complete property businesses. However, this is not the case and many are/can become landlords without even knowing it! People nowadays need a whole range of different properties to live in because lives are very different to how they used to be. Being a modern day landlord is a very easy way of making some extra money although it is essential to understand what type of let you have.

If you have a large house with an un-used bedroom then why not rent it out to a lodger? This is a great way of utilising space and making a little extra money for the mortgage. If do choose this route then you will need to check the landlord laws as you are taking a rental payment each month. As a result your property needs to have the proper safety measures in place and you need to double check the HMO law as your property may fall into this category.

Many people have a second home somewhere close to the coast in the UK although for most of the year the properties aren’t used. You could always consider turning the property into a guest house for a few month of the year. If this is your situation then you will need to consider finding someone to manage the property if you do not live locally and you will also need hotel and guest house insurance.
In recent weeks we have all heard about pop up shops but pop up hotels are also becoming more and more popular. This is a little more difficult when it comes to legalities but if you are letting a room with breakfast and dinner included for once a month or more, it is sensible to check landlord legislation.

If you have extra space that isn’t used all year round then utilise it the best you can, especially with the high demand in the rental market you are sure to make a few extra pennies. If your lets are a little more outside the box though, check that you have covered all legalities and you are covered the best you can be.

Summer Staycation in Scotland

Have you been away yet this summer? Or are you still deciding where to take your motorhome for an adventure? If this is the case why not try Scotland. Yes there is a strong chance of rain, but unfortunately this is the case everywhere in the UK this summer. Even though Scotland does have rain, it also has stunning views and great places to explore.

We have found two great campsites that are guaranteed fun and perfect holiday destinations even in the British weather.

Cashel

Cashel campsite is right on the banks of Loch Lomond which is the fantastic place to view the scenery of western Scotland.

Being on Loch, of course means there are a range of water sports. There are fishing facilities, canoeing, boating and obviously walking and cycling trails so whatever you fancy doing, there is sure to be an activity to suit you.

Surrounding the Cashel campsite is the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and Ben Lomond. This is a Munro (a mountain higher than 3000ft) just four miles from the site. As mentioned there are many walking and cycling paths including the West Highland Way which goes rights past the entrance of the site.

On site there is a cafe and a shop and there are also many shower and toilet blocks. Dogs may be taken to this site which means fun for all the family. There are also electric hook up pitches available.

Cobleland

This campsite is on the River Forth and surrounded by oak trees. If it is raining, this will definitely provide some protection and of course, they are breathtaking to look at.

As the site is buried beneath gorgeous trees, there is a lot of wildlife in the area, great for nature lovers. Red squirrels are the most common and with wildlife all around it is a great place to really get back to nature.

Although there are no water sports that take place on the river. There are three lochs just around the corner: Achray, Drunkie and Venacher. These all offer boating, canoeing and fishing. If you fancy leaving the area then David Marshall Lodge is the place to go. Here you can watch live footage of the local Ospreys and it isn’t too far away.

Planning ahead is vital on any holiday and this means making sure you have sufficient breakdown cover and a motorhome insurance policy that covers all your needs. Having peace of mind while you are holiday means you can relax a little more in knowing that if something does go wrong, someone else will fix the problem for you.

Let us know if you are off to Scotland this summer, or if you have already been. We would love to hear your stories from the mountains. Either comment below or message us on Facebook or Twitter.

How to Avoid Motorhome Breakdowns Abroad

When you are setting off on your holidays in your motorhome and you have finally crossed the channel and just got off the ferry there is nothing worse than a breakdown. A breakdown on the way back from your holidays is almost as bad. Most of the time they can’t be avoided but there are a few safety measures that can be considered before setting off on your holidays.

The first and possibly the most obvious are servicing and maintenance. By having a professional service before your holiday you know that everything that should be filled up is and that everything is in good working order. Although this won’t prevent a breakdown you can be sure if there is a potential for something to go wrong then a service will highlight this. As well as servicing the engine, check your oven and sink before travelling to another country. Most of the time, it is harder to find someone to fix a broken oven with a gas problem than finding a garage and breakdown recovery service.

Make sure you have checked what the law in countries abroad require you to have in case of a breakdown. Many require a high visibility vest and if you don’t have one, you could be fined. If you are travelling in Europe then you will need an EU breakdown kit. These usually contain the vests but make sure you know the law as ignorance is not an excuse.

In the worst case it is always nice to have peace of mind knowing that you are covered. Some motorhome insurance companies do offer breakdown cover alongside the policy. However, if this is not the case then the AA or RAC do offer European Cover. Do check your insurance policy and make sure there is everything you need included as the cost of a breakdown and recovery are expensive.

Of course breaking down can happen anywhere not just abroad but make sure that your holiday isn’t interrupted by a breakdown. Although it is never certain no matter how much you do before hand so make sure you are covered just in case.

Landlords and Looking Positive

Since the credit crunch hit, private landlords are the most confident they have been according to research conducted by Paragon Morgan.

It was commissioned by Paragon Mortgages and executed by BDRC Continental. The research showed that 66 per cent of those that took part in the survey are expecting good things for the next quarter of 2012. This is the greatest percentage since 2007.

The landlords were also required to give their views on the private rented sector for the rest of this quarter and this showed that 57 per cent said they are also expecting good things. This is again reinforcing the fact that landlords are more positive than ever before.

During the last quarter, from the landlords that were asked, 12 per cent of them increased their portfolios. On average they added an extra 2.6 properties and a further 22 per cent are planning to add to their buy-to-let businesses.

As landlords are purchasing more properties this means they are extremely confident in the market as more properties mean more additional costs such and landlord insurance and maintenance costs.

Included in the research were also questions on what landlords felt about rental yields and void periods. Many said that they expect to see an average rental yield of 6.2 per cent in this quarter. According to the report only 34 per cent of the landlords experienced void periods. This is the lowest percentage for the last year.

It was also revealed that those that were most likely to rent a property were young couples, making up 54 per cent of tenants. Those who were young and single are 49 per cent of tenants while families with young children make up 47 per cent of those renting a property.

The managing director of Paragon Mortgages, John Heron has said, “The latest English Housing Survey published earlier this month, shows that they private rented sector now accounts for 3.6 million households in England. This is 17 per cent of the total number of households and practically accounts for the same level as the social rented sector.

“This is a remarkable shift in tenure that – in the context of housing patterns at least – has happened over a very short period of time. It has been made possible by a relatively enlightened approach to landlord and tenant regulation and because buy-to-let finance has allowed landlords to expand their portfolios.

“Our own survey indicates that landlords remain positive about the future of the sector and are looking to expand their portfolios further in order to meet the growing demand from private renters. I am pleased to see that confidence is growing and that it has reached its highest level post-credit crunch.”

New Lending Scheme to Help Boost Economy and Housing Market

There has been a new lending scheme unveiled called the Funding for Lending scheme. There is going to be £80 billion available for banks to borrow at low interest rates as long as they agree to pass these low interest rates onto customers. This is in a hope to get the UK economy back on track.

The money will be given to banks so they can offer cheap loans to businesses. This means if they are saving money on loans means there is more money to offer employment opportunities and get the economy moving again. There is strong link between employment, or unemployment and the property market. By taking on extra staff this means that the employees will be looking to spend their money back into the economy and will also be able to afford to buy properties.

This will increase demand pushing prices up which will be good news for sellers and this will then encourage the sellers to upgrade to a bigger property meaning more supply for the lower end of the property ladder. This is good news for first or second time buyers.

An increase in demand and supply will be a huge advantage to the housing market as many are stuck in rental properties. This is causing stagnation in the market overall as there isn’t much movement. With more homes available lower down the ladder this means first time buyers will be more encouraged to move out of parent’s homes and with cheaper mortgage deals this will also help the stagnation that the market is experiencing.

The financial burden that can come with owning a home will means many are struggling to pay for everyday essentials and are forced to choose between eating and filling up the car with fuel. With cheaper mortgage rates this means the financial stress in households will be lifted, especially with extras to pay such as home insurance.

Some experts are warning that even with this financial boost available to the banks many just won’t want to lend no matter the interest rate they will pay. Many fear that this is especially the case in the face of a “Eurozone storm.”

The Shadow Treasury Minister, Chris Leslie, has said, “Despite promises from ministers, net lending to businesses has fallen in every month of this Government. And there are serious questions about whether the new Funding for Lending scheme will really see lending to businesses become cheaper and easier to access.

Camping for Less

With the economy what it is at the moment, many have to give up little luxuries likes taking holidays. Before this summer, this wasn’t too bad but as there has been practically no sunshine, most of us are desperate to leave for sunnier climates no matter the cost. Those who have motorhomes are lucky enough to have a holiday pretty much on their doorstep. However, this can be a costly holiday as campsites are becoming more expensive so finding an affordable place to stay is becoming harder and harder. We have come up with some ways of making your summer trip friendlier on the bank account and still have a great time.

One of the biggest expenses for a family holiday is the adventures. Instead of shelling out those pennies for water parks why not choose a campsite that is close to the beach. There are usually some great activities to be had on the sea front and many animals to find in little rock pools. If you are visiting the South of England then why not try surfing! You don’t need to pay for expensive lessons, just copy what everyone else is doing!

Another great way of saving money is instead of dining on takeaways or food from chain stores, try visiting the local shops. They often have a better quality and cheaper alternative, especially if you are by the sea and love fish. Of course and even cheaper alternative is to take food with you and if the sunshine does ever appear again, have a BBQ.

As we are all so used to have creature comforts including electricity, most of us don’t even think twice about paying the additional fees for hook ups but while travelling, why not really get back to nature. The sun goes down a lot later in the summer so why not go a few nights without electricity? This can save a great deal of money and as long as you have a torch and plenty of batteries, you shouldn’t have any problems. Who knows, after a few nights you might not even realise you don’t have electricity.

Make sure you aren’t cutting back on essentials; it is your holiday after all so you should be enjoying yourself. A little piece of mind is always a great thing to have when going away so make sure you have a good motorhome insurance policy. You can always shop around for a cheap quote before you go, so by doing your research you should save some money but don’t go without. By thoroughly checking the policy too this could help save you money. A bad policy will end up costing you more in the long run so don’t just choose the cheapest.

Holidays in a motorhome are great fun for all ages and by cutting down on a few things and some savvy campsite planning you are sure to save some pennies and still have a great time.