Signing up to the green deal, how it may reduce your home’s value

The government’s green deal is a new scheme that encourages consumers to make our homes more energy efficient. Home and business owners will be able to borrow money, at a low rate, which will then be paid back through utility bills. Money will be available for a range of home improvements including insulation, double glazing, heating or renewable energy.

The green deal loans do not operate as a usual loan would, with the borrower being liable for the debt. Instead the debt will be tied to the property, meaning that when the property is sold, the new purchaser will be liable for the debt.

It has been well documented that the property market has been either stagnant or declining over the past few years. The green deal loan could become a deal breaker for many potential purchasers or a bargaining tool to drive the purchase price down.  At a time when many people have concerns over the value of their home; this could be considered a major stumbling block to the success of the scheme.

The foundation of the green deal is that it will save money in the long run; through any improvements made leading to energy savings. All though we are all conscious of saving money, purchasing a house where the green deal is in place is effectively forcing the new homeowner to participate. Many of us would not purchase a car if we had to repay the finance on it from the previous owner so why would we do it with a new home?

Another condition of the scheme is that any new tenants to properties may need to be assessed by the original green deal assessor. If the new tenants or owners are considered to be higher energy users, the monthly repayments may increase.

The simplest option would be to repay the loan upon selling your home. Although we are yet unaware of what the early repayment charges will be, it is thought that it could be the total cost of the interest. Sellers will be paying for a benefit that they will not receive.

Currently many homeowners choose to add the cost of home improvements, such as replacement windows and doors, to their mortgage. The typical interest rate of many mortgages is around 4.5% compared to the green deal rate of 7%. With the restrictions of the green deal, many people will continue to add the extra money to their mortgage, viewing it as money that will get back eventually anyway.

At present it seems the green deal has been met with a lukewarm response. If the scheme does become successful it could prove to be a major boost to the economy and a welcome reduction in our energy bills.

For affordable double glazing in Cardiff please visit our website www.inspirewindows.co.uk

Double Glazing Offers – Too Good to be True?

Many companies offer discounts and special offers on their products but will you really end up paying the prices they advertise?

The most common deals and their catches are;

Buy one get one free– More often than not there will be a very high initial purchase price and will only apply to windows of a similar size

Six windows and a door for £1200 – Likely to be the cheapest frames available and windows so small that they will not be suitable for the majority of properties, meaning that the final quote will be much higher

35% off windows– This only applies if you have not had a quote from the company before – implying that they actually inflate the price and then reduce it again

Window scrappage scheme– Companies will promise to give you £1000’s of pounds back through a scrappage scheme that is actually nothing to do with the government. You would have to spend a great deal of money to qualify for the “scrappage allowance” which is just a discount on already inflated prices.

10 year guarantee – All frames of reasonable quality should come with a 10 years manufacturer’s warranty as standard so this is not an added extra.

The showhome promotion – Has your street been specially selected as a “show home” street? This is just a ploy to get into your home and give you a quote with a special added discount if you will advertise the companies name outside your home. The best form of advertising for a reputable company is word of mouth, not obtrusive advertising campaigns.

The added extras  – What else is not included in your quote; window cills, locking mechanisms, additional openers, upgrades to better quality frames & glass, extortionate finance charges… the list could be endless so make sure the deal you are being offered really is as good as it first appeared.

With so many special offers that are not actually that “special” it is important that you choose a company who you trust. It can be tempting to purchase through one of the national companies with their promise of guarantees and discounts and appealing websites. However, sales staff from national companies are working on commission and may not be primarily concerned about repeat business from their customers, making the sale the priority.

Choosing a local company who can advise you on the best purchase for your property without pressurising you to make a sale may be the best choice. The chances are they will have much lower overheads, more personal service, and reliable aftercare. They may offer you a more realistic and affordable quote to ensure that your home’s value, security and energy efficiency is maximised.

Inspire Windows Ltd are a Certass registered company, based in Cardiff. We offer a 10 year insurance backed guarantee as standard. We are also an authorised Rehau partner, fitting top quality windows, doors and conservatories. Take a look at our site www.inspirewindows.co.uk or give us a call on 02920 734573