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4 Bed House on Harrow Close, Hornchurch now Let!

Harrow Drive House Let

Stephen James of Hornchurch recently let this 4 bedroomed property on the ever popular Saint Leonards Hamlet development in Hornchurch.

Shortly before new tenants moved in, water damage appeared from a burst internal pipe, with stephen James arranging a full clean up operation, (dismantled all broken ceiling boards to 2 bedrooms and a bathroom). This gave the plumbing contractor quick and easy access to refix the broken pipes. New plaster board was put back on ceilings with a matched finish, and fully decorated to an excellent standard.  Works programme of less than 3 days.

This is all part of our management services for clients old and new, please call me on 07768585551 to discuss any property matters , extending 38 years of experience!

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Selling Your Residential Property

Selling Your Residential Property

So you have decided you want to sell your house or flat. And you want to sell your property quickly and for the best price? Stephen James provides a step by step guide to help you through the process of selling your residential property

1.) Your own personal financial situation

It’s important to consider your own financial circumstances when considering whether to sell your home. Do you have a mortgage? Are you looking to downsize or upsize and what will we be the implications for your existing mortgage? Will there be any redemption charges?

Are you planning on renting for a period of time or moving straight into a new property you purchase? This has a big implication on navigating the sale of a residential property.

There could be tax implications from council tax for empty properties through to stamp duty on your new purchase. It’s key to have good advice from a mortgage adviser, accountant and solicitor so you can plan your finances.

2.) Take an objective view of your residential property

It’s human nature to think your residential property is better and more wonderful than other properties. We all have tendency to be biased and of course every homeowner wants to sell their property for the best price. However being able to be calm and objective is a valuable trait in the house selling process.

Objective selling price

It’s best if you can put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer and how they may view the property. Being objective and even critical at the start can help identify any issues which could be remedied to help maximise the sales price.

Being honest and objective at the start will set realistic goals which can ultimately save a lot of time and stress with the home selling process.

3.) Make your home look its best

Exterior of your property

First impressions and kerb appeal matter!

  • Can damage to the front of the property be repaired?
  • Can the exterior and windows be cleaned so it’s presentable?
  • Perhaps flaking paintwork can be repainted?
  • Is there outside space being used as a dumping ground?

An experienced estate agent like Stephen James can advise on any home improvements before you spend unnecessary money.

Interior of your property

The key with interiors of residential property is ensuring the area is clean and tidy. Decluttering allows a buyer to imagine how they may shape the space.

Clean bathrooms and kitchens are important and it always pays off to ensure these areas are clean and fresh.

house interior

Damage and wear and tear will make buyers wonder if the property has been maintained and looked after. If you can ensure any damage or wear and tear is attended to it will help.

If you’re showing around a potential buyer in winter try and make sure the heating is on. A cold house will only make the prospective buyer feel unwelcome and associate bad feeling with the property.

All of these things together can create a positive impression and help sell your home. Buyers feeling positive about a property are more likely to put forward offers!


Outside space and gardens can really help sell a house or flat. As a minimum the lawn should be cut, neat and free of weeds. If you have time adding hanging baskets, flowers and bedding plants can have a dramatic impact for minimal sums of money. Creating a welcoming garden can really add a pulling factor to selling a home.


4.) Get a valuation from an estate agent

In order to sell your home you will need a valuation in order to set the right asking price.

There is a lot of publicly available data out there for you to check what other properties have sold for in the area. An experienced local estate agent can provide a valuation for your property and back it up with evidence to justify the reason for the valuation. An active local estate agent like Stephen James will be aware of the market sentiment and type of buyers in the market to give bespoke advice.

Home valuation

5.) State an asking price for your residential property

Setting a price of a residential property is a matter of judgement. Just because you set a price doesn’t mean you will sell for that price (or more or less). However setting an appropriate price will ensure your property attracts potential buyers and sells in a timely manner.

asking price estate agent

It can be tempting to set the highest possible asking price, but if this price is well out of kilter with the market then it will only deter potential buyers. Setting an appropriate asking price ensures you maximise the sales proceeds.

There is a wealth of data available out there, so there should be no excuse to get the asking price completely out of line. An experienced estate agent can advise on the strategy of setting an asking price.

6.) Use an estate agent to sell your home

Ok, so we’re an estate agent so we will be biased and recommend that you use a local estate agent when you sell your home!

Whenever you consider selling a residential property is important to consider selling via the most appropriate channel. If your residential property is in very bad condition, very unusual or with development potential it could be more suited to auction. For many standard traditional houses which will appeal to first time buyers, families and the mass market then the high street estate agent remains the best place to sell your home.

Estate agent to sell home

A local estate agent should know the market, the area and the people well, which will give you the best chance of completing a sale and maximising what you get for it!

Online agents have come into fashion in recent years, but the service level can be patchy and you will never get the support, knowledge and service you would do from an established local estate agent.

7.) Market your residential property comprehensively

Once you have decided how you choose to sell your residential property and you have found an estate agent then the marketing can commence:

  • This can start with good quality photos of your home (potentially with a professional photographer)
  • Marketing materials which provide clear information on the property
  • Use of a for sale sign to ensure passing traffic and pedestrians are aware that the property is on the market
  • Online advertising such as Rightmove (the most important residential property portal)
  • Floorplans and video tours can also help

8.) Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork!

In order to minimise any unwanted surprises later down the line during a residential sale it’s important to get your paperwork up to speed straight away. Prepare early and it will cause less stress down the line. If you leave it later, all you will be doing is to risk delaying the sale. Do you have the following information on your property?

paper work for sale of home

  • Title deeds or land registry records relating to your property
  • Historic property details when you purchased the property
  • Energy Perfomance Certficate (EPC)
  • Building regulations certificates
  • Planning permission history
  • Electrical and Gas installations certification
  • Utility bills
  • Buildings insurance
  • Contents insurance
  • Mortgage details (if relevant)
  • Lease (if it’s a leasehold property)
  • Any new build warranty if within 10 years of build

9.) Showing prospective buyers around – Viewings

In order to sell your house or flat means you need to get round prospective buyers to view.

If you are using an high street estate agent it would be customary for the agent to undertake the viewings on your behalf. We recommend this is as it puts buyers and sellers at ease. The buyer can ask questions and comment in freedom and equally the seller can remain in the distance and unknown providing instructions to their agent.

Residential viewings

There isn’t a specific number of viewings you need to do in order to sell a home. It’s more important potential viewing parties are appropriately filtered and qualified before viewing. It’s better to have two serious and qualified viewing parties, than twenty scatter gun viewers who are are not appropriate.

10.) Solicitor or conveyancer to act on your behalf

In order to progress the sale of your home you will need to instruct a solicitor or conveyancer who is capable of dealing with residential property.

solicitor work

It’s best to make contact with your solicitor at the time of considering a sale as your solicitor can check title and raise any issues which may have a detrimental impact on the sale. Again if you prepare early it will make a sale easier! Also once you accept an offer you can instruct a solicitor progress the sale quickly if the preparatory work has been done.

11.) Dealing with offers on your property

Your estate agent has a legal duty to refer all offers to you as soon as possible. Once an offer has been received you have three main options:

  • You could accept the offer (subject to contract) and proceed to legals.
  • You could reject the offer (for whatever reason that may be).
  • Or you could try and negotiate the offer.

If you are in the fortunate position of receiving numerous offers for your home then it would down to the estate agent to assess the credibility of offers. Some offers may be cash offers or a combination of cash and a mortgage. Some buyers will be in a chain and have to sell in order to complete on buying your property.

The highest offer may not necessarily be the strongest and best offer. If a cash buyer with no chain is bidding £1,000 less than a buyer with a large mortgage and property to sell, most vendors would regard the cash offer as the stronger offer.

offers in cash

Also it’s important to note many buyers will often offer less than the asking price (at least initially). Sometimes it’s best to wait, stay calm and let the market work it’s course. Your circumstances as a seller matter too of course.

Knowing the market in your area is key to making the best decision (can you achieve a higher price level? Are there many other credible buyers in the market? How long should it take to sell this kind of property?). An experienced estate agent like Stephen James can guide you through the process and give you a valuable advice to make sure you make the right decision for you at the right time.

12.) Agree terms of the deal

Once you agreed a deal it’s important the terms of the deal are documented in a sales memorandum. This will document:

  • The buyer and seller details
  • The sales price
  • The inclusion of any fixtures and fittings
  • Title information
  • Exchange and completion dates
  • Any other conditions related to the sale

memo of sales

The sales memorandum should be sent to respective solicitors so the legal work can commence.

13.) Exchange and completion

Exchange and completion is what it’s all about!

Exchange and completion are key legal milestones with the exchange being the date a buyer pays the deposit. The buyer will then have an obligation to complete.

exchange and completion of house sale

Completion date is when the property is sold and your solicitor should be in funds. As a vendor you will have to ensure you have moved out of the property and the keys are with your estate agent for the buyer.

Do you have a residential property you need to sell? Stephen James can help today! Please get in touch or call us for further assistance with any property matters you may have on 07768585551.


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Havering Residential Property and Area Guide

Havering Residential and Area Guide

So you want to know more about the residential property market in the London Borough of Havering and the area of Havering? Read on…

The London Borough of Havering is London’s most easterly borough bordering Essex with excellent commuter routes to central London. It’s made up of semi-rural locations and more urbanised centres such as Hornchurch, Upminster and Romford. Significant new developments in Rainham, Harold Wood and Romford are increasing the housing supply in the borough. New rail improvements including a new rail station at Beam Park and Crossrail connections from Romford, Gidea Park and Harold Wood.

London Borough of Havering

With all this investment and improvements Havering remains one of the greenest and most affordable London Boroughs. Many parks, amenities, good transport links, affordable housing and access to one of the biggest jobs market (London!) in the world.

Havering has long been a destination for people who have grown up in the East London and who favour more space, more green space and a short commute into central London. The borough has been attracting a wider pool of buyers and renters from around London, and further afield in recent years.

Havering Key Housing and Economic Data:

Population of Havering: 257,810 (Source: ONS UK)

Havering population

Average House Price: £392,681 (Source: Zoopla 2nd January 2021)

Average Rent for a one bedroom property in Romford: £989pcm (Source:

Average Rent for a two bedroom property in Romford: £1,244pcm (Source:

two bedroom house in romford

Average Rent for a three bedroom property in Romford: £1,532pcm (Source:

Average Rent for a one bedroom property in Hornchurch: £945pcm (Source:

Average Rent for a two bedroom property in Hornchurch: £1,264pcm (Source:

Average Rent for a three bedroom property in Hornchurch: £1,560pcm (Source:

Three bedroom house in Hornchurch

Average Salary: £35,474 (Source: CBRE Residential)

Unemployment Rates (2017 to 2020): 4.8% (Source: Trust for London)

Housing in Havering

Havering has a high proportion of semi-detached and detached housing  as well as the second highest number of semi-detached homes in London (42% of the stock).

Areas in Havering with a high number of detached housing tends to be in the affluent areas of Emerson Park, Upminster and Gidea Park.

Semi-detached housing

The Havering area has a high % of owner occupiers with 2011 Census estimating over 74% as owner occupiers. The highest of any London Borough.

The London Plan has committed to a further 970 homes in Havering and this is largely in the form of new flat developments in the more urbanised areas of Romford (St Edwards Court, Papermill House, ) and Rainham (Beam Park and Napier and New Plymouth House site).

Beam Park Rainham

Transport in Havering

4 Underground Stations; Upminster tube station (District Line), Upminster Bridge tube station (District Line), Hornchurch tube station (District Line), Elm Park tube station (District Line)

Hornchurch tube station

6 Railway Stations; Upminster station, Romford station, Emerson Park station, Gidea Park station, Harold Wood station, and Rainham station.

Upminster train station

Crossrail / Elizabeth Line

The much-anticipated introduction of Crossrail project has given a boost to the residential property markets around Harold Wood, Gidea Park and Romford.

Romford station has undergone a complete overhaul and will be one of the key stops on the eastern stretch of the Elizabeth Line. From Romford journey times to Canary Wharf will be approximately 28 minutes. Crossrail will only further make Havering more accessible to central London and beyond.

Green Space in Havering

Havering boasts 2,000 acres of open space throughout the area. Half of the borough is designated as Metropolitan Green Belt, which means the area is less built up then many London boroughs.

Havering County Park

Over half of Havering is parkland and made up of 100 separate green spaces, including two country parks (Havering Country Park, and Hornchurch Park) and 40 local parks. Some of the open space highlights in Havering include:

  • Bedfords Park
  • Harold Wood Park
  • Hylands Park
  • Harrow Lodge Park
  • Hornchurch County Park
  • Havering County Park
  • Raphael Park
  • Upminster Park

The London Borough of Havering includes a number of key walking routes;

  • Thames Chase Circle
  • Ingrebourne Way (a strategic cycling route cycling route through Harold Hill, Hornchurch, Upminster and Rainham)
  • Rainham to Purfleet Path

Leisure, Culture and Sport in Havering

Havering does offer an exciting cultural and leisure offering, Queens Theatre located on Billet Lane in Hornchurch produces over eight shows a year. Brookside Theatre is on Eastern Road in Romford within the historic Romford War Memorial buildings. Brookside Theatre offers a wide variety of events including musicals, plays, live music, comedy and other peforming arts. Fairkytes Arts Centre is a community arts centre located across from Queens Theatre.

Queens Theatre

There are many notable areas and buildings of historic importance throughout the London Borough of Havering. There are 11 designated conservation areas in Havering;

  • Corbets Tey
  • Cranham
  • Gidea Park
  • Havering-atte-Bower
  • Langtons
  • North Ockendon
  • RAF Hornchurch
  • Rainham
  • Romford
  • St Andrews
  • St Leonards

Romford is the principal town in the borough offering cinemas, restaurant, bars, adventure golf, Saphire Ice & Leisure and one of the last remaining Greyhound Stadium in London.

Area Guides in Havering


Romford is the commercial and leisure hub of Havering and straddles between the East London and Essex border. Romford is popular with owner occupier and renters with an active residential property market.

Havering Town Hall

Romford has become part of Greater London since 1965 and is the administrative centre of the London Borough of Havering.

Romford has arguably undergone more change than other towns in Havering in the last decade (it feels more urbanised than many areas of Havering). A number of major announcements regarding further investment in Romford to substantially increase the housing stock are ongoing or have completed. There are plans to develop Bridge Close industrial estate, Waterloo Estate, Seedbed Centre, former Romford Ice Rink and other key potential housing sites to deliver additional residential stock in Romford.

Bridge Close Romford Development

Romford is served well with road and rail links. You can be in Liverpool Street in around 30 minutes and Romford is within easy reach of the A127 and A12 providing access to central London and east Essex. Access to junction 29 or 28 of the M25 is approximately 10 minutes away.

Gallows Corner Romford

Romford has a wide range of local amenities including cinemas, bars, shops, restaurants, and lots of green space. Romford boasts three shopping and leisure centres:

  • Brewery (Romford) opened in 2001 on the former Star Brewery site. Occupiers in the centre include Costa, Argos, Cosmos, Metro Bank, McDonald’s, Nandos, Kidspace, Pure Gym, Sainsbury’s, VUE Cinema and many more.
  • Liberty Shopping Centre underwent redevelopment in 2005 and is the largest covered shopping centre in Romford with approximately 432,000 sq ft of commercial space.
  • Mercury Mall. Mecury Mall originally was called Liberty 2. It’s located very close to Liberty Shopping Centre.

Romford can still offer a traditional ‘night at the dogs’ at the Coral Romford Greyhound Stadium. The venue recently underwent a multi-million pound revamp and is generally busiest on a Saturday and Friday night.

Romford Dog Track

Romford has a popular array of bars and clubs and has one of the highest concentration of bars and clubs outside central London. Given Romford’s location it attracts those living in other areas in Havering, Essex and East London as a mid way point.

Romford bars


Hornchurch provides contrast to the more urban and retail feel of Romford. Hornchurch has a leafy and friendly feel. Hornchurch still boasts an active high street shops, cafes and restaurants with a mix of national and independent names.

Hornchurch High Street

Considered the cultural hub of Havering, Hornchurch is the home Queens Theatre, an arts centre and the magnificent Grade II listed Langtons House and gardens.

Langtons House

Hornchurch is located in the centre of Havering with good access to Upminster and Romford. There’s a contrast between larger detached houses to the Emerson Park side and smaller traditional housing towards the Elm Park. Hornchurch has a high number of 3 and 4 bed semi-detached and detached properties. There are flats, but this is a small proportion of the housing stock.

hornchurch guide

New builds are in the pipeline on the former St George’s Hospital site to the south of Hornchurch town centre. This site has planning permission for 290 new homes

Hornchurch has a reasonable night time economy with Sutton Arms, The Fatling, The Rising Sun, Hop Inn Micropub amongst many more.

Fatling Hornchurch

Hornchurch is also the home of Stephen James Estate Agents located at 5a High Street 😉


Upminster is located right on the edge of Havering and Greater London boundary, which means it’s not far from countryside and lots of outdoor activity.

Upminster countryside

Luckily for Upminster’s residents, there’s an underground station with services on the District line and C2C offering good connectivity to the rest of London, with direct trains to Fenchurch Street in 24 minutes.

Upminster C2C train station

Upminster has a strong reputation for schools in the area including Coopers Company & Coborn School, Hall Mead School, Upminster Junior School, Sacred Heart of Mary Girls’ School,  and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School.

St Joseph School

Upminster is within easy reach of junction 29 of the M25 and access to Lakeside Shopping Centre and the surrounding retail parks, which is one of the largest retail areas in Europe.

Why Move to Havering?

  • Half of the London Borough of Havering is designated inside the Metropolitan Green Belt.
  • Lots of regeneration in London Riverside which will have positive impacts on the London Borough of Havering.
  • Good retail and leisure facilities.
  • Relatively affordable rents and property prices.
  • Excellent access by road, rail, tube and bus to London, Essex, Kent and further afield.

Do you have a residential property you need to re-let? Stephen James can help today! Please get in touch or call us for further assistance with any property matters you may have on 07768585551.

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Retail Premises in Hornchurch Let to Tax Assist!

Stephen James has completed the letting of 28 Station Lane in Hornchurh town centre.

Acting on behalf of the landlord, Tucker Brothers Ltd, Stephen James have let the ground floor shop in Hornchurch on a new 10 year to Tax Assist.

Tax Assist are relocating from Elm Park and are currently fitting out ready for opening to the public in the new year. Tax assist provide tax and accountancy services and is based on a franchise model operating throughout the UK.

Do you have a retail property in Hornchurch you need to market to let? Stephen James can provide commercial estate agency services! Get in touch on 07768585551.

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Hair Salon Shop Letting in Cranham!

Stephen James have let 73 Front Lane in Cranham, Upminster.

Acting on behalf of long established landlord clients, Stephen James have let a ground floor shop to new tenants as a hair salon.

The new tenants will be trading as ‘Hun Hair Bar’ and will be opening to the public soon.

Do you have a shop property in Cranham you need to market to let? Stephen James can provide commercial property advice! Get in touch on 07768585551.

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Detached Bungalow Let close to Romford town centre!

2 Bedroom bungalow let in romford

Stephen James have let a 2 bed bungalow on Wheatsheaf Road in Romford.

Acting on behalf of long standing clients the the detached bungalow has been let to new tenants taking on a 12 month AST agreement. The property let after a short marketing period to find a new residential tenant.

Do you have a property you need to re-let? Stephen James can help today! Please get in touch or call us for further assistance with any property matters you may have on 07768585551.

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2 Bedroom Ground Floor Maisonette in Hornchurch Let!

2 Bedroom Ground Floor Maisonette in Hornchurch Let

Stephen James have let a 2 bedroom maisonette on Grey Towers Gardens in Hornchurch,

Stephen James represented the landlord, to let this rental property close to Hornchurch town centre and the various shops, bars and restaurants in the area. A new 12 month AST has been agreed.

Do you have a maisonette you need to re-let? Stephen James can re-let your property! Please get in touch or call us for further assistance with any property matters you may have on 07768585551.

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Semi-Detached House Let in Harold Wood!

Rosslyn Avenue Harold Wood Let

Stephen James have let a 3 bedroom semi-detached house on Rosslyn Avenue in Harold Wood.

Stephen James acted on behalf of local landlord clients, letting this lovely property with a huge garden to a family on a new 12 month AST. We wish the all parties well with the letting.

Do you have a house you need to let? Stephen James can re-let your property! Please get in touch or call us for further assistance with any property matters you may have on 07768585551.