CategoriesCommercial Residential

What is commercial and residential property?

Residential and commercial properties have their differences, and it’s safe to say that they serve completely different audiences.

What makes a property residential?

A residential property is a building that is lived in and is a suitable space for dwelling purposes. They are specific buildings that are built and made to live in. Residential homes can be either for an individual dweller or a household; you have the choice to buy or rent a residential property.

When you purchase a residential property, you must pay stamp duty, which is a land tax on properties in the UK. There are certain homes which are exempt from stamp duty, including homes under £250,000, which includes our Dunton Court apartments. Properties above £250,000 fall within a tax bracket depending on the value of the property at the time of purchase.

What makes a property non-residential?

A non-residential property is essentially a building that is not suitable for everyday living. There are certain factors that determine whether a property is not suitable for human habitation.

In the UK, many people decide to purchase non-residential property as stamp duty rates differ and are often lower. However, these properties can only be used for non-residential activities such as running a business. You can change the purpose of a building from non-residential to residential, depending on the criteria.

Key Differences Between Residential and Commercial Properties

Purpose and Use:

Residential: Designed for living purposes, suitable for individuals or families.

Commercial: Intended for business activities such as offices, retail spaces, and industrial use. 

Ownership and Tenancy:

Residential: Often owned by individuals or families; can be rented out as single units.

Commercial: Typically owned by companies or investors; leased to businesses.

Financing and Investment:

Residential: Easier to finance through traditional mortgages; considered a lower-risk investment.

Commercial: May require more complex financing; potentially higher returns but with increased risk.

Regulations and Maintenance: 

Residential: Subject to different building codes and regulations focused on safety and habitability.

Commercial: Must adhere to regulations pertaining to business operations, health and safety, and accessibility.

Market Dynamics:

Residential: Influenced by factors like local housing demand, employment rates, and interest rates.

Commercial: Driven by economic conditions, business growth, and location desirability.

Click the below button to learn more about our available commercial and residential properties.


Reducing stress in your purchasing journey

According to a June 2022 survey by Zillow, 50% of homebuyers cried at least once during the home-buying process. Buying a home can be a stressful overwhelming experience and if you’re mid journey or just starting on your search reducing stress throughout the process will make your new home more enjoyable.

Is owning a home right for you?

Before your home search ensure that buying a home is the right decision for you. Take a look at your finances, calculate your affordability and look at your life timeline throughout the expectancy of your home-purchasing journey. 

Getting a wider look will help you be prepared for the journey ahead as well as make stepping through the front door more enjoyable.

Financial Discipline 

Owning a home is one of the biggest purchases you might ever make. Ensuring you have financial discipline as well as a steady income, low debt and a good credit score can make that journey a lot smoother. 

Your finances are a huge part of securing a mortgage, getting an offer accepted and finally moving into your dream home.

Getting things in order

Payslips, bank statements and written statements are all needed during your mortgage and house search. During your mortgage approval, your lender will ask for bank statements as well as proof of income and any savings to ensure that the transaction is as legitimate as possible. 

If you’re self-employed you’ll need to provide tax returns and proof of invoices. Making sure you have access to or prepared these documents will save hours in your home-buying process.

Prioritise your needs

Unrealistic expectations may be a big issue for some when looking for a home. 7 bedrooms in a picturesque Essex town will set you back millions so make sure your budget aligns to your new home goals.

Asking Questions

If you’re unsure about anything in any part of your buying process make sure to ask questions and get some reassurance. There’s nothing worse than putting your life savings into a process you don’t understand and putting your hard work into the hands of uncertainty. 

It may be helpful to jot down any questions or concerns you may have before appointments to ensure you get the answers you’re looking for. 


Buying a house with a Low or No Deposits

No Deposit or Low Deposit

Buying a home might just be your most daunting experience yet. There are plenty of routes that can help you buy a home with a low deposit or even no deposit at all. 

95% Mortgage Guarantee Scheme

Introduced by the U Government in 2021 the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme gives lenders confidence in high-risk loans. This works as the government gives a guaranteed portion of 80% to lenders. In essence, that means the government would partly compensate the lender if the mortgage were not paid for.

This can help you as a first-time buyer secure a good mortgage on homes up to £600,000.

Zero Deposit Mortgage

Also known as a 100% no-deposit mortgage is a loan that covers the full price of the property you’re buying. Meaning that you don’t have to spend years savings for a deposit.

Most lenders ask for at least 10% of the property price as a mortgage so this can save you thousands in upfront costs. There are only a few no-deposit mortgages available on the market. To qualify you’ll need an excellent track record of paying your rent or with any previous financial commitments.

Shared Ownership

The government’s shared ownership scheme offers a different route to homeownership. The scheme allows you to purchase a share of the home if you’re unable to put down a deposit for the full value of the home.

This scheme is only available to those who have a household income of less than £90,000 per year in London or £80,000 outside of London.

CategoriesLocation Residential

What makes a good location

What Makes a Good Location?

There are many things to consider when looking for the perfect Location. Here a eight things we suggest you research to find that new town or city:


The first step in finding the right area is to get a little nosey and research local house prices in either the place you currently reside or which you desire to. One way to do this is using tools found on sites such as Zoopla, Rightmove and On The Market that allow you to see recently sold property and their prices. 

Be cautious when using these tools as they may not reflect the price that the house factually sold for. This will also give you a larger understanding of the local housing market.

Local Transport

Perhaps one of the biggest things to consider when purchasing a new home is the local transport links. Even if you don’t rely on public transport links if you are to further sell your home it could be an enticing feature that your home is close to the tram top or even a train station.

Local transport can also work in the opposite direction. If your desired area is close to motorways, airports and bus garages there could be an increase in pollution as well as noise pollution which could make it hard to enjoy your new home.

School Catchment Area

You may want to also research into school catchment areas to find out which schools your children or family members may be entitled to attend. It’s also good to look at the OFSTED rating for local schools. Schools surrounding your property will be a big factor when selling your home.


When moving to a new area always ensure you visit the local amenities on offer. Look for supermarkets, petrol stations and even gyms when looking at your new area. Take note of whether these are shops and places you are used to or ones you are comfortable with.

Park and Green Space

When it comes to parks and green spaces explore how many are in a 5 Mile radius of your area. This will build up an image of your desired area and also help plan any new pet walks you plan to go on.


Whether you’re a clubgoer or a cinema fanatic it’s important to make sure that your local area fits your lifestyle. Doing a quick Google Maps search will give you a bigger understanding if your area is right for you and if it’s not then where else has the entertainment amenities you are looking for?

Signs Of A Developing Area

Purchasing a property in a developing area requires a lot of trusts. To find an area that is being developed look out for Niche food chains like delis and coffee shops as well as New major road and rail links and even boosted interest from property developers. 

Crime Rates

Before moving to a new area always check the local crime rates on the Crime Rate website.  


How to Calculate Your Mortgage Affordability

How to calculate your mortgage affordability

Before searching for your dream home it’s crucial first to understand your budget. Getting a grip on how much mortgage you can afford can narrow down your search and ensure that your finances are in check.

First, take a look at the types of mortgages that are offered in the UK.  

Fixed Rate

With a fixed-rate mortgage, your interest rate always remains the same throughout the duration of the loan. This will ensure that the monthly payments will remain the same giving a sense of stability throughout your loan agreement. This type of mortgage is best for those who have strict and volatile budgets, including those who are self-employed.


The variable mortgage says what it does on the tin, varies. The interest on this mortgage is charged on the remaining balance of the loan instead of the payments themselves. In the UK there are several types of variable mortgages including tracker mortgages and discount mortgages. A tracker mortgage is based on the Bank of England’s base rate plus a fixed margin set by your lender. A discount mortgage offers a discount off the lender’s standard variable rate (also known as SVR) for a set period which is not tied to an external rate.

Offset Mortgages

This mortgage allows the borrower to reduce the amount of interest charged by offsetting a credit balance such as savings. For example, if your mortgage was £200,000 and you had a saving of £20,000 you would only be charged interest on £180,000 of the loan. This mortgage is best for those with large savings aside from their deposit.

Your income and debt

One of the largest factors in determining mortgage affordability is your current income and any outstanding debts. Most lenders will use a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) to calculate your mortgage affordability. A DTI works by dividing your total monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income and then expressing it in a percentage. An ideal DTI ratio would be between 36% to 43% and shows lenders that you have a good relationship with debt and lending.

Your deposit

Saving for a house can be a daunting thought. Most lenders suggest you save between 5-15% of the value of your home. So for a £200,000 home between a £10,000 and £25,000 mortgage would be suitable. There are a variety of government and banking tools to support your savings.

Additional Costs

Beyond saving for a deposit it’s important to consider hidden and additional costs. During the process of purchasing a home, you’ll need to consider stamp duty and potentially land tax. You’ll also need to consult with a solicitor and fund any paperwork filing that will need to be done during the purchase journey.


There are three main considerations during calculating your mortgage including; which mortgage is most suitable for you, how much you can afford and how much you need to save.

Before making any decisions on mortgage affordability it’s important to consult the correct financial advisors and obtain a mortgage in principle. 


The First-Home Owner Scheme In Detail

What are the criteria?

The first-homes scheme allows those who are purchasing their first property a discount of around 30% to 50% on the asking price. The home must be the buyer only or the main residence.

The home must be either a new home built by a developer or a home you buy through an estate agent which someone else bought through the scheme. 

You can apply for the scheme if you are purchasing as a sole buyer or a joint buyer. Below are the criteria you must meet to qualify for the first home scheme:

You must:

  • Be 18 or older
  • Be a first-time buyer
  • Be able to get a mortgage for at least half the price of the home
  • Not earn more than £80,000 a year before tax (£90,000 if the property is in London)

If you’re buying with others:

  • You must all be first-time buyers
  • You must apply together, even if the mortgage is not in all of your names
  • Your joint income (earned in the previous year before tax) cannot be more than £80,000 a year before tax (£90,000 if the property is in London)

Each council may have different criteria and may prioritise the scheme for those who are key workers, local residents, those on a lower income or applicants who are in the armed forces.

How does the scheme work?

To find a home that is part of the scheme look for properties in your area that are advertised by developers or estate agents through the First Home Scheme.

Developers offer these homes to first-time buyers with a discount of at least 30% of the asking price. And unlike shared ownership properties there is no rent to pay.

Each home that is sold is valued by an independent surveyor to ensure that the discount is based on the local market value and that the price is fair.

New-built homes that are part of the scheme cannot cost more than £250,000 (or more than £420,000 if the property is in London) after the discount is applied. The local council have the right to lower the maximum price.

Properties can be decorated and improved but if you wish to let or sell the property you will need to follow the first Home scheme rules.

How can I apply?

To apply for this first-homes scheme you must first contact the developer or estate agent and inform them you want to buy a property through the scheme. This includes George Martin.

They’ll check you meet the criteria and will help you to complete the application. The developer or estate agent will submit the form on your behalf to the local council.

Some developers and estate agents may need you to pay a reservation fee if the property you want to buy is a new build. You’ll get the fee back if your application is unsuccessful.

The developer or agent can offer incentives such as free goods or cash back which can be no more than 5% of the discounted purchase price.

Click the link below to apply for our of our residential properties.

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West Mayne
SS15 6RW

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George Martin Limited 2023
Registered office: Service House, West Mayne, Basildon, Essex SS15 6RW. A member of MJT Securities Ltd.
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