Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

People. in the Give Housing, Homemaker; in Our Series in Which People in the North East Property Market Give a Personal View on Homes, Housing, the Industry and More, Homemaker Meets Amy Gray

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

People. in the Give Housing, Homemaker; in Our Series in Which People in the North East Property Market Give a Personal View on Homes, Housing, the Industry and More, Homemaker Meets Amy Gray

Article excerpt

Name, position and how long you have been in the property industry I am Amy Gray, sales and marketing graduate with Linden Homes. I have been in the industry five years, including my time at university.

What sparked your interest in the property business? My mum has always worked in the housing and construction industry and I remember from a young age being interested in her work. I studied estate management at Northumbria University, gained experience of a range of roles and loved the house-building industry as the job is so varied.

What is the best advice you have ever received about property? It's the biggest purchase you'll ever make, so think long and hard about what you want most from your new home. Making a mistake can be costly and stressful.

And the worst? Rent before you buy. It can be the only option as it's so difficult to save for a deposit while paying rent and bills. If possible, have patience, stay at home with your parents and save, save, save.

What tips would you give to someone wanting to enter the industry? Get as much work experience as possible. Write letters, email and call people to make new contacts and build experience. I spent the occasional day with a number of companies before taking a year out of uni to work for a national commercial property consultancy. By the time I graduated I had developed numerous skills and met a lot of key people. The house building industry is a small world and it really helps if you can get to know a few people.

What should a prospective buyer/ renter look for when choosing an agent or builder? For an agent, find out who has a good reputation in your area. And for a builder, look at what you're going to get for your money. Look at specification and what is included as standard.

What are the three most important things people hoping to buy should think about when looking at a home? What you're getting for your money, design (how your new home will suit your lifestyle) and most importantly, if you're wanting to get on to the housing ladder or move up it, look into ways in which a builder can help you. Most house builders offer a range of buying schemes. You may get help to sell your current home or find your new home more affordable than you thought. For example, the Government's Help to Buy scheme, allows you to purchase a home with a 5% deposit and keeps your mortgage repayments low.

Or if they're planning to rent? Find a reputable landlord, make sure your deposit is protected and read your tenancy agreement thoroughly.

What are the biggest changes you've seen in the past five years? There is much more confidence in the property market now. When I entered the industry we were in the middle of a recession. Now, things are different. Lenders are willing to lend and there are more buyers. …

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