James Max

James Max presents the weekday Early Breakfast Show on TalkRADIO and is a qualified chartered surveyor.

When is the right time to move house?

When the winds of economic change are blowing, it’s often a good idea to make your property move, batten down the hatches, and stay put for a while. We aren’t quite at that point in the cycle. However, with interest rates on the rise, inflation beginning to kick in and all the signs of a

Is now the best time to move house?

You don’t need me to tell you that the property market has experienced a surge over the last year. The stamp duty holiday encouraged many to buy now rather than later, working from home has opened our eyes to living in areas with more natural amenities on the doorstep and we’ve realised that if we do only

How to navigate a property market downturn

Housing market data is, by its very nature backward looking. Data released by the Halifax recently paints a picture of a market that’s still rising. Prices rose again in April 2022 for the tenth consecutive month. It’s the longest run of consistent rises since 2016. And prices are 10.8 per cent higher than they were in

Where to buy along the Elizabeth Line

Finally, on 24 May, CrossRail will open. Named The Elizabeth Line, the stats are extraordinary and impressive. An £18.7 billion infrastructure project for a 62-mile-long railway line with stations stretching from Reading in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. It has taken 20 years to bring the project to fruition with the

The dos and don’ts of buying land

You’d be forgiven for thinking that buying land is just the same as buying a house. But, other than the form of contract and the stamp duty you pay, the two transactions have almost nothing in common. When you buy a house, even if it comes with land attached, what you’re really buying is a

The rise of the ‘secret’ property market – and how to break in

All the best houses can be found on Rightmove, right? Well, actually no. Increasing numbers of properties are being sold ‘off-market’ in an environment where there’s very little supply and a range of motivated buyers. How can you access these properties if you’re looking to move and how can you avoid getting stung? There are some interesting

Will going eco add value to your home?

It was never my intention to buy an eco-friendly home. However, when I purchased my house, two years ago, it had solar panels on the roof, insulation built into its walls, underfloor heating and a range of features designed to reduce energy consumption. Indeed, there’s no doubt that my energy bills have been lower. I

Fit for a Queen: why Windsor should be on your property radar

It’s rumoured that Prince William is considering a move from Kensington Palace to be closer to his grandmother in Windsor. Since her return from Balmoral, she has based herself full time at Windsor Castle and it’s certainly a great town but should you consider moving there too? Years ago I worked with American investors looking to

The dos and don’ts of buying a new build home

If you’re looking to get onto the housing ladder, you’ll at least be considering a new build property. In England, according to the Office for National Statistics, there were nearly 245,000 new additional dwellings between April 2019 and March 2020. And according to building control figures, the number of homes completed was 49,470 between January

Where to find value in Surrey

The debate over whether we will end up going back to the office five days a week is likely to rumble on for the coming years. Desperate employers worried that the genie is out of the bottle are battling with those of us who happen to get more done when we aren’t distracted by gossiping at the

The dos and don’ts of building an extension

House prices are increasing at their fastest rate for seven years, jumping by as much as 10.9 per cent according to the Nationwide in their most recent survey. Is now the time to stay put and extend rather than go through the hassle of moving into a supply constrained rising market? And if you do extend, is

Can Somerset gazump the Cotswolds?

Life is peaceful there. Go west, in the open air. So sang the Village People and subsequently the Pet Shop Boys. They had a point as according to Rightmove, Bruton in Somerset is the top country hotspot for home buyers. With a 122 per cent increase in the number of house sales over the past 12 months

Which London suburbs are worth moving to?

Pre-pandemic, all you needed for a good London location was a roof terrace, proximity to a vibrant social scene and a tube station. Or a river view. Then everything changed. Whilst central areas have pretty much fallen into the doldrums, a combination of more room, better value and access to green spaces has become essential. If

Leaving London? The top commuter cities that will give you more space

Would you swap living in London for York? According to the latest survey on family-friendly city living, York tops the list. On a range of measures from childcare costs to average house prices and leisure activities, York is it. Unless your work or family ties take you there, I’m not convinced though. The three-hour train journey

How to find a property bargain in London

The centre of London currently looks as though the apocalypse has struck. Streets, bars and restaurants lie empty and shops are boarded up. It’s hard to picture the bustling capital so familiar to many of us a year ago and it’s understandable that this dead city centre has prompted many home owners to up sticks and leave. But reinvention is sure

Is now the time to buy a coastal bolthole?

It’s hard to believe we’re heading towards the pandemic’s first anniversary. The economy has had a torrid time. But if there’s one area that has surprised us all with its buoyancy it is the property market. Ever since the first lockdown, there has been a flurry of activity at a time when a market crash was predicted. So,

8 mistakes to avoid when house hunting

House hunts often begin in the new year, prompted, perhaps, by the removal of the Christmas tree and its gaudy baubles. Maybe there’s a realisation as you take down the decorations and start work again that the place you live in is a bit tired. There’s a temptation to think that all of life’s problems