Are property shows worth the time and effort?

publication date: Apr 11, 2014
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
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Are property shows worth the time and effort?

Well as someone who attends many shows during the year, you would think I was pretty supportive of attending property shows.

I am, but I would have to say you need to decide which ones you want to go to. Some are done purely for the money and some are created and run in your interest, so it’s worth getting a feel for which ones have put a lot of thought into their communication and care and attention of you – rather than just crammed as many exhibitors in the cheapest rooms as possible!

Which shows do I think are worth going to?

Part of the answer to this depends on what type of property project you are keen to do and indeed what type of property you own.

Here’s a rundown of the shows this year, the ones I will be attending, what’s worth looking out for and what’s worth avoiding!

First Time Buyer Shows

There are actually very few shows for First Time Buyers, particularly as there were so few people buying their first home during the credit crunch.

However, there are two worth considering:-

First Steps Show 12th April 2014

First Steps is confusingly called an “intermediate housing programme from the Mayor of London”. What ‘intermediate’ means is if you think you can’t afford to buy or rent in London and need to be close to work, then this site, and when they do one, the show will help you find somewhere you can afford.

They will showcase affordable homes for ownership in London and also have mortgage brokers and specialist legal companies you can ask for help from. Unfortunately though the show doesn’t suggest they have any useful seminars or property clinics organised, which is one of the benefits of shows, but might be worth a meander.
The show is free to enter but register via: Share to Buy

First Time Buyer Show 10th May 2014

I love this show, it’s one of my favourite of the year. You usually get to meet a property celebrity, such as Nicky Campbell, but most importantly you get free seminars throughout the day and can ask any questions you like either of the exhibitors there or at my FREE property clinic which I run all day.

And, although London based, it’s not just a show for Londoners, anyone who thinks they will never get on the ladder or is struggling to do so, should come as you may well be very surprised at how little some forms of home ownership can cost – even in London!

I’d love to see you at this show, so visit: FTB Homes as it’s free entry and this year we have a special offer on my First Time Buyer book which I’ve created with First Time Buyer Magazine for an intro offer of just £4.99 on the day.

Self-Build and Home Renovation Shows

The two biggy shows are the Homebuilding and Renovation Show and Grand Designs. Yes although you’d think Grand Designs was more about self-build, it isn’t and those that go tend to be looking for nick knack’s to buy or for inspiration for their home, not to self-build.

So the best show I know for serious renovations and self-builds are:-

The Homebuilding and Renovation Show

This offers a super mix of property clinics run by experts, useful seminars and lots of exhibition stands from whole houses you can build to useful companies helping you to extend your home. Or you could just buy a boiler or a kitchen sink!

Many of the companies who go though are high calibre, so if you are thinking of renovating this is an excellent place to start.

Better still we usually have free tickets to give away for this show, so worth contacting us beforehand as we can save you over £30. For more information visit Home Building

Grand Designs

This is the most amazing show I have been to. It’s brilliantly put together and it’s the one with all the celebrities from property TV shows you can meet and hear about their views of the property world.

However, it’s very much a ‘show show’. In other words there are experts there, so you can get help, but most things are quite aspirational – and expensive to buy, so be careful not to get your credit card out too often!

We do usually have some free tickets which can save you a fortune visiting, so checkout what dates and where suits you, let us know and we’ll see if we can secure them for you: Grand Designs Live

Self-Build and Renovation Centre

I was lucky enough to help set up this Centre some years ago, so I can promise you can go all year around, it’s free and the Centre is amazing for researching your property project, large or small, from buying land and building to fitting a new door! Another big part of the Centre are the shows they run on how to build or make your home eco-friendly.

If you fancy coming to my renovate a property clinic, I’ll be there on 21st June 2014 for the day! 

They run shows throughout the year and even courses, so it's well worth checking out: Build Store

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