Get your home ready for Christmas

With presents to buy, holidays to organise and food to prepare, it’s easy to neglect your home in the run up to Christmas. As always, we’re on hand to help, so here’s a list of quick fixes to get your home sparkling in time for 25th December.

December 15, 2016

home ready for Christmas

Bring Hygge into your home

  • Embracing the Danish concept of hygge doesn’t have to involve great effort or expense – it’s a Danish term for feeling cosy, spending quality time with friends and finding pleasure in ordinary, everyday moments. So lay out some cosy throws, plump up your cushions and enjoy some time with your loved ones
  • Nothing says homely and cosy as much as a fire or wood burning stove, but mess and hassle is the last thing we want at Christmas. Save yourself time and energy with instant lighting and long-burning wrapped logs. They don’t spit, you won’t need firelighters and you’ll have a roaring fire in an instant.
  • Ensure your heating is working properly – no one wants to be sitting in a cold house with no hot water on Christmas Day

home ready for Christmas

Make room to make merry

  • Declutter surfaces to make room for guests drinks glasses and bowls of nibbles. Let’s face it, you aren’t going to touch the fruit bowl for the next few weeks. Downsize to a small bowl of festive satsumas and make space for the mulled wine and mince pies
  • Simple touches like a candle-lit mulled wine warmer will look lovely when guests come round and help spread the gorgeous smells of Christmas around your home
home ready for Christmas

 

“Before-Christmas-itus”

It’s a mild illness that you’re probably still in the throes of; the obsessions to get that job done before Christmas. While it’s now unrealistic to say you could re-decorate the guest bedroom, you could at least replace those lightbulbs that went 6 months ago before visitors arrive…

  • A quick and easy trick to enhance lighting this time of year is the humble fairy light. Plus, they’re a much safer bet than candles if you’re hosting children or elderly relatives
  • Oil squeaky door hinges, wipe paintwork doors and bannisters and clean the windows, because while we’re wishing for a white Christmas, chances are the low winter sun will be glaring in on Christmas day and showing up how good your window cleaning skills are
  • If you’re still committed to getting that job done beforehand – no matter how big or small – then consider getting some extra help and find a home service professional with Plentific

home ready for Christmas

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas…

  • Stock up on some festive scent diffusers
  • Water your Christmas tree! The last thing you want is to be hoovering up pine needles on Christmas morning. Tending to your tree should also ensure it continues to give off that lovely pine aroma
  • Get rid of any dodgy smells – clean pet beds and purge your fridge / cupboards of old food to make way for Christmas dinner!
  • Give your bathtub, sink and shower a good scrub in advance of planned – and the inevitable unexpected – visitors

home ready for Christmas

A welcoming first impression

  • Tidy up the front of your house so it looks just as good as the interior. While these tips are for home sellers, they’re good ideas that we could all use
  • Leave plenty of time to make up spare bedrooms with clean sheets and towels. It always takes longer than you think, so just set aside a block of time
  • Significantly more house fires happen at Christmas time, so make sure you test smoke and carbon dioxide detectors
  • Hang a festive wreath up on the front door

You’re all set, Merry Christmas!

Faster house price growth in November, says the Halifax

Terraced house

Annual growth in UK house prices accelerated for the first time in eight months in November, a lender’s figures show.
The Halifax, part of Lloyds Banking Group, said property prices had risen by 6% compared with a year ago.
That meant the cost of a typical home was £218,002, it said.
The faster price growth is in contrast with figures from rival Nationwide, which said annual house price growth had slowed to 4.4%.
Annual property price growth peaked at 10% in March. The Halifax said that, despite the pick-up it reported in November, “annual house price growth may slow over the coming months”.
‘Putting the boot in’
Prices were up by 0.2% compared with October, and had risen by 0.8% in the three months to the end of November compared with the previous quarter, it said.
Industry figures welcomed the pick-up in prices.
Russell Quirk, chief executive of eMoov, said: “Many in the industry have been quick to put the boot in over the last few months where the UK property market is concerned, hanging gloomy predictions on a dwindling level of demand in the market.
“It would seem this simply is not the case. The driving factor behind inflating house prices is an imbalance between supply and demand and, with house prices spiking this late in the year, it would seem there is certainly a sustained level of buyer demand present in the current market.”
Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders, said: “The Halifax’s market confidence tracker illustrates perfectly the ‘business as usual’ stoicism. It found consumer confidence in the housing market is at its lowest level for three years, but that nearly four times as many people expect prices to rise as think they will fall in the next year.”
The Halifax said that low mortgage rates were maintaining demand among potential buyers. But HSBC has just pulled one of the cheapest deals – a 0.99% two-year fixed-rate deal off the market.
Mortgage broker Aaron Strutt, of Trinity Financial, said the lender was inundated with enquiries, which could have led to it being withdrawn, despite the relatively high arrangement fees connected to the deal.

10 tips to help sell your house!

10 tips to help sell your house!

 

 

It’s all about property presentation; trust me when I say that this is key.

Homes are our biggest asset, naturally we expect a good price and yes under the right circumstances it should be possible to get it. Let me tell you if you put your property on the market with the “let’s see what happens” attitude you are not likely to achieve your price expectations.

Would you sell a car without giving it a quick wash and brush up? No, so why do it when trying to sell your home?

Getting the buyer to connect with your home, to imagine how it will suit their family and lifestyle, is not just luck; it’s about creating the right environment so they can’t resist it.
It’s extremely important that each room appears as it is intended to be used. Imagine the mindset of a potential buyer of a three bedroom house seeing two bedrooms plus a storage room!
And why do vendors think they are doing potential buyers a favour by showing them their home? It might take multiple viewings and can be wearing but it has to be done at a time convenient to the buyer not just the vendor.
To sell your home in today’s marketplace follow these few simple tips:
1. Good landscaping will transform the exterior look and feel of your home and give you a higher price. Hire a landscaper or do it yourself.
2. Your front door is the centrepiece of your kerb appeal so repaint it in a tasteful colour. Update the outside lights and put potted plants on either side of the door.
3. The entrance hall creates a first impression… make sure it is the right impression. Paint it in a neutral colour, remove any bulky furniture, upgrade the lighting and if you feel you need colour add it with accessories and a rug.
4. The wrong lighting can make your home feel dark and drab so install brighter modern lights to make your home seem sunny, cheerful and up to date.
5. Paint colour is such a personal choice and potential buyers are likely to want to customize it themselves. If you have dark rich colours then repaint in neutral hues.
6. Avoid major overhauls, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, but do update the lighting, install new faucets, mirrors and doorknobs if they are dated.
7. Clutter. NO, NO, NO! How do you expect to impress potential buyers with a cluttered house? If you have outgrown your home, start packing and if you don’t have anywhere to put it then use storage.
8. Pets – some love them, some hate them and some are allergic to them, so make sure that on the viewing they are out of they house to prevent one of three things happening:

    – Pet lovers will pay more attention to your pet and less attention to your home.
    – Pet haters will feel uncomfortable, completely on their guard and rush round your property leaving as soon as they can.
    – If you have a buyer that is allergic to animals, a reaction will put them off your home. Remove all pet bowls, baskets and (most important) litter trays.

9. Back garden. The first thing people see when they walk out the back? An unkempt garden? Loose concrete slabs? Your back garden should look like a space for entertaining. If need be, buy inexpensive patio furniture, potted plants and install some outdoor lighting to tie it all together.
10. Clean – Buyers expect to see an immaculate home with no signs of dirt. Remove last night’s Indian take away from the worktops and do the washing up! No dirty underwear on the bedroom floor. Potential buyers need to imagine themselves living in “your” space, your perfectly clean home!
You’ll be surprised how big an impression these small updates can make. By the time you’re done, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
Follow these small steps to help maximise your property’s potential that will allow you to achieve a faster sale and the best possible market price for your home.

247 Property Agent Ltd

 

Rising London house prices spark departure of thirtysomethings

Campaign group Generation Rent says exodus has occurred during a period when property prices in the capital rose by 37%

Houses in Islington, London
A street in Islington, north London. Only among twentysomethings are there more people coming to the capital than leaving it. Photograph: Alamy

The number of thirtysomethings leaving London has leapt in recent years as high housing costs have forced people to move out of the capital, according to campaigners.

Analysis by the group Generation Rent showed that 65,890 people in their 30s moved from London to another part of the UK in 2014-15, a net loss of 30,410 in that age group. This was 48% higher247_jul16_fa_tabletthan in 2011-12, when 20,590 more 30 to 39-year-olds moved out than moved in.

Internal migration data from the Office for National Statistics also showed a sharp increase in the number of children leaving the capital. In 2014-15, 26,920 more children under 10 moved out of London than came in, compared with a difference of 19,980 three years previously.

Generation Rent said the exodus had taken place during a period in which house prices in London rose by 37%, compared with 16% in the UK as a whole, and rents increased by 10%, compared with 4% outside London.

It said almost two-thirds of people moving out of London had gone elsewhere in the south-east and the east of England commuter belt, while 12% had moved to the Midlands and 11% to the north of England.

Only among twentysomethings are more people moving into London than out; in 2014-15, there were 37,950 more people in this age group living in the capital than the year before, a 3% increase.

Betsy Dillner, the director of Generation Rent, said: “Growing numbers of Londoners are giving up on the city and its extortionate housing market.

“London is an incredible city and the decision to move away isn’t taken lightly. These people are leaving friends and family in order to find a home they can afford, and some are leaving their jobs. This should worry everyone in London, from employers facing a loss of skills to communities losing valued neighbours, and particularly Sadiq Khan, whose housing policies will need to stop this exodus.”

Research by Lloyds bank found that moving to somewhere an hour’s commute from London could mean paying hundreds of thousands of pounds less for a family home. While the average price of a home in London transport zones one and two was £741,919, in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, the average was £183,345, while in Peterborough, it was £189,319, Lloyds said.

Andrew Mason, the Lloyds mortgage products director, said: “Commuters to London who don’t mind a longer journey between home and work could reap the financial benefits of living outside of the capital.

“However, the decision of whether to live in the city or further away is not simply a trade-off between financial costs and journey times. Quality of life is also a major factor: family circumstances, better schools, physical environment and homes that offer better value for money also come into the equation.”