Win a full mortgage advice service from Censeo Financial

Censeo Financial is an award-winning financial services company combining specialist, independent mortgage advice with an in-depth understanding of the affordable housing market.

Our team of qualified advisers provide advice on mortgages and related products in a professional and compliant manner.

Censeo prides itself on putting its customers first from the moment they make first contact.  We have a brand-new office based in the City of London, a recently opened office in the midlands and a range of interactive communication options such as Skype and FaceTime.  We want our services to be as accessible as possible for all our existing and prospective customers.

How To Build A Gallery Wall In Your First Home

How To Build A Gallery Wall In Your First Home's Product Manager, Jen Bayne, talks us through how to build your perfect gallery wall.


1.The first step is to collect, collect, collect. Start making a collection of things you love - from original art, to handmade prints or photographs. As you are collecting think about the scale of your possible collection and the arrangement you want - do you want to keep them all the same size or work in a mixture of different sizes? Look for inspiration online, in your favourite cafes and restaurants or at home shows and exhibitions.


The Home Owners Guide To Home Maintenance: Interactive House

The Home Owners Guide To Home Maintenance: Interactive House

Home is where the heart is, and new or existing home owners alike are keen to make the most out of their property in the current housing market. But for the novice DIY-er the prospect of tinkering with the gutters or fixing a leaking roof can seem quite daunting.


Professional Building Supplies want to give home owners the confidence they need to get their house in order, especially during the winter months when home maintenance is so essential, so they have created ‘The Home Owners Guide To Home Maintenance: Interactive House’. 


A homeowner’s checklist: Seven things you should do at least once a year

A homeowner’s checklist: Seven things you should do at least once a year

Whether you’ve been a homeowner for a while, or have just stepped onto the property ladder as a first-time buyer, there are certain tasks that need to be carried out on an annual basis. They might not be ‘fun’ but they’re necessary in order to ensure your house stays in tip-top condition and looking its best - what’s more, regular maintenance will prevent you from having to fork out for emergency repairs later down the line.


Carry out a good old spring clean

The Ideal Home Show Gets A Makeover For 2017

The Ideal Home Show Gets A Makeover For 2017

Fresh ideas for your home, for 17 days, for 2017


When: 24th March – 9th April 2017

Where: Olympia, London


The Event: 

The Ideal Home Show, sponsored by Zoopla, is returning to London's Olympia with a fresh face, new interactive features and four brand-new live theatres. As ever, the show is set to provide the ultimate shopping experience with everything you need to update your home for the year ahead as we step out of the dark mornings and move into the Summer months.


What is Shared Ownership?

What is Shared Ownership?

Does it mean you have to share a house with someone?

“Shared Ownership is associated with a number of perceptions. For some people, the phrase might bring back mildly alarming memories of living with housemates and their accompanying clutter. For others, the idea of owning only part of a home is simply less preferable to owning all of it. Shared Ownership however, makes home ownership more accessible, not through the lending of more money like in other Help to Buy schemes, but by allowing the buyer to borrow less.”


Is Shared Ownership more affordable than other schemes?

Time for tea! The kettle is the first thing we unpack when we move house

Time for tea! The kettle is the first thing we unpack when we move house

One in twelve new homeowners sleep on the floor for a month or more after moving house, yet nearly two thirds (65%) take a fortnight or less to ‘dress’ rooms with candles and cushions.

Over half (57%) of new homeowners set up the Wi-Fi router within 24 hours, but a similar percentage (52%) wait a week or more to get the washing machine installed.



One in 20 Brits take more than a year to unpack after a house move, but most get the Wi-Fi up and running in 24 hours, according to a new study by UK house-builder Redrow.

The research, which polled almost 2,000 homeowners, looked into how we approach the challenge of setting up home and asked questions about priorities and that all important first box.

DIY In Your First Home? UK’s First Comparison Site for DIY Supplies Launches

DIY In Your First Home? UK’s First Comparison Site for DIY Supplies Launches

Go Banana has launched as the UK’s first comparison website for building and DIY supplies. With 50,000 searchable products – and more being added all the time – Go Banana provides an online platform for DIY enthusiasts looking to purchase supplies quickly and efficiently at the best possible price.

Go Banana’s unique software creates a live shopping list which searches online 24/7 and shows the best results, meaning users save between 20% and 35% with every purchase. Users can search, compare and buy across a whole range of building and DIY supplies, including building and hardware; tiling and flooring; plumbing and heating; painting and decorating; kitchens and bathrooms, and many more.


How To Grab A Property Bargain

How To Grab A Property Bargain

Comment provided by Vicky Iddon, Branch Manager, Home Truths Estate Agents, Lancashire, – 01257 451673


There is an air of uncertainty around 2017 property market forecasts. Some reports point to a sellers market and others indicate that buyers will be in a position of strength. There are, however, some top tips that will help first time buyers to bag a property bargain,regardless of the wider economic implications affecting the housing market.


Tips For Buying A New Mattress For Your First Home

Tips For Buying Your New Mattress In Your First Home

The savvy mattress shopper

Buying a mattress for the first time or replacing one, strikes fear into the hearts of many. Let’s battle that fear and find your ideal mattress for sleeping, reading and ‘exercising’ with these five savvy tips.



Decide upfront what your budget is. This is a budget for the next eight years! Forget pillows, sheets and bedframes. Set a budget for your mattress, then stick to it.

A £600 double mattress over 8 years costs 21p per night!

You can spend a few bob or thousands of pounds, anything is possible. Either way, start with the most expensive option you can afford and work your way down.

Help To Buy Property Tips from a Conveyancing Expert

Help To Buy Property Tips from a Conveyancing Expert

I know from experience that the process of moving into your new home can be a very anxious and exhausting time, both physically and mentally. There is the obvious excitement of finally moving in, but also the worry of being able to afford everything you need to furnish and decorate the home how you want it, and of course the considerable weight of taking on the burden of a mortgage.


These anxieties come after you have decided to take the plunge and enter the property market for the first time, which is a pretty seismic decision in itself. I have experienced many meetings talking to young couples and young professionals, who are worried about being able to afford mortgages and all the other fixed costs that come with a property purchase.


London Home Show

London Home Show

If you're a first time buyer looking for help to get on the property ladder, register for the London Home Show Spring 2017 on Saturday 18th March 2017.


The London Home Show, supported by the Mayor of London,  is the major event for first time buyers in London and attending the event is the best way to get all the latest information on the affordable home ownership market in the capital.

The London Home Show is FREE to attend. It takes place at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Westminster, from 11am - 5pm. This is a ticket only event, so please register if you wish to attend.


Click here to register


Helping your children buy a home

Helping your children buy a home

House prices are high, wage inflation is low and rents are amongst the most expensive in Europe. It’s no surprise that we are seeing an increasing number of parents helping their sons and daughters to buy their first home.

Boosting your child’s deposit is vital to helping them get a more affordable mortgage rate. Getting a mortgage with a 5% deposit is difficult and still relatively expensive even with 10%.

So what are your options when helping your children onto the property ladder?


Gifted Deposits

The most common way we see parents helping their children to buy is by simply giving their children money towards part/all of the deposit, this is called a ‘Gifted Deposit’.

Family Homes launch at Iconic East London Former Dog Track

Family Homes launch at Iconic East London Former Dog Track

Stadium Place
L&Q has launched Brook Houses, the final phase of 4 bedroom Shared Ownership houses at Stadium Place, the site of the historic Walthamstow dog stadium. The contemporary homes offer families a chance to own a piece of London history, with properties set behind the former stadium’s iconic Grade II listed wall of neon lights.

New waterside homes close to Crossrail property hotspot launching 10 February

New waterside homes close to Crossrail property hotspot launching 10 February

*Properties in WD are tipped to increase by 3.3% per year above local house price growth up to 2019
*West Drayton will see commute times virtually halved with a typical journey time of 56 minutes to Liverpool Street cut to just 31 minutes
*Properties priced from £219,995

Union Park is a brand new collection of homes set in a stunning waterside location on the banks of the Grand Union Canal.  Aqua House is the first phase to be released at Union Park consisting of 118 luxuriously appointed apartments - a mix of studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom properties ranging from 310 – 1,370 sq feet in size.

How Technology is Changing How We Sell Our Homes

How Technology is Changing How We Sell Our Homes

As we all know, technology is changing everything, from how we speak to each other to how we consume products. Let's put it into perspective, the world’s biggest taxi firm, Uber, owns no cars. Airbnb owns no hotels and the world’s largest media distributor, Facebook, creates no content. Our attitudes to who we trust and how we spend our money have been fundamentally altered.

This has also spread to the property industry. Over the past few years, attitudes to selling your own home have changed dramatically. No longer is someone in a pinstripe suit showing people around your home the only way to sell. And rightly so, as the homeowner, you know your property better than any traditional estate agent, so why wouldn’t you show potential buyers around your home?


First Time Buyers – 5 Key Considerations for First Time Buyers

First Time Buyers – 5 Key Considerations for First Time Buyers

Research the location

In a recent Daily Mail survey, 58% claimed the location of their new home is what made them fall in love with the property. Whilst location is consistently top on the list of home buyer priorities, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look around at other properties in similar or ‘less desirable’ areas in order to form an impression of what is available for your budget.

If you have an area chosen, do your research. Go visit at different times of the day/week, visit the surrounding areas, visit the local shops, try the local restaurants etc… areas may be quiet during the week but an active social hub during the weekends. You will be living there a long time, make sure the day to day works for you.

51% of Brits reveal that the main driver behind buying a home is “it had to feel right”

 51% of Brits reveal that the main driver behind buying a home is “it had to feel right”

Buying a house is one of life’s biggest milestones, one which is usually very carefully considered. However, recent research1 has revealed that most of the nation’s property purchases are based on just a “feeling.”

A new survey of nearly 2000 British homeowners by leading house builder Redrow, has found that the main emotional reason behind our property purchases is “it had to feel right.”


Surprisingly, over a third (38%) make their decision with no influence from family or friends and only 10% say they wanted their mum and dad to like it.

However, old-fashioned and traditional family values do still stand, as over a quarter (26%) of Brits say they chose a house where they could imagine raising a family.


Shared ownership helps first time buyers onto ladder for less than £12,000

Jessops at new providence Wharf Genesis

According to research from Nottingham Building Society, raising a deposit is still the biggest hurdle for nearly half of all first time buyers[1]. With the average deposit in London at a staggering £95,693[2], it is easy to see why. Offering a more affordable option for those struggling to save is Shared Ownership, which is available at Genesis’ Jessop at New Providence Wharf in E14. Thanks to the scheme, buyers could get on the ladder with a deposit from as little as £11,106, just 11% of the average[3].

Homeowning dreams can become a reality at Kingsbridge

The nation’s dream of home ownership is as strong as ever with 80% of adults dreaming of being homeowners within ten years[1] according to new research released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.  With the Help to Buy scheme available at Countryside’s Kingsbridge development in the village of Headcorn, Kent, those looking for a family home in a rural location that’s also great for commuting can buy with a deposit of just 5%. The Government will then provide an equity loan of up to 20% of the property’s value, interest free for the first five years, with the buyer raising a mortgage for the remaining 75%.

Top tips for buying a Shared Ownership property

Wendy Hegarty, Partner, Red Loft Sales

by Wendy Hegarty, Partner, Red Loft 

Shared Ownership has grown in popularity over the past decade and is now one of the best ways to buy, particularly in an area you never thought you could afford to live in. Shared Ownership schemes work by enabling homebuyers to purchase a share in a new home and pay a subsidised rent to the housing provider on the remaining share along with a monthly service charge. 

Home Buyers can own an equity share in the property, anything from 25% to 75% dependent on what is being offered by the vendor and what the financial assessment has deemed the buyer can afford. Additional shares in the property can be purchased at any time; this process is known as staircasing. 

Young family bought Shared Ownership home based on floor plans and reputation of Thames Valley Housing

Hannah Pennell and Charles Barker, Thames Valley Housing, Shared Ownership

When they decided to move in together after just a few months as a couple, Charles Barker and Hannah Pennell looked at only one home before making an offer. 

Clearly a couple who make their minds up quickly, Charles and Hannah were not only looking for an affordable home that provided enough space for them and Hannah’s daughter Layla, but a scheme that offered ease and clarity throughout the process. They found the Foresta development in Horley, Surrey, on Thames Valley Housing’s website and, after checking out the location, they registered their interest in buying a Shared Ownership home.