Win £500 off your legal fees with Direction Law

Solicitor at desk

Buying your first home is supposed to be an exciting and joyous occasion, and we’ve got just the thing that is guaranteed to put the icing on the cake. Enter our competition for the chance to win £500 off your legal fees.

We all know buying a house is a costly process, and all the additional fees and charges involved might seem endless, so to help you on your way, Direction Law is giving one lucky Homefocus reader the chance to bag this fantastic bargain.

Boasting a legacy that dates back to 1976, Direction Law is one of the most reputable names in the industry, offering you sound legal advice on a range of issues, including specialist knowledge in shared ownership and Help to Buy.


home furnishings package,

Win a home furnishings package: Dunelm Discovers presents a range of three exclusive designers including a collection from esteemed British designer, Jan Constantine. Jan has a background in fashion, interiors and styling and she is inspired by traditional embroidery.

Featuring original, hand-embroidered designs, this range features high-quality textiles with home accessories and kitchenware. Jan’s signature heart and love motifs are present throughout this luxurious collection.

Exploring Help to Buy and Shared Ownership schemes

Photo of new home example of available on shared ownership scheme or help to buy schemes in UK

Have you ever heard the words “shared ownership”, or “Help to Buy” but always wondered exactly what people were talking about?

The world of affordable home ownership might seem like a complex one, particularly for first-time buyers, but here at HomeFocus we strive to cut through the jargon and tell you exactly what you need to know.

Thanks to the sky-high prices of homes and houses nationwide, people right across the country are being priced out of the open market, and add that to the extortionate cost of renting, it’s no wonder that people are struggling to get a foot on the property ladder.

However, there are affordable home ownership schemes in place to help you buy your own home - and the key word there is affordable.

Sold! The Smell That Will Sell Your Home!

Sold! The Smell That Will Sell Your Home!

FOR BRITS looking to sell their home, new research has revealed the smell which could make their house more desirable to potential buyers.

A survey of 1,015 UK adults carried out by leading household appliances retailer,, revealed a staggering 86% of those surveyed said the smell of a house could be the difference between putting in an offer or not.

When quizzed on the scents which would be a welcome surprise when viewing a property, 35% of Brits said the smell of fresh bread baking would be a selling point.

David Wilson Homes' Storytelling Event

David Wilson Homes' Storytelling Event


Stories were brought to life in front of the eyes of children from the Rocking Horse Nursery at Newbury Racecourse thanks to a storytelling event at the nursery organised by David Wilson Homes Southern.  

Children at the nursery, located at Newbury Racecourse, were visited by a storyteller as part of the housebuilder’s celebration of World Book Day.

The five-star housebuilder invited professional storyteller Martin Reed, a member of the Society for Storytelling, to spend the morning at the nursery, telling stories to the children and engaging them in the beauty of literature.  

Standish pupil’s fairy design brought to life at Bloor Homes showhome

Bloor Homes

A creative schoolgirl has designed a bedroom for the showhome at the Bloor homes development in Standish. Alice Waterworth, 8, created a magical fairy tale-themed room for the Bloor Homes at Standish development, where she will soon be living.

The budding artist, whose parents have reserved a home at the development, submitted her spellbinding design to the housebuilder, and was thrilled when they agreed to recreate it inside the new showhome. Alice’s design has been brought to life by interior designers Interior Motives, who incorporated Alice’s ideas into the room’s furnishings and décor.

Alice, who will be moving into a four-bedroom detached home with her parents Catherine and Lewis and her 5-year-old sister Beatrice, said:

Homebuilder takes a walk on the wild side

Hedgehog friendly

David Wilson Homes Mercia is rolling out hedgehog friendly features at all of its upcoming developments in Shropshire following the success of its wildlife friendly show home garden.

The homebuilder recently won an award for its show home garden created in partnership with the RSPB at its Spinney Fields site in nearby Warwickshire. The garden scooped the ‘Temporary Award’ in the Big Biodiversity Challenge Awards and is full of features designed to attract wildlife.  The ‘Temporary Award’ promotes non-permanent environmental enhancements, such as green hording, a temporary green wall or a community engagement initiative.

You get more for your money with Bovis Homes

Bovis Homes

When Dan Smith was searching for a brand-new property in the South East, he always knew that he could depend upon Bovis Homes to make his dreams come true.

His strong belief and confidence in the national house builder was built on firm foundations as he had enjoyed many happy times in the property from which he was looking to move – which had been built with pride by Bovis Homes a few years before.

Delighted with the build quality and customer service that he received previously, he had no hesitation in purchasing his next property from Bovis Homes when it was time to move on to his dream location of Littlehampton, along with partner Laura Delaney.

First Time Buyer Market - Hyde New Homes

Hyde New Homes

Hyde New Homes provide quality, affordable housing through their shared ownership programme in  London, Kent and the South.

We currently have a selection of stylish homes for sale which would suit first time buyers entering the property market as well as growing families looking to upsize to a new contemporary home suitable for their needs.

We have an expert sales team on hand and they will be pleased to guide you through the seemingly confusing process of purchasing a home through shared ownership, both for new build and resale homes. In fact, we have also produced an easy video guide for your assistance, which you can access at

Local Hook boy names new development Oakwood Grange

Oakwood Grange

An 11-year-old boy who named David Wilson Homes’ Oakwood Grange development in Hook was invited to visit the site after winning a competition.

The creative former pupil at Hook Junior School, Amar Jheeta, chose the name of the new development in a competition hosted by the school.

The leading homebuilder asked pupils at the school for their help and ideas for naming the new development on Griffin Way North.

After almost 100 entries were submitted, Amar won with his suggestion of ‘Oakwood Grange’ which was inspired by the amount of trees in the area.

Amar’s winning name, which impressed the five star housebuilder, will now be used on all of the development’s signs and promotional material.

His father, Bob Jheeta, said:

Leading developer’s apprenticeship schemes lay foundations for a successful career in construction


Westleigh is calling on young people who dream of stepping onto the construction industry ladder to discover the fantastic apprenticeship schemes it has to offer.

Throughout National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from Monday 5th to Friday 9th March, the leading developer is promoting its bricklaying and joinery apprenticeship schemes for 2018.

The programme, which takes up to three years to complete, will see trainees split their time between studying in college and getting hands-on experience at one of Westleigh’s construction developments across the Midlands or beyond.

Barratt Homes encourages women to consider a career in construction


Ahead of International Women’s Day on Thursday 8th March, leading developer Barratt Homes Northampton is encouraging more women to consider careers in the construction industry, with a variety of roles available across Northamptonshire.

With a number of female employees already in a range of roles across the company, the housebuilder is reminding women from all skill sets of the different roles available and is encouraging them to put their experience to the industry.

Alison Raine, Sales Director at Barratt Homes Northampton, said: “We want to quash the age old stereotype that the construction industry is a male dominated field as we have many women who work out on site as well as in office based roles.

Take a tour of the showhome at Westleigh housing development from the comfort of your sofa

Property-seekers who dream of moving to a well-connected yet peaceful location now have the unique opportunity to view the Westleigh housing development from home!

The two-bedroom Mitchell showhome has been wowing potential buyers since it was unveiled at the sought-after collection of two, three and four-bedroom homes, which is situated in an area that has been central to the city’s cultural identity for more than 100 years.

And now, prospective purchasers can also take a virtual tour of the showhome from the comfort of their own sofa.

By visiting Westleigh’s website, home-hunters can embark on an immersive and interactive walkthrough of the Mitchell, taking in every corner with amazing 360° views from both inside and outside this gorgeous property.

Youngest apprentice ever with David Wilson Homes

youngest apprentice

A three-year-old budding truck operator has been taken on as David Wilson Homes Southern’s youngest apprentice at its newest Basingstoke development Gillies Meadow.  

Adam Blackwell is being invited to the development at various stages of build to see how the homes are progressing and will get to ‘oversee’ the construction of plot 215.

He will be able to see the plot at foundation level, when the roof goes on and then once it has been completed.

David Wilson Homes will be starting Adam a story book which will document Adam’s visits as the youngest apprentice to the development and include a timeline of the plot. 

The most enjoyable ways to use your culinary skills in your new home

culinary skills

Using your Culinary skills and cooking a wholesome meal for the family is the very best way to spend time in your new home.

Asking 2,000 people which type of cooking they like best, the five star housebuilder received an overwhelming response - with more than half of those asked saying they’d rather feed their closest relatives than rustle up an intimate dinner for two (14 per cent).

“Since our buyers tell us the kitchen is one of the most popular rooms in the new homes we build, we thought we’d find out how people like to spend their time there,” said sales director, Louise Ware.

Flexible and adaptable new-build homes

new-build homes

The challenge of finding a home with just the right amount of space and with absolutely no need for DIY is driving many buyers to new-build homes in Bristol.

Increasingly, newer homes are designed to provide flexible space that fits a wide variety of lifestyles, providing those who may previously have opted to downsize with the luxury of rooms that are perfect suited to their requirements.

 ilke Homes – a scale solution to the affordable housing crisis

 ilke Homes – a scale solution to the affordable housing crisis

The housebuilding industry is on track to deliver the government’s target of one million new homes by 2020. The challenge is to continue expanding supply in the highest-demand areas to improve affordability The cost of housing has knock-on effects across the economy. As people are forced out to the suburbs, cities become less dynamic. Workers waste time on marathon, energy-sapping commutes. People from the regions cannot afford to move to cities where they might find work. Businesses cannot clear land to build. It is perhaps no coincidence that Britain’s growing housing crisis has coincided with stagnant productivity.

The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show returns to drive Midland’s property expansion

The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show returns to drive Midland’s property expansion

Latest figures released by the National Custom & Self Build Association reveal that 33,000 people have already signed up to the Right to Build register since October 2017, which means that at least half of the demand for serviced plots will have to be authorised by October 2019[1]. To support more people in their desire to build homes in the region and inspire remodelling projects, The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show is returning to the NEC, Birmingham from 22-25 March 2018. Over four packed days, visitors will benefit from more than 500 exhibitors and 16 free daily seminars and masterclasses in the extended venue.

How Shared Ownership is Full of Possibilities

How Shared Ownership is Full of Possibilities

Owning a Zone 2 Home by The Age of 25, How Shared Ownership is Full of Possibilities. The rapid increase of house prices and stagnating wages have meant that UK millennials have struggled to get on onto the property ladder. According to a recent study conducted by HSBC, only 31 per cent of young people surveyed said there were able to purchase a home[1]. There are however a number of alternatives open to First Time Buyers, such as the Shared Ownership scheme, meaning that, more young adults are able to consider buying a property. Such a case is Events Manager, Ellie Wyburd, who purchased a new build two-bedroom flat at Woods Road, Peckham, a Shared Ownership development by Hyde New Homes.

Revealed: Simple Interior Design Can Boost The Value Of Your Home

Revealed: Simple Interior Design Can Boost The Value Of Your Home

Trouva and Marsh & Parsons uncover homeware hacks and interior design tips to make selling your home a whole lot easier. For home owners planning to move up the property ladder in 2018, online platform for independent boutiques, and estate agents, Marsh & Parsons announce the surprisingly simple tips and tricks that boost the perceived value of a home in the eyes of a prospective buyer.

From stylish storage solutions to maximising mirrors, Trouva unveils the must-buy items to transform a space before selling.

DIY a thing of the past!

DIY a thing of the past!

The challenge of finding a home with just the right amount of space and with absolutely no need for DIY is driving many buyers to new-build properties in West Sussex. 

Increasingly, newer homes are designed to provide flexible space that fits a wide variety of lifestyles, providing those who may previously have opted to downsize with the luxury of rooms that are perfect suited to their requirements.

Barratt Homes - Saving Sacrifices!

Would-be buyers more willing to sacrifice holidays than cigarettes when saving to buy a home

Would-be buyers more willing to sacrifice holidays than cigarettes when saving to buy a home. Holidays are the first things to be cut among those keen to buy a home, according to a survey from Barratt Homes. The five star housebuilder, which is building homes in Plymouth, asked 2,000 people which luxuries they would cut back on in order to save the money needed to make their dream move.

More than a third of those asked (35 per cent) said they would forgo that special trip away, closely followed by 32 per cent, who were brave enough to sacrifice time in the pub, eating out, or visiting the cinema.

WDH's Event On 24 February Opens Door To Home Ownership

WDH's Event On 24 February Opens Door To Home Ownership

On 24 February at their show home at Royal Wells Park, Crofton, WDH is aiming to make home ownership affordable for first time buyers.

On offer is WDH’s affordable Shared Ownership scheme, a way for many to take their first steps on the property ladder.

Affordable housing schemes are more desirable than ever as recent research revealed the importance of owning a home for young adults. A Yorkshire Building Society study showed that on average, young people consider owning a property more important than career success, academic achievements, and even marriage.

Benefits of the scheme include smaller deposits, a quality modern home which is likely to increase in value, and the opportunity to purchase the full property when financially ready.

Development at Cross Street Point, Chatham


Work at The Brook in Chatham is an outstanding example of urban regeneration combining three sites to form one community.

Since 2014, we’ve invested £11 million transforming the area by redeveloping three sites: Cross Street (due to be finished this Spring), Eldon Street and Cavalier Place.

The development was shortlisted last year for an Inside Housing Award as Best Regeneration Project outside London.

We demolished a sheltered housing block and office building to make way for one five-storey and three four-storey residential buildings with car parking and landscaping. The unified brick facade has been designed in reference to proportions and materials found in the historic buildings of Chatham.

The Key Safe Company and WDH Fit Together

The Key Safe Company and WDH Fit Together

A housing association in Wakefield has responded to its tenants’ increasing need for instant access, by undertaking The Key Safe Company’s accredited key safe installer scheme.

The installer program has helped the WDH team install their P500 and C500 KeySafesTM to allow caregivers unrestricted access at any time of the day to their tenants.

Alana Stanley, senior pest control officer for WDH, arranged the training for herself and eight team members from the Repairs and Maintenance service. She commented: “We’ve always had two dedicated members of the team who have carried out all our key safe installations, but as we’re seeing more of a need for care at home we wanted other members of the team to understand how to install them correctly too.