Win a Leatherman Sidekick Multi-Tool worth over £60

Leatherman multi tool

In 1975, mechanical engineering graduate Tim Leatherman embarked on a European road trip in his cranky $300 Fiat. Travelling on a shoe-string budget, a humble scout knife was the only tool he had for everyday tasks; from slicing bread to fixing dodgy hotel plumbing and keeping his trusty car on the road. But what Tim really needed was a pair of pliers. And so, the idea for the world’s first Leatherman multi-tool was born.

Now the brand is giving one lucky winner a chance to win the Leatherman Sidekick multi-tool.

Win a luxurious woollen throw with Sofas by Saxon!

Winter throw to win

Now winter is closing in, for the latest issue of HomeFocus we have teamed up with Sofas by Saxon and are giving one lucky reader the chance to win a genuine wool throw worth £130! This stunning throw is woven from 100% British wool, resulting a sumptuously soft blanket that will keep you warm and cosy all winter long.

The classic shade you see here is called Herringbone Thistle, an elegantly understated beige with a subtle touch of lavender. We’re confident that this gorgeous throw will look good in almost any home, especially when draped over a couch or armchair. It measures 170cm x 145cm, so it’s the perfect size for snuggling up on the sofa on those chilly winter evenings.

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.

New Beginnings With David Wilson Homes' Part Exchange Offer

David Wilson Homes' street scene

Leading house builder David Wilson Homes North Thames is helping Bedfordshire buyers secure their dream home thanks to its Part Exchange offer.

Whether you’re looking to upsize or want to take the stress out of buying and selling, the Part Exchange scheme is a fantastic initiative to make sure your experience is smooth sailing from start to finish.

Moving house can be a stressful time for everyone, especially if you need to sell your old home before you can move into your new one. David Wilson Homes has recognised this and is offering home owners the option to Part Exchange their old property for a new home at one of its developments.

Get Off To A Great Start When Buying Off Playing With David Wilson Homes

Get Off To A Great Start When Buying Off Playing With David Wilson Homes

Bedfordshire homebuyers looking to purchase a new property should consider buying off plan, as leading developer David Wilson Homes has revealed the benefits of using this method for a range of buyers. 

This means purchasing a property before it’s reached building completion, sometimes before construction has even started.

With many benefits including getting the pick of the plots by reserving early and the ability to personalise the property down to the finishing touches, buyers are more in control of their home. 

Whether house hunters are purchasing their first home or are simply looking to upsize, the developer’s guide reveals how an off plan property can suit whatever vision buyers have for their dream home. 

Developer Reveals Benefits Of Using Help To Buy Ahead Of Its 2,000th Customer

Help To Buy Barratt Homes

As the leading developer gets ready to welcome its 2,000th Help to Buy customer, Barratt and David Wilson Homes Northampton has revealed the top benefits of using the initiative across its developments in Bedfordshire.

The government backed Help to Buy scheme, which launched in 2013, allows buyers to purchase a home with just a 5% deposit and a 75% mortgage. The remaining 20% is funded by an equity loan, interest-free for the first five years and repayable on the sale on the home.

Alison Raine, Sales Director at Barratt and David Wilson Homes Northampton, said: “For property seekers in the area, it can be hard to know which moving scheme may suit them best and whether Help to Buy will offer them the best deals or not.  

Last chance to get on the property ladder at Trafalgar Apartments

Last chance to get on the property ladder at Trafalgar Apartments

Last chance to get on the property ladder at Trafalgar Apartments - part of the prestigious Dickens Yard, Ealing 

First time buyers are being given the last chance to get their foot on the property ladder at Trafalgar Apartments, part of the prestigious and vibrant Dickens Yard development in the heart of Ealing, West London. 

Catalyst’s development, Trafalgar Apartments features a selection of stylish one and two bedroom Shared Ownership apartments with only four, two bedroom Shared Ownership still available. The apartments are sensitively designed with high ceiling and generous windows providing a feeling of luxury and there are balconies on selected plots with video entry system to all apartments.

The B Word

The B Word

Regardless of your views on Brexit, there’s no arguing that it has created a great deal of uncertainty.  Reuben John from Fine & Country East London discusses what this means for the property market.

As the final Brexit decision edges closer, the impact on the property market has left potential sellers and buyers in a difficult position because of the uncertain outcome. On the one hand, there is a wait and see attitude, particularly with buyers thinking that prices may well reduce. For sellers, the question is if the market slows down is selling now the better option?

Wainhomes launch new phase at Borough View in Bodmin with superb split-level homes

Wainhomes launch new phase at Borough View

The South West’s leading regional new home builder, Wainhomes, has just launched the third phase of its highly popular Borough View development in the market town of Bodmin.

The initial release will be of four bedroom, three storey split level homes, which are currently under construction with the first completion due in the spring of 2019.

With two designs – The Dunmere and The Tregony – the homes have been designed to follow the natural contours of the land maximising space, light and the superb local views. 

Embrace Life in Style at Award-Winning Woodside Square

Woodside Square

Large Housebuilder of the Year, Hill, presents the award-winning Woodside Square, designated Best Design for Three Storeys or Less at the prestigious Housebuilder Awards. This period-inspired development in the heart of Zone 3, produced in partnership with Hanover housing association, marries traditional designs with contemporary amenities. Located in the North London suburb of Muswell Hill, the collection is set across six acres bordering the natural beauty of Highgate Wood and encompasses 159 one- to five-bedroom homes in both new and heritage buildings – an unrivalled opportunity. 

Secure Your Dream Home In Lidlington Before It's Too Late

Lidlington Home

With just one property remaining at its Lidlington Court development in Lidlington, David Wilson Homes is providing a selection of unmissable offers for prospective buyers looking to progress on the property ladder.

The Holden style home is the final property available at The Lane and comes with Stamp Duty paid and a flooring package included worth over £7,000.

With the property ready to move into, purchasers can enjoy a comfortable moving experience and for those not opting for the Stamp Duty contribution, the Part Exchange scheme is available to ensure a swift transition into a new home.

MyVoucherCodes launches interactive guide to help save money on interior design

MyVoucherCodes living room

Online discount code provider MyVoucherCodes has launched an interactive guide to interior design, offering people the opportunity to furnish their dream homes on a budget.

It’s a well-known fact that furnishing and redecorating always ends up being more expensive than originally intended. Ideal Home recorded that in Britain, an average of nearly £6,000 a year per household is spent on decorating and furnishing, suggesting that when it comes to playing house, Brits splash the cash.* But, even if you don’t go over-board with your interior design the essentials are still expensive, especially if you’re buying everything in one go.

Sales Continue To Soar For Marston Fields Development

Marston Fields Development

Bedfordshire home buyers are being urged to act fast and reserve one of the remaining houses for sale at Marston Fields.

Nearly 90% has now been sold at the Barratt Homes development in Marston Moretaine, and now the housebuilder is sounding the alarm for the final 15 properties available.

Between the 21st of October to the 6th December there were 17 sales alone, averaging out to more than two houses per week which is four times the national average.

Glenn Copper, Sales Director at Barratt Homes North Thames, said. “We’re delighted with the popularity of our Marston Fields development. Now it’s a race against time for property seekers in the area to reserve one of the final 15 houses for sale.

Blended Bedfordshire Family Brought Together At Willow Grove

Bedfordshire Family Brought Together At Willow Grove

A Bedfordshire couple have settled into their new property at Barratt Homes’ Willow Grove and have fallen in love with the family features the development provides their three children with. 

Jessica Desouza (32) and Luke Andrews (35) have purchased a four bedroom property, which offers more than enough room for them and their children, Eefah-Louise (8), Ariana (4) and baby Lochlan (3 months). 

Jessica, originally from Luton, said: “Ever since the arrival of our little one, we wanted to find a space that equally accommodates everyone.

“With Luke’s child Eefah-Louise and my daughter Ariana living together in one space, it was important to make everyone feel a part of the family.

Fresh Starts and Old Friends For Family at Marston Fields

Family in their new Marston Fields home

Dominic Barker (35), originally from Luton, wanted his children, Mason (10) and Isabelle (4) to experience their childhood in a peaceful village where there is a friendly atmosphere.

The family were the first to move in on their street at Barratt Homes’ Marston Fields development in Marston Moretaine, and were looking forward to greeting fresh faces as others moved in at the development.

Much to their surprise, amongst their new neighbours was an old friend of Dominic’s. Dominic said, “An old friend from university also moved in, I hadn’t seen him since 2005, we were friends at university and used to play football together. I hadn’t seen him in years and there he was moving into a home on our street. It was a big surprise!”

How to decorate your home, according to your star sign

How to decorate your home, according to your star sign

Sprucing up the interior of your home can bring months if not years of satisfaction - if done right that is! But with so many design trends, how can you know which is right for you?

Not only does your star sign reveal your monthly fortune (or misfortune), it’s a useful tool to understand your personality and traits too. So, whether you’re an artsy Taurus, chic Virgo, cosy Cancer, a minimalist Gemini, your horoscope can tell you a lot about your ideal living style.  

Sofa and carpet specialists, ScS, has teamed up with New York astrologist, Lisa Stardust, to determine the interior styles to try according to your star sign - perfect if you’re searching for fresh decorating inspiration.


Vote for Homefocus in the First Time Buyer Awards!

Homefocus has been nominated for an award

Homefocus has been nominated for the Best First Time Buyer Media Coverage award – and we want your votes to help us take the crown!

The awards, run by First Time Buyer magazine, recognise the property industry’s efforts to help buyers get onto the housing ladder.

The Homefocus team are proud to be nominated for their contribution to the media coverage of shared ownership opportunities.

Our articles explain shared ownership options, from Help to Buy to Older Person's shared ownership, with expert advice on finances, looking for a property and more. 

Editor Victoria Galligan said: “We are delighted to be nominated for this award, and to be part of such a prestigious event in the property industry.

Help to Buy homes developed by Plan C

Plac C - Brownlow Road Help to Buy property

Plan C is a family-run building and design company based in Muswell Hill, North London. At the helm are twin brothers – Pierre and Christian Carboni – who decided to sign up their latest development of three new builds in Bounds Green London N11 to the Equity Loan Scheme under the Help to Buy umbrella.  

The London scheme reflects the current local property prices and offers 20% - 40% for buyers in all boroughs. You can put down as little as 5% deposit on a newly built home and then get a Government Equity Loan for up to 40% of the purchase price. In addition, you are not charged loan fees on the 40% loan for the first five years of owning your home. 

Five ways to incorporate this year’s key trends into your bathroom

Key trends for your bathroom

According to recent research, a spa like bathroom remains one of the key trends on young homeowners’ wish lists – it’s right up there with aspirational developments such as underfloor heating and loft conversions.

To help you create your own dream space, Charlie Williams, interior designer at Heritage Bathrooms, has looked at how you can incorporate five of this year’s key trends into your bathroom.

Mixed metallics

Brooklands Apartment Offers First Time Buyers A Step Onto The Property Ladder

Couple in their Brooklands Apartment

A development of new properties in Milton Keynes has provided a pair of first-time buyers with their ideal home.

Paige Quigley, an Assistant Merchandiser at Sainsbury’s Argos, and Bailey Skinner, a Food and Beverage Assistant at the Hilton Hotel, moved into their new property at Brooklands recently. They are thrilled to have purchased their first home together after years of saving, thanks to using the Help to Buy scheme.

This government-backed scheme allows buyers to purchase a home with just a 5% deposit and a 75% mortgage. The remaining 20% is funded by an equity loan, interest-free for the first five years and repayable on the sale on the home.

Flexible Living & A Forever Home Achieved By Corby Couple

Flexible Living & A Forever Home Achieved By Corby Couple

Using the Government-backed Help to Buy scheme at Lyveden Fields in Corby, a couple has been able to secure their forever home whilst discovering flexible living at its finest.

Hayley (40) and Pete (45) Cook, from Corby and Hartwell, were able to purchase their dream home with just 5% deposit and are now enjoying a property with a modern layout at Barratt Homes’ Livingstone Road development.

The couple, owner of Dementia Days and a Coach Builder for Stagecoach, are reaping the benefits of a home they can make their own with their miniature Yorkshire terrier named Dave.