WIN - Hotel Collection Bundle from Silentnight

WIN - Hotel Collection Bundle from Silentnight

You could enjoy a feeling of five star luxury in your own home, with the fantastic Hotel Collection from Silentnight.

This premium bedding range of pillows and duvets combines supersoft fibre fillings with luxury embossed microfibre covers, for a truly indulgent, sumptuous night’s sleep.

The Silentnight Hotel Collection includes 13.5 and 10.5 duvets and premium pillows, sold in a pair.  All products are hypoallergenic, machine washable and suitable across the seasons. The duvets come with a five-year guarantee and the pillows with a two-year guarantee.

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.

It's love at first sight for home buyers

Anna and Nathan, with their baby, went on many a house viewing  but fell in love at first sight with a Countryside home

With one in two UK homeowners partaking in just one house viewing before making an offer, home builder Countryside has teamed up with relationship expert, John Donlon, to uncover just what makes us lead with our hearts when it comes to buying a new home.

According to a recent survey by Countryside, it took just one house viewing for 53%* of homeowners before purchasing their home, describing the experience as ‘love at first sight’. An additional 25% stated that only a second house viewing was needed before making a final decision. 

How To Deal With Difficult Neighbours

How To Deal With Difficult Neighbours

Tom Christie, Associate Solicitor at Slater Heelis LLP discusses how to deal with difficult neighbours and what legal rights homeowners and tenants have.

Experiencing problems with a nuisance neighbour can often leave homeowners and tenants angry and stressed. Whether it’s a noise disturbance, anti-social behaviour or piles of dumped rubbish many people don’t know to resolve the dispute. 

The most important thing when dealing with difficult neighbours is not to let the problem become entrenched. Speak to your neighbour to discuss the problem and see if you can reach a mutually agreed solution. 

Keep an audit trail

Kingsbrook Development Proving Popular With A Range Of Homebuyers

Kingsbrook Development

The first village at Kingsbrook, Oakfield Village, follows garden village principles and homebuyers are encouraged to reserve their home quickly as Barratt Homes is now 90% sold and David Wilson Homes has sold 60% of its properties on the first village,

Glenn Copper, Sales Director at David Wilson Homes North Thames, said: “We are delighted to see so many Buckinghamshire house hunters already purchasing their dream home at Kingsbrook. This is a fantastic development and an amazing community is being formed between residents already.

“We have homes to suit the needs of a range of buyers, particularly large and growing families and with moving schemes such as Movemaker and Help to Buy available, it’s no wonder so many people are choosing to move home with us.”

Romsey development helps local apprentices carve out skills

Romsey development helps local apprentices carve out skills

A new development in Romsey is helping local apprentices to carve out careers in construction.

The Kings Chase development, from Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes, is bringing 275 homes to the town. And as well as providing new homes for local people, the development is also providing opportunities for apprentices – young and old – to work towards nationally-recognised qualifications.

Among them is 56-year-old Nigel Woolf, who is undertaking a bricklaying apprenticeship on the site with local contractor, Gildan. Nigel quit his job as an HGV driver to start an apprenticeship in construction in a bid to find a more rewarding career.

Barratt Homes Ensures Bridge Community Wellness Gardens Is Best In Its Field

Barratt Homes Ensures Bridge Community Wellness Gardens Is Best In It's Field

Five-star housebuilder Barratt Homes Manchester recently teamed up with Bridge Community Wellness Gardens in Ellesmere Port to help improve their facilities. 

Bridge Wellness Gardens is a registered charity based in Ellesmere Port and is a working commercial horticulture farm that brings people together from all parts of the local community and offers a helping hand to those who need it. 

The wellness gardens and farm aim to provide a therapeutic environment for people living with mental health conditions as well as those with physical and learning disabilities. Work experience is also available for children and young people who are interested to learning about horticulture and business skills. 

Last chance to snap up a downsizer bargain in the UK’s most coveted retirement hotspot, Christchurch

Monterey Christchurch

Picturesque Christchurch in Dorset, long a favourite downsizer hotspot for older people, has been crowned the most expensive destination in the South West per square foot*.

A sum of £227,000 – equivalent to the average UK property value – buys only 687 sq. ft. of space in the coastal town, making it pricier than the prestigious historic town of Bath and only a little less costly than Bristol**.

Retirement provider Platinum Skies’ Monterey development has aimed to make living in Christchurch more affordable for retirees. However, only four of Monterey’s 35 apartments now remain.

The Home Improvements that will DECREASE your Property’s Value

The Home Improvements that will DECREASE your Property’s Value

It’s easy to get carried away when thinking about renovating your home, but it’s important to know that some things are better left untouched.

From injecting too much of a personal touch, to changing the fundamentals of the house such as the number of bedrooms, some ‘home improvements’ can actually decrease the value of your property.

Whether you’re hoping to sell your home now or in the future, Hitachi Personal Finance has identified the costly renovations you should think twice about, backed by experienced estate agents  and those who’ve made these costly mistakes themselves.  

Be careful about tearing down walls

Five years of Help to Buy has helped almost 3,000 homebuyers in Bristol

Five years of Help to Buy has helped almost 3,000 homebuyers in Bristol

Figures just released for the first full five years of Help to Buy in Bristol have revealed that almost 3,000 people have used the government scheme to buy their new home.  

The figures show that 2,888 people in the region have taken advantage of the scheme since it was launched in April 2013.

Andrea Pilgrim, sales director for the Bristol division of the five-star housebuilder Barratt Homes, said the first five years of Help to Buy have had a huge impact on the property market. 

She said: “There’s no doubt that Help to Buy has proved extremely valuable particularly for first time buyers who are now living at a number of our new developments in the area.”

The Home Improvements that will DECREASE your Property’s Value

The Home Improvements that will DECREASE your Property’s Value

It’s easy to get carried away when thinking about renovating your home, but it’s important to know that some things are better left untouched. From injecting too much of a personal touch, to changing the fundamentals of the house such as the number of bedrooms, some home improvements can actually decrease the value of your property.

Whether you’re hoping to sell your home now or in the future, Hitachi Personal Finance has identified the costly renovations you should think twice about, backed by experienced estate agents  and those who’ve made these costly mistakes themselves.   

Be careful about tearing down walls

Top tips on how to create your dream garden

Top tips on how to create your dream garden

While preparing for Autumn, the garden remains at the heart of family life for hosting BBQs, garden parties and family events. Trusted gardening expert, Cliff Woolley at CW Landscapes, a leading landscaper for housebuilder Crest Nicholson South since 1998, has shared his top tips on how to create your dream garden design in just five simple tricks.

Check the conditions to understand what you can and can’t achieve without overcomplicating your garden space. This will help identify what to choose from, as it will allow you to consider what you want to view from inside when looking out. It will also highlight any hot spots for patio or decking that could be incorporated into your garden design.

Get One Step Ahead Of The Top Home Trends This Autumn

Get One Step Ahead Of The Top Home Trends This Autumn

We’ve all been enjoying the heatwave, but sooner than we think autumn will be upon us and we’ll be settling in front of the fire with a warm mug of hot chocolate. As the bright shades of summer turn to deep autumn tones, it’s time to swap patterned cushions for warm knitted blankets and throws, and add an array of berry-scented candles. The changing of the seasons is also a chance to trade those worn-down blinds for stylish drapes or to take up that tired carpet and replace it with shiny new flooring.

Barratt Homes Work Towards A More Accessible Future At Site Visit With Whizz-Kidz

Barratt Homes Work Towards A More Accessible Future At Site Visit With Whizz-Kidz

In a bid to make its sites more easily accessible for wheelchair users, leading housebuilder Barratt Homes is working closely with a disabled children’s charity at its development Highfields in Littleover. 

The team at Barratt Homes North Midlands recently invited an ambassador from Whizz-Kidz, Penelope Harrison (15), to visit the site and advise them on how they can improve the layout and design of their developments and homes for disabled people. 

They will now receive an assessment on the accessibility of the development and will work with parent company Barratt Developments on what can be done to enhance their sites in the future.

Tackle the pre-Christmas clean with tips from BuyDirect4U.co.uk

Tackle the pre-Christmas clean with tips from BuyDirect4U.co.uk

Tackle the pre-Christmas clean with tips from BuyDirect4U.co.uk

Worried about where to start with the pre-Christmas clean? Online home and garden retailer BuyDirect4U.co.uk has a range of tools and tips to help with the cleaning countdown to the most wonderful time of the year, so you can banish dirt and get your home organised with the latest products and techniques.

Inside the home

Give it a twist with Dremel’s new multi-tool the Stylo+

Give it a twist with Dremel’s new multi-tool the Stylo+

Looking for a new project to complete this summer? Dremel has put together an interactive step-by step video guide to upcycling a stainless-steel salad bowl and turning it into a beautiful new pendant lamp, made bespoke with your own pattern or design.

What you’ll need:

Stylo+

Dremel 4000 or multitool equivalent

Masking tape

Acetone

Multipurpose cutting kit

Engraving and drilling bits

Light suspension cable

Permanent marker

Light bulb

Stainless steel salad / fruit bowl

Anti-grip mat

Safety goggles and gloves

Earplugs

Adding to an already impressive range of multi-tools, global craft brand Dremel has launched the Stylo+ (RRP £56.00) ideal for completing the pendant lamp project.

How to colour block your walls with paint

How to colour block your walls with paint

While patterned walls are very popular, many home-owners are still fans of a simpler decorative look, without committing to full-on minimalism.

Feature walls have for some time provided a compromise: using bold paper to encase the chimney breast, or one wall, works well, thanks to its suitability to both modern and period homes.

Colour blocking is the perfect way for consumers who are looking for a splash of colour or pattern on a wall, without investing in wallpaper. It’s also a cost-effective and on-trend, working well with classic or contemporary furniture, and allows you to manage the creative process to create a look that is totally unique to your home.

Top 5 ways to decorate your new home on a budget

Top 5 ways to decorate your new home on a budget

Top 5  The day has finally come. No more renting, and no more landlord to tell you and your flatmates that you’ll be fined for making your home your own – even that time you only wanted to blue-tac up a poster. Now, you’ve got your new Shared Ownership home, and it’s up to you how it looks. But where to start – and how to decide on something everyone’s happy with? Before you start arguing, take a look at the top 5 tips from L&Q – quick fixes that everyone can get on board with, and that won’t break the bank.

Moving on up: upcycle cheap furniture

Mortgages made easy with Help to Buy experts

Helen Pierson - The Mortgage Bureau

Getting a mortgage for the first time can be quite a daunting process – but not if you have the right advice and support. Here, Helen Pierson from The Mortgage Bureau answers some of the questions you might have about borrowing to buy your first home…

Is there a minimum income which you need to buy a home on Help to Buy?

There’s no minimum – you just need to make sure that what you earn gets you the mortgage you’ll need in order to buy. Generally this is 75% of the property value, so if the sale price is £150,000 you would need a mortgage of £112,500. Most lenders will calculate what you can borrow by multiplying your income by 4.5 – after deducting any loans and credit card balances.

Find The Solution At The Paddocks

Find The Solution At The Paddocks

David Wilson Homes North Thames is offering a range of moving solutions at The Paddocks in Langford to help potential homebuyers move into their dream home.

Moving home can be a stressful time for many but with the variety of initiatives available, David Wilson Homes can assist homebuyers with a smooth move. 

Glenn Copper, Sales Director at David Wilson Homes North Thames, said, “As a five-star housebuilder, we want to make moving home as easy as possible for our customers. That is why we offer such a selection of moving solutions that will help ease the stress often associated with moving.

Top reasons for a delay in the conveyancing process

Top reasons for a delay in the conveyancing process

By Sara Hughes, Team Leader in the Conveyancing Department at national law firm Stephensons.

The conveyancing process can be delayed for a number of reasons which are often out of the control of your solicitor, mortgage lender or estate agent. Below are the top reasons for delay that are regularly seen by our residential conveyancing team and what you can do to minimise, or where possible, avoid any delays in the process.

Evidencing where your money and/or a gifted deposit has come from

The finishing touches are being added to new phase of homes in Corby

The finishing touches are being added to new phase of homes in Corby

The latest phase of properties at Barratt Homes Northampton’s Lyveden Fields development in Corby is soon to be released (Saturday 8th September), providing house hunters with the opportunity to discover their perfect new home.

A selection of four and five bedroom homes are set to be unveiled in the heart of the Oakley Vale development, offering prospective buyers the chance to join an established community in a beautiful suburb.

The homes will be available with prices starting from £260,000, ideal for growing families looking for a place to settle down, close to excellent schooling options and a variety of useful amenities.

Stylish new homes for humans and wildlife in creation of community at Ladden Garden Village

Stylish new homes for humans and wildlife in creation of community at Ladden Garden Village

Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes are creating a special community with a difference in Yate at the new Ladden Garden Village. 

The five star housebuilders have commissioned an ecological plan to identify and protect wildlife at the site of the development - which features a range of two, three and four bedroom homes.  

The site, located just north of Yate town centre, includes around 101 hectares of mostly arable and improved pastureland - with a network of hedgerows including mature oak and ash trees. 

Other habitats within the site boundary include semi-improved neutral grassland, scattered scrub, dense scrub, marshy grassland, open water, and both permanent and ephemeral watercourses.