WIN A Deluxe Double Spring/Summer Bedding Bundle With Dormeo

WIN A Deluxe Double Spring/Summer Bedding Bundle With Dormeo

With more pleasant weather (hopefully) on the horizon, we can begin to look forward to enjoying the spring and summer. However, this means that those warm, sticky nights when it's too hot to sleep are on their way, too.

To make things more comfortable, we've teamed up with mattress and bedding specialist Dormeo, to offer you the chance to win one of their Deluxe Spring/Summer Bedroom Bundles in a double bed size, which should help you sleep when the temperature creeps up.

Each bundle is worth £59.99 and contains all you need to kit out your bed for the summer, including:

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.

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.

How to create your dream outdoor kitchen

Outdoor kitchen

Have you ever looked through the pages of interior glossies and lusted after the impeccable Outdoor kitchen on offer? Yes, us too.

But creating the perfect alfresco dining space doesn't have to be reserved for show homes and warmer climates. By following some simple design advice, you too can create a versatile outdoor space, which – even in the UK - can be used all year round...

Plan it out

You wouldn't start an indoor kitchen renovation without first having a fool-proof plan, so why would an outdoor one be any different? Outdoor kitchen

Older Person’s Shared Ownership Totnes

Quayside

Quayside offers a unique collection of retirement apartments for those aged over 55. The 30, one and two-bedroom apartments offer a contemporary open-plan living layout, private balconies or terraces with views over the Dart Valley or the inner courtyard space. Kitchens are fitted with modern appliances and shower rooms include walk-in showers. The apartments offer great communal facilities and services including an on-site bistro, a pamper suite and hairdressing salon, a meeting and activity room, large reception area and beautifully designed communal gardens and seating areas. The experienced, scheme management team are on-hand to provide support and help to organise activities for the residents too.

Phase two launched at Kenton Lane Farm, Harrow

Kenton Lane Farm

Following the success of phase one at Kenton Lane Farm in Kenton, Harrow, Clearview Homes has just released a further selection of three and four bedroom homes to the market. 

Kenton Lane Farm is an exclusive collection of 26, three and four bedroom family homes and five tastefully converted farmhouses and former dairy properties set less than three miles from Harrow town centre. 

Shelley West, Sales and Marketing Director for Clearview Homes comments:

No need to do it your-shelf with Barratt and David Wilson Homes during new homes week

New Homes Week

Five star homebuilders Barratt and David Wilson Homes are inviting Bedfordshire house hunters to down tools for a DIY amnesty during New Homes Week (May 14th to 20th) and consider the advantages of a new home.

74% of residents living in the county admit they would spend up to £5,000 on DIY, a survey conducted by the local developer has revealed.

Barratt Homes Northampton and David Wilson Homes South Midlands, which are both building new homes at a range of developments across the county suggest people should take a look at their selection of properties to see a home that’s ready to move into with no additional work necessary.

Pupils get a happily ever after at Barratt Homes’ storytelling event

Storytelling event

Stories were brought to life in front of the eyes of pupils from Church End Lower School thanks to a storytelling event organised by Barratt Homes North Thames who is building homes in Marston Moretaine at Marston Fields.

The leading housebuilder invited professional storyteller Richard York, a member of the Society for Storytelling, to spend time at the school telling stories to the pupils and engaging them in the literature, to mark National Share a Story Month in May.  

Mrs Straccia, Forest End Head of School at Church End Lower School, said: storytelling event

Multi-trade students given a glimpse of the construction industry

Leading housebuilder Westleigh Homes has given a talk to construction students from a local college and invited them for a tour of its St Mary’s Park development in Leicester to provide an insight into work in the industry.

A total of 35 Level 3 Built Environment learners, followed by a group of Levels 1, 2 and 3 Bricklaying, Plastering, and Carpentry and Joinery pupils from Leicester College, were given a presentation by Mark Dixon, the Senior Site Manager who oversees work on the collection of two, three and four-bedroom homes close to the city’s thriving centre.

NOT SO SQUEAKY CLEAN

hygiene

BRITAIN is a nation lacking in hygiene when it comes to their home appliances, according to new research.

A survey of 1,015 UK adults carried out by leading household appliances retailer, AppliancesDirect.co.uk, revealed an overwhelming 71% of those surveyed said they don’t regularly clean their home appliances.

When quizzed on how often Brits clean their home, the data revealed it is the washing machine which is cleaned the least. 

In fact, Britons clean the washing machine just once per year on average, according to the research.

hygieneCleaning the oven came in second place, as respondents said they do this appliance twice per year.

Beechwood Barca score sponsorship with leading housebuilder

Our Space Your Place

Leading home-builder David Wilson Homes North West has supported the Beechwood Barca Under 7s by sponsoring their new kit and buying new goals through its Our Space Your Place community initiative.

The scheme aims to support community projects and local charities throughout the North West.

The Under 7s are part of Beechwood JFC, a club which has FA Chartered Standard status and is one of the oldest junior football clubs in Runcorn, having existed for over 30 years. 

This is the first season for Beechwood Barca and the boys have been improving week by week whilst playing in the Warrington League. All of the young players are encouraged by their coaches to develop their skills as well as being good representatives for the club.

Budding archer shoots and scores sponsorship in Nuneaton

Long Shoot

Local housebuilders Barratt and David Wilson Homes, who are developing the new The Long Shoot, have sponsored a local Archer in Nuneaton who is aiming to take part in the 2024 Olympics.

Hannah Rowley, 14, has been given £1,000 towards her training and is currently on the Archery GB World class performance pathway.

She lives close to the housebuilders’ new development The Long Shoot in the town and is currently competing for local and national titles.

Paul Rowley, Hannah’s dad, said: Long Shoot

Bovis Homes - Delivering quality over the decades

Bovis Homes - Delivering quality over the decades

Much has changed in the world since Pat Haggerty worked in the payroll department at Bovis Homes more than 40 years ago.

What hasn’t changed is the home builder’s commitment to building quality new homes and stunning communities across the south east, and Pat knew just what she was getting when she recently moved into a new Bovis Home in West Sussex.

The spacious four-bedroom detached home at Bovis Homes' Hampton Park location in Littlehampton is ideal for Pat, her daughter Dawn and granddaughter Teri-Rose.

Leading homebuilder names road at scholar’s place after Alsager family

Charles Bennion

Barratt and David Wilson Homes North West has honoured a local Alsager family, by naming a street at its Scholar’s Place development, Charles Bennion Road after the farmer who used to own the land.

The Bennion family formerly farmed the land that the development is now built on, before it was the subject of a compulsory purchase order in 1940.

Charles Bennion was the owner of the land prior to World War II and his Grandson Charles Bennion has fond memories Charles Bennion Roadof playing on the land as a young child, which has become poignant in recent years as he now suffers from Alzheimer’s.

Help to Buy makes the difference for first time buyers in Bristol

New Homes Week

As New Homes Week gets underway (May 14-18) latest government figures reveal that more than 2,700 homebuyers in the Bristol area have used Help to Buy to purchase their new home.

The figures reveal that 2,736 people in Bristol and North East Somerset, the City of Bristol and South Gloucestershire have used the scheme since it was launched in April 2013.

Help to Buy has been particularly vital to help first time buyers onto the property ladder with this sector accounting for 81 per cent of sales.

Andrea Pilgrim, sales director for five star housebuilder Barratt Homes, said the scheme has been a real game changer. 

Heathcote pupils learn about hedgehogs with habitat donation from David Wilson Homes

Hedgehog Awareness Week

David Wilson Homes has celebrated Hedgehog Awareness Week (30th April-6th May) by donating two hedgehog homes to a local primary school in Heathcote next to its Poets Meadow development.

Heathcote Primary School has welcomed the donation of the Hogilos as part of the awareness week as its ‘Heathcote Hedghogs’ class is currently learning about the little critters and will be able to find out more about them with their new hedgehog homes.

The Hogilos will be put in the play area of the school and keep the little creatures safe from any prickly situations. The habitats are recommended by experts to provide a sturdy and waterproof home for hedgehogs seeking shelter.

Help to Buy scheme helps first-time buyers own first home at Kilnwood Vale

Help to Buy scheme

Brian & Penny Voget explain that they “hadn’t heard of the Help to Buy scheme” before speaking to Crest Nicholson’s sales advisors. Despite not having owned a home before, the “expert help and advice” from the Crest Nicholson team meant that the Vogets move into their dream home at Kilnwood Vale was a quick and simple process.

With Help to Buy, a 5% deposit at a standard mortgage rate of 75% will see the government supply the final 20% through an equity loan, allowing prospective buyers such as the Vogets to purchase a home which otherwise wouldn’t have been possible.

Help to Buy proving a real hit at Oak Point, Hillingdon

Help to Buy scheme

The Government’s Help to Buy scheme is proving a real hit with first time buyers in Hillingdon wanting to get on the property ladder at Clearview Homes’ latest development, Oak Point. So far over a third of the development has been reserved off plan using the scheme.

Oak Point consists of just 26, one and two-bedroom spacious apartments, in a stylish contemporary building with all properties having outside space in the form of a private terrace, balcony or private garden. Set in the residential area of Sutton Court Road, the development also benefits from established local services and amenities and good commuter links, with Hillingdon station just over a mile away with connections to Metropolitan and Piccadilly underground lines.

Heathcote pupils have the rhyme of their lives celebrating Shakespeare day

Shakespeare Day

Heathcote Primary School have celebrated Shakespeare Day (23rd April) by taking part in a poetry competition hosted by David Wilson Homes East Midlands.

The developer asked for the pupil’s to send in poems that described their homes that could then be displayed in the marketing suite of its Poets Meadow development on Harbury Lane.

Poets Meadow is aptly named because of its close location to Stratford-upon-Avon and as a celebration to the localShakespeare Day heritage of the area. The developer wanted to mark Shakespeare Day by hosting the competition and encouraging local pupils to get involved. 

How to enhance your garden with a permanent barbecue pit

Barbecue pit

Have you already made the most of the hotter weather to take your cooking outside and have a barbecue? You will be able to make the experience so much easier if you were to make a permanent barbecue pit in your garden.

Here, Flogas, which can help you with the LPG gas tank installation process for providing efficient power to your BBQs, has put together a step-by-step guide for improving your garden with its very own barbecue pit…

The items you’ll need for the job

To build your barbecue pit, you’ll need the following: barbecue pit

71% of homeowners suffer from renovation uncertainty

DigitalBridge

Almost three-quarters (71%) of UK homeowners wouldn’t know where to start if they wanted to complete a bathroom refurbishment, new research has revealed.

The survey, completed on 1,100 consumers by DigitalBridge, found that just 5% of people would feel extremely confident in knowing how to go about beginning the process of refitting their bathroom. 

By contrast, 57% of homeowners said they would feel very unsure, and 14% even stated they would have no idea whatsoever where to begin. Of these, almost two-thirds (64%) believed that this uncertainty would delay them starting a project.

Why you should take that first step onto the property ladder...

Mark Homer of Progressive Property on when to get on the property ladder

Mark Homer, co-founder of Progressive Property, explains why people thinking of stepping onto the property ladder should try to get there sooner rather than later…

Why is Help To Buy a good option for first-time buyers who want to get onto the property ladder?

Help To Buy is a great option for many first time buyers as it allows them to purchase a house or a flat, often new and with a warranty. The homes are usually complete with flooring and almost everything needed to move in (bar furniture) and you can get this in some cases with a 5% deposit. This usually means that first-time buyers need to save for much less time, therefore getting on the housing market earlier and allowing them to build equity.

Demand is flying high at Rutherford Fields

Rutherford Fields

Since its initial launch at the end of February, the homes at Rutherford Fields have been proving to be a real hit for first time buyers, young professionals and families alike.

So far 80% of the first phase has been reserved with first time buyers from the local area snapping up a number of the Shared Ownership properties on offer.

Rutherford Fields, on the base of the former RAF Stanbridge, near Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire offers something for everyone, from one and two bedroom apartments to houses with two, three and four bedrooms. With a range of properties available through Private Sale, affordable rent and Shared Ownership, there is something to suit every lifestyle. 

First time buyers: A Furniture checklist

Furniture checklist

Becoming a homeowner for the first time is exciting and thrilling, but it can also be daunting no fear because the Furniture checklist is here. There are so many things to remember and tick off the list, including the furniture and ways to accessorise the home and bring it to life. But, which furniture is essential, and should we spend a little more time and money on?

We spoke to a variety of industry experts to find out what exactly should be on the furniture checklist for first time buyers, including items that should be bought straight away and others that can wait a while.  Here, they share their top tips on essential pieces of furniture and the accessories to match: