WIN A HOME FURNISHINGS PACKAGE

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.

‘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.

Tips for first time buyers: saving for a deposit and avoiding common mistakes

deposit

In November’s budget statement, the government scrapped stamp duty for first time buyers on properties costing less than £300,000.

With the average first time buyer paying around £1.5k in stamp duty, this could make home ownership more affordable for thousands of people.

But there’s still a hefty amount to pay when you buy a home, of course, and the challenge of saving for it is still daunting for most first time buyers.

Fortunately, serious saving doesn’t have to mean staying in every night. And it doesn’t have to mean shivering through winter evenings with the heating off to save a few extra pennies.

Once you get into the habit of saving regularly, it’ll stop being a chore. You won’t even notice you’re doing it.

The UK property market in 2018 - what does the future hold?

property
  • Investors to focus on commercial instead of residential opportunities
  • Properties of the World opening new estate agency as part of future-proofing strategy
  • High returns and capital growth will remain key when it comes to favoured investments

2018 will be a key year for the UK property market. In the run-up to Brexit in March 2019, much focus will be on what property prices are doing and why. Alongside the economic impact of the Brexit process, prohibitive levels of stamp duty have dragged the property market in 2017. This has led to a drop in the number of buyers purchasing residential buy to let apartments this year, according to innovative property investment company Properties of the World.

Hampden Hall

Hampden Hall

Hightown Homes has 2 & 3 bedroom houses available for shared ownership in the pretty village of Weston Turville, Buckinghamshire.

Hampden Hall is located within the village of Weston Turville in the Chilterns, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Nearby Aylesbury provides excellent amenities and convenient transport links to London.

REVEALED: The facts none of us know about property

Think you have a better knowledge of the housing market than 11-year olds? Think again.

  • Younger generation were tested on their knowledge of the housing market
  • Confusion around stamp duty and what a cul-de-sac is
  • Two year-seven students, a uni student and a young adult were quizzed
  • Further details can be viewed here, video embed codes in ‘Further Information’ at end of release

 

Members of the public were pushed to their limits when questioned about different aspects of the UK housing market.

 

4 common home insurance claims and how to prevent them

insurance

In this article, Wasim Bux from home and car insurance provider iGO4, investigates four common home insurance claims and how you can prevent them to keep your premiums affordable.

Having good home and contents insurance policies is essential for almost every homeowner, as they can help you cover the potentially high costs of major repairs to your home. However, each time you claim, the premiums you need to pay are likely to go up. This means that, if your home suffers from regular problems, you could end up shelling out more and more.

L&Q Launches Shared Ownership Quarter in London’s Most Affordable Borough

Shared Ownership

Over 200 of the most affordable homes in London are being delivered in Barking, as part of on-going regeneration in the area. The 221 shared ownership homes at Weavers Quarter in Barking are the first of some 1575 new homes that will be available on the site of the former Gascoigne Estate, which is being transformed into a stunning new development complete with two schools, new high quality public open space and a new community centre.

 

The first phase of Shared Ownership homes comprises 50 one, two and three-bedroom apartments and duplexes, launched recently, are available to those who live or work in the borough of Barking and Dagenham, recently listed as one of the most affordable boroughs in London*.

Markham & George property limited new venture

 property

Firmly established in the housing and construction industry in their own rights, East Anglia based construction supplier, Mick George Ltd, and house builder, Campbell Buchanan, are about to embark on an exciting new venture with the launch of Markham & George Property Limited.

The brand new, separate trading company further signals both businesses’ intent to continue their progressive growth within their respective industries.

British homeowners look but don't touch

British homeowners
  • British homeowners are styling their homes for social media likes
  • 88% of homeowners inspired by social media to style their home
  • Nottingham residents are the most house-proud Brits

BRITISH homeowners are forgoing a lived-in home in a bid to style their house for an increased social media following, according to new research.

A survey of 1,000 UK adults by DiscountFlooringDepot.co.uk has revealed that 62% of British homeowners would prefer their house to look like a show home rather than a homely comfortable look.

88% of Brits are inspired by social media to style their home to perfect show home standards rather than opting for a more comfortable lived in home.

Maintaining a modern development’s security, without detriment to its design.

 security, without detriment to its design

London is a metropolis filled with a limitless collection of buildings reflecting our treasured, age-old culture. From Buckingham Palace to traditional British pubs and iconic Victorian town houses, our capital is steeped in historic architecture and boasts charm from all angles. However, as the city becomes increasingly cosmopolitan and adapts to the urban preferences of a modernised society, newly erected buildings appear to demonstrate more chic, crisp and savvy design; reflecting our re-found willingness to push boundaries and exceed aesthetic expectations.

 

Average Brit spends £10,000 on upgrades in the first five years of living in a new property

property
  • Homeowners spend £10,743 on updating their property within the first five years
  • Replacing floors and windows sets buyers back over £1,000
  • Over £2,000 is spent on basic furniture

Think you’ve got your house move financially covered? Think again. New research reveals that, after the deposit, searches and solicitor fees, property buyers spend an average of £10,743 on additional, essential costs such as buying furniture and upgrading their homes within the first five years of buying.

 

Surveying over 1,000 homeowners across the UK, online retailer Furniture Choice found out just how much buyers need to fork out once they have purchased their property.

 

Garden villages and growing outdoor trends

Garden villages

This year has been big for the housing market, with the government backing 14 new garden villages to create a potential 50,000 extra homes at the start of 2017. But what are garden villages and what changes can we expect to see when they’re finished? 

To find out more, Arbordeck — a leading supplier of composite decking boards — explores these new housing projects, their regional implications and how they might cause a shift in gardening trends.

Staying sustainable as a first time home buyer

sustainable first time home buyer

Staying sustainable as a first time home buyer

After the government announced key changes last week in the budget which will aid in cutting air pollution by raising diesel tax and investing in electrical cars rather than un-sustainable fuel alternatives, it’s clear that more people are waking up to the reality that sustainability is important. Not only is it something that the government can help with, it’s something we should all be investing in. 

 

The rise in micro-homes the size of a London Tube carriage

Jason Harris-Cohen, micro-homes

The rise in micro-homes - It is no great revelation that London is too expensive for many first-time buyers (FTBs), with the average home costing more than £480,000, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for September 2017. The Government recently announced that it has scrapped the stamp duty on all first-time house purchases of up to £300,000, and in London and other expensive areas, the first £300,000 of the cost of a £500,000 property by FTBs will be exempt from the tax. While this goes some way to “reviving the dream of homeownership”, as the Chancellor said during the Autumn Budget 2017, the fact remains that house prices are just too high compared to wages for most young people.

First time buyers in Bristol welcome Stamp Duty scrapping

First time buyers in Bristol

First time buyers in Bristol will likely be celebrating this week as the Chancellor has scrapped stamp duty taxes for first timers on properties up to the value of £300,000 in the Autumn Budget. 

Those buying properties up to the value of £500,000 will also benefit from the tax break on the first £300,000 of their purchase. This will save those buying their first home thousands of pounds and means that 80 per cent of first time buyers will now not face any stamp duty charges at all. 

Local house builder Barratt Homes welcomes the stamp duty break and is encouraging local first time buyers to make the most of the tax break at its developments in Bristol. 

Barratt unveils impressive new homes at Redwood Heights

new homes Redwood Heights

The region’s choice of new homes is about to become even more exciting - thanks to a much-anticipated development in the Plympton suburb of Plymouth from Barratt.

Redwood Heights is officially opening its doors to potential buyers on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 November - and the team there is thrilled to be introducing visitors to the selection of impressive two, three and four bedroom homes.

Help to Buy hits high notes across the nation

Help to Buy hits high notes across the nation

In March 2013, the government launched its Help to Buy initiative to open the door to affordable home ownership for people right across the nation. 

Help to Buy is a scheme that is transforming the housing sector, as people priced out of the open market are being given the opportunity to pick up the keys to their very own home. 

The scheme offers buyers a five per cent deposit - half as much as the traditional 10% - meaning people stuck in the rental rat run are finally able to put enough money aside to get the ball rolling. 

Affordable home ownership: Take the Plunge

Affordable home ownership: Take the Plunge

The journey to home ownership is undoubtedly a daunting one, but compared to popular adrenaline thrills such as bungee jumping or sky-diving, it really is just a walk in the park. Homefocus writer Jeffrey Gritzman takes a look at how scary owning your own home really is.

Bungee jumping…now that takes courage

Young people are funny; it’s amazing how many of them have been back-packing which takes organisation and confidence, or horse riding which takes skill and courage, some have even been bungee jumping where you place your heart in your mouth and keep it there till the bouncing is over. Tell someone you’re thinking about a bungee jump and they’ll likely tell you that they, or a good friend of theirs has done it too. So no big deal then?

Stamp duty announcement a "positive step" for first time buyers

 Stamp Duty announcement is a "positive step" for first time buyers

Eight out of ten first time buyers are set to pay no stamp duty at all after the chancellor outlined key changes in his Autumn Budget.

Philip Hammond’s announcement has been met with mixed responses from industry experts over his plans to axe stamp duty for first time buyers on properties up the value of £300,000. For properties up to the value of £500,000, no stamp duty will be paid on the first £300,000

Before the announcement, first-time buyers would be expected to fork out thousands of pounds in tax, but chancellor Philip Hammond has said the new initiative will see 95% of first time buyers seeing a significant reduction, with 80% paying nothing at all.

How to get your home guest-ready this christmas season

 christmas season

‘DECK YOUR HALLS’ WITH THESE BUDGET IMPROVEMENTS

Christmas is just around the corner.  You know what that means - soon you’ll be opening your doors to guests bearing gifts, food and drink. If there are bits of your home you’re not keen to show off, but you can’t splash out on pricey improvements, consider these affordable and easy overhauls to transform your living space and get your home guest-ready for Christmas.

 

Border tile

Japanese knotweed – what you need to know when looking for your new home:

Japanese knotweed

The words Japanese knotweed spark fear into property owners across the UK with stories about the cost of eradication, the damage it can do to buildings, driveways and gardens and the threat of being awarded an ASBO should you allow the invasive weed to grow onto your neighbours’ land. 

 

There is now thought to be an infestation of this invasive weed every few km in the UK but with particularly large pockets of difficult to treat growth in built up areas such as London, Cardiff and other major UK cities.

 

London – home to “Money Mutes” - People in the North far more likely to talk finance with friends

People in the North of England are far more comfortable talking about money with friends than their counterparts in the capital.

 

Yorkshire is the region with the lowest proportion of “Money Mutes” with 14% of people uncomfortable conversing about cash, followed by 16% of people in the North West and 17% in the North East.

 

The findings of the study by the free, online mortgage broker Habito, released to coincide with Financial Capability Week, show that Londoners are the least comfortable talking about money, with a quarter of people in the capital revealing that it’s their least favoured topic of conversation with friends.

 

There’s a clear North-South divide with the South East (24%) and the Midlands (23%) not far behind.