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.

ENSURE CHRISTMAS GETS OFF WITHOUT A HINCH THIS FESTIVE SEASON

Ensure a clean Christmas

Who would have thought that the biggest trend for A/W18 would be cleaning the house and sharing tips all over Instagram? The social media style of Mrs Hinch has captured our hearts and inspired the nation to ensure they spruce up their homes in time for everyone’s favourite holiday – Christmas. 

 

Taking inspiration from the “Hinching” trend, Kobold shares its favourite fast cleaning hacks to help customers ensure that Christmas goes without, well... a Hinch! 

 

Don’t skip out on your skirting boards

How to create the perfect kitchen in your forever home

Create the perfect kitchen

Far from being the hidden-away workspaces that they once were, modern kitchens are, in many ways, the hub of the home. These days, we spend a lot of time in our kitchens, and only a small fraction of that is actually used for cooking, so you'll want yours to look perfect. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to designing your kitchen, but we're going to walk you through the steps you should consider if you want to create a space that resonates with you.

It all starts with a plan

Top Tips To Get Your Home Sparkling Clean This Christmas

Jeyes Christmas Cleaning Products

With family and friends coming to visit you throughout the festive season, it’s your time to shine and show off your lovely home. For most of us, the Christmas décor inside usually goes up 12 days before Christmas day. But before the star goes up on your tree, it’s time to think about making the outside of your house as festive and as sparkly clean as possible. 

After digging out the Christmas lights and untangling them for what seems like forever, you don’t want the magical aesthetic you’ve worked so hard for to be ruined by a dirty drive being lit up for everyone to see.

Housebuilder Achieves 100% Recommendation At Marston Fields

Marston Fields

The customer care team at Barratt Homes North Thames is celebrating positive feedback from their customers at the Marston Fields development in Marston Moretaine in the latest customer survey. 

The development has been given a maximum 100% recommendation score from its customers, meaning everyone who entered the survey would recommend the homes to their friends.

The customer service team work hard to ensure that moving into a Barratt home is a positive experience and dedicate their time to guaranteeing everyone is completely happy with their new home. 

Help to Buy explained by mortgage experts Rhodes Advisory

Rhodes Advisory founder Lee Rhodes

Lee Rhodes is a mortgage and insurance advisor and the founder of Rhodes Advisory. With over 13 years of experience in financial services, he has this year helped clients raise over £7m in mortgages. Here, he has some advice about Help to Buy for first time buyers…

Getting on the property ladder isn’t easy these days, especially for first time buyers with fairly small deposits or those who do not have any or much equity built up in property that can be used as a deposit for an onward purchase. The good news is that the UK government are keen on stimulating the housing market and want to help people get that foot onto or up the ladder.

3 on-trend bathroom styles for 2019

Industrial Bathroom

Will 2019 be the year you finally get round to renovating your bathroom? Perhaps you have a cloakroom that needs a little TLC or an ensuite that is looking hopelessly out of date?

When you start out on your bathroom planning journey, it can often be difficult to see the wood for the trees. There are so many ways in which you can gain inspiration, from online sources such as Pinterest, to home interest magazines. It can often be hard to figure out just what kind of look you want to achieve.

The good news is, help is at hand. In this blog post, we’ll be taking a look at three contemporary but very different bathroom styles, to help you easily achieve that on-trend bathroom you’ve been dreaming of.

Winter saviours for the home

Saviours for the home

After a long and often strenuous day at work, the safe and cosy haven that is home, is the most appealing and welcoming atmosphere, especially in the winter months. The cold and frosty weather is not only here, but here for the long haul, and with that, so is the tendency to want to stay inside for as long as is humanly possible. Ensuring that your space is as cosy and heat effective as possible is paramount, with that here are the absolute must have items for the home, that will quickly become your winter saviours: 

Heated Towel Rails

Invest in Manchester for returns heading North

Manchester skyline

Manchester, once famous for flat caps and post-industrial decline, has in recent decades reinvented itself. Home to two of the greatest football teams on earth and a significant media and technology sector - Manchester has become Northern England's answer to London, and property values in the city reflect this.

Residential property price growth in Manchester - driven by significant public and private investment, an ongoing lack of housing supply, a significant student population and the return of city centre living - has outperformed the UK average with annual average growth of 4.2%, compared with a UK average of 2.4%.

Half of home movers move less than 10 miles

New build home

The latest research released by home moving company AnyVan.com highlights that half of home movers move less than 10 miles.  

Insight from AnyVan.com analyzed over 18,000 home removal jobs and shows 48% of property moves are less than 10 miles from their current home with just over a quarter of moves (27%) less than 5 miles.  62% of all moves are less than 20 miles with 57% less than 15 miles. The data also gave interesting insight into those moving bigger distances with moves over 20 miles at 38% and 50 miles at 25%.

Discover the benefits of buying off plan at Stanton Meadows

Stanton Meadows

Leicestershire property seekers are being encouraged to discover the benefits of buying a gorgeous new home off plan at Westleigh’s in-demand Stanton Meadows development. 

The initial few properties at the collection of stunning three and four-bedroom homes in the village of Stanton under Bardon have recently been released for sale and are already generating plenty of interest among quick-off-the-mark buyers. 

Now, Westleigh is encouraging even more people to consider joining existing buyers in reserving a home off plan at the development.                  

Homebuilder Enlists Santa's Little Helper To Warn Children About Elf n' Safety

Santa's Little Helper Warns Children About Elf n' Safety

As the Christmas holidays approach, leading developer Barratt and David Wilson Homes has enlisted one of Santa’s little helpers to send out an important message encouraging children to think about elf n’ safety.

Busy Barratt and David Wilson Homes staff are working on new developments across Bedfordshire, many of which have families with children living nearby. With schools closed over Christmas, children are being told to stay away from building sites as they can be bad for their ‘elf’.

Popular Luton Development Willow Grove Successfully Sold Out

Luton Development, Willow Grove

David Wilson Homes’ Luton development Willow Grove has successfully sold out due to popular demand.  David Wilson Homes North Thames' new homes at Willow Grove in Luton

The sought-after development, located on Clinton Avenue, features a collection of three, four and five bedroom homes that tailors to the needs of a range of different buyers. 

Willow Grove is a beautiful development located in Stopsley that is perfectly situated for the best of both town and country living. The centre of Luton is just a few miles away with all the amenities needed for modern lifestyles, while the open parklands of Barton Hills National Nature Reserve are a short drive away.

'Tis The Season For Scrubbing and Tidying

Woman cleaning & tidying house

New research reveals 63% of UK consumers admit they miss out on family time because they begin tidying the house at least a week before the big day, with 37% tidying between 10 and 18 days in advance of Christmas Day

It’s the season to be jolly, but the stress experienced in the lead up to having the ‘perfect’ Christmas can leave many UK families feeling more frazzled than festive. New research from leading kitchen roll brand Regina has uncovered that well over half of those surveyed (69%) admit they do at least twice the amount of housework than normal just to please visiting guests at Christmas.

Mrs Hinch v. The #GrinchArmy in the battle for a greener Christmas

Mother & daughter cleaning up for Christmas

If the popularity of online sensation Mrs Hinch is anything to go by, cleaning could fast become the nation’s favourite pastime. And with Christmas coming up, now is the perfect time to get scrubbing for a sparking home this season.

But as it’s also the period for peace on Earth, ethical cleaning company Bio-D has produced a list of eco-friendly tips to prepare for the festivities and be kind to the environment at the same time.

They’ve teamed-up with interior influencers to inspire their own Hinch-style army, dubbed the ‘#GrinchArmy’ to reflect their green credentials.

Lloyd Atkin, Managing Director of Bio-D, said: “At Bio-D, we believe a clean home shouldn’t cost the Earth in any sense.

How to get the best mortgage

Applying for a mortgage - front doors

Ruban Selvanayagam and James Durr are founders of Property Solvers, a quick house buying company and express estate agency operating across the UK. Here, they offer advice on honing your mortgage application skills… 

How do you know if the mortgage you're about to secure is the cheapest available? 

With 100's lenders to choose from, all with different rates and terms, trying to find the best mortgage can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. 

Below are some quick tips on finding a good deal as a first-time buyer...

Install and control your home security the ‘smart’ way

Install and control your home security the ‘smart’ way

We’re now well and truly in the run up to Christmas, and odds are you’re planning a trip away and more nights out at festive parties. 

With the ONS reporting a rise in burglary related offences to over 666,000 this year, it’s incredibly important that you’re also thinking about how to keep your home safe while you’re out enjoying the festive period. 

Thousands Use Help To Buy In Bedfordshire To Buy New Homes

Bedfordshire Help To Buy New Homes

A government initiative is helping thousands of families in Bedfordshire to get on to the housing ladder. New figures released by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) reveal that a total of 4,707 homebuyers in the county used the Help to Buy scheme since it was launched five years ago.

Within the county, the districts which made the best use of the scheme were Bedford (2,000) and Central Bedfordshire (2,419). 

Tadpole Garden Village, from £252,000 for 80%

Tadpole Garden Village home

David Wilson Homes has opened the doors to a brand-new show home at its popular development in Swindon. Park Viewat Tadpole Garden Village is the latest phase of the five-star housebuilder’s development in Swindon and features a range of three, four and five bedroom homes off William Morris Way.

Now potential residents have the chance to explore a new show home in the form of the Leighfield style home.

Central Heating – Controlled Properly Can Save You Money and Improve Your Health 

Cat lying on a central heating controlled radiator

It’s that time of year again. The months are getting considerably colder as we plough through autumn and winter is just around the corner. Candles and warm lighting are no longer fooling us into believing it’s warmer than it is, meaning that more and more of us are reaching towards the thermostat to indulge in a bath of warm air. However, we ought to be careful how soon and how often we’re reaching for our heating systems. Indeed, professionals advise the general public to be restrictive with their heating to prevent inflicting health related issues on themselves and costly energy bills.

Three Story Properties To Please The Whole Family In Milton Keynes

Children's room in Milton Keynes

Leading Buckinghamshire developer David Wilson Homes South Midlands has revealed how its three storey properties at Eagles’ Rest, Milton Keynes are able to accommodate the whole family, keeping everyone happy in a move to a new home.

Providing generous living spaces for family members of all ages, the Fen Street development has a magnificent selection of three storey homes available. Eager house hunters in Milton Keynes are being encouraged to consider the benefits of three storey living.

Jason Hearn, Sales Director at David Wilson Homes South Midlands, said: “The three storey properties at our Eagle’s Rest development have been expertly designed to meet the demands of modern living and are perfectly suited to accommodate growing families.

Think you’ll never afford that house deposit?

Using a piggy bank to save for a house deposit

Think you’ll never afford that house deposit? A side hustle doesn’t need to be part-time job 

The average house deposit in 2017, for first-time buyers outside of London, was £26,2241. This is up 108% in comparison to ten years ago1. With the average income of first-time buyers having only increased by almost 17% over the same period, it can often feel like an uphill struggle to save enough for a dream home in today’s world. So it’s not a surprise the average age of first-time buyers has increased too, giving longer to piggy bank those extra pounds.  But it is do-able, even if you aren’t an extreme saver like these three: