Neos Smart Cam review: Keeping an eye on your new home with smart CCTV

Neos Smart Cam CCTV - the camera

Editor Victoria Galligan reviews the Neos SmartCam, an affordable CCTV gadget which can provide you with real peace of mind in your new home.

If you’re planning on buying your first home, or a new home, then understandably you’re going to worry about it when you’re not there. 

However, a full CCTV system can be expensive and may not be an option if budgets are tight. So I checked out one of the cheaper CCTV products on the market, which is an ideal starter product for your home security needs.

A great little gadget which sits indoors, the Neos SmartCam has a magnet and adjustable stand – it needs to be plugged in, so bear this in mind when you consider a suitable location. The higher the better, to avoid being tampered with.

3 simple garden makeover tips

A gas BBQ is a great addition to any garden makeover

The rise of entertaining at home is apparent in the UK. Therefore, there’s a need to keep your garden space clean and tidy at all times. Admittedly, we aren’t all experts and we can often neglect our spaces during the colder months. In fact, the British public are wasting up to £672 million each year as we don’t know how to best look after our garden space. Here, with plenty of time to make sure you have your space in the best condition for the warmer climes, we look at how best to approach a garden makeover.

Create your own green wall of foliage and flowers anywhere in your home

Create your own green wall of foliage and flowers anywhere in your home

Bringing nature into your home with a green wall of your favourite indoor plants where ever you want it, and with minimal maintenance, can be achieved with the new LECHUZA Green Wall Home Kit Glossy collection.

The CUBE Glossy self-watering planters are available in white, scarlet red and charcoal colours, all in a high-gloss finish.  Each CUBE has its own removable planter liner, water level indicator and wick.  The sets include three CUBE planters, three brackets and one wall bar. The lightweight metal bar provides a secure hold for the entire contents: the planters, plant and water on any wall.

Smart Technology In The Home

Smart Technology In The Home

Smart technology seems to be common place in most homes, but what should I think about to ensure my investment doesn’t go out of date?

“In recent years, technology has been developing at a rapid pace; as soon as the latest product is on the market, the next version is already being talked about. Whilst this is part of the excitement of innovation, it can also feel like we need to keep replacing our gadgets, if we want to ‘keep up’.

“When it comes to the home, there are some simple things to take into consideration to ensure your investment stands the test of time. 

Winter is coming! Seven simple tips to winter-proof your home and save money

Seven simple tips to proof your home for winter

The last British winter was one of the coldest on record. With the days now getting shorter and the nights getting colder, Hitachi Personal Finance has put together a list of seven simple tips which means you can protect and prepare your home for winter, saving money while you’re at it.

Insulate your home

How to Save Energy in Your Home This Winter

Energy saving homes

British Gas recently announced they’re increasing their prices by 4%, and with winter fast approaching, homes across the UK will soon be turning on their heating to battle the cold.  While this increase in gas and electricity usage leads to larger bills in the winter, there are ways in which you can save energy (and in turn, money). Here, home experts Birlea outline 10 small ways you can save energy in your home this winter, which will help to reduce those dreaded bills.

Invest in a Smart Thermostat

Get festive with Bloc Blinds unique swappable Christmas blinds

Festive Blinds

For those looking for an interesting way to accessorise their home this year, why not opt for one of Bloc Blinds special swappable roller blind systems? This clever invention has elevated the humble roller blind to the latest way to keep up with trends and key calendar dates as the company’s unique Fabric Changer system empowers homeowners everywhere to be bang-up-to-date by simply hooking-on and hooking-off patterns in line with the season.

Room to judge: The first impressions guests have of your home

Home in daylight

When we welcome guests into our home, we hope they walk away talking about how lovely it is. But when it comes to spending our hard-earned cash on home improvements, are we focusing on the right things?

New research from Hitachi Personal Finance reveals the areas that people first notice when visiting someone's home compared to our top property priorities, plus the experts have given their tips on the best changes to make to improve those all-important first impressions.

The ultimate velvet statement in your home

Velvet sofa in living room

As we’re in the middle of autumn and the cold snap has hit, now is the perfect time to make your home comforting and cosy and what better fabric to include than an opulent velvet?

Velvet is a style that is not going anywhere but it is a worry for families up and down the country that its perfect finish will be spoilt by an unsightly stain. Aquaclean, the stain resistant sofa fabric, is here to help with its gorgeous ‘Harriet’ fabric range that is the first stain-proof velvet ever.

How to be eco-friendly and save money around the home

Eco-friendly solar panels on roof of a house

Creating an eco-friendly home can be as good for your wallet as it is for the environment. Nowadays it can be a  struggle to know what the best solutions are, but The Lighting Superstore has plenty of tips you can do inside your home to boost its eco-friendly credentials while saving you money.


Insulating your home not only reduces heat loss. It creates a more stable temperature eliminating hot and cold spikes and can mean significant savings on your household bills.

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

Impressive Home Improvements

Impressive Home Improvements

Investing in home improvements? These are the things that impress your neighbours the most

Owning a wine cellar is seen as the biggest indicator of success in the home 

Brits aspire to own a walk-in wardrobe more than any other household item or feature 

A double garage and real-wood flooring are also seen as ‘status symbols’ 

A recent study of 2,000 UK adults by Hitachi Personal Finance, reveals the home features that Britons most associate with being successful, as well as the ones we most aspire to own ourselves. 

The household items and features that were seen to hold the most status are: 

Walk in wardrobe (29%)

A log burner (22%) 

A Smart TV (21%)

Choosing the right water area: first time buyers guide

Choosing the right water area for your home: first time buyers guide

First time home-buyers have a lot to think about when it comes to choosing a new home. There’s the property itself, price bracket, size and history, not to mention the geographical location and all the implications of that. Is the home in a nice area, what are the crime statistics, how close is it to transport links and schools, where’s the nearest chip shop? However there are other things that play a part that often go overlooked. One of these factors is whether or not the new home is in a hard water or a soft water area. Many people don’t realise there’s even a difference until they’ve lived there for some time and start to notice the negative effects of living in a hard water area. Some people don’t even realise these negative implications are happening because of their hard water.

Julia Kendell, The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show 

The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show 

Julia Kendell, BBC’s ‘DIY SOS’ show guest designer and spokesperson for The National Homebuilding & Renovating Show (22-25 March, NEC, Birmingham), looks into the 2018 trends for all areas of your home.

Interior design trends 2018 from Julia Kendell


“The focus for the year ahead will be on functionality in the bedroom. For those who want to create more open space, it’s best to consider taking your clothing and storage out of this room to ensure a calm and relaxing place to relax and sleep. Consider converting an underused spare bedroom into a walk-in wardrobe.”

Family Feuds Over The Home

Family Feuds Over The Home
-      66% of Brits have disagreements over things in the home
-      Washing up took the top spot as the number one cause of arguments

FOR BRITS living with family, friends or a partner, new research has revealed the top bugbears that cause them to bicker.

A survey of 1,021 UK adults carried out by leading household appliances retailer, AppliancesDirect.co.uk,revealed that 66% of Brits admit to having disagreements over the household with their cohabitants.

61% of respondents claim that disputes occur in the home between one another at least once a week.

The washing up took the top spot as the thing that causes the most arguments in the home, with more than half of the votes (52%).

Top Tips For Home Buyers

Top Tips For Home Buyers


Be sure to check where your main supplies are located in your home and where your shut-off valves are, so in the case of an emergency you know where your first line of defence is so you’re not looking for them in a panic. It’s also important to make sure all water pipes that may be exposed to frost are sufficiently insulated, or take preventative steps to ensure you don’t experience burst pipes during the colder months. It’s also important to make sure you know where the stopcock is in case a pipe does burst.