Author: Julian Bethell

welcome back dan!

Today we say a warm welcome back to Dan Biddle who joins us in The Heatons office as Lettings Manager. Dan started his career here with us in Heaton Moor, 7 and a half years ago in fact and we are delighted to have him back with us.

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Top tips for your bathroom

It’s been a long day at work and you’re a little stressed; what better than a relaxing, hot bath to unwind and loosen up? Bathrooms have become sanctuaries in our homes in recent years, with innovative design and outstanding comfort at the heart of all good bathrooms. If you’re thinking of updating your bathroom, then we have some handy hints and tips to help you create a space to relax in.

Small bathroom ideas
A clawfoot tub in the centre of a decadent room is the dream for many of us, but the reality is that any well-designed bathroom should consider space and practicality at its core. If you have a smaller bathroom, or a room that is an awkward shape, then embrace the space and look for solutions, not problems! High storage allows you to make the most of the room, and naturally draws the eye upwards giving the feeling of taller spaces. If storage is paramount, then think about utilising the space under your bath – all you need is an opening bath panel that you can close and open when needed. To give the illusion of more space, include plenty of mirrors in your bathroom, as well as objects with mirrored or shiny surfaces – this will reflect the light around the room keeping it bright and airy. 

Bath or shower?
Everybody has a preference for either a bath or shower, it is all down to personal inclination. If you’re feeling radical, however, then skip the bath altogether and go for a luxury shower in your bathroom – if you use glass screens then the space that this creates will give a real feeling of luxury. Exaggerated shower head sizes, and multiple shower heads will enhance this feeling of spa decadence, and the notion of bathtubs will long be forgotten. 

A floor can make or break a bathroom in terms of the style stakes so the smallest of changes to your floor coverings can have a big impact. If you’re lucky enough to have quality floorboards in your bathroom then make the most of them by sanding them back and painting them – the rustic aesthetic is timeless and easy to maintain. A classic white paint will keep the bathroom crisp, but experimenting with other colours (especially pastels) will also add some interest to the room. Tiling your bathroom floor is a preferable option due to the longevity of the finish, and despite recent trends towards ornate tiling and Moroccan influences, we would recommend a neutral tile for bathroom floors which can be accented with painted walls and accessories. 

The small stuff
The smallest details can have the biggest impact in our bathrooms – matching accessories around the room give a cohesive feel to the room, from soap dispensers to toothbrush holders…they can all make a difference. Keeping the walls and floorings fairly neutral in the bathroom are always a good idea as they are then easy to maintain and, most importantly, look clean and fresh in a space where cleanliness is next to godliness. Don’t worry about creating a bland space, however; you can add colour and interest through your bathroom accessories – these can be much more bold in design in order to add pops of colour around the room.

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5 Top Tips For Your Kitchen

Whilst the living room is usually considered ‘the heart of any home’ in most UK households, the kitchen plays a much more central role in day-to-day family life. Follow these simple guidelines to achieve kitchen bliss!

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We raised £2054 for Norris Bank Primary School

We are excited to share over the past 2 years we have been raising money, through sale of properties around the local area, for Norris Bank Primary School for them to put towards a projector. We managed to raise £2054!

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  • Close to one in three home hunters know the specific house or street they want to live in before starting a property search, according to new research by Zoopla
  • Londoners are most likely to have a definite idea of location, virtually half (48%) have a specific street or house in mind. This compares to less than one in five across Wales and the South West
  • If it’s not a specific street, then it’s most likely house hunters have an idea of what town they have in mind. A third of house hunters across the East of England, East Midlands, South East and Wales know which town or town(s) are of interest
  • With just one in sixteen prospective home hunters having no clue as to their location of choice, as an agent, knowing the ins and outs of your local area is critical
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  • Despite tax revenue from residential property seeing its usual annual rise between July and September, total tax revenue in the first nine months of 2018 across England and Wales was 9.5% lower than a year ago, according to the latest data published this week by HMRC and the Welsh Government.
  • It is estimated that £6.3 billion has been netted by HMRC and the Welsh Government between January and September, a fall of £662 million compared to the same period in 2017.
  • The number of properties liable for the 3% Higher Rate of Additional Dwelling (HRAD) levy fell over 5% in this period. The amount collected from the HRAD 3% element was down £243 million, the equivalent of 14.3%, to £1.24 billion.
  • Since its introduction in the 2017 Autumn Budget, the government has also ‘lost’ £427 million, owing to the introduction of first-time buyer tax relief which has benefitted over 180,000 first-time buyers. That number will rise thanks to the backdating of the scheme for first-time buyers purchasing shared ownership properties, as announced this autumn. On average, first-time buyers account for just over one fifth of residential property purchases each quarter.
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  • There are many factors that influence our quality of life and well-being. In 2010, the ONS started the ‘Measuring National Well-being’ (MNW) programme in order to have a standardised monitor of well-being. The latest bulletin was published on 28th November 2018.
  • At a national level, previous research has shown that how people view their health is the most important factor, followed by employment status and relationship status. At a local level, a wide range of local conditions can affect people’s well-being, with housing affordability a key issue. In particular where local house prices are too high relative to incomes, thereby preventing prospective buyers from getting on to the housing ladder and they subsequently remain in rented accommodation.
  • Comparing June 2017 with June 2018 there were no significant changes to personal well-being measures (life satisfaction, feeling that things done in life are worthwhile, happiness and anxiety) in the UK, or indeed across any of its countries. Also, fewer people reported low happiness ratings and more people reported very low anxiety ratings.
  • The positive changes in well-being across the UK may be influenced by the improvement in economic indicators during the 12 months, such as the unemployment rate which was at its lowest level between April and June 2018 since the period from December 1974 to February 1975, at 4%. Also, average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain increased by 2.7%, in nominal terms, compared with a year earlier. However, in June 2018, the rate of annual house price growth was also at its lowest level since August 2013, at 3%.
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  • A quick analysis of sales volumes to date in 2018 indicates that in areas where sales have increased compared to the same period last year, on average virtually half of all properties have access to ultra-fast broadband, with an average download speed of 46.4mbps.
  • In contrast, in those areas where sales have fallen, just under one third of properties have access to ultra-fast broadband and the average download speed is slightly lower at just 42.9mbps.
  • While broadband coverage and speed may well not be the most important factors in choosing which home to buy, their impact on daily life is ever increasing. 89% of adults now use the internet each week, up from just 51% in 2006 (ONS), and a rising proportion of the population works from home for at least part of the week.
  • Upgrade to Inform’s new local demographic pages for analysis of connectivity in your area and check our blog to find out more.
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  • A drop of more than a third of the average sole agency fee for a traditional estate agent in the UK, to 1.18% (plus VAT), since 2011 makes it among the cheapest prime location for agent fees in the world.
  • Of the places analysed, only China and Hong Kong had lower seller-side fees at 0.5% and 1.0% respectively. Other countries with significantly higher seller fees including Mexico (7.5%), the USA (5.5%) and France (5%).
  • The UK comes out as the cheapest location to buy in terms of estate agent fees when you consider the combined buying and selling commission fees (assuming no buying agent is used).
  • A survey carried out by TheAdvisory of over 2,000 property sellers in England and Wales, which was reported by Prime Resi, also identified that 95% chose a traditional agent over a new online and hybrid agencies (often with ‘no sale no fee’) to sell their home.
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