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A Gazette supplement

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bungalow brill

Stunning detached dormer – page 11


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An agent’s Owners return to old values view Justin Allitt, of Allitt Estate Agency, answers readers’ property questions

I own a tired three bedroom semi-detached house. What practical advice can you give me for presenting my property when trying to sell it? First Impressions count and you want to create some “kerb appeal”, so varnish and then place some stylish pots around the front door and get some new door handles. Sort out the garden by tidying up flower beds, trim hedges, replace fence panels and cut back any trees that block out light. You may also want to draw attention to any attractive features with outdoor lighting. Every estate agent and property developer knows that kitchens and bathrooms sell. So replace tired flooring with value for money vinyl, linoleum or laminate flooring for a smarter look. Avoid clutter at all costs, hide away any appliances. The same goes for the bathroom – get rid of cheap shampoo bottles and invest in some glamorous brands to make attractive displays. Add some stylish new taps, towel rails, power showers and cabinets, as these will add extra value. Staying neutral, in my opinion, always help sell homes. Keeping a blank canvas is best so your new buyers can start from scratch. Keep the property classic, simple and neutral. Use table lamps to create softer lighting which will enhance neutral colours. Accessorise rooms with vases and flowers to prevent neutral rooms being too “stark”. One of the most important things to do when selling a property is to keep it clean. Spruce up the house with clean and fresh scents. Litter trays, cat bowls or hamster cages should be out of view and of course ash trays are a complete no-no. BLANK CANVAS: Keep Good luck

What is “ground rent”?

decor neutral

Because leasehold is a tenancy, it's subject to a rent on the land which is paid to the freeholder. This is paid by the leaseholder in the form of ground rent. The amount of ground rent payable must always be identified in the lease. In some cases, the ground rent will be set at a specific and unchanging amount. In other instances, the lease will identify the initial ground rent and increased amounts payable after specific periods of time.

In association with Allitt Estate Agency Send your queries to Justin Allitt at 12 Wood Street, St Annes, or email stannes@allitt.co.uk

TOUGHER times brought about by the downturn are reinstating traditional values and driving people back to the hearth and home, says a survey by the County Homesearch Company. Asked to draw on their experience with clients to answer what makes a house into a home, the County Homesearch regional repre-

sentatives universally identified the qualities of security, familiarity, comfort and community above the more material aspects. Feeling safe and settled in the home ranked as the most important factor, with just under 75 per cent of respondents naming this as their top concern. Also key to that homely

feeling is being surrounded by your own furniture and taste in decoration, however old or tatty. Good neighbours and involvement in the community, has made a comeback, ranking third.. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the survey revealed trendy gadgets and wow factors such as heated swimming pools and tennis

courts were the least important for making a home. Jonathan Haward, managing director of County Homesearch, said: “The credit crunch has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and people are drawing comfort by returning to the things that really matter in life: home, family and community.”

Glints of hope for first-timers

HOPE is on the horizon for first-time buyers, accourding to leading Fylde Coast estate agent Farrell Heyworth. They say there is a glimmer of light for first-time buyers with the release of recent information regarding the property and mortgage market. Farrell Heyworth point to four major factors: 1. The proportion of first time buyers looking to put a foot on the property ladder more than doubled in the first two weeks of 2009, according to the National Association of Estate Agents, which could mean that confidence is returning in this sector of the market. 2. The release of the latest house price index by the Halifax showed a rise in house prices of 1.9 per cent in January, the first increase since February 2008. However, Nationwide reported a fall of 1.8 per cent in February, with the typical price of a house down to £147,746 and comments that sharp cuts in interest rates have helped affordability. 3. Northern Rock plans to increase its mortgage lending with up to £14bn in new loans by 2011, and could return to the 90 per cent loan-to-value market. This has been hailed as a positive step for the market by The Council of Mortgage Lenders. 4. The announcement by RBS group that they are to commit to lend a further £9bn worth of mortgages over and above planned levels during 2009 should boost liquidity and bring further price competition to the mortgage market. Whilst no one can predict what will

GLIMMER OF LIGHT: Hope for first time buyers happen next, house prices have become more affordable and the above may be signs that the market is beginning to sta-

bilise, so now may be the time for first time buyers to take the next steps to get onto the property ladder. Many first time buyers believe they cannot afford to buy – but it is realistic in today’s market that you can own a property at a similar cost to renting. If you are renting at the moment paying circa £500 per month in rent, for similar monthly payments you could buy a property worth in the region of £95,000 based on a typical first-time buyer mortgage with a 10 per cent deposit. With mortgage lenders having become more cautious and with products being introduced and withdrawn far more frequently, Farrell Heyworth say it is now more important than ever that prospective first-time buyers seek the advice of an independent mortgage broker. All customers will have different priorities that they consider when arranging a mortgage, and what is deemed important by one customer may not be by another. An independent broker will search across the market to find the most appropriate product, and will provide impartial advice based around those specific requirements, recommend the most suitable product and manage the process on behalf of the customer from application right through to completion and beyond, keeping the customer fully informed throughout. For further information, please contact Adrian Law Financial Adviser at Farrell Heyworth on 01253 720500 or visit www.mortgageadvicebureau.com/farrellheyworth

INSIDE

residential agents focus: Oystons house call

Property team

Editorial: 01253 400888 EDITOR : Steve Singleton 2244

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focus: Metcalf’s new developments focus: Plumlife focus: Baxter

SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Michelle Disley 2735

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lettings focus: Perrymann focus: Smart Move property focus

Advertising: 01253 361810

TELEPHONE SALES: Darren Stacey 2748 COPY PROCESSOR: Tracy McCormaic 2759

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POSITIVE TIMES: Oystons, Clifton Street, Blackpool (above) and director Hayley Claber (below right)

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Buyers target resort as attitudes change

“A SEA change in attitudes.” That’s the headline in The Times newspaper which focuses on Blackpool and the demand for property, in stark contrast to other daily newspapers that have been negative about the resort. The Times continues that buyers from London and the South East who might previously have sneered at Blackpool and its iconic tower are acquiring bargain property, with some making a permanent move. Kevin Allitt, managing director of Oystons said:

“We’ve seen a lot of professional couples moving up here and the people who move here from out of the area tend to be people who have been here on holiday and have loved it.” The article goes on to say that local agent Oystons are reporting that sales have doubled in February. Commenting on the article, Kevin said: “I did a telephone interview with a journalist who had never been to Blackpool and despite some misquotes and editing I managed to get across that Blackpool is a great place to

buy and live.” The article also said that there was a new readiness to accept that part of the resort’s appeal may lie in its dark mournful quality. “Quite where they got that from is beyond me,” said Kevin. “The opposite is true, it’s bright, vibrant and exciting. “We are delighted that sales are increasing and urgently need more properties to sell,” he added. ■ Due to increased sales Oystons urgently need more properties on their books.

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Spacious and stunning By JULIA BENNETT THIS stunning bungalow holds a surprise at the bottom of the garden. Not only is there plenty of space in this beautifully decorated detached dormer, there is also a granny flat at the rear of the property. As soon as you approach it, you can see it has been well cared for by the current owners with a beautifully presented green and white frontage and impressive gated driveway. The lounge, which is decorated in neutral colours, features a gas fire with marble effect back and hearth with surround. The large modern dining kitchen makes a great room for entertaining guests while cooking up a treat for them. The kitchen is fitted with tiled splash backs, spotlights, wall

DETAILS Summary: Beautifully presented detached dormer bungalow Address: Thirlmere Road, South Shore Price: ÂŁ399,950 Agent: Entwistle Green, Topping Street, Blackpool, (01253) 623511 and base units with complimentary worktops and down lights. There is also a stainless steel sink and drainer with mixer tap, electric induction hob and electric double oven and integral dishwasher.

A utility room is fitted with tiled effect flooring, tiled splash backs and worktop. It also has space for a washing machine and dryer. The downstairs bedroom boasts en suite

facilities and a dressing room with fitted wardrobes and dresser. Now up to the first floor where there are three other bedrooms, one of which features a dressing room, built-in wardrobes and seating area. There is also a three piece white suite in the family bathroom and a loft room with a velux window which creates great extra space. Now to the outside which is beautifully presented. The front garden features a brick wall with iron fence and two Tiffany style lamps, a lawned front garden with stone chipped path and brick paved driveway. The side garden also boasts a lawn area and stone chipped path while the rear garden is finished with a flagged courtyard, ideal for summer barbecues. There is access to the granny flat, which comprises a lounge featuring spotlights and WC, from the flagged courtyard.


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When home is where your heart is With over 100,000 local homes for sale, easy-to-use searches by price, postcode, even schools, plus daily updates by leading local estate agents, there’s everything you need to find the home you’ll love. Find the home you’ll love and more at

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.co.uk


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BUSINESS TEAM: Hamze Ballout, Kristy Nelson, Laura Bamforth, Sara Jane McLeish and Ashley Dribben FOUNDED over 44 years ago, and boasting the title of the longest serving independent estate agents in the Fylde, Metcalf’s is still a friendly, family-run business which thrives by treating all clients as individuals. They have however moved with the times, and offer the latest in technology. As well as advertising on site, they advertise in The Gazette and through the internet via their own constantly updated website They are members of both Homelink and the NAEA, a network of estate agents working with like-minded professionals committed to making the home move experience straightforward. Metcalf’s deal with both residential and commercial sales and also conducts sales by public auction. The advantage is that these services are all under one roof, so whether it’s your home or your business, Metcalf’s have the ability and knowledge to sell your property.

Auction Auction is now becoming an increasingly popular way to sell and also buy property, and Metcalf’s auctions attract a number of investors from across the country. So if you are feeling disheartened at the prospect of selling your property, auction could be the solution for you. Director, Hamze Ballout says: “In the current climate we are finding that auctions are the way to sell property. “Due to the credit crunch a lot of estate agents are struggling but at Metcalf’s we’re as busy as always, attracting a lot of clients who are ready and willing to buy at auction.” Despite the common misconception that all auction properties are repossessions, the entries for the next auction prove that this just isn’t true. The majority of properties they get for auction are brought in through private sale with the owners simply looking for a prompt, secure way of selling. All properties are auctionable from land to hotels, and cottages to bungalows – anything can be sold.

Complete service – under one roof Their next auction is tomorrow, Friday, March 20, at Savoy Hotel, Queens Promenade, starting at 11am. Entries are now being taken for the May auction so don’t miss the deadline, guarantee your property a place and enter before April 3.

Residential If the prospect of auction just doesn’t seem to be the way for you, how about trying Metcalf’s Estate Agency services for the sale of your home. With over 50 years’ combined experience in the business you can be sure you will receive the best service and local expertise in order to find you the right buyer at the right price. All valuations are free of charge, with no obligation. The friendly staff at the Topping Street office will be happy to provide you with advice on all aspects of the sale, as well as regular updates on how your property is doing and any changes in market trends. With a huge list of prospective buyers waiting for all types of property across the Fylde, let Metcalf’s introduce your property ... it

could be just what they are looking for.

Commercial In addition to the sale of residential property, Metcalf’s also carry much specialist expertise in the sale of commercial property and land. Whether you wish to sell as a freehold or leasehold, Metcalf’s are pleased to carry out an independent market appraisal of your business or land, and secure you a sale with some of the most competitive commission rates on the market, at just one per cent. By selling all types of property it means they don’t limit the type of investor they target, and in turn are approached by. This is highly beneficial to sellers as their property is exposed to a much larger pool of potential buyers. Metcalf’s aim to meet the individual needs of your business, and market your property accordingly. They’ve sold everything from hotels to beach huts, and always strive to get you the best price.

Management As if all this wasn’t enough Metcalf’s also provide a huge range of other services. Just one phone call can arrange all of your property requirements, and working in conjunction with an extensive collection of other local businesses means they can get you the best rates, with a prompt efficient service. Here are just a few of the services which Metcalf’s can arrange to meet your property needs: ■ HIPs Packs ■ Residential and Commercial EPC Certificates ■ Surveyors ■ Solicitors ■ Mortgage and banking advice ■ Landlords and Tenancy Advice ■ Insurance ■ Property Clearance and Removals ■ Builders and trades services All of these services are now available under one roof!


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A spruce-up for spring AS THE weather begins to take a turn for the better, NHBC, the UK's leading warranty provider for new homes, offers advice on how to give your home a thorough spring clean. Most people thing spring cleaning just means bringing out the dusters but to keep in tip-top shape your home will need a little more maintenance. Neglecting small problems can turn out to be costly so it's best to be thorough.

Inside HEATING SYSTEM - it is important that all gas boilers are serviced once a year so double check when your boiler was last seen. Contact your local gas company or a registered CORGI (Council of Registered Gas Installers) installer to give it the once over if needed.

CARPETS - make sure that carpets and rugs are secure, particularly in areas of heavy use like doorways and stairs. If carpets are loose or frayed think about replacing them. On stairs you can help prevent slips by installing stair rods. DOORS - check that they move smoothly. Gives hinges a drop of oil if they have become a bit squeaky. WOODWORK – Check the woodwork in your home - to keep it in good condition it may nee a lick of paint or a coat of varnish to keep it ready for those summer showers and thunderstorms. TAPS - are they dripping? If the answer is yes, you may need to change the old washer for a new one.

Outside THE ROOF – try to get a look at

your roof from the outside or go up into the loft. Check to see if any tiles are cracked or have slipped as these will need to be replaced. GUTTERING - moss, leaves and other debris can accumulate in gutters. Blockages can be bad news so make sure that guttering is cleared at least once a year. OUTSIDE PAINTWORK should be regularly repainted or restained to preserve the wood. New houses will first need repainting after two years – after that homes need to be repainted or stained at intervals of four to five years, more often if you live by the sea because salt and wind are damaging to paint. BOUNDARY FENCES – fencing can last for many years but its life will be extended if a weather resistant creosote treatment is applied every few years.

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www.propertytoday.co.uk STRUGGLING first time buyers in Blackpool on the Fylde Coast are about to be offered the chance to get their foot on the property ladder, thanks to shared ownership specialists Plumlife. Following on from other successful developments in the area, Plumlife is offering a selection of striking contemporary two bedroom apartments for as little as £38,500 (for a 35 per cent share) at the Ansdell Road scheme. Plumlife, part of Great Places Housing Group, specialises in low cost home ownership schemes, enabling key workers and those on family incomes of under £60,000 to take their first step on to the property ladder. The Ansdell Place development will offer a choice of two government-backed affordable homes schemes – Shared Ownership and Rent To Buy. Purchase prices start from just £38,500 for a 35 per cent share (£110,000 full purchase price), giving first time buyers a real chance of achieving their home ownership dreams. The shared ownership scheme also gives home owners the opportunity to “staircase” after 12 months, offering them the chance to buy the remaining share of the property – either in stages or in a single lump payment. For those struggling with a deposit – now a necessity in the present economic climate – the recently launched Plumlife Rent scheme is also now available. The latest government backed “try before you buy” initiative allows would-be home owners to rent their chosen property at a discounted rate for between three and five years while they save for a deposit. Rents start at just £480 pcm. Situated just a few minutes walk away from the town centre, the development consists of just 22 styl-

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First step on the ownership ladder ish two-bedroom apartments, featuring contemporary fitted kitchens and bathrooms, communal landscaped gardens and off road parking. Balconies are available on selected apartments. This latest Plumlife development follows other successful low cost homes schemes on the Fylde Coast including The Rock Works, situated on the site of a former rock works on Carlton Road in St Annes. For a sneak preview of Ansdell Place, Plumlife is holding a Preview Open Day tomorrow, between 11am4pm. The show home launch event will take place on Saturday, March 21, between 11am-4pm. Subsequent open days will continue every Saturday, with viewing appointments during week days available on request. For more information on Ansdell Place, or any of Plumlife’s low cost homeownership packages, please contact Plumlife on 0161 447 5050 or visit www.plumlife.co.uk For more information call Sarah Parmenter on 07976 584269 or 0161 447 5131 or email sarah.parmenter@ greatplaces.org.uk

STRIKING APARTMENTS: The Ansdell Road shared ownership scheme


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Loan boost for buyers

MILLER Homes has announced that one of the first developments in the North West to offer the Government-backed Homebuy Direct scheme will be Willow Fields in Wesham. The Government-led low cost home ownership initiative, Homebuy Direct [HBD] is run in partnership with Miller Homes on selected developments. It is offered to households with an income of less than £60,000 and aimed at providing wide access to home ownership. The scheme is open to; first time buyers, key workers and people re-entering the property market after a relationship breakdown or families living in overcrowded accommodation. It will help more people who have found it almost impossible to get a foot on the property ladder, due to the tightening of mortgage lending or because they cannot raise a deposit. To assist home buyers, Miller Homes has made selected

Blakemere two-bedroom apartments (above) and Darwin threebed family homes on the development, available through the HBD scheme. Using HBD you can own and move-in to a Blakemere for as little as £65,065 now, the normal price is £92,950 and a Darwin for £111,965, normal price is £159,950. As well as taking advantage of the HBD initiative, buyers of the

Blakemere or Darwin will also get a beautiful new home. Under the HBD initiative, homebuyers can pay a minimum of 70 per cent of the value now, with Miller Homes and the Governmen funding the rest. Call in to the ‘Willow Fields’ Marketing Suite, off Derby Road, Wesham, ring 0800 840 8548, email: willowfields@miller.co.uk or visit www.millerhomes.co.uk

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Stress-free way to let

PERRYMANN Residential Lettings are a specialist lettings and management company covering the North West, the South of England, and beyond. They are here to make letting or renting property a straightforward, stress-free process. One of the great things about choosing Perrymann is that they are independent property managers – their only vested interest is in giving you the high quality letting service you demand. Perrymann work for landlords based in both the UK and overseas, so they know all about taking responsibility for your property in a way that really does deliver peace of mind. At Perrymann they don’t believe in jargon or complicating things; they always work with transparency so you always know where you stand. That’s what has earned them a solid reputation for specialist management service which is truly tailored to your needs. It’s also why they have an extensive property portfolio that covers Lancashire, London, Sussex and Suffolk. And as you’d expect, they have ARLA trained staff – their industry’s best-practice standard. They are also members of the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).


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Renting’s an option IF you have to move but can’t find a buyer, becoming a landlord might be the answer! If you can’t sell your home in the current housing market there is an alternative – you could rent it out instead. Renting your property could give you a financial lifeline by helping to cover your mortgage and other household costs until the market recovers. There are plenty of reasons why people may be forced to put their home on the market despite the current property market slump. These include workers relocating jobs, families moving to a bigger house or school catchment areas, single people moving in with their partner and elderly people going into care. But this new breed of landlord has to plan carefully and do the homework.

Choosing which agent to work for you is the most important decision you will make. They will be responsible for finding the right tenant, and making sure the rent is paid along with dealing with all the correct paperwork and organising the EPC. Smart Move Letting Agents ensure your property is in safe hands, so you can relax knowing that your property is being looked after and that the correct tenant will be found. They really do take the stress out of renting your property. Since the end of last year it is now compulsory to organise an EPC (energy performance certificate) on your property. Smart Move have a fully qualified accredited assessor who is covered with professional indemnity and public liability insurance

and are able to provide FREE EPCs on all new instructions. If you just want an EPC, they are able to organise this for £69 excluding VAT. For more details on EPCs or any

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GOING PLACES: Paul Gleave managing director of Smart Move

aspects of renting please call Smart Move now on 01253 295369. They are extremely busy and need new properties for waiting tenants. Alternatively, if you are already

with a letting agent and are not happy with their services or fees please give Smart Move a call. They have big discounts available for landlords with multiple properties.


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First class location Devonshire Road North Shore

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Detached cottage

£375,000

THIS stunning detached dormer bungalow is situated in a first class residential position overlooking and having private access to North Shore Golf Course. Accomodation comprises: hallway, lounge/dining room,kitchen, utility room, bathroom, four bedrooms and en-suite shower room. At the front there is parking space for several cars, a boat or caravan. There is also a garage. The large rear garden has decking.

Oystons (01253) 622225

Parkside Cottage Stalmine

£225,000 to £250,000

THIS picturesque three bedroomed detached cottage is located in a lovely semi rural location with views over open fields. The property benefits from period features, large garden, double glazing and gas central heating. Offered by public auction (subject to conditions and unless sold previously) on Friday 20th March, 11am at The Savoy Hotel, Queens Hotel, Queens Promenade, Blackpool.

Metcalf’s (01253) 624027

Seek out a dream home Sea view flat Norkeed Court Little Bispham

Reduced to £99,950

ENJOYING views over the promenade and Irish Sea, this purpose built second floor apartment offers accomodation comprising; private entrance hall, inner hallway, lounge, fitted kitchen, two bedrooms and a bathroom. The property also benefits from double glazing and underfloor heating.There are communal garden areas and a residents/visitors parking area.

Independent (01253) 822227

Show home style Southworth Way Thornton

£249,950

A BEAUTIFULLY presented show house style detached family home with a hallway, lounge, study, ground floor wc, dining kitchen, utility room, sitting room, conservatory, four bedrooms three with fitted wardrobes, a family bathroom and en-suite shower room. There is a driveway, detached double garage and landscaped garden areas to the front side and rear. Part exchange considered.

Village Estates (01253) 866566


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