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LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

PROPERTY NEWS

FEBRUARY 2020

FLIGHTS OF FANCY BOOK A ROMANTIC BREAK AWAY GARDEN OF EDEN GET PASSIONATE ABOUT YOUR GARDEN

WINDOWS AND DOORS WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN REPLACING THEM

GOING VEGAN WE TAKE A LOOK AT THE HEALTH BENEFITS

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE THE ‘LAST 16’ GAMES KICK OFF THIS MONTH


CONTENTS COVER STORY

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Flights of fancy Make a good impression on Valentine’s Day; book a romantic break away

FOOD

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PROPERTY

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6 15 16

Fall in love with a new home Top tips on how to search for your perfect property

Vegan delights Here we feature a tempting recipe that’s sure to whet your appetite

LIFESTYLE

Make your own garden of Eden Show your garden some love and get passionate about your patch again Upgrading windows and doors What you need to consider when replacing your windows and doors

Our latest instructions Take a look at a selection of our latest properties on the market

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Should you furnish your lettings property? As a landlord, should you furnish your property or let your tenant do it? About us Get to know us a little better and see why we are your agent of choice

Benefits of a vegan diet We take a look at the health benefits of a vegan diet Cleaning hacks you can’t live without Our favourite cleaning hacks to make cleaning your home easy and cost effective

SPORT

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The Champions League The Champions League returns with the ‘Last 16’ games kicking off this month and running through to the 18th March

WELCOME TO THE FEBRUARY ISSUE!

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e’re not quite sure how January has flown by so quickly already; just where has the time gone? If you’ve been thinking about moving but not started the process yet, then now is a good a time as any. Not sure where to start? Then come and have a chat with us. As your local independent estate agent, we have all the tools you need to get you moving – including a FREE personalised website for your property so that you can share it on social media. And this issue of our magazine will also give you plenty of support and advice on property; from falling in love with a new home, creating your own garden of

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PROPERTY NEWS

Eden, and where to start when replacing door and windows. Plus, if romance is in the air, then take a look at our top tips for romantic getaways this year; you will (and your loved one) be spoilt for choice on where to head to. They say that the way to someone’s heart is through food – and what can be more on trend then a vegan recipe to dish up and impress with? We reveal the health benefits of taking on a vegan diet. Plus, we also feature a delicious recipe to introduce you to the variety that a meat and dairy free diet can provide. Until next time. Linda McKeown Editor

Searching for your perfect property is much like trying to find your perfect partner

You need to go on dates and get to know each other before taking that step to be together. However, for houses, dates become viewings and the true test of getting to know each other comes after the purchase is already complete. Which is why it is good to be picky when it comes to choosing your perfect property. Sometimes your perfect property isn’t ‘the one’ in the long run, because of location, lack of space or even character. Therefore, when it comes to searching for property love, it pays to be specific when it comes to your joint wants and needs; and not to compromise (if only love was so easy!) The main things to consider when finding your perfect property are the number of bedrooms, size of the garden, location, off-road parking, ability to extend, the number of reception rooms and closest schools. Sit down with your partner and get these things confirmed before you view.

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT Maybe you and your partner will fall in love with a property at first sight but take it slow and don’t get too carried away. Just like life,

TOP TIPS TO FIND A PROPERTY YOU’LL LOVE Sit down and make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves Get specific with your requirements Confirm your budget Go on multiple viewings of each property Make compromises with your partner Don’t overstretch your finances


HOW TO FIND

PR PERTY L VE

THAT LASTS

if you build something up too much you just may set yourself up for disappointment. Try to go into any property viewing with an open mind. Your favourite property may disappoint, while the one you didn’t want to view could be perfect.

conveyancing fees and survey fees. To get things moving swiftly, you will need these ready for as soon as your offer is accepted. You don’t want to find your perfect place only to find yourself short and lose it. Be upfront about your finances from the start of the process.

And your perfect home will probably be the most expensive thing you ever buy. That is why it’s important to make sure it’s the right one. Try to go on multiple viewings. Like a first date, on your first viewing, you will only see the good things or bad things about the property. Go on a second viewing and get to know the property better before making a decision.

Look into planning permission early to see whether it’s likely that they’ll allow you carry out any work you wish to undertake, such as an extension, dropping the curb for off-road parking or changing the windows and doors. You don’t want to have big plans for your forever home, only to find out you can’t carry them out.

THE COST OF LOVE Just like at the start of any relationship, it is easy to get into debt, by going on expensive dates, buying new clothes and trying new things. With a property, you may be tempted to spend more than you had planned but be careful not to overstretch yourself. Your perfect property may turn into a nightmare if you don’t have any spare cash to do odd jobs, or even go on a date once a while!

Your perfect home will probably be the most expensive thing you ever buy

Remember the other costs involved too, such as mortgage broker fees,

Look beyond the current state of the property and focus on what you could see the property becoming

A JOINT LOVE AFFAIR Love is a two-way street. Sit down with your partner to agree both of your needs. Your perfect property may not be theirs, but by working together you can agree on the nice-to-haves and the must-haves of a home you can share and enjoy together. Just like some people enjoy reading at home while others feel the need to be outside, there is always a way to compromise for the greater good of your relationship.

LOVE THAT LASTS Be realistic. This may or may not be your forever home. Aesthetics are always a major factor when it comes to both romance and property. However, look beyond the current state of the property and focus on what you could see the property becoming. A perfect relationship needs work, and the same is true for the perfect property.

For every compromise on one’s behalf, the other partner could get something in return. For example, if one of you has green fingers you know they’ll want a nice garden and if the other works from home or enjoys their peace, try to get somewhere with a snug or study. Just like a working relationship, compromise is always the way forward.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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SHOW YOUR

GARDEN SOME LOVE

I As relationships go, it’s been on the backburner for a few months. But now is the time to get passionate about your patch again

t’s hard to imagine anything lovable about your garden this month. It’s cold, damp and that bare, bedraggled, weather-battered mess you see from your window bears no resemblance to the vibrant, verdant, perfumed patch of horticultural perfection you lovingly nurtured last summer.

Those ornamental trees you bought for their eerie sculptural forms during the winter have been shredded by Storm Gerda and Storm Brendan; early-flowering bulbs are timidly poking their petals above the surface fearing winter’s final onslaught, and even the fiercely territorial robins are thinking of moving out because the grass looks greener over the fence. But even if the weather is filthy and you can’t get out and do the jobs you know you need to do – such as pruning shrubs, climbers, and evergreen hedges, and giving your borders a boost with some organic feeds – there is one important thing you can do from the comfort of your armchair: plan. Because if you fancy turning your mudheap into a Garden of Eden this summer, start preparing the ground now. Even the smallest of backyards can be turned into a sensory sensation by the simplest of touches, the most obvious being fragrance and colour. But the easiest are lights.

Soft lighting, comfy seating, trickling water… add some wind chimes and suddenly you’ve created your own outdoor spa! The majority of gardens have shady corners which could benefit from a little subtle lighting, either by candlelight (in a nice tall glass jar obviously, we don’t want the slightest breeze to snuff out any flames of desire), full-size bulbs strung for a rustic overhang between posts or - yes it’s cheesy but remarkably effective twinkling fairy lights. Think about it. If fairy lights can transform even the dingiest of artificial Christmas trees, what could that soft glow achieve on a warm summer evening wrapped around the balustrades on a veranda or swinging lazily from a pergola. Better still, hang them round the low-hanging branches of your favourite tree to create the ultimate chill-out zone… with the aid of a soft-seating zone and an endless stream of G&Ts, naturally.

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PROPERTY NEWS


Talking of streams, nothing says serenity and calm like the sound of trickling water and no, we don’t mean taking the lid off the water butt so the clogged gutter can dribble into it. Proper water features can add texture and height to a garden; and it doesn’t have to be an elaborate fountain. Tilting rain sticks, a small pond with a waterfall, or even a birdbath with a solarpowered pump can add the necessary effect. A cosy seating area is a must, whether it be formal chairs, loungers, benches around a picnic table… or you could create a romantic low-level spot from a sunken area. Think it’s impossible? Have a look at Tony Smith’s Quilted Velvet Garden at the 2009 RHS Chelsea Flower Show and all will become clear. You just need cushions. Lots of cushions.

So, soft lighting, comfy seating, trickling water… add some wind chimes and suddenly you’ve created your own outdoor spa! However, nothing says romance like the gentle waft of a random scent caught on a breeze. Roses and honeysuckle are the obvious candidates for inclusion, but while the former are beautiful they need to be nurtured for the best results. The latter can be prone to aphids – and there’s nothing romantic about watching a colony of insects writhing over your favourite aromatic shrub, prior to stripping it bare of flower and leaf. Instead, try the delightful mock orange. Heralding the beginning of summer, it’s a hardy plant that tolerates some shade, has small white flowers and, as the name suggests, releases a sweet orangey fragrance when you brush against it. Likewise, that perennial favourite lavender, where that heady aroma immediately transports you to the sunny fields of Provence in the south of France. Great for borders and even when the flowers are over, they can be cut and taken indoors to enjoy further.

Even the smallest of backyards can be turned into a sensory sensation by the simplest of touches

If you’ve gone for an “English Country Garden” theme, you’ll be familiar with that staple, the sweet pea. Easy to grow, multi-coloured and with a sweet perfume, they are a must for a scented garden. Similarly, gardenia’s mass of attractive foliage and white flowers make it a firm favourite – they can be grown in pots and containers too – and their scent will fill the garden through the summer months. With a range of scents from lemon to pineapple, mint is often written off as just a cooking ingredient, but it can double its worth in the garden where the slightest brush against it releases a fresh, clean aroma. However, if left, it can spread. Visually, if creating a new area, consider a hard, sculptured backdrop of yucca or bamboo to add architectural effect. Not only can they support a string of light, but they give height and structure to contrast with bright traditional colourful bedding plants such as red geraniums, alyssum, lobelia and silver cineraria. And what could be more romantic than planting purple and white ornamental kale in a heart shape? So, what are you waiting for? Start planning now and rekindle your love affair with the garden.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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WHAT TO CONSIDER

WHEN REPLACING YOUR WINDOWS AND DOORS New windows and doors can not only keep your house warmer over winter but also save you thousands of pounds in the long run

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f you are looking into new windows and doors this year, the range on offer can confuse; as can the regulations implemented back in 2002. It is no longer as simple as replacing them; you will need to make applications to your local council, choose the type and style and check they meet all regulations.

LOCAL COUNCIL AND SURVEYORS

• L1 Conservation of fuel and Power – Simply put, the glass you use must be at the required U-value. U-value is the rate of transfer of heat. In essence, this regulation ensures when alterations are made that heat gain and loss is limited through the use of thermal control elements.

Since April 2002 you must have approval from the Building Control department of your local council, confirming the replacements have been fitted in accordance with local building regulations. You • N1 Glazing protection against Impact – Essentially, will need to apply for a certificate from your local this means where windows and other glazed council. And this doesn’t just apply surfaces are present, they for windows – if your doors are over must be safe for passing 50% glazing they will need to be Depending on your pedestrians and inhabitants confirmed as well. budget there is a wide when open and resistant to It is against the law to fit windows and doors which do not comply with the building regulations. This can also cause issues when it comes to selling your property. Your buyer’s surveyor will require to see the evidence of any windows or doors replaced after 2002; failure to do so could cause problems when it comes to completing your sale.

range of materials and styles on offer when it comes to your replacement windows and doors

THE REGULATIONS Getting a local tradesman in to complete the work is always a good idea and they should comply with all the building regulations. However, if you are doing the work yourself, here is a breakdown of the main regulations:

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PROPERTY NEWS

impact if a collision occurs. Should a breakage occur it should be ensured the glass breaks in a way that no injuries are caused.

• Structural regulations – Approved Document A covers the structure of the building including the confirmation that the foundations can support the weight of the windows and doors. Also, that in the event of an accident, the building, including the windows and doors, can withstand reasonable force. • Ventilation – Approved Document F deals with the uncontrolled ventilation of the property. This covers the energy efficiency of the property including insulating and sealing against draughts to ensure


it does not have an adverse effect on energy performance. It states there must be adequate ventilation to prevent excessive condensation build-up that could cause rot and decay.

STYLE AND MATERIALS

grade.’ Fixed windows are also cheaper than windows with openings, and for any windows that need to open, go for ‘casement’ windows. Try to avoid madeto-measure windows and doors if you are on a budget as these will increase the cost, as will designs such as curves, circles, bays and bow windows.

Depending on your budget there is a wide range of materials and styles on ADDITIONAL EXTRAS offer when it comes to your replacement windows and doors. If you are looking As well as there being a wide range of to save money, then uPVC is the windows and doors to choose from, there wisest choice as it will save you money is an even longer list of added extras compared to timber you can get which and aluminium can bump up the construction. Avoid price! Options such You must have approval single-glazed windows, as between-shade from the Building as they aren’t efficient enough for the UK, so go for double-glazing instead. Although not as efficient as tripleglazing, they will insulate your house well.

Control department of your local council, confirming the replacements have been fitted in accordance with local building regulations

When purchasing your windows and doors go for ‘buildergrade,’ or ‘contractor-grade,’ materials which will be cheaper than ‘architectural

glass, laminated exteriors, trim supplied and installed and integrated grilles, so double-check if the benefits will outweigh the cost in the long-run.

Old or inefficient windows and doors can have a significant impact on the heating of your home as well as your energy bills.

Signs of rot or warping on your windows are big indicators that they need to be changed. When you are getting them replaced, following the regulations of course, there are further additional upgrades for security and aesthetics. A range of window locks are available with popular choices being keyed lock, hinged wedge locks and sash locks. Aesthetically, aluminium and timber frames offer the most eye-pleasing look, however, they come at a higher cost compared to uPVC. You could also go for added safety with Plexiglass which is an impact resistant type of glass ten times stronger than regular glass.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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IS A VEGAN DIET

THE WAY FORWARD? Since 2014, more than half a million people in 178 countries have been inspired by the Veganuary movement; ditching dairy and meat in favour of plant-based foods. But how healthy is it to be a vegan?

A

UK non-profit organisation, Veganuary encourages people to go vegan for the month of January as a way of promoting and educating a vegan lifestyle.

Whopper, and McDonald’s has released its Veggie Dippers; with many more sure to follow suit.

And, with the provision of vegan food in shops and restaurants steadily increasing, it’s never been easier to opt for a vegan diet.

With so much publicity on Veganuary, there has been plenty of debate as to whether a vegan It’s also recommended to include diet is healthier, simply because it beans, pulses and other proteins, is plant based. and to drink While vegan plenty of fluids. Since 2014, more than food omits the And if you do half a million people use of meat and include foods and in 178 countries have dairy products, drinks that are the substitutes high in fat, salt or been inspired by the used in the sugar, try to have Veganuary movement preparation these less often. and cooking can mean that the calorie and fat WHERE CAN I FIND content is higher. For example, OUT MORE? Subway’s meatless marina contains There is a wide range of information 120 calories, and 7g more sugar,

VEGAN VARIETY Last year, food-to-go retailer Greggs had phenomenal success with their Vegan Sausage Roll; in fact, they have recently rewarded all their employees with a £300 bonus in light of its success. This year, they have launched their Vegan Steak Bake. It’s been designed to mirror some of the original Steak Bake’s classic features, including 96 layers of puff pastry and have teamed up with Quorn to wrap it around savoury mycoprotein pieces and diced onions in a rich gravy. The verdict so far? Only time will tell although there has been a thumbs up from many already – including non-vegans. And they aren’t the only ones to launch new vegan products this year. So far, KFC has launched its first-ever Vegan Burger, Burger King has launched its Rebel

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PROPERTY NEWS

IS A VEGAN DIET HEALTHIER?

and base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates to ensure a healthy body. There is a plethora of dairy alternatives available, such as soya drinks and yoghurts – but remember to choose lower fat and lower sugar options.

compared to the meat version.

available on the Internet; from advice, tips and menu plans/

However, Burger King’s Rebel Whopper bucks this trend, having less calories than its meat alternative. Therefore, this shows why it’s still important to ensure you make healthy choices when opting for vegan items.

recipes, so if you are considering going vegan, do your research so you can ensure you give your body – and mind – what it needs to function to its full potential.

VARIETY IS KEY The NHS advises you to eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day

Not quite ready to fully embrace all that a vegan diet entails? A great solution is to be a flexitarian; this means that you follow mainly a plant-based diet, with the occasional addition of meat and fish.


If you missed out on trying Veganuary, have no fear; here we feature a tempting recipe that’s sure to whet your appetite (and the rest of the family too)

VEGAN DELIGHTS

VEGAN MAC ‘N’ CHEESE Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes (plus overnight soaking) Serves: 6 Nutrition: 686kcal per serving

IMAGE USED FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

160g raw cashews

1. The night before, soak the cashew nuts in water and leave overnight.

200g carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes 700g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes 90ml olive oil 40g nutritional yeast 1 lemon, juice only 4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp white wine vinegar 1 tsp cayenne pepper

2.

Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Steam the carrots and potatoes together for 5 mins, until completely softened. Transfer to a food processor. Drain the cashews and add these with 60ml of the oil, then blitz. Tip in rest of the other ingredients, except the macaroni, breadcrumbs and the remaining oil, then blitz again until it’s smooth. Season well. Add a splash of water and a drizzle of olive oil if it looks too stiff, then set aside.

3.

Cook the macaroni in a large pan of salted water for 1 min less than packet instructions, drain then stir through the sauce. Transfer the mix to an ovenproof dish, stir the breadcrumbs with the remaining oil and some seasoning. Scatter over the top of the macaroni and bake for 20-25 mins until piping hot and crisp.

400g macaroni 3 tbsp panko breadcrumbs

4. Serve with a fresh side salad.

This recipe, and more, can be found at https://www. bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/vegan-mac-n-cheese

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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CLEANING HACKS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT H

ere we’ve compiled a few of our favourite cleaning hacks to make the cleaning process easy and cost effective; some of the tips may surprise you!

Thanks to the likes of Mrs Hinch, giving your house a spring clean in preparation for selling or for house viewings has never been easier

Shaving foam – that’s right, you read correctly! Shaving foam is a great way to remove stains from your carpets. Having lighter coloured carpets means they are much more likely to show dirt and are much harder to clean, but simply rub in the shaving foam and let it sit for around 30 minutes. Once the area is dry, hoover it. A simple and cost-effective cleaning hack to prevent buying costly new carpets! Vinegar – forget just using vinegar on your chips; this cheap household staple has a few surprising uses to help clean your home. It can be used cheaply, safely and effectively to clean surfaces, windows, microwaves and can even be used to clean your toilet bowl, and dishwasher (replacing the need for expensive dishwasher rinse aid). Something else you may not know, is that distilled white wine vinegar when used with your laundry will reduce odour, soften clothes and act as a brightener Giving your house a for white spring clean in clothes preparation for without selling or for house having to use viewings has never harsh been easier chemical products – which has the added benefit of being better for the environment. We could go on but once you realise the value of vinegar, you may never need to buy cleaning products again! Lemons – another common household item, but what can you do with them other than slice and add to a well-earned gin and tonic at the end of a busy day? Why not try placing a bowl of water and lemon rinds in the microwave, turn it on for three minutes, leave for a further five

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PROPERTY NEWS


minutes before opening the door – unexpected uses. If your bathroom or then wipe! You’ll have a clean and kitchen have signs of mildew or mould, fresh smelling microwave at minimal make a paste from bicarbonate of soda cost. If your wooden furniture needs a by mixing with lukewarm water and polish, combine 2 parts then apply to taps, olive oil with 1 part plugs or grouting. Use lemon juice and you a brush to scrub it in It really is amazing will have your own then rinse; it will look that so many of the natural and fresh as good as new. This products we have smelling furniture mixture, when in our homes can polish. And if the combined with white be used as a cheap grouting in your wine vinegar, can also and effective bathroom or around be used as a very method of cleaning your kitchen tiles are in effective sink and need of attention, drain un-blocker. Just spray undiluted lemon pour hot water into juice on the offending area and leave the offending sink, add a cup of for about ten minutes, then wipe off. bicarbonate of soda and warm white It’s guaranteed to leave your tiles and wine vinegar, let grouting sparkling and smelling fresh it fizz then rinse and clean. with hot water. Bicarbonate of Newspaper – we all aspire to having soda can also be streak free windows: a handy hint used as a when cleaning interior or exterior deoderiser to windows with either vinegar, lemon or remove commercial cleaning products is to unwanted rub off the cleaning agent with smells on newspaper. It’s an excellent and very furniture and economical trick for creating streak mattresses, free windows. simply sprinkle on the offending Coke – it’s another item many people item leave for a regularly have in their homes, but did couple of hours you realise that if you pour a can of then hoover up. coke, or the remains of the bottle which has gone too flat to drink, into Rubber gloves your toilet bowl, leave for about an – if you have hour then flush away, it will leave the pets who toilet looking clean and fresh. regularly shed hair, a good way of removing this from your upholstery is Bicarbonate of Soda – yet another to simply rub the offending area with a household staple which has several rubber glove. Doing this will pick

up the hairs which can then be easily disposed of! Toothpaste – did you know that toothpaste can be used to clean your stainless-steel sink? Simply squeeze some regular toothpaste onto a micro fibre cloth, then buff the sink and rinse which should leave it deodorised and shining. It really is amazing that so many of the products we have in our homes can be used as a cheap and effective method of cleaning – making them just as effective as expensive big name branded items. Using household products also have the added benefit

of being better for the environment, helping to reduce waste and contain fewer harmful chemicals as they only rely on natural ingredients.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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FLIGHTS OF FANCY

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orget the hearts and flowers. Chuck the chocolates in the bin. The road to your loved one’s heart is not in the clichéd, but more likely in an airport terminal. Because nothing says modern romance quite like: “Get your case. We’re off.”

Obviously, Paris must be on the shortlist. Stunning, stylish, charming (just avert your eyes as you travel through Montmartre to the beautiful Basilica of the Sacre Coeur; parts of it are less than romantic), Paris is everything you hope it will be, largely because you know it so well from the movies.

Still ranked as THE place to propose, get married or honeymoon, the best time to visit the French capital is in the spring when even the oldest buildings in this architecturally perfect city look freshly washed. Intimate strolls with your significant other through Don’t ignore the Bois de Boulogne, and along Amsterdam, where the the Seine to the Pont Neuf district maze of slow-flowing are recommended, as is a sunset canals, lined by trees cruise along the city’s majestic waterway – if the budget can and the towering stretch to it – for a different centuries-old buildings, perspective of the city. create an enchanting

It may be Valentine’s Day this month, but early February isn’t generally the ideal time to risk an impromptu break – with a notable exception.

But unless your budget extends to a week on some tropical idyll in the Indian Ocean or the Caribbean, you’re probably looking at a European city break and nobody enjoys tramping around under a brolly, so far better to play the medium to long game and atmosphere drop a couple of e-tickets or copy of a booking confirmation email in your Valentine’s card for a couple of days away when the sun might put in an appearance. With romance your guide, where better to head for than Italy, particularly Verona, home to the ultimate star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet? Less than an hour from Venice on the train and 30 minutes from Lake Garda, Verona is genuinely beautiful. The Piazza delle Erbe is a delight, the astonishing Arena di Verona predates Rome’s Colosseum by 50 years and leads you nicely to the queue for Juliet’s House, that balcony and the statue of our tragic heroine, which, if you rub her right breast, will make you lucky in love (be aware this statue is a copy so it may not work – the original Juliet is in the Museum Castelvecchio after restoration). If that’s not enough, Florence – home of the iconic Duoma, stunning Renaissance art including Michelangelo’s David and Ponte Vecchio – is just a three-hour rail trip away.

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PROPERTY NEWS

Speaking of waterways, don’t ignore Amsterdam, where the maze of slow-flowing canals, lined by trees and the towering centuries-old buildings, create an enchanting atmosphere. And if crossing one of the many illuminated bridges at twilight, just as the water takes on an orange glow, does not leave you a little weak at the knees then, quite frankly, you’ve become a lost cause. And there lie the not-so-secret ingredients for a romantic getaway: charm and character. The old European cities – Vienna, Prague, Bruges for example – have it in bucketloads, while the ‘recently-accessible’ centres, such as Ljublana in Slovenia are catching up. Frequently overlooked in favour of nearby Bled, which is stunning in its own right, picturesque Ljublana has a wonderful vibe and is rapidly becoming one of the continent’s top foodie destinations. Similarly coming up on the outside in the Romance Stakes is Santorini. The picture-perfect Greek island is now the wedding destination of choice and not just because of the climate. A


If you’re looking to make a good impression on Valentine’s Day, broaden your horizons to give your relationship wings dramatic, rugged coastline, cliff-hugging villages and probably the most famous sunset in Europe at the irresistibly photogenic Oia makes the ideal conclusion to anyone’s big day. Or does it? Because for the ultimate romantic break you need to head north. To the Arctic Circle. For a scene straight out of Mills & Boon, picture yourself on a crisp cold night, thousands of stars twinkling like diamonds on a black velvet cloth, a snowy wilderness, a hot tub outside your own log cabin, two glasses of fizz and that most beguiling of natural phenomena, the Aurora Borealis, shimmering across the skyline. But if a trip to Iceland (not that one) or Scandinavia for the Northern Lights ticks the boxes, avoid late April through to September because the hours of darkness diminish considerably.

With romance your guide, where better to head for than Italy, particularly Verona, home to the ultimate star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet?

However, as anyone who has been married for a long time will tell you: the secret to a long, happy and stable relationship is give and take. With that in mind we give you the compromise capital of Europe… Barcelona. Spain’s most popular tourist destination attracts thousands for its blend of culture, out-of-this world food and Antoni Gaudi’s mind-boggling architecture. So, by day it’s Las Ramblas, the world-famous food market La Boqueira, and a trip to Gaudi’s as-yet unfinished masterpiece, the stunning La Sagrada Familia. And by night, Barcelona’s other ’cathedral’, the majestic Camp Nou, home to one of European football’s elite, FC Barcelona. And even if Barca aren’t playing, there’s always the behind-the-scenes tour and museum. Who said romance was dead?

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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IT’S A KNOCKOUT! Four British teams are left in this years’ Champions League when the round of the ‘Last 16’ kicks-off

T

he Champions League LIVERPOOL returns with the ‘Last 16’ Champions League holders games kicking off this Liverpool have run away with month and running through to the the Premier League this season. 18th March. Chelsea, Tottenham, Jurgen Klopp’s men have gone Liverpool and Manchester City from strength to strength and as are all hoping to make it through opposed to previous to the last eight; years, they seem however, Europe’s to have the belief elite squads stand The Champions that they won’t let in their way. League Last 16 it fall through their kicks off on the fingers. However, CHELSEA does the Premier 18th February League title mean and runs through Frank Lampard’s that much to them to the 18th March Chelsea are at they may take their a crossroads. eyes off the prize Still in a fight for when it comes to fourth place in the the Champions Premier League, it would never be League? Their opponents, Atletico easy for Lampard’s young squad Madrid, are keeping pace with Real this season. However, with the Madrid and Barcelona in La Liga, so goals of Tammy Abraham and a the games on the 18th Feb and 11th solid core of Kovacic, Kante and March should be some spectacle. Jorginho in midfield, on their day they can beat anyone. They face MANCHESTER CITY Bayern Munich on the 25th Feb and the 18th March. Bayern aren’t Pep Guardiola’s Citizens have having it all their own way in the released their grip on the Premier Bundesliga this season, despite the League this year, with some frankly ridiculous form of Robert unexpected results. However, key Lewandowski who already has over players Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo 30 goals to his name.

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PROPERTY NEWS

Silva and Fernandinho have hit form coming into the second half of the season. Does this mean Guardiola has now prioritised Champions League success for this season? It’s the last trophy missing from his time with City, but with his old foes Real Madrid waiting on the 26th Feb and the 17th March, it will not be easy. Sergio Aguero is back leading the line and will hope, like Guardiola, to add the one trophy missing from his cabinet.

TOTTENHAM Pochettino’s celebration at the end of last years’ incredible semi-final is a distant memory, replaced with the sombre, sulking figure of Jose Mourinho. The new manager bounce has come and gone and it’s fair to say, compared to last year, their season has been disappointing. Struggling for a top-four finish, Mourinho will know the best chance to keep Champions League football next season will be to go one better than his predecessor and win this years’ competition. Captain Harry Kane is injured and will not return for the rest of the season including their matches against RB Leipzig on the 19th Feb and the 10th March.


TO FURNISH, OR NOT TO FURNISH;

THAT IS THE QUESTION

W

hen you are looking to rent your property, you have two options; you can provide the furniture and furnish it yourself or you can rent it empty ready for the tenant to furnish, which is known as renting unfurnished. Both options have their benefits and their downfalls.

FURNISHED Furnished properties are popular with first time renters who haven’t got a house load of furniture already, as it will make things simpler in the short term. Another benefit is that your tenants may give your property more respect if they can see that you have invested in good quality furniture for them. A furnished property can demand a higher rent; however, it may limit the market with renting to families, especially those with children who may have their own furniture. There is also the potential fear for the parent, that a child may damage the furniture which could affect the deposit in the long run. Furnished properties are also perfect for professional couples and singles, especially those commuting. These tend to be short-term rentals and

can work well for professionals looking for somewhere convenient and close to work while relocating and looking for somewhere more permanent.

One of the biggest questions facing landlords, is whether to furnish your property or to let your tenant do it them and may encourage them to stay longer than if it was a furnished property.

You will also have less stress regarding wear and tear on your However, there is a significant cost furniture as well as your property. involved when it comes to furnishing There will be no need to replace a property, as furniture and white your tenants goods at the end of will want a a tenancy as it will A furnished property can certain quality be the responsibility demand a higher rent; of furnishings of the tenant. There however, it may limit the – especially will also be no market with renting to when you expensive bills if any families, especially those consider appliances break with children who may white goods during a tenancy. have their own furniture for the kitchen In conclusion, the alongside choice to offer your beds, sofas, tables and chairs. property furnished or unfurnished is

UNFURNISHED Unfurnished properties tend to appeal to longer term tenants, especially families who already have belongings. You will open your property to a larger market if it is unfurnished as people love being able to put their own stamp on

yours. However, depending on the type of tenant you are looking for, one may be more beneficial to you than the other.

a place.

For example, if you have a flat close to a commute it may be a good idea to offer it furnished, whereas if you have a three-bedroom property in a residential area it will be more beneficial to keep it unfurnished.

With your tenants able to design their own living spaces, it will make the property feel more like home for

For more advice when it comes to renting your property, please talk to our lettings team today.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

15


Present your house for sale by de-cluttering... Maximise your home’s potential and create spacious rooms enticing potential buyers – simply by de-cluttering!

De-cluttering allows you to… maximise your space, emotionally prepare you to move, and will allow you to focus your buyers on what is important

I

f you are looking to sell your house, or have had your home on the market for a while now, then you probably want to get the maximum sale price in the quickest time. There are a few things you can’t control – but the one thing that is in your control, is the look and feel of the interior and exterior. While it’s worth spending time fixing and cleaning your house before potential buyers come and view, it’s also important to de-clutter. This creates spacious rooms and also allows you to decrease and organise your personal items before you move yourself. Of course it’s understandable that you don’t to want spend money, time and energy on a home you are about to leave, however, a lot of people are looking for a house in which they can move straight into. Maintaining your

property might even save you thousands of pounds; it could even reduce added expenses of living in your home whilst waiting for a sale. And it might even help avoid possible reductions in the asking price. The main reason in which people move house tends to be because they lack space in their current home. They want a home that is spacious and in which they can grow into. If a potential viewer comes to your home and sees that there is lack of space, then this will turn them away. De-cluttering allows you to remove any unnecessary items in an untidy or overcrowded place. It will help maximise your space, emotionally prepare you to move, and will allow you to focus your buyers on what is important.


So where should you start? You need to create a great first impression and focus on the rooms themselves. You will notice that the first things you see in each room are personal items. Where possible you want to create the look of a

them into things you want to keep and things you want to get rid of. You may even find that you have collected a cupboard full of paper work. Get yourself organised! Don’t just throw it all away, but file it and go through it thoroughly. This will also make it easier when you move.

De-personalising can also be a great way to declutter. Too many personal effects can be distracting to buyers. They want to see a house in which they can make their own memories rather than seeing yours. Again, personal items can be stored away. Remember

Where possible you want to create the look of a lifestyle that the potential buyers want lifestyle that the potential buyer want. This usually has a ‘show home’ feel, rather than a ‘lived in’ feel. Minimising your things is the quickest way to do this: you want to ensure that potential buyers can do simple things, like, open any doors easily, ensuring that there are no obstacles. So, what do we mean by clutter? There are two types: genuine clutter, and items that you want to keep but don’t work for the sale of your property. Genuine Clutter: You need to go through the space and sort out each item, categorising

You also want to focus on little things like DVDs, books and trinkets. These items may have some small value so sell them or donate them to charity. Get rid of any old shoes and coats that are lying about in your porch or hallway. You might want to hide away the coats and shoes you do currently wear. Store them in your wardrobe, while you have viewings. Items that you want to keep but don’t work for the sale of your property: You may want to consider putting some items in storage while you sell your home. Sometimes items are too large or even too small for some spaces and can make the room look odd. If you want to keep these particular items, then store them until you move into your new home.

that this is only a temporary way of living and hopefully it won’t be for long! If you find you are keeping more things than you are throwing out, then think about whether or not it’s in the right room or do you even need it now? As previously mentioned, you can attempt to sell some of the things you have acquired over the years. Use sites like eBay, Gumtree and social networking sites to try and sell items. You may want to even hold a house sale for the remaining items that you can’t sell. Failing that, why not donate to charity. The end goal is still the same and it’s important to help potential buyers envision your house as theirs. So remember, decluttering will make your home more spacious and entice potential buyers!

Top Tips! If you are throwing away paperwork, shred anything that is confidential

De-clutter before agents come and take photos of your property. This will help attract more potential viewers online and get that first good impression

Don’t spend too long on certain items and don’t get distracted. Keep yourself motivated and race against the clock!

Make it fun! Play some music or watch TV while you de-clutter


Your step-by-step guide to the conveyancing process

O

nce a sale has been agreed and is in the hands of your solicitor, it will go through the following stages. Sometimes additional work will be needed – for example, if the property is leasehold or is yet to be registered with the Land Registry. It is also important for buyers to discuss the availability of their deposit with their solicitor early in the transaction, and we strongly recommend that you contact your solicitor regularly so that they can keep you fully up-to-date with the progress and the latest timescales.

Seller’s solicitor’s steps • Obtain a copy of the Title Deeds (or office copies if the title is registered) • Obtain a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) (if applicable) • The seller(s) will return a completed Property Information Form and a Fixtures, Fittings and Contents Form to the solicitors • Copies of the above documents, plus a draft contract – this is known as an ‘Information Pack’ – will be sent to the buyer’s solicitor • Answer the buyer’s solicitor’s additional enquiries (for example, specific questions about fixtures and fittings) and obtain copies of any planning consent documents • Agree the contract and arrange for the sellers to sign it in readiness of the exchange (below) • All parties agree completion dates and the contracts are exchanged

Between exchange and completion • Obtain redemption figures from the mortgage lender and reply to requisitions on title • Approve the transfer and arrange for the seller(s) and buyer(s) to sign • Receive the agent’s fee account and seek the seller’s consent to settle this out of completion funds

Completion date This is the date the ownership of the property passes from the seller to the buyer, and it follows the successful transfer of funds. It’s the date that the whole process works towards.

Upon completion • Receive completion funds and (only when this has been completed) instruct Lisa Costa to release the keys to buyers. Redeem mortgage and forward the financial statement. Forward any surplus funds (unless these are being used to fund an onward purchase). Ensure all outstanding bills are paid • Forward transfer documents and deeds to the buyer’s solicitors • Forward evidence of ‘discharge of mortgage’ to the buyer’s solicitors


Buyer’s solicitor’s steps • Obtain the Information Pack, including a copy of the EPC (if applicable) from the sellers’ solicitor and raise any additional queries • Initiate any specialist searches (for example: a coal search). Submit local, environmental and water searches and a chancel check. This takes about 10 working days in total, and enquiries are then usually raised from the results • Approve the contract when all enquiries are satisfactory and complete. (At this stage, a mortgage transfer deed will need to be signed and witnessed) • Receive a mortgage offer and instructions from the lender and deal with any conditions set out by them. Make sure that life cover and buildings insurance is being arranged • Request the deposit, report back to the buyer, and arrange for the contract to be signed. Place buildings insurance and life cover in force • All parties agree completion dates and the contracts are exchanged

Between exchange and completion • Raise ‘requisitions on title’ and prepare the draft transfer deed • Report on title to mortgage lender and obtain funds for completion, including Stamp Duty (if appropriate) • Prepare accounts, obtain signature to mortgage deed and undertake final Land Registry and Land Charges searches

Completion date This is the date the ownership of the property passes from the seller to the buyer, and it follows the successful transfer of funds. It’s the date that the whole process works towards.

Upon Completion • Forward to the seller’s solicitors the balance of funds − it is only then that they can authorise the release of the keys. Receive from the seller’s solicitors, the transfer document deeds • Stamp the Transfer Deed, register the buyer’s ownership with the Land Registry and forward the deeds to the lender or client (where appropriate)

Contract - The agreement that sets out the main terms that have been agreed − for example: price, address, names, etc. Two copies are drawn up, and each party signs one in readiness for the exchange of contracts. Deposit - The part of the purchase price (usually 10%) which the buyer pays on exchange of contracts. Exchange of contracts - The swapping of signed contracts by the solicitors (together with the buyer’s deposit). After this, the contract is binding. Energy Performance Certificate - This contains information on energy use, energy performance, carbon dioxide emissions, and fuel bills. Land Registry - The Government department that records who owns what land, and under what conditions. Local Authority Search - A list of questions that are specific to the property and intended, for example, to discover if there have been any planning applications on the property, if the road to the house is maintained by the council, etc. Mortgage Redemption Figure - The amount required to repay the outstanding capital/ interest of a mortgage. Property information form/fixtures, fittings and contents form - Standard forms about the property that the seller answers for their solicitor (for example: what will be left behind, details of guarantees, etc.) Title Deeds - Legal documents that prove ownership of land/ buildings, and the terms on which they are owned. Transfer of Title - The document that passes the ownership from the seller to the buyer. Stamp Duty for buy to let investors and second home owners - An additional tax, paid by the buyer purchasing an additional property that is not their main residence. It includes buy to let landlords and those buying second homes and holiday homes. The higher rates will be 3 percentage points above the current rates of duty shown below. Requisition on title - An enquiry relating to the completion arrangements. Seller’s Pack - This comprises a Property Information Form, a Fixtures, Fittings and Contents Form, a copy of the title deeds and the draft contract. Stamp Duty - A tax paid by the buyer purchasing their main residence. It is calculated on the percentage rate applicable to each portion of the sale price. • 0% Up to £125,000 • 0% Up to £300,000 if purchased by a First Time Buyer* • 2% On the share from £125,001 up to £250,000 • 5% On the share from £250,001 up to £925,000 • 10% On the share from £925,001 up to £1,500,000 • 12% On the share £1,500,001 and over NB The new 3% rate does not apply to any transactions below £40,000


Moving house? From meter readings to removal companies, there’s so much to remember when moving house. Here’s our checklist of what to do and when

F

irst of all, congratulations on your new home! The excitement has probably now kicked in but moving home can also be one of the most stressful and emotionally draining things you can do. However, careful organisation and planning can help decrease the stress and anxiety of moving. This comprehensive and essential checklist will help you do just that.

Eight weeks – Research Ideally, you want to start packing away any non-essential items as early as possible. This includes any items stored away in the loft, garage and shed. If you are not using it, pack it. Looking into your new area is also important, try to do this around eight weeks before you move. You might need to think about transferring your children to different schools and ordering new uniforms too. At this point, ensure you are also documenting all your important information away: that includes contact details, dates, contracts and information regarding your solicitor.

Six weeks – Removal companies or do it yourself? Now would be the perfect time to decide on a local removal company. Or if you don’t have too much to move, you may want to do it yourself. You could even look into different van hire companies. At this point you’ve probably started packing away some bits, but if there is anything you decide not to take, then look into selling these items or donating them to charity. This will also give you an idea on the volume of items you have to move.

Four weeks – Notify utility companies This would be a good time for you to notify utility companies and inform them about your move to switch over. This includes gas and electricity, council tax, internet, phone rental and TV. You should also consider changing any car insurance, tax, memberships, phone contracts and inform your bank about the move. Now’s the time to also arrange a date to have your new house cleaned before you move

The buyers of our homes receive their very own property website to share via


Checklist Eight weeks Pack non-essential items Research your new area (transfer schools and order new uniform) Keep all important documents

Six weeks Decide on a local removal company Clear out any unwanted items Keep packing

Four weeks

It will be worth packing a night bag each to help everyone settle in, which means you won’t have to rummage through everything to find your toothbrush! in, and start ordering any new furnishings for your new property. Start packing away more items, that being, out of season clothes, books, dvd’s and even bulky items, like TV’s that aren’t used often.

Two weeks – Confirm all details Confirm your move with your removal company or van hire, estate agents and schools. If possible, try to organise someone to look after your pets and children for the day of your move, as this can also be a stressful time for them too. If your removal company doesn’t disassemble any furniture or sort out the un-plumbing for the washing machine, then now would be the ideal time to organise these. Remember to also cancel any local services you receive: this could be window cleaners, gardeners and newspaper deliveries. You should now also think about re-registering to vote and getting your post re-directed after your moving date. Continue packing away more furnishings, kitchen appliances and crockery that you won’t be using for the next couple of weeks.

24 hours – Final check and walk round You now have only 24 hours before you move, so double check that everything is packed away and ready for transit. It will be worth packing a night bag each to help everyone settle in, which means you won’t have to rummage through everything to find your toothbrush! You may want to create an inventory of your boxes and

furniture to help you keep track of what you have and to help you ensure it doesn’t go missing.

Moving day Today is the day! You need to be ready for when your removal company comes. Ensure that you let them know if there are any fragile boxes that need extra care when handling. If you’re moving yourself, then pack up your car or van and work out how many trips it may take. Before you leave, also take note of your final meter readings and send these off to your provider. Don’t forget to leave your keys for the new owners!

You have arrived at your new home! Give your removal company instructions of which boxes go in which rooms and make sure you are happy with everything that has arrived. Ensure you check for any damage before the movers leave. Read your new utility meters and send your readings of to your supplier. Taking photos of them will also ensure you have the correct reading if you need them again in the future. Unpack your essentials such as bed linen and clean towels. Don’t worry about the rest, it isn’t going anywhere! Order a takeaway, have a cup of tea and enjoy your first night with your family. Right, so now you’re all moved in, it’s time to settle down, unpack and enjoy your new place. Remember, planning is essential to ensure your move runs stress free.

social media with its address and personal message!

Notify utility companies Start preparation for your new house Keep packing

Two weeks Finalise all details Organise pet and child care Cancel local services Keep packing

24 hours Check every room and ensure everything is packed Pack a night bag so everything is to hand Collect your new keys Make sure your phone is fully charged so you can get in touch with the estate agents or removal company

Moving in Prepare for the arrival of the removal company and give them directions/ your contact details Ensure everything is ready to move Record meter readings

On arrival Give removal company instructions of what goes where Check for any damage before they leave Read your new utility meters and send them off to your supplier Check if the previous owners have left anything behind Unpack essentials Order a takeaway and sit back and relax!

Page 7


Our Lettings Team Lisa Costa is one of Thornbury’s most well known and respected local agents. Our property team has valuable experience in all sectors of the residential property market, and we pride ourselves on knowing the area and its people like no other agent. We offer tailor-made solutions to make letting and management of residential property as easy as possible. Our experienced team specialises in providing a professional and personal service, offering information, help and advice to meet the needs of all landlords. Our aim is simple: to provide the best possible service, assist you from start to finish and communicate regularly throughout the whole process – whatever your property matter.

Conscientious, loyal + stubborn How long have you lived in the area? 17 years What do you love most about your job? Helping people find their first home Tell us something unique about you. I taught myself how to play the guitar What makes you happy? Food, food and food What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Treat others how you want to be treated

RE £ CE 75 N 0 TL pc Y m LE T

RE £ CE 99 N 5 TL pc Y m LE T

Come visit our offices and have a chat with Sophie and Jemma to see how we can tailor our services to suit your needs.

SOPHIE COSTA

JEMMA MORTIMER Strong willed, loyal + hardworking

How long have you lived in the area? All my life What do you love most about your job? That no day is the same! Tell us something unique about you. I used to swim competitively What makes you happy? My family, food and the sunshine What’s the best advice you have been given? My dad always told me ‘do as I say not as I do!

lettings@lisacosta.co.uk


Charges and Fees Fully Managed 12% + VAT of the monthly rental Setup fee of £300 incl VAT

Rent Collection 8% + VAT of the monthly rental Setup fee of £300 incl VAT

Tenant Find Only 70% of the monthly rent incl VAT Subject to min fee £420 incl VAT

Rental Appraisal

3

3

3

Marketing property & viewings

3

3

3

Full tenant referencing

3

3

3

Preoparation of the tenancy agreement

3

3

3

Collection of the first month’s rent and deposit and transfer into your account after any deductions

3

3

3

Monthly transfer of rental to nominated acount

3

3

3

Liaising with tenants if there are any late rental payments

3

3

Quarterly property visits

3

Point of contact for tenants regarding maintenance issues

3

Dealing with maintenance issues

3

Carrying out a termination check and providing a full report

£80 incl VAT

Arranging & preparing a memorandum for increae rent

£50 incl VAT

Negotiating extensions of tenancy agreement

£65 incl VAT

Arranging & preparing a memorandum for adding/deducting tenants

£50 incl VAT

Prearation & serving a section 21 notice

£60 incl VAT

£60 incl VAT

Preparation and serving a Section 8 notice

£60 incl VAT

£60 incl VAT

Inventory preparation

To be quoted

To be quoted

To be quoted

Energy Performance Certificate

£90 incl VAT

£90 incl VAT

£90 incl VAT

Propection of the deposit with the DPS

£25 incl VAT

£25 incl VAT

£25 incl VAT

Gas Certificate

£78 incl VAT

£78 incl VAT

£78 incl VAT

lisacosta.co.uk


01454 279734

Call us today for a free market appraisal

Thornbury

£375,000

This extended four-bedroomed family home was built in the 90s and is in a popular, established cul-de-sac minutes from a choice of schools and the High Street. Offering generous, flexible accommodation with an open outlook across neighbouring fields, highlights include a lounge which flows into the dining room, a large conservatory, an en suite master bedroom and another bedroom with a dressing room which could become a study or another bedroom.

Thornbury

£335,000

Don’t miss out on this fabulous family home offering both versatile and flexible accommodation, where a garage conversion has created either a fourth bedroom, additional reception room or an office – all serviced by a cloakroom with walk-in shower. Other plusses on the ground floor are the conservatory and utility room, while upstairs there are three bedrooms. Added to that, the home is in a cul-de-sac and backs on to a green space.

sales@lisacosta.co.uk


Thornbury

ÂŁ225,000

Having been neatly updated by the owner, this three-bedroom home is sure to attract someone who is looking for a property to move straight into. Close to local amenities and overlooking green walkways, this is a perfect opportunity to live in the heart of Thornbury. The home features a spacious lounge, kitchen/breakfast room and three well-proportioned bedrooms, while the rear garden has recently been landscaped with a modern patio and artificial grass.

ÂŁ375,000

SO ST L C D

Thornbury

Located on a popular road and within walking distance of the local shops and amenities, this neatly presented detached home has been smartly updated to offer a flexible living space. A spacious lounge, a super kitchen/breakfast room with wood effect units and integrated appliances, utility room, three well-proportioned double bedrooms - one en suite shower room - and a single fourth bedroom make this a lovely family home.

lisacosta.co.uk


01454 279734

Call us today for a free market appraisal

Thornbury

ÂŁ330,000

Here is a four-bedroom townhouse on one of Thornburys newest estates and provides an ideal opportunity for a growing family to live on the edge of a popular town. Well-presented throughout, the modern kitchen and living/dining room are on the ground floor, two double bedrooms, another good-sized fourth bedroom and the family bathroom are on the middle level, while the master suite occupies the entire second floor. In all, a super family home.

Thornbury

ÂŁ220,000

Set in an excellent location this fantastic end of terrace, three-bedroom home has been recently refurbished and now boasts new double-glazed windows, a kitchen with new contemporary units and integrated appliances, a new white bathroom suite and new carpets throughout. Throw in spacious living accommodation, gardens to the front and rear as well as a parking space, garage and no onward chain, what’s not to love?

sales@lisacosta.co.uk


Thornbury

ÂŁ269,950

If you are looking for home ready to move into, then this is perfect. Updated over the last couple of years, this semi-detached home offers generous accommodation for a growing family and features a lounge with a wood-burning stove, a newly-fitted kitchen/breakfast room with a range of fitted appliances, as well as two good size double bedrooms, a single bedroom and bathroom. Plus, there’s a new boiler and solar panels to keep the bills down.

Thornbury

ÂŁ249,995

Situated in the ever-popular Grace Lodge retirement development, this one-bedroomed apartment is on the ground floor, yards from the communal area. With a high-quality finish, the apartment has a generous lounge/dining room as well as a neat kitchen with integrated appliances, nicely-sized bedroom with built-in wardrobes and a shower room. Added to that, there are well-established gardens, a 24-hour care line and a lodge manager.

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01454 279734

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Severn Beach

£262,500

Just a stone’s throw from the beautiful Severn Estuary Walks, with views towards the Severn Bridge and beyond to the Welsh hills, this neat home is tucked away and has a cosy sitting room, a well-presented kitchen/diner and three bedrooms, one of which is ensuite. Further plus points are the generous conservatory, which provides good views of the enclosed rear garden, garage and parking … and no onward chain.

£200,000

SO ST L C D

Thornbury

Seldom available and situated in the heart of Thornbury’s vibrant High Street, this terraced property is currently arranged as offices for financial and professional use (Class A2). Falling within the Thornbury Conservation Area - although it does not appear listed – the property features two main offices, reception area, waiting room with a courtyard to the rear. Bay windows and feature fireplaces merely add to the charm of the building.

sales@lisacosta.co.uk


Thornbury�Musical�Theatre�Group�Presents

SUPPORTING OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY

By Richard Prior

20TH - 23RD of February 2019 Armstrong Hall, Thornbury

“Our club is currently thriving and that is due to Lisa Costa’s support” JAKE, OLVESTON FOOTBALL CLUB

Book�online�at�www.tmtg.org.uk Shows at 7:30pm daily. Matinee at 2:30pm on Fri & Sat Armstrong Hall, Chapel St, Thornbury, Bristol BS35 2BJ Box Office: Lisa Costa Residential Sales & Lettings 53 High St, Thornbury. Phone 07516 270140 Box office opens on 14th of January Thornbury Musical Theatre Group Ltd. is a registered charity (1124233)

“What I love about Lisa Costa as a business is that it’s very family orientated” SARAH, CASTLE & MARLWOOD SCHOOL

OFFICIAL SUPPORTERS OF: Thornbury Carnival | Friends of Thornbury Carnival | Thornbury Town Football Club | Thornbury Arts Festival | Olveston & District Bowling Club | The Parish Players Theatre Group | Thornbury Musical Theatre Group | Olveston United Football Club | Thornbury Rugby Football Club | Castle School & Marlwood School (PREMIUM PARTNERSHIP) | Tytherington Rocks Football Club | Thornbury In Bloom

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01454 279734

Call us today for a free market appraisal

Thornbury

£259,995

This super home comes on to the market in excellent ‘as new’ condition and is still under the NHBC warranty. Add two parking spaces and a pretty, low maintenance garden and this home is ready to move straight in and enjoy. Inside you will find a lounge, a kitchen with all integrated appliances, a dining room, two generous bedrooms - one featuring a large walk-in wardrobe – and a fresh bathroom.

Thornbury

£415,000

Perfect for a growing family, this lovely four-bedroomed detached family home is on one of Thornbury’s favourite roads and a stone’s throw from a great primary school and shops. The spacious house features a well-proportioned lounge/diner with a bay window to the front, a kitchen, and a conservatory. Upstairs three of the four bedrooms have fitted wardrobes while the bathroom has been transformed into a wet-room. And outside there’s a private wrap-around garden.

sales@lisacosta.co.uk


Almondsbury

ÂŁ350,000

Ideally placed to enjoy both rural and professional life, this new three-bedroomed home is on a small development of just six homes in a popular village. Thoughtfully presented throughout and set behind an attractive stone wall, the bespoke kitchen is tastefully appointed, boasting a central island and integrated appliances, and opens into the light, bright lounge/dining room while upstairs the master of the three bedrooms is en-suite.

Thornbury

ÂŁ425,000

Searching for a property that gives you best of both worlds? Look no further, for this pretty semi-detached cottage on the outskirts of Thornbury is bursting with character and offers a practical and versatile layout, stylishly presented with a unique feel. On the ground floor, there is a cosy lounge with brick fireplace and stove, and upstairs there are four bedrooms while the garden is a joy, including cottage style planting and established fruit trees.

lisacosta.co.uk


01454 279734

Call us today for a free market appraisal

Oldbury

£650,000

Camp Cottage would offer a welcome escape from any busy life. The original cottage dates back to the late 19th century and, although modernised and upgraded, still retains the character and charm expected from a home in one of South Gloucestershire’s favourite villages. Tastefully appointed with modern conveniences blending with exposed beams, wood-burning stoves and exposed stonework in a carefully planned layout, this cottage is ready to move into.

Alveston

£625,000

Approached by a sweeping gated driveway, this distinctive ‘executive’ style home is one of only two similar designs and is definitely worth a closer examination. A stylishly impressive property, the home has surprisingly beautifully proportioned room sizes. So, if you have been searching for that impressive family home with five bedrooms, a versatile layout, on a good plot a short stroll from popular schools and close to Thornbury, then you’ve found it.

sales@lisacosta.co.uk


Lower Almondsbury

£750,000

Just a glimpse of all this detached four bedroom period cottage, which boasts a generous plot in the heart of the village, will set your heart racing. Having been carefully extended and transformed by the current owners over a number of years, is still retains enough charm – think exposed stone walls, flagstone flooring, thumb-latch doors, beams, wood floors, leaded double-glazed windows, and sympathetic décor – to keep any discerning buyer happy.

Thornbury

£495,000

As locations go, this would be hard to beat. This stylish detached period property, which has undergone several improvements to create an individual contemporary family home, is on the edge of Thornbury and boasts rural views. It also offers the opportunity to either work from home or to create space for a dependant relative in the detached annex. While mainly open-plan to give a social feel, there are rooms – or even the pretty garden - to escape to.

lisacosta.co.uk


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Giving you peace of mind every time Our innovative approach to marketing, together with our unrivalled customer care, makes us the right choice to market your property and guide you through your move

Whether you’re looking to sell or put your property up for rental, when you choose to market your property with Lisa Costa, you can be confident that we’ll ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Selling your property A leading independent agent covering all of Thornbury, the name Lisa Costa is synonymous with trust, excellence and integrity. With decades of experience, specialising in all aspects of residential property, our friendly, enthusiastic and professional service ensures that our clients continually return to sell and buy through us. We also recognise the importance of marketing, so your property will be advertised on the major online property portals, our website and social media sites, as well as traditional placement in our window display. Exclusively to us in our area, your property will receive its very own FREE microsite showcasing a property video, OFSTED reports, and a property brochure. Sharing

your personalised website across the social networks widens the audience for your property, to find the right buyer and increasing the chances of a quicker sale. Our qualified database of home buyers will be notified of your property coming to market on their dedicated search websites where they can book viewings and offer feedback. Quite simply we endeavour to sell your home for the best price, in the shortest possible time, providing you an outstanding service, with a personal and friendly approach.

Letting your property When it comes to letting, as Lisa Costa are members of certified accreditations, you can have peace of mind that your property is in safe hands as we ensure you are fully compliant with your landlord duties. We offer a comprehensive range of services for you to choose from including areas such as Tenant Introduction, Rent Collection, Gas Safety Checks, in-depth Inventory reports, Deposit registration, insurance-based Rent Guarantee and Legal cover policies. As with selling, when you choose to let through us, your property will be advertised

sales@lisacosta.co.uk

on the major online property portals, our website and social media sites, as well as traditional placement in our prominent window display.


The power of social media Your property will also receive its very own FREE property website showcasing a property video, OFSTED reports, and property brochures; something that we are proud to say is exclusive to Lisa Costa in our area. In addition, our qualified database of tenants and buyers will also be notified of your property coming to market on their dedicated search websites where they can book viewings and offer feedback. We will make sure the the highest of standards are met to find the right tenant and buyer for you. By sharing your personalised websites with family and friends across the social networks you will be widening the audience to find the right buyer or tenant for your property, increasing the chances of a quicker sale or rental.

When you choose to market your property with Lisa Costa, you can be confident that we’ll ensure that everything goes smoothly

Video microsite on our website

Rightmove featured property advertising* Feature in our monthly magazine

Comparables of houses SOLD and price guides

1.

ACTIVATE

Print marketing: Property brochure, photography, floorplans and newspapers

2.

RECEIVE YOUR VERY OWN

EXCLUSIVE

COMMON MARKETING

PERSONALISED

SHARE

PROPERTY WEBSITE

Tech gimic (Drones, 360 tours) SOLD

3.

SELL

Want to find out more about our range of exclusive services?

Portals and websites

Then please feel free to pop in or give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to help. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Feature on our Facebook, Twitter and Google+

Property video

lisacosta.co.uk

All our applicants receive your property on their own search for a home website


Meet the Team

Lisa Costa Residential Sales & Lettings is a friendly and independently run family business with over 20 years’ experience in the property market covering Thornbury, the villages of South Gloucestershire, Clifton in Bristol and Portishead. We are proud to offer a fresh, energetic and passionate approach to selling property. Here’s your chance to learn more about the team!

LISA COSTA

Tall, tenacious + creative How long have you lived in the area? 17 years What do you love most about your job? Working with people I love Tell us something unique about you. I was a croupier in a previous life What makes you happy? My woodburner, garden and my dogs What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Honesty is the best policy

EMILY COSTA

Sassy, smiley + exuberant How long have you lived in the area? 17 years What do you love most about your job? It’s something different every day Tell us something unique about you. I can touch my nose with my tongue What makes you happy? Wine, Harry Potter + burgers What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Never leave the house without your make-up on

SOPHIE COSTA

Conscientious, loyal + stubborn

HOLLY HODGSON

How long have you lived in the area? 17 years What do you love most about your job? Helping people find their first home Tell us something unique about you. I taught myself how to play the guitar What makes you happy? Food, food and food What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Treat others how you want to be treated

Daydreamer, funny + positive

How long have you lived in the area? All my life What do you love most about your job? Meeting new people every day Tell us something unique about you? I have an Everton FC season ticket What makes you happy? My husband, my family and prosecco What’s the best advice you have been given? Everything happens for a reason

sales@lisacosta.co.uk


CAROLYNE KNIBBS Positive, determined + nurturing

How long have you lived in the area? Last 30 years. What do you love most about your job? Every day is different and I work with a great, supportive team. Tell us something unique about you? I trained as a classical ballet dancer. What makes you happy? Family and friends, prosecco and dancing. What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Look after number 1 – everything else falls into place when you’re happy.

LISA PEARCE

Positive, smiley + motivated How long have you lived in the area? All my life What do you love most about your job? I love the excitement of helping people purchase their first home Tell us something unique about you. I danced on stage at the hippodrome What makes you happy? My children, food and prosecco What’s the best advice you’ve been given? A negative mind will never give you a positive life!

EMMA THORNELL Loyal, Laid-back + competitive

How long have you lived in the area? All my life What do you love most about your job? No 2 days are ever the same Tell us something unique about you. I’m a keen athletic fan and competed for my school in the sprinting events. What makes you happy? My 3 boys, Clothes, New York What’s the best advice you have been given? Live each day as if it’s your last!

JEMMA MORTIMER Strong willed, loyal + hardworking

How long have you lived in the area? All my life What do you love most about your job? That no day is the same! Tell us something unique about you. I used to swim competitively What makes you happy? My family, food and the sunshine What’s the best advice you have been given? My dad always told me ‘do as I say not as I do!

lisacosta.co.uk | lisacosta.tv


THE EXPERTS IN SELLING OR LETTING YOUR HOME BUT DON’T TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT, READ WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS SAY...

“There’s only one person we would go to and that’s Lisa Costa.”

MIKE, seller

I think the level of service we received from Lisa Costa was second to none! We were very impressed with the level of expertise. She was always there on the end of the phone or if you went into the office, she always available to answer any queries as were her girls. She knows the area, she knows the properties and she does tend to price the properties realistically. Not like some of the agencies that go way over the top and then hang around for months and months. Lisa prices to sell! There’s only one person we would go to and that’s Lisa Costa.

“helpful”

“personal service” They give you the personal service, the personal touch which gives you the confidence to go through with the buying and selling process.

SUE, buyer

“supported”

“very knowledgeable”

We believe Lisa Costa differs from other estate agents and lettings agents particularly in their approach to things. They are confident, they are friendly and they are extremely helpful. We found the whole team at Lisa Costa very knowledgeable and very cooperative. It felt absolutely natural for us to go straight back to Lisa Costa and ask them to manage the second property for us and to date that has been very, very sucessful. We wanted simplicity and no other problems and our experience as such has been first class.

sales@lisacosta.co.uk

GRAHAM, landlord


JILL, seller/landlady

We liked Lisa’s - not only her positive approach - but her engagement with the whole process. My husband and I would be very happy to recommend Lisa Costa agency to anybody we knew that was trying to sell their property. We’d tell them about the extra side of the service as many agents can give a good basic service but to feel really supported through the whole process, it’s a very good idea to come to Lisa Costa.

“Lisa Costa differs from other estate agents and lettings agents particularly in their approach to things”

“friendly”

When we came to sell our property, we were so sure Lisa was the right person to do this. We felt she was very realistic and very helpful.

GOLD SERVICE AS STANDARD... ...thanks to our innovative marketing approach

SYLVIE, seller

“confidence”

“second to none” lisacosta.co.uk | lisacosta.tv

GET YOUR FREE PROPERTY WEBSITE TO SHARE WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS TODAY


Time is precious Take care of you, while we take care of your move

Call us today to help get you moving

Relax and unwind while the team here at Lisa Costa make sure you have everything you need for your property move.

Share in our success of selling homes Spending time with loved ones. Creating special memories. Or just cosying up by the fire. It’s the little things that matter. And when it comes to marketing your property, we promise to concentrate on even the little things that help make a big difference to your move. www.lisacosta.co.uk www.lisacosta.tv

01454 279734

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Lisa Costa - February 2020  

Lisa Costa - February 2020