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Property NEWS Autumn 2018

Time to get cosy Page 2

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Get your security all wrapped up


Covers november.indd 15

Top tips for moving at christmas


Christmas family fun


26/10/2018 4:16 pm

Time to get cosy Welcome to the November issue of Property News! So, October half term has now passed which means the countdown to Christmas is officially on! Love it or hate it, Christmas is on the way. And if you are a lover of all that Christmas stands for, what better way to get you in the mood for the festivities than having a read inside this month’s issue. You’ll be spoilt for choice this month; from gift buying guides, fun Christmas activities and a tasty recipe. Plus, we give advice and top tips on moving over the Christmas period, as well as how to keep your property safe and secure while you enjoy the festivities. And when it comes to sport, this month we focus on the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup which will be played across three venues in the Caribbean between 9th and 24th November. As ever, enjoy reading this issue and we’ll see you again soon. Linda McKeown Editor


The sun has packed its bags and the nights are getting darker. Make the most of the winter nights by creating a cosy retreat in your home

If the colder, darker nights are making you hanker for a cosier home environment and reaching for your slippers, then follow our simple steps to achieving a warm, inviting, living space that’ll have you cosied up in no time!

The bedroom Updating your living space doesn’t have to be an expensive exercise – you can achieve a lot on a small budget, starting with your bedding. Swap your linen bed covers for those made from flannel or jersey. They’re perfect for holding in the heat during the cold nights. There’s nothing better than being cosied up in bed! Why not invest in a thick blanket or throw too to keep at the end of your bed – perfect for those extra cold nights.

Even your kitchen can benefit!

Update your lighting

Kitchens are renowned for being areas that can seem cold due to having tiled floors and walls, which help you keep the area clean for food preparation and cooking. Why not add a carpet runner alongside the floor cupboards where you do the majority of your food prep? It’ll create warmth while also keeping your feet warm if you’ve forgotten to put your slippers on!

Something as simple as changing your light bulbs for ones that emit a softer glow is the perfect way of creating a cosy atmosphere in your home. You can also look at updating your light switches with dimmer switches which will allow you to control the amount of light coming into your rooms. Or if you’re on a tight budget, then opt for candles instead. There’s something mesmerising about the flicker of candle light. However, always ensure that candles are placed away from curtains and are put on a fireproof surface or mat to avoid the chances of fire (and never leave candles unattended).

Opt for new cushions for your sofa which incorporate cool, wintry colours such as mustards, gold tones or bold checks

Accessorise yourself As well as making little changes around your home to create a cosy feel, there are plenty of ways to make yourself feel cosy too. Opt for a long-length dressing gown which feels super soft to touch. The same applies to your slippers too. In addition, invest in a super-soft throw which you can transport from room to room; whether you want to cosy up in front of your favourite TV programme or create an extra layer while tucked up in bed – it’ll be your new best friend!

Your living spaces There’s no need to update your whole living room to get that comfy, cosy, feel. Opt for new cushions for your sofa which incorporate cool, wintry colours such as mustards, gold tones or bold checks. Apply the same mantra to your living room curtains. It’s a super easy way to update your space. Opt for heavier weighted material to help block any cold breezes creeping in through your windows. And if you don’t have carpets on your floors, transform the feel with a fluffy rug to add instant warmth.


Make sure you have your home security all wrapped up 4

Christmas is a popular time for theft and burglaries, so extra precautions should be taken to ensure your home stays safe and festive during the holiday season. It’s getting to that time of the year again when Father Christmas will soon be dusting off his sleigh and its bells will start ringing once more. And we all know that if we’ve been good throughout the year we’ll receive some amazing presents from him. Most of us get presents, but there are some who don’t – the ones who weren’t good throughout the year. And they want their presents… even if it means thieving them with their own hands! To help ensure your Christmas stays a happy and joyous one, follow our guide as to how best to keep your home as secure as possible throughout the festive season.

The Ring Video Doorbell would be a fantastic way of making sure any potential burglars are turned away promptly while you are out

Lights can be an excellent way of deceiving any onlookers as to whether or not the property is occupied. Some lights can have timer mechanisms and can easily give the impression that someone is home, whether the lights are on the outside or inside of the property. If the lights are programmed to come on at certain intervals whilst you’re away from the property, the timed lights will give the impression that someone is at home.

Let’s begin with what might be considered an obvious one to some but can perhaps be easy to miss. Especially over Christmas time, burglars search bins. It’s so that they can find out what kinds of presents are in the property – scouting out potential thieving pads. Don’t leave the present packaging outside, because if you do, and that burglar searching your bins finds the box which the Apple MacBook Pro you bought your daughter originally came in, the burglar will likely want to seek out its previous inhabitant.

The Ring Video Doorbell, a product advertised on TV, would be a fantastic way of making sure any potential burglars are turned away promptly while you are out. How does it work? The doorbell is connected to your mobile phone, and when the doorbell is rung, the mobile phone presents the image the doorbell captures with its camera, and the words spoken through the phone can he heard from the doorbell. Speaking directly to whomever is ringing your doorbell while you’re out allows you plenty more control over the situation, affording you the opportunity to ask the stranger, who will think you are inside the home, to leave if you so wish.

Likewise, giving any hint or clue as to what kind of presents you’ve bought, to anyone from the outside of the property looking in, would probably be unwise. Make sure all the gifts are tucked away out of sight, in a location where they cannot be seen from the outside through windows.

More standard security measures such as burglar alarms and door lock upgrades are also something you may want to consider. Many homes have burglar alarms already, and they would be particularly effective.

Top tips for if you’re going away this Christmas Don’t post images of your presents on social media. Although this will be after Christmas Day, it’s still a great security measure to take, given just how fundamental social media is in our lives today. Showing off your new presents to your friends and acquaintances on social media is an exciting thing to be able to do, but it will be just as thrilling for potential thieves to see.

Avoid announcing your plans or advertising your holiday on social media platforms

As well as lighting timers, try timed radios to make your home look and sound lived in

Avoid leaving notes on the front door for the delivery man, for anyone to see

Ask a friend or neighbour to check on your home whilst you’re away, making sure everything inside is the way it should be

Avoid declaring details of your holiday on your voicemail answer machine messages, for anyone to hear

Ask a neighbour to park their car in your driveway, to create the impression that the property is lived-in


Christmas gift buying

made easy !

For her 1.

Collagin Gin with added Collagen If you’re looking for a unique gift, then Collagin is the answer. A perfectly blended gin with added Collagen this 50cl bottle is sure to go down a treat with your loved one. As seen on Dragon’s Den, it will certainly hit the spot!



Selfridges: Beauty Lovers Selection Box A hand selected limitededition beauty selection box offering an extensive range of must have products, including the best-selling brands Zoeva, Limecrime and Too Faced. A perfect gift for those who love their cosmetics.


Christmas is fast approaching and with that the stress of finding the perfect gift for your loved ones. If you’re stuck for ideas, we’ve found some of this year’s top buys.


Personalised Things I Love About Mum Pink Bold Print This personalised print would make the perfect gift for Mum. Your individual print can be personalised by adding up to five things you love about your mum. This stylish and thoughtful gift is the perfect way to show your mum how appreciated she is this Christmas.


3. 2.


Wooden Bath Caddy Tray It would be hard not to include this stylish bath accessory on the list. Handmade from solid wood and finished in a waterproof oak wood stain. It would make the perfect Christmas gift for those who enjoy a long soak in the tub with a glass of wine and a good book.





For him 5.



Spicy Bacon Sandwich Essentials

Nothing (For the Person Who Has Everything) What better gift for the man who tells you, “no don’t get me anything” than nothing. This empty ball of nothing is a humorous and unique gift – for the person who has everything!


An ideal gift for the bacon sandwich worshipper! This hamper offers everything he will need to cure his own spicy bacon and create the perfect bacon sarnie. All that’s needed is the pork!



7. 7.

Damn Handsome Beard Grooming Kit Should the man in your life be following the trend for facial hair, you need it to be kept trim. This pocket-sized tin contains all that is needed to keep his beard and moustache conditioned, moisturised and trimmed.


8. 8.

Nintendo Classic Mini Console Why not release the inner child and return to the days when games featuring Mario and Luigi were the best things in the world, with this retro game console? It comes with two controllers and a number of classic games. Great fun for him.




s d i K r Fo

Crate Creatures Break into the crate and free your new best friend! There are loads of different creatures to choose from, all of which make funny noises, vibrate when their tongue is pulled and have glowing eyes.





Elasti Plasti Slime Found at number nine on Hamleys top toys list is Elasti Plasti. Its nonsticky and never dries out; slime without the stickiness. It comes in a variety of different colours and you can blow giant bubbles or create a huge plastic parachute.

3. 4.



3. Boxer Robot Topping this year’s toy list is the Boxer Robot. This mini robot has sensors on his sides, which allows him to easily follow your hand while in ‘Follow me’ mode. Not only that but he has a really cool personality and can play along to loads of games.


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s t e P For



Lean Mean running machine dog treat box

Cupid & Comet Christmas Dinner Cat Stocking

If you’re looking to spoil your canine friend this Christmas, then this nutritious treat box is the answer. Offering 4 trays of tasty goodies, keep your pooch’s heart, bones and body in shape.

The cat in your life also needs to be spoilt at Christmas and despite their aloof attitude they will not want to be left out. This stocking contains a feline friendly 3 course Christmas dinner with dessert, treats and toys.




ICC Women’s World Twenty 20 The ten-team tournament, featuring threetime champions Australia, reigning ICC Women’s World Cup winners England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and defending champions the Windies – plus two qualifiers – will be played across three venues in the Caribbean between 9th and 24th November. The event kicks off at the Guyana National Stadium, starting with India and New Zealand. In the second match, Australia will play Pakistan and the Windies round off the day playing Qualifier 1 under lights. The venue will also host matches between arch-rivals India and Pakistan on 11th November, as well as Australia and New Zealand two days later. England’s first game takes place against Sri Lanka in St Lucia on 10th November and will play against Bangladesh in the same place two days later. England have named three uncapped players in their squad, including Loughborough Lightning left-arm spinners Kristie Gordon and Linsey Smith, as well as all-rounder Sophia Dunkley who helped Surrey Stars win the Women’s Super League this year.

Alex Hartley, Georgia Elwiss and Laura Marsh, all World Cup winners in 2017, were not included in England’s 15-strong squad, while left-arm seamer Katie George, who impressed after making her T20 and ODI debuts this year, also misses out. Heather Knight will captain England, who won the inaugural Women’s World T20 in 2009 and beat India to win the World Cup in the 50-over format last year. Coach Mark Robinson said: “Everyone is looking forward to the challenges ahead and we can’t wait to get out there and get started.” It will be the first time that a Women’s World T20 will be held as a stand-alone tournament without a men’s competition being played in parallel – while the Decision Review System will be used for the first time at a World T20 event, with all 23 games broadcast live.

The first edition of the championship was help in 1903, exclusively for male gymnasts 9

PREPARING TO MOVE OVER THE CHRISTMAS PERIOD Moving house is traditionally seen as one of the most stressful ventures in a person’s life. Couple that with Christmas, what’s meant to be a jolly time of year, could be a recipe for disaster. That is if you don’t have a good plan up your sleeve!

MOVING BEFORE CHRISTMAS The thought of moving before Christmas and enjoying the festive period in your new home is something many people dream about. And it’s something which is possible and doesn’t have to be stressful! Just like any house move, planning is essential. Arranging Christmas decorations into separate boxes and buying a tree in advance are both good ways to make sure your Christmas decorations are easy to unpack and decorate your house with. Storing your year-round ornaments and photo frames in a separate box means you can keep them to one side and unpack them after the Christmas period. If you prefer having a real tree rather than an artificial one, a small table top tree is a great way to enjoy a

real tree without the worry of moving a six-foot tree, or to save you from a last-minute scramble to find one! These are also easy to decorate as they don’t require a lot of baubles or lights. If, like Cliff Richard, you want to put logs on the fire, it is essential that the fireplace has been recently swept. Go back to the house to check the condition of the fireplace and ask the vendors when the last time they had the chimney swept. Booking the chimney sweeper before you move in means the fireplace will be ready to use. Additionally, if the property is powered by oil, make sure there is enough fuel in the tank to see you through the winter months.

Also check for any potential problems with lighting and electrics. Avoid the added stress of having to rush to the shops because of faulty fairy lights by checking these before you pack. The simple and quick job of plugging your lights in and checking they all work could save you a nasty last-minute shock. If you are a keen Christmas shopper then you may have already bought all your presents, if so make sure these can’t be seen by someone when packing or unpacking! And if you have time, wrapping your presents up early before the move


will make sure no surprises are ruined if your children go on a hunt for presents! Try and collate your presents into the same boxes and make sure any valuable presents are safely wrapped in bubble wrap. For children, Christmas is a very exciting time and a house move may add to this heightened level. A move around Christmas is stressful enough so we would advise letting a family member take them shopping or to visit the Christmas festivities that are going on at this time of year, whilst you move. This welcome distraction will allow you to get on with the move without having over excitable children running around. Spending your first Christmas in your new home creates a magical cosy experience and one that your family will cherish for years to come, and we are here for you to help your move go smoothly.

Spending your first Christmas in your new home creates a magical cosy experience and one that your family will cherish for years to come, and we are here for you to help your move go smoothly. MOVING AFTER CHRISTMAS If you’re moving home after Christmas, you can still have Christmas decorations, without having to worry about added stress! Try to keep the decorations to a minimum rather than turning your home into Santa’s grotto. Keep boxes aside specifically for decorations so they can be easily packed away. If you own an artificial tree, keep the original box so it can easily be stored away in the new home too. You should never under estimate just how much you have, so keeping decorations short and minimal won’t add to the pressures of packing! It is a good idea to plan Christmas dinner and the need to use kitchen appliances, crockery and glasses. If you can’t talk your way into going to a relatives house for Christmas dinner, you could suggest that visitors help with the cooking by bringing pre-cooked roasties, stuffing or veg to reduce the workload – and the washing up! Alternatively, for more peace of mind you can book a family meal out.

Only use rooms which you use day to day and use spare rooms, such as extra reception rooms or a study, for storage. That way you can pack things away whilst making space for Christmas decorations. Packing over the space of a few weeks and using spare rooms or the garage for storage will also help relieve the stress of packing. If it is possible, you could even ask your kids to room-share for a few nights, so you have extra rooms for storage. If you have been good this year you may expect to receive a sack full of presents. If you have a house move planned for after Christmas, keep the packaging they came in to make it easier to pack away and store. Or if you have the self-control, avoid getting your gifts out the packaging completely and start storing them away to avoid them getting lost or damaged.



family fun

The build up to Christmas can be fun and exciting, full of activities to getting the whole family ready for the festive season. If you’re stuck for ideas on where to go and what to do, we have some ideas here for you!

Not only do we have all the excitement at home of making Christmas cakes and decorating the house, there are events going on everywhere; from shopping centres, parks and marketplaces!

Christmas lights Most towns hold an event with a Christmas market, children’s activities and Christmas food and drinks. Then, later in the evening, as it starts to get darker they start doing a big countdown to the lights being switched on. It’s a great atmosphere and they often have a local celebrity attending the event to speak to the crowd and switch on the lights. Some also have fireworks after the event, while many also have funfairs or late night market.

Ice Skating Ice skating is all the rage at Christmas time and is the perfect past-time for all the family. It’s ideal if you are looking to do something that little bit different, before grabbing a nice hot chocolate to warm you up afterwards!


Christmas markets Towns don’t just hold Christmas markets for a one-off light switch on. Some have a weekly Christmas market alongside their local market, and there are often annual markets dotted around the country. York, Winchester and Belfast have some of the largest ones in the UK. Hyde Park in London hosts a huge market every year full of attractions, stalls, food and fair rides for the children. This year it’s on from the 23rd November until the 6th January. The market itself is free to get in, and you can book tickets for the different attractions. New for 2018 are the Peter Pan on Ice show, The Snowman Experience and the Teletubbies Christmas Show, amongst other shows. There are so many markets around that usually span over a few days, so it’s extremely likely there will be one near to you! However, if you want to travel further afield, Germany holds huge Christmas markets. The Christmas markets here are popular amongst tourists because of how the country celebrates the festive season. Their Christmas food is always popular at UK Christmas markets, and their Christmas traditions such as Advent and Christmas trees have become standard around the world.

Santa’s Grotto Going to visit Santa’s Grotto is a great way to get the children out and about, letting them experience the magical build up to Christmas and, of course, getting them to meet the man himself! It makes a great day out looking at all the beautifully decorated venues with their fake snow, Santa’s helpers and some even have rides for the children, such as Santa trains or little boat rides. This means that children get to look at all the amazing décor around and then get to speak to Santa to tell him about what they want for Christmas and whether or not they have been a good boy or girl. Some Grottos, usually those in big rural areas or in garden centres, also have live reindeer, which really excites children as they get to meet Santa’s travelling companions before they are busy on Christmas Eve.

National Trust The National Trust regularly have events around the UK at their different properties. These range from markets, craft events for children, Santa visits and some places decorate their manors and houses ready for the Christmas period. So why not make a visit and truly experience what it would have been like to celebrate Christmas in years past!

Lapland UK Every child dreams of visiting Lapland to see Santa and his elves. Well, now we have our very own Lapland here in the UK, rather than having to travel to the North Pole! It’s located in Berkshire and is a big adventure for children and adults alike. It’s all about the Father Christmas story, the secret world of the elves and promises to give you amazing family memories.


Ho ho ho, get baking!


What better way to get the kids all excited for Santa’s pending arrival than with these reindeer biscuits. If Santa’s lucky, he may even get one on his plate on Christmas Eve!

Rudolph shortbread MAKES 8 BIG BISCUITS | 1hr prep & cook 200g salted butter, softened 2 tsp vanilla extract 85g golden caster sugar 85g ground rice 225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting 3 tbsp icing sugar 8 red Smarties 16 white sweets or white chocolate buttons, for the eyes black writing icing tube Put the butter, vanilla and sugar in a big mixing bowl and stir together until smooth. Stir in the ground rice first, then the flour. If it starts to get dry, you might need to use your hands to squish everything together to make a smooth dough. Put a piece of baking parchment on a baking sheet. Make the dough into a round ball in the middle of the parchment, then use your hands to push it down and flatten it. Get a rolling pin and dust it with some flour so it doesn’t stick to the dough. Use the rolling pin to roll the dough out to a big circle. Get a 22-23cm round plate, cake tin or cardboard template and place on top of the dough when you’ve rolled it big enough. Use a cutlery knife to trim round the edges to make a neat circle and throw away the trimmings. Use a knife to mark the giant biscuit into 8 smaller wedge-shaped biscuits – pretend you are cutting a pizza into slices but don’t actually cut it. Prick lines from the edge to the centre of the dough. Use the back of a fork to press all around the top of the circle along the edge to make a line pattern (it’s going to be hair for your reindeer!) Cover with cling film and put the tray in the fridge for 30 mins to get cold. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Cook the chilled shortbread for 25 mins until golden. Cool completely on the tray, then use a sharp knife to follow the lines you made and cut into 8 wedges. Mix the icing sugar with 1-2 tsp of water to make a thickish icing. Dunk each Smartie in and use like glue to stick one on the pointy end of each biscuit to make red noses. Dunk in your white sweets or chocolate buttons and stick them 2cm in from the edge at the other end to be eyes. Use the black writing icing tube to add dots to the white eyes, then let all the icing dry and go hard. Carefully wrap each biscuit in a square of cellophane or put in a cellophane bag. Twist the middle of a pipe cleaner in a loop around the top of the bag or gathered cellophane to enclose the biscuit. Now twist each end of the pipe cleaner so it looks like the reindeer’s antlers. Add labels and give to your friends and family – or hang on your Christmas tree.


Making gifts If you want to package your biscuits up as gifts, you’ll also need: 8 cellophane bags (15 x 25cm) or 8 x 40cm cellophane squares

Rudolph Shortbreads will keep for up to 3 days when kept in a cool, dry place

8 brown pipe cleaners labels and string or ribbon Recipe can be found at

Positive outlook for rental market According to Rightmove, a lack of new rental properties coming to the market in London in the second quarter of this year – which is down 3.5% on Q2 2017 – has helped push the annual rate of London asking rents to 3.4%, with rents outside London also rising 2.7% over the quarter This is the highest rate for three years and the first time since Q4 2014 that the capital has been the strongest performing region. The 2.7% national rise over the quarter is similar to the 2.8% rise in the same quarter 2017. However, the annual rate has fallen back to 0.7%, which has been dragged down by flat annual change in the South West and a negative rate of -0.4% in the South East. Meanwhile, new listings are up 2.4% outside London, offering some more choice to renters. “Nationally on average it takes a letting agent just over a month (36 days) from the time a rental property goes on Rightmove until it is marked let agreed,” says Rightmove, “which is the same length of time as this time last year.

“Often properties will start being advertised before they are available to help tenants looking for a place in advance, and to help landlords minimise any void periods.” The national average in masks some of the faster places to let such as Stirling, Bristol and Ashford, which all take 22 days. In London, the time it takes to find a tenant has sped up from 44 days to 40 days, with the quickest areas being Bexleyheath (23 days), Edmonton (25 days) and Blackfen (25 days). Miles Shipside, Rightmove’s Housing Market Analyst, adds: “After a few years of more plentiful supply in the London market we’ve now reached a point again where competition among tenants for a great rental home can be very high in the most popular rental areas of the capital. “This reduced choice could be symptomatic of fewer landlords buying and some selling up as rental returns are being diminished by more onerous tax, and little or no growth in capital appreciation, along with increased demand from tenants.

If you are looking to place your property on the rental market, then get in touch today to see what we can do for you.

“Outside London there looks to be more choice for tenants, but those looking to rent in the South West and Yorkshire and the Humber should note that properties are moving faster than this time last year so they may need to move more quickly to secure a good quality home.”


From ÂŁ725,000

Frome New Homes

Over 50% already reserved. A luxury development of only 7 detached houses with two, three and four bedroom homes on the edge of town with stunning views. This exclusive and private development has large gardens, plenty of driveway parking, with most of the plots having garages and the all too rare a commodity nowadays in new homes: space. With just these homes occupying a large site with plenty of room between the houses, a wide, private road and each house benefiting from plenty of driveway parking and a garage (subject to plot). CALL FOR MORE DETAILS!

Westbury Leigh


It is not so often that we come across a property that comes to market that leaves us in awe. This property was a self-built bungalow of real quality. On a plot that nowadays would house a cul-de-sac rather than one dwelling with a monumental amount of parking, double garaging, workshop and one hell of a garden.



Brunel Way, Frome

Thousands of pounds, a lot of time and a massive amount of effort has gone into the renovation of this house in the last 5 years including the installation of a stunning kitchen family room, new central heating, new windows and doors, new bathroom, all internal doors, fitted wardrobes, carpet and decor. It is lovely and needs to be viewed.


Knoll House, Frome

Two beautiful grade II listed, converted apartments; set in a sought after gated development, in a little-known spot in the heart of the town centre. Each with two good sized bedrooms, one with an en-suite in addition to a bathroom, a lovely dining room with a view over Gentle Street, a very smart balcony and a parking space. – can be purchased together or separately.


Sandy View, Frome

A very smart, stylish and well-presented family house located in this sought-after village. The house has the benefit of having been extended at the side and has a really well-planned layout with a good-sized garden and plenty of gravelled driveway parking.


Knights Maltings

Located at the head of the Valley View development, this detached family home, with a non-estate feel, offers larger than expected accommodation. The property has a lovely and private 39’ garden, garage and additional parking. A great house for those looking for something larger or even something smaller!



The Bungalow, Corsley

A substantial well-presented chalet style detached bungalow in a delightful rural setting between Frome & Warminster. Five bedrooms, two receptions, two bathrooms newly fitted kitchen and wonderful countryside views. Good sized gardens to front & rear ample parking. VIEWING ADVISED. Rent quoted exclusive of administration fees £150.00 for a single adult & £90.00 per additional.

£5,000 per annum




Catherine Hill

A ground floor retail or office unit within the prominent St Catherine’s district of Frome. This petite unit has just 132.7 sqft (12.3 sqm) of space. Available from February 2019. Rent £5,000 Per annum payable monthly or quarterly in advance. Rateable value: £2,075 from 2017.

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