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JULY 2021







Having fun from home Entertain the kids in the UK this summer


6 16 20 28

Upgrading your living room Innovative ideas on interior design Our latest instructions Take a look at a selection of our latest properties on the market About us Get to know us a little better and see why we are your agent of choice Your home move Your guide to help you every step of the way on your home move



UK Reopening Get back to normality with the reopening of the UK


Best holiday destinations See the Green listed places you can travel to this summer

10 12

July gardening guide Get your garden summer-ready with our top jobs this July The West End As the audience filter back to the West End we talk about what’s on stage



Golden summer of sports Get comfy to settle into a summer of sports



Picnic time We have a recipe to get you summer picnic ready

WELCOME TO THE JULY ISSUE! Summer is well and truly here. Sunshine, the smell of BBQs on the air, and even holidays abroad in line with Government advice. With this in mind, on pages 4&5 you will find our guide to the best ‘Green List’ destinations to take the family this Summer. However, if you are staying closer to home, we have this covered too on pages 8&9 with some great summer days out for the whole family. Moving inside, this could be the perfect time to do some interior design and on page 6 we have some fantastic ides to upgrade your living room just in time for the school holidays. Talking about the school holidays, we understand you can’t have a day out every day – as much as the kids want to – so we have put together some great ideas how to keep them entertained at home on page 7.



It’s in July that your garden comes into its own. However, with all those BBQs you’re planning and the increased footfall on the lawn and down paths, we have you covered to keep it looking pristine with our monthly gardening guide full of the best gardening hints and tips with month. With the rescheduling of the Olympics and the European Football Championships, we are blessed with a plethora of summer sport, so whether you are interested in tennis, athletics, football, cricket or rugby, on pages 14&15, we have a guide to the Best of British this month and if sports aren’t your thing, check out our guide to the reopening of the theatre on page 12. Jonathan Wheatley Editor



FUTURE It’s time to rethink, re-invent and rejoice as life starts to return to normal In 1970, the hugely-influential Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell wrote the part-political, part-personal Big Yellow Taxi, essentially a plea for action to prevent wholesale damage to the environment. Fast forward 51 years and the lyric “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” seemed rather prophetic as the global community was ravaged and psychologically bludgeoned by an unforgiving pandemic which laid waste to our way of life. Yet, barely 18 months later, here we are at the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end, depending on your level of optimism. A comprehensive vaccine programme has been rolled out, lockdowns have been gradually relaxed and the days of tiers and tears, rhyming safety mantras, deserted streets and scotch eggs as substantial meals are hopefully behind us. But what now? A regular haircut? Trips to the pub? Or a simple hug?

Thankfully, it’s July and there are hot summer days and short balmy nights to look forward to. The vivid colours of the garden will be mirrored on the High Street as shopping once again becomes an experience, rather than a continuous battle against an unforgiving computer program and an indifferent broadband signal. And be prepared for bright outfits to reflect a more positive attitude. Unleash those Hawaiian shirts, people! In fact, a recent poll discovered around 77% believe summer 2021 will lift the mood of the nation as it will mean more. Two-thirds admitted they were more excited for this summer because at last they can escape the confines of their home and spend time outside with family and friends. One analyst, with more than a nod to Joni Mitchell, commented: “The research illustrates how important the little things we used to take for granted now mean more to us than ever before. “From small things like a hug with a member of the family, browsing in a

shop or going for brunch, the focus on social interaction holds lots of opportunities – it’s clear to see how excited people are to get back to normality and socialise again. “Many are also keen to re-invent themselves with a trip to the hairdressers or barbers and buying new clothes and accessories.” Furthermore, 82% said they were going to be more positive about everyday activities while 57% planned to be more spontaneous, although, on reflection, that’s probably a contradiction in terms. But the most revealing point was how much those polled missed social interaction: Lazy pub garden lunches with friends where the heady aroma of burgers and beer comfortably eclipse its rivals, the bracing stroll along the beach or the cloying scent of pine and undergrowth on a woodland walk. Some were even looking forward to face-to-face business meetings – Zoom is so yesterday, dahling – while even the option to work “anywhere but home”

got the thumbs-up. As did after-work drinks with colleagues…. because obviously there’s 15 months of gossip to catch up with. Throw into the mix a return to the theatre, spilling popcorn while watching a blockbuster film at the cinema – surely they can’t delay Daniel Craig’s swansong as James Bond again? – and visiting a gallery or museum. And live music. And live sport, not just on TV but actually in the flesh. Landmark birthday parties – well, okay, any birthday party. Getting dressed to impress – oh, all right, just getting dressed. Spa days, beauty treatments, weekends away, holidays, going on a date. So many things taken for granted. So many things to look forward to again. And while we may solemnly side with Joni Mitchell’s sentiments – and yes, there are changes we can, and should, make – we should also take note of Ian Dury’s words some 29 years later. Because there are indeed Reasons To Be Cheerful.




We explain what the travel traffic light system means, and where the best places are to travel this summer


ince we are now allowed to travel abroad from the UK to different countries, we’re all getting our glorious holidays booked. In May the government revealed its international travel traffic light system.

Green listed countries*

Green list countries means that travellers won’t need to quarantine when they return to the UK, although they will be required to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test and a PCR test on or before day two of their return. Amber list countries means travellers will need to quarantine upon arrival back to the UK for 10 days, as well as being required to pay for tests before and after their trip. Amber listed countries should not be visited for leisure purposes. Red list countries means travellers, upon arrival back to the UK, must quarantine for 10 days in government managed hotels which cost £1,750 per person, and, again, you should not travel to red list countries or territories for leisure purposes.



Portugal Gibraltar Israel Australia New Zealand Singapore Brunei Iceland Faroe Islands

*Green List countries correct at the time of going to print

Here are some of our favourite holiday destinations in Portugal:

ALBUFEIRA There’s a wonderful sense of versatility to Albufeira, in the sense that it will cater for lively holidays but also quiet, relaxing breaks, depending on what you’re looking for. Once a fishing village, the cobblestoned streets of the Old Town still retain the essence of Albufeira, perfect for relaxation. The bustling and lively Sao Joao, on the other hand, lends itself to a party atmosphere and tourist playground. Whatever it is you’re looking for, though, the beautiful beaches will be a joy to everyone.

LOULE The history of this place dates back to the Romans, which is evident in its medieval castle with a municipal museum, offering spectacular views from the ancient ramparts, whilst being located in the central Algarve. Loule is very well-known for its gipsy market which takes place every Saturday morning, and the town is altogether charming, boasting splendid old churches, marvellous restaurants, bars and shops.

TAVIRA Last but not least, Tavira is often regarded as the Venice of the Algarve. Renowned for its fine Moorish architecture, including a beautiful 12th century bridge across the River Gilao, Tavira is one of the most attractive-looking towns and prestigious locations in the region. Tavira Island is part of the natural reserve of Ria Formosa, where you can take a boat trip along the lagoon to marvel at the plants, animals and birds thriving there.

If you like treks, it will be no problem for you reaching the top via the wonderful Mediterranean steps leading too O’Hara’s Battery.

EUROPA POINT From the highest point of Gibraltar, to the most southerly – Europa Point. Here you will find the historic 19th Century Trinity Lighthouse, the old chapel of Nuestra Senora de Europa, which, translated, means “the shrine of our Lady of Europa. There is also the impressive Mosque of The Custodian of the Holy Mosques. Europa Point has been significantly redeveloped in recent times, and now houses the restored Harding Battery which was originally built in 1859, together with Nun’s Well, an ancient underground water reservoir. Altogether Europa Point boasts tons of history, whilst also being adorned with the island’s only cricket ground.

Its brilliant colour is particularly pronounced when the sun hits the surface, which can change from red to white, and even to yellow on occasion. Here are some of our favourite spots in Israel:

MOUNT TABOR Mount Tabor is a sight to behold, and offers a distinctive curve whilst rising above Jezreel Valley. It is almost 2000 foot high and makes for a magnificent hiking trail through lush pine forest. This is also Israel’s most popular spot for paragliding.

RED CANYON Here are some of our favourite attractions in Gibraltar:

HIGHEST POINT IN GIBRALTAR The highest point in Gibraltar is approximately 425 meters above ground level, and it really is a site to behold. Up here is where you will find O’Hara’s Battery, an artillery fortification built in the year 1890.

The popular Red Sea resort of Eliat is only a short drive away from Red Canyon, which is said to decadently feel like Mars with its swirling red rock landscapes. Its brilliant colour is particularly pronounced when the sun hits the surface, which can change from red to white, and even to yellow on occasion. Again, a fantastic spot for any hiker.




LIVING ROOM? If you’re upgrading your living room this year, here are some innovative ideas to help


hether it be a calming décor, an ocean of soft and fluffy comfort for your bare feet to walk through, or a crackling fireplace spitting happily away as you lounge around, your living space should be a thing of beauty.


With the sunshine now beckoning us all to enjoy the outdoors like never before, why would you be blocking this gorgeous light from your indoors? Glass walls can be surprisingly helpful for other reasons too, especially if your home potentially enjoys views beyond. Transparency allows for a visual connection between spaces running all the way to your outside space.


If it’s the luxury look you’re looking for, an eclectic theme might just be the perfect upgrade in style for your home. A fundamental characteristic of this theme is organisation, so make sure your living space is well-organized from the get go. A respectfully chosen colour palette, mirrors and artwork can make way for an elegant living room design.


Art is the gateway to the soul, as someone great surely once said. Grace your walls with art. And art is art – it doesn’t need to be by a world-renowned artist, just something you like which suits your tastes. Perhaps choose colours which match your desired décor of the entire room. Either way, art or photography can go a long way in giving your living space a much needed lift in character and mood.


The fireplace can be key to creating the focal point in your living room. It can enhance the modern feel to a space, or complement a vintage layout and style. Log burners can be ideal for the winter, whereas wall-mounted fireplaces can be more low maintenance. With many factors to consider, the choice is yours to make.


Do you want your main living space to be somewhere for sharing social moments, entertainment and relaxation? The answer to that question is usually yes, so keep things arranged whereby these activities can take place. Style and décor is great, but the space needs to remain functional at the same time as being elegant.



HAVING FUN FROM HOME THIS SUMMER As we approach another British Summer, attention will inevitably turn to occupying the kids throughout the school holidays


e know how hard it can be to continue to entertain children, so take a look at our list of recommended activities to get them excited, without having to leave your home.


If the kids are in the mood to flex their creative muscles, then indulge them with some DIY arts and crafts. But if you’re worried about gathering necessary equipment, think again, because there are so many great ways to get messy with items around the house. For example, you can create your own monsters out of discarded tissue boxes. Or if your youngsters are budding scientists, then have a look at how you can, with only a few ingredients, create your own mini volcanoes, or a DIY Fireworks display in a glass!

GO HUNTING FOR TREASURE No matter the age of your child, or the dimensions of your home, a treasure hunt is always a firm favourite. And these can be done in different ways. You can hide a variety of everyday items around the house and garden, and task your kids with locating

them. Or, if you want to add another dimension, then turn this into a scavenger hunt, and provide clues. As well as ensuring that the kids’ imaginations are kept active, it’s a great activity to last all day, and it gives your children a sense of achievement as they complete it.


Given how pleasant British Summers can be, then why not take advantage, and spend some quality time in your garden. Start with a picnic. Throw the blanket down, grab your favourite snacks, and embrace the warmth. And when it gets dark, get the tent out, and go on a mini-camping break! This doesn’t just bring the family together, but allows you to recreate a real camping trip, from the comfort of your own home. So don’t forget the smores!


The long summer days provide ample time to do whatever you please. So why not get the family into the kitchen, and create some family favourites. You will not only end up with some scrumptious snacks, but it will also give your children a key insight into the world of cooking from a young age.




Having fun from home is great. But sometimes, the whole family fancies a well-deserved break


o if you need some inspiration for a fun-filled day out, or you’re yet to make a decision, and are still weighing up potential options, here are our top picks for how to make memories with your family this summer.


Where else to start than a trip to the seaside? This adventure has been a family favourite for decades, and is ideal if you’re looking to take advantage of the summer weather. If you’re lucky enough to be able to travel to a sandy beach, then this gives you ample opportunity to make sandcastles, or create your own games of beach football or volleyball. But that’s not to say that a pebbled beach provides you with any less entertainment. With rocky areas comes the opportunity to discover all types of crustaceans which might be living in rock-pools. So grab your nets, and explore all of the different species which live in these nooks and crannies. And when you’re all tired out, indulge in a well-earned ice cream or some fish and chips, to round the day off nicely.


There is little as exciting for anyone than the thrill of a theme park. The screams of people on rollercoasters, combined with the outer-world feeling of a theme park, allow you to completely escape reality for the day. So why not try all the rides, consume all the candy floss you can stomach, and allow yourself to be swept away in the energy of a theme park.

The screams of people on rollercoasters, combined with the outer-world feeling of a theme park, allow you to completely escape reality for the day 8


The same can also be said for a water park. As well as offering many wet and wild flumes for those of an older age, water parks have great options for youngsters, and often include play areas for children, so that the whole family is catered for. The great thing about these attractions, is that they are open from early in the morning until late in the evening, so the option is there if you want to make the most of your visit!


One of the great wonders for children, is getting to learn all about different animals. So this Summer, why not allow your children to get up close and personal with all creatures, great and small. For example, if you want to see animals roaming, then take a trip to a safari park, so you can encounter some of Africa’s greatest beasts. If you would prefer to get to know animals which are found closer to home, then journey to a farm. As well as seeing animals in their natural habitat, you can also get the chance to feed them as they go about their day. And if you’re desperate to have an encounter with marine animals, then visit an aquarium. Their stunning displays allow you to take in all manner of aquatic life, and often have extensive gift shops to remind you of your day.


Something that may not be on top of your list, but should still be considered, is going fruit or vegetable picking. As well as teaching your kids about food production and farming, food always tastes best when you’ve selected it yourself! There are plenty of farms where you can pick a variety of fruits, ranging from strawberries, apples, pears, and even blackberries. So why not visit a pick-your-own farm, bring a picnic, and come back with a whole bag of goodies to enjoy in your own time. And you can remember your day by baking your winnings in cakes and pies, and even make your own jam.


The last thing that anyone thinks of when they hear the word ‘festival’ is ‘family-friendly’. But think again, because there are now a growing number of brilliant days out for the entire household to enjoy. Like music festivals, these events run for a number of consecutive days, right across the country, and throughout the summer months. And each one offers something completely unique. For example, some festivals feature musical performances others boast comedy for kids` and a few even have cinema screenings. But what all have in common are plenty of food and drink options for the whole family to enjoy, and enough activities for all ages, that means you are never at risk of lacking something to do!






Often one of the hottest months of the year, there are still plenty of jobs to do in the garden…


uly is a great month to sit outside and enjoy all of your hard work in your garden until now. The challenge in July, is keeping it looking as good as possible. The hot weather can dry out plants, but at the same time you want to be water-wise. There are some simple steps to take: Keep your flowers looking healthy throughout July by regularly deadheading any repeat-flowering perennials and bedding plants that have gone over. This will ensure a longer display of rich, colourful blooms over the season. Check clematis for signs of clematis wilt which is a fungal disease which as the name suggests causes rapid wilting and can kill the whole plant. Early signs are leaf spots, and leaf stalks turning black. Cut out all wilted stems back to healthy tissue and destroy the affected material. Don’t forget to disinfect pruning tools after so as not to contaminate more plants.



Clear algae, blanket weeds and debris from ponds, and keep them topped up. The last thing you want in the middle of summer is your pond turning into an eyesore. Just remember to be careful of any creatures that are living in the pond when you do this. Keep on top of your lawn. In the summer months, your grass grows quicker than ever. However, in the heat, and with increased footfall, it can soon start to look sorry for itself. To keep your lawn looking its best mow regularly. This deters weeds and encourages thick grass. Also, if it is looking a little sorry for itself, give it a dose of lawn fertiliser. Just because it’s hot outside, don’t forget your houseplants inside, especially if

you go on holiday. If you are going away for a week or more, give your plants a thorough watering before you leave and move them to a cool shady spot.

Keep on top of your lawn. In the summer months, your grass grows quicker than ever

Take care of plants in containers and hanging baskets by keeping them in moist, well-draining compost and leave them to dry a little between waterings to save water and keep the plants at their healthiest. Also, if a plant is starting to look too big for its container, pot him on so it can grow as large as it wants to. Keep harvesting any herbs you have growing. By picking and using the leaves from herbs, you will promote bushier growth again. However, if your recipe requires a lot of the herb, then if you don’t have multiple plants, your best to sacrifice one for the job.

Check clematis for signs of clematis wilt which is a fungal disease which as the name suggests causes rapid wilting




time machine – will leave its flaming tyre-tracks across the stage of the Adelphi Theatre as Back To the Future finally hits London in August, while another movie spinoff, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, will not return until October “at the earliest”. And that leaves us with the big-hitters. The multi award-winning Hamilton is back from August 19th while the return of the Oliver and Tony Award-winning smash, Dear Evan Hansen, the tale of a socially-awkward teenager struggling to connect with modern life, has yet to be finalised, although the movie version is expected in October.


he legendary Ethel Merman famously shrilled: There’s no business like show business … and that is what producers will be banking on as stage-starved patrons start to filter back into venues up and down the country. Eerily silent for the past few months, expectation in theatreland has risen a few notches as pandemic restrictions have eased.

Some of the West End staples, such as The Mousetrap – after 68 years, the longest-running whodunnit in the world – and the staged concert of Les Miserables, which returns in all its full-blown glory in September, took the opportunity to re-open as soon as possible.


Eerily silent for the past few months, expectation in theatreland has risen a few notches as pandemic restrictions have eased.

passengers who become stranded in Newfoundland in the wake of 9/11 and the small community that welcomed the ‘come from aways’ into their lives. Hardly subject matter for a ‘joyous musical’ you might think, but it took a pandemic to halt its record-breaking rampage across the globe. But, there again, you might say the same about Six, the critically-acclaimed Tudor romp where the six wives of Henry VIII get to tell their stories. Given that it didn’t end well for two, it should be an enlightening experience.

However, it will be early summer before a sense of normality returns with old favourites such as The Phantom of The Opera and Joseph And His Technicolour Dreamcoat vying for business alongside The Prince of Egypt (based on the DreamWorks animated film) and the Olivier Award-winning Come From Away.

The king of the West End, Andrew Lloyd Webber, will be holding court at the Gillian Lynne Theatre with his latest blockbuster Cinderella, which has its world premiere on July 14th, and that should whet the appetite for Disney’s Frozen and the return of Mary Poppins next month.

The last one is a bit of a curiosity as it is based on the true story of 7,000 airline

Similarly, the world’s most famous DeLorean – Marty McFly’s four-wheeled


Image for illustrative purposes only

PICNIC-TIME Enjoy some special days out with this July with these fantastic picnic recipes


Ingredients •7  50g new potatoes, halved •½  small cauliflower (about 350g), broken into very small florets • 1 00g green beans, trimmed and halved • s unflower oil, for frying •3  00g piccalilli •3  tbsp olive oil •8  radishes, quartered •3  baby cucumber, thickly sliced For the pickled onions • 1 00ml cider vinegar •2  tbsp sugar • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds • 1 large red onion or 2 small, finely sliced Method • STEP 1 First, make the pickled onions. Pour the vinegar and 50ml water into a small saucepan. Add the sugar, 1 tsp salt and the mustard seeds and simmer over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Put half the onion into a heatproof bowl and pour the hot liquid over. Leave to cool slightly, then cover and leave to pickle in the fridge for 2 hrs.

• STEP 2 Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the potatoes for 10 mins. Add the cauliflower and beans, and cook for 2 mins more, then drain. • STEP 3 Heat a depth of 3cm sunflower oil in a small heavy-based saucepan until a small cube of bread dropped into the oil turns golden within 20 seconds. Carefully drop the rest of the onion into the oil and fry for 1-2 mins, or until golden and crisp. Transfer to a sheet of kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt – this will help keep the onions crisp.

Ingredients • 2 eggs • 2 tbsp mayonnaise • 3 slices bread • a little butter • ⅓ carton of cress • 2-3 slices of tomato or a lettuce leaf and a slice of ham or cheese • crisps, to serve Method • STEP 1 Bring a pan of water to the boil and carefully lower in the eggs. Cook for 6 mins, then cool under running water until they can be peeled. Peel the eggs, then leave to cool completely. • STEP 2 Mash or chop the eggs, then mix with 1½ tbsp mayonnaise and some

seasoning, if you like. Toast the bread. • STEP 3 Lay one slice of bread on a board. Butter it, then spread on three quarters of the egg and scatter over the cress. Add another slice of toast and gently spread on the remaining mayo. Add the tomato or lettuce and ham or cheese (or whichever combination you prefer). Dot the remaining egg over the top, spread gently, then top with the final piece of toast. Cut the crusts off if you like, then gently cut the sandwich into four quarters, being careful not to squash out the egg. Skewer each sandwich with a sandwich pick. Serve with crisps.

Image for illustrative purposes only

• STEP 4 Mix the piccalilli and olive oil together in a bowl. Toss with the cooked potatoes, cauliflower and beans, along with the radishes and cucumbers. Toss in the pickled onions, then tip into a serving bowl and top with the crispy onions.




Make yourself comfy, it’s a golden summer of sport


elcome to your armchair. Make sure the cushions are well plumped, it is conveniently placed for fridge or kettle depending on the time of day, there is an unobstructed view of the TV, as well as easy access to the remote control and replacement batteries.

Because this is where you will be spending the next few weeks. Put simply, if Carlsberg made months of sport, they’d call it July 2021. The fates have conspired to make this a golden summer. Four wheels, two wheels; four legs, two legs; big balls, little balls; on land or water; at home and abroad … you name it, it’s on. This should have been a fallow year, a summer with no major events except for the perennials. A period when, once the dying embers of the football season had been snuffed out at the end of May, there was just a vast void, a desert littered only by the occasional oasis of An Event. It seemed interminable but probably only lasted six weeks until The Beautiful Game kicked off again. However, the pandemic forced the Olympic Games and football’s European Championships to be rescheduled this year. Which was good enough, but throw in the British & Irish Lions rugby tour of South



Africa and, as Superintendent Ted Hastings would say: “Now we’re sucking diesel”. So, if you’re sitting comfortably, we’ve already begun … The month has been ushered in by the Euros, Wimbledon, the Tour de France and England’s one-day cricket series against Sri Lanka. With three home nations involved, it may be tempting fate to expect England, Scotland and Wales to still be involved as the European Championships enters its quarter-final stage, but there will be much wailing and finger-pointing if England, at least, do not make the most of home advantage and get close to the final at Wembley on July 11th. In south London on the same day, the Wimbledon fortnight reaches its conclusion – weather permitting – with the men’s singles final. In case you’ve forgotten, Novak Djokovic is the men’s champion while Simona Halep caused something of an upset in the 2019 women’s singles by beating Serena Williams. Five housepoints if you can remember Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar won last year’s Tour de France. This year’s edition started in Brest on June 26th and winds up with the comparatively leisurely amble up the Champs Elysees in Paris on July 18th, which is set to be another hectic day of channel-hopping. First up, in the sedate surroundings of the Kent coast, the Royal St George’s club at Sandwich has been staging the 149th British Open since the 15th, no doubt hoping an

English golfer can emulate Irishman Shane Lowry, who won the 2019 renewal on home turf at Royal Portrush, while in Northamptonshire its round 10 of the Formula One world championship, the British Grand Prix, at Silverstone (don’t worry if you can’t make it, Lewis Hamilton wins). From F1 to the purest form of horsepower: horse racing. This month sees two of Flat racing’s most prestigious meetings, the Moet & Chandon July Festival at Newmarket (8th to 10th) and the Qatar Goodwood Festival, better known simply as Glorious Goodwood (27th to 31st). Both feature world-class Group races, although there will be as much interest in what the best-dressed fillies and colts are wearing off the track as what happens on it. Throughout July, England’s cricket team will be involved in a host of one-day and T20 internationals against first Sri Lanka and then Pakistan, which are the appetiser for the summer’s main dish, the Test series against India, which starts on August 4th. It’s worth noting the innovative new series, The Hundred – a 100-ball competition for men and women’s teams – starts on the 21st with the Oval Invincibles v the Manchester Originals. Speaking of the Oval, fans of the oval ball will be eagerly awaiting the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa with rugby’s most famous representative side playing a number of provincial sides, starting with DHL Stormers on the 3rd, before a three-Test series against the mighty Springboks on the 24th, 31st and August 7th. Finally, to the Greatest Show On Earth, the Olympic Games, in Japan (July 23rd to August 8th). In this wildly-unpredictable global showpiece, Team GB will be hoping swimmer Adam Peaty and sprinter Dina Asher-Smith can spark a gold rush. However, one thing is certain – the opening ceremony won’t be a patch on London 2012.



Grasmere Way, Leighton Buzzard



Garage & Parking

Gas to radiator heating

Flexible accommodation

Downstairs shower room


Cul de sac location

Enclosed rear garden

Wardrobes to bed 1 & 2

Double glazed

Viewing highly recommended

Primrose Road, Bradwell


Fitted Kitchen/Diner

Conservatory with study

Double glazed

Downstairs shower room

Garage & parking

Gas radiator central heating

Enclosed rear garden

Viewing highly recommended


Sandpiper Way, Leighton Buzzard




Double glazed

Vacant - No upper chain

Gas to radiator heating

Parking to rear

Kitchen with appliances

Secure entrance

Viewing recommended

Popular location

Mortimer Square Milton Keynes



Close to centre MK

Vacant - No upper chain

Close to MK train station

Secure parking

Wardrobes to bedroom

Secure Entrance

2 Lifts to all floors


Viewing highly recommended

Kitchen with appliances

The Orchards, Eaton Bray



Large rear garden

Garage & driveway parking

Kitchen with appliances

3 reception rooms

Bathroom and 2 cloakrooms

5 Double bedrooms

Double glazed

Gas to radiator heating

Laidon Close, Bletchley



Downstairs cloakroom

No upper chain

Fitted kitchen/diner

Enclosed rear garden

Lounge measures 14’9 x 13’9

Double glazed

Viewing recommended

Gas to radiator heating


Plantation Road, Leighton Buzzard



Gas to radiator heating

No upper chain

Desirable non estate location

Enclosed rear garden


Double length garage & covered carport

Kitchen with appliances

Ample off road parking

Seperate lounge & Dining room

Viewing highly recommended

Lake Street, Leighton Buzzard



Electric heating

Vacant - No upper chain

Fitted kitchen with appliances

Parking to rear

Lounge measures 19’6 x 11’3

Character features

Viewing highly recommended

2 Double bedrooms

meet the team

Leon started the company in December 2003 and has been an Estate Agent since August 1991, having run various branches for both corporate and independent companies. I saw an opportunity to really personalise the service that estate agents offer to the public and it is this service that has seen my clients come back to Squares and myself time and time again. I am very proud of this family run business with my wife to be Eve Samuel as we really care about the personal service we provide.

Leon Hill director

Eve joined Squares Estate Agents in February 2005, her role has been very diverse over the years and now knows every aspect of the business inside out. Eves primary role is aiding the Director to run the business on a day to day basis helping it to run smoothly. Eve manages the landlord accounts to ensure smooth payments of their rent. Eve has recently celebrated 14 years service with Squares!

Eve Samuel pa to directors

Lilla originally joined Squares Estate Agents in 2004 and left on maternity leave for a period and rejoined in 2013 in order to help in the Lettings department after a period of significant growth. Lilla offers a wealth of knowledge on the property market and lettings management. Lilla is responsible for our referencing, move in’s and check outs.

Lilla Archer

lettings administrator


The service we received was very friendly, very thorough and sold the property very quickly.

Mr A Smith

Leon kept us up-todate on the viewings everyday, the feedback was excellent. He was very good with the marketing and sales advice. If there is any negotiation that needs to take place around price or any aspect of the property. Leon is very open and honest and will advice both me and the tenants as to how we reach a successful tenancy agreement.

Mr & Mrs Byass

Mrs A Reynolds I would recommend Squares to family and friends for the key reason that you get a personal service.

I would recommend Squares and I’ve already actually done it, purely because of the quality of service they provided to us.

Mrs Z Jeeves

Mr S Reynolds


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 Squares, you can be confident that we’ll ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Selling your property A leading independent agent covering Leighton Buzzard, the name Squares 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 Squares 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 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 Squares in our area. In addition, our qualified database of tenants will also be notified of your property coming to market on their dedicated search websites where they can book viewings and offer feedback. All our tenants are fully referenced and vetted, making sure the highest of standards are met to find the right tenant 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 Squares, you can be confident that we’ll ensure that everything goes smoothly

Video microsite on our website

Feature in our monthly magazine

Comparables of houses SOLD and price guides


Tech gimic (Drones, 360 tours)



UNIQUE with Squares

Print marketing: Property brochure, photography, floorplans and newspapers

Rightmove featured property advertising*









SELL Portals and websites Want to find out more about our range of exclusive services?

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.

01525 852255

Feature on our Facebook & Twitter

Property video

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


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


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


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 your estate agent 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. The current Stamp Duty Holiday runs until the 30th June and as such you won’t pay stamp duty on purchases up to £500,000. After this date the nil-rate band will be set at £250k until the end of September.

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


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

Want to treat yourself to a proper removal company for your next move or are you prepared to do it yourself

Removal company or brave it yourself? Y

ou’re excited about your new home and location but the process of packing, organising and actually moving all of your items is something no-one really ever looks forward to. Not only that but you also have to contact utility companies, maintain a job, keep your children happy and clean your entire house. You do have super powers, right?

Removal companies You also won’t have to worry about the exhausting physical side of things, that being carrying boxes back and forth

Unless you live in a small property or flat, it could be worth hiring a professional removal company to help relieve some of the stress on the day. They have many skills and experience and some of the services they can provide include packing and

unpacking, dismantling and assembling furniture, loading your belongings quickly and securely, including those fragile and specialist items. They can even supply you with packing materials. Hiring a removal company will also allow you the time to collect the keys to your new home. You also won’t have to worry about the exhausting physical side of things, that being carrying boxes back and forth. Some services are great if you don’t have much time to plan and get these done yourself; however these do often come at a premium and may not be suitable for those on a budget. When choosing a removal company

Top tips for packing When packing, ensure you don’t overload your boxes with heavy items, as these will be difficult to lift and could cause a back injury. Fill any empty gaps using old newspaper, clothing, socks or even tea towels. This will help secure any items when they are being moved. its key to look at those which have good recommendations and reviews, as you need a company you can rely on. You can use comparison sites, such as and, to help find you the best deals.

items you have. You should also ask for the price to be broken down so you can see just how much you are paying for when it comes to certain aspects like insurance, packing, an hourly rate, mileage and any storage costs.

Getting quotes

Once you have found a removal company, it can be useful to send them a briefing sheet that includes information about any items which need to be specially packed, any difficult or large items, plus any carpets and curtains which need moving. Finally, it can also be helpful to send them a floor plan of the new property so they can unload efficiently.

You should aim to get at least three quotes from removal companies, preferably from firms which will come out to your property rather than those who just estimate the cost over the phone, as you don’t want any nasty charges later on. Plus it will give the company an accurate idea of any restricted areas in your home, if they can park a van or lorry, and how many

Create an inventory and label all your boxes and write the contents on each box with a marker. That way you will know which room each box is to go in. And if you are super organised, you could even colour code each room! Pack heavier boxes on the bottom. This might seem like common sense but it will ensure that any of your fragile items won’t break. Pack a survival box. These are the things that you will need first and should include paper towels, bin bags, cutlery, the kettle, some mugs, tea, coffee, milk, sugar and finally, some toilet paper!

GET YOUR PROPERTY TRENDING TODAY Here at the Squares, we use innovative social media marketing alongside good, old-fashioned customer service, to get your property noticed. We also offer a FREE personalised property website for you to share with your friends and family on social media.

T. 01525 852255 W. E.

Profile for thepropertycollection

Squares - July 2021  

Squares - July 2021  

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