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LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

PROPERTY NEWS

APRIL 2021

KITCHEN GADGET GUIDE MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR KITCHEN THIS YEAR EARTH DAY 2021 MAKE YOUR HOME GREENER

HALF TERM IDEAS KEEP YOUR CHILDREN BUSY THIS HALF TERM

SPRING CLEAN GET YOUR HOUSE READY FOR SPRING AND SUMMER

SHED DIY CONVERT YOUR SHED THIS SPRING


CONTENTS COVER STORY

4

Kitchen Gadget Guide Create stunning, restaurant quality dishes with the latest kitchen aids

PROPERTY

2

Get your house Spring ready Now is the perfect opportunity to freshen things up in your house

16 20

6 8

Holiday activities Help the kids get creative in the garden and with their wet weather gear Earth Day 2021 Tips to make your home more climate clean this Earth Day

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April gardening tips Time to roll up your sleeves and put in the groundwork

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

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World Book Day Reading is perhaps one of best commodities we have

About us Get to know our team a little better and see why we are your agent of choice

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Shed DIY The humble outbuilding can be put to a number of uses

FOOD

15

LIFESTYLE

Springtime salads Check out some of our best Spring salad recipes that are sure to make your body smile

SPORT

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Golf European Tour We look ahead at what’s to play for, and who might be in with a chance of winning

WELCOME TO THE APRIL ISSUE!

W

e’re into the fourth month of the year. The clocks have changed, the weather is warming up and the world is opening again! This Spring promises a lot and in this month’s magazine so do we! On pages 2 and 3 we go in-depth looking at the best ways to get your home Spring ready, and if that’s not enough, continuing inside the home, we also have a fantastic kitchen gadgets guide ready to create the Spring salad recipes from page 15. On the 22nd April we are celebrating Earth Day, so we have put together a guide to make your home more environmentally friendly. Moving outside, on pages

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PROPERTY NEWS

10 and 11 we have your April gardening guide and well as some ideas of how to turn your shed into a office/bar/sauna.

START FROM THE BEDROOM

What better place to start, than in the room where you spend more time than any other? Let’s start with the bedding. If you’ve opted for rich, dark colours over the winter months, then throw these away in exchange for neutral green or sky blue colours, accompanied with added pops of colour. Or if you want to make the extra effort in the season of Spring, then select some sheets with floral patterns. If you’ve been used to covering your bed with blankets and throws to keep warm, then switch to lightweight sheets and pillowcases. This will help to add some brightness to your room, and more importantly, stop you from feeling overheated as the weather warms up. And if you’ve made these changes, and still want to go further, then replace your pillows altogether! Swapping your pillows not only aids a more comfortable night’s sleep, but can simultaneously make your bedroom look completely different.

DECLUTTER

This may sound very obvious, but giving your house a good, old-fashioned Spring clean can go a long way to revitalising your home. First, start with cleaning from top to bottom. It can be a laborious job, but will benefit your home in the long run by adding freshness to every space. Next, move on to removing things that you no longer need. For instance, root through your

Finally, we have some fantastic ways to keep busy during the Easter holidays, a feature about World Book Day and a preview of the Men’s European Golf Tour. We’re all excited that the world is starting up again, and are all hopeful for the summer, however, for now, stay safe and take care of yourselves. For now, make yourself a cuppa, pull up a chair in the garden and enjoy! Jonathan Wheatley Editor

Once the tidying is done, turn your attention to adding items which freshen up your home


SPRING INTO ACTION fridges and cupboards, and throw out expired products that didn’t make it onto your plate over the winter period. And when rearranging the foodstuffs, do so in a way as to categorise everything, and make different items much easier to locate. If you have a garage, then organising it can prove a very satisfying project to get your teeth stuck into. Group all of your winter items into boxes, label them, and then place into the garage. This will make things much easier when it comes round to retrieving them again. And while you’re at it, look to declutter your garage. Throw out items you don’t need, and aim to create as much space as you can. Doing this will not only help you feel that your possessions are organised, but will allow you to think of the garage as a space other than just one of storage!

SEARCH FOR SCENTS

Once the tidying is done, turn your attention to adding items which freshen up your home. Spring is associated with the smells of nature, so lean into this tradition with some citrus, rose, lavender, or other floral scented candles or wax melts. These will help to air out the house, and will match the aromas of the outside world. And don’t neglect fauna. As well as bringing in natural, fresh scents into your home, displaying a set of flowers will also help to fill your room with colour, and will complete any kitchen or living room.

FOCUS ON FLOORING

Another great way to completely transform your home, heading into the summer, is to focus on the backbone of any interior. If your carpets have seen better days, then get round to getting them professionally cleaned. As well as making any room look brand new, removing any stains will really brighten up your home. Or, if you feel like a complete makeover, change your flooring completely. Tiling is very resistant for wear and tear, and so is a great option for a room which is likely to be used a lot, such as a kitchen or conservatory. Or, if you love the unmistakable aromas and textures that come with hardwood flooring, then opt for this.

PRIORITISE LIGHT

If there’s something missing from your ideal Spring home, then consider whether you’ve done all you can to take advantage of maximising the amount of natural light in any space. Replace your dark, thick curtains with light ones, or if the room permits, do away with curtains altogether. Without requiring much effort, this will completely transform any room in time for Summer. And also consider changing bulbs. With the greater amounts of light that come with this time of year, switch to darker lights, to create a cosy atmosphere in the evenings, and let natural light do the rest!

As the days get longer, and the weather begins to brighten, now is the perfect opportunity to freshen things up in your house

Sp ring INTO ACTION

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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Stand out from the crowd and create stunning, restaurant quality dishes with the latest kitchen aids

INSPECT THE

GADGETS

Instant Pot Duo V2 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker

Breville HeatSoft VFM021

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t is an inescapable fact that the kitchen is the heart of the home. More than just a collection of units, it is the place where memories are forged and culinary disasters are celebrated as much as the triumphs; the venue for gathering at either end of the day, where the aroma of freshly-ground coffee cuts through the lingering whiff of curry from the night before. It is also a place of work, a hive of experimentation. And key to that creative process are the tools of the trade, either a worktop full of the tried, tested and much loved, or an ever-changing procession of ‘must-haves’ which are casually discarded when the next big thing appears.

Russell Hobbs Sous Vide Slow Cooker

Sage The Smoking Gun

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PROPERTY NEWS

Something which falls in the latter category but could soon become the former is the Instant Pot Duo V2 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker. It doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue but what it does will keep the tongue very happy. America’s home-chefs blew a fuse over this little multi-cooker and its not difficult to see why – it’s an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, yogurt maker, saute pan and a warming pot, which is easy to use and clean.

Devotees of programmes such as MasterChef and The Great British Menu will be familiar with the waterbath and the sous vide process, where food is placed inside a sealed pouch and cooked at an accurately-regulated temperature. It helps meat and vegetables retain their flavour, vitamins and keeps prep-time low. Described as ‘a Michelinstarred chef’s worst-kept secret’, the waterbath can now adorn your kitchen in the form of the easily-affordable Russell Hobbs Sous Vide Slow Cooker. And if you really want to go for drama with your fine dining, get Sage The Smoking Gun. Using cold smoke, it lets you infuse a range of food and KitchenAid Food drinks with a natural Processor smoky flavour, while the dual speed helps increase the intensity of the smoke. Best of all, it is sold with, or without, a glass cloche to cover your dish and heighten the effect. If you are in the market for a hand mixer, take a look


De’Longhi Magnifica Illycaffe 6636 Francis

Santoku 180mm Blade Knife at the Breville HeatSoft VFM021 and wave goodbye to that time-consuming wait for the butter to soften. This handy tool warms butter up to 12 times faster than just leaving it in the mixing bowl, although it can also be used without the heating function. It also comes with an attachable clear case, so the attachments don’t go wandering. An even more flexible bit of kit is the KitchenAid Food Processor which can chop, shred, puree and slice food. It comes with an easy to install reversible medium shred/slice and thick slice blades as well as a dough blade should you want to knead bread or pasta dough. And it comes in a rather fetching Empire Red finish. There’s nothing that sets the smoke alarm off quite like burnt toast, so the Magimix Vision Toaster could be the best thing you’ll ever invest in. A see-through panel allows you to see how your breakfast is doing, ensuring ideal results every time. Possibly the best thing since, well, sliced bread. On the subject of breakfast, let’s talk coffee. We’re not all barista maestro-standard but machines such as the De’Longhi Magnifica help paper over the cracks. With seven adjustable coarseness levels within

an integrated grinder, the Magnifica can customise the type of coffee you want… plus it has a dual cup option. For eye-catching looks, the Illycaffe 6636 Francis is a bit of a head-turner while the Sage Oracle Touch Fully Automated Coffee Machine is the business. However, you’ll need something a bit stronger than an espresso when you see the price tag. No kitchen is complete without a decent set of knives or a pro-standard knife (singular). The Santoku 180mm Blade Knife, from Blenheim Forge, isn’t cheap but will last for years. Made with a Japanese Blue Paper Steel Core with folded iron cladding, it comes with a walnut handle and solid copper ferrule for added strength. Finally, they say baking is all about precision, so that means you’ll need a decent set of kitchen scales. Salter’s Heston Blumental Precision Scales have a dual platform – one for measuring up to 10kg in 1g increments and the other for measuring up to 200g in 0.1g increments. There’s an add- and-weigh feature and also an aquatronic feature for measuring liquids, just to help you get ‘weigh’ ahead of your competitive friends.

Sage Oracle Touch Fully Automated Coffee Machine

Magimix Vision Toaster

Salter’s Heston Blumental Precision Scales

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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JUST BOOT-IFUL

Help the kids get creative in the garden and with their wet weather gear

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pril, as the saying goes, is the month for showers. And not only does it bring May’s flowers, it can also provide inspiration for some great craft activities for kids and adults alike. It’s the time where it’s always best to have boots and a brolly close at hand. And there’s no better way of making a splash in those quick-to-appear springtime puddles than in customised wellies.

your favourite anymore, tie brightly coloured ribbon about halfway up and gently bend the brolly support wires outwards.

Insert a block of florists’ oasis for water and support then add the flowers so they are peeping over the top. Freshly-cut tulips, with their bold colourful petals, are ideal and will last for a few days but for a longer lasting display, try artificial blooms. And then hang from your door knocker – or insert spike down in the garden - for an eye-catching display that should make any passer-by smile.

Boots are very much a blank canvas and you can really let your imagination run riot, creating colourful and simple yet effective flower patterns, rockets and scenes from outer space for the kids – who also might want a jazzy take on their initials - or graffiti-led slogans for the not so young who might be missing their Glastonbury fix again this year.

So, if they are not getting wet, kids love nothing better than getting their hands dirty… literally. So, put them to good use by designating an area of the garden for them to cultivate with summer-blooming wild flowers or, particularly as the weather is likely to be indifferent, by planting a herb garden inside. Its an easy way to get the younger members of the family hooked on planting, It’s the time where nurturing and tasting what it’s always best to they have grown in their meals, have boots and a and is a little more advanced brolly close at hand and not as smelly as growing cress seeds on blotting paper!

Many people suggest sanding down the area you intend to decorate as this creates a smoother surface and allows the paint to make a stronger bond. As for your decorating agent, acrylic paint is easily available and straightforward to use, particularly if you are going for a funky, bright and intricate design. Waterproof marker pens are also handy for applying finer details, while if a broad sweep of colour is required, rubber spray paint will do the job. And although the paints will dry to a good finish, applying a layer of hairspray will also help your colours stick. Continuing the wet weather theme, how about sprucing up your front door with an extension of the Christmas wreath: a brolly brimming with spring flowers? Younger members of the family can do the backbending stuff by picking the flowers while all you have to do is select an umbrella that’s not

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PROPERTY NEWS

The easiest – and probably the most useful herbs to grow are parsley, basil, coriander, chives and dill, and all you will need are peat-free, multi-purpose compost; small pots (such as yoghurt) or a used plastic tray from a Chinese takeaway … and an array of helping hands. Making sure the containers have been pierced to guard against over-enthusiastic watering, fill with the compost and tamp down gently to remove the air pockets. Water and allow to drain before scattering the seeds sparingly over the surface before covering with a thin layer of compost. Ideally the pots can be covered with a clear plastic bag to recreate a mini greenhouse and speed the growth process, before placing


April is the month for showers, it can also provide inspiration for some great craft activities

on a windowsill. Once germinated, remove the plastic and water at least once a week before potting outside in late May. A further way to enrich a child’s understanding of the garden is to construct a bug mansion out of discarded pallets and log the varieties of creepy crawlies who come to stay. Some insects like cool, damp conditions, while others like the sun, so try to site the home where it will get a bit of both, under a hedge or tree. Give it a firm base and start stacking, filling the gaps with dead wood and loose bark, straw, dry leaves, and corrugated cardboard which, when stuffed into a plastic bottle with its top removed, creates a nice nest for lacewings. And if you plant some nectar-producing flowers around the outside you can bring in winged guests, such as butterflies and bees.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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Join in with millions of people around the world and make your home more climate clean this Earth Day

EARTH DAY 2021

HOW TO MAKE

YOUR HOME MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY

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his year celebrates the 51st anniversary of Earth Day. Originally conceived in 1970 by peace activist John McConnell as a day of education about how to look after our Earth, in 1990, Earth Day went International and has been celebrated ever since in all four corners of the world. It is one of the few holidays that transcends all national borders and religions, yet preserves all geographical integrities and brings people together all over the world. It is quite simply devoted to the preservation of the harmony in nature and yet draws upon the triumphs of technology. There are hundreds of ways of making your home more environmentally friendly, big and small. Here, in celebration of Earth Day, are our top tips.

WASH YOUR CLOTHES IN COLD WATER

90% of the energy used by a washing machine goes towards heating water. By skipping the heating and using your washing machine on the cold water setting, you will reduce carbon dioxide emission as well as keeping your clothes in top condition for longer, as hot water can deteriorate your clothes and make colours less vibrant.

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PROPERTY NEWS

DIY INSTEAD OF BUYING NEW

DIY isn’t only a truly great skill to have, but it helps towards creating an environmentally friendly home as opposed to buying new. With just a few tools and a little time, you can crack-on with all sorts of projects. You could tile your kitchen yourself, build home-made planters for the garden or even lay your own flooring.

SWAP YOUR LIGHT BULBS

Invest in the right energy-efficient light bulbs and you won’t only be helping the Earth, but you’ll be saving money too. LED bulbs are the best alternative to regular light bulbs and as well as lasting longer, they are eco-friendly. They are readily available in most shops and you can even get dimmable ones and colour-change ones.

USE YOUR RECYCLING BIN AND GET A COMPOST BIN

We are all well-versed of the importance of recycling by now, so use your recycling bin and you are truly helping towards our world’s future, and if you find yourself with an excess of normal waste, buy a compost bin, which will not only help you get rid of the excess waste but will give you free fertiliser for your garden.

PLANT HERBS AND VEG

Ah, what to do with all that free fertiliser? How about growing your own herbs and vegetables? Not only will you always have wonderful, better-tasting food, but you will massively cut down on plastic used in shop-bought veg and herbs. Some of the most popular are basil, oregano and peppers and tomatoes.

TURN OLD PALLETS INTO PLANTERS

But where do I plant these herbs and veg? Simple, don’t ditch any wood or pallets you have lying around, get creative instead. With just a few screws and a drill, you can make home-made planters for your garden or windowsills. Just measure four pieces of wood to equal lengths, screw together and line with bubble wrap.


22nd April 202 1 www.earthday.org DITCH THE COFFEE PODS

Coffee pod machines have been around for a while now, however, did you know the plastic capsules aren’t usually recyclable? For better tasting and more environmentally friendly coffee, invest in a good-quality espresso machine that takes freshly ground coffee. You can also sprinkle the used ground coffee onto your compost to keep bugs away.

INSULATE YOUR PIPES

Not the quickest or flashiest jobs, but by insulating the pipes that run from your boiler throughout your house can make a huge difference. Your best bet is to use felt or wool pipe insulation that is pre-cut into sleeves and then use some good-quality pipe wrap insulation tape.

COLLECT YOUR RAINWATER

Finally, what is more natural than rainwater? Exactly. If you could collect and store all the rainwater that falls on your property throughout a year and use it around the home, you would see a huge drop in your water bills. Okay, so a full-blown rainwater collection servicing your house is a huge job, but start small with a water butt and you can at least water your herbs and veg without touching a tap. Earth Day is on Thursday the 22nd of April and you can find out more by visiting www.earthday.org

It is one of the few holidays that transcends all national borders and religions, yet preserves all geographical integrities

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

9


&REAP

WEED IT Time to roll up your sleeves and put in the groundwork

A

nd so here we are. April, the great transitional month where we’ve not quite shaken off winter’s icy grip, but with brighter evenings and significantly warmer days, its hold is definitely weakening. For gardeners, this is where the hard work starts; this month’s input dictates output for the rest of the year. The four-day Easter holiday weekend gives us time to prepare the ground, assessing and repairing the damage inflicted by a particularly harsh start to the year, taking the time to restake trees, secure climbing shrubs, and clear any lingering storm damage, particularly checking fences for damage to panels, support posts and slats. And then you can get on your hands and knees for some serious weeding, gently turning over ground flattened by heavy rain and snow, and clearing away any remaining dead leaves, twigs and winter debris, as well as dead-heading daffodils,

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PROPERTY NEWS

tulips and late-flowing crocuses, and trimming frost-damaged shoots from evergreens. Once cleared, nourish the soil with compost or well-rotted manure which will add beneficial micro-organisms to the soil, making it richer and encouraging the right kind of insect activity. The wrong kind – slugs, snails and aphids – may be found loitering around the crowns of perennials preparing to wreak havoc so it’s best to deal with them now. Early infestations of aphids can be pinched out by hand but pests such as vine weevil will need chemical or biological intervention to keep under control. Your lawn will need the most attention early in the early growing season. If you’ve not already done so, now’s the time for that initial cut, taking the top off the winter growth before the first decisive crop. Once that’s done, apply a high nitrogen spring lawn fertiliser to encourage good, strong growth and if


moss has become a problem, choose a combined moss killer/fertiliser and lightly rake out the dead a couple of weeks after application.

There are also many warm-season vegetables, such as cucumbers and tomatoes, which can be moved outdoors

If you discover some bumps and hollows, peel back the turf and remove or add soil as necessary before replacing the grass, while any bare patches can be prepared for reseeding: if the ground is still wet and cold, though, the germination will be poor so it might be better to postpone this until early May. And, while we’re at it, don’t forget the lawn edges. Using a spade or a half-moon edging iron, create a gutter of around

three inches to prevent the grass creeping back into your borders. It is also important to prune trees and deciduous shrubs, removing dead and sickly-looking leaves or branches to stimulate new growth and spring flowering. Also add fertiliser while a good organic mulch, laid in a circle around the trunk, will not only provide moisture for good growth but will also conserve moisture and encourage strong, drought-resistant roots, something worth bearing in mind for the likes of rhododendrons, azaleas and camelias where flowering can be severely impaired if allowed to dry out. Otherwise, a good balanced fertiliser (such as blood, fish and bone) can be sprinkled over the root area around ornamental trees, shrubs and hedges before hoeing in, particularly beneficial for young, weak or damaged plants. Once the warmer days are set in and the risk of a late sharp frost has gone, plant out

the flower seedlings you’ve been cultivating since March, and if you haven’t, you can still sow petunias, zinnias, marigolds, purple cornflowers and other seasonals you might fancy in your flowerbeds. Summerflowering bulbs should also be going in, ensuring the likes of anemone tubers have well-drained soil. Containers can also be planned, topped up with fresh compost and planted – an alpine trough can be particularly attractive as many are starting to look their best - while you may be able to start on your hanging baskets in the latter stages of the month if you’re in a temperate part of the country. Otherwise, pot-on plants that are showing signs of becoming pot-bound or generally just look a bit forlorn. There are also many warm-season vegetables, such as cucumbers and tomatoes, which can be moved outdoors while radishes, carrots, peas and lettuce can also be planted, along with your favourite annual herbs.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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WORLD BOOK DAY

– WHY IT WILL

SHINE ON

Reading is perhaps one of best, if not the very best, commodities and widely accessible resources we have as a people, and therefore so is World Book Day

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ental health and the recognition of its facets and depth has never been as prevalent as now, so when you consider how strong the scientific research is in favour of how reading can help mental wellbeing – by reducing your heart rate and thus stress levels, easing muscle tension, and wholly altering your state of mind – World Book Day this year is surely a campaign more important than ever before. World Book Day annually takes place on 23rd April. This is because the Spanish

writer Vicente Clavel Andrés wanted to call for a day which would recognize the life and career of one of his greatest heroes, fellow Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, who still is widely regarded as the greatest ever writer of the Spanish language. Cervantes death date was 23rd April, which also marks many other great writers’ birth and death dates, including William Shakespeare who passed away on exactly the same day as Cervantes, 23rd April 1616.

World Book Day this year is surely a campaign more important than ever before

The first World Book Day was celebrated in 1995 and has been going strong ever since. It’s a day to celebrate all things books, especially your favourites! One of my personal favourite novels is The Shining by Stephen King. King has always been associated with horror, and I suppose that’s justified. But many people overlook (pun intended) the fact that much of King’s stories contain some real character depth and interpersonal relationships, which can often be extremely intense and moving. The Shining, for instance,

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PROPERTY NEWS

for me, isn’t necessarily primarily a horror. It could be considered a psychological thriller or drama about what happens when an alcoholic becomes victim to cabin fever. The paranormal presence in the hotel is an effective way to convey this cabin fever process Jack Torrance undertakes, but I suspect many readers agree that a good argument can be made that the paranormal activity can merely be considered a metaphor for Jack’s psychological transformation into illness. Indeed he knows he’s becoming unhealthy at the behest of cabin fever, as there is a point near the end of the novel where he tries to cry out from underneath his new, murderous exterior to tell his would-be murdered son to leave before it’s too late. Why I talk about this book in particularly is because cabin fever is something many of us have had to endure over the past many months, and, more troubling still, domestic abuse, so it’s an interesting insight into cabin fever and the effects it can have on relationships, especially if alcoholism is involved. The Shining is an example of a great novel, and certainly one to celebrate, as the book often gets inaccurately judged by its better-known cover, that of the film by Stanley Kubrick, which told a rather different story. Jonathan Wheatley, British Author


If a home-working space is the objective, you will need to insulate, drywall and think about heating

SHED YOUR

INHIBITIONS T

o paraphrase rock giants Motorhead, a shed used to be a place of spades. Or lawnmowers. Or half-empty tins of paint and discarded outdoor toys. A handy little store, generally made of glorified fencing panels, that gets a coat of creosote when you remember but generally sits, unloved, at the end of the garden waiting to be battered by the next named storm. Times and lifestyles, however, change, and now the humble structure has become the fashionable ‘must-have’, graduating from the often-outlandish man caves and she-sheds to offices, studios, outside bars and even saunas and cinema rooms. If the prospect of turning your forlorn shed into a rustic home extension appeals, there are some things to bear in mind, not least checking with the local authority to see if you need permission for change of use. Then see how structurally sound it is or whether you might be

better off biting the bullet and getting a new summerhouse or log cabin, depending on size of budget, garden… and ambition.

Having checked the damp-proofing, if the roof is watertight, walls are in good condition and doors and windows fit properly, clear the shed out and look for signs of mould, damp, wood rot or pest infestation around the floor. Once satisfied, the big decision now is whether it’s a DIY project or needs to be turned over to an expert, as you would be advised to do for a sauna. If you’re going it alone, the first job will be to get the outside treated or painted to make it weatherproof, then think about sealing any cracks you may have discovered with caulk or weatherstripping to help prevent draughts, bugs and any other undesirables. Depending how you plan to use the shed, you might want to pop in a skylight window, particularly if you’ve got the professionals in and

The humble outbuilding can be put to a number of uses

you’re designing an office. If a home-working space is the objective, you will need to insulate, drywall and think about heating for those slightly less-than idyllic days. Heating means power and while it may be tempting to connect to the supply from your home, don’t rule out solar panels, which provide a simpler, cheaper and energy efficient solution. If it’s a bar you’re after, you’ll need plumbing too. For flooring, think durable coverings such as cork, tile and carpet - a wood floor might be attractive but may not be practical. After that, it’s all about preferences: LED or halogen lights for an office, a string of novelty lights for your personal pub; shelves and versatile cabinets for work, a good service area and racks to attach the optics for the bar. And finally, make sure you’ve got some good locks.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR ON THE

EUROPEAN TOUR IN APRIL As this year’s European Tour begins to crank up, we look ahead at what’s to play for, and who might be in with a chance of winning

WHAT’S HAPPENED SO FAR?

The 2021 European Tour began in January, when it was announced that at least fortytwo events would be played in twenty-four different countries, including eighteen which were either postponed or cancelled in 2020.

The first tournament of the season, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, was won by Englishman Tyrell Hatton. Since then, fellow countryman Paul Casey and American Dustin Johnson have walked away with the other two titles.

WHAT ARE THE EVENTS?

The month of April includes four of the forty-two European tour events. On the 15th, Golf’s biggest names travel to Spain, to take part in the Tenerife Open. From there, they make the short journey for the Gran Canaria open, beginning on the 22nd, highlighting this year’s focus on reducing travelling where possible. And finally, the 29th April marks the beginning of the Portugal Masters.

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PROPERTY NEWS

But of course, the main event of the month is right at the beginning. On April 8th, all eyes will turn to Augusta, Georgia, for the 2021 Masters. The first of the four ‘majors’ of the year, this tournament is steeped in tradition, with every winner since 1949 receiving an iconic green jacket. Last year, the imperious Dustin Johnson won by five-shots, whilst simultaneously breaking the course record, in a tournament which was pushed back several months due to the pandemic. But fortunately, this year’s competition will go ahead as planned, and is set to be as equally enthralling as any other instalment.

The first tournament of the season, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, was won by Englishman Tyrell Hatton

WHO ARE THE FAVOURITES?

As already mentioned, Johnson won the tournament by a landslide last year, and still sits at the head of the world rankings, and so cannot be written off. Otherwise, world numbers two Jon Rahm and world number three Justin Thomas have nine European Tour victories between them, and so will both feel confident come April 8th. And for a slight outsider, consider Bryson DeChambeau’s chances. The big-hitting American, currently ranked inside the world’s top ten, hasn’t enjoyed much success at Augusta thus far in his career. However, his analytical approach in gaining significant muscle in 2020 has made him the longest driver of the ball on the PGA Tour, which may stand him in good stead when battling the famously difficult course in Georgia.


SPRING INTO LIFE

Put a spring in your step with these wonderful, healthy salads perfect for Springtime

O

ne of the best things about Spring is the chance to create wonderful, healthy salads with some of the finest and freshest veg available at this time of the year. So, without delay, check out some of our best Spring salad recipes that are sure to make your body smile. Salad leaves – mixed Vine tomatoes Red onion Feta cheese Olive oil Lemon Salt and pepper Fresh oregano

GREEK SALAD Wash and rinse the salad leaves and chop the vine tomatoes in half (depending on their size) and slice the red onion so you have wonderful whole onion circles. Toss the tomatoes, salad leaves and onion together in a bowl ensuring it’s all mixed. Then mix the olive oil, the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add the olive oil mix to the salad bowl, toss again before finally adding the crumbled feta on top. To finish garnish with the fresh oregano and another pinch of pepper.

Orange juice Lemon juice Honey Salt and pepper Olive oil Mixed carrots Radishes Celery Small beet Fresh mint leaves Small oranges

Mixed salad leaves Dried apricots White wine vinegar Shallot Dijon mustard Olive oil Feta Cucumber Dill

SHAVED CARROT AND RADISH SALAD Whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper to your taste, before adding olive oil. Peel and then shave the carrots lengthways and finely slice the radishes before peeling the oranges and slicing them into half-moons. Then thinly slice the celery and small beet. Mix together in a large bowl before adding the olive oil mix. Serve with the freshly chopped mint leaves on top.

SPRING SALAD WITH APRICOT VINAIGRETTE Place the apricots in a bowl while bringing the white wine vinegar to a simmer. Once simmering, pour over the apricots and leave for ten minutes. Finely slice the shallot, then add to a bowl with some Dijon mustard before then adding the apricots to the mustard mixture. Add a little white wine vinegar to taste and then mix in the olive oil. In a large bowl, toss together the salad leaves, cucumber and apricot mixture. To serve, crumble the feta cheese over the top before adding the fresh dill.

Images for illustrative purposes only

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

15


Green Lane, Clapham £425,000 An excellent opportunity to purchase this extremely spacious two bedroom semi-detached bungalow sitting on an elevated plot within this attractive and highly regarded lane providing good access to both local shops and facilities and Bedford town centre and mainline train station. The property provides great potential to upgrade with versatile accommodation including a large sitting room, a 20’5 dining/family room overlooking the garden, a fitted kitchen/breakfast room, two double bedrooms with fitted wardrobes, a bathroom and a shower room and a useful attic room. Externally there is a approximately 50 ft long x 48 ft wide terraced front garden with well stocked raised beds and a dual entry driveway providing ample off road parking leading to the single garage. The delightful rear garden is approximately 65 ft long x45 ft wide, very well maintained and adjoining fields to the rear. The property is offered for sale with no upward chain. •

2 Double Bedrooms

Garage & Driveway

2 Large Reception Rooms

Double glazing

Kitchen/Breakfast Room

Gas radiator heating

Good sized gardens

No upward chain

property@taylorbrightwell.co.uk


01234 326444

property@taylorbrightwell.co.uk CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

Summerfield Drive, Wootton £695,000 An impressive five double bedroom detached house with over 3000 sq ft of excellent family accommodation nicely positioned at the end of this quiet close of similar styled detached properties within this highly regarded village providing easy access to the M1 (J13). The well planned accommodation includes a very spacious reception hall, four separate and good sized reception rooms, a large refitted kitchen breakfast room, a conservatory, a utility room and a cloakroom. On the first floor there is a very roomy galleried landing which leads to the huge main bedroom which has a large walk in wardrobe, a dressing room and an ensuite, the second bedroom complete with ensuite and built in wardrobes and the three further bedrooms all with built in wardrobes. •

5 Double Bedrooms

New Carpets

4 Reception Rooms

Conservatory

Refitted |Kitchen/Breakfast Room

Double Garage

Oak Flooring

taylorbrightwell.co.uk


Buckfast Avenue, Bedford OIEO £400,000 A spacious four bedroom detached house nicely situated within this very desirable area close to Mowsbury Park and within easy reach of good local schools, shops and amenities. The well planned accommodation includes a large reception hall, a 19’7 sitting room, a separate dining room, a large L-shaped conservatory, a refitted Kitchen. a refitted cloakroom and a utility room. On the first floor all the bedrooms have fitted wardrobes and the family bathroom and ensuite have both been refitted. Externally the front and side gardens are enclosed by attractive iron railings and a driveway provides off road parking and access to the single garage. The 36ft x 38ft rear garden is fully enclosed and is laid with attractive paving stones to create a delightful and low maintenance garden. Further benefits include integrated kitchen appliances, UPVC double glazing with fitted blinds and gas radiator heating. •

4 Bedrooms

Refitted Bathroom

2 Reception rooms

Utility room

Large Conservatory

Single Garage

Refitted ensuite

No upward chain

property@taylorbrightwell.co.uk


01234 326444

property@taylorbrightwell.co.uk CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

Dunster Gardens, Bedford £519,995 A superbly presented 4 double bedroom detached house which has been thoughtfully extended to provide over 1900 square feet of family accommodation situated on the corner of this quiet no through close approximately 3 miles from the town centre.’ The property has undergone a thorough refurbishment to a high specification and includes many attractive features including a large welcoming reception hall with solid oak flooring which leads into the spacious separate dining room and the dual aspect sitting room which has an inset real flame gas feature fireplace. There is a large study/office and an impressive 26’2 kitchen/breakfast/family room which is fitted in an extensive range of matching units with granite worktops, a comprehensive range of quality integrated appliances integral remote radio with ceiling speakers and has underfloor heating. •

High Quality Detached House

Internal oak doors and flooring

4 Double Bedrooms

Downstairs Cloakroom

3 Reception rooms

Ensuite shower room

Open plan Kitchen/Family/Breakfast room

No upward chain

taylorbrightwell.co.uk


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 lifestyle that the potential buyer want.

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. You also want to focus on little things like DVDs, books and trinkets. These items may have some small value so sell them

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 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

Where possible you want to create the look of a lifestyle that the potential buyers 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 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

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. De-personalising can also be a great way to de-clutter. Too

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, de-cluttering 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 Taylor Brightwell 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

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 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.

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

Notify utility companies

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!

Start preparation for your new house Keep packing

Two weeks

Finalise all details

Organise pet and child care Cancel local services Keep packing

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!

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!


Exclusively at Taylor Brightwell 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

When you choose to market your property with Taylor Brightwell, you can be confident that we’ll ensure that everything goes smoothly. Whether selling or buying, relax and know that we have your property in safe hands.

Selling your property A leading independent agent covering Bedford, the name Taylor Brightwell is synonymous with trust, excellence an 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.

As part of what makes us unique at Taylor Brightwell we offer a free monthly magazine featuring properties and up to date market news. Call us today to receive our monthly magazine by emailing property@taylorbrightwell.co.uk We look forward to hearing from you.

property@taylorbrightwell.co.uk


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 Taylor Brightwell in our area. In addition, our qualified database clients will also be notified of your property coming to market on their dedicated search websites where they can book viewings and offer feedback. Book your

TAP HERE

ATION today FREE VALU

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.

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

Print marketing: Property brochure, photography, floorplans and newspapers COMMON MARKETING

Tech gimic (Drones, 360 tours)

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.

Video microsite on our website

Rightmove featured property advertising* Feature in our monthly magazine

1.

UNIQUE with Taylor Brightwell

Comparables of houses SOLD and price guides

ds Share with frien ing Request a view Local schools

ACTIVATE RECEIVE YOUR VERY OWN

2.

EXCLUSIVE PERSONALISED

SHARE

PROPERTY WEBSITE

SOLD

3.

SELL

Portals and websites

Feature on our Facebook and Twitter

Property video

taylorbrightwell.co.uk

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


STAMP DUTY HOLIDAY

d e d n 1 e 2 t 0 2 x E

eTO 30 JUN

We are on hand to keep you up to date with professional advice on how to make the most of the Stamp Duty Holiday! So, take advantage and contact us today for your FREE market appraisal.

01234 326444

taylorbrightwell.co.uk property@taylorbrightwell.co.uk

Profile for thepropertycollection

Taylor Brightwell April Magazine 2021  

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