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LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

PROPERTY NEWS

MAY 2021

UK BEACH GUIDE

THE BEST SEASIDE AREAS TO VISIT THIS SUMMER SUMMER SKIN CARE LOOK AFTER YOUR SKIN IN THE WARM SUNSHINE

HOT INTERIOR DESIGN THE LATEST INTERIOR DESIGN TRENDS THIS YEAR

SPRING BANK HOLIDAY GREAT DAYS OUT FOR ALL THE FAMILY

MAY GARDENING GUIDE OUR GUIDE TO WHAT TO PLANT THIS MONTH


CONTENTS LIFESTYLE

COVER STORY

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Best UK beaches We’ve put together a list of the best seaside areas in the country to visit

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Spring bank holiday Our top ideas to help you get the most out of your long weekend

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May gardening guide With our handy guide we have laid it all out for you

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

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Screen Free Week Some ideas to include in your downtime from screen time

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

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World Bee Day It’s vital to raise awareness of the importance of bees

PROPERTY

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Hot interior design Now’s the time to think about your home decor, we have the latest trends for this year

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Summer skin care The sun is out, but what are the best ways to protect ourselves from its harmful rays?

The sun is out, but what are the best ways to protect ourselves from its harmful rays?

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hether it’s a long-overdue holiday to a wave-lapped tropical shore or just an afternoon in the garden, there’s nothing quite like lounging in the sun, catching a few rays. A beer, a book, a basting session, it’s what summer’s all about, right? Well, no. Because what you do in the warmer months may well dictate how you look in later years. You may feel like a sun-kissed Greek god for a couple of weeks but, in a few years, there could be wrinkles, skin discolouration and any number of problems which could be a prelude to skin cancer. Short-term gain, long-term misery.

FOOD

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Buzzingly good food Celebrate World Bee day with these wonderfully sticky honey recipes

SPORT

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The finals countdown the football season heads into its ‘business end’ with trophies on the line

WELCOME TO THE MAY ISSUE!

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he UK is slowly awakening from its imposed slumber. BBQs in the back garden with friends and family (following social distancing guidelines) are back on the cards, as are drinks in a beer garden. Non-essential shops are open again as are gyms and swimming pools. This month, with the weather heating up, we have an in-depth article about how to look after your skin in the sunshine and to tie-in we have a fantastic guide to some of the best UK beaches to visit over the summer. With the kids already having spent so much time at home this year, we have a feature full of idea for the Spring Bank Holiday, and if you are

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planning DIY jobs to take advantage of the long weekend, we have a guide to the hottest summer interior design trends. May is a busy month for your garden, and we have our monthly gardening guide to help you with advice of what to plant and sow now, and we also celebrate World Bee Day with an article about its history and some buzzingly good honey recipes. It is also a busy month for sport, with finals in a whole host of competitions, so we are looking at the potential winners of the cup competitions and we also look into the importance of Screen Free Week. Jonathan Wheatley Editor

Of course, we heed all the warnings: we’re coated in sun cream from head to foot, we feel we’re well covered, and we’re not going to sit out in direct sunlight too long. But what happens? You get comfortable, the book’s too good, and because you’ve moved to a shady spot, there’s no need to cover-up or re-apply the Factor 30. Is there? Come the end of the day, though, you’ve discovered a little tenderness around the neck – it couldn’t have been anything to do with that welcoming breeze which sprang up, could it? – and your ears are burning like someone’s having a good moan about you. And yes, it was a mistake to keep a bracelet on. Experts have been warning us for years that too much exposure to the sun is a danger to the skin, not only in the peak summer months but as outdoor temperatures and daylight hours start to increase. And while sunshine brings many benefits, such as an increase in Vitamin D, too much of a good thing isn’t necessarily ideal. Vitamin D can improve brain function invigorate muscles and bone health, and lower high blood pressure while the levels of serotonin, triggered by sunlight hitting the retina, helps to improve mood, helping a person feel calmer and less stressed. And


COVER-UP JOB the sun’s rays are also good for helping to battle such skin conditions as eczema, acne and jaundice. The disadvantages to over-exposure come in later life with unsightly solar lentigines (often called age spots or liver spots and are similar to freckles), solar elastosis (where the ultraviolet radiation breaks down the skin’s elasticity and causes vertical creases, deep wrinkles and sagging), melasma (a darkening of facial skin), and poikiloderma (reddish-brown pigmentation common on the neck and chest). It sounds scary but there are a number of ways, requiring minimal effort, to help you stay safe in the sun this summer.

and 3pm so limit your exposure time, or even use a higher-factor sunscreen during those hours if you need to be outside or add a thin layer of clothing. A T-shirt provides an extra barrier between the sun and your skin, also protecting sensitive areas such as shoulders, back and chest – areas prone to over-exposure and PRIORITISE LIGHT where the application of sunscreen is habitually hit and miss.

There’s nothing quite like lounging in the sun, catching a few rays

Wide-brimmed hats protect the face, neck and ears, and with sunscreen, provide a good all-round shield, particularly What you do in the if moving about in direct warmer months sunlight, while long-sleeved may well dictate swimming tops are ideal for how you look in children who like to spend a later years lot of time in the sea or pool.

The most obvious is sunscreen. Using a lotion with a high Sun Protection Factor (SPF) provides an increased level of defence, although with children it is always best to stick with 50-plus as their skin is so much more delicate. It is best applied at least 15 minutes before you go outside, allowing it to soak in, and should be re-applied regularly, particularly if you are sweating or have been swimming – even water-resistant creams need a top-up. Be careful with the time of day. In the UK, the sun is at its strongest between 11am

Shades and shade: Eye protection is all-important as UVA and UVB rays are particularly threatening from light, reflective surfaces. Polarised sunglasses absorb that glare, while seeking shade will not only protect your skin from direct light but also keep you cool. It almost goes without saying that babies and toddlers should be kept under cover as much as possible. And don’t forget to hydrate. Sweating is nature’s way of keeping the skin cool, so you will need to replenish lost fluids with lots of water. Not wine. Or beer.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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t doesn’t feel five-minutes since the kids were on Easter holidays, however, here we are again with some more time away from school. Being only a three-day break, however, time is short, so here are our top ideas to help you get the most out of your extended weekend.

LONDON

London, in essence, is everything and anything you want it to be. No two trips to London can possibly be alike due to its vast scope of diversity, and if you’ve never been before, now’s the time to visit, because right now is when London is gearing up for a fabulous summertime.

A visit to this enchanting archipelago on your extended weekend would be perfect for all the family or even just as a couple, for there is plenty to enjoy

With eight fantastic royal parks, there is ample outdoors space for picnics, walks or just plain-old sightseeing, for you can see many of London’s prime landmarks from a simple park bench, including Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. Whether it’s a play, an opera, a tour, a burlesque show, a sporting event, a wine tasting class or anything else which may tickle your fancy, London will have something for you.

BEACH WALKS – THE WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER AND CORNWALL

Even when the weather isn’t perfect, a walk down the beach – either alone, as a couple or with the family – can be one

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of the nicest, most relaxing activities to engage in. The water gently crashing up against the shoreline as you stroll alongside the ocean, looking out to the distant horizon. It’s also something the kids will absolutely love whilst they’re off from school, as most children love simple walks down the beach. Whether it’s skimming stones across the sea or looking for rare and weird washedup artefacts on the sand, children will always have a fun experience, and what better place to do this than Dover? The White Cliffs are a spectacular marvel and the best way to see them is to take a walk along the coastal path towards South Foreland Lighthouse. Guided tours are available too to get the most out of these breath-taking views. Moreover, the UK owns some tremendous white-sand beaches, and many of them are just as beautiful as those we travel half way around the world to see. Cornwall is another great destination to visit to take in some magnificent stretches of white sand.

THE LAKE DISTRICT

By far the most popular mountainous region in England and possibly the UK, the Lake District is a much-loved holiday destination for families everywhere, with


SPRING

BANK HOLIDAY IDEAS This spring bank holiday is going to be a special one; it’s going to be one for us all to let our over-grown hair down and have fun in the sunshine and bask in our freedoms!

more than 19 million visitors each year. Largely famous for its lakes, forests and mountains, it is also well-known for its associations with William Wordsworth and other Lake Poets, as well as Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin.

sailing, kayaking, swimming and fishing. Alternatively, soar through the national park on your mountain bike before refuelling with a slice of the famous Kendal Mint Cake.

THE ISLES OF SCILLY

All the land in England which is higher The Isles of Scilly are considered by many than 3,000 feet above sea level exclusively to be the most underrated of the British lies within the Lake District National Park, Isles. COVID regulations permitting, a including Scafell Pike visit to this enchanting which is officially the archipelago on your highest mountain in extended weekend Camp in the right England. The deepest would be perfect for all spots, and treat it (Wastwater) and largest the family or even just like an adventure, (Windermere) natural as a couple, for there is lakes in England are plenty to enjoy. and you’ve got here too. With hotels, yourself a truly camping sites, and The Isles of Scilly lie just wonderful time various exhibitions to off the coast of Cornwall, offer, it will be a winner but are a world apart for any family. in every way. They are a natural wonder, like a cluster of precious The Lake District is also a fantastic ocean jewels, where nature thrives and camping spot. Camping is essentially the soul is inspired. huddling up together under tents outside, but this can be so much more COVID-restrictions permitting, it may be than that. Camp in the right spots, and possible to travel abroad on the cusp of treat it like an adventure, and you’ve got this summer. So, for a two or three night yourself a truly wonderful adventure. For stay, we recommend places like Paris, those feeling active, spend an afternoon Brussels, Amsterdam or Copenhagen, in Ullswater, which is England’s second or indeed many other oversea locations largest lake and offers a magnitude nearby, for many of these destinations can of watersport opportunities including be reached in less than an hour by plane.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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THE BEST

BEACH BREAKS THIS SUMMER As we move towards Summer, heads will inevitably turn to getting away on a much deserved break

A UK beach getaway might be the safest, and most popular way forward

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owever, with question marks remaining over whether overseas holidays will be possible this year, a UK beach getaway might be the safest, and most popular way forward. So, whether you love fun in the sand, or walks along coastlines, we’ve put together a list of the best seaside areas in the country to visit.

PERRANPORTH, CORNWALL

Situated on Cornwall’s rugged North Coast, this town is perfect for anyone who wants to combine having fun with scenic views. The beach itself stretches for over three miles, and is manned by the RNLI, making it a safe, and clean place to spend your time. This place is about more than just its sandy beach though. Towards the town end of the beach, there are rock pools and caves to explore. But if you’d prefer to truly relax on your getaway, then why not pay a visit to ‘The Watering Hole’ - an all-year-round pub, situated right on the beach, and providing live music performances on its outdoor stage. And only a stone’s throw away, the small high street offers a variety of shops and cafes, meaning that one never has to travel too far in order to find something to do in Perranporth.


BOURNEMOUTH, DORSET

The sun-drenched town of Bournemouth enjoys seven miles of sandy beach, and is the ultimate destination for families. As well as the array of water sport activities on offer, it’s only a short walk to the famous Bournemouth Pier. Complete with an arcade and a variety theatre, Bournemouth, amongst many other seaside towns, does not lack in family entertainment. And that’s not to mention the PierZip at RockReef - the world’s first pier-to-shore zip wire. The 250m long wire is also dual-wired, so it’s possible to race others, whilst making the most of the view. And if you’re looking to unwind, then take a stroll towards BH2 Leisure. This modern complex houses a cinema, as well as a selection of restaurants. If you needed any confirmation of how attractive a proposition Bournemouth is, its beach has been named as TripAdvisor’s 20th best beach in the world in 2021.

SEVEN SISTERS, SUFFOLK

To completely contrast with the buzz of Bournemouth, The serene Seven Sisters stand between Seaford and Eastbourne on the south coast of England, and is the perfect destination if you want to be at one with nature. It boasts a stretch of white chalk cliffs, and the area takes its name from the seven peaks of these cliffs. This dramatic landscape provides the perfect opportunity for a country walk, and will test even a seasoned hiker’s stamina. The Seven Sisters country park is also a popular area for activities such as bird-watching, canoeing, and wild swimming. So if you’re of this persuasion, this could be the perfect getaway for you.

BROAD HAVEN, PEMBROKESHIRE

Moving into Wales, the town of Broad Haven also falls into the category of ‘having something for everyone’. The water is suitable for swimming, and there are numerous rock pools, so this beach is a hit for children. If staying on the beach isn’t for you, then you’ll be thankful that you’re right in the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, offering several exceptional nature walks to choose from. And what’s more, the town of Broad Haven became the object of numerous UFO sightings in the 1970s, and has since been humorously nicknamed the ‘Broad Haven Triangle’. So, if you’re a budding believer of extraterrestrial life, a trip to this town could give you more than you bargained for.

STONEHAVEN, ABERDEENSHIRE

And finally, for those wanting to venture into Scotland, Stonehaven could just be the place for you. The beach itself is very popular among water sports enthusiasts. So if you’re a keen surfer, diver, or sailor, then why not take on the brisk waves of the North Sea? Aside from the beach, the town of Stonehaven boasts a heated outdoor swimming pool, so that the whole family can keep warm during the Scottish summer. And if you’re looking for something more cultural, Stonehaven is steeped in history. Take a trip to the beautiful Dunnottar Castle which sits atop tall cliffs. Although this castle fell into ruins nearly three hundred years ago, it has lost none of its charm, and is well worth a visit to learn about Scottish history.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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CORE VALUES

Now’s the time to think about your home’s decor

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hey say a change is as good as a rest. And although there will be no respite when it comes to actually getting down to do it, there can be no doubt that, once finished, a home makeover is good for the soul.

Less is more seems to be the key phrase when it comes to furniture, particularly if you are after a vintage look

The dilemma is whether to follow the herd and opt for the latest fashion, knowing next year you’ll be out of date and will need to do it again. Or opt for comfort and personality, with the emphasis on longevity. Therefore, it won’t be a surprise to learn there are wildly differing schools of thought when it comes to this year’s summer trends. The first is all about comfort and nostalgia, and has been dubbed Cottagecore, because we can’t live without labels. This is a romantic interpretation of simplistic rural life

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PROPERTY NEWS

with splashes of glamour – granny chic meets rustic vogue, according to the influencers – with muted, pastel tones offset by statement gold accessories and vintage-style wallpaper. As for furnishings, it’s traditional-shaped sofas with the accent on curves, rather than angular edges, and deep cushions, large footstools and statement lighting. Plus full-length curtains on wooden poles, something of a throwback to the Eighties. In the opposite corner is Japandi, a blending of the modern, pared back and functional Japanese and Scandinavian styles with simple shapes, rattan and natural wood dominant. Stoneware and ceramics are particularly important with bold, abstract prints on plain grey or white walls adding splashes of colour. Boucle – a tactile fabric popular in the Fifties and now fashionable again -


adds texture and softness to upholstery while, instead of flowers in vases, replace blooms with elegant grasses. Similarly, tall vivid green houseplants, such as palms, weeping figs or yuccas are also suitably eye-catching.

Less is more seems to be the key phrase when it comes to furniture, particularly if you are after a vintage look. Antique, repurposed or salvaged pieces all have their place, but the key is to provide plenty of contrast and that can only come gradually. Interior designers say it’s a look which needs layering so a few rich fabrics and statement lighting will help retain a modern note until the look is complete.

As for paint, Dulux’s colour of the year is Brave Ground, a warm natural tone which is the perfect backdrop for sage green - which is Boucle – a tactile expected to be particularly popular Some pieces, such as fabric popular in the in kitchens – as well bookcases or cabinets, Fifties and now as pale pinks. Earth are useful for displaying fashionable again colours are said to ornaments and - adds texture and give us courage to sentimental objects, softness to upholstery embrace change, so if but are not as effective you’re having a radical as floating shelves, rethink, at least it will particularly if they are give you confidence tiered. Being at home to carry on! more over the last year has made us look at what we have, and treasure them Industry-standard Pantone, on the other accordingly, while there is something hand, went for two shades: Illuminating therapeutic about choosing favourite – a bright yellow – and The Ultimate Grey items, moving them around into – a soft neutral – which, when combined, different patterns and orders. present a warming and optimistic colour scheme certain to lift spirits, Plus, they will look good as a backdrop and both are equally appealing when to your next Zoom call from the homeused on feature walls or in alcoves. Last working space you have managed to year’s colour, Classic Blue, still remains create behind that little bit of wall that relevant, however, and along with burnt juts out in your not-so-regularly shaped orange, provides a welcoming feel to living room, which you’ve never worked sitting rooms and snugs alike. out what to do with. You can zone the different areas with rugs, artwork lighting Alternatively, muted colours with folksy or plants and even paint the wall a slightly and characterful prints creates a modern darker shade to the rest of the room just vibe to brighten a window wall. to give it the feel of a separate area.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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MAY GARDENING GUIDE

May is a wonderful month for your garden, and with our handy guide we have laid it all out for you

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pring is fully underway. There should be no more frosts and the temperature is steadily getting warmer, which is bliss for your garden. With more sunshine, your plants should get stronger and healthier and the colours should start to look really vibrant. However, if you have a new space or a blank space, we are on hand to guide you through the best flowers and plants for your outdoor space.

FLOWERS

The vibrant and bright colour of flowers is what makes a garden. And now is the time to sow seeds directly outdoors.

DILL

Looking to create a wild field look in your garden, then you can’t go wrong with cornflowers. These bright blue annual flowers can grow up to a metre high and give a vibrant wild meadow look to your beds. May is the final month to sow them, to get them to bloom this year.

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Towering sunflowers are exciting annuals to grow in your garden. Children love them and they are really easy to plant and look after. Also, with so many varieties available with different colours, shapes and sizes, they create a simply gorgeous summery border in your space.

SCABIOUS

If you love butterflies fluttering around your garden, then these gorgeous scabious flowers, which come in shades of purple, pink and blue, Homegrown veg simply are perfect. Some tastes better than shopvarieties are hardy perennials, which bought veg. It’s a fact and means they’ll come if you don’t believe us, back year-after-year cucumber is the perfect while some tender veg to test the fact species are annuals.

Dill is an airy annual that not only looks great but is also used in cooking. If you are looking to attract wildlife, this is a great little plant that hover-flies are particularly attracted to. You can sow it directly into your beds, ready for summer blooms.

CORNFLOWERS

SUNFLOWERS

BISHOP’S FLOWER

Keeping with the wild meadows theme, the bishop’s flower is a very pretty annual plant that grows to roughly 1m in height. Sow these flowers en masse and when they come into bloom, you will have graceful white cloud formations on top. Grown amongst cornflowers, the contrast in colours looks simply stunning.

VEGETABLES

Similar to flowers, with the frosts having passed, many veggie seeds can now be sown directly outdoors.


BEETROOT

Beetroot is a purple root vegetable that is packed with essential nutrients. Even better, they are really easy to grow in your garden. The seeds don’t need much encouragement to germinate, and they require little maintenance once established.

SWEETCORN

Perfect for the BBQ, sweetcorn is another great plant that needs to be planted this month at the latest. Containing lots of fibre, sweetcorn is extremely healthy too. Simply sow the seeds in small pots or modules before planting them into rich, moist soil in a sunny spot.

CUCUMBER

Homegrown veg simply tastes better than shop-bought veg. It’s a fact and if you don’t believe us, cucumber is the perfect veg to test the fact. Sow cucumber seeds in peat-free compost and keep them in a warm spot. Once the seedlings have developed their first ‘true’ leaves, plant them outside with a bamboo stick for support.

SPROUTING BROCCOLI

Extremely robust, sprouting broccoli produces nutrient-packed succulent spears, which are perfect for steaming, boiling and grilling. Simply sow the seeds into small pots. Once the seedlings are coming through, prick them out and put them into larger pots. Then once they are between 7-9cm tall, plant them in rows in your garden.

With more sunshine, your plants should get stronger and healthier

CARROTS

A true garden and cooking staple, the honest carrot is an exceptionally easyto-grow vegetable, which is perfect for a whole host of dishes. Simply sow carrot seeds sparingly in drills in prepared soil before covering with a thin layer of soil and water sparingly. Seeds should germinate in a few weeks.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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TAKE SOME DOWNTIME FROM SCREEN TIME

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Making the most of Screen Free Week

od knows we’ve all been indulging in a massive amount of screen time over the last year, including our televisions, computers and phones. What a perfect time, then, to celebrate Screen-Free Week! In 1994, the week was first championed by TV-Free America, which then became the centre for SCREEN-TIME Awareness. Since 2010, the name has officially been Screen Free Week. It is an annual event which campaigns to have screens turned off and life turned on. Reading, daydreaming, exploring, enjoying nature, and spending time with family and friends are all activities encouraged. This year, Screen Free Week runs from the 3rd May until 9th May. The objective of the week is to create as much opportunity as possible to reflect on our relationships with our electronic devices, put them down, and enjoy all things natural and social.

The objective of the week is to create as much opportunity as possible to reflect on our relationships with our electronic devices, put them down, and enjoy all things natural and social

HERE ARE SOME UNIQUE AND THOUGHTFUL IDEAS, PERFECT FOR YOUR SCREEN FREE WEEK

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• Write a letter to an elderly family member.

• Go on a picnic, and make all the food yourself from scratch.

• Lay a blanket out in your backyard and stargaze.

• Call a friend who’s going through hard times to let them

• Read aloud to your kids, even if they think they’re

know that you’re thinking of them.

too old for it.

• Go find a local body of water. A river, pond or ocean will

• Recreate your favourite restaurant meal at home.

restore your spirits.

• Make your own postcards and mail them to far

• Write a short story from start to finish.

flung friends.

• Challenge your kids to create their own board games, and

• Make a flower bouquet from your own garden, even if

then be willing to play the games.

it’s mostly greenery.

• Take a nature walk in your own neighbourhood and take

• Go for a long hike.

close up photos of the plants and flowers.

PROPERTY NEWS


WE’RE BUZZING ABOUT WORLD BEE DAY World Bee Day is on the 20th May 2021

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s it does every year, World Bee Day will take place on May 20th, to coincide with the birthday of Anton Janša, who pioneered modern beekeeping techniques in the 18th Century. And with the pandemic having negatively impacted the beekeeping industry, it is more vital than ever to raise the awareness of the importance of bees.

WHAT ARE POLLINATORS?

Pollinators are animals that transfer pollen between plants, and they play a huge role in allowing food crops to reproduce. There are different pollinator species in the world, but some of the most common are butterflies, bats, hummingbirds, and of course, bees.

WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT?

The most popular pollinators in the world are bees. In fact, pollinators, like bees, impact 35% of the world’s agricultural land, meaning that over a third of food has been at least partly pollinated by animals. And it’s more than just food that pollinators are useful for. Pollination also contributes to the creation of medicines, biofuels, fibres such as cotton and linen, and construction materials.

But the 25,000 to 30,000 species of bee are under threat. Due to human impacts, current extinction rates are 100 to 1000 times higher than normal. If this trend were to continue, many crops such as fruit and nuts would become less readily available, meaning imbalances to the human diet, and a lack of biodiversity.

WHAT CAN I DO?

Protecting bees can start at home, and it’s really easy to get involved! Planting bee-friendly plants like daisies and heather can help to attract them to your garden, and once they’re present, do your bit by helping them to flourish. You can achieve this by leaving a dish filled with water and pebbles, in case they get thirsty. Furthermore, by leaving a section of your garden to grow wild, this will provide the bees with much-needed shade when the weather heats up. It’s also critical to not use pesticides, fungicides or herbicides anywhere in your garden, as these can prove extremely harmful to bees. And, if you know one, choose to buy your honey from a beekeeper, and help local businesses! If you want to go even further, you can visit ‘worldbeeday.org’, and take part in one of their annual meetings, which will be held virtually this year.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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THE FINALS

COUNTDOWN It’s showdown time for football’s major prizes

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n what seems a faster time than it takes VAR to sort out an offside decision, the football season heads into its ‘business end’ with trophies and relegation issues on the line. The compressed season has had more than its share of twists and turns, although there is an air of inevitability about where the honours are heading. Take the major domestic knockout trophies, the Emirates FA Cup and the Carabao Cup, for example. Neither has been won by a side outside the Premier League’s Big Six since 2013, when Wigan Athletic and Swansea City respectively had the audacity to buck the trend that suggested football was becoming a playground for the rich and mega-rich. Normal service has, sadly, been resumed, to the extent that since Wigan’s intervention, the FA Cup has become the property of just four clubs – Arsenal, who have won it four times, Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City. And it will take a brave man to bet against that stranglehold being broken at Wembley on May 15th. (To further deflate the romantic notions of anyone hoping for an upset, since Wimbledon’s mind-boggling triumph in 1988, only three other teams – Everton in 1995, Portsmouth in 2008 and Wigan – have prevented the Cup from falling into the clutches of a Big Six which also embraces Liverpool and Tottenham).

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The Carabao Cup is, of course, an even cosier clique: Since Swansea, it has been won by either City or a side managed by Jose Mourinho. Such is the Premier League’s clout and perceived strength, it is tempting to think that dominance has spread across the English Channel into the European competitions. Indeed, the same names keep occurring… only they are Spanish. In the last 10 years, there have been just two English winners of the Champions League, Europe’s premier club competition - Liverpool in 2019 and Chelsea in 2012 – although Tottenham, in the all-Premier League final two years ago, Manchester United and Liverpool have reached the ultimate showdown. In that time, Real Madrid have won it four times, with Barcelona and Bayern Munich scoring two triumphs apiece, although this year’s final on May 29th is at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul, a venue etched deep into the Merseysiders’ folklore. It was there, in 2005, that the Reds overturned a 3-0 deficit to beat AC Milan on penalties to complete one of the great sporting comebacks. Of all the competitions, the marathon slog that is the Europa League could be the one to be wearing seldom-applied colours after the final in Poland’s stunning Gdansk Stadium on May 26th. Sevilla (four-time champions) and Atletico Madrid (twice) were notable absentees from the latter rounds, leaving the stage clear for unheralded champions.


BUZZINGLY GOOD FOOD Celebrate World Bee day with these wonderfully sticky honey recipes

1kg carrots 25g butter 2 tbsp clear honey 5 lemon thyme sprigs, leaves picked, plus extra to serve (use ordinary thyme if you can’t find lemon)

3 thyme sprigs , leaves roughly chopped 2-3 rosemary sprigs, leaves roughly chopped 2 fat garlic cloves , lightly bashed ½ tsp black peppercorns 4 duck leg (about 800g) 750g duck fat 2 bay leaves sunflower oil., for covering the duck, if needed 4 tbsp clear honey

HONEY & THYME CARROTS Keep this succulent recipe for when your homegrown carrots have started to produce. Tip the carrots into a wide shallow pan so they are no more than a double layer. Add the butter, honey and about 500ml or 2cm of water, the leaves from the thyme and a pinch of salt. Partly cover with a lid, turn the heat up high and boil everything down until the carrots are tender, cooked through and sticky with honey. If they aren’t tender enough by the time the water has evaporated, add a splash more. Once glazed, turn them over in the sticky juices and serve, with extra thyme on top.

HONEY-ROAST CONFIT OF DUCK Serve your carrots with this wonderful French classic with meltingly tender meat with crispy skin. Mix together the thyme, rosemary, garlic and peppercorns with 2 tbsp flaky sea salt. Tip half into a large baking dish, top with the duck legs, then sprinkle over the remaining salt and massage well into the duck. Cover with cling film and chill for 24 hrs. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Take the duck legs out of the dish, wipe off the salt mixture with kitchen paper, then set aside. Melt the duck fat in a flameproof casserole dish until just bubbling. Add the bay leaves and duck legs, and bring to a gentle simmer. The legs should be completely covered, so top up with olive oil if needed. Transfer the dish to the oven and cook for 2 hrs 30 mins. To check whether the duck is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of a leg – it should go in easily. Leave the duck to cool in the fat. Can now be chilled for up to 2 weeks. While the duck cools, make the Puy lentils & pancetta (see Goes well with, right). Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Lift the duck legs from the dish, scrape off the fat and place, skin-side up, in a shallow roasting tin.

All recipes from the BBC Goodfood website Images for illustrative purposes only

Spoon 1 tbsp honey over each duck leg and roast for 25-30 mins until the skin is browned and sticky. Serve with the Puy lentils & pancetta.

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

15


Mill Cottage, The Green, Harrold £675,000 Mill Cottage is a very desirable four bedroom period home of immense character set in a lovely and quiet location enjoying magical river views and adjoining the lower village green within this attractive Bedfordshire village. Dating from 1897 this very well presented link detached property features an elegant and spacious drawing room, a modern, well equipped kitchen with granite worktops, a purpose built home office and a double glazed conservatory leading into the delightful, private walled garden. Further benefits include three well-proportioned first floor bedrooms (including one fitted as a home office) and a shower room and a large second floor bedroom with en suite bathroom. Outside the attractive and secluded rear garden is approximately 65’ x 60’ and laid to lawn with well stocked and established borders and paved seating areas. To the front there is a carport and parking in total for 3 cars and a lawned garden. •

Spacious period property

Home office

4 Bedrooms

Cloakroom

2 Bathrooms

Conservatory

2 Reception rooms

Walled garden

Kitchen & Utility room

Beautiful views across the river from every room

property@taylorbrightwell.co.uk


01234 326444

property@taylorbrightwell.co.uk

SO ST LD C

CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

Warwick Avenue, Bedford £525,000 A substantial six/seven bedroom Victorian semi-detached house providing exceptionally spacious family accommodation of approximately 2700 sq ft whilst also offering the potential as an HMO situated very conveniently for access to the mainline train station, town centre and major road links. The accommodation is arranged over three floors and includes three sizable reception rooms, a utility/cloakroom, a fitted kitchen, an ensuite to the main bedroom and a refitted family bathroom. There are numerous attractive period features throughout including fireplaces, high skirting and moulded cornices and the benefits of double glazing and gas radiator heating. Outside there is wide side access to the enclosed 35ft long x 25ft wide rear garden plus a hardstanding area and a garage. •

6/7 Bedrooms

Original features

3 Large reception rooms

Double glazing

Ensuite

Off road parking

Refitted bathroom

Garage

taylorbrightwell.co.uk


Gower Drive, Biddenham £715,000 A greatly extended and much improved four bedroom detached house set back from the road in a private setting within this small close of similar styled homes on the highly regarded Deep Spinney development in the attractive village of Biddenham. The property has been thoughtfully remodelled to a high standard and has many attractive features including the very impressive kitchen/breakfast/ family room which has been fitted in a comprehensive range of stylish units with quartz work tops and integrated appliances. There is a spacious sitting room, a dining room,a good sized study, a refitted cloak room, a utility room, a large landing, four double bedrooms, a refitted ensuite and family bathroom with Jacuzzi bath. Further features include Karndean flooring to the ground floor and bi-fold doors to the rear garden. Externally there is a driveway providing ample off road parking which leads to the detached double width garage with electric doors and a good sized lawned front garden. •

4 Double bedrooms

Karndean flooring

Study

Bi-fold doors

Kitchen/Breakfast/Family room

Double garage

Main bedroom with en suite

Well presented throughout

No upward chain

property@taylorbrightwell.co.uk


01234 326444

property@taylorbrightwell.co.uk

SO ST LD C

CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION

Aylesbury Road, Bedford £385,000 An excellent opportunity to purchase this 1930’s three bedroom detached bungalow which is in need of refurbishment situated in this ever popular road close to local shops, bus services and amenities. The property sits on a large plot with a 50 ft long front garden with driveway providing off road parking for 2-3 cars leading to the single garage and a 90ft x 70 ft private rear garden backing on to allotments. The bungalow requires complete refurbishment and offers great potential to extend as required (stpp) and includes three double bedrooms, a lounge, a kitchen, bathroom and separate wc, The property is offered for sale with no upward chain. •

3 Bedrooms

Potential to extend (stpp)

Large rear garden

Close to local shops

Driveway and Garage

No upward chain

In need of refurbishment

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


break TAKE A

Take some time out while we here at Taylor Brightwell do the leg work for you. We will be on hand every step of the way during your home move offering you innovative marketing and exceptional customer service.

01234 326444

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

Profile for thepropertycollection

Taylor Brightwell Magazine May 2021  

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