THE BEST HOME EXTENSIONS A GUIDE TO INCREASING SPACE AND VALUE TO YOUR HOME ADVENT CALENDARS UNIQUE CALENDARS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS TIPS TO MAKE EVERYBODY ENVIOUS OF YOUR TREE
SNOOKER CHAMPIONSHIP THE UK TOURNAMENT STARTS THIS MONTH
BLACK FRIDAY FEVER ARE WE TO EXPECT BIGGER REDUCTIONS THIS YEAR?
Finding more space Our guide to the best, most beneficial extensions to consider for your home
Our latest instructions Take a look at a selection of our latest properties on the market
About us Get to know our team a little better and see why we are your agent of choice
Winter Warmer Soups Warm up this winter with some fresh and hearty homemade soups
Preparing for Christmas Rekindling the atmosphere of those quaint mid-20th century yuletides
Unique advent calendars A variety of advent calendars to suit all the family
Treating your tree How to make everybody envious of your tree this year
The return of The Crown The multi-award-winning drama is back on our screens on the 15th of November Black Friday fever Top tech tips for Black Friday bargains
Snooker UK Championship One of snooker’s most prestigious Triple Crown events starts this month
WELCOME TO THE NOVEMBER ISSUE!
he property market is still thriving, and with the Stamp Duty Holiday ending in March, and the average house sale taking longer than usual, there is no time like the present to finally move and take advantage. The clocks have changed and the nights are drawing in, which can only mean we’re on the countdown to Christmas! Inside, with the uncertainty over what Christmas will be like this year, we have an article about how to make it extra special this year alongside our guide to the best advent calendars available for all the family. However, it’s not all about Christmas, we have an informative
article about how best to extend your home as well as our top tech tips for Black Friday! Looking for cosy nights in? Check out pages 8 and 9 for our winter warmer soup recipes which you can relax with in front of The Crown when it returns check out our preview on page 12. And finally, we have a sports preview of the UK Snooker Championships on page 13. In these strange times, stay safe, enjoy your time with your family and look after yourselves. Jonathan Wheatley Editor
The country may still be in the grip of a pandemic, but there’s no reason we can’t avoid a bleak midwinter
ost people are thinking Christmas is likely to be a bit of a non-event this year. The continual struggle to combat the Covid-19 pandemic means an everchanging landscape of guidelines and restrictions, although the “rule of six” could be with us for some time. So, where does that leave the season of goodwill to all men in a facemask, the non-stop round of departmental parties which go on well past office hours, and those big family gatherings? Well, if you’re working from home the office party will be you, the cat, a mug of tea and slippers on before The One Show has started; the family get-together will be via Zoom; and social bubbles will be something more important than having the girls round for Prosecco. While Millennials may be tempted to shut up shop, do their best Scrooge impression and pretend Christmas has been cancelled, Baby Boomers and Generation X will be: “Hold our mince pies, we’ve got this”.
WILL WE KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS? Because back in the Dark Ages - before the internet or even Channel 4 Christmases were localised, family-centric and far less commercialised with the countdown starting this month rather than early September when the tubs of biscuits and chocolates start appearing on supermarket shelves. So, how do you rekindle the atmosphere of those quaint mid-20th Century Yuletides? For a start, make your own Christmas cake instead of buying one. Set aside a Sunday afternoon and get baking, as early in November as possible because every consumer knows a good cake needs feeding regularly – as in a liberal dousing of brandy every week – before it is iced. And while you’re at it, get to work on your own Christmas pud (once again, nice and early to let it mature, more brandy etc) or a gingerbread house. The aroma alone will get you longing for Christmas Day. As for the not insignificant issue of decorating the house, leave it as late as
possible, do it together and make it an occasion not a chore with a “yeh, that’ll do” end product. Make it better by designing your own decorations… and cards. Set aside a good few hours, devise a festive playlist, and finish the day with hot chocolate or mulled wine. Or, as we are likely to be advised to spend more time at home, wind down with a night of Christmas films … and no, Die Hard doesn’t count. It’s not a proper Christmas film is it? As for the day itself, you can still FaceTime the relatives before settling in for games and quality time after lunch; admittedly, Exploding Kittens will never replace Kerplunk and Find Out Who is no Charades, but they’re still a lot of fun and will get you in the mood for a Morecambe and Wise Special on UK Gold. And if you still feel it’s the season for giving, donate to charity. After all, you could have saved a small fortune by not buying enough food and drink to feed a small army for a week.
How do you rekindle the atmosphere of those quaint mid-20th Century Yuletides?
MOST UNIQUE AND PRESTIGIOUS ADVENT CALENDARS
FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY THIS CHRISTMAS Believe it or not, Christmas is coming, and it’s perhaps come around quicker than most Christmases before it… So it’s time to start thinking about advent calendars!
t’s true that we usually prefer to be eating chocolate each morning of December on the lead up to good ol’ Christmas, for it’s a time to indulge in the naughty stuff, indeed one of the few times of the year when it’s deemed completely socially acceptable. But if we’re purely talking about generating excitement and intrigue throughout the festive month, then there are some fantastic alternatives to advent calendars, ones without edible treats.
FOR KIDS IN GENERAL This year will mark the 20th anniversary of the release of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This advent calendar is one of the most thematic, solid celebrations of the film on the market. £12.99, with chocolates. https://tinyurl.com/y4r8r4x2 This calendar would prove perfect for any Despicable Me fan out there. It contains buildable Minion characters with interchangeable parts including goggles, arms, feet and holiday outfits. £36.15 https://tinyurl.com/y65abpxf
In 2013, Frozen graced the silver screen and captured the hearts of little girls everywhere, especially those with sisters. This epic Disney Frozen advent calendar contains 24 surprises with an abundance of jewellery, 22 charms and accessories. £16.98. https://tinyurl.com/y48yht76 Another great advent calendar for girls is the L.O.L. Surprise! advent calendar, which contains 24 Surprises with a bracelet, a necklace and 22 LOL charms and accessories including a Queen Bee and Unicorn. £16.98 https://tinyurl.com/y6e7lv4l
FOR BOYS This advent calendar features PlayMobil top agents who are working on various gadgets and weapons, and includes a powerful LED super weapon and two PlayMobil figures and accessories. Any boy who’s a fan would be head over heels for this at Christmas. £15.71
https://tinyurl.com/y5tlcek3 Your son can accelerate to Christmas day in style with the SINCO Hot Wheels advent calendar, perfect for any roadster. Boys love their toys, right? This calendar offers 24 surprise gifts with mini cars, bikes, toys and stickers. £14.69 https://tinyurl.com/y5syzvlx
FOR MUM AND DAD The Glittering Galaxy of Makeup Magic beauty advent calendar from Charlotte Tilbury contains 12 full size and travel size makeup and skincare icons, with two dazzling looks built into one show-stopping treasure trove of beauty marvels. £150 https://tinyurl.com/y585qcxg This other festive beauty from Charlotte Tilbury, Charlotte’s Bejewelled Chest of Beauty Treasures, contains full size and travel size magic makeup and supercharged skincare secrets. £150 https://tinyurl.com/y2t4h9bx
Meanwhile, Fortnum and Mason offer some incredible advent calendars, and not all of them are of a naughty price tag! Some of them are of a sweet fee, and absolute bargains if you ask us! Fortnum’s Truffle Selection Advent Calendar. £35 https://tinyurl.com/y3ruhr4s Fortnum’s Bawden Stag & Santa Advent Calendar. £99 https://tinyurl.com/yxsq33sg Fortnum’s Filled Wooden House Advent Calendar. £135 https://tinyurl.com/yxrpnl53 And for the ultimate, decadent advent calendar for any adult this Christmas… Fortnum’s Feasting Advent Calendar. £200 https://www.fortnumandmason.com/fortnumsfeasting-advent-calendar
TREAT YOUR TREE
THIS CHRISTMAS Your Christmas tree is the centrepoint of your decorations so here is our guide to getting it right this year
s the winter season approaches, attention will soon turn to adorning the house during the busy Christmas period. And there is no bigger opportunity to nail decoration than ensuring that the Christmas tree radiates splendour throughout the home. So here are some tips on how to make everybody envious of your tree, this year.
FAKE VS. REAL?
Every year, the question of a real or fake Christmas tree raises much debate through households. There are, indeed, pros and cons for both, making that key decision all the more difficult. Real trees provide an unmistakable, authentic Christmas feeling through their smell, as well as their individual shape and size. However, they do require extensive maintenance throughout the festive season, as well as the hassle of getting rid of them after itâ€™s all over.
On the other hand, an artificial tree requires no regular maintenance, the proportions are all symmetrical, and they can be used for many years. Although, a study has shown that as a result of the carbon footprint caused from making artificial trees, a single tree would need to be used for ten Christmasses to keep the environmental impact lower than that of a real tree. But whatever your decision, itâ€™s the decoration which is the most important thing.
Red goes well with gold and green and is a classic Christmas combination with warm white lights.
If you fancy changing up your tree theme this year, then here are a couple of ideas to brighten up your home. 1. Keep it Traditional If you’re someone who usually prefers to go bold with colour schemes, why not go back to the traditional colours of Christmas. A traditional Christmas tree makes a home feel extra festive and homely with a splash of red, so why not warm up the room this winter?
Red goes well with gold and green and is a classic Christmas combination with warm white lights. 2. Bring the Snow inside Even if the weather flatters to deceive, give the inside of your home the full winter experience and pick a white colour scheme to go with your tree. This stark colour compliments the lush green of the tree and also pairs perfectly with the blue or white of an artificial tree.
A traditional Christmas tree makes a home feel extra festive and homely
Snow spray is a great way to turn a boring tree into something more special. 3. Add Some Luxury If your home boasts darker tones to the walls and furniture continue in this vein with your tree and choose rich gold and black decorations. These colours work well with the dark green of a tree and really add a sense of class to proceedings.
Wooden tree decorations complete the scene with some natural material added to the luxury.
Making Your Own Baubles If you can’t find the perfect coloured decorations for your chosen colour scheme then have a go at designing them yourself. This can be easily done by buying transparent baubles and then filling with whatever you like! You can combine glitters, confetti and stars, and after giving it a shake, you’ll have your very own custom bauble to complement the colours of your tree. Mason Jar Display Perhaps not one for the tree itself, but when decorating, if there are baubles or other trinkets left over, place them in mason jars and arrange on the mantelpiece in a pyramid shape, resembling a Christmas tree. This is a great way of adding vibrancy to every area of your home, whilst also ensuring that every ornament is on display. How to Complete your tree? We’ve already mentioned the importance of picking a colour
scheme and fully utilising all of your ornaments, but what else can be done to really make your tree the talk of the town? Less is More There’s nothing worse than a Christmas tree that looks disorganised. So ensure that the lights are evenly layered around the tree so that every branch is given a warm glow. Likewise, with other ornaments. It’s great to see an array of baubles and other trinkets adorning a tree, but don’t forget that the tree itself is a sight to behold, so don’t let your decoration become too busy. Add Different Textures Baubles are a staple of any Christmas tree, but that doesn’t mean that there can’t be more going on. If you’re looking for other items to spruce up your tree with, ribbons and bows can provide a neat and tidy alternative and if your tree is looking especially sparse, then dress your tree in tinsel, which can take it to a different dimension altogether, in terms of its boldness.
HOMEMADE WINTER WARMER SOUPS W ith the grey and dreary weather outside, now’s the time to warm up with some fresh and hearty homemade soups made from simple ingredients that are sure to heat your insides on a cold day.
2 tbsp olive oil 2 onions 2 garlic cloves ¼ tsp hot chilli powder 1 tbsp ras el hanout 1 butternut squash 100g red lentils 1l hot vegetable stock 1 small bunch of coriander Natural yoghurt, to serve
30g butter 2 onions 3 garlic cloves 100ml scrumpy cider 1 small potato 2 thyme sprigs 450ml chicken stock 50ml double cream ½ Granny Smith apple 2 slices of baguette 20g grated mature cheddar 10g dried apple 1 spring onion
SPICED LENTIL AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP This healthy and low-fat vegetarian soup is perfect for freezing to keep for a speedy supper another day. Heat the oil in a casserole dish or saucepan over a medium heat. Fry the onions with a pinch of salt. Add the garlic, chilli and ras el hanout and cook for a further minute. Stir in the squash and lentils. Pour over the stock and season to taste. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and cook, covered, for 25 minutes until the squash is soft. Blitz the soup with a hand blender until smooth and then season to taste. Serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt and coriander leaves.
CIDER & ONION SOUP WITH CHEESE & APPLE TOASTS Try this slightly different version of classic French onion soup to give your household a warming glow this winter. Heat the butter in a saucepan until foaming, then add the onions and cook for 10 mins until soft and golden. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Pour over the cider, then add the potato and thyme and simmer for another 2 mins. Stir in the stock cream, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins or until the potato is soft. Remove the thyme sprigs. Transfer the soup to a blender and blitz until smooth. Heat the grill high and toast the baguette on both sides. Mix the cheese, dried apple and spring onion together. Put the mixture, thickly, onto the toast and grill until melted and golden. Once ready, serve the soup and toasts together.
90g butter 2 medium onions 1 garlic clove 500g mushrooms, finely chopped 2 tbsp plain flour 1l hot chicken stock 1 bay leaf 4 tbsp single cream A small handful of flat-leaf parsley
MUSHROOM SOUP Try this comforting mushroom soup as a starter or on its own with crusty bread for a perfect winter’s evening. Heat the butter in a large saucepan and cook the onions and garlic until soft but not browned. Add the mushrooms and cook over a high heat for another 3 mins until soft. Sprinkle over the flour and stir to combine. Pour in the chicken stock, bring the mixture to the boil, then add the bay leaf and simmer for a further 10 mins. Remove and discard the bay leaf, then remove the mushroom mixture from the heat and blitz with a hand blender until smooth. (Now is the time to freeze the soup if you want to save any) When ready to serve, gently reheat and stir through the cream before pouring into bowls and scattering parsley over the tops.
Tantalise your tastebuds with these full-of-flavour winter warmer soup recipes as the weather gets colder
All recipes are from www.bbcgoodfood.com Images for illustrative purposes only
EXTENSIONS FOR YOUR HOME Moving home isn’t always the solution to finding more space.Here’s our guide to the best, most beneficial extensions to consider for your home
xtending your home can be one of the greatest things you can do as an owner of your home, potentially adding value to your property whilst also generating precious space, which is especially important if you’re a growing family. You may settle upon a two bedroom semi, for example, situated within a cul-de-sac position. It may not have the three bedrooms you required but given its location, you
The ground floor offers more options than upper floors, and if you require extra living space, an additional reception room, perhaps with an open plan layout to your kitchen
can’t resist snapping it up. The third bedroom extension gets sorted, and you now have your dream home. The flexibility of creative freedom extensions can offer new buyers and current owners should never be underestimated. Here is our guide to the most popular extension ideas.
Although many properties already have conservatories attached, thus being inherited by the buyer, there
are some shrewd advantages to having a conservatory extension yourself. Having one installed yourselves affords you creative freedom over the style of it, the size of it, and the height, as well as its internal decoration and layout. Indeed, a buyer inheriting a conservatory might not like what’s already there, and it’s much more expensive, of course, to have a conservatory knocked down and a new one built, as opposed to just the latter.
ADDITIONAL RECEPTION ROOM
If you find you only have enough room within your plot for one extra reception room, you may decide to opt against a conservatory and go for a separate dining room, a playroom for the children, perhaps a large office space, or a games room accommodating enough space for a pool table. The ground floor offers more options than upper floors, and if you require extra living space, an additional reception room, perhaps with an open plan layout to your kitchen, can add flow and precious space for entertaining, dining or anything else. If you wanted to consider having patio or French doors installed to open out to the gardens, this will obviously also need to be accounted for financially. This prospective reception room might also offer versatility in the nature of a potential annex, with an en suite and/or dressing room complementing the self-contained accommodation.
Many families decide to move homes entirely as the children get older, and/or if another child is in the making. But a simple extension can be enough to create that extra dwelling space, and is usually the most cost-effective solution too since it will also add value to your home. You could extend into your rear garden, reducing the amount of garden space but gaining that extra bedroom you need.
Kitchens can be the absolute hub of your home, or it can be the place you escape into to exercise your gastronomical creative juices. Either way, having a big enough kitchen for your needs is pretty much essential. It may be you simply need a new cooker, and youâ€™ve decided to change your induction hob cooker to a range style cooker, which would mean shifting the base unit cupboards over to create enough space for the larger appliance, thus extending the kitchen as a whole would really help with this process. Or perhaps you want the kitchen to incorporate an open plan family living area, with French doors opening out to the gardens. The potential available to a kitchen, in terms of creating extra space, is almost infinite, and can add some serious value to your home by doing so.
Parking is not an insignificant factor for any driver when looking for their new home, and perhaps the addition of a garage can not only provide much needed extra parking, but versatility too, having it be an occasional gym, storage area or workshop, especially if the vehicle in question is a motorcycle rather than a car. Having the garage attached means youâ€™d be able to access the garage from inside, which would, again, increase the level of flow throughout the ground floor.
Extending your home can be one of the greatest things you can do as an owner of your home
This period will also cover the marriage between Prince Charles and Princess Diana, with Emma Corrin playing the People’s Princess
THE CROWN RETURNS
The return of TV royalty this November
ith the number of scheduled TV shows that have been forced to be put on hold this year, it’s a good job that Netflix’s The Crown film their show in two seasons chunks, so that Series 4 of the hit show has been ready to go since the early part of this year. And it isn’t long until the multi-award-winning drama is back on our screens with the show returning on the 15th of November.
WHO’S IN SEASON 4?
As fans of the show will know, The Crown explores all of the major historical events which the Royal family and the corresponding governments have had to face since Queen Elizabeth II has been on the throne. The end of the third series concluded with the Queen celebrating her Silver Jubilee in 1977, so assuming that the fourth series picks up around this time, one can assume that Gillian Anderson (The X-Files, Sex Education), will be at the centre of the action, in her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher. This period will also cover the marriage between Prince Charles and Princess Diana, with Emma Corrin playing the People’s Princess. Otherwise, the core cast from the third series will return for the latest instalment including Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth, Tobias Menzies as Prince Phillip, and Helena Bonham-Carter, who will, once again, play Princess Margaret.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE FOURTH SERIES? The fourth instalment will mainly cover the 1980s, which could mean that the series may kick off with Margaret Thatcher’s rise to Prime Minister in 1979. One of the other major storylines will be the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, as well as the birth of their sons, William and Harry.
Netflix has also hinted that an infamous incident, which took place in 1982, in which a man was able to break into Queen Elizabeth’s room will also be included. The Falklands War is also expected to play a key part of the latest series, as well as key events which took place towards the end of the decade, such as the Queen’s 1989 flight on Concorde. The series will be released on November 15th, and if previous series are anything to go by, all ten episodes will be released together, allowing viewers to binge to their heart’s content.
CHAMPIONSHIP KICKS OFF THIS MONTH One of snooker’s most prestigious Triple Crown events, the UK Championship, starts at the end of November. It is the second-biggest ranking tournament after the World Championship. First held in 1977 in Blackpool, this year’s competition will take place at two venues to comply with Covid-19 social distancing guidelines. The qualifiers and first round will be staged at the Marshall Arena in Milton keynes before reverting back to its usual home at the York Barbican. The first round will begin on the 23rd-26th November, while the second round starts on the 28th November till the 6th December.
The UK Snooker Championship will see big-hitters Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Selby battling it out to take Ding Junhui’s crown
Ronnie O’Sullivan holds the record for the most wins in the tournament with seven titles, closely followed by Steve
Davis with six and Stephen Hendry – who has just announced his return to the sport – with five. Last year saw Ding Junhui beat Stephen Maguire in the final, 10-6. It was Ding Junhui’s third UK Championship title, and despite Covid-19 restrictions, he should be in York to defend his title. He is currently ranked 10th in the world, with Judd Trump number one. Famous names such as O’Sullivan, Selby, Allen, Higgins and Murphy complete the top 10 and should be in this year’s tournament.
This year’s tournament is sponsored by Betway and offers total prize money of £1,009,000 with £200,000 for the winner.
23rd - 26th November – Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
SECOND ROUND AND FINALS
28th November - 6th December – York Barbican
FEELING It was once the term used to describe the day when American workers would call in sick so they could extend Thanksgiving into a long weekend, but it is now more associated with a global shopping phenomenon.
Bargain hunters will be out in force towards the end of the month as Black Friday fever sweeps the retail market. But what’s it all about?
pandemic may see a drastic reduction in footfall, so expect the phrase ‘slow-moving traffic’ to relate to your broadband rather than the roads as bargain hunters let their fingers do the walking on the web to secure the best deals.
Black Friday, America’s high-octane version of our Boxing Day sales, will again explode on to the UK’s hardpressed retail sector on November 27, although in reality the first shots in the discount price war may be fired somewhat earlier and continue well past Cyber Monday, reputedly the busiest online shopping day of the year.
This year analysts are expecting bigger reductions than normal as retailers try to make the best of what has been a pretty dismal year; certainly the notion that Black Friday was coined to describe the day shopkeepers tried to get back “into the black” will certainly have a harsh element of truth to it.
However, restrictions imposed following the second wave of the Covid-19
Traditionally, tech, electricals and gadgets are the big winners over the
period – certainly online giants Amazon and high-profile retailers such as Currys PC World and Argos shifted huge numbers last year – although all-rounders such as John Lewis and Very have flexed their muscles and brought clothing, furniture and other lines into the picture – the latter reporting more than 92.5million online visits in 2019. Last year, toys and games consoles, particularly the Nintendo Switch, proved popular and this year is not likely to deviate from that trend as the PS5 and Xbox Series X come on to the market, with their predecessors expected to come almost gift-wrapped in bargain bundles.
Big-ticket items such as 4K TVs with HDR support could see some promising discounts as 8K sets have started to work their way on to the shelves. As an indicator, one of the big sellers last year was a Philips Ambilight 75inch 4K Smart TV which had its price slashed by almost £600. And it’s no surprise that the likes of Apple launch new mobile phones in early autumn to offer a slight discount for Black Friday, although the iPhone 12 delay may just cloud the issue this year and could affect iPhone 11 deals. Ah well, there always good deals on fans’ favourites like AirPods. In short, if a new product has been launched, you’re likely to find older models carrying hefty discounts. And if the main online retailers are offering good deals, you can expect the shops to wade in with a competitive alternative. Elsewhere beauty products and non-electricals may continue to increase in popularity as more brands look to take advantage of passing interest from savvy shoppers who have
one eye on Christmas. But it would be a brave man who bets against technology-based items being the hot sellers.
be and can recognise if it’s a bargain. And that is also where you need to keep your options open. It’s best to keep in mind the features you want, rather than a specific model number which may not be discounted while an almost identical set with the spec you want, probably will be. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that something which looks like a five-star set-up is the same but cheaper – certain elements, often screen quality or image processing, might be inferior.
So, how do you get the best deals on Black Friday? Simple. Do your homework… and be flexible. Industry insiders say some retailers gradually increase prices from August through to October, so they can offer ‘amazing’ discounts towards the end of November, something which is particularly prevalent in expensive consumer electronics such as TVs or laptops. If you’ve been tracking a particular item, you’ll know what the maker’s recommended retail price will
As for snapping up a Black Friday bargain, your consumer rights should be the same as when shopping at any other time of the year, although it may pay to be aware of return policies and warranty periods. And also only shop with retailers you trust. If a deal seems too good to be true, you might just be on the wrong website.
Brett Drive, Bromham ÂŁ525,000 A four bedroom double fronted detached house well presented throughout and pleasantly located at the end of this no through road with open outlooks to the front situated in this highly regarded village approximately 3.5 miles from the town centre. The entrance hall, which features a central staircase leads to a cloakroom, the large sitting room with bi-fold doors to the rear garden, a separate dining room, a study with a range of fitted office furniture and the refitted kitchen diner with a comprehensive range of modern units and integrated appliances. The first floor has a galleried style landing leading to the main bedroom with quality fitted wardrobes and a stylish refitted ensuite, three further good sized bedrooms and the refitted family bathroom. * 4 Double bedrooms
* Double glazing
* Fitted wardrobes to bedrooms 1 & 2
* Double Garage
* Fitted study furniture
* Open aspect to the front
* 17â€™8 x 11â€™7 Sitting room
* Highly recommended
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Beverley Crescent, Bedford £595,000 A well presented and extended four bedroom Edwardian semi-detached house, situated on this very pleasant and highly regarded Crescent approximately ½ a mile from the train station and town centre. The property has been refurbished to include replacement double glazed sash windows and gas radiator heating whilst retaining the character features of the period. From the reception hall, with the original mosaic flooring, there is an attractive bay fronted sitting room with a log burner, a separate dual aspect family room with access to the garden, a refitted cloakroom and a 30’5’ x 12’4’ extended and comprehensively re fitted kitchen with granite worktops, an island unit, integrated appliances, underfloor heating and bi-folding doors to the rear. * Spacious reception hall
* 4 Bedrooms
* 4 Piece bathroom
* Sitting room with log burner
* 90’ x 30’ Rear garden
* Family room
* Refitted kitchen/dining room
Riverside View, Milton Ernest ÂŁ545,000
A very well presented five bedroom detached house nicely positioned within this very desirable development in the popular north Bedfordshire village of Milton Ernest. * 5 Bedrooms
* Impressive main bedroom suite
* Refitted cloakroom
* UPVC double glazing
* 2 Reception rooms
* Landscaping south facing garden
* Refitted kitchen/breakfast room
* Sought after village location
Copthorne Close, Oakley ÂŁ285,000
An extended three bedroom semi detached house nicely positioned within this popular part of Oakley and within walking distance to Lincroft Academy. * Entrance hall
* Refitted bathroom
* Spacious lounge/diner
* UPVC double glazing
* Refitted kitchen/breakfast room
* Newly fitted carpets
* Utility room
firstname.lastname@example.org CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION
Chinnor Close, Goldington ÂŁ270,000
An extended three bedroom end of terrace located in a quiet corner of this small, attractive close approximately two miles east of the town centre providing access to a wide range of facilities and amenities including local shops, supermarkets, schools, excellent road links and Priory Country Park. * 3 Bedrooms
* Double glazing
* Gas radiator heating
* Refitted kitchen
* Garage in block
* Refitted bathroom
* South facing garden
Poppyfields, Bedford ÂŁ495,000
A well presented two bedroom end of terrace house situated within a small close approximately three miles from the town centre with a choice of nearby shops and supermarkets, local schools and excellent road links. * 2 Double bedrooms
* New boiler
* Refitted Kitchen/diner
* West facing garden
* Spacious lounge
* Parking for 2 cars
* UPVC double glazing
* Ideal first time buy
Meet our team Mark Brightwell MANAGING DIRECTOR
Director Mark Brightwell has worked in estate agency since 1985 and founded Taylor Brightwell in 1995. Mark has been at the forefront of the company and directed the business through the highs and lows of the property market. He has a great depth of knowledge and experience and has created a strong and independent team to support him in delivering a trusted and professional service in Bedford and the surrounding areas.
Steve Birchall SALES MANAGER
Steve joined the team in 2010 and has worked in Estate Agency for over 35 years for both independent and corporate companies bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience with him. Born and bred in Bedford he is well known and widely respected.
Claire has over 20 years experience here in Bedfordshire. Having worked all aspects of estate agency including new homes and land. She brings a wealth of local knowledge to the team and prides herself on excellent customer service.
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PROPERTY CONSULTANT Fiona has over 25 years of expertise in the property market. She has built a reputation for excellent customer service, dynamic sales ability and a thorough approach. Her local knowledge is invaluable.
WEEKEND SALES NEGOTIATOR
Caroline has worked for Taylor Brightwell for over 10 years and is great with customers. She is an important member of the team arranging and conducting viewings and dealing with all enquiries.
Emma Domagala ADMINISTRATOR
Emma joined Taylor Brightwell in 2019. She is integral to the day to day running of the office and our social media accounts.
Here’s what our
Mr Thompson SELLER AND BUYER
When Steve Birchall came to do the valuation we were impressed with his manner and his professionalism, so my wife and I decided we’ll forget everybody else, we’ll go with Taylor Brightwell and we’re very pleased that we did in the end. They really treat you as an individual and they really look after you from start to finish and when our property was coming towards the contract exchange date, Steve was on the ball and helped us out tremendously, so we appreciate all the staff have done from Taylor Brightwell.
Mrs Brightman BUYER
Steve was absolutely amazing, we met him from day one, when we viewed the property and all the way through he was totally on the ball, all of the paper work was done straight away and I knew if there was an issue and I rang Steve, he would be on the case and that he would deal with things and even if he couldn’t quite get an answer on one day, he would ring and tell me that so we were just totally kept informed with everything that was going on.
firstname.lastname@example.org CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION
SELLER AND BUYER We chose Taylor Brightwell because they had the property that we were interested in and they were able to market ours successfully aswell.
Mrs Jones SELLER
Iâ€™d definitely recommend Taylor Brightwell, I have already done so to various members of our circle of friends and also family members and if it came to us selling our house we would definitely be going to them as they provided a very good service and we would be looking at them if we were purchasing in this area aswell. I have no hesitation in recommending them.
SELLER AND BUYER
No hesitation in recommending Taylor Brightwell to family or friends who are looking to sell their property within the Bedford area. The Bedford area seems to be their area of expertise so I have no problem in recommending them.
Present your house for sale by de-cluttering... Maximise your home’s potential and create spacious rooms enticing potential buyers – simply by de-cluttering!
De-cluttering allows you to… maximise your space, emotionally prepare you to move, and will allow you to focus your buyers on what is important
f you are looking to sell your house, or have had your home on the market for a while now, then you probably want to get the maximum sale price in the quickest time. There are a few things you can’t control – but the one thing that is in your control, is the look and feel of the interior and exterior. While it’s worth spending time fixing and cleaning your house before potential buyers come and view, it’s also important to de-clutter. This creates spacious rooms and also allows you to decrease and organise your personal items before you move yourself. Of course it’s understandable that you don’t to want spend money, time and energy on a home you are about to leave, however, a lot of people are looking for a house in which they can move straight into. Maintaining your property might
even save you thousands of pounds; it could even reduce added expenses of living in your home whilst waiting for a sale. And it might even help avoid possible reductions in the asking price. The main reason in which people move house tends to be because they lack space in their current home. They want a home that is spacious and in which they can grow into. If a potential viewer comes to your home and sees that there is lack of space, then this will turn them away. De-cluttering allows you to remove any unnecessary items in an untidy or overcrowded place. It will help maximise your space, emotionally prepare you to move, and will allow you to focus your buyers on what is important.
So where should you start? You need to create a great first impression and focus on the rooms themselves. You will notice that the first things you see in each room are personal items. Where possible you want to create the look of a 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
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
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.
• 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
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.
• Forward to the seller’s solicitors the balance of funds − it is only then that they can authorise the release of the keys. Receive from the seller’s solicitors, the transfer document deeds • Stamp the Transfer Deed, register the buyer’s ownership with the Land Registry and forward the deeds to the lender or client (where appropriate)
Contract - The agreement that sets out the main terms that have been agreed − for example: price, address, names, etc. Two copies are drawn up, and each party signs one in readiness for the exchange of contracts. Deposit - The part of the purchase price (usually 10%) which the buyer pays on exchange of contracts. Exchange of contracts - The swapping of signed contracts by the solicitors (together with the buyer’s deposit). After this, the contract is binding. Energy Performance Certificate - This contains information on energy use, energy performance, carbon dioxide emissions, and fuel bills. Land Registry - The Government department that records who owns what land, and under what conditions. Local Authority Search - A list of questions that are specific to the property and intended, for example, to discover if there have been any planning applications on the property, if the road to the house is maintained by the council, etc. Mortgage Redemption Figure - The amount required to repay the outstanding capital/ interest of a mortgage. Property information form/fixtures, fittings and contents form - Standard forms about the property that the seller answers for their solicitor (for example: what will be left behind, details of guarantees, etc.) Title Deeds - Legal documents that prove ownership of land/ buildings, and the terms on which they are owned. Transfer of Title - The document that passes the ownership from the seller to the buyer. Stamp Duty for buy to let investors and second home owners An additional tax, paid by the buyer purchasing an additional property that is not their main residence. It includes buy to let landlords and those buying second homes and holiday homes. The higher rates will be 3 percentage points above the current rates of duty shown below. Requisition on title - An enquiry relating to the completion arrangements. Seller’s Pack - This comprises a Property Information Form, a Fixtures, Fittings and Contents Form, a copy of the title deeds and the draft contract. Stamp Duty - A tax paid by the buyer purchasing their main residence. It is calculated on the percentage rate applicable to each portion of the sale price. • 0% Up to £125,000 • 0% Up to £300,000 if purchased by a First Time Buyer* • 2% On the share from £125,001 up to £250,000 • 5% On the share from £250,001 up to £925,000 • 10% On the share from £925,001 up to £1,500,000 • 12% On the share £1,500,001 and over NB The new 3% rate does not apply to any transactions below £40,000
Moving house? From meter readings to removal companies, there’s so much to remember when moving house. Here’s our checklist of what to do and when
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
Decide on a local removal company Clear out any unwanted items Keep packing
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
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.
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!
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
Prepare for the arrival of the removal company and give them directions/your contact details Ensure everything is ready to move Record meter readings
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 weâ€™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 email@example.com We look forward to hearing from you.
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
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
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
Portals and websites
Feature on our Facebook and Twitter
All our applicants receive your property on their own search for a home website
STRONG. CARING. SECURE.
Supporting you through all of lifeâ€™s little ups and downs. When you market your property with us, we treat you like part of the family! We offer you exceptional customer service as well as your own FREE personal property website to share with friends and family.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE STAMP DUTY HOLIDAY AND CONTACT US TODAY
taylorbrightwell.co.uk | firstname.lastname@example.org | 01234 326444