£3,000 raised for Breast Cancer Care

We are delighted to announce we have successfully raised £3000 for Breast Cancer Care during our office wide Bake Sale and Wear it Pink Day.

Our Bake Sale was a huge success; the local community was out in full force to buy delicious cakes, biscuits and brownies, showing welcome support for the fundraising. Our team were in high spirits yet again on Wear it Pink Day, decorating the offices and wearing every shade of pink whilst continuing to fundraise throughout the day.

Breast Cancer Care, which is our chosen charity for 2016, is the only UK wide charity providing care, information and support to people affected by breast cancer. They combine the personal experiences of people affected by breast cancer with clinical expertise to provide information, support and campaign for improvement in standards of care.

Our Director of Operations, Peter Higham commented, “We are very proud to be supporting Breast Cancer Care this year, and we are having a fantastic time fundraising. I’d like to thank the local community that generously donated to both events, helping us to reach a great amount of money. We all know people and families who have been affected by breast cancer and this is why the team chose this charity for our 2016 fundraising.”

Let your Garden Flourish

With summer upon us we are all, hopefully, spending more time outdoors as our garden becomes one of the most important features of our home.

If you are looking for inspiration for garden accessories or a stunning new planting scheme, look no further than the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show.

Taking place at National Trust property Tatton Park in Knutsford, Cheshire, the show offers a great opportunity to see all the very latest in garden design.

The popular event, now in its 17th year, runs fromthe 22nd – 24th July.

The show is a great day out for the whole family with fun activities and beautiful displays.

Some of the many activities include; talks theatres, including a new theatre in the Floral Marquee, blooming beds, garden hideaways, a bandstand hosting entertainment,floristry and floral art competitions, practical and inspirational shopping, and much more.

We look forward to another great show and fun day out.

For information visit https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-flower-show-tatton-parkTU0A8570 newer color III MEGA Pixelz Természet Beautiful Flowers,

Top tips for creating the perfect outdoor space

As the weather starts to heat up, it’s a great time to prep your outdoor space. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden or patio area, no matter how big or small, you can always create a space to enjoy, reflecting your personality and making a statement. In the spirit of summer we’re here with some handy hints and tips to help you make the most of your outdoor area.

 

Define your space

Consider how you want to spend your time outside – Cooking? Eating? Socialising with friends? Or playing with the children? You might just want to create a tranquil haven for wildlife. Deciding how to use your garden is the first step to designing your perfect summer space.

 

Light

Summer nights stay lighter for longer, but it’s still nice to see what you’re eating when dining alfresco. Outdoor fairy lights, candles and hanging lanterns create a fantastic ambience while providing much needed light if the party continues after dark. There are numerous varieties of electrical or solar lights which can be hung from trees and pergolas, twisted through shrubs or draped around arches. Solar lamps can also be placed in flower beds or plant pots.

 

Privacy

Sheltered areas underneath canopies or pergolas can block the gaze of curious neighbours whilst proving a reliable shelter from the unpredictable great British weather.

 

BBQ

If leaving your guests to run back and check on the cooking sounds a familiar scenario, create a safe and convenient BBQ area in your garden – continue to enjoy the weather, while being the life and soul of the party and of course, head chef.

 

Comfortable seating

We all want to relax on comfy sofas and chairs in our homes and the garden is no exception. Trade in the broken deck chairs and treat yourself to some new outdoor furniture that everyone can enjoy.

 

Bright colours

Nothing signals the start of summer quite like a burst of colour. Adding bright, colourful flowers, cushions and plant pots can keep your outdoor space feeling fresh and vibrant, and offers a reasonably inexpensive quick fix.

 

Paint

A lick of paint can transform an old crumbling shed, fence or bench and bring your garden back to life. Keep it au naturel in cream or white or create a beach hut look with a vibrant pop of colour.

 

Scents

Intoxicating scents such as honeysuckle, rose, lavender, jasmine and sweet pea contribute to the summer sensation of the outdoors. When purchasing plants consider their appeal to the senses, making your garden even more inviting.

 

The tell-tale signs you might need to move!

We all become attached to our homes, which can make the decision to sell even tougher. Moving house can bring many benefits, from more space for a growing family to better job opportunities in the local area.

Are you on the brink of a move? Here are some tell-tale signs that could suggest you’re ready to make a move.

 

Finances

Is your house becoming a money pit? If the answer is yes, it might be a good idea to downsize and free up some spare cash. A more affordable home can also bring priceless peace of mind.

 

The commute

There is nothing worse than enduring a long and stressful commute to work, if it’s becoming a real problem, the answer could be simple, cut the commute and move closer to the office.

 

Retirement

Are you about to retire? Downsizing and releasing money from your property could free up funds to spend on exotic holidays, adventurous hobbies and of course, the grandchildren.

 

Empty nest

Living in a large empty house that was once crammed full of family could signal a move. Downsizing to a small property can save you money on your fuel bills and is much easier to clean!

 

First time buyer

If you’re tired of renting or fed up of living with your parents, it could be the perfect time to take your first steps on to the property ladder.

 

Bursting at the seams

Have you out grown your home? You bought your house as a starter home, and vowed to spend a couple of years doing it up before you sold it on for a profit– ten years and three children later, your home is starting to feel a bit cramped. If you have the funds to upgrade, there is no time like the present!

 

5 Mistakes Made When Buying a Home

Although exciting, buying a home can be a daunting task as it is full of many complexities. It may be the biggest investment you will make in your lifetime, yet many home buyers are poorly prepared to ensure they make a good purchase decision. If you’re looking to buy a home, you can avoid common mistakes with a little research and planning. In order to help guide you through this process, we have compiled a list of 5 common mistakes made when buying a home:

1) Sticking to your budget- Shopping for houses gets people very excited! People think for a little bit more, they could get granite countertops, plus an office! You’re dealing with such large numbers when you’re browsing the housing market that it might not seem like such a huge deal to stretch another £10,000 or £15,000 to get the home you really love. Many people look at the top end of their affordable monthly payment, and don’t really take into consideration about what happens if their income goes down or they have to change jobs.

2) Not doing enough research. Many people assume that certain items come with the deal only to discover an appliance-free kitchen on the final walk-through. Not asking enough questions and getting everything in writing can be very costly as replacing something you thought was staying could cost hundreds.

Instead, go through your contract with a fine-toothed comb. If the item that you expected to be there isn’t, ask about it—and get it added in writing.

3) Letting emotions get in the way- Many people will walk into a potential home and think it is the wrong house because of the outdated wallpaper in the living room, or ripped carpet going up the stairs. Many people also fall in love with a house without realising that it is the wrong fit for their family. Buying a home is a very emotional process, but if you allow those emotions to get the best of you, you may end up buying a house that isn’t the right fit.

4) Not fully understanding and assessing your family’s needs. Just because you love a house, does not mean it’s the right house for your family. It’s important to find out about the quality of schools, crime level, transport, distance to shops, etc. If you have a dog, it’s important to make sure there is somewhere local to walk it, and many people overlook this when buying a home.  Not all parts of every suburb are ideal spots to live in so it is very important to get to know the neighbourhood – remember you’re not just buying a house; you’re also buying a location.

5) Being Inflexible- Even when you have a long list of must-haves, there are probably several homes out there that can meet your needs. If there are snags with the home you’ve decided you like – such as major repair issues, an inflexible asking price or a difficult possession date – it might be best to move on. Being open to keep looking will save you from making decisions you might regret later.

Regardless of whether you are a first time or a veteran buyer, unexpected problems can and will pop up, and it is important to be prepared.

Exciting new Development coming to Chorlton

Parkview, an exciting new development of 12 modern two bedroom two bathroom apartments is on site
in popular Chorlton. The scheme is designed to accommodate a variety of end occupiers including City professionals and first time buyers. The contemporary kitchens, luxurious bathrooms, high specification electrics and all aspects of the apartments have been designed to meet modern, urban lifestyles.

The apartments, designed by Merepark Homes, are located close to the Tram station in Chorlton with nearby Didsbury and Manchester City centre just ten minutes away.  The new development is positioned in an established location off Barlow Moor Road, alongside existing residential apartments and businesses, allowing for people to benefit from this vibrant area of Manchester.

Chorlton’s transport links with Manchester Airport and the national motorway network along Princess Road are excellent, and the centre of Chorlton has a wide range of eclectic shops, restaurants and bars that cater for everyday requirements. Chorlton is also well known for its good schools and recreational facilities and Chorlton Water Park and Chorlton Green are wonderful destinations for walkers, runners, and cyclists.

Michael Thompson, Land & New Homes Director at Gascoigne Halman says, “We are delighted to be selling these apartments being delivered by Merepark Homes. The high standards of design and build quality, as well as the convenient location to the centre of Manchester make these apartments very desirable for professionals who commute into Manchester.”

To view the development please make an appointment with Gascoigne Halman on 0161 445 7474.

parkview 1

Top tips for savvy sellers!

If you are contemplating putting your home on the market, we have some handy tips to help you transform your property, enabling potential buyers to connect and envisage living in your home.

 

Neutral colour scheme

A neutral colour scheme allows a buyer’s imagination to run wild and helps them to project their own style on to a property. Also using natural or pastel colours to reflect light can help a room feel less sterile.

 

Chic not shabby

We all live with unfinished DIY jobs around the house, but when your property hits the market those niggling little jobs need your attention! Spend a day fixing the small but noticeable problems, this can instantly upgrade your house, going from shabby to chic with minimal effort.

 

Spick and span

Giving your house a really good clean is a great way to start the selling process, it is much more appealing for buyers to enter a clean property and it’s one less job when it comes to moving day.

 

Save space

Try to make the most of the space you have, if your rooms are full of furniture remove one item for viewings to create a sense of space. On the other hand, if your rooms look empty add furniture to help the room come to life!

 

Light and bright

Keep your home as light as possible, if buyers think your home is dark and dingy their interest might start to fade. Turn on lights in dark hallways and landings and throw open the curtains to let the natural light fill the room.

 

Define your rooms

Create a purpose for each room in the house; it’s important that each room appears as it is intended to be used. If you’re selling a three bedroom property, allow buyers the opportunity to view three bedrooms rather than two bedrooms and a storage room.

New property checklist!

Moving house can be a stressful time, but there are some essential things that need to be done before you put your feet up! Knowing the location of your stopcock and what to do with your TV licence could save you time and money in the long run.

We’ve created a quick and easy checklist that will put your mind at ease and allow you to settle into your new surroundings in no time.

 

New property checklist:

Appliances

One of the first challenges you’ll face is using a variety of different appliances in your new home. Test run every appliance from the washing machine to the oven to make sure there are no nasty surprises!

 

Bin day

You’ll have so much rubbish from your big move that you won’t want to miss your first bin collection. Go online to your local government website to find the full timetable for your area.

 

Gas and electricity meters

It’s an easy thing to forget, but remember to check where your gas and electricity meters are located in the house and take a meter reading on the first day in your property. This can help keep a track of how much gas and electricity you’re using and save time when the meter readings are due!

 

Home Insurance

Whilst you’re in the midst of moving, the last thing on your mind might be ensuring the insurance is up to date and valid. Make sure your insurance policy covers you from the day you move in!

 

Locks

It’s always a good idea to change the locks when you move to a new property, you never know how many people have been given a spare key. The initial cost might put you off, but the peace of mind is worth every penny.

 

Stopcock

The stopcock shuts off the water to your property, so before any impromptu DIY takes place, it’s a good idea to find the stopcock and avoid disaster.

 

Suppliers

Find out the providers of your energy, broadband and water supplies so you know what to expect when the bills start to arrive. Your solicitor would normally ask for this information on the pre-contract enquiries prior to completion, so it’s worth double checking.

 

Tell everyone

Don’t just tell friends and family of your new address, remember your doctor and dentist! It’s equally important that you change the address on your driving licence and council tax, forgetting these can land you with a large fine of up to £1000!

 

Thermostat

Once moving day is over, you may start to feel a chill in the air. To avoid cold feet, find the thermostat and set it to the temperature that suits you best.

 

TV licence

Your TV licence doesn’t move with you! Make sure that you purchase another TV licence for your new property so you can start watching the programmes you love and avoid a fine!

 

 

How to add value to your home

A house is one of the most expensive items we buy, so where possible, we usually aim to increase its value while transforming it into the place we call home.

 

If you are looking to sell your property or just considering adding value to the home you love, here are some helpful hints and tips to help get you on the right track:

 

Loft conversion

A loft conversion can be a great way to add a bedroom, study or bathroom without a huge amount of disruption and doesn’t alter the footprint of the building. The added space will also appeal to potential buyers.

 

Extension

More and more home owners are choosing to extend their homes rather than move out of them. If you love your house, but just need that extra bit of room, an extension is another great way to add space relatively quickly and add value for when you’re ready to sell.

 

Redecorating

Opting for a new colour scheme or feature wall can completely transform a tired room. A lick of paint can really freshen the place up to create a clean, fresh environment – good for your wellbeing and more inviting to buyers.

 

Central heating

Condensing boilers and other heating controls now mean that central heating needn’t be too expensive, it could be a cosy investment.

 

Improve your outside space

The first thing potential buyers see is the space surrounding your property, and there’s only one chance to make a first impression!

 

Focus on the kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of any home and it’s always important to buyers. If you can’t redesign your kitchen, a lick of paint or new cupboard doors can save time and money and still be effective.

 

Adding a conservatory

Adding more room to your living space can be a great idea, making the conservatory part of your open plan living area can create a sense of space and light, which is always good. This could be a cheaper option to consider rather than an extension and planning permission is not always required.

 

New bathroom

The bathroom can be really important to potential buyers, having a clean fresh space can really make a difference. A clean, fairly new bathroom suite can really appeal, especially a gleaming white suite.

 

Going green

Being eco-friendly is becoming more and more important to buyers. Small changes can help, such as using water-based paint when redecorating, taking advantage of government schemes to insulate your loft and wall cavities, keeping your boiler serviced and using draft excluders for doors and windows. Whilst this appeals to buyers, your bills will also be reduced.

 

Windows

Having fairly new, properly sealed windows can put a buyers mind at ease, knowing it’s not an issue they will be left to deal with. Not only can dilapidated windows let in the weather, they can put buyers off from a first glance at your property.

How to declutter your home

As a new year begins and we leave behind the Christmas holiday our houses are crammed full of presents and left over decorations. This is the perfect time to declutter and organise your home to make room for 2016!

 

Decluttering doesn’t necessarily mean throwing away all your belongings and embracing the minimalist look; organising your home can make a huge difference to the way your house looks and feels. Whether thinking of selling or simply making your life less stressful, here are some tips to help you with the ‘clear up’:

 

Find better storage solutions

Creating designated areas for your clutter can be a real space saver. Having a cupboard for bedding and a draw or box for paperwork can help organise your home and your head, knowing every item has a place.

 

Vacuum storage bags are a great way to store clothes or bedding neatly, keeping them clean and fresh for the next time they’re needed.

 

Stop hoarding

Sometimes we just have too many things filling our home, rather than throw away good quality clothes, books or furniture, help out your local charity shop or earn a little extra through selling online. This is a great way to declutter and will help someone else in the process.

 

Throwing away items is sometimes inevitable! If clothes and shoes are worn or ripped then the bin might be the best option, although there are recycling bins for textiles at your local refuse depot or recycling point.

 

Check the use by dates on medicine and food, you may find old cough medicines and tins of soup well past their date, which can be thrown away, ultimately saving you much needed cupboard space.

 

Get organised

Clothes can often start spilling from your wardrobe or piling up on chairs. So dividing your wardrobe into seasons, by hanging up the winter clothes you need every day and storing your summer clothes away, provides easy access to the clothes you need.

 

Organising your paper work will help you find urgent documents easily and separate the important letters from junk mail, aiding your peace of mind.

 

Stop the source of the clutter

Once you have transformed your home, it will be easier to keep it feeling fresh and tidy and hopefully stop the clutter piling up again! (Providing you avoid the sales!)

 

 

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