Tag Archives: Gascoigne Halman

Energy Saving Tips

With the colder months slowly creeping in, it won’t be long before we give in and adjust our thermostats to provide that cosy home feel.

Whilst energy bills can’t be avoided, expensive ones can! Here we look at a few ways to cut down on energy usage ahead of the winter months.

  • Turning the thermostat down by 1°c can save you up to £60 a year. Timed thermostats are fantastic as they can be set around your daily routine. This means the house can be gently heated in time for you to arrive home. This ensures we never arrive home to a cold house, minimising the need to blast the heating in an attempt to warm up.
  • We find our kitchens provide a lot of heat so next time you use your oven, leave the door slightly open once you have finished cooking. This will result in the heat being used to warm the kitchen and surrounding areas.
  • Do you have an unblocked fireplace? If you no longer use your chimney, heat will still escape, so it may be worth getting this blocked off. Typical prices are around £80, and are a one off payment, but you can save over £150 per year thereafter.
  • Instead of using a running tap to wash up, use a bowl and you could save up to £30 a year.
  • If your washing machine doesn’t have a half load setting, then make sure you fill it with clothes to save on energy bills. Likewise, avoid drying clothes directly on your radiators as this lowers the room temperature, meaning your boiler will need to work harder. Instead, invest in some radiator dryers.
  • It is always worth using a comparison site on an annual basis to see if you can secure a cheaper deal.

These are just a few examples of the small changes you can make to decrease your energy usage, resulting in smaller bills. Be sure to choose which best complements your lifestyle. This ensures there is no disruption to your routine and many are so simple to do.

By making a few small changes now, means you will start to reap the benefits sooner. When there is an opportunity to save money, there is no time like the present.

Try Upcycling: it’s trendy, fun and creative

With darker weather upon us, it might be time to brighten up your home with a spot of upcycling.

For those who are not familiar with upcycling, this is the process of taking something relatively unused or worn and transforming it into a product which often has a higher quality or value.

When we think of upcycling we commonly think of reupholstering an unused chair or even sanding and painting an old dressing unit. However, this can be a little daunting for those who are just starting out, so we have compiled a few ideas which allow you to upcycle on a smaller scale.

With an increase in retro designs across our high street, a clever bit of upcycling will help you to get in on the action, but at a fraction of the cost. Take a look around your home and garden, do you have any discarded wooden crates or old tools to use as potential shelves and an old toy box to use as a new shoe box?

…All that is needed is a quick clean and a lick of paint.

A fabulous chic idea is a new serving tray: instead of a standard plastic impersonal tray, why not add a touch of elegance by using an old photo frame showcasing a fantastic memory. This makes the perfect setting for a luxury high tea with fine bone china teacups. This gives users the options to insert their own backdrop, should that be fabric, wallpaper or even a collage of family photographs. The central glass/plastic panel provides an easy wipe clean surface for any spillages.

Do you have an old ladder that’s taking up space in your shed? When hung horizontally on a wall, they make a lovely bookshelf. Be careful when attaching this to the wall though, as it will need to be secure to avoid any falling books.

Tyres make fantastic garden planters too! They can be painted in any colour or left untouched. They hold the water and look great if there are a few positioned close together.

Forks provide an ideal choice for interesting coat hooks. Simply use a hammer to flatten the fork then take some pliers to individually bend the prongs. All’s that is left is to bend the handle up to create a hook and affix securely to the wall.

Add a truly vintage touch to your kitchen with a wonderful wine glass holder. This is so simple to create but is very effective. Detach the handle from the rake and screw the head onto the wall. Be sure to use anchors for added stability. Your wine glass stems will sit perfectly between the prongs and look simply elegant.

Whilst many of us routinely have a tidy up after summer to make way for the changing of the seasons – we find ourselves throwing away a number of items and buying new for old. A lot of the time we can ‘upcycle’ the existing pieces and transform into a new lease of life. Not only does this mean you can engage in a fun activity, it also means that you can save a considerable amount of money.

We would love to hear your thoughts and any ideas for future upcycling projects.gh blog

Property prices are on the rise – Is your home?

Peter Higham, director of Gascoigne Halman, said houses worth £200,000 are selling at very fast rate with the market for homes worth £1m or more has seen a real improvement.

He said: “Because it was a particularly hard last two or three years we’ve seen change because the market below has been a lot better and we have had very good sales which has moved people onward and upward.

“A person selling a £600,000 – £700,000 property asking ‘should I move upward?’ has now got more confidence in the market.”

Peter said houses worth £1m plus usually stay on the market for no more than six months.

He said: “It’s all about presentation. Ask the right price and it will sell.

“In the past many people have pushed some of the prices but this year I believe people have been more sensible in their approach to selling so homes have been selling quicker.”

Peter said the market at the lower end of the price range is even stronger especially for properties priced between £200,000 to £800,000.

He said: “There’s a lack of supply at the moment. When people are looking to buy there is a lot of competition from other buyers because of this lack of supply.

“The more people sell the better the market will become.”

For a free valuation of your home – find out more




Fantastic response to estate agent’s £25k Community Challenge

Local estate agent Gascoigne Halman has received an overwhelming response to their £25k Community Challenge, which will see the company supporting local community organisations. Entries for the challenge, which opened in February this year, closed on 17th July.

The fund was set up to celebrate the company’s 25th Anniversary this year. Since launching, Gascoigne Halman has been urging local charities, organisations and community help groups to apply for a slice of the fund.

There has been an overwhelming response with 188 entries received across the company’s 18 offices in South Manchester, North Cheshire and the High Peak. The £25,000 fund is to be shared out amongst organisations, charities and groups doing good work in the local community.

Gascoigne Halman has assembled a stellar judging panel who will convene over the summer before announcing their shortlist in September. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to make a short presentation to the judging panel in November prior to the final successful applicants being announced later that month

Joining John Halman, managing director of Gascoigne Halman, on the judging panel will be the Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs M.B.E, K. St. J who will chair the panel. Dame Sarah Storey, cyclist with the Great Britain team and former international swimmer with 28 World Championship titles and 11 Paralympic Gold medals to her name is also on the panel. Last, but by very no means least, is much-loved breakfast television presenter, Louise Minchin.

John Halman commented, “We are delighted to have received so many entries. It is heart-warming to read about the fantastic work being done, and planned for the future, by so many local organisations. Along with my fellow judges I am really looking forward to September’s judging day.”JFH&PH_team_med

Base Rate stays at record low for 75th consecutive month

The Bank of England base rate has been held at a record low of 0.5% for the 75th time in a row.

We are continuing to see  economic growth and with inflation remaining low, the Monetary Policy Committee would have seen no reason to increase the base rate

This is certainly good news for borrowers as interest rates are at a record low, with Residential 2 year fixed rates from 1.28% and Buy to Let 2 year fixed rates from 2.09%.

Gascoigne Halman Private Finance are directly authorised and as such have access to the whole of the market including exclusive rates not available on the high street.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage

Interest Rates set to Rise in 2016

Interest rates are set to rise in the second quarter of 2016, according to the recent Bank of England’s Inflation Report

The Bank of England’s base rate is currently into its 6th year of remaining at 0.5%, which is not good news for savers but very good for new borrowers and those who are looking to remortgage.

Consumers have been enjoying historically low mortgage rates and the strong competition between lenders has continued to make attractive rates available.

The report brings good news for anyone seeking a mortgage in the second half of 2015, with lending approvals forecast to rise and borrowing costs remain low.

More tips on preparing your home for a speedy sale

This is the second in our advice series on preparing your home for a speedy sale. In this issue we also look at things to consider during viewings.

When it comes to property sales in Cheshire, South Manchester or the High Peak we have many years’ experience assisting homeowners to achieve a speedy property sale.

We have developed some golden rules that are certainly worth remembering when it comes to selling and presenting your home for a speedy property sale.

Top tips 6 to 10:

6. Curb appeal: First impressions count. Try to ensure that the front of your home looks as inviting as possible. If you have a front garden ensure it is weed free! If you don’t then consider some planters to add colour and greenery. 

7. Do that DIY: Tending to those small tasks now can save big money in the long run. Whether it’s a tile that needs replacing, or a leaky tap that needs mending, remember that buyers are always on the look-out for problems. Try to make sure that potential buyers have nothing to worry about. 

8. Make it look pretty: Make sure the windows are properly dressed with blinds or curtains as naked windows make a place feel impersonal and run down. A carefully placed vase of flowers brings colour and life to a room and can also smell delicious. 

And during the viewing…

9. Don’t hover: If you are conducting the viewing yourself, being on hand in case a viewer would like to ask a question is a great idea, but try to keep your distance so that viewers don’t feel hurried or pressured. 

If the viewing is being conducted by the estate agent then let them get on with it.

10. Pets: As much as we love our furry friends some prospective buyers may not! Try to make arrangements for a friend or neighbour to look after them until the viewing is over.



Some top tips for selling your home

Some top tips for selling your home

When it comes to property sales in Cheshire, South Manchester or the High Peak we have many years’ experience assisting homeowners to achieve a speedy property sale.

If you are selling your home you want to present it at its best and ensure that prospective buyers are charmed by your property.

We have developed some golden rules that are certainly worth remembering when it comes to selling and presenting your home for a speedy property sale.

Here’s our top 5:

1. Depersonalise: As much as you love your children’s drawings on the fridge and the pencil artwork on the wallpaper, chances are your prospective buyers may not. In order to allow buyers to picture themselves living in your house, try to create a blank canvas wherever possible.

2. Declutter: When it comes to selling your home, the more clear surfaces you have, the better. It will make your home look larger and cleaner.

3. Disassociate yourself: Prepare your home for a viewing, step outside and re-enter the house with the mind-set of a potential buyer. Look for any possible flaws or limitations and do your best to address them.

4. Define every space: You may use a bedroom as a gym or storage area but portraying a room like this will bamboozle your prospective buyers. Each room should have a clear and distinct purpose.

5. Lighting: Dark corridors and pokey bedrooms can be brought to life in a second with a flick of a switch. Never underestimate the power of lighting and ensure that all the required lights are turned on before anyone comes to view.

Watch out for a future article with more top home selling tips!

The impact of the general election results on the property market


The fact that the Conservative Party has won the general election with a clear majority has important ramifications for the property market.

Gone is the spectre of a mansion tax on £2million plus homes, gone is the potential for increased taxes, gone is the uncertainty for business and international investors. Welcome to a new dawn of stability, the encouragement of wealth creation, foreign inward investment, tight public spending and lower taxes.

The manifesto commitment by the Conservatives to build more new homes and continue with the Help to Buy scheme offer further positives.

George Osborne has further re-iterated the party’s commitment to developing the Northern Powerhouse – further positive news for our region.

Property analysts are already predicting the biggest growth in housing prices to be outside the capital and suggest that the market overall will gain momentum.

Estate Agent to share £25,000 with local community


Photo caption: John Halman, managing director (left of banner) and Peter Higham, operations director (right of banner) with staff members

Independent estate agent, Gascoigne Halman, has set up a £25,000 fund which is to be shared out amongst organisations, charities and groups doing good work in the local community.

The fund has been set up to celebratethe company’s 25th Anniversary this year.

The estate agent is calling the scheme the ‘£25k Community Challenge’. Launched this month, Gascoigne Halman is inviting local charities, organisations and community help groups to apply for a slice of the fund.

Speaking about the Challenge, managing director of Gascoigne Halman, John Halman said, “We were keen to mark our 25th anniversary in a meaningful way. Over the past eight years we have raised over sixty six thousand pounds for a number of charities and it has become part of what we do as a business. Each year we focused on a different charity.

“However, to celebrate working in the area with so many local people for 25 years we decided to take a different approach. We wanted to help and support a large number of organisations and in particular we wanted to help the smaller groups working at grass roots level. And so the idea of the Gascoigne Halman £25k Community Challenge was born.

“We envisage making probably around 10 donations but that is in no way fixed, it’s up to organisations, charities and local groups to tell us what they need in terms of funding, why they want it and who will benefit. It’s possible that we end up giving 25 smaller donations – it’s up to the public now.”

More information and an application form can be found at any Gascoigne Halman office or at their website. Applications can be made online from February 16th up to Friday 17th July 2015.

The company will announce a shortlist in September and those applicants invited to make a short presentation to the judging panel in November prior to the successful applicants being announced later that month.

In closing, John said, “We are really excited about hearing from many local groups.

“We are putting together a judging panel of prominent local people who will work with us to make decisions about who is shortlisted and where the money eventually goes. I would urge local groups, no matter how large or small, to get in touch.”

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