Ways Of Making A Property Bigger Than It Actually Is


Whether you’re expecting a new addition to the family or simply looking to make your property more attractive to prospective tenants, it’s common for property owners to look for ways to be inventive with the space at their disposal. Both hoarders and minimalists cherish space, albeit for different reasons, and sometimes it’s necessary to move to another property when your needs change. However, in many cases it’s possible to simply get more from your current property. Here, we take a look at a few things you can do to get the most from your space and make your property bigger than it actually is. Removing Clutter The fastest way to make a space look small is to fill it. Even the largest of spaces appears cramped when it is filled with furnishings, decorations and general belongings so if you’re looking to make your home appear larger, then the first thing you should do is remove as much clutter as possible. From ornaments you’ve fallen out of love with to old magazines left out on coffee tables – removing small items can instantly do your home the world of good. Using Colour The colour scheme of a room can have a dramatic effect on the feel of the space. Darker colours can be effective in making a space feel warm, or even romantic, but they aren’t necessarily very good at making a space feel bigger. If your end goal is to make a space appear larger then try to make it as bright and light as possible. Using bright, pale colours is a great way to do this as this style piece in The Guardian highlights. In addition to this use of colour it is also a good idea to make the best use of any natural light you have available [...]

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Jane Pearce, Sales Manager At Devonshire Homes, Explains Why New Builds In The South West Are A Great Investment

Housebuilding isnt Keeping Pace With The Swelling UK Population

At a time when house prices are predicted to rise 29.4% in the next five years in the South West, there’s never been a better time to buy a new build. The Government’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme has been a welcome encouragement for buyers, and you might think it would impact the whole housing ‘ladder’ equally. In fact it’s making new builds much more affordable than older housing stock. That’s because the chancellor George Osborne’s pledge to extend the scheme to 2020 and the Mortgage Bureau’s recent figures showing an increase in the number of new build completions has boosted confidence amongst developers. Here at Devonshire Homes, we’re confidently investing in more new homes than ever. We like other developers are increasing the amount of new build stock available to help meet rising demand. As a result, new build inflation dropped from 4% in January 2013 (already well below the national average) to just 2% in January 2014 while house prices rose 9% in the same period. It is clear that new build purchasers are benefitting from the difference in prices. The Government has also put together a new standardised set of planning regulations that could make the new build whole process faster and much more easy to implement for developers. Under the current system, developers face over 100 varying and often conflicting regulations that differ from council to council. Developers can also be required to get the same work checked with multiple organisations. The new standardised regulations that are proposed will cut that figure to just 10 regulations, and provide a more efficient way to get work approved. In the medium to long-term this efficiency saving could be reflected in the new build price. Regardless of this news from Government, new build inflation is especially low at a time [...]

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Renting – The Dos The Don’ts And The Musts!


Renting a property is not really everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, most people want to be on the property ladder, contributing to their own mortgage repayments rather than someone else’s. However, this option isn’t always feasible as people scrimp and save to get a deposit together for their own home, while at the same time renting out a property. Not an easy task and leaves many feeling very disgruntled and deflated. If this describes you to a T, we have put together some helpful tips to allow you to locate the best rental property on the market for your needs and requirements and some advice of how not to get ripped off along the way! Set a budget before you search So you have an idea of the perfect property. Luxury en-suite, brand new kitchen, chandeliers and a huge balcony on the side for those days you are feeling like a princess, however, does your budget really stretch that far? Sit down and look at your income each month. Look at what your outgoings are, where you throw away cash and what you need to get by day to day. Whatever you a left with is the money that will need go towards bills, council tax, television license, insurance, broadband and telephone line – and that’s just the basics. Make sure you are honest with yourself about what you can afford. Think about impromptu outings, holidays and casual cash in your pocket. You need to be able to live your life as well as don’t throw it all into rent. What are the essentials? So you have your budget and you are ready to start the search, so now you need to look at what you actually need. Think about the location. Where is the train station and can [...]

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Getting On The Property Ladder With Less: 5 Ways You Can Do It


More is being done than ever to encourage first time buyers to enter the market, despite the fact that more than ten million people are currently renting in the UK. That represents roughly a sixth of the population, and tends to suggest that accessing the property ladder is far from easy. But in truth, there are plenty of ways to get started, although all of them need careful consideration before you choose the right option for you. Help to Buy The Help to Buy scheme provides people with the option to purchase a new-build or existing property with as little as a 5% deposit. The homes in question cannot be worth more than £600,000, but that is the only major limiting factor with a Help to Buy deal. Under the Help to Buy equity loan (new builds only), the government will lend up to 20% of the total cost of the property, meaning only a 5% cash deposit and a 75% mortgage are required. In addition, homeowners won’t be charged loan fees on the 20% for the first five years that they own the property. Under the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee (on existing properties), the government offers lenders the option to purchase a guarantee on mortgage loans. This gives banks the ability to offer 95% LTV mortgages, meaning would-be buyers take out a 95% mortgage and put down a 5% deposit. The scheme began in March 2013 and is designed to offer first time buyers access to the market – although this does mean that you won’t be able to own another property if considering this option. Shared ownership Just owning part of a property is a great way to find a house without the need to save for a hefty deposit and secure a large mortgage. Shared ownership [...]

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Why Property Inventory Is Essential


Just to give you a brief description, an inventory form is a practical document which is designed to keep track of all fittings inside a property. We have found this infographic which defines why and how property inventory can be helpful not only for landlords and letting agents, but regular home-owners as well. It’s almost essential to have a property inventory in order to protect your personal belongings and your home, but why is this form SO important? Well these statistics below will help you understand…

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Thinking Of Renovating Your Loft Before Selling Up?

traditional family room

Lofts are very appealing for many reasons since they offer endless opportunities for you to express your unique style. They do, however, have their own set of challenges when it comes to space planning and decor. Here are a few tips to help you get it into tip-top shape regarding both function and design -whether you want to sell or stay and enjoy the amenities you create. Nearly everyone agrees that lofts have a special quality about them. Indeed, it’s their uniqueness that often attracts people. However, it’s these same qualities that tend to pose the biggest challenges as well. The following ideas point out the most common mistakes that loft dwellers make when trying to decorate their space. Good Space Planning When people try to decorate a loft, they often get confused because of the lack of walls. So, the first thing to do is to establish the function of each area such as a bedroom, dining area, and living room. A great way to do this is by simply using area rugs to designate each individual space. Keep in mind to use a rug that’s larger than the actual seating area itself to clearly outline the space, which will literally create a new room. Use larger pieces of furniture to define space as well such as buffets, bookcases, and sofa tables. Other ways to delineate space include hanging fabric from the ceiling or using decorative screens. Also, alternate the patterns and/or materials of the floor such as tiles and hardwoods. Proper Scale Just like any other home, the furnishings must correspond to the space. In a loft, furniture can look pint-sized due to the soaring overhead ceilings above. This is one time there’s no need to worry about the furniture being too big. Because of the spacious ceilings, [...]

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4 Considerations For Outdoor Rooms

outdoor garden furniture

In recent years there has been a trend towards garden rooms meaning that this is now a big talking people in the industry. The increased durability of outdoor materials and flexibility of furniture arrangements makes extending our interior to exterior ever more realistic. Come the summer months those that jumped on the trend wagon will be enjoying al fresco evenings sitting in the garden lounge. Let’s have a look at some areas that might be worth thinking about when designing your own outdoor lounge. Heating Keeping warm can be courtesy of a couple of options. A firepit, of which there are many beautiful designs available, offers a good huddle round centre point while an outdoor stove can be more efficient, less smoky but perhaps less atmospheric alternative. Keeping warm will enable you to extend your summer season and create a more cosy atmosphere. Throw in a nice side table and some soft outdoor furnishings and you have a space desirable by anyone’s standards. Garden chairs The combination of materials on offer can make a garden lounge a really exciting opportunity to mix things up a little. The boom in plastic woven furniture, (rattan furniture), is huge and you can pay anything from £100 to over £1000 for a chair but so many stylish garden has them at the moment. Pintrest is full of dream houses with ocean views boasting these comfortable soft furnishing and we all want a piece if that dream don’t we! Ocean are one of the biggest names in the business but they come at a price too high for many. If you can afford it then they are worth it for the quality and will last a long time. Coffee table So the soft furnishings have been covered and will help to make you feel cosy [...]

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Thinking Of Renovating Your Bathroom Before A House Sale? Read This First…


If only selling a home was as easy as sticking it on the market and waiting for offers to flow in. But no. It’s a complex, frequently stressful process that requires creative thought and marketing on the part of the seller and their estate agent. For the most part, an experienced estate agent will deal with the complexities of marketing. However, there is one area of marketing a homeowner can contribute to: the look and feel of their home. Appearance is incredibly important when selling a home and this is the main reason thousands of people take on complex renovation projects prior to selling their home. One of the most popular renovation areas of renovation is the bathroom, which is often touted as a way to improve your home without spending a lot of money. The evidence also suggests that renovated bathrooms add a lot of value to a home; American sources at the Realty Times suggest that renovated bathrooms provide a 72% return on investment in 2014. So we should all renovate our bathrooms before putting our houses on the market, then? Well, not exactly… The thinking behind renovations The biggest flaw in a lot of renovation projects is that the thinking behind them doesn’t make sense. There could be practical issues in undertaking the project or the financial benefit of the project could be outweighed by the actual cost. Even if a projected profit does outweigh the cost, it can still be a job to shift a house with a renovated bathroom as you might have removed features that prospective buyers might have loved. With that in mind, here are a couple of considerations to make before embarking on a renovation project. Who do you want to sell to? Renovation projects undertaken just before you sell your home [...]

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Research Shows Over 10% Of Tenants Potentially At Risk Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning


Over one in ten tenants in the private rented sector could be at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, research has revealed. Housing charity Shelter and energy supplier British Gas polled over 4,300 tenants in England and found that over 10% do not receive annual gas appliance services and gas boiler services from their letting agent or landlord. Extrapolated nationwide, this means that nearly one million English renters could have domestic appliances that leak deadly carbon monoxide or that could catch fire or even blow up. This is the latest in a long line of research that has illustrated the negligence some private landlords have towards their gas safety obligations. Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, landlords must ensure that all gas appliances in all their properties are maintained properly and are serviced annually, and landlords that do not adhere to these regulations can be prosecuted in criminal courts. Nonetheless, homes in the private rented sector are far more likely to have dangerous gas appliances than privately-owned houses or social houses. The disproportionate dangers faced by private tenants could be explained by the results of a separate landlord survey conducted by British Gas and Shelter, which found that 15% of landlords are unaware that they are legally required to organise annual gas safety checks and provide tenants with safety certificates. Gas safety checks, gas boiler services and gas appliance servicing are vital in preventing carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions. They will also identify a range of problems, including boilers that are likely to experience breakdowns. 247 Home Rescue, which provides gas boiler services and boiler breakdown cover, believes the safety failings uncovered in the private rented sector are shocking. The issue may be due to the rise in ‘accidental landlords’, or people who had no [...]

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Fun Uses of Pallets

Different uses of pallets

Wooden pallets can be a cheap, accessible source of materials. Being strong yet relatively lightweight, they are extremely versatile and lend themselves well to a range of purposes. As such, many people have found new and innovative uses for them which go far beyond their original purpose of transporting goods. Some of the most fun, interesting, or popular uses that have been discovered are: Walkways A number of people have used pallet materials for constructing wooden walkways in their gardens. Two approaches have been used to achieve this. Some people choose to dismantle each pallet and construct a walkway from the wood. Others prefer simply to lay them down in full, treating each pallet as a building block and arranging them into a complete walkway. Both methods have produced beautiful, rustic-looking garden paths. Decking In a similar way, some people have looked upon pallet wood as a source of cheap, easy decking. Whilst many have chosen to dismantle the objects in order to obtain the raw wooden planks, it is more commonplace to take the “building block” approach favoured by some builders of pallet paths. Each pallet then becomes a ready-made section of decking, and these sections can be pieced together to quickly and easily create stretches of decking of the required size. Furniture One of the most popular uses for old pallets is to make furniture. Chairs, tables, bookshelves and even beds have been made using old pallet materials. As you may expect, given the variety of objects produced, a wide range of different approaches have been required. To turn a pallet into a table, it may just need some legs or wheels and a glass top. Turning them into chairs usually requires more extensive modifications, whether it is piecing multiple objects together and then adding cushions or completely [...]

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