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A splash of paint makes a big difference when selling

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Have you ever noticed how a colour can make you feel something? Perhaps not; for many of us the hues in our homes go largely unnoticed unless we strongly object to them. But it’s worth paying attention to. Dr Julia Shugar warns that, ‘room colour, particularly in your home, can dramatically affect moods, feelings and emotions’.

For this reason, the shades we paint our walls hold a lot of selling power. Before you decide to update the exterior of your house using masonry paint (such as from or are simply giving your bedroom a makeover, check out what colours do to you first… (just note that these interpretations are open to subjectivity, gender and cultural differences).


Green is restorative and calming. It reminds us of the abundance of shades found in nature, and is very good for creating a sense of balance and composure. Ever noticed how hospital waiting rooms are painted in various shades of green? They’re painted green because they help patients to relax at a time when they’re likely to be very anxious. Therefore, experts recommend using green paints and patterns in any room where you want to evoke the feeling of winding down, such as your living room, bedroom or bathroom.



Red is lively and stimulating, which is why it’s used in branding for products like Coca Cola and fast food chains like McDonald and KFC. Red can increase your appetite and encourages people to consume things more quickly, which is why you’ll find this colour in places where food is sold or consumed. Take a look next time you’re out for dinner: red is evident in many restaurants up and down the county! If you’re going to decorate using red, do so in moderation. Red is best in areas where interaction and energy are encouraged, such as the dining room and kitchen.



Blue has a reputation for being a serene, soothing colour, which is why it’s so often used in spas. However, it’s important to get the shade right: a blue which is too cool for the kind of light available can have a sterile, chilly effect when applied to a wall. Blue is also thought to be the least appetising of colours, as true ‘blue’ rarely occurs in nature (even blueberries and plums are shades of purple!). For this reason, some weight loss plans recommend eating from a blue plate. Blue is calming however, and can lower a person’s pulse rate and body temperature, so add it to your bathroom and bedroom.


The effect of coloured ceilings

The fifth wall in a room is often overlooked and simply painted white. This is normally a good idea as a lighter ceiling with darker wall makes ceilings appear higher and brighter than they actually are, boosting our moods with what we perceive to be extra light and space. However, painting the ceiling the same colour as the walls can create a rich and full atmosphere, which is a mood well-suited to bathrooms where the occupant feels relaxed due the sense of being enveloped.

See? A splash of paint can make a big difference.

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Eco homes: The beginner’s guide to saving energy

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Believe it or not, there are many simple things you can do at home that’ll not only save energy but will reduce your carbon footprint and protect the environment. Limiting your energy consumption will also lower your monthly bills and help you live a greener, more economical lifestyle, so check out the following tips and avoid unnecessary waste in your home.

1. Save water where possible

Running water is a privilege, but because of its availability on demand in many parts of the world it can be easy to take it for granted. The fact is it takes a lot of energy to get water flowing through your taps, so whether you’re doing the dishes, washing the car or watering trees (from the likes of ashridge nurseries), be mindful of how much water you’re actually using. Every drop saved will lower your energy bill, making this a great incentive to only put the dishwasher/washing machine on when needed, to run shallower baths and to not leave the tap running when brushing your teeth.

In fact, according to the Energy Saving Trust spending one minute less in the shower every day will save £10 off your energy bills each year, per person. With a water metre this will save a further £15 off annual water and sewerage bills, so if everyone in a four-person household did this you could save a whopping £100 a year.

2. Turn your electrical goods off standby

While you should always turn electrical goods off when they’re not in use it can be all too easy to put gadgets like DVD players, TVs and games consoles on standby. This, however, still uses a considerable amount of energy, so by turning gadgets off at the plug you could save yourself an impressive £30 a year. This might not sound like big money, but start adding the total cost of wasted energy up and you’ve got yourself a significant sum. What’s more, if someone gave you £30 in cash, there’s no way you would just throw it down the drain – but that’s effectively what you are doing if you leave items on standby mode.

3. Take control of your heating

It’s no secret that the UK is notoriously cold. Many families are forced to turn their heating on regularly throughout the year, but there are ways to save money and still keep your house toasty. Ensuring your home is well insulated is the first thing you should consider, as poor loft or wall insulation will mean warm air is allowed to easily seep through into a cooler environment. What’s more, you should also take other steps to draught proof your home such as sealing doors and windows, filling cracks in the floorboards and investing in adequate draught excluders.

It’s easier than you might think to make your home more economical, so give the above tips a go in a bid to save money and do your bit for the world around you.

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Ideas for selling your home online

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When it comes to selling your home you might be considering other options besides enlisting the help of a traditional high street estate agent. If you’re looking to save money you can sell your house fast online and cut out the costly estate agent fees completely – which according to TV presenter and housing mogul Sarah Beeny, is the future.

Beeny set up her own online house selling service, Tepilo, and believes that “in a few years’ time, this will be normal.” So, if you’ve decided to cut the middle man out and take the plunge into the world of selling online here are a few tips to help make things easier:

Use the money you’ll save to update your home

With packages online costing around £500 and promising to sell your house, you could make a saving of thousands of pounds – estate agents will usually take a 1-3% cut of the final sale of your home – which could go towards updating your current home for it to appeal more to buyers. Taking some time to freshly paint tired looking walls, fix wobbly tiles and broken doors and even perhaps renovate the kitchen or bathroom with new cabinet doors or updated appliances, could see you receive the higher asking price on your house and even more cash in your pocket.


Be prepared: You will have to do most of the legwork  

Depending which company you opt to sell with online, you could find yourself doing most of the legwork when it comes to setting prices, arranging viewings and negotiating with buyers. You’ll need to ensure you feel comfortable showing people around your home and what to say to impress them.


You must do your research

Since you’re essentially deciding on the price to list your property for, it’s a good idea to do your research. If you have a unique property such as a barn conversion or a property with an unusual feature – you’ll need to search around to see what similar properties have sold for and base your estimates on that. You don’t want to undervalue your home if what makes it unique also increases its value and can be used as a special selling point.


Consider arranging an open house instead of taking multiple viewings

Organise an open house for people to visit together and view in one day as you can see all your potential buyers at once, saving time and effort. It could also encourage buyers to place offers there and then, and encourage competition which could see a greater chance of you receiving a higher price for your home.


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Top Tips for Moving to London

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Whether you’re moving alone or with a family, moving to a new city like London can be both thrilling and daunting. So if you’ve got your new job lined up, it’s time to start house hunting.

Share or Go Solo

Of course, this is largely determined by whether you’re bringing your family along, but if you’re moving to London alone, you have the choice of whether you share with housemates, or you find somewhere to live alone. I’m sure you’ve heard that London prices can be extortionate, so if you’re going to London alone, then flat-sharing can be the most cost effective, and it will enable you to meet new people quickly and easily. You can find flatmates on various websites and forums online.

Alternatively, take a look at local estate agents that offer area guides and info to help you decide where to live.

If you have plenty of time, book a room over Airbnb or through Couchsurfing and stay with someone who can give you tips about the area.

Choosing Where to Live

It’s a good idea to live somewhere near where you’re working. It might sound okay spending an hour on the tube twice a day, but the reality will be far from different. Ideally, live within a tube line or a bus connection away from your work.  Of course, if your partner is working the other side of town, this may not be an option for you, but try to compromise for a similar commute.

It’s important to do lots of research into the different areas, as they can be quite different from each other. London is really made up of many small towns that all merge into one, so there are different moods and amenities to each one.

Master the Transport System

London is huge, so knowing how to get about is an important part of living there. The underground network is probably the best way to get around, as it is affordable and quick. Buses can be slow, but cheap, and taxis are the most expensive, but they will get you from door to door. You can own a car, but many in London don’t as the city doesn’t offer great driving experiences. If you have a family however, this may be different as you’ll want to be able to transport your family safely.

For the first few months, try to avoid travelling on the tube. Instead walk or use a bus, so you can begin to understand whereabouts you are in relation to the rest of London, and so you can get to know your area.


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Five Things to Consider When Buying a New Home

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After months of mulling over the idea of moving, you’ve finally made up your mind to take the plunge.   Now it’s time to launch a search to discover your new home. But before you jump straight into making an offer on a house that catches your eye there are some things you should consider.

1) How close is everything?

You may have found your dream home but where in the world is it? Have you considered things like the distance to work, or to the shops? Maybe you are relying on public transport or are thinking about learning to drive? Think about the distances you may need to travel from home to work or to local doctors’ surgeries etc and plan ahead – whether that is preparing for a test or arranging for a season ticket – to enable a smooth transition to your new home.

2) How much will it cost?

It is important to know what types of mortgages are available and what type of mortgage you can get before you set your heart on a property. You’ll need to consider whether you want a repayment mortgage or an interest-only mortgage for example. Remember that a repayment mortgage, while it costs more each month, does actually pay off the original debt whereas an interest-only mortgage won’t chip away at the total debt. Next, you’ll need to consider whether you want a fixed or variable rate mortgage. The most important principle of a fixed rate is that you know exactly what your mortgage repayments will be for that time. To get a better idea of how much of a mortgage you could be offered try out a mortgage calculator to see how much those repayments will cost.

3) How will I meet new people?

We all have that moment of doubt when we think “how am I going to get involved in the local community and make new friends?” – especially when you are moving out of an area. There are lots of ways to get involved in local sports and hobby groups. Have a search on the internet or pick up a local paper to see what’s going on in the area. Don’t be afraid to put a little effort in to fit in.

4) How good are the local schools?

If you are moving home with a family then you will need to consider the quality of schools in that area. You will probably not still remain in the same catchment area for your children’s current schools so you’ll need to either be able to arrange transport for them or look for an alternative closer to your new home. When looking at potential schools always arrange a visit to the schools and try to take your children as well if possible so they can get a feel for a new school at the same time.

5) Is everything as it seems?

When viewing your potential new home, take time to check for any ‘hidden extras.’ Have a look at the walls – are there any signs of damp problems such as wet spots, signs of mould, peeling wallpaper or condensation on the windows? Check for ceiling cracks; is the plumbing, boiler and electricity all in working order? Fixing some of these issues could end up costing you a fortune. Save yourself time and money by spotting them before you make a decision.

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5 things you can do to help sell your home quickly

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Selling your house can sometimes be difficult. Lenders have placed far tighter financial restrictions on buyers, and the property market can often be uncertain. In order to ensure that you sell your home quickly there are certain things that you can do to make your property more attractive. Here are five ideas that can help.

1. Use storage facilities and de-clutter

Property experts all agree about the need to declutter your home before opening your doors to potential buyers. If you don’t want to throw all of your surplus possessions away, then it’s a good idea to look at some alternative options. For those living in the West Midlands, Sheldon self storage can act as a useful asset. You’ll be able to retain all your essential household possessions and consign anything that you’re not sure about, or not using at the present time, to this storage facility. Your house will then look cleaner and more appealing to any potential buyer.

2. Photographs will help

Once you’ve got your house into tip-top condition, make sure that you take some good quality photographs of the property. Your estate agent will take their own snaps but this doesn’t mean that you can’t post your own pictures on any of the social media channels. Just ensure that they tempt the buyer into making an appointment with the estate agent to come and view your house.

3. Make your property stand out from the crowd

If your house looks well maintained, you stand a far better chance of selling it more quickly. An article in The Daily Mail suggests that decorating your house before you put it on the market will freshen up your living space and make it look more appealing to buyers. Don’t make the mistake of touching up a few areas with a spot of paint days before a viewing – the buyers might wonder if you’re trying to hide anything.

4. Tidy up the garden

The appearance of your house can be ruined by an unkempt garden and exterior. Even if you haven’t got green fingers yourself, see if you can hire someone to mow the lawn, clip the hedges and generally improve the appearance of your garden. Check that your garage doors are presentable and that your drive looks neat and tidy. A tatty exterior can also devalue your house, so if you want to sell your property quickly don’t neglect it.

5. Make the best of your house

Most people, when viewing a property, apparently make their decisions based on the appearance of the kitchens and the bathrooms. An article in The Daily Mirror suggests that you don’t have to replace all the units in your kitchen, but you can at least ensure that lime scale isn’t blocking the taps and remove any grease stains from the room. According to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, a good kitchen can add as much as 4% to the value of a home.

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Get Inspired: Redesigning The Theme Of Your Home

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Every now and again your home needs some attention. Whether your tastes have changed, fashion has moved on or you want to breathe life into tired-looking decoration, the need for an interior design project is fairly common.

The trick to getting this right is to ask yourself the right questions… and then work out the answers to them.

What don’t you like now?

This is the important starting point for a home redesign. Get to the heart of why you’re changing and what you want to change. It’s fine just to fancy a change for change’s sake, but it won’t help if you don’t think what exactly you don’t like about your current design or theme. Also, think about any features you’d like to keep and incorporate into your new look.

What are the strengths of my property?

On that point, it’s important to consider what strengths your property has and work out how to enhance them. If your kitchen is your pride and joy, then you can replicate that look in other rooms. Alternatively, if you’ve got a great garden then make the most of the views of this and treat it as a focal point.

Consider the direction your rooms face in detail, this will have a big bearing on the time of day they get the most light, and you might need to address that in whatever theme you choose – for example, light airy decoration for living rooms that get no natural light in the afternoons.

What inspiration can I take from others?

Be nosy. Take an interest in the design deployed by others. Which elements do you like about your friends and families’ homes? Talk to them about their themes and get an insight into how they delivered their look. Then, of course, there is the sheer wealth of help that rests online. Pore over pages online to get inspired.

What can I do to visualise my changes?

It’s all well and good having ideas, but will they work? These six top tools highlighted by Interior Style Hunter will allow you to model some of your ideas so that you can find that out. The more you use these the more you’ll get an idea for what you can do with your space.

What are the latest interior design trends?

Embracing nature is set to be a big trend in 2016 – with strong use of greens, browns and wooden furniture to bring the great outdoors indoors. Why not spend some time exploring how you could update your home in the latest styles? Often one strong basic idea can be all you need to spark you into action.

What’s the secret to getting a strong theme?

Whatever you choose as your design theme, accessories are the absolute key to getting this right. Take time to look through the top quality items on the pages of How To Spend It to unearth fittings and additions that can really set off your design in style. This is the trick to turning a ‘redecoration’ into a ‘redesign’ and a bold, recognisable ‘theme’.

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What to do When You’ve Inherited a Property

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When you inherit a property, there are a great number of factors to consider. Whether you’ve inherited suddenly after a bereavement, or you’ve inheritance has been planned for a while, there’s sure to be a number of things associated with inheritance that you’ve never even considered before you actually inherited the property. Here we look at what you can do when you’ve inherited a property and whether you should sell it, live in it or rent it out.


Live in it, rent it out, or sell it?

The first consideration you’ll have to have when you inherit a property is to decide whether to live in it, rent it out or sell it. The most common action for those who inherit a property is to sell it, but this doesn’t mean that you have to.

Selling a property can often be the simplest answer if you’re unsure what to do. This is because it avoids any possible implications with letting it out or owning multiple homes. Plus, on top of all this, there’s the emotional stress of dealing with a property that used to belong to a loved one and the possibilities surrounding joint ownership, which can be a potential legal minefield.

Due to all of these factors, selling can often be the easiest option. However, it doesn’t have to be the only option, and there are pitfalls too, such as immediately selling the home of a loved one and having to ‘let go’ so soon. Other options are available, so let’s look at the positives of living in the property and renting it out, too.


Living in it

If you’re only renting your current property, then moving into the inherited property could be a wise move, particularly if you’re the sole owner. In the long run, this could save you a large amount of money on rent, and could even make you feel closer to someone that you’ve lost.

Living in a property really is a great option if it can ease a financial burden. However, as previously mentioned, you need to be aware of the implications as well. Living in a property that was once owned by a loved one (particularly a close one) can mean that you suffer from a large amount of emotional stress and, if you’ve jointly inherited the house with someone you don’t live with (such as a brother or sister), you may not be able to inhabit it as they may wish to sell it. As a result, you’ll have to consider this option carefully.


Renting it out

Finally, if you’re not looking to sell as you think house prices may increase in a few years, then you should consider renting it out. If you find the right tenant, then the rental market can be a lucrative one, helping you pay off your own mortgage in the process, and maybe even turnover a small profit.

However, as with the other options, there are downsides to this. As part of renting out the property, you’ll be allowing someone to live in your loved one’s old home, so you’ll want to be sure they’ll take care of it. Additionally, becoming a landlord is also a huge responsibility, so make sure you know what it entails.

So there we have it, when you inherit a property you can sell it, rent it out or live in it. There are positives and negatives to each option, so be sure to pick what’s best for you.


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Top Tips for Effectively Managing Your Rented Property

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Managing a property is something that can take time but must be done well and efficiently if you are to receive a return on your property investment and attract the right tenants.  The Autumn 2014 Lettingstats report indicates that 75% of tenants surveyed think that their property is managed either very well or quite well.  So to ensure that you fall within this category, Glenham Property Management has put together some top tips to help you on your way.

Big Spenders

Almost 25% of tenants spend 30% – 40% of their income on rental with 31% of respondents living in rented property for a continued period of 3 – 5 years*.  This suggests that tenants are willing to spend money on a property they will find comfortable; a reliable longer-term tenant can be less stress than lots of short-term lettings!

Top Tip: Research your market and competition to establish the standards expected and you are competing against. Then decorate and furnish your property to a better standard than the competition as this will drive a higher yield.

Rental Increase

86% of tenants have never experienced a rental increase during their tenancy*. This can often be the case when both landlord and tenants are in a comfort zone.

Top Tip: Stay alert to rental rates and property prices in your area to ensure that you are competitive. If you do feel that a rental increase is justified then explain to your tenant why this is the case; often presenting some sort of value-added benefit to the tenant can ease the blow.

Vacate the Property

Your circumstances have changed and you need your property back. Did you know that 95% of tenants felt any request to vacate property was reasonable*.

Top Tip: Ensure that the contract clearly establishes tenancy termination so you are legally within your rights to request that the tenant leaves but try to be a human too – many tenants become attached to the rental property and view it as their home so provide as much notice as possible and try to be flexible with exit dates.


The most popular reason (25% of respondents) noted for moving to a rented property was due to work or study relocation*.

Top Tip: Develop relationships with local businesses so that if they are recruiting employees from around the UK you are top of their recommended relocation list.

*Data taken from Autumn 2014 Lettingstats Report

For further information or advice on property management please contact Glenham Property Management on 0131 557 5101 or email us.

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DIY tips: The Best Way to Clean a Hardwood Floor

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A high-quality hardwood floor can give you and your family many years of enjoyment. However, in order to preserve its allure and showroom sparkle, a comprehensive schedule of cleaning and maintenance is required. While hardwood floors require less upkeep than carpets, it’s still important to use methods and cleaning agents that won’t affect your floor’s natural qualities.

Prevention is the best cure

The best way to preserve your hardwood floors look and protective layer is to prevent dirt, excess water and potentially harmful substances from ever getting anywhere near it. The simplest thing you can do is to place mats at doorways and runners along high-traffic areas. These will stop dirt from being unnecessarily dragged around your home, and they’ll absorb excess moisture from dirty shoes when it’s raining or snowing outside. You can also protect your flooring from furniture by using floor protectors under tables and chairs.

Clean as you go

The best hardwood floors will retain their natural shine for weeks at a time – but only if you look after them on a daily basis. Sweep up dirt and vacuum dust as soon as they start to accumulate, and wipe up spillages immediately. It may be a good idea to use a hardwood attachment on a leading vacuum cleaner at least once a week in order to remove all traces of dirt, dust and foodstuffs. You may also find that quality electrostatic cloths will pick up dust without the need for anything else.

Schedule regular deep cleans

There will be areas of your floor – particularly in a kitchen – that don’t respond to daily sweeping, wiping and vacuuming. Areas around cookers, sinks and fridges may require deep cleaning once every few months.

In most cases, they can be applied by hand using a micro-fibre cloth or sponge. However, water can seep into the smallest of cracks and crevices – undermining your floor’s protective layer.

You should always aim to ring out your cloth or mop fully before cleaning. And although some people use of steam mops for the job, they aren’t usually recommended by the manufacturers of real wood flooring.

Remove marks as and when they arise

It is always a good idea to identify your floor’s finish before attempting to remove marks, scuffs and stains. Where marks have occurred on the outer surface of your floor, the chances are it has a hardened protective layer, such as urethane. However, if the mark seems to have penetrated the wood, your floor has probably been treated with an oil-based sealant.

If yours is a hard-sealed floor – which most are these days – nothing more than a wipe with a soft-fibred cloth and a little hot, soapy water will be required. You can use dedicated hardwood floor cleaners if necessary, but never use abrasive cleaning materials such as steel wool, sandpaper or scouring pads, as these will scratch the surface of your floor and make it susceptible to moisture penetration.

If your floor has been treated with an oil-based sealant, you may need to employ the use of steel wool, specialist cleaning chemicals and floor wax. However, you should never attempt complex repair jobs without first consulting the manufacturer’s guidelines. It may also be worth consulting a flooring specialist, as using inappropriate materials and cleaning agents could actually lead to more damage.

With a little tender, loving care, there is absolutely no reason why your hardwood floor shouldn’t provide you and your family with a lifetime of faithful service.

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