20 Jan 2016

Should you look to find your ideal property BEFORE putting your home on the market?

The property market seems to be viewed as either fast rising – according to press interpretation, or about to crash. It’s only news if it is shooting up or down but rarely is the focus on the plight of any normal person trying to move. As many reading this will know the moment you mention property, whoever you are talking to will have some ongoing property related hassle, or will reminisce about such and will likely tell you all about it!  Living in and particularly moving from property is fraught with potential pitfalls and is well known as one of the top three life stress events.

Given the ever increasing burden of moving costs and the sheer cost of property itself, it would seem sensible to make sure you do it as rarely as you can. The key to finding the right home is not to panic however,  the way most go about moving seems to do just that and in fact only makes the panic worse.

Understandably it’s easy to get the cart before the horse. Many will excitedly start looking about with only a vague idea of what they have to spend. Convention dictates that they’ll find what they want and put in an offer and only then think about selling what they have. The upshot is often that they’ll overpay for what they’re buying and undersell what they have in the panic to match completion dates.

This is not the ideal way to maintain you and your family’s fortunes.

If you are trying to move let’s get things in the right order!

  1. Get some idea of what your property is worth.
  2. Get some idea of your buying budget.
  4. Put your property on the market.
  5. When you have an offer START LOOKING.
  6. If you’re lucky dovetail the two transactions.
  7. If you don’t find what you’re looking for seriously consider selling and moving into a short term rental, this puts you in an ideal position to offer seriously on properties without being in any kind of chain.
  8. If you’ve sold and are in a rental, relax and take your time – you have money in the bank.
  9. You’re now at the front of any agents queue, so strike a good deal.
  10. Complete a [relatively] stress free move!


17 Dec 2015


Give your windows the wow factor with one of these three key styles.

Just as you create a different mood when you change your outfit, you’ll affect the mood of a room with the style of window treatment you choose. A dining room with stripped wood furniture, neutral wall and floor coverings and an airy aspect looks perfect when simple, semi-opaque voile curtains decorate the window. Put up heavy velvet drapes with swags and bows and people will wonder what went wrong.

Curtains or blinds can also be used to provide privacy. If your sitting room is at the front of the house, do you really want your neighbours peering in as you settle down to an episode of Coronation Street? And while your viewing habits may not make headlines, thieves scouring the area might be happy to know that they can make off with a laptop, TV and DVD player located just a few feet from the kerb.

So, before you decide on a window treatment, make a list that considers all of these points – as well as any factors such as light levels, window shape, size and style – and you’ll be better-equipped to make the right choice both practically and aesthetically.


Vamp up this classic way to dress up your windows using plush material, available in an endless variety of patterns, textures and colours. Curtains can be short and neat, or you can really go for the glam factor with romantic drapes that cascade down to the floor in heaps. During these cooler summer months, however, you can ditch the heavy drapes and go for see-through voile-type fabrics which are cool and floaty.


Not only are they timeless and chic – think Parisian balconies – but shutters also offer privacy and can be adjusted to provide light and ventilation. They are great in summer – if it’s stifling hot, open your windows, but close and lock shutters to keep your home secure while providing airflow. Your look can be traditional or ultra-modern – both choices look fabulous – depending on the character of your home.


For a more contemporary look, opt for blinds which can fit windows of any size and are sure to brighten up a dull spot.