Stamp duty announcement a "positive step" for first time buyers

 Stamp Duty announcement is a "positive step" for first time buyers

Eight out of ten first time buyers are set to pay no stamp duty at all after the chancellor outlined key changes in his Autumn Budget.

Philip Hammond’s announcement has been met with mixed responses from industry experts over his plans to axe stamp duty for first time buyers on properties up the value of £300,000. For properties up to the value of £500,000, no stamp duty will be paid on the first £300,000

Before the announcement, first-time buyers would be expected to fork out thousands of pounds in tax, but chancellor Philip Hammond has said the new initiative will see 95% of first time buyers seeing a significant reduction, with 80% paying nothing at all.

Japanese knotweed – what you need to know when looking for your new home:

Japanese knotweed

The words Japanese knotweed spark fear into property owners across the UK with stories about the cost of eradication, the damage it can do to buildings, driveways and gardens and the threat of being awarded an ASBO should you allow the invasive weed to grow onto your neighbours’ land. 


There is now thought to be an infestation of this invasive weed every few km in the UK but with particularly large pockets of difficult to treat growth in built up areas such as London, Cardiff and other major UK cities.


London – home to “Money Mutes” - People in the North far more likely to talk finance with friends

People in the North of England are far more comfortable talking about money with friends than their counterparts in the capital.


Yorkshire is the region with the lowest proportion of “Money Mutes” with 14% of people uncomfortable conversing about cash, followed by 16% of people in the North West and 17% in the North East.


The findings of the study by the free, online mortgage broker Habito, released to coincide with Financial Capability Week, show that Londoners are the least comfortable talking about money, with a quarter of people in the capital revealing that it’s their least favoured topic of conversation with friends.


There’s a clear North-South divide with the South East (24%) and the Midlands (23%) not far behind.


Eco-friendly and simple with plenty of storage: the UK’s ideal home revealed

Ideal home

When you think of the perfect British home, what do you imagine? A quaint country cottage or perhaps a regal manor house? 

Well, according to a survey carried out by GoCompare Mortgages it’s an ‘eco-minimalist’ detached home complete with three bedrooms and a modest, medium-sized garden.

Using the research, GoCompare teamed up with an architect from eye-kon to bring the dream house to life. 


UK’s ideal home revealed by GoCompare

New shared ownership housing scheme offers affordable ‘forever homes’ for London families

A new scheme offering family-sized houses to buy in London under shared ownership has been launched by housing provider, Octavia.

The scheme, which is a first for Octavia in that it is open to anyone currently living in a London borough, offers a selection of three or four bedroom houses at Octavia Living’s Gladstone Village*, a new development in a quiet, green space location, overlooking parklands near Dollis Hill, London NW2.

The scheme is aimed at helping working families across London, who are priced out of the London housing market but wish to live close to where they work and to be part of a community.  It represents a new departure in shared ownership for Octavia and recognises the growing need for affordable housing for people other than first time buyers.

From flat to flowers: A first-time buyer’s guide to owning a garden

From flat to flowers: A first-time buyer’s guide to owning a garden

As young people are spending almost six times more on rent than their baby-boomer counterparts, the concept of owning a garden is unfortunately a myth to many. If you are lucky enough to have made the leap on the property ladder, or your flat comes with some luscious greenery, you may be wondering where to start.


Gardening is a tough process of trial and error, but you will learn from it, be kept busy and might even grow some free food in the process too! Follow our beginner’s tips below and you will be set to get your green fingers in no time.


Pick seeds over plants

Advice for first time buyers on upcycling/restoring furniture

Advice for first time buyers on upcycling/restoring furniture

The Emporium Somerset’s Co-owner, Cato Cooper, has her own painted furniture and home accessories studio and workshop and she offers advice on how to upcycle and restore items, so first-time buyers don’t have to blow their budgets on furnishing their new homes.
She says: “Buying your first home can be a pretty big expense, so you’ll want to save money wherever possible. For many the cost of the purchase and the monthly payment of a mortgage make it tricky to buy furniture too, however if you aim to upcycle and restore, rather than buying brand new, you could save a fortune.

Get smart as winter fast approaches


Consumers set to save over £100 a year with installation of smart heating

Install a smart heating system and enjoy instant savings


It’s that time of year again. The nights are drawing in, hats and gloves are starting to come out and the thermostats are being turned up. The first frost has now officially been forecast and Brits are preparing themselves for the chilly autumn weather. Now is the perfect time to ensure that firing up the heating at home does not burn the pounds in your wallet.


Bernay gives advice on how to create a mood board

Bernie Laity Azalee

IF YOU’VE moved into a new home and would like to do a bit of re-decorating, then interiors expert Bernay Laity recommends creating a mood board (November, 2018). 


Bernay Laity from the contemporary, luxury, online store Azalée says a mood board will help you to focus your ideas to ensure you get a coordinated look and a stylish finish when you complete your re-styling project.


‘Generation rent’ can now build a credit score and bypass security deposits on new app

London: Partnering with Experian, UK property rental market disrupter Canopy willgive ‘Generation Rent’ an edge in the rental market and help them to become property owners. The new service eliminates the need for rental security deposits and helps tenants strengthen their Experian credit history by paying rent on-time. 

Canopy (formally known as InsureStreet) is re-engineering the property rental market by making it simpler, more efficient and fairer for renters, landlords and estate agents. Canopy recently received £1.6m in funding from strategic investors including £1.3m from Direct Line Group.