Win a LeakBot, Smart water leak alarm from HomeServe Labs

Smart leak detector

LeakBot, from HomeServe Labs, is a smart water leak alarm for the home which uses patented thermal technology to detect hidden water leaks before they can cause damage. LeakBot monitors your home 24/7 for leaks and bursts in water pipes, alerting you to any issues instantly via your smartphone and giving you the option of calling an approved team of expert technicians to find and fix the fault for you. With LeakBot, you get peace of mind in knowing that your home is protected against the costs and chaos of home water damage.

How it works

Win a Leatherman Sidekick Multi-Tool worth over £60

Leatherman multi tool

In 1975, mechanical engineering graduate Tim Leatherman embarked on a European road trip in his cranky $300 Fiat. Travelling on a shoe-string budget, a humble scout knife was the only tool he had for everyday tasks; from slicing bread to fixing dodgy hotel plumbing and keeping his trusty car on the road. But what Tim really needed was a pair of pliers. And so, the idea for the world’s first Leatherman multi-tool was born.

Now the brand is giving one lucky winner a chance to win the Leatherman Sidekick multi-tool.

Exploring Help to Buy and Shared Ownership schemes

Photo of new home example of available on shared ownership scheme or help to buy schemes in UK

Have you ever heard the words “shared ownership”, or “Help to Buy” but always wondered exactly what people were talking about?

The world of affordable home ownership might seem like a complex one, particularly for first-time buyers, but here at HomeFocus we strive to cut through the jargon and tell you exactly what you need to know.

Thanks to the sky-high prices of homes and houses nationwide, people right across the country are being priced out of the open market, and add that to the extortionate cost of renting, it’s no wonder that people are struggling to get a foot on the property ladder.

However, there are affordable home ownership schemes in place to help you buy your own home - and the key word there is affordable.

New homes in London’s top hotspot 

New homes in London’s top hotspot 

In 2018 Islington clinched the top spot for annual average house price growth in London with a rise of 7%*. ICON7 by Origin Housing, a stylish new development of seventeen homes, offers buyers the chance to put down roots in this high growth area. 

Situated on the sought-after Camden Road, Origin Housing have just released the next phase of stunning one and two bedroom apartments; fifteen of which will be available for private sale and two through shared ownership 

171 Arguments, 463 Kisses and Over 2,800 Cups of Tea – A Year in the Life of an Average British Kitchen

Average British Kitchen

The average British kitchen hosts 171 arguments, 624 bouts of laughter and sips 2,828 cups of tea in just one year, new research has revealed.

A nationwide survey has revealed that 70 percent of Brits see the kitchen as the heart of the home, and therefore the setting for many of life’s best, worst and most crucial moments.

From sharing 218 pieces of gossip and enduring 182 kids tantrums to enjoying 275 singalongs and 72 kitchen discos, the research found the average British family kitchen to be a busy place over one year.

Soaring demand as next phase of Shared Ownership homes are released at Aborfield Green, Wokingham 

Aborfield Green, Wokingham kitchen

First time buyers are snapping up the brand new Shared Ownership homes at Aborfield Green, Wokingham, so much so that Catalyst has just released the next phase of homes.  

The development features a collection of stylish one and two bedroom Shared Ownership apartments and two and four bedroom Shared Ownership homes which are forming part of Berkshire’s newest 21st century Garden Village. 

Event Set To Encourage First Time Buyers To Get Onto The Property Ladder

Event Set To Encourage First Time Buyers To Get Onto The Property Ladder

Bedfordshire first time buyers on the hunt for a stylish and affordable home are being encouraged to attend a first time buyer event this Saturday (23rd March) at Great Denham Park. 

Located on Greenkeepers Road in Great Denham, the development has a selection of properties available to reserve, using a part-buy part-rent scheme with Heylo Housing called Home Reach.

The event will give potential homebuyers the chance to find out more about the homes that are available using this scheme and how a part-buy part-rent scheme could work for them.

Home Reach is a helpful scheme that provides a more affordable way for people to get on the housing ladder across the UK via part-buy and part-rent. 

Help to buy equity loan Church Hill Place

Church Hill Place

Church Hill Place will comprise of an exclusive collection of 38 premium two, three and four bedroom homes. Named after the charming Parish Church in Coleshill, one of the tallest spires in Warwickshire, Church Hill Place is ideally located just a few minutes’ walk from Coleshill’s bustling High Street. A range of detached, semi-detached and terrace houses will be available, as well as townhouses, which will all be traditional and timeless in design, reflecting the Georgian architecture of the surrounding area.

Thousands Expected at London’s Largest First Time Buyer Event 

Thousands Expected at London’s Largest First Time Buyer Event 

Thousands of budding buyers are expected to attend the twelfth London Home Show on Saturday 23rd March, as London’s largest event for first time buyers returns to the capital for the sixth year running. Held at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster from 11AM to 5PM, the event offers prospective buyers the unparalleled opportunity to explore the home ownership options available to them, meeting London’s largest housing providers face-to-face.

Tackley Primary School pupils do the honours at the official opening of Deanfield Grove, Tackley 

Tackley Primary School pupils do the honours at the official opening of Deanfield Grove, Tackley 

Children from Tackley Primary School were given the honour of officially opening the new show home at the much anticipated Deanfield Grove development in Tackley, Oxfordshire. 

The children were chosen after winning a ‘Design Your Dream Bedroom’ competition held by Deanfield Homes for the whole school. The winners, James Blackledge, year 1, Evelyn Morley, year 3 and Edith Triggs, year 2 were invited along to officially cut the ribbon and unveil the four bedroom show home. 

Estate agents reveal the home improvements that add the most value to your property

Kitchen home improvements

Making living spaces open plan and having a loft conversion are the top renovations that will increase the value of a home, according to UK estate agents.

A study by Anglian Home Improvements looked into the home improvements that add the most value to a home, as well as people’s attitudes towards the value of home features. 
UK estate agents revealed that making the living space open plan will add on average a huge £46,503.94 to a property’s value. A loft conversion is the next most lucrative renovation, with estate agents saying that they add an average of £24,254.56 to a home’s price tag.

The top five home improvements that add the most value to a home, according to estate agents are:

Making the living space open plan (£46,503.94 average added value)

Housebuilder’s donation gives charity its own magic moment

Family at Disneyland getting their magic moment with characters from Winnie The Pooh

A charity that supports bereaved families has received a £1,000 windfall from Barratt Homes in Bristol, after becoming the latest recipient of the housebuilder’s new community initiative. 

The Barratt Homes Community Fund donates £1,000 each month to a charity or organisation which improves the quality of life for those living in the region. The new scheme is part of the company’s pledge to strengthen its ties with the areas in which it is building new homes.

Magic Moments is one of the first recipients of the new fund and the charity has a special place in the heart of one Barratt Homes' employees, whose family was supported by its services.

15-minute mortgage finder set to prove popular with first time buyers

Hoppy mortgage finder can help families find a new home

Hoppy, the UK’s leading home management website, has announced its partnership with Mojo Mortgages, offering its customers a personal mortgage recommendation in only 15 minutes.

The first offering of its kind in the UK, Hoppy customer’s will have direct access to a fully-featured mortgage solution that provides a 24 hour, seven days a week service which gives the best possible deal without having to have a face to face appointment.

The addition of the mortgage service will further build on the Hoppy mission to help consumers take the hassle out of running their home. While the average UK broker free is £400, Mojo is a fee free online mortgage broker, which covers the whole market to offer over 20,000 mortgage deals with over 90 lenders.

Why a ‘no deal’ Brexit could turn up the heat on energy bills for homeowners

Why a ‘no deal’ Brexit could turn up the heat on energy bills for homeowners

A ‘no deal’ Brexit will likely result in inflated energy bills for homeowners next winter, warn experts from smart central heating provider, Genius Hub.

According to Alasdair Woodbridge, CEO at Genius Hub, uncertainty surrounding the strength of the pound is just one of many reasons that could see some people struggle to keep their homes warm next winter.

Other factors, irrespective of currency fluctuations, include:

Increased transportation and importation costs

Ambiguity surrounding green energy initiative targets 

Lack of investment in Britain’s energy infrastructure from the EU

Whether Britain will remain in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme after 2020

Get off to a great start when buying off plan with David Wilson Homes

Get off to a great start when buying off plan with David Wilson Homes

Bedfordshire homebuyers looking to purchase a new property should consider buying off plan, as leading developer David Wilson Homes has revealed the benefits of using this method for a range of buyers.

This means purchasing a property before it’s reached building completion, sometimes before construction has even started.

With many benefits including getting the pick of the plots by reserving early and the ability to personalise the property down to the finishing touches, buyers are more in control of their home.

Whether house hunters are purchasing their first home or are simply looking to upsize, the developer’s guide reveals how an off plan property can suit whatever vision buyers have for their dream home.

Creating the perfect reading corner with Oak Furnitureland

Oak Furnitureland bookshelf

There’s no better pleasure than curling up with a good book and getting lost in a fictional world – no matter how old you are! Here, Oak Furnitureland is sharing its top tips on how to create the perfect cosy reading nook within your home.

1. A statement bookcase is an obvious place to start. Somewhere to not only store and display your book collection, but somewhere that also inspires and relaxes you. Choose a shape, colour and style that you like and complements your home and the room it’s in. 

2. Tall bookshelves also work well to section a room up. If you don’t have much space or a separate room you can dedicate to reading, place a bookshelf sideways into the room to create the ideal room divider for some privacy. 

Clever hacks to make a dark home brighter

Clever hacks to make a dark home brighter
By Matthew Currington, Technical Director, The Lighting Superstore

Spring is just around the corner, when we can look forward to longer daylight hours.

However, if the location or structure of your home means it’s dark all year round, don’t fret. There are many clever tricks you can employ to lighten it up.

The experts at The Lighting Superstore have put together their best hacks to lighten up your home, making your rooms feel larger and your mood brighter…

Mirror, mirror

The oldest trick in the book to make a dark space feel lighter and larger is using the art of reflection.

Home Group are delighted to offer homes at Centenary Quay

Home Group are delighted to offer home at Centenary Quay

Home Group are delighted to offer a selection of stylish 1 and 2 bedroom waterside apartments at Centenary Quay, Southampton.  This vibrant new community is situated along the banks of the River Itchen and whilst offering fabulous views of the river and beyond there are a wealth of bars, shops and nearby restaurants to tear you away.  

The homes have been finished to a very high quality specification with quality integrated appliances and flooring so that they are ready to move straight into, and once you see them you will really want to do just that.

MyVoucherCodes launches interactive guide to help save money on interior design

Living room interior design

Online discount code provider MyVoucherCodes has launched an interactive guide to interior design, offering people the opportunity to furnish their dream homes on a budget.

It’s a well-known fact that furnishing and redecorating always ends up being more expensive than originally intended. Ideal Home recorded that in Britain, an average of nearly £6,000 a year per household is spent on decorating and furnishing, suggesting that when it comes to playing house, Brits splash the cash.* But, even if you don’t go over-board with your interior design the essentials are still expensive, especially if you’re buying everything in one go.

Revealed: Brits attitudes towards smart home technology

smart home technology – a touchscreen device

Burdened by stress and a lack of time, Brits now more than ever crave convenience and speed in various aspects of their lives. One area where this is particularly true, is within their home environment. Individuals are therefore gradually adopting smart home technology which they can remotely control through their smartphones and tablets to facilitate a ‘connected home’.

The rise of smart home technology has been nothing short of fascinating. In fact, recent findings from ‘Smart Home Week’, found that 43% of Brits now own at least one smart product in their home. When it comes to their understanding of the technology, 49% of UK consumers are familiar with the features and benefits of smart home products according to research by ‘Ernst & Young (EY)’. 

National Healthy Housing Awards unveiled

Construction on new housing

New awards have been launched to celebrate the efforts of individuals and organisations across the country to support people to live independently.

The National Healthy Housing Awards 2019 are open to those working in a wide range of agencies, from local authorities and social landlords to multi-disciplinary partnerships.

They build on the success of the HIA Awards, which since 2001 have celebrated the work of home improvement agencies throughout England in supporting thousands of vulnerable people every year.

The new awards, organised by Foundations – the Government-funded national body for home improvement agencies – will continue to champion the work of HIAs but will also feature a broader range of categories.