Garden villages and growing outdoor trends

Garden villages

This year has been big for the housing market, with the government backing 14 new garden villages to create a potential 50,000 extra homes at the start of 2017. But what are garden villages and what changes can we expect to see when they’re finished? 

To find out more, Arbordeck — a leading supplier of composite decking boards — explores these new housing projects, their regional implications and how they might cause a shift in gardening trends.

Staying sustainable as a first time home buyer

sustainable first time home buyer

Staying sustainable as a first time home buyer

After the government announced key changes last week in the budget which will aid in cutting air pollution by raising diesel tax and investing in electrical cars rather than un-sustainable fuel alternatives, it’s clear that more people are waking up to the reality that sustainability is important. Not only is it something that the government can help with, it’s something we should all be investing in. 


The rise in micro-homes the size of a London Tube carriage

Jason Harris-Cohen, micro-homes

The rise in micro-homes - It is no great revelation that London is too expensive for many first-time buyers (FTBs), with the average home costing more than £480,000, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for September 2017. The Government recently announced that it has scrapped the stamp duty on all first-time house purchases of up to £300,000, and in London and other expensive areas, the first £300,000 of the cost of a £500,000 property by FTBs will be exempt from the tax. While this goes some way to “reviving the dream of homeownership”, as the Chancellor said during the Autumn Budget 2017, the fact remains that house prices are just too high compared to wages for most young people.

Help to Buy hits high notes across the nation

Help to Buy hits high notes across the nation

In March 2013, the government launched its Help to Buy initiative to open the door to affordable home ownership for people right across the nation. 

Help to Buy is a scheme that is transforming the housing sector, as people priced out of the open market are being given the opportunity to pick up the keys to their very own home. 

The scheme offers buyers a five per cent deposit - half as much as the traditional 10% - meaning people stuck in the rental rat run are finally able to put enough money aside to get the ball rolling. 

Affordable home ownership: Take the Plunge

Affordable home ownership: Take the Plunge

The journey to home ownership is undoubtedly a daunting one, but compared to popular adrenaline thrills such as bungee jumping or sky-diving, it really is just a walk in the park. Homefocus writer Jeffrey Gritzman takes a look at how scary owning your own home really is.

Bungee jumping…now that takes courage

Young people are funny; it’s amazing how many of them have been back-packing which takes organisation and confidence, or horse riding which takes skill and courage, some have even been bungee jumping where you place your heart in your mouth and keep it there till the bouncing is over. Tell someone you’re thinking about a bungee jump and they’ll likely tell you that they, or a good friend of theirs has done it too. So no big deal then?

How to get your home guest-ready this christmas season

 christmas season


Christmas is just around the corner.  You know what that means - soon you’ll be opening your doors to guests bearing gifts, food and drink. If there are bits of your home you’re not keen to show off, but you can’t splash out on pricey improvements, consider these affordable and easy overhauls to transform your living space and get your home guest-ready for Christmas.


Border tile

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