Your Top Questions Answered If You’re Ready To Buy a Home in Gloucestershire Post Lockdown

Your top questions answered for buying a new home

The UK property market is booming right now, with the stamp duty holiday having had a generally positive impact on buyers, who are saving several thousand pounds in some cases.

But is it all positive for homebuyers? Here are some of the key questions to think about for anyone looking to move home in Gloucestershire soon.

As always, our experienced team at TG Sales & Lettings will be delighted to speak with you if you have any questions not covered here. Call us on 01452 300822.

Are completions slower now?

The simple answer is in some cases, yes. Reports suggest that the average completion is now taking around a month longer than usual, and in some cases, it can be much longer.

This is mainly due to the high number of movers who have been looking to complete before the end of the stamp duty holiday. As a result conveyancers are still facing a backlog of cases to deal with, while any breaks in the chain are causing major headaches for buyers and sellers, given the deadlines.

Has Brexit had an impact on the property market?

Despite initial fears that Brexit could have a detrimental impact on the market, these predictions haven’t materialised so far.

The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent stamp duty holiday have had a far bigger impact on the property market than Brexit, however as the stamp duty holiday finally draws to a close and the pandemic shows signs of ending too, that’s when we’re more likely to see how much of an impact Brexit will have in the longer term.

One positive that all property experts agree on though, is the fact that a deal was finally struck for Britain to leave the EU, as a no deal Brexit would have caused far more uncertainty around the property market.

What do the ground rent legislation changes mean?

The proposed reforms to ground rent legislation are expected to have a very positive impact on all existing and future leaseholders.

Under current legislation, leaseholders pay ground rent to freeholders, as leaseholders only own the property, whereas freeholders own the land that it sits on.

However, the new legislation aims to phase this out by ensuring that leaseholders no longer pay ground rent.

Existing leaseholders will also be given the opportunity to extend their lease by 990 years. Previously, house leaseholders could only extend by 50 years, and flat leaseholders could only extend by 90 years, and the cost could be quite high. However, the new legislation will mean that it’s far cheaper for leaseholders to extend their lease in future.

No date has been set for when the new legislation will come into effect, as it’s still at the consultation stage, however future ground rents on new-build flats will be set to zero, and this is expected to be in place by spring 2022. Changes for existing leaseholders are then expected to be phased in gradually after this point.

Is now a good time to buy a first home?

It depends on your circumstances, but the main advantage of buying a first home now is that 95% mortgages are available again. Whether you’re eligible or not will depend on your individual circumstances, but these are ideal if you’re unable to raise more than a 5% deposit.

The other key advantage is that if you do have a larger deposit then you can benefit from some very low interest rates currently.

Overall though, you also need to take into account that the property market is crazy right now, with lots of competition for properties.

This has led to some inflated prices in some areas, so you could find yourself paying over the odds for a property. Once the market settles down again, after the final stamp duty holiday ends on 1st October, you may find that being patient could lead to better value properties being available and less competition from other buyers.

It’s also worth noting that first-time buyers are exempt from stamp duty on properties up to £300,000 and this will remain the case even after the stamp duty holiday ends, so there’s no panic if you’re a first-time buyer.

Are there any new home design trends?

As more people make a conscious effort to cut their carbon footprint, reduce waste and go green, this is also being reflected in interior design trends.

Environmentally friendly, sustainable and natural are just some of the current trends, including unique pieces of upcycled furniture, indoor plants and earthy, neutral colours for living rooms and bedrooms.

TG Sales & Lettings are your local property experts for the Gloucestershire area. Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.

How to Avoid Losing Your Rental Deposit

When you first begin renting a property, your new landlord is highly likely to ask for a deposit before letting you move in.

Typically, this is one month’s rent payable upfront, although it can be more in some cases.

Your landlord is legally required to protect your deposit in a tenancy deposit scheme. When you come to move out they’ll refund your deposit in full, unless they have a justifiable reason to keep some of the money.

This could be because:

  1. You owe rent
  2. You’ve damaged the property. For example, you may have stained the carpet or damaged the walls with fixings
  3. You’ve lost or broken items from the inventory, such as mugs or electrical appliances

To avoid losing your rental deposit, here are our top tips to ensure you get your deposit back in full.

  1. Take pictures when you move in

Unfortunately there are some unscrupulous landlords out there, who may try to keep your deposit for damages that were already there when you moved in.

Having photographic evidence on day one means you can challenge your landlord in the event of this happening.

Not all landlords are likely to do this of course, and some may even be unaware of day one issues, especially if they’re ‘hands off’.

Therefore take some pictures on the day you move in, and also be sure to let the landlord or letting agent know of any issues immediately, so they’re aware that you weren’t the cause of them.

  1. Read your contract carefully

It’s surprising how many people just blindly sign their tenancy agreement without checking the details.

For example, there may be information contained there detailing whether you can decorate, or hang pictures on the walls, and there may be reasonable maintenance requirements that you’re expected to stick to, especially when it comes to the garden.

Make sure you read through the contract in detail and if you’re unsure of anything, ask your landlord or letting agent to clarify it and have it written down. This will go a long way to avoiding disputes further down the line.

  1. Check your inventory

Before you sign your contract, make sure you’ve toured the property and agree with everything that’s on the inventory.

If anything’s missing or damaged, don’t assume that it’s an error or that the landlord is already aware and will be fine with it. Make sure you let them know, and have the inventory amended.

It may seem like a pain at the time, but it’s the sort of minor detail that can come back to bite you in the long run, so check that everything on the inventory is present and in working order, or that you’ve notified the landlord before signing your contract.

  1. Stay in contact with your landlord

Whether you have a direct relationship with them, or via a lettings agent, it’s a good idea to touch base from time to time so they can keep an eye on the property’s condition, and you can report any damages or issues to them as they arise.

It’s important to notify your landlord of any damages or problems as and when they occur, rather than let them build up until the time you move out.

This avoids nasty surprises for them, and it means they’re more likely to be receptive to any issues that arise if you’re upfront and honest with them.

  1. Look after the property

You should treat your rental property as if it’s your own home, and this means keeping on top of it by maintaining a good standard of cleanliness and basic maintenance.

Reasonable wear and tear such as faded curtains and worn carpets are likely to be accepted, but stained carpets, damaged walls and broken light fittings are a big no-no if you want your deposit back in full.

Therefore, make sure you keep the place clean and tidy, and don’t allow any scuffs and scratches to build up too much.

Stay on top of the cleaning and fix any minor issues as they appear. If you’re unable to do it yourself then contact your landlord to get the professionals in. Another sure fire way of losing your deposit is to bodge things like electrics or plumbing, so don’t risk any repairs you’re not comfortable with.

What if my landlord withholds the deposit?

Start off by talking to them in person. It may just be a case of crossed wires that can be sorted quickly and easily.

If your landlord still won’t return your deposit then ask for them to state the reasons why in writing.

You can then check which tenancy deposit scheme your money is being held in and contact them for help resolving your dispute.

There are three government-approved tenancy deposit schemes, and they all offer free services to help resolve your dispute.

If your landlord hasn’t protected your deposit in one of the schemes then you may be able to claim compensation.

TG Sales & Lettings are your local property experts for the Gloucestershire area. Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team about our property management services.

Sell Your Home: 6 Signs of a Great Estate Agent!

Sell Your Home: 6 Signs of a Great Estate Agent!

Whether you’re selling your home in Gloucestershire or looking to rent or buy, choosing a great estate agent is a hugely important part of the process. Pick the right agent and your transaction is much more likely to go off without a hitch. You’ll be able to find the house of your dreams or get your property off the market much more quickly.

The question is, how do you distinguish between a great estate agent and a mediocre one? It can be hard to tell at the initial stage when the agent will be on their best behaviour trying to pitch their services to you. Luckily, there are some signs to look out for. Read on to find out how to spot a great estate agent:

  1. They’ll have excellent online reviews

Thanks to Google, it is no longer possible for any service provider to get away with lousy service. Customers and clients can easily leave bad online reviews which will affect their future business. Look online before you decide on an estate agent. If they don’t have their own reviews section, Google Business usually has honest reviews from customers.

Search for reputable estate agents that have verified reviews. If they’ve delivered exceptional service in the past, it’s likely, they will again. The same applies to those who have delivered bad service and have poor reviews – avoid them!

  1. They’ll often come recommended

One of the best ways to start your hunt for a great local estate agent in Gloucestershire is to ask around for recommendations. If anyone within your friends and family circle is personally vouching for an estate agent, they’re likely to provide excellent service. It also adds an element of credibility, as the recommendation is coming from someone that you know and trust.

  1. They’ve been doing this for a while!

Find someone equipped with the experience you need to navigate the property market. Gain an understanding of how much experience your estate agent has before choosing them for your home move.

The more experience an agent has navigating the housing market, the more easily they’ll be able to spot any issues and help you circumvent them. They may also have partners that they can recommend to help you with your move, such as independent surveyors and removal companies. If you’re buying or renting, we’d recommend opting for someone just like us as we have great local knowledge of the Gloucestershire area.

 

  1. Their average selling time speaks for itself

One of the signs of an effective estate agent is how quickly they can work to move your property off the market. While you want to ensure that they don’t rush the process and achieve a good price for your property, you also don’t want to wait too long when you’re ready to sell your house. A great estate agent will be skilled on how to market your property and will be able to find interested buyers and line up viewings until they get your house sold.

So, how do you find out whether your estate agent will be effective at selling your property? Ask them what their average selling time is. Beware of those with very short selling times, as this could have been done at the expense of price.

  1. They offer a fair property valuation

To value a house accurately is a lot more work than you may think. All estate agents know that the property valuation you offer them could lead to you choosing to hire them or not, and they may adjust their valuation accordingly. Some agents may decide to overvalue the property to tempt you into working with them, only to reduce this to a more realistic valuation once you’ve chosen them. Opt for an estate agent that gives you a realistic valuation from the start that is aligned with the market value.

It’s perfectly okay to ask an agent to explain their valuation if you think it’s too high or too low. A great estate agent will happily explain their reasoning for their valuation and break down why they’ve given those numbers.

  1. They have good communication skills

This is less easy to ‘measure’, but it’s one of the most important things that make up a great estate agent. They should be friendly and communicative so you can be sure that you will be kept informed throughout the process.

Suss out their communication style with a simple phone call or video call, although keep in mind that all agents will be putting their best foot forward at this stage!

If you are planning on moving to the Gloucestershire area soon, why not get in touch. We’ll be happy to advise you on all our available properties in the area. Contact us on 01452 300822 for more information and an expert, friendly service.

 

How to Limit Your Risks When Viewing Properties Virtually

The pandemic has certainly revolutionised the way many industries operate and in particular for estate agents and lettings agents in Gloucestershire.

So while many of us will be glad to see the end of the current restrictions, some new working techniques are undoubtedly here to stay for us – one of those being virtual viewings!

What Is a Virtual Home Viewing?

As the name suggests, a virtual home viewing is where a potential buyer, or tenant, views a property via a video tour rather than visiting in person.

Virtual home tours are not a totally new concept – many estate agents have been videoing properties for years. However, they were previously used sparsely and mainly aimed at overseas buyers.

The stay-at-home orders issued by the government throughout the pandemic meant that the property industry has had to adapt, and so came the evolution of the virtual viewing.

Virtual viewings involve connecting you, the viewer, through a video call and walking you through the property. Virtual tours can show every detail of the property.

If you, as the potential buyer, are happy with the property at this point. You can then choose to book a physical viewing or place an offer based on what you have seen.

What are the Benefits of Virtual Viewings?

A virtual property viewing offers substantially more flexibility for both the buyer and seller. Especially for buyers who are relocating, being able to view a prospective new property without physically being there is logistically much more straightforward.

The current property market is still moving at a blistering pace. This is due to several factors, including the recent stamp duty holiday and the 5% deposit scheme. So, virtual viewings allow potential buyers and tenants to view houses and place offers in record times. Viewers who prefer to visit in person may risk missing out on those properties altogether.

Not only is virtual viewing more convenient, but it can save you money too. Fuel costs and train fares are no longer needed, meaning viewers can afford to ‘visit’ many more homes than they might have otherwise.

Viewing Virtually? Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions

The concept of viewing a home virtually can seem strange at first. However, you must ask the same questions you would consider if you were viewing in person.

Remember to ask about the local area and the neighbours, which will give you a better idea about the property. Also, ask the agent or owner to turn on a tap or the shower to demonstrate the water pressure. And don’t be afraid to ask other questions as the virtual tour progresses.

Always View The Exterior of the Property Too

Ensure you ask the agent to take the camera outside, showing the front of the house and the street. You will then be able to gain an understanding of how busy the road is.

Also, ask to see the gardens and any outbuildings or summerhouses. The photos are often very flattering, but a video will give you the most accurate representation.

Ask for a Video Recording

Many agents will send you a video of the property before the virtual viewing. This will generally be a full tour of the home, which details every room and the garden. These videos are often beneficial and will show the house from the best possible angle.

You can Offer ‘Subject To a Physical Inspection’

Thousands of buyers and renters across the country are more than happy to place offers on homes based on a virtual viewing. However, understandably, many are not.

It may be the case that you have virtually viewed a home that you love but are simply not prepared to part with your cash until you have physically stepped into the property.

In this case, buyers are within their rights to place an offer ‘subject to a physical viewing’.

If the landlord or owner is happy to proceed, they will hold the home for you until you can view it in person. However, you must be aware that the housing market is moving rapidly, and therefore the second viewing will likely need to be within a few days.

What is the Future of Virtual Viewings?

It is undeniable that the housing industry in Gloucestershire has been altered dramatically by the restrictions of the pandemic.

Virtual viewings became popular due to necessity, but it looks like they will stick around for good. Moving forward, we expect virtual viewings to supplement the physical alternative rather than replace it.

This means all agents will be able to cater to the needs of all buyers and sellers, regardless of whether restrictions are in place.

TG Sales & Lettings are your local property experts for the Gloucestershire area. Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.

 

Plan and Prepare: Your Moving Home Checklist Courtesy of TG Sales & Lettings

Plan and Prepare: Your Moving Home Checklist Courtesy of TG Sales & Lettings

Moving home! The very thought of it is probably enough to send shivers down your spine and cause you to break out in a cold sweat, and this is unsurprising as moving home is right up there with divorce and death when it comes to heightened stress levels!

The fact is though, that any kind of ‘change’ creates stress and whether you are moving home within Gloucestershire or relocating from further afield, plenty of planning and preparation will be required.

Moving home, and especially relocating to a new town or city, represents one of the biggest changes you may make in your life and so naturally brings a great deal of stress along with it. This in turn can lead to a double whammy, as stress can often lead to a lack of energy and motivation. So how are you expected to plan and prepare for your home move during one of the most stressful periods in your life?

Stay focused!

When preparing to move home there will be an element of multi-tasking required as there are such a lot of elements vying for your attention which need to be done. At TG Sales & Lettings we understand this and genuinely want your move to run super smoothly, so with this in mind, we have compiled a handy moving home checklist to help you remain stress free.

At first glance, some of our suggestions may appear to be common sense, but you will be surprised at just how often the simplest of tasks is overlooked or forgotten when the dreaded stress strikes!

Moving home calls not only for exceptional organisational skills, but also proactivity. Grabbing the bull by the horns and completing certain chores well in advance of their deadlines will go a long way to helping you stay ahead of schedule, so the aim of this home moving checklist is to help you accomplish that by concentrating on the basics of planning and preparation.

Get rid of everything you don’t need

One thing you can accomplish efficiently is to sort through all of your ‘stuff’ and get rid of the things you don’t need. Moving unwanted items from your current property to your new property is a great waste of time and effort, so don’t do it! It’s surprising how much more in control you will feel once you start narrowing down your inventory. Getting rid of unwanted items can be done through a car boot sale, selling on eBay or donating to charity.

File important papers and documents together

Since moving home is hectic to say the least, you need to be aware of the exact location of all your important items. These are the things that you absolutely must not misplace and should be hand carried on moving day, not placed in a box for the removal company to transport.

Make sure all of the following paper items are kept together in one secure place such as a document wallet:

  • Address Books
  • Birth Certificates
  • Passports
  • Bank Statements
  • Insurance Policies
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Credit Cards and Statements
  • Medical and Dental Records
  • Irreplaceable Memorabilia
  • Photos and Photo Albums
  • Vehicle Documents
  • Pet and Vet Documentation
  • Wills
  • Any other important or legal documents
Prepare well in advance for the move to your new location

There are many things you can organise before you reach your new home that will help smooth out the bumps of the moving process. In particular, make sure you contact utility companies and arrange for your new services to be connected. These can include:

  • Cable TV
  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Oil
  • Telephone
  • Internet access

Contact your insurance companies too as you will need to have your policies amended ready for moving day:

  • Car insurance
  • Home & Building Insurance

Prepare change of address forms for all of your correspondents:

  • Credit card companies
  • Banks
  • Vets
  • Kennels/Cattery
  • Insurance companies
  • DVLA
  • Magazines and other subscriptions
  • Family and friends

Register for new medical providers such as a new doctor and dentist if necessary.

Keep a ‘little black book’

Keep all your important phone numbers written clearly and legibly in a diary or notebook, for both your old and new contacts. This should include banks, doctors, emergency contacts, family members, friends, estate agents, removal companies, pharmacies, schools, storage facilities and utilities.

With proper planning and preparation, the whole moving process will be smooth, and you won’t frantically be searching for a new doctor, pharmacy or important information at the eleventh hour.

With proper planning and preparation, you will have your important documents at the tips of your fingers at all times and you will endure minimum chaos and clutter.

Keep this handy moving checklist safe and get organised or for more home moving planning and preparation advice, drop in and talk to the expert team at TG Sales & Lettings or telephone us on 01452 300822 and we will be happy to ensure your home move runs smoothly.

What Do I Need To Do For End Of Tenancy Cleaning?

What Do I Need To Do For End Of Tenancy Cleaning?

When you’ve been letting a property, whether it’s been for just six months or six years, the tenant should make sure the place is clean and tidy before they leave.

A good landlord will require the property to be in a tip-top and sparkling condition ready for the new tenants so we often get asked; “What do I need to do for end of tenancy cleaning?”

By setting the standards high from the start, you’re more likely to attract the right kind of tenant, one who is likely to keep the property nice and clean in future.

So, how do you go about cleaning your property?

We are experts at letting and managing properties in Gloucestershire and we have bags of experience when it comes to advising landlords about this very topic, so we’ve put together a seven point checklist for you as a handy guide.

Don’t forget, if you need any advice, get in touch with us by email at rachel@tgres.co.uk or call us on 01452 300822.

Step 1: Check Over the Whole Property

After your tenant has left, and you’ve done the checks to make sure nothing is damaged or needs to be replaced, walk through the property and make a checklist.

Start at the front door and work your way around, noting down what needs to be done. Being methodical will help you to get it all done efficiently.

Take a photo of each room, as then you will have a record of ‘before’, ready to compare with the ‘after’ shot.

Step 2: Wipe Down Doors and Sills

Wipe down the tops of doors, the skirting boards and window sills. Give everything a good scrub and get any thick dust off. Then you can use polish to buff up to a real shine. Open the windows to let in the fresh air too.

Use quality cleaning products because they will ensure a better job done!

Step 3: Clean Sockets and Switches

Plug sockets are in most rooms and are where you’ll often find a layer of dust. Sometimes the plastic coverings will need a good clean too to get rid of grubby marks. This also goes for light switches which attract dirty finger marks.

Don’t forget that electrics can be dangerous, so take extra care when cleaning sockets.

Step 4: Scrub the Kitchen

The kitchen is the most used part of a home and is the area most likely to need a good, thorough scrub.

Make sure that not only do you clean the surfaces and cupboard doors with disinfectant and anti-bacterial products, but that you also clean inside the cupboards and drawers too.

Vacuum them first to pick up the crumbs, then wipe them down. You can use a specific anti-bacterial spray to make sure they are super clean and fresh.

When it comes to the oven and hob, you can of course clean these yourself, but we think this is an area where you should consider getting a professional in. They will use powerful cleaners and put the elbow grease in to make them come up super clean.

Step 5: Freshen the Bathroom

This important room of the house is often kept nice and clean and hygienic. But, it will still need a good anti-bacterial spray and bleach to make it spot on.

From the taps to the shower, and from the toilet to the bath, go over everything thoroughly. In fact, you may want to use a toothbrush to get into all those tight spaces in the shower unit, around the taps and in the grouting.

Ensure the light covers are clean and any bulbs replaced if necessary. Also, either vacuum or wash the grills of the vents too as these can often get clogged up with dust.

Step 6: Utilise the Vacuum!

When you are using a vacuum cleaner, you’re obviously going to be cleaning the floors, carpets, tiles or vinyl. But, also use a vacuum to get annoying cobwebs out of ceiling corners or in lampshades. Vacuum behind furniture, along the skirtings and any furniture itself too.

You may want to consider getting professional carpet cleaners in if you don’t want to hire a machine.

Step 7: Clear Your Drains and Gutters

If your property has drains and gutters, make sure they are cleaned out and water can run freely. This will stop debris from building up and causing blockages, which can be costly to fix. This job is particularly important in Autumn and Winter.

We have many years of experience in letting and managing properties, and we also know some fantastic tradespeople in and around Gloucestershire so we can recommend them.

Email us at rachel@tgres.co.uk or call us on 01452 300822.

 

Home Working: 5 Budget-Friendly Home Office Ideas

5 Budget-Friendly Home Office Ideas

Five budget-friendly tips to help you set up your home office

Working from home is now a major part of people’s lives. For some, working from home has been the norm for many years, while for others the concept is still a little confusing.

What’s important though is that your home office is somewhere you feel comfortable, can work competently and efficiently. Work has to be done, whether it’s in a purpose-built office or in a spare room.

So what should you be thinking about when setting up the perfect home office?

Do you need to separate work life from home life?

Do you need space to make calls, write, use the computer, analyse data?

For most, both of these things will be important, so think about where your space is going to be. Is it a corner in the dining room or kitchen, or will it require the spare room, garden shed or integrated garage to be completely transformed?

Once you’ve decided this, then you can look at what you’re going to do with the space. Make a list of what you need or want in your office space, and then prioritise the items.

  1. Refurbish and repurpose

Setting up a home office doesn’t mean breaking the bank. Do you already have a desk or table in the garage that simply needs to be repainted? Do you have a few jars in the shed gathering dust and cobwebs? These could easily be washed and cleaned and used for pencils and pens and other stationery items. Make the most of what you already have to hand.

  1. Don’t get hung up on buying expensive prints

Here’s an idea, instead of going to big chain stores and buying prints to hang on the wall, print out a favourite photo and buy a frame in which to put it. Not only is this a cheap way to furnish your office, it’s also more personal. Instead of spending a ton of cash on prints of New York skylines or forest glades, you could have an image of a favourite family holiday instead. These will look great and they will be inspirational too!

  1. Be thrifty

If you think you need an office desk, or filing cabinet, then you could be thinking ‘expensive’. But wait. There is no need to hot-foot it to your local office furniture shop. Why buy new when you can find what you need simply by asking around?

It might be that a local company has moved or scaled-down its office operations and is giving things away or getting rid of them cheaply.

A friend or family member might have something you can make use of. Why spend a lot of money when you can find something cheaper or free? Keep an eye out on social media in particular and don’t be afraid to ask.

  1. Use blackboard paint

Feeling creative? If you are one of those people who needs to draw up creative ideas, or throw ideas on a mind map, then blackboard paint is for you.

For just around £7 a tin, you can paint a blackboard area on part of a wall. You can then write on the wall with your creative ideas or formulae, and then simply wipe it clean afterwards. You will save on having to buy any equipment, and paper too, so you’re also doing your bit for the environment.

  1. Double the size with mirrors

Working from home can often mean working in a smaller space than you are used to, but have you thought about mirrors?

A cleverly sited floor-standing mirror will make your space immediately look bigger. Wall-mounted ones will also do the trick, as long as the frames are quite thin. It’s a trick that interior designers and retail outlets use so you should also make use of it. A floor-standing mirror from IKEA will cost from £50 upwards, and large frameless mirrors are only around £15 or £20.

Designing and realising a home office is a personal thing, so get creative. Minimalist or packed with items, with a little thought, creating your home office doesn’t have to be an expensive project.

If you’re thinking of upsizing instead and treating yourself to a property with a ready-made study, call our friendly team at TG Sales & Lettings on 01452 300822 or email us at rachel@tgres.co.uk and we will be delighted to assist you.

 

Plant Life: The Top 5 Best Indoor Plants for Your Home

Interior design trends come and go with the seasons, but there are few trends that stick around long enough to be considered staples in home decorating. Houseplants are one of those evergreen (no pun intended) trends.

Not only do they give a breath of fresh air into your home by bringing the outdoors in, but they also make it look like you’re ‘adulting’ the same way a fully stocked bookshelf does. It shows some level of care and responsibility more than other decor does, which can actually add to the feel of the whole room. Think about your friends’ places who have plants and how you feel when you visit their homes. You’re a bit more impressed and oddly relaxed, right?

Why not recreate that feeling in your own home and take advantage of the other benefits houseplants can offer? A plant is more than just a piece of decor – it’s a living thing that requires care, and in turn, makes you feel more relaxed, along with other mental health benefits one gets from taking care of a living thing.

If you aren’t a plant expert though, this may sound like hard work. Bringing something into your home that requires effort and caring for may just be too much trouble. Therefore, this list is here to help you find the perfect plants for even the most minimal amount of work needed to help them thrive and look great in your home.

Here are the top five indoor plants for your home, regardless of your gardening expertise.

  1. Zamioculas Zamiifolia (ZZ Plant) 

The Zamiculas Zamiifolia or ZZ plant is the perfect plant for anyone who usually (and unintentionally), kills any plant they bring home! These plants are easy to care for as they require such a minimal amount of commitment that you could practically ignore this plant and it would be just as happy. You have probably seen them in places like offices that have low natural light – a good sign this plant can take some neglect.

ZZ plants are well known as the Zanzibar Gem because of how shiny their emerald green leaves are. There’s also a variegation of the ZZ plant that has black leaves called the raven ZZ plant, so if you want a more dramatic plant, you could opt for that version. Both variegations require indirect sun but can tolerate low light, so they are great options for areas of the home that don’t have a lot of natural light like a bathroom or tucked away in a corner. The less light this plant gets, the slower it will grow, but it’ll hang on as-is regardless.

They also don’t need a lot of water since they store moisture in their bulbous roots. If it’s sitting in a spot with indirect sun, you can probably get away with watering it thoroughly once a month and letting it completely dry out between waterings. If it’s sitting in a spot with very little light, it needs even less water.

  1. Monstera Deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant)

One of the most recognisable plants, monsteras are super trendy right now and so easy to keep happy. This plant isn’t for anyone with a tight space, however. The split leaves can grow pretty quickly and seem to double in size whenever a new one pops out. If you’ve got the space for it, it can take over and be a focal point of the room, turning your room into an indoor jungle.

  1. Sanseveria (Snake Plant)

This plant is practically invincible and much like the ZZ plant, it can grow in almost any condition and only needs minimal water. There are different varieties of snake plants (dwarf, sword, striped, twisted sister, cylindrical, Kenya hyacinth, golden bird’s nest, etc.), so potentially you could just have a massive collection of them and not have the same two types.

Sanseveria plants are also perfect to fit into smaller spaces since, unlike other houseplants, they grow upwards and not outwards. You won’t need to worry about trimming them back because they also grow incredibly slowly.

  1. Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily)

Peace lilies are another easy to care for plant that doesn’t need too much light to thrive, although the more light you can give it, the faster it will grow and bloom those gorgeous white flowers they’re known for. They can grow relatively quickly in medium or low light as well, making them ideal for any room with minimal light. The best part about peace lilies is their tendency to let you know when they need a good drink of water. Their leaves will wilt and flop over, making it look like it’s dying, but if you give it a healthy amount of water, in a few hours the leaves will perk right back up again.

  1. Epipremnum Aureum (Pothos Vine)

For anyone who wants a fast-growing plant that takes up whatever amount of space you give it, a pothos vine is the way to go. They’re easy to care for in the sense that they won’t put up a fuss if neglected for a little while but do require intermittent watering and a medium amount of indirect sun. They work best as hanging plants because their vines grow quite quickly, so giving them room to trail down makes any space look like an indoor garden.

With this in mind, if your property is on the market in Gloucestershire, consider the addition of one of these top five houseplants to help transform your rooms in an instant, by bringing your space to life.

 

15 Old Fashioned Household Cleaning Tips that Work!

15 Old Fashioned Household Cleaning Tips that Work!

Whether it’s a good old spring clean or you want to ensure your property in Gloucestershire is spick and span before you put your home on the market, choosing cleaning products that get the job done is essential!

We have become so used to seeing fancy, branded packaging lining the shelves of the cleaning aisle that many of the traditional cleaning methods that our Grandmothers would swear by have disappeared.

Fear not though, because the team at TG Sales & Lettings are full of great ideas, and can offer you 15 old fashioned cleaning tips that really work:

  1. Use White Vinegar to Clean the Windows

Do you have trouble getting a streak-free finish? Sometimes, no matter how much you scrub and rinse, your windows will keep drying with streaky marks down them, making them look worse than before.

If this sounds familiar, then white vinegar is the answer. Just spray a little bit on your windows and wipe clean to achieve a streak-free finish.

You can also mix it with warm water and cornstarch to achieve similar results, but a spray bottle of distilled white wine vinegar by itself should do the trick.

  1. Use White Vinegar to Remove Limescale

As you’ve probably guessed, white vinegar is incredibly versatile. And in case you’re wondering, it doesn’t leave a nasty odour like malt vinegar would, so avoid the bottle of brown stuff at your local chip shop!

To remove limescale from the kettle, just fill the kettle with a mix of water and white vinegar, leave for a few hours, and when you come back to it the limescale can be removed easily.

You can also use it to remove limescale from showers and taps but take care as it’s not suitable for all taps, such as gold-plated ones.

  1. Use Lemons to Remove Stains on Chopping Boards

If your chopping board is looking tired and stained from things like strawberries and raspberries there’s no need to give up on it and buy a new one, because another fruit is the answer you’re looking for.

Just squeeze a lemon over the board and scrub to remove those stubborn stains. If you’re wondering how this works, it’s the acidity of the lemon that works its magic here. Just don’t use it on stone floors or worktops.

  1. Use a Lemon to Remove Grease From Dishes

Just like white vinegar, lemons are incredibly versatile when it comes to cleaning. If your saucepans or frying pans have tough grease on them, just cut a lemon in half and rub over them. This loosens the grease, allowing you to remove it much more easily.

  1. Use Baking Soda to Clean Dirty Pans

Similar to lemons, the acidity in baking soda makes it a great product for removing stubborn grease. Simply apply it to a scrubbing brush and get to work on your greasy pans, and you’ll find it works far easier than a scourer or sponge.

  1. Use White Vinegar to Remove Sticky Residue

Ok, so we’re back to white vinegar, but we did say how versatile it is. Don’t you hate it when you remove a sticker or label and loads of it remains stuck to the object? Well, apply some white vinegar to the area and it’ll magically lift it off.

  1. Soak Clothes in Detergent and Water Before Washing Them

This only applies to clothes with a heavy stain, so don’t worry you don’t have to do this every time you’re about to put a wash on.

Before stain removal products became such big business, people had to find other ways to remove them from clothes, and a good pre-soaking before sticking them in the wash was how they did it. And it still works today.

  1. Use Baking Soda and White Vinegar to Unclog Drains

There are loads of plug and drain unblockers out there all telling you how tough they are on clogs and blockages, which then underwhelm you.

For something that actually works, put a tablespoon of baking soda down there, follow up with a cup of white vinegar, leave for a couple of minutes and then pour in a kettle of boiling water.

  1. Use Toothpaste to Remove Scratches on Glass

Another strange but true cleaning tip! Just make sure you use a classic toothpaste and not the gel ones. Add some to a soft cloth, wipe in a circular motion, then wipe away with a damp cloth and dry.

  1. Remove Stains With Glycerin

Rub some of this into any stained clothes, leave for an hour or so and then wash as normal. And it’s great for sore throats too!

  1. Use Lemons to Clean Copper Saucepans

To get your copper shining again, lemons will do the job perfectly. You can take the hollow shell of a squeezed lemon, dip it in cooking salt and then scrub the saucepans. Rinse and dry after, and you’ll have sparkling copper again.

 

  1. Dust With Water

There’s no need to buy expensive polishes and dust cleaning products, just using water on your duster is sufficient. Give your duster a good soaking, then wring it as dry as possible and use it without any cleaning products. Just make sure to dry wooden surfaces immediately after wiping.

  1. Use Natural Ingredients to Freshen the Air

Avoid the chemical smells that come with canned air fresheners and consider more natural options instead. Items like vanilla extract or cinnamon sticks will give your home a unique, longer-lasting smell than a shop-bought air freshener.

  1. Use Old Clothes as Cleaning Rags

Just because your t-shirt has a hole in it or doesn’t fit anymore, it doesn’t mean you can’t still get good use out of it. You can use it to clean the car or windows and it’ll do the job just as well as a purpose made cloth.

  1. Use Coffee Grounds to De-odourise the Fridge

Put a bowl of coffee grounds in the back of your fridge and it will absorb any bad odours and leave it smelling much fresher.

Now there’s no excuse for you not to have a sparkling house!

 

Has Your Property Been Under or Overvalued?

how-to-tell-if-my-proverty-has-been-overvalued-or-undervalued-2

How to Ensure Your Estate Agent has got the Asking Price Right

When you put your property on the market, you put your trust in us – the experts you have chosen. We have the details, we know your expectations, and our aim is to get you moving as soon as possible.

Sometimes, different agents will come to other prices and of course, there are reasons for this, such as an estate agent simply trying to win your business or perhaps a different level of experience and knowledge.

When talking with home movers in Gloucestershire, we’ve discovered that many people do indeed wonder about whether or not their property has been priced correctly. You’ve probably heard phrases like “priced to sell”, but how do you really know if your property has been undervalued or indeed overvalued? And why does it matter?

So, let’s look at how you can tell whether your property is on the market at the correct price.

What is the Right Price?

In some respects, this is the million-dollar question. Is your property in Gloucestershire priced on the low side to sell quickly, or is it priced relatively high so that you can potentially make more money? Well, actually, the right price is only ever about what you and the buyer agree to so that a sale can move forward. No other prices really matter!

Top Tip: Define what price you want or need to sell your house for and if you are prepared to lower your expectations if the need arises.

Is my Property Overpriced?

Are you frustrated because you seem to get a lot of viewings but no offers? Well then, one of the reasons could be that your house has been overvalued.

Potential buyers might like the look of your house in Gloucestershire

but fail to view because they feel the asking price is too high. They may view, and they may love it but still feel it’s not worth the price-tag. Not all potential buyers will feel they can risk putting in a low offer either.

If you are enjoying lots of viewings but no offers, these are clear signs that something may need tweaking, particularly if similar properties nearby have sold.

Top Tip: If you do feel things need to change, do not be afraid to speak with your estate agent. After all, it’s in their interest to get a sale, so if their strategy needs to change, it should.

Is my Property Undervalued?

To define undervalued, you have to look at a few different factors, including how much you are prepared to sell your house in Gloucestershire for. You might get an offer, or multiple offers, super quickly and this may worry you into thinking you could have achieved a higher price. But that is not necessarily the case. A good estate agent will ensure your home does not stagnate on the market!

Conversely, if you are getting no viewers and your property is on the market at a lower price than similar homes which have sold nearby, an under-valuation might be making people wonder if there is something wrong with your property!

Top Tip: Do some research of your own into similar properties on the market in Gloucestershire. If yours appears obviously low, speak to your estate agent.

Do Your Own Research

We at TG Sales & Lettings use our local experience and knowledge to advise you of what we think your property is worth. Sometimes though, we suggest having a look on the internet yourselves as well, this can give you peace of mind that we’re on the right track.

There are so many tools at your fingertips, and you should use them!

Go to the search engine of your choice and search for house prices in your area. There are sites that not only give you properties that are currently on the market but also offer up what a property has sold for in the past too.

You could also make use of online valuation tools if you want a second opinion. However, bear in mind that these are not always accurate, and it’s best to speak to professionals who have local knowledge and experience.

Top Tip: Compare similar properties in Gloucestershire

as you’re likely to get a good comparison. If you compare a similar house, but in different localities, then different factors will affect prices.

What Next?

Speak to your agent. We cannot stress strongly enough that communication is key. If you have concerns and you’ve done some research, then talk to your estate agent. Maybe it’s time to review how they are operating and whether or not they need to change.

Top Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask the questions and challenge. It’s your property that you are selling; you are in the driving seat.

TG Sales & Lettings use our skill, experience and local knowledge to place your property on the market at the right price. If we can help you, give us a call on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk and we will be delighted to help.