• Property

    Buy-to-let landlords face mortgage crunch as tens of thousands will struggle to get a new deal this spring

    Tens of thousands of landlords will struggle to remortgage in the next few months as their two-year fixed rate deals come to an end.The usually high number of landlords coming to the end of the two-year initial deal follows a spike in property investors snapping up mortgages in March 2016.At that time, landlords raced to buy in a bid to avoid the 3 per cent surcharge being introduced on all new buy-to-let and second home purchases from April that year. The usually high number of landlords coming to the end of the two-year initial deal follows a spike in property ...

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  • Property

    Fed up with clinical fitted kitchens? Then perhaps it's time to embrace a more eclectic, unfitted approach

    We’re on-board with open plan, multi-functional kitchens, but most of us still like to shut everything away at the end of the day. Yet designers are now shunning Identikit spaces.  Rustic look: Cookery writer Elizabeth David's winter kitchen designed by Johnny Grey in 1978One is Johnny Grey, who has created kitchens for ITV chairman Sir Peter Bazalgette, popstar Sting and theatrical producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh.Inspired by his aunt, Queen of British cuisine Elizabeth David, Grey wants us to embrace the unfitted kitchen.‘Open shelving breaks up the continuous line of kitchen units and lets you mix everyday objects with pots and pans, ...

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  • Property

    TV appeal: why properties that featured on the Hovis ad and Doc Martin are proving good investment opportunities

    Sir Ridley Scott has long moved on to big-budget blockbusters, but the Hovis advert he directed in 1973 still draws buyers to Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, Dorset.Jane Colston bought her holiday cottage, which featured in the ad, in 2006.‘We first saw it in a newspaper and decided there and then we had to own it,’ says Jane, 55, who, with husband Simon, 54, lets the cottage to tourists for 43 weeks a year.  Blockbuster appeal: Sir Ridley Scott has long moved on to big-budget blockbusters, but the Hovis advert he directed in 1973 still draws buyers to Gold Hill in ...

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  • Property

    Forget feature walls, now ceilings are in focus and, when it comes to decoration, the sky's the limit

    We've long moved on from feature walls. Now the focus is shifting to ceilings, in what could be seen as a tribute to a bygone age.  Inspiration: The library at Kingston Lacy in Dorset has a magnificent ceilingAfter all, some of the world's most beautiful art requires a craning of the neck, whether it be Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel or Carracci's masterpieces in the Farnese Palace, both in Rome. So here are some suggestions as to how things might look up in your own home.  MAGNIFICENT MURALS No need to travel to Italy for inspiration. Kingston Lacy, a National Trust property in Dorset, has ...

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  • Property

    House prices rose £28 a DAY on average in 2017, with Clevedon, Ashbourne and Tewkesbury being the biggest winners

    Homeowners have been 'earning' almost £30 a day by doing little more than sitting still on the property ladder, it has been revealed.The typical British home rose in value by a total of £9,652 this year, the equivalent of £28 per day, according to new research by Zoopla.   The seaside resort of Clevedon in North Somerset was this year's biggest winner in percentage terms, seeing house prices grow by 11.6 per cent, to reach an average value of £334,245, the property website says.  The seaside resort of Clevedon in North Somerset saw the biggest growth in house prices this year, according ...

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  • Property

    Do you live in one of the 50 best places in Britain? Hart in Hampshire tops the list and the Orkney Islands win second place

    A peaceful corner of Hampshire has been crowned the best place to live in Britain.The district of Hart, which includes the town of Fleet, was given the title after scoring highly on several factors. These included health and life expectancy, earnings, employment, a low crime rate and relatively good weather.Southern England dominates the annual top 50 list published by Halifax, securing 35 of the 50 places - with 17 in the South East, nine in the East of England, five in the South West and four in London. This graphic shows the top 10 places to live in Britain, according ...

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  • Property

    With these warming wonders, you can now party in the garden all year round!

    The doleful skies of winter have moved in, tempting us to hunker down inside and keep a safe distance from our gardens, balconies or patios.  All fired up: The Africa Ball by The FirePit Company features a herd of elephantsBut firepits change all that.Not only do these increasingly popular pieces of garden furniture ward off the chill, they create a convivial setting, which entices people outside despite less-than-inviting temperature readings. Having seen a fire burning within an impressive sculpture four-and-a-half years ago, farmer Andy Gage became intrigued by its beauty. After enquiring about the price, Gage left dismayed, but inspired, and set ...

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  • Property

    The twelve days of Christmas ... the big trends of 2017 from stamp duty cuts to loft conversions

    On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . .We all enjoy belting out that famous old carol at this time of year. Some people know it by heart.  Fantasy home: a chateaux in the Dordogne, priced £1.6m with SavillsOthers love hamming it up: ‘FIVE GO-O-O-O-LD RIINGS!!’ Manchester United fans even have their own version, a musical homage to United legend Eric Cantona.So here, in the spirit of Christmas, is our version tailored to house-hunters, home-decorators and other followers of property trends. On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:Twelve cuts in stamp ...

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  • Property

    The most-viewed properties for sale in 2017 revealed - including a £150k former church and a ten-bed detached London house costing £30m

    Luxurious houses, swanky penthouses, and a Grade II listed church are among the ten most viewed properties for sale across the country this year, revealed by Rightmove today.The top list includes an eight-bedroom detached house in London's fashionable Primrose Hill, which boasts a wine cellar and bar, an emerald green cinema room and a dedicated massage room.There's also an individually designed detached house in Greater Manchester's Bowdon, which is spread across four floors and comes with an acre of land, a swimming pool complex and a gym. The most popular homes for sale this year include this property in London's ...

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  • Property

    How to get a living room that will sell your home: Six top tips to make yours a hit among house hunters

    A living room is generally the hub of the home where households come together to relax at the end of a long working day, as well as being a prime spot for entertaining guests.So when it comes to selling your home, it's vital that your living room is up to scratch.It is also one of the first rooms that any potential buyers see, so it really can make or break a sale.Buyers can often make a decision in minutes about whether they're interest in a property, so first impressions really do count.Here, Emma Peake, of flat-fee estate agent YOPA, gives ...

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  • Property

    The house where author JoJo Moyes wrote her bestselling love story 'Me Before You' is for sale for £1.5million

    The love story between a young carer and a paralysed wealthy young banker become an international bestseller, which was later turned into a film.And now there's the chance to own the place where the book 'Me Before You' was written. Author JoJo Moyes wrote the story at her Grade II listed Essex farmhouse, which is currently for sale via estate agents Cheffins for £1.5million.The property is called Joslyns Farm and dates back to the 17th century. It was bought by the author - who is married and has three children - in 2006. The property is called Joslyns Farm and is ...

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  • Property

    Landlords relieved as buy-to-let avoids becoming a Budget 'whipping boy' again, but tax breaks for longer-term tenancies fail to arrive

    Landlords breathed a sigh of relief as fears of another Budget tax raid proved unfounded - with the only buy-to-let reference a pledge to look into longer-term tenancies.Rather than announce more punitive tax measures, Philip Hammond revealed government plans to review whether landlords should be offered 'incentives' to give tenants the option to lock in to tenancy agreements for more than 12 months - but he failed to be specific about what form these could take.Tim Walford-Fitzgerald, private client tax partner at the chartered accountants HW Fisher & Company, said: 'Buy-to-let landlords could be forgiven for pinching themselves. For once ...

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  • Property

    From Fighter Command HQ to Churchill's object of affection: wartime treasures from the home front

    Armistice Day has been and gone for another year, yet the tales of heroism that took place during the world wars are always with us. But what about the buildings where men and women plotted, planned or even partied in defiance?They, too, come with memories.  Best of British: Spy station Woodhead Hall in Cheadle, Staffordshire, where code-breakers went about their businessFor example, Woodhead Hall in Cheadle, Staffordshire, was where the code-breakers went about their business. Today, this Grade II-listed hall set in 19 acres — formerly known as RAF Cheadle — is for sale, priced £1.75million with fisher german.co.uk.During the war, it ...

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  • Property

    How your home can make you £1,000 a month: Rent out your spare room, driveway or even your living room

    If you're strapped for cash, but own a property, there are several potential money-spinning solutions right on your doorstep.From renting out your driveway to a commuter, to letting a production company take over your living room for a photo shoot, there are a host of different ways that your home can generate some extra cash.A host of websites now give you direct access to a wide audience of potential customers who are willing to pay to use almost every square foot of your home. Rent out your living room to a production company and you could potentially earn between £500 ...

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  • Property

    It's a family affair! How parents, kids and grandparents are choosing to all live together to beat high house prices

    Across the country, families are calling in the builders to transform their basements, attics, spaces above the garage or slices of garden into self-contained homes. Why? Because in our challenging housing market, multi-generational ­living is becoming increasingly popular. House prices are an estimated 7.6 times the average annual salary — more than double what they were 20 years ago — so would-be first-time buyers are being forced to rent, with no prospect of being able to afford a place of their own any time soon.  There is an estimated demand for some 125,000 multi-generational homes per year in BritainDeclining sales (currently at ...

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