Posts filed under ‘For sale’
While Britons may say they like the idea of seeing lots of brightly lit Santas, snowmen and reindeers outside of houses at this time of year, the harsh reality is far more ‘bah! Humbug!’.
Almost half of those surveyed said they like festive lights outside of houses at this time – but almost a third adopt a more Ebenezer Scrooge approach.
The findings by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks showed 14 per cent thought Christmas lights are a waste of money, while a further 11 per cent wish their neighbours would not decorate the outside of their homes.
Nearly one in 10 said they simply don’t like Christmas decorations while a sixth said they would like to put lights outside their home but the cost of powering them puts them off.
Andrew Pearce, a director at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, said: “Our research has shown that people either love or loathe outdoor Christmas lights. Some view them as extravagant and an unnecessary waste of money and electricity while others enjoy the Christmas atmosphere they bring to the community.
“Whatever decorations you opt for this year, it’s still possible to have fun this festive season without blowing the budget.”
Tips to save money this Christmas:
1. Set a budget – and stick to it. Work out how much you can afford to spend and don’t exceed this amount.
2. Remember the most expensive present is not necessarily the best. Sometimes a more thoughtful, personal gift can be more appreciated. For example, new parents may prefer the offer of babysitting rather than more perfume or aftershave.
3. Shop about – when you have decided what you want to buy, look for the best bargain. Many shops have sales in the run-up to Christmas, so pick your purchasing timing wisely.
4. Group together – rather than buying gifts for every one of your friends individually, why not hold a secret Santa where each person buys for just one friend?
5. Have a family feast – ask your guests to bring a course or some goodies with them so you don’t have sole responsibility for Christmas dinner. It could simply be bringing the wine or the Christmas crackers but will help you share the expense.
Properties for sale during the festive season:
If you are looking for an affordable place to buy a family home within commuting distance of London, there are some hidden gems, according to estate agents.
The typical value of a home in London has increased by more than £41,000 in the past year to more than £500,000, pricing many people out of buying a home – particularly families needing more space.
But if your job is in London, you may need to be as close as possible to the capital to keep commuting times to a minimum.
Reading and Southampton are among the areas highlighted as the most attractive places to live in Britain in a recent report. They are within commuting distance of London and still offer three bedroom family homes in the region of £350,000.
The report by accountants PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the think tank Demos found the Berkshire town of Reading has the highest standard of living due to factors such as good health and a life work balance.
Smirthwaite said: “The property is a good size, with all the bedrooms being doubles.
“It has a great lounge, with a woodburner – which would be ideal to sit in front of with a glass of port.”
The property also has a modern bathroom, with a reasonably sized garden to the side of the property.
Smirthwaite points out that the property is next to a shop where customers park as well as being near a roundabout. “It gets busy around home time, but otherwise it is very quiet. It is a very nice property and I’d move into it tomorrow,” he says.
He explained Aldermaston is an old village with a basic infrastructure, which attracts a mix of people from young couples to retirees.
“If you picked that up and put it in nearby Mortimer, you would add another £100,000 to the price,” he said.
Elsewhere, between Southampton and Basingstoke, buyers can find a four bedroom property for sale at £375,000.
Alec Fry, of the Winchester branch of estate agents Hamptons International, said: “This four bedroom property in Sutton Scotney represents great value for money when you consider that it’s recently been refurbished and has off street parking.
“The area is well known for its good schools and links to the South – four miles from Micheldever and six miles from Winchester station and with links to London Waterloo in just over an hour, this is decent buy in a great location.”
A market town in Nottinghamshire has been named as the best place to bring up a family.
Locations in the Midlands and North of England have become more prominent among families due to more affordable housing relative to southern counties, the survey found.
The remainder of the top 10 places in England and Wales to bring up a family are Crowthorne in Berkshire, Winscombe in Somerset, Colyton in Devon, Oakham in Rutland, Wokingham in Berkshire, Poynton in Cheshire, Swanland in Yorkshire, Farington in Oxfordshire and Dunnington in Yorkshire.
The study found 77 per cent of GCSE pupils in Bingham achieved A* to C grades compared with the national average of 43 per cent, while the area had a large variety of clubs and social groups, alongside affordable housing.
Kate Moore, of Family Investments, which published the findings, said: “Bingham’s combination of affordable housing, low crime and excellent local schools make it a winning location for bringing up a family. It’s set in a relatively rural location but is a large enough town to have good amenities and the locals tell us there’s a strong community spirit.
“Every parent will have a different idea about what makes the ideal location to bring up their family, but we have tried to be as comprehensive as possible in measuring a huge range of factors to come up with a list that reflects the attributes parents tell us are most important.”
Properties for sale in Bingham: