Hairy houses celebrate the success of Movember

With just a few days of Movember left to go, men across Britain are proudly displaying their beard growing efforts.

21.11.13 Movember 4

They’ve spent almost a month growing some facial furniture to raise money for charity and raise awareness about men’s health, specifically prostate and testicular cancer.

Last year, the event was held in 21 countries around the world and raised more than £92m.

To help celebrate their massive achievement, Zoopla has identified some properties with cleverly designed moustaches of their own.

From the full beard to the more distinguished chevron, the hairy theme adopted by houses can look equally as distinguished.

Here’s our guide to 10 of the best moustaches on houses:

1. The imperial:

21.11.13 Imperial

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2. The horseshoe:

21.11.13 Horseshoe

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3. The English:

21.11.13 The English

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4. The ginger:

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5. The toothbrush:

21.11.13 Toothbrush

21.11.13 Movember 1

6. The clean shaven:

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7. The fu manchu:

21.11.13 Fu manchu

20.11.13 Movember 2

8. The full beard:

20.11.13 Movember 1

9. The chevron:

21.11.13 Chevron

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10. And finally, there’s always one that struggles to grow a beard at all…

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Zoopla’s team of participants have raised £473 so far and can be sponsored by clicking here:

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November 22, 2013 at 10:00 AM Leave a comment

Help to Buy Government loan of typically £40,000 given to 30 borrowers a day

An interest-free loan of almost £40,000 from the Government is being given to 30 borrowers a day to help them buy a new home.


The loan is being issued under the Government’s Help to Buy equity loan scheme, launched in April.

The scheme helped 5,375 buyers during the first six months, according to the official figures issued today by Communities and Local Government.

Participants bought properties with an average value of £194,164, more than £20,000 higher than the average price of a home. The average equity loan was £38,703.

The majority of homes bought as part of the equity loan scheme were made by first-time buyers, totalling 92 per cent.

It means the Government issued £208m in equity loans.

The Help to Buy scheme was announced by the Chancellor in this year’s Budget and has two parts – equity loan and mortgage guarantee.

Under the equity loan scheme, the Government provides a loan of up to 20 per cent of the value of a new build home, interest free for the first five years. Borrowers provide a 5 per cent deposit and a mortgage of 75 per cent.

In the sixth year, borrowers will be charged a fee of 1.75 per cent of the loan’s value, after which the fee increases every year. The increase is based on the Retail Prices Index, plus 1 per cent.

The scheme is only available on new build properties.

Under the new mortgage guarantee scheme, the buyer also only needs a 5 per cent deposit.

The Government and the bank then jointly guarantees up to the next 15 per cent of the property’s value, in return for a fee paid for by the lender.

Help to Buy

November 21, 2013 at 1:40 PM Leave a comment

Borrowers with 5% deposit pay £915 a month for av. home as new rates launched

Borrowers with a deposit of just 5 per cent are being fought over by lenders, triggering a mortgage rate war.


Yorkshire Building Society is the first lender to enter the ring after launching a fiercely competitively range of home loans for those looking to borrow up to 95 per cent of a property’s value.

It means borrowers can buy an average home costing £170,000 with a deposit of £8,500.

With rates of 4.69 per cent, it means they pay £915 a month in mortgage payments.

Until today, Yorkshire building society only lent to those with a 10 per cent deposit after withdrawing 95 per cent deals at the height of the credit crisis in 2008.

More lenders are understood to be lining up to launch similar deals, including HSBC, Barclays and Santander.

It comes as the Council of Mortgage Lenders reported the highest level of mortgage lending since October 2008 at £18.6bn.

Lending to those with a small deposit is controversial amid concerns that it can lead to them to borrow more than they can afford.

Yorkshire’s chief executive Chris Pilling said: “Our fundamental role as a building society is to support as many people as possible to achieve their aspirations to buy their own home.”

He said it was vital that loans were made in a ‘responsible and prudent way’.

It follows the launch of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme this year. The scheme aims to help those with a small deposit with the help of interest-free equity loans and a mortgage guarantee.

The Yorkshire’s products are not part of the Government’s scheme.

Three homes for sale at £170,000:

20.11.13 Mortgage rates 1

For sale: Two bedroom flat in Bournemouth

20.11.13 Mortgage rates 2

For sale: Three bedroom detached house in Wigton

20.11.13 Mortgage rates 3

For sale: Three bedroom semi-detached house in Essex

November 20, 2013 at 11:52 AM 1 comment

This Morning’s Eamonn Holmes & Ruth Langsford put Surrey mansion up for sale

Sky TV presenter Eamonn Homes and his wife Ruth Langsford have put their six bedroom Surrey mansion on the market.

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18.11.13 Eamonn Holmes 1

Their £3.25m home in Weybridge has a designer kitchen with two ovens, contrasting high gloss units and a wine fridge.

The master bedroom has an en suite with a Jacuzzi bath, his and her double basins and a separate shower. The bedroom also has lots of scatter cushions – items that have been at the centre of arguments between the couple.

Last year, they filmed themselves arguing for and against cushions on YouTube. Ruth said she loved silk cushions on their bed to make the room “look nice”, explaining they needed to be removed at the end of the day, while Eamoon said it was “like a scene from a flood plain” at nighttime with the cushions on the floor “looking like sandbags”.

More silk cushions feature in the sitting room, where the couple are able to relax on huge sofas following a hard day’s broadcasting to the nation.

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Simon Ashwell, of estate agents Savills, which is handling the sale, said: “Horsley is a wonderfully presented and stylish family home situated on one of Weybridge’s most exclusive and sought after private roads. Set behind secure electric gates, the property benefits from seclusion and privacy.

“Having been refurbished to a marvellous standard including all the last technology you would expect, a fabulous bespoke designer kitchen and fantastic proportioned rooms throughout, we expect this property to appeal to a family who need to be within easy commuting distance of London.

“More than half of our buyers in the area are looking to upsize, with around 40 per cent of buyers in the £2m plus bracket coming from London, and with prices anticipated to grow by more than 25 per cent in the next five years, Weybridge is considered a very solid area to move to.”

It is not known where the couple are moving to.

Eamonn has reportedly signed a five year deal to stay on Sky’s Sunrise show. 

ITV tried to poach the presenter with a £4m pay deal to front ITV’s Daybreak, comprising of £2.4m to buy him out of a three year Sunrise contract and £1.5m for two years’ salary. Instead, Aled Jones and Lorraine Kelly took the reins last September.

Ruth co-hosts ITV’s This Morning with Eamonn on Fridays.

She told the Mirror that she worries about the hours he works and the stress of presenting live TV every weekday.

Ruth said: ‘I don’t know how he does those hours but he loves it. I do worry about him because he works so hard and has a stressful working life with live TV, and he’s up early every morning.

“But I try to look after him. I stuff him full of vitamins and make sure he goes to bed at a reasonable time and cook him nice meals.’

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November 18, 2013 at 4:39 PM 5 comments

Phil Spencer’s property tip of the month – Preparing your property for sale for the New Year market


While the housing market typically slows in December as potential buyers put their house-hunting activities on hold to focus on the festive period, this is also the perfect time for sellers to get their homes ready for the seasonal pick up in the New Year.

January is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for the housing market and properties that are well-presented are likely to reap the benefits by securing an early sale to a motivated buyer.

From ensuring children’s toys are kept hidden in storage boxes, to removing pet smells, there are some relatively quick and inexpensive steps that can help you to present your property in the best possible light to a buyer.

1. Clear your property of clutter: Be ruthless in clearing items out of view, whether its old letters stacked up on a windowsill or multiple pairs of shoes gathered under a desk. Less clutter is important as it allows buyers to envisage how their furniture and belongings would fit into your property.

2. Give your home a Spring clean: Use some of the cold and dark winter evenings to give your home a thorough dusting and vacuum. Not only is it more appealing to potential buyers, but shiny surfaces can help to bounce light around, making your home seem brighter and bigger in the low-light months.

3. Make it smell nice: Bad smells can be off-putting to potential buyers, who may be deterred from staying too long if the smell is particularly unattractive. It means avoid cooking a meal the night before a viewing that may have a smell that will linger. Using flowers and pots of herbs can not only look attractive, but can also help introduce pleasant fragrances.

4. Remove all traces of your pets: This is particularly important in kitchens where some buyers may not like the idea of food and pets mixing. Elsewhere, vacuum sofas and make sure dog or cat hairs are not lingering on any surfaces. If possible, try to confine pets to one room while viewings are taking place.

5. Finally, stage your home: Imagine your property is about to be in a magazine shoot when your agent takes the photographs that will be used in the sales particulars. Freshly baked cakes and a dining table set ready for a party are just a few ideas that can help to create the right impression of a desirable place to live.

So, if you are thinking about moving in the New Year, try to use some of the time during this festive period to prepare your home for sale. It can help secure that all-important buyer later on in the house selling process.

November 18, 2013 at 3:12 PM 2 comments

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