Top 10 #propertyoftheweek Picks

1. A unique German Huf Haus at number 1 this week – what’s not to like!

2. We love the graffiti wall in pic 10

3. Yew Tree Cottage – very pretty!

4. Great blue kitchen island in this 4 bed

5. A spacious and indeed immaculate family home

6. It’s all about the spiral stairs!

7. We couldn’t resist a spiral wine cellar:

8. Hidden gem in a motorsports fan ideal location!

9. Featured in Country Life

10. A pond and a hot tub – yes please.

Send us a link via Twitter to your #propertyoftheweek on Zoopla and our pick of the Top 10 will feature on the blog every Friday.

October 18, 2013 at 4:28 PM Leave a comment

Zoopla to turn £1,500 into £125,000 for charity via new website –

Zoopla is aiming to turn a £1,500 initial investment into more than £100,000 – and then to give the money to charity.

The challenge is part of a nationwide fundraising competition run by The Prince’s Trust.

Zoopla is hoping to raise the money by creating a new website – – and has until the end of this year to raise as much funds as possible for the Trust.

The site offers the chance for agents and property developers to buy pixel plots at £50 per plot and increase their brand exposure with each plot linking back to their website.

Property pixel

The site will remain live for a minimum of three years and if successful in selling all 2,500 available plots the team will take out a national newspaper advert to thank all its supporters.

So far the team, which launched the site just two week ago, have sold more than 100 plots with an average of 6.25 plots taken per company at an average price of £412 per company. Early supporters of the charity site include Hunters, Kinleigh Folkard Hayward (KFH), Field & Sons, Rentify and Daniels Estate Agents.

The team took their inspiration from Alex Tew’s Million Dollar Home Page, where Alex sold a million pixels for a $1m dollars to help fund his academic studies. Alex and is supporting the team in the promotion of the site.

Kevin Hollinrake, of Hunters Estate Agents – and the first to take space on Propertypixel – said: “It’s typical Zoopla behavior to take an innovative idea and add a charitable twist to it. When they approached me, it sounded like a good idea and we were more than happy to get involved.”

Anna White, marketing manager at KFH, said: “Great idea and one that is very easy for the whole industry to get behind. We’re delighted to be involved and we wish them every success in raising what could be a significant amount for charity.”

Alex Tew, founder of the Million Dollar Home Page, said: “It’s great to see my original idea being used for charitable purposes and more importantly, being done by reputable folk. I am glad they approached me and brought it to my attention. Clearly it works, but it would be great to get all the plots sold for the benefit of the Prince’s Trust.”

Alex Chesterman, founder & CEO of ZPG, said: “We are supporting the Prince’s Trust in many ways, but this competition allows a team from ZPG to work together, pool resources and time and really make a difference for charity. I would like to thank all those who have supported our charity site so far and really do hope we can sell all 2,500 by December 31 to raise significant funds for the Prince’s Trust and help change young lives.”

October 18, 2013 at 12:55 PM Leave a comment

An alternative to British Gas price rises – pay no energy bills

Had enough of soaring energy bills? Then Britain’s first home powered entirely by solar panels may be just for you. It means you will never have to pay a gas or electricity bill again.

17.10.13 Solar panels 2

The innovative timber-framed home in Leicestershire’s Great Glen is packed with ‘zero-carbon features’, meaning it produces more energy than it uses.

17.10.13 Solar panels 1

Solar energy collected during the summer is stored by heading the ground under the building. This energy is then retrieved through a heat pump when needed in the winter.

The solar panels collect enough heat from the sun to provide heating and hot water, as well as twice the electricity needed to run the system.

17.10.13 Solar panels 3

The five bedroom property is for sale for £1.2m through Country Properties.

Estate agent Anthony Fox told Zoopla that the possibility of no utility bills was a big draw for potential owners.

“The idea is your bills pretty much disappear and the house is self-sustaining and self-sufficient,” he said.

“The design is bold and quite unlike anything else in Leicestershire. The setting is fantastic and you drive through beautiful parkland to get to the house.”

 17.10.13 Solar panels 4

17.10.13 Solar panels 5

The completion of Britain’s first fully solar-powered home comes amid soaring energy costs for households. British Gas (the country’s biggest energy supplier) will reportedly increase energy prices by 9.2 per cent next month – costing families an extra £123 a year. It follows Scottish Southern Electric announcing it will raise tariffs by 8.2 per cent from November 15.

October 17, 2013 at 12:26 PM 3 comments

Kerry Katona through the keyhole again

Kerry McFadden displaying her playful side to the paparazzi at the premiere of "Bad Boys 2" at the Odeon Leicester Square London.  (Photo by Steve Finn/Getty Images)

Kerry Katona displaying her playful side to the paparazzi. Photo by Steve Finn/Getty Images.

Kerry Katona (previously McFadden) has been allegedly spotted outside of estate agents’ windows again.

The Atomic Kitten star is understood to be house-hunting with fiancé George Kay.

Her previous homes reportedly include a five bedroom property near Wigan Lancanshire, which she rented for £7,000 a month. The house boosts a swimming pool, gym and stables.

The star has also been spotted recently at the Manchester Civil Justice Centre, for a meeting in relation to her recent voluntary administration filing. Kerry filed a petition in Wigan County Court in July after struggling with money problems for the past 10 months.

It comes after Kerry was reportedly made bankrupt in August 2008 for failing to deliver the final £82,000 of a £417,000 tax bill.

After three years in Surrey, Kerry recently moved back north on the orders of new manager Martin O’Shea who also encouraged her to rejoin the Kittens for ITV2 show The Big Reunion.

The former Celebrity Big Brother star will need a new home for her four kids and new love George, who she met when he was hired as her minder and driver. She is pregnant with their first child.

Zoopla reveals other rental properties within 10 miles of Wigan, Lancanshire:

For rent: Six bedroom property in Lostock for £4,500 a month

16.10.13 Kerry 2

For rent: Six bedroom property in Bolton for £4,999 a month

16.10.13 Kerry 1


For rent: Five bedroom barn conversion for £4,250 a month

16.10.13 Kerry 3

October 16, 2013 at 4:25 PM Leave a comment

Focusing on Help to Buy – Phil Spencer’s Property Tip of the Month


If you are struggling to save the required deposit to get onto the property ladder, but are able to afford the monthly mortgage repayments, the Government is here to help. It has recently launched the second phase of its popular Help to Buy scheme, which can provide a mortgage guarantee to those with just a 5 per cent deposit. The scheme will see the average size of a deposit required by lenders drop from £44,000 to £11,000, according to recent research by Zoopla.

It is welcome news for those looking to buy their first home, as well as existing borrowers who can use the scheme to move home. However I must stress that you must make sure you fully do your research to see if the scheme is right for you.

Here are a handful of tips to get you started:

1. Do your research – gather as much information as you can about the scheme. Visit Zoopla’s helpful Help to Buy page which can be found here – link:

2. Get your financial affairs in order – banks will impose strict lending criteria to ensure you can afford the loan. Documents include up to a year’s worth of bank statements, although some lenders may only require six months. Three months of payslips, a passport, a utility bill to prove your current address and proof of a deposit such as a savings account statement are also required.

3. Speak to an IFA or visit a bank – discuss your options to see if you qualify for the scheme and what level of mortgage you might be able to raise. Banks offering loans under the mortgage guarantee scheme include Natwest, Halifax, Lloyds and RBS.

4. Don’t delay – there is likely to be high demand for the scheme early on. Whilst the guarantees don’t actually come into force until January, you can apply for the scheme now and lenders are offering home loans now.

5. Get searching for your dream home on Zoopla – the scheme applies to new build homes and pre-loved properties. The scheme applies to over 90% of properties currently on the market and all properties up to £600,000 are eligible for the scheme.


Myra ButterworthJoin Zoopla’s Web Editor Myra Butterworth and panelists for a live ‘Help to buy’ web chat on Tuesday 12/11/2013 (12th of November 2013) 1:00pm – 2:00pm

October 16, 2013 at 12:37 PM 14 comments

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