Saturday, 30 September 2017

Move to a new build home in Peterborough and save a small fortune

Living in London, struggling for space and looking to upsize? Or trying to get your first 'foot on the property ladder' and finding London prices mean a decent home is beyond your financial reach?

Why not consider a newly built home outside the capital?

There is life outside London, you know!

Younger people and workers in essential occupations such as nursing and policing - as well as those in jobs ranging from window cleaning to taxi driving - can often find London house prices prohibitive when it comes to upsizing. This is particularly true in the case of first time buyers and young families.

If you are looking to upsize but cannot afford London prices, look no further than Larkfleet Homes developments in and around places such as Peterborough and Grantham.

The price of new build homes is lower in this part of the world than in London. Where you have a house to sell you, you may well be able to pocket the difference between the price you achieve on your London property and your new build home further north.

Depending on where you currently own a property in London, moving to a new build home in the East of England or East Midlands could save you tens of thousands of pounds. Just think what you could do with that cash!

And leaving London doesn't mean leaving your job in the city. It’s quicker and easier to travel into central London from Peterborough than it is from many of London’s outer suburbs. Both Peterborough and Grantham are on the East Coast main line with many daily services running into Kings Cross. Nearby Corby - where we are also building new homes - has frequent services to St Pancras.

More and more people are moving out of London to find more spacious housing. In the year to June over 90,000 people took the plunge and moved out of the capital according to figures published recently by Savills.

Be one of the savvy movers and upsize to a new build home in one of our developments.

Friday, 29 September 2017

It’s coffee time!

Today is the day that all of us here will be taking part in the World’s biggest coffee morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Forget the Great British Bake Off! Staff at Larkfleet House, including Larkfleet Homes’ joint managing director Helen Hick, will be baking or bringing in a range of cakes and snacks that will be sold to colleagues in the building’s main meeting room to raise money.

We hope that all our visitors to Larkfleet House will join in the fun, buy a cake or two and enjoy a cup of coffee in aid of a great cause. And it's not too late for you to do the same - go on, forget the diet for a day and invite the neighbours around for a cuppa if you're at home or bring a box of cakes back to the office at lunchtime.

We are also inviting visitors to Larkfleet Homes and Allison Homes show homes to buy coffee and cakes throughout the day.

Other parts of the Larkfleet Group are also running events and competitions.

The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is Macmillan’s biggest fundraising event for people facing cancer. Since 1990, Coffee Morning has raised over £165.5 million for Macmillan. People all over the UK host their own Coffee Mornings and donations on the day are made to Macmillan. Last year alone saw a total of £29.5 million raised in aid of the charity.

This year Macmillan is aiming to raise even more and the Larkfleet team is aiming to help. Please bring your cash along if you are visiting Larkfleet House or one of our show houses and help us to help Macmillan!

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Helping Bourne Rotary’s golf day go with a swing

We are delighted to be sponsoring the Rotary Club of Bourne’s charity golf day.

The event is taking place at Toft Golf Club, Bourne, tomorrow.

Proceeds will go towards a number of local good causes, including LIVES First Responders which provides a voluntary life-saving service in and around Bourne.

The golf day format is a four ball Betterball Stableford (full handicap) for gents, ladies or mixed pairs, with prizes for first, second and third places. There will also be prizes for nearest the pin and longest drive on selected holes.

There’s still time to enter. Email Barry Streets on Entry costs £30 per person which includes coffee on arrival, halfway house and a two course buffet after play.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Celebrating the best in Fenland enterprise

We love a good awards celebration at Larkfleet. So, the Larkfleet Homes team was delighted to have sponsored an award and then be on hand at the recent Fenland Enterprise Business Awards 2017 gala night to help the evening go with a swing.

The glittering showcase event was held at the Braza Club in March and compered by BBC East journalist Jozef Hall.

Our own Helen Jones (centre in our picture) was on hand to present the Larkfleet-sponsored Commercial Business in the Community/Social Responsibility Award to Co-operative Travel at Central England Co-operative.

Natasha Thatcher, branch manager of Co-operative Travel, told the Cambridge Evening News: “Being part of the community is essential as a business. We are pleased that local people can recognise us as a face within our community.”

The judges said that the Co-operative showed a deep understanding of getting involved in the local community, something that is very important to us at Larkfleet.

Co-operative Travel won the award for projects that it has created to help deprived children in the community and for recycling and redistributing its magazines and stands to help local school projects and the environment.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Well done to Kesteven Champion Tony

It’s not every day you get to meet a true community champion - with a certificate to prove it!

John Squire, a consultant with Larkfleet Homes’ sister company Allison Homes, recently had the pleasure of meeting Tony Farrow (on the left in our photo) who was named as Kesteven Champion in the Heart of Lincolnshire Community Awards.

Tony has spent the past 10 years dedicating himself to the Sleaford and District Voluntary Car Service. He set up the lifeline service with the help of his wife. Tony and his drivers have taken over 6,200 people to their hospital appointments in Lincolnshire, appointments that they would have missed without the service.

The Kesteven Champion award was sponsored by Allison Homes and John Squire was on hand to present it to Tony Farrow. John said it was a pleasure to meet Tony and to give him his award.

Keep up the good work Tony.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Autumn boom time for new homebuyers

Autumn is usually boom time for house prices. Homebuyers have put the summer holidays behind them. Christmas is far enough off that most people are not (yet) worrying about paying for the festive season. Demand for new homes is at its highest and price activity normally gets a boost.

Well, that's what normally happens. But 2017, it seems, is not going to be normal.

This year, the usual Autumn price bounce has so far failed to materialise. In fact, there has been a fall of -1.2 per cent (-£3,660) in the price of property coming to market - the first since 2013.

Rightmove director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside said: “As we enter the Autumn selling season it is usual to see estate agents advising new-to-the-market sellers to push up their asking prices.

“But this year all four southern regions have seen new sellers on average asking less than those of a month ago, reducing the national rate of increase. There were Autumn price bounces nationally in 2014, 2015 and 2016, but the south of the country has turned this month into a bit of a damp squib, whilst some northern regions are still showing marginal signs of upwards price pressure.

“Estate agents are clearly advising many sellers that they have to lower their price expectations to fit in with buyers' stretched financial resources, with that price compromise hopefully generating extra buyer interest.”

Annual average wage growth is now outstripping the annual rate of price increase in newly-marketed property. Average wage rises are now running at nearly double the annual rate of property price rises, and the longer any meaningful differential is maintained then the greater the improvement in affordability. Having finally turned the tables to potentially improve their buying power, buyers will now be hoping that it is not eroded again by an interest rate rise or rampant consumer price inflation.

Affordability is still a major factor in the slowing pace of price rises but demand for the right housing at the right price remains strong. The numbers of sales being agreed by estate agents are 4.8 per cent higher than the same period a year ago.

The housing needs of growing families are harder to postpone than other more discretionary moves. This has resulted in average asking prices for typical second-stepper type homes increasing at over twice the overall national average rate.

With competition among lenders to lend, increasing wages and the lowest level of unemployment since 1975, buyers are still keen to buy if the property is worth the money and well-presented.
If more sellers appreciate that sensible pricing is the best way forward, then this will help to maintain good levels of buyer activity despite the uncertain political outlook.

There is a wide choice of well-priced homes in Larkfleet Homes developments in locations around the country. If you’re looking for a new home it’s time to take advantage of the upturn in affordability. Call Larkfleet Homes today. We’re here to help you make your next move up the property ladder.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

The prettiest town in Britain

We are lucky enough to live in a region that has some of the most attractive towns and villages in the UK. At its heart is Stamford, recently described by the Daily Telegraph as the prettiest town in Britain.

Is it any wonder that the town is a popular place to live?

Two recent Allison Homes developments at The Paddocks on Uffington Road and Anvil Mews, close to the town centre, were both snapped up!

So, what is it that makes Stamford so popular? It was recently voted one of the best places to live in the UK by The Sunday Times. It boasts many 17th and 18th century stone buildings, even older timber-framed buildings and five medieval parish churches. The town hosts an annual Georgian festival and international horse trials come to Burghley every September.

The town draws people from a wide area for the pleasure of shopping, often in traffic-free streets and lovely stores in old and quirky buildings. There is a wealth of independent shops, tea rooms and restaurants to enjoy. There is also a market every Friday.

Originally a walled town, Stamford still retains sections of the old wall and many original medieval buildings have been preserved. Its distinctive character was retained when the then Marquess of Exeter, whose family seat is nearby Elizabethan gem Burghley House, successfully opposed the coming of the mainline railway in the mid-19th century.

The rail hub was moved to Peterborough, 20 miles to the east, which grew rapidly, losing its market town identity in the process. Stamford escaped the rampant development of the past 50 years and it was named the UK’s first conservation area while Peterborough became a New Town for London’s urban overspill.

Stamford is a beautiful place to live and visit. Historic buildings abound, with the medieval St Leonard’s Priory and Burghley house just a short walk from the centre of town. A prosperous coaching town in the 18th and 19th centuries mid-way between London and York, Stamford gave rise to some fine hostelries including The George Hotel and the Bull and Swan Inn. It was said that at one time Stamford had more public houses and more churches per head of population than anywhere else in the country.

Both Larkfleet Homes and Allison Homes have developments within easy reach of Stamford, including Buttercross Park in Oakham, Bourne Heights in Bourne and Pinchbeck Fields, near Spalding.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Stuck for storage?

Families attract clutter. We all gather lots of ‘stuff’ as we go through life. Moving to a new home is an ideal opportunity to have a look at new storage solutions. Your new home looks lovely but the clean lines and crisp colours could be spoiled by stacks of unsightly plastic trays and boxes.

If space is at a premium, there are many solutions to help you make the most of spaces in bedrooms and living rooms. To give you some inspiration we have listed some here.

Alcoves give you ideal space to fill in with seamless floor to ceiling shelving. You could include cupboards with sliding doors to help tidy your stuff away, out of sight. You could also use an alcove to build in a home office, an ideal space for the kids to do their homework. Fit some flush doors to hide the open shelves from view when the space is not in use.

Media storage
Modern living rooms can get cluttered with books and magazines, CDs and DVDs. And TVs can take up a lot of valuable space in the room. Make the TV the focal point of the room and build a series of units around it. Moveable stands with storage space are great or – if money is no object – why not develop a bespoke solution?

You could also fill whole walls with shelves, using your books, ornaments or family pictures as part of your overall design. You could also use more traditional free-standing solutions like bookcases, dressers or cabinets.
If your space is open plan, use storage solutions to divide up the space into different areas.

Use every inch of space in your kitchen to maximise your storage. Use pull-out cupboards with shelves and racking or sliding doors on cupboards to make the most of the available space.
Why not investigate multipurpose cubed storage solutions available from major modular furniture and DIY retailers?

Hallways and utility rooms
Halls and utility rooms often get cluttered up with boots, shoes and coats. Why not have a look at hooks, hangers and stands. Modular solutions will help to provide a space to tidy away all those boots and shoes.

Stuck for storage space in the bedroom? Use the headboard as storage by building in drawers. In children’s rooms, use the space under the child’s bed to stow away toys and clothes. You can nestle pull-out boxes under bed spaces and use narrow shelving solutions to maximise space.

One of the things that will take up a lot of exterior space are your bins. There seems to be a bin for everything these days. Keep them together and out of sight with a bin store.

Whatever you chose to do with your storage space, enjoy your home!

Monday, 18 September 2017

All the gear and no idea

There’s lots of advice about DIY home makeovers right now. Most of us are ready and willing to give our homes a makeover. But sometimes the ability to complete the job doesn’t match our enthusiasm, especially among younger DIYers.

According to research from Nationwide Building Society, more than two thirds of us are happy to take on non-building DIY jobs like painting and decorating. And it also seems that many of us are kitted out with plenty of gear, including drills, hammers and ladders, to take on most DIY scenarios.

We don’t always know how to use our tools though. DIYers can be prone to the occasional DIY disaster. Most of us have spilled paint on the floor or overspent on a project. One in seven us of has even drilled through a water pipe causing a flood.

There is a bit of a generation gap when it comes to our confidence in our own DIY skills. According to Nationwide’s research, it’s the younger generation who are apparently most confident that they can take on all manner of DIY jobs. One in five 18 to 24-year olds say that they are fully proficient in DIY. They believe that they can tackle any job, no matter how large or complex. The older and wiser among us are more pragmatic about our skills. Fewer than one in ten of those aged 55 or older say they are happy to tackle the more difficult DIY jobs.

When it comes to the actual DIY abilities of the younger generation the tables are turned. In the youngest age range, 18-24, only two thirds (63 per cent) say they can change a light bulb, under half (45 per cent) can change the time on household clocks, while only a third can change a fuse or bleed a radiator. In addition, a mere 17 per cent can locate and turn off a stop cock and only 15 per cent can rewire a plug. Even with the jobs they might be thought to favour, only half (49 per cent) can tune a TV and less than one in five (19 per cent) say they can install home entertainment equipment.

This compares with an older generation apparently much more used to doing it themselves, with the over 55s saying nine in ten (89 per cent) were ready to change a lightbulb, four in five able to change the clocks (77 per cent) and change a fuse (81 per cent), and more than two thirds ready to bleed radiators (71 per cent), find and turn off a stop cock (74 per cent) and rewire a plug (69 per cent). Nearly four in five (77 per cent) will tune a television and a third (30 per cent) can install a home entertainment system.

Many people aspire to make improvements but may not have all the skills they need to make a positive difference. In fact, they are more likely to end up botching the job or making mistakes that may lead to much higher extra costs and extra spending later to put it right. It’s significant that many would-be DIY enthusiasts end up regretting both the amount of money spent and the accidents that can prove costly along the way. However, people also feel it is important to regularly refresh the appearance of their homes or tackle larger jobs to reflect their changing needs.

Sometimes, moving to a new home that includes the features that homeowners to aspire to, such as a large open plan kitchen/diner, conservatory or en-suite bathroom will remove risk of disasters. Buying a new home from Larkfleet Homes gives buyers the opportunity to move into their dream home without the need to do anything to it. It’s still a good idea to brush up on those basic DIY skills though. You never know when you’ll need to change a light bulb or a fuse or re-tune the telly.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The kids are alright - Bedroom makeovers

Thinking about giving your kids' bedrooms a makeover? Stuck for ideas? The good news is, there is no end of ideas out there to give you inspiration if you are thinking about changing or redecorating a child's bedroom. You only have to look on social media sites like Pinterest and Houzz to seethe ideas are endless.

It is worth remembering though that kids are as individual as us adults. They have their own personalities, interests, likes and dislikes. So, bear this in mind when you are considering your makeover.

Not only that. Children seem to gather as much, if not more, 'stuff' around themselves than grownups. Any makeover of a child's bedroom will need to consider de-cluttering and storage.

Here are a few tips for getting your child's bedroom makeover just right, so it suits the overall look and feel of your house and gives your child a space that they will love and want to spend time in - not just sleeping.

Age and gender will dictate your choice of theme. Find out what your kids are in to - if you don't already know. Younger boys will no doubt be mad on pirates or superheroes, Star Wars or football. Girls on the other hand may be more interested in Frozen, gymnastics or their favourite YouTuber.

Pre-teens and teenagers will be different. The things they were interested in as younger children may not excite them anymore and planer themes might be more suitable. That will allow them to personalise their space with their own accessories.

Don't conform to stereotypes though. Make sure you involve your child in choosing a theme. Make sure they will get a room they will love.

Once you've got a theme you'll need to get a colour scheme sorted. Depending on the theme, you could be looking at bold primary colours, stark contrasting tones or soft pastel shades.

You might be using blues and reds to compliment Superman or the softer pastel shades of a Disney Princess.

When you are choosing your colours, don't forget that the bedroom should be a place where your kids can relax and sleep easy.

There are all kinds of things you can include to compliment the design of your child's bedroom. Bed linen and curtains should match the theme and colour scheme. Remember, you need to consider comfort and practicality. Blinds or curtains should shut out enough light to aid sleep. There's nothing worse than a child waking up at the crack of dawn in the summer because the blinds of curtains don't cover the windows properly.

Lighting is also important. Choose relaxing themes. Lamps and lampshades can be included to add more interest to your chosen theme.

Add some activity for active kids. If you have some, what about including a climbing wall? Add built-in space for hobbies like trains, Scalextric or collecting. And for older children, you might want to add some space to accommodate gaming accessories or sports gear.

Try to keep furniture functional - but make it fit your theme. Fill wall space with murals relating to the theme or add pictures and photos in creative ways.

Storage and organisation
Do you find yourself tripping over toys or walking over Lego bricks in bare feet? Storage is important. It will stop you hopping around in pain and help to maximise the space in your child's room.

Use cupboard space, wardrobes, shelves and hangers to store your children's stuff. Maximise space by choosing beds with draws underneath. You could even add space-age racking to hang up gaming accessories or toys.

Add display space so your kids can show off models, toy figures or art work. Just make sure your storage options match the themes you have chosen.

School age children will need a calm space, free of distractions, where they can do their homework or enjoy some downtime with a favourite book.

Include a bookshelf, desk and chair, but make sure there are enough power points so that they can plug in their laptops or PCs if they have them.

Where space is at a premium, why not build a work space into a bunk bed solution?

Chill out
When you are re-doing your children's bedrooms, remember that whatever theme you pick, make the space restful. Make it a space that your kids want to spend time in and one where they will be able to work and play.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Looking for your dream home?

It seems that many of us are still looking for our dream home. Have you found yours yet? Well, according to new research from the Halifax, the chances are you haven't.

According to its report Dream Abode, just one in five of us (22 per cent) lives in our dream home. And it's not just the value of the property that brings happiness. Almost two thirds of us (62 per cent) who live in house worth more than £500,000 say their current house isn't their dream home.

A dream home has the kitchen at its heart. Halifax's research reveals that a new kitchen takes the top spot on Britain's 'dream home' wish-list (cited by 37 per cent of homes owners), followed by bigger rooms (22 per cent), extra bedrooms (19 per cent) and extra bathrooms (17 per cent).

At Larkfleet Homes, we offer a Personalised Home scheme. In return for using the services offered bu our recommended financial advisors or solicitors to complete the purchase of your new Larkfleet home, we will give you £500 towards making your home yours. Why not put this towards upgading the kitchen and truly making your dream home?

Melanie Backe-Hansen, historian and author of House Histories, said: "The way we live in our homes is evolving.

"The place of the kitchen has changed dramatically. In this study, it takes top spot on Britain's 'dream home' wish-list yet, in historical terms, the kitchen is a relatively modern invention. Where once you'd be lucky to have running water, today it's the ultimate status symbol and where we do most of our entertaining.

"A lot has changed in the past 150 years, but we will continue to aspire to our dream home."

At Larkfleet Homes we have a range of developments in exciting locations, with homes ot suit all tastes. So why not come and find your dream home?

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

September tips for home and garden

Although the weather is still mild, you may have noticed a slight chill in the air and the evenings drawing in. Summer is waning and Autumn is nearly here. With it comes a list of things to do around the house and garden to get your home ready for the season. So, here is a quick checklist to help you get prepped and ready for the cooler months ahead.

Get Cosy:
Swap your lighter duvet for the heavier Winter one and put some throws or blankets on the sofas. Add some cushions and perhaps some heavier rugs on bare floors.

Order the fuel:
If you are lucky enough to have wood burners, order in the fire wood. Don't forget to order any solid fuel that you need and make sure your oil tank is topped up if you have oil fired central heating. Check chimneys and fireplaces are clean and clear.

Stay safe:
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace old batteries and check expiration dates of any fire safety equipment you may have.

Check your gutters:
One of the most common causes of damp is in the home is a blocked gutter. Check your gutters and drains and remove any old leaves, moss or other material that may have built up.

Service heating:
Make sure central heating is running well. Think about getting the boiler serviced and make there are no airlocks in the radiators. Test the thermostat nd make sure it's working properly.

Garden chores:
Cut the grass, rake out the old dead grass and moss and apply lawncare such as a weed and feed treatment. Prune roses and other shrubs abd trim hedges and have a think about planting some Spring bulbs. Daffodils are traditionally planted in September and early October, while tulips are left until a little later in the Autumn. And if you have a pond, net it over now to stop leaves clogging it up.

Care for exterior wood:
While the weather is still dry, it's the perfect time to paint sheds and fences and check facias, soffits and windows on the house.

It won't be long before we lose our daylight hours, so make the most of these autumnal months to you prepped for the winter ahead.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Back to school

The new school year has started and the parents among us have breathed a collective sigh of relief as our kids start their new school or college. Hopefully, they have got a place in their school of choice. Sadly, our children don't always end up where we would like, prompting us to consider measures to get them into the best schools.

Often, concerned parents will seriously consider moving to a house in the catchement area of their school of choice to secure a place for their child, even if it's miles away from where they live currently.

According to new research from Santander Mortgages, one in four parents with school age children have either bought or rented a new property to secure an address within their desired school's catchment area. The study also found that those families willing to move are prepared to spend a 12 per cent premium for their desired catchment area.

Parents are going to great lengths to be within those sought after catchment areas, with their sacrifices going far beyond the financial. These sacrifices include changing jobs, downsizing, overstretching themselves financially or moving miles away from family and friends altogether.

This trend looks set to continue as 40 per cent of parents who expect to move home before their children leave school say catchment areas will dictate where they choose to live.

Living within a certain school's catchment area is top of the wish list for many families. Larkfleet Homes has you covered in many areas with excellent educational options. Have a look at our latest developments for more information.