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Blog 

Solar Panel Auction

Published: 08/08/2018

Solar Panel Auction

Essex County Council have launched a new solar panel scheme for Essex residents and business in partnership with iChoosr.

Solar Together offers residents and business the opportunity to group together and take part in an online auction to buy high quality solar panels, saving money on both installation and future energy bills.  For more information click HERE

Perseid Meteor Shower

Published: 02/08/2018

The annual Perseid Meteor shower hits our skies on the 12th & 13th of August. Due to the current clear skies you can expect to see around 60-70 shooting stars per hour! For a bit more info click HERE

Basildon Sporting Village

Published: 30/07/2018

Basildon Sporting Village is the premier destination in Essex for incredible events, business meetings, and conferences, and, of course, as much sporting activity as you can possibly imagine. In this guide, we’re going to take you through everything you need to know about this impressive sports complex, that serves Basildon, Essex, and the surrounding areas.

Basildon Sporting Village - the Basics

Basildon Sporting Village is famed for being the official training centre for the London 2012 Olympics. Costing £38 million, there are a vast array of sporting facilities, as you would expect from an Olympic-class sports centre. There is a 50-metre swimming pool, a 750-seater athletics stadium, three outdoor sports pitches and a climbing wall. Pride of place, however, is the vast sports hall, which can host eight different sports and has enough space to seat 800 people. It’s an ideal venue for boxing, fencing, and gymnastics events.

Business & Conferences

Sport might be the centre of the equation for this huge and impressive complex, but it’s not all that is on the menu. Business owners and managers can host meetings and conferences in the corporate-ready facilities, which come complete with AV and PA systems. The centre has its own catering service, too, making the Sporting Village the ideal place for parties, buffets and hosted events. Past events include business, industry and art exhibitions, team building days, and it even makes a great venue for filming adverts, movies, and TV shows.

Perfect for Families

The Basildon Sporting Village is also handy for parents with young children. There is a creche area with friendly, checked employees who will look after your kids while you take an hour or two out to get some well-deserved exercise. In the past, the complex has served comedy nights, craft fairs, car boot sales, community events and everything in between.

Amazing Activities

The team at Basildon Sporting Village offer a huge range of different activities to local residents, and for those travelling in from other parts of Essex and beyond. There is a range of fun, healthy group exercises, and the climbing wall sessions are always popular with kids and adults alike. Need swimming lessons? Whether you are a beginner or trying to master your swimming technique, there are lessons available for everyone and any ability. And for those who just want to have fun, the Inflatable Party in the main pool is available on Saturdays, or for private bookings.

Conclusion

Basildon Sporting Village has everything you need to get fit and healthy, host fun events and parties, or use as a conference venue for your business, organisation, or industry. Simply put, the impressive arena is a world-class facility that serves Basildon and the surrounding Essex area superbly. Without a doubt, the Basildon Sporting Village is one of the leading leisure and entertainment venues in the region - of not the country. And no matter what you need - whether a birthday celebration, a desire to attend an exhibition, or just to get fit - there is everything you need, and probably even more than you can imagine.

. . .

The Northern Gateway and what is planned there

Published: 30/07/2018

The Northern Gateway has been a long time coming for Colchester residents. The original plans arrived almost six years ago, but many changes have been made, and the project looked like being stalled for some time. However, the new plans have finally arrived and can be found over at the Northern Gateway website. The big questions are - what can we expect? Let’s take a look at what is planned for the Northern Gateway.

The Vision

The Northern Gateway is all about healthy, active lifestyles, and aims to encourage residents of Colchester and the surrounding areas to focus on fitness and wellbeing. It’s also a place for local businesses to flourish, and become a central part of the community. The Gateway will be ideally placed in terms of transport access, and the design plans so far look incredible - it’s contemporary urban design with a focus on the environment at its finest.

Fitness

The Northern Gateway aims to be a hub for fitness and sport. The idea is to increase the opportunity to participate in a sport of all kinds and to promote a healthy lifestyle. But it is also hoped that the sports centres in the Gateway will provide top competitors a high-quality facility to improve their performance. Residents can expect seven grass playing pitches, alongside two illuminated 3G artificial pitches. There will be a standard cycle track, a sports hall, and an archery area, as well as a Learn to Ride area. But you don’t have to be particularly sporty to enjoy the healthy activity at the Northern Gateway. Plans include landscaped walks for those who prefer a more gentle form of physical activity.

For Leisure

The Northern Gateway also has plans to be a focal point for Colchester leisure activities. There will be plenty of restaurants to enjoy healthy, tasty food, and a new cinema for the region. Other leisure activities will be available, too, although the full range of businesses getting involved has yet to be finalised.

For Creativity

Feeling a little more creative than sporty? In the future, residents of Colchester will be able to make use of The Boulevard. Plans include ideas for all kinds of things, including the arts, concerts, and much more.

Conclusion

As you can see, there is a huge amount of potential for the current plans for the Northern Gateway. It’s certainly an exciting time to be alive and living in the Colchester area. The ideas behind the plans are simple - to provide great spaces for business, family, and leisure, and to promote health and fitness for all in Colchester. This could be the ‘must go’ place to visit in the area, joining the likes of Colchester Zoo and the amazing museums we have here as the pride of place.



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Where to take your children in & around Colchester

Published: 25/07/2018

It can be a tricky time when you have kids of school age. The reality is that the little ones will go stir crazy if they don’t have anything exciting to do. The great news is that if you live in the Colchester area, there is plenty of brilliant things to do to keep the little ones occupied. Let’s take a look at some of the best local places to take your children.
 

Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo is set amongst 60 acres of land and is a great place for the kids to visit and enjoy some of nature’s most wonderful creatures. There are, in fact, over 260 different species of animal, including elephants, giraffes, and the incredible red pandas. Kids will love the Lost Madagascar Express road train, too, as well as the 24-metre underwater tunnel that takes you through an aquarium.
 

Colchester Castle Museum


Colchester Castle Museum is home to some amazing artifacts and historical items dating back over 2000 years. If you want an educational day out with the kids, it’s a brilliant place to go. Not only will the kids learn about the Romans, Boudicca, and the Witchfinder General, but they will also find out the long and ancient history of the city they live in.
 

Colchester Leisure World


Feel like the kids need to cut loose and release some steam? If so, Colchester Leisure World has everything you need. Take your little ones swimming in the fun-packed leisure pool, complete with exhilarating flumes, a wave machine, and shipwreck water cannons.  


Marsh Farm


Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park is an exciting place for any kids - or adults - interested in cute animals, fun activities, and plenty of entertainment. It’s a huge place, spread over a massive 30-acre plot of land, and you have a plethora of amazing things to do. You can milk a cow, check out the birds in the aviary, ride a tractor, play mini-golf, and go see one of the famous Marsh Farm magic shows. There are plenty of seasonal events, too, and if your child is celebrating his or her birthday during half term, it’s a fantastic place for a party.
 

West Mersea Beach


West Mersea Beach is one of those places that is fantastic in all weathers. If the skies are clear and the temperature is hot, it’s a great little beach to enjoy the sun, sea, and sun. If it’s windy, rainy, or both, the beach is the perfect place for the little ones to clear out the cobwebs, get some fresh air, and run around to let off some steam.

As you can see, there is plenty to see and do with the kids in Colchester - and this is just the tip of the iceberg! Check the local press and the Internet to find out more amazing things to do in Colchester!


. . .

Thomas Comes To Essex

Published: 19/07/2018

Thomas Comes To Essex - A school holiday day out idea?

It is advised to book early - To buy tickets click HERE

Top things to do in and around Wickford

Published: 01/07/2018

Nestled in the heart of South Essex, Wickford is one of the best communities for those looking to balance a professional life in the capital with surroundings that are a little less hectic and perhaps more suited to family life. With a population of over 33,000 people, it’s far from empty and there is plenty to love about the town and its surroundings. Here are a few examples.
 

Nevendon Manor


A must-see for anyone living in or near Wickland, Nevendon Manor is a 16th-century property and an interesting historical sight in its own right. However, that’s not all it has to offer. Nevendon Manor Events runs a whole range of different interactive performances and seasonal events that focus on using the environment to its very best, including Christmas and springtime fairy tale shows.
 

Partyman World of Play


If you have kids, then the Partyman World of Play is going to be a lifesaver. One of the most impressive recreational centres in all of Essex, it has huge play areas,  indoor football stadiums, and the UK’s only indoor climbable volcano, making it a favourite for parties and parents who have kids with off-the-charts energy levels.
 

Wat Tyler Country Park


The natural landscape surrounding Wickford is gorgeous and the Wat Tyler Country Park puts the very best of it on display. From nature trails to miniature railways, it can make for the perfect family day out, dog walker’s route, or just a quiet retreat where you can enjoy some of the natural wildlife on offer.
 

Barleylands Craft and Farm Village


While the Craft and Farm Village might be especially beloved by children, it’s a great attraction for those of all ages. Besides feeding the animals and grooming bunnies, you can go go-karting, make bird feeders, drive a mini-land rover, and much more. The craft shops at The Village always offers something unique and provides an excellent way to support and connect with the local community.
 

Action Park


For those that might find the Farm Village a little too sedate, the Off-Road Action Park is anything but. Beloved by wedding and birthday parties and adrenaline junkies both, this park makes use of its natural surroundings with motorsports, paintball, clay pigeon shooting, and much more. As such a popular attraction for stag and hen groups, corporate retreats and the like, booking does need to be carried out in advance.
 

Towngate Theatre


If you’re looking to catch the latest show or see some of the artists from local communities, the Towngate Theatre in Basildon is a very short trip away. Accessible and well-designed, it makes going out for a little culture a lot easier, with a wide variety of different shows on offer throughout the whole year. Definitely a favourite spot amongst the high street with both a café and a cocktail bar to accompany whatever kind of show you want to see.
 
Whether you’re looking for a peaceful, but not-too-quiet place to live or the perfect commuting spot to reach the capital, Wickford has plenty to offer.
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How much is your property really worth?

Published: 26/06/2018

How much is your property really worth?

Whether you’re looking to sell your home, or you simply know how much of an asset you have on your hands, your property’s real value shouldn’t be ignored. By knowing the market and your place in it, you can ensure the best sale, or find ways to improve that value. So, how do you get the all-important information you need?

Getting a valuation

If you’re looking to sell and you want to really know how much your property is worth, then the most direct way of finding out is by having a valuator or an estate agent take a closer look. It’s important to make sure you start with realistic expectations. Most often it’s the size, layout, and the area of the property that a valuation will take into account. This valuation is most likely to be the most accurate, though it can be influenced by renovations, improving your curb appeal, and other upgrades you can make to the home.

Take a look around you

Looking at the market is another way to figure out not only what your property is worth, but what you’re likely to get out of it. You can look at estate agents and online home buying sites to see what homes around you have sold for, for instance. Bear in mind that the more similar to your property, the more accurate and reliable the information will be. Sharing a postcode matters, but it only makes sense that a five-bedroom house will, in most cases, be worth more than a two-bedroom in the exact same area.

Tracking the trends

You can see not only how much your property is worth, but how the market is doing, as well. Things like Rightmove & Zoopla show not only recent sale value but allow you to compare the data over the years. You can see whether the market is turning in your favour or away from it, which may influence whether you decide to sell just yet or to wait a while for the hopes that you will gain some value. However, these kinds of sources tend to generalise and cover very broad areas, so it might not give you the most specific details.

See what’s hot

Even if your property’s value has been determined, you might be able to ask for a little more if your home is in an area that’s high in demand. Estate agents will often take this into account. Take advantage of a hot market and you might have more say over the asking price if your area is particularly hot right now. If it’s bone cold, then you might have to stick more strictly to its baseline value.

A property’s value is far from fixed. Not only can it be influenced by changes to the property and the surrounding area, it shifts up and down with the market. It’s worth re-checking its value now and then to make sure you’re working off old and obsolete information.

We offer have a FREE instant valuation tool where you can find out the value of your property Click Here


 

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Clacton Air Show - A Free Event For All This Summer

Published: 18/06/2018

Clacton Air Show has been running for no less than 27 years in 2018, and it’s a fantastic event for flight enthusiasts and families who travel from all around the country. The event welcomes some of the best aerobatics teams like the Red Arrows, and there is plenty of participation from the RAF’s best display pilots. Over the years, Clacton Air Show has featured some of the most iconic planes from throughout history, and this year’s event looks set to continue with that trend.

The History

The first Clacton Air Show happened way back in the early nineties, and while the event has grown and expanded since that time, the planes still follow the same coastline path as they did during the early days. Some of the most famous sights that tend to appear at Clacton every year include:

  • Red Arrows
  • Great War Display Team
  • Tigers Parachute Display Team
  • RAF Typhoon
  • BBMF Lancaster & Spitfire
  • RAF Chinook
  • Strikemaster
  • Muscle Biplane
  • Twister Aerobatic Team
  • Fireflies Aerobatics Team

Still, the organisers aim to include as much variation as possible, and so there is a reasonable chance visitors will see something different every time they attend! Best of all? The air show is free to all attendees and families that wish to enjoy the event, and the only advice is that you need to arrive early to secure the best viewing spots.

The Air Show

The 2018 Clacton Air Show takes place on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th August at West Greensward and Clacton Seafront. The opening times are between 11am and 9pm on Thursday and 11am and 5pm on Friday. It’s a spectacular show that is sure to prove a big hit with children and parents alike. The event organizers expect to welcome no less than 250,000 visitors this year, and that is why it’s sensible to arrive as early as possible. However, by the very nature of an air show, it’s not like anyone will have to deal with restricted views.

Other Attractions

Alongside the planes, Clacton Air Show also features exhibitions stands, food stalls, and lots of on-site entertainment for all the family. Following the flights on Thursday 24th August, visitors will enjoy a fireworks display at Clacton Pier that is sure to make the evening seem as magical as possible. So, make sure you don’t head back to your hotel room or apartment too early because you might miss out on all the fun!

Clacton Air Show organizers comply with all flying restrictions put in place by the authorities, and flight times are liable to change due to health and safety issues and other constraints. However, the event has proved a massive hit with families from all over the country during the last 27 years, and so those regulations and rules never get in the way of the pilots putting on a fantastic show.

If you’re looking for a free event that’s guaranteed to impress this summer, make some accommodation arrangements and head down to Clacton for a couple of days. You’re going to love it!

 

To see more about the local area of Colchester CLICK HERE

 

Are you looking to find out the value of your home in Colchester? CLICK HERE


 

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Summer Fun In Suffolk - Largest Splash Park In The UK

Published: 05/06/2018

Aqua Park arrives in Suffolk in the 7th of July at Alton Water. Hailed to be the biggest splash park in the UK. With 72 obstacles including, climbing walls, trampolines, balance bats and blast bags! The perfect days adventure for all adrenaline junkies. Open from 7th of July to September 9th

From more information click here
. . .

A look at the Colchester property market in 2016

Published: 08/02/2017

The UK property market experienced a lot of changes in 2016 and the market had to withstand a lot of issues throughout the year. Now that we are into 2017, there is an agreement that there is now a sense of stability about the property market and that while some areas suffered, things could have been a lot worse in the property market.


Of course, while we talk about the property market as a single entity, this is far from the case. There are often places that experience great changes or notable changes while others do not. Colchester is an area that is regarded as being on the up, even with the market as a whole experiencing some difficulty or pressure.


As of January 2017, the average property price for Colchester stood at £309,324 which presented a rise of 8% on the figure at the start of 2016. The value change stood at £22,905 so the average property price at that time was £286,419.


Over the past 12 months, the average price paid in Colchester has stood at £272,736 with close to 4,000 property sales being made in this period of time.


The Colchester property market is one that has been growing sharply for a while and there are a number of factors involved in this outcome.


Transport links
Quick transport links to Stratford and London Liverpool Street ensure that Colchester is highly regarded as a commuter location for the heart of London. There is also easy access to the A12 which ensures that Colchester is a destination that allows fast and simple transport.


Work in Colchester
The rise in the local economy has drawn a growing number of people and families to the area. With a greater chance of finding work or people looking to be located closer to their work, the Colchester property market has experienced a significant rise in demand.

One area where Colchester has developed is with respect to the creative industries. A report issued in the second half of 2016 has seen Colchester listed as the 8th best place in the entire country for drawing people to work in the creative industry. Affordable property is always important in reaching out to these professionals and this industry but there has been action over and above property pricing to make the area more attractive and hospitable to this sector.
The overall success of change in Colchester can be seen in the ranking of 20th spot, for the whole of the UK, with respect to high concentration and growth. Both of these findings were issued in a report called The Geography of Creativity in the UK, issued by Creative England and NESTA.


New build properties
There have been a number of property developments in Colchester in the past year, which is always going to have a positive impact on the property market. The west and north of the area have benefitted from a number of new developments, and these are handily located for commuters and people looking to travel to and from Colchester on a regular basis.


Colchester is an area that is going places for people who are going places and this can be seen in the local property market.

To see our available properties in Colchester clickHERE

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10 Secrets of Basildon you never knew

Published: 25/08/2016

While the history of Basildon isn’t as long or as illustrious as many areas in the south east of England, there is still a lot to learn and know about the area. Here are 10 secrets of Basildon you never knew or maybe forgot about, so why not have a read through and see what you know or don’t know.

1. Basildon was one of 8 new towns that were established in the south east of England in the aftermath of the Second World War. Basildon was created in 1949 due to lengthy waiting lists with soldiers returning from their wartime efforts and the aftermath of the damage London received during the war.

2. The first residents to move in to the area did so in 1951, moving into property at Redgrave Road, Vange.

3. While the creation of what is recognised as Basildon today dates back to the 1940s, the name dates back to Saxon times.

4. The 1,000th new home to be built in Basildon appeared in 1953 at Denys Drive in Fryvern. This indicates the volume of property that was added to the area in a short period of time, allowing Basildon to develop quickly in a short period of time.

5. The first area of parkland to appear in Basildon arrived in 1957 when Gloucester Park was officially opened. The park currently expands over 250 acres and is considered to be a key meeting point and place to socialise or relax in the local area.

6. The very first shops in the town centre of Basildon, and Basildon Market, opened in 1958.

7. 1962 was a landmark year for Basildon because this was the year that the tallest building in the area was finished. This accolade goes to Brooke House. The building stands at 162 feet tall and it is a Grade II listed building.

8. There were many different landmarks that were celebrated and noted in Basildon over the years but for many people in the local area, a notable event occurred in 1971. This is because this was the year that the very first Marks and Spencers opened in the local area.

9. For an area to flourish, it is vital that transport links are in place and in 1974, the residents of Basildon benefitted through the opening of Basildon Railway Station. This made the commute to London easier and also opened up the possibility of travel across the south east of England and beyond.

10. Basildon is twinned with a number of areas in Europe including Meaux in France and Heiligenhaus which is located in Germany. Basildon also holds international relationships with Gweru, which is a city in Zimbabwe.

These facts about Basildon help showcase the development of the area, which has come a very long way in just over 60 years. Basildon is no longer referred to as a new town, but it stands as a great example of what can be achieved with planning and a desire to grow.

If you are thinking of moving to Basildon and would like to see our current stock please click HERE

If you are thinking of selling in Basildon and would like a valuation please call 01268 207222 or find in the short form HERE
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10 Top attractions in Essex this summer

Published: 21/06/2016



If you are looking to make the most of Essex this summer, here are 10 top attractions to keep an eye on.

Chelmsford City Racecourse
If you love horse racing, there is no doubt that Chelmsford City Racecourse has been a great addition to the local attractions in Essex. While this can be a great way to spend a family fun day out, the venue is becoming a must-see location for many reasons. With an ever-changing line-up of gigs, comedy events and even murder mystery nights, you’ll not be short of attractions. Some big shows this summer include Simply Red, Katherine Jenkins, Rick Astley and many other big stars of yesteryear.
For more information about Chelmsford Racecourse click HERE

Audley End House and Gardens
When it comes to a stunning garden that lends itself perfectly to lazy and sunny days, Audley End House is an ideal option for you this summer. With a 17th century stable block and views of the glorious Essex countryside, this is a stopping point that can keep you enthralled all day.
For more information about Audley End House click HERE

Layer Marney Tower
When it comes to examples of local Tudor buildings, this is one of the best in Essex. It was so impressive that Henry VIII stayed for a while in 1522 and if you have a head for heights, make sure you climb the tower and enjoy the views of the Blackwater estuary.
For more information about Layer Marney Tower click HERE

Hedingham Castle
Summer days are made for exploring and Hedingham Castle remains one of the best preserved castles in England, making it the ideal place to stop off. Whether you seek fun, a sense of history or a touch of romance, Hedingham Castle is a great place to add to your list of sights to see in Essex in 2016.
For more information about Hedingham Castle click HERE

RHS Garden Hyde Hall / Beth Chatto Garden
Summer time should be spent in gardens and the RHS Garden Hyde Hall and the Beth Chatto Garden are two fantastic examples of gardening at its best. If you are looking to be inspired or just want to enjoy the best flowers in the county, these gardens are well worth a visit.
For more information about RHS Garden Hyde Hall click HERE

For more information about Beth Chatto Garden click HERE

Firstsite
If architecture rather than flowers interest you, this spectacular building is well worth seeing, but it also plays host to a wide range of exhibitions which run all of the year. However, the building and the backdrops are well worth seeing in the summer time.

For more information about Firstsite click HERE

Colchester Zoo
Colchester Zoo has long been one of the best places to spend a summer in Essex and with over 270 species on show, with 50 displays taking place every day, there is a lot to keep you happy and occupied.

For more information about Colchester Zoo click HERE

Lee Valley White Water Centre
If you would rather spend your spare time to enjoy exciting pursuits, you’ll find that the Lee Valley White Water Centre is a must visit. This venue was utilised in the London 2012 games and you can challenge yourself in the same way that many of the leading athletes in the world were.

For more information about Lee Valley White Water Centre click HERE

Colchester Castle Museum
The award of Best Large Attraction at the Essex Tourism and Hospitality Awards in 2015 suggests that this is a museum that is well worth checking out. Don’t expect a dull or dry museum; this is a chance for you to get hands on with a wide range of activities.

For more information about Colchester Castle Museum click HERE

Boydells Dairy Farm
Anyone looking to ensure the kids have some fun while learning will find that the Boydells Dairy Farm, which is a working farm, will provide plenty of opportunities for entertainment and education.

For more information about Boydells Daisy Farm click HERE

 

If you would like to know the value of home please click HERE

. . .

10 Tips for First Time Renters

Published: 25/04/2016

If you re renting for the first time, it is likely that you’ll be excited but here are ten tips to bear in mind.
Always read over the terms and conditions
It can be too easy to assume that everything is okay in a contract and then find yourself in trouble later. Before you sign a tenancy agreement, take the time to read over the terms and conditions to ensure that you are comfortable with everything associated with the tenancy.


Ensure your deposit is protected
This is something that the landlord should do and they should provide you with details of how the deposit is protected within 30 days of starting your tenancy. Feel free to ask about the chosen scheme and if the landlord doesn’t provide you with all details within 30 days, press the matter. The scheme not only keeps your money safe, it provides a dispute resolution service in the case of any disagreements over a deposit.


Ask for an independent inventory check
One of the most important documents you will have as a tenant is the document listing the items, and their condition, when you move into a property. You should receive a copy and agree on its findings. In the long term, an independent inventory check is often best for the tenant and landlord.


Is there a need for a guarantor?
You could say that the important step is to ensure that you know all of the terms and conditions of your agreement but it is often worth knowing, in advance, if your landlord is looking for a guarantor. If you have someone willing to act as a guarantor, this can be of benefit to you as it will save you money, but make sure that you are aware of whether this is a requirement or not.


Don’t forget about bills
It is one thing calculating that you have enough money to pay for the rent but what about all of the other bills you need to pay? Electricity, internet, TV licence and other utility bills are part of parcel of having a flat, so you need to sort out these aspects and make sure that you have enough income to pay for everything you need and use in the property.


Think about insurance
Your belongings will not be covered by the landlords insurance so look to take out your own home insurance policy to care for your belongings. Some landlords will insist on the tenant holding insurance so make sure you are aware of their requirements on insurance.


Have you considered safety?
Landlords should take care of all safety requirements in the home, they are legally obliged to carry out various tests, but knowing your own rights, what safety aspects you have at home and how to deal with certain dangers or problems will make your home safer.


Think about other tenants
If you are a first time tenant, it is likely that you will be sharing with other people, and this means you need to know your rights and responsibilities with other people. If a utility bill comes in to a property that is a joint tenancy, there is joint liability, and everyone will be responsible for the bill. If one person is named on a utility bill, that person is ultimately responsible for the bill. In an ideal setting, everyone would provide money to pay for this bill, but it is important to have agreements in writing and if you are the named customer, be aware that the utility provider considers you responsible.


Maintain records
Keep correspondence, agreements and everything that you have in writing. You never know when you may need it.
Leave on good terms


There will be terms and conditions in your agreement, if you can, leave by these terms. You’ll also find that leaving in a good manner, and leaving the home in good condition, will save money and ensure you don’t have to deal with a negative reference in the future.

. . .

7 Tips to help sell your home this Spring

Published: 22/03/2016

While the winter months are becoming increasingly important for the property market, it is true to say that Spring is the season where the market becomes highly competitive. If you are looking to sell your home in Spring, you aren’t alone, and you will need to work hard to make sure your home stands out from the crowd. Here are 7 tips to help you sell your home this Spring.


Undertake a thorough spring clean
This is the time of year when many people decide to clean their home but you should view this as an opportunity to carry out an extensive clean of your property. If you lack the time, skills or experience to properly clean your home, hiring professional cleaners will pay off as the cleanliness and freshness of your property will play a huge role in creating the right impression for any potential buyers.


Upgrade and improve
Depending on the amount of time you have available and the budget at your disposal, you should look to carry out upgrades at your home. Taking the time and effort to make your home more attractive or increasing the functionality to a property will add value and it can give your home an advantage over similar homes in a local area. If you are unsure of what sort of improvements are best for your home, speak to a specialist building or home improvement firm for ideas that will offer value and sit within your budget.

Clean your windows
This is a very simple and obvious step but it is one that many property owners overlook or forget about. You should be looking to have the inside and outside of your windows cleaned and the outside of your windows has to be a priority. Your windows will be one of the first things that people see at your property and if they are in poor condition, a potential buyer may develop a bad impression of your home that is hard for them to overcome.


Provide a blank canvas
If you have any rooms that have a bold colour scheme, it is worthwhile toning this down to a more neutral palette. You should also look to remove the majority of personal items and photographs around the home. This is because these reinforce the identity of you in your home, so by providing viewers with a blank canvas, it is more likely that they will be able to see themselves in this home.


Pack up and declutter
One of the most important tips for anyone looking to sell their home revolves around the importance of decluttering property. Packing up non-essential items and storing them safely (even utilising storage facilities) will enhance the available room at your property. Making a home feel bigger is a positive aspect that too many property sellers overlook.


Give every room a purpose
While making space in every room is important, there is also a lot to be said for ensuring every room in your home has a clear and distinct purpose. Whether it is a bedroom, an office, a gym or a social room, ensuring that every room has a distinct purpose rather than a general storage room where items get left or dumped will allow potential buyers to realise the true potential of a home.


Don’t forget the outside of the home
Spring is the time of year when flowers start to bloom and garden areas start to show colour and vitality after the winter months. You may not have spent too much time in the garden in the months leading up to this stage but before visitors attend your property, be sure to view the garden and ensure that it looks at its best.

 

If you want to know the current value of your home click HERE

. . .

10 Reasons why Wickford is a great place to live

Published: 12/03/2016

Located in South Essex and with a population of over 32,000 people, Wickford is a great location for people looking to combine working life in London with a more sedate pace of life in their leisure time. With train travel to the heart of the capital taking less than 40 minutes, Wickford is a location that helps people to enjoy the best of both worlds but if you are keen to learn more about Wickford, here are 10 reasons why Wickford is a great place to live.


 

Nevendon Manor
If you are looking for a party venue that has a fantastic track record in creating events that people remember for a very long time, you’ll find that Nevendon Manor is exactly what you are looking for. This isn’t a venue that has a wide array of events on, but the events that are found here are family-orientated, a lot of fun and sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.


Action Park
Anyone looking for a touch of excitement in their life should head to the Off-Road Action Park. This park is very aptly named and there is a wide range of high-adrenaline activities for people aged 6 and over. There are plenty of fully trained and qualified staff members on hand to ensure that safety is paramount alongside the high-octane action.


Wick Country Park
Spanning 50 acres of land that was formerly used for agricultural purposes, Wick Country Park is an ideal place to relax, wander and connect with past times. There are more than 2km of easy trails across the site and with lakes, ponds and even pillboxes dating back to World War II, there is more than enough to delight guests.


Transport links
Even though Wickford has plenty to offer to local residents, there is no doubt that the easy connections to Liverpool Street Station are of considerable benefit. The area is also well served by the A127 and the A130.


Wickford Memorial Park
With over 80 acres of parkland, this is the natural choice for people looking to engage in sporting activity or exercise. There are specialist areas and courts for football, bowling, tennis, basketball and even novelty golf.


The Battlesbridge Antiques Centre
Anyone looking to indulge in some antique shopping and viewing will find that the Battlesbridge Antique Centre is a delightful place to visit.


Wickford Market
Local market places remain the hub of modern life in many towns and Wickford Market, while simple, provides a great deal to enjoy and peruse. No matter what you are looking for, there is a great chance that it will be on offer at Wickford market.


Property prices
When it comes to finding a great home at a great price, Wickford has plenty to offer. As of November 2015, the average price of property in Wickford stood at £283,284 which compares very well to the average price of property in London, which stands at £548,538. The manageable commute time makes Wickford a great place for many people to stay without breaking their budget. The average property price in Wickford has risen by 5% in 12 months from November 2014, where the figure stood at £270,639.


Attractive rental yields
Another aspect of the property market that indicates Wickford is on an upwards trajectory is the positive rental yields. One bedroom properties offer a 5.82% rental yield and all property sizes offer more than 4%, which many property experts are considering a great starting point for landlords.


Naturism
A quirky reason to appreciate Wickford is the fact that it is the recognised birthplace of naturism in the United Kingdom. This may sound like a cheeky reason but you have to be pleased with an area that encourages so much personal freedom.

 

To see the available stock we currently have in Wickford click HERE

 

Are you looking to find out the value of your home in Wickford? Click HERE


 

. . .

How to stage my property to get the best price in the shortest amount of time

Published: 15/02/2016

How to stage my property to get the best price in the shortest amount of time


Given that property sellers are looking to sell their home quickly or for the best possible price, or indeed both of these outcomes, you would think that every seller would do their best to present their home in the most effective manner. This isn’t the case though and you will find that many homes are not presented in the best possible manner to facilitate a sale. This may be an issue of taste or style but in reality, it is often because a seller is not aware of the importance of staging and the impact it can have on the people who view a property.


Staging is the act of preparing a property in order to appeal to the most buyers and sell for the best price in the shortest period of time. That may not sound like a lot but anyone who has ever attempted to sell a home will tell you that obtaining one of those outcomes can be difficult never mind all three. Staging can involve a lot of different aspects but it mainly focuses on:


• Planning and utilising space effectively
• De-cluttering your property
• Neutralising any unpleasant or unexpected smells
• Painting and carrying out minor home improvements
• The placement of furniture and accessories
The last point is so important that it is not uncommon for property sellers to rent furniture to make their home look more attractive. Some people will think that this is a step too far but when you think about the benefits that can come from effective staging of a property; you will find that the outlay for renting furniture can be money well spent for any seller.


There are many parts to the staging process

 


You should start the staging process by packing up non-essential items, and this is often referred to as a “partial pack”. You will then find that the next step is to remove all items from your home, including furniture, that are not involved with the staging process. After this, you will have a better idea of what repair work needs to be carried out and what can be done to freshen up a property.

 


This then leads to the staging and styling step, which is where a home is made to look attractive and functional. This is the stage where renting property can help to create a sense of space while making the home seem more appealing to any potential buyer.

 


The small tasks can make a big difference when staging a property

 


Some of the steps that should be included in the staging process include replacing light bulbs with higher watt bulbs, placing new covers on light switches, having carpets professionally cleaned and making sure that all minor repair jobs have been taken care of. It can be all too easy to let the little jobs around the home slide but if you are looking to sell your home quickly, you’ll find that minimising imperfections as best as you can is a very sensible step to take.

 


Staging is part and parcel of selling a home, and many buyers expect it, so it is not as if you are completely fooling any potential buyer. However, if you don’t carry out the steps and stages involved with staging, you’ll find that your home comes across as being much less attractive in comparison to properties which have been effectively staged.

. . .

Benefits of selling your property with an Independent Estate Agent

Published: 10/02/2016

Benefits of selling your property with an Independent Estate Agent

Depending on your area and the quality of your home, you may find that there is already a high level of demand for your property. This can lead you to think that you don’t need to call on professional help when it comes to selling your home, but this isn’t the case. There are so many important elements and aspects involved with a property deal that it is always best to call on the services of a professional estate agent. The peace of mind and confidence that is provided by working with an estate agent is a great bonus for property owners and it will help you to sell your home in an effective manner.

You will likely find that you can choose between an estate agent from a major nationwide brand and an independent estate agent. Some people will instinctively plump for the corporate agent, rationalising that there is strength in numbers and depth but you may find that selling your property with an independent estate agent is the best option for you.

An independent estate agent will work with your best interests in mind

When you work with a corporate estate agent, they are likely to be working with a range of clients. This means that they may have a conflict of interest in certain areas or it may mean that they are unable to provide you with the time and attention your property needs and deserves. This isn’t the case when you work with an independent estate agent because they will be able to devote more time to your needs and selling your property. An independent estate agent is also much less likely to suffer from a conflict of interests, so you can rest assured you will receive the best possible service.

An independent estate agent will have a good level of local knowledge

Local knowledge is absolutely vital in selling a home. Knowing the local area means that an agent can promote to the right people, they can promote in the right places, they can talk about the benefits of the local area and they can help buyers find out the best information about the amenities and facilities on offer in a local area. An estate agent from a major firm will likely work from a factsheet that has been compiled by someone else, and they won’t have a feel for what the area can offer. If they are asked a question about the local area, they will likely have to get back to the potential buyer, which can make them seem unprofessional and which can place doubts in the mind of a potential buyer. If you want the best standard of service when selling your home, call on a local independent estate agent.

An independent estate agent works harder to build and retain their reputation

An independent estate agent knows that every job they do can have a big impact on how they are perceived or known in the local area. This is why they are likely to work harder and smarter for you. An agent from a major firm knows that the company reputation will still see work come their way, regardless of how they work on an individual job but an independent estate agent knows that a bad review or negative testimonial can seriously impact on their business. This means you get a better standard of work and service from an independent estate agent.

TO BOOK A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION WITH TEMME ENGLISH CLICK HERE
. . .

Why a Buy to Let property in Basildon is a sound investment

Published: 04/02/2016

Why a Buy to Let property in Basildon is a sound investment

 

Located just over 30 miles from central London, Basildon is ideally situated for people looking to commute and who want to be removed from the hustle and bustle of London life. Basildon is one of the new towns that emerged after the Second World War but it is an area that has continued to thrive and prosper since then and in the present day, it presents an attractive proposition for people looking to enter the buy to let market. Strong transport links to the capital and a close proximity to notable towns and areas means that there is a great deal on offer in Basildon and beyond for any young professional or family.

One of the strongest reasons you will have for investing in a buy to let property in Basildon is the fact that the rental yield looks very attractive. In the current climate, anything of a high 4% or above is enough for many property investors to appreciate what they have but if you look at the rental yields for a number of areas in Basildon, you will find that the rental yield is above this level.

The rental yield opportunities in Basildon are strong

This is definitely the case for 1 bedroom properties with the rental yield for the SS13 postcode standing at 6.97%, for the SS14 postcode standing at 6.34% and the rental yield for the SS15 postcode standing at 6.63%. The rental yields for 2 bedroom properties are just as attractive. For SS13 postcodes, the rental yield stands at 6.45%, for the SS14 postcode it stands at 6.76% and for the SS15 postcode, the rental yield stands at 5.98%. Three bedroom properties in all three postcode areas stand at over 5%, so if you are looking to buy property in an area where there seems to be a good return on your investment, Basildon is a strong option.

Another reason for buying to let in Basildon comes with the fact that property prices in the area are still rising. This isn’t 100% perfect because it means that buying now, as opposed to having bought last year, is more expensive but in the grand scheme of things, rising property prices are a positive factor for people looking to benefit from the buy to let market. Between September 2014 and September 2015, overall property selling prices in Basildon rose by 9%, from £209,887 to £229,578. The two properties that rose by most were flats and terraced properties, which correlates with the high level of rental yield in the local area. Yes these properties are becoming more expensive but the level of demand associated with these properties means that there will be a steady stream of potential tenants.

Given that there is a large level of demand for rental property in Basildon, it makes sense to work with the experts in order to find the best candidate. If you are interested in renting quickly, you’ll have no shortage of candidates but in order to maximise your return on investment and to minimise hassle or damage to your property, working with an agent to find the most suitable tenants for your property makes sense.
 
To see what available stock we have in Basildon click HERE
 
For landlords information click HERE

 

. . .

6 Things a Landlord needs to do really well

Published: 21/01/2016

6 Things a Landlord needs to do really well


Being a landlord is a sensible way to generate regular income. Some people and personality types will find that being a landlord is a great way to utilise their skills and to use their time in an effective manner too.


However, being a landlord can be difficult and there are 6 things a landlord needs to do really well, which are:


Research
The research element should begin long before a landlord buys a home or starts looking for a tenant. If you are looking to invest in property, you should look at the best markets to buy for letting purposes and research what the rental yields are in certain areas. It may be that you are keen to buy in an area close to you, so you can be a “hands-on” landlord. This is a sensible idea but even with this in mind, you need to research different areas and determine what sort of property, in a particular area, is likely to offer the best return for your money. You should also research who the likely tenants are going to be for the area and what they are looking for from a landlord.


Being able to communicate makes a difference
It is important for a landlord to be able to communicate clearly and effectively. Whether this is communicating effectively to property managers, to companies where property advertisements are placed, to professionals carrying out work at home or to their tenants. It is best practice to have everything in writing and agreed upon from the outset, especially when dealing with tenants. Aspects like the details of how a tenancy should end and inventory reports can make life so much easier in the long run.


Negotiating
When it comes to getting the best possible rental yield for your investment, small margins can make a big difference. This is where the skills of an expert negotiator can make a big difference to your income levels in the long run. Money saved in the property price or even the price charged by a professional to carry out work or make improvements on your home can all positively impact on the overall rental yield a landlord receives. However it is important to note that in order to receive the best possible service from a professional it may be worthwhile paying a suitable going rate for their time and expertise.


Brush up on your networking skills
Networking may not seem like the most important task for a landlord but there are many ways in which you can engage with others, develop relationships and generally make life easier for youself. You may think that you are in competition against other landlords but it may be that working with landlords will help you find better professionals or allow you to find out which suppliers can help you save money in the long run.

Marketing and Promotion
You also need to know how to promote your property. Yes, there is a high level of demand for rental property at the moment but if you want the best income from the best tenants, you need to ‘sell’ your property to the right demographic. This means you need to understand the benefits of your property and where to reach out to the people who are most likely to benefit from what you offer. Well written descriptions and good quality images of your home looking attractive can make a noticeable difference to the level of income you receive as a landlord so don’t overlook the promotion and marketing aspect of the role.


Never stop learning
It is also important to never stop learning. You can always provide a better service and even if you make mistakes or don’t provide a good service at one point, think about why this was the case. If you can make improvements to your service, you will develop better relationships and be more likely to earn better income in the future.

. . .

Commuting Colchester

Published: 09/12/2015

With Colchester becoming a hotspot for commuters, it is no surprise that properties within reasonable walking distance of Colchester’s two stations are being snapped up. One perfect example of this is the Northfields development built by Lindon Homes, which is just off Turner Road. Located perfectly for Colchester General Hospital and Colchester’s North Station, additionally offering direct links to London Liverpool Street, homes here are very desirable. Currently, over 20% of the property sales we tie up have been to buyers from out of the area, mainly people moving up from South Essex and the Greater London areas.

 

We feel that our two South Essex branches in Basildon & Wickford complements our Colchester branch, therefore enabling us to tap into those ‘out of area’ buyers. The three properties pictured are all located on the Northfields Development. We secured buyers for all three within the last few weeks. If you are looking to sell or buy a property close to North Station; please call our sales team on   01206 578112.

 

Click HERE to find out how much your home is worth

 

Click HERE to see what we have for sale in Colchester

 


 

. . .

Butternut Squash Soup

Published: 05/10/2015

Recipe

As the summer warmth begins to fade and autumn brings its cooler temperatures, there is nothing better than a hearty, warming meal at the end of a long day to help stave off the cold.

This recipe for a delicious butternut squash soup uses chilli to add a little kick and burst of flavour, and is a simple meal to prepare in the evening. Serve alongside a big chunk of doorstep bread for dunking, then cuddle up and enjoy.

Recipe:
- A 1kg Butternut Squash, peeled and deseeded
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 2 Onions, diced
- 1 Garlic Clove, thinly sliced
- 2 Chillies, deseeded and finely chopped (use mild for a lower heat, hot for the opposite)
- 850ml Hot Vegetable Stock
- 4 tbsp Crème Fraiche (Plus more to serve)

Needed:
- Large Roasting Tin
- Large Saucepan
- A Stick Blender and/or Liquidiser

Method:
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut squash into large cubes, roughly 4-5cm, then place in roasting tin with half the olive oil. Roast for 30 mins, turning once, then remove then soft and golden.
While cooking the squash, melt the butter with the oil in a saucepan, adding garlic, onions and roughly three quarters of the chilli. Cover and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes, until onions are soft.
Once cooked, tip squash into the saucepan then add stock and crème fraiche. Blitz with the stick bender until smooth. If looking for an even smoother finish then use the liquidizer in batches. Once smooth enough, return to the pan to reheat and then season. Serve in deep bowls with another spoonful of crème fraiche and a sprinkling of chilli.
. . .

Basildon - A town on the up!

Published: 22/09/2015

A recent study from property website giants Rightmove has placed Basildon as one of the Top Rental Hotspots in the country. When looking at areas outside of Greater London, the Essex town of Basildon, alongside neighbours Southend and Chelmsford, was rated just behind Stevenage in second place on the Top Ten Rental Hotspots list. A combination of the amount of searches and query emails each area received on Rightmove’s site, as well as how often a property description was viewed, helped Rightmove to rate each town in order of popularity.


Basildon’s high rating is likely attributed to a number of factors. It is a town that is able to meet the expectations of people who are struggling to enter the property market as buyers, supplying high quality rentals at a much lower rate than other towns across the country. The average rent in Basildon for example is £1,000 per month, almost half that of a Greater London equivalent. The commuting distance to the capital is another major plus point, with people moving out of London to take advantage of the cheaper rental rates, yet retaining a simple 35 minute train ride back in.
The positives for commuters don’t stop there either, with Basildon also boasting some of the cheapest rail travel of anywhere in the country too, leading to yet another title as the most affordable commuter hotspot in the UK. A London season ticket is an affordable £3,748, compared to the £5,000 UK average. One million commuters currently travel to London each day to ply their trade, with Basildon’s cheap, quick travel and inexpensive housing a huge incentive to them.


Although the financial benefits are an obvious pull, it isn’t the only reason why Basildon is such a highly sought after location. It is a town that is experiencing economic growth too. This is bringing extensive development to the town, with the Dry Street development currently under consideration proposing 725 new homes.


As far amenities are concerned, Basildon is not found wanting either. For leisure there is the Eastgate Shopping Centre, home to over 100 stores, including major brands Asda and Topshop. Basildon Hospital has been rated ‘Outstanding’ and ‘Good’ in recent Care Quality Commission ratings, and in Basildon Park you have the benefit of 400 acres of parkland and the historical value of a Grade I listed Georgian Mansion.


Schools too are feeling the benefit of both the economic and population growth that Basildon is experiencing. With Essex as a whole suffering from a shortage of school places, £200 million has been pledged to deal with the issue, with a number of expansion projects underway. Three of Basildon’s Primary Schools; Whitmore, Abacus and Runwell, have each benefitted from the scheme. This has meant an additional 465 places already created as a result.
So at the moment Basildon has a lot to shout about. The second place finish in the Top Rental Hotspot table, and the title as the Most Affordable Commuter Town only tells half the story. The town is one on the rise, with investment meaning even more homes, additional school places, and even the commitment to develop internal transport links to deal with the increased population. So whether you are looking for a quick commute to London, or want to take advantage of exceptional hospital treatment and spectacular historic parkland, Basildon is certainly somewhere you should be exploring.

. . .

DIY Tip

Published: 29/07/2015

Squeaky Door Hinges


There’s nothing more annoying than a squeaky door hinge, especially during the summer time when doors and windows are thrown wide open wide.


To deal with the squeak, simply spray a little WD-40 onto the hinges, moving the door back and forward to ensure it seeps into the joint. Another fix is to use petroleum jelly, something easily found around the home.

Conveyancing Guide Part 2

Published: 17/06/2015

The Conveyancing Process – What Buyers Should Expect Part 2


In What Buyers Should Expect Part 1 we set the scene with an overview of what Conveyancing is, who can act on your behalf and what the first steps you need to take are. In Part 2 we look in more detail at what comes next. While the contracts are being reviewed and the property searches completed, it is a good time to look at getting your mortgage in place, before eventually signing on the dotted line.


Getting a Mortgage
With the process well underway it is important to get your mortgage sorted now, including the deposit payment. You need to understand which mortgage is right for you and the differences between the options. Do you choose repayment, interest only or a fixed rate mortgage? Each have pros and cons, but often it comes down to how big a risk you are willing to take and the current state of the market. You need to decide what term you should take too and how much are you able to borrow in relation to your annual income. All are vital questions to ask, with our team at Temme English more than happy to run through the options with you.
Once you have made a choice of which mortgage, and which lender, then comes the mortgage valuation. This is a security measure on behalf of the mortgage company that lends to you, to make sure that what you are borrowing is what the property is definitely worth. The valuation won’t be cheap, unless the lender is looking to drum up business and throws it in free of course, but are unfortunately a crucial part of the process.


The contract signing comes next, though not before you get building insurance. Most lenders will make this a requirement before you exchange contracts, as you are immediately responsible for the property as soon as paper changes hands.


Time to Sign the Contracts
With your shiny new mortgage agreement in place you should now have your draft contract back from the seller’s representative, with all enquiries answered and amended where applicable. It is yet another time that you will have to concentrate carefully on exactly what has been set out. Your solicitor will run through everything with you until you are happy. Common things that are covered include fixtures and fittings in the property and that you are getting what you expect for the money you are paying. At the end of the draft contract will be a completion date, which can be up to 12 weeks after the exchange.


What you will have to ensure is that your deposit is in your solicitors account before the exchange can take place. It is also a good move to visit the property and confirm that what is included in the contract is actually there, checking the house against the inventory list. It is a good opportunity to check for damage too and finally make sure that the house is worth the amount. Once you are sure then a signature seals the deal.


So the mortgage is finalised and the contract is signed. In What Buyers Should Expect Part 3 we look at the final pieces of the puzzle, explaining what happens once the contracts are exchanged and the processes between swapping and completing the sale.

. . .

Conveyancing Guide Part 1

Published: 09/06/2015

The Conveyancing Process – What Buyers Should Expect Part 1
This is the first of a three blog series looking at The Conveyancing Process. It is important when you are buying a property to understand exactly what is required of you, which is where our short Conveyancing series will hopefully be of assistance. In Part 1 we will outline exactly what Conveyancing is, who you need to perform the process and the first steps that you and they will need to take.

What is Conveyancing?
Conveyancing is legally transferring home ownership from a seller to a buyer. It will generally start with an offer being accepted on a property and will end when the key is in the buyers hand. A smooth transaction if you understand the process, it is important to find the right Solicitor or Conveyancer to conduct the conveyancing for you. A Solicitor is a qualified lawyer, highly trained in all aspects of law and therefore with more power. A Conveyancer is less well trained but specialises in property, with a better understanding of the protocol. A lot will be expected of your representative in terms of paperwork and deadlines, so make sure you choose a firm that is both easy to get hold of and that you feel comfortable with.


You can perform conveyancing yourself in some cases, though it isn’t something we would necessarily recommend. You will have to deal with mounds of paperwork, have an in-depth understanding of the industry from a legal perspective and be mortgage free. It may seem straightforward but there are risks involved, especially when it comes to missing deadlines or misplacing paperwork. Some mortgage lenders will even insist on a Lawyer or Conveyancer’s involvement to alleviate risk, hence why you need to be mortgage free.

The First Steps
Firstly shop around and get quotes from numerous suppliers. Combine the best the price with the best quality service and generally who you feel most comfortable with. At Temme English we can recommend Solicitors and Conveyancers that we trust locally to perform the service, but it is important that you are happy with any appointment.

Whoever you choose will initially need to draw up a ‘Draft Contract’, also known as a ‘Terms of Engagement’. This is the contract that will define the terms of your agreement, including their charges and any deposit needed, as well as what you are then entitled to. This is so that each party understands their legal standing.

Next they will look to get in touch with the sellers representative, requesting details on the property that they might not yet have and all of the standard forms needed to begin the process. They will also request the ‘Draft Contract’ between the seller and their Solicitor.

Dealing with Documents
Your Solicitor or Conveyancer will then examine the documents that they receive and raise any issues with the seller’s representative. You too will be involved in this process, reading through the documentation and instructing your conveyancer to raise any concerns. You must know everything about the property at this stage, for example if it is leasehold or freehold, and what the difference is. Knowing where you stand in incredibly important.


It is important to go beyond simply what you can see from your viewing and have your Solicitor perform a ‘Property Search’ too. This looks at the property’s legal standing and unearths any unexpected surprises. This could include whether the Local Authority have any plans to build around or even through your land, chasing up the ‘Title Register’ at the Land Registry and even whether the property is a flood risk. All could be crucial to your decision, but not easy to see at first.

So that’s all for Part 1. In What Buyers Should Expect Part 2 we look at what you need to do in terms of a mortgage and the process of finalising your contracts. Stay tuned!

. . .

Are you looking for something to entertain you in Essex in the following weeks? Here are a few ideas.

Published: 09/04/2015

The Colchester Town & Country Show
Lower Castle Park, Colchester

Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th April

Thousands are expected to flock to Lower Castle Park right in the heart of Colchester over the weekend of 18 and 19 April 2015 for the annual Town & Country Show and Oakleigh Fairs, who organise the event say that this year the show is offering even more family entertainment than ever, including a children’s farm where your little ones can meet lots of Spring baby animals.


Now in its 5th year, the show really is shaping up to be a cracking event. Organisers, Oakleigh, say ‘We are delighted to be in Colchester at this, one of our very favourite family country shows and we are really looking forward to welcoming some great new acts and entertainment for 2015 making the Colchester Town & Country Show the must-do destination for families over the weekend’

For more information, click here.

 

Comedy Club 4 Kids

Saturday 18th April at 2pm

Chelmsford City Theatres, Chelmsford

Cracking entertainment for everyone over six years old and under 400 years old (no vampires). With  the best comedians from the UK and world circuit doing what they do best… but without the rude bits! Since 2005, the Comedy Club 4 Kids has been getting the best stand-ups and sketch acts from the international circuit to do their thing for an audience of children and their families… but without the rude bits! It's just like a normal comedy club, but it's on in the day, kids are allowed in, and thus there is a higher than usual chance of heckles like "why is that your face!?"

For more information, click here.

 

Nature and Wildlife Photography Workshops in Essex at Wat Tyler Country Park and Norsey Wood

Photographing Wildflowers and invertebrates - 25th April 2015

Norsey Wood - Billericay

After a successful 2014 we will once again be running our photographic workshops.  This year we're holding 5 workshops, including an introduction to nature photography and other more specific workshops that cover a number of different subjects, including the Autumn Fungi workshop which is new this year.

Each course will have a maximum of 8 participants, to allow all those attending to have enough time with the tutor.

All sessions are lead by Neil Phillips, a wildlife photographer with eight years experience, who has photographed many different species across the UK.

for more information click here

 

 

Thorndon Country Park

Every day, Brentwood

This beautiful country park contains a diverse range of habitats and is managed both for people and for its precious wildlife.


Thorndon Country Park North

In spring, the woodlands of Thorndon North are filled with the scent and colour of bluebells, anemones and other woodland flowers. The woods are rich in birdlife and attract many species of migrant and over-wintering birds including bramblings, siskins and redpolls. Childerditch Pond is both beautiful and tranquil. Please note: Thorndon Country Park North car park is the best way to access the Gruffalo Trail.


Thorndon Country Park South

The open parkland at Thorndon South is busy with families enjoying barbecues and picnics, whilst drinking in views reaching out across countryside and into the heart of Canary Wharf. It’s a great place to fly a kite.

For more information, click here.
. . .

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Published: 24/01/2015

A recent report by Estate Agent market share specialists For Sale Sign Analysis showed that Temme English in Basildon have a higher percentage of SOLD boards than any other agent when compared to the number of properties for sale.
 
The report, commissioned January this year shows Temme English have SOLD boards on 75% of the properties they are marketing. The nearest competitor has 67% with some agents as low as 33%.
 
This clearly demonstrates that Temme English are more likely to get a positive result for their clients when selling than any other agent.
 
What is remarkable about the Temme English result is that the office only opened in the Summer of 2014 following the success of their offices in Colchester and Wickford.
 
Partner, Steve English said: “We are delighted that we have been so well received by the people of Basildon and that this report from For Sale Sign Analysis clearly demonstrates the success of our unique and personal approach.
 
Our proactive approach is unique because we operate without any tie in period to our agency agreement and rely entirely on delivering a quality service and result for our clients.
 
We have no upfront charges and include a free EPC, professional photography and floorplans as standard.
 
We are also open long hours, including Sundays, to ensure that we are always available to both sellers and buyers at the times that they most want us to be available.”
 
Partner Carl Temme added: “Despite the uncertainty of a General Election in 2015 our prognosis is that, with continuing low interest rates, reduced stamp duty, changing pension legislation and a shortage of new build property, that the market will remain strong and prices will continue to grow positively albeit at a slower rate than in the last two years.
 
Now is an excellent time to move and take advantage of the low cost of borrowing.”
 
The three Temme English offices work closely together to provide clients with access to buyers and all properties are widely advertised both on the internet and via traditional media.
 
Temme English will be delighted to provide any homeowners with a  free valuation of their property and to discuss the current market in more detail.
 
With Temme English it is about delivering results not rhetoric.
 
To find out more or arrange your free valuation, please contact the Basildon office on 01268 207222
. . .

Basildon – The Top Commuter Town

Published: 15/01/2015

Last year we noticed a trend developing at our Basildon branch. It seemed to us that more and more commuters were coming through our doors looking for high quality, yet affordable housing within a stone’s throw from the country’s capital city. The latest polls have shown that we were quite correct and Basildon has officially been named the UK’s Top Commuter Town again.
Essex as a whole has seen a huge rise in popularity from those looking to travel regularly into London and it is Basildon that tops the list. This comes thanks to a combination of both fabulous amenities and incredibly low market prices.

Basildon’s standing as the most affordable commuter hub comes courtesy of two very important factors. Firstly is the cheap property prices at present, with the average house price of £176,886 dwarfed by the country’s average, an incredible £271,000! That’s almost £95,000 less, a huge saving, especially when you consider London prices. The second is the train fare. Thanks to a 2.2% increase at the start of 2015 the annual rail season ticket for most has risen to a staggering £5000, with Basildon a modest £3,748 in comparison. These savings alone prove a great pull for many but that’s not all that Basildon has to offer.

The American commercial real estate giants, CBRE tell us that there are now 1 million London commuters across the country. As much as financial gain will always be important to people’s decisions, lifestyle too must play a part. For Basildon’s cause there is the fantastic local amenities, notably the Eastgate Shopping Centre. A thriving shopping hotspot with over 100 stores, it offers Basildon Town Centre something severely lacking from others across the country; shoppers! Slightly further afield is the equally popular Festival Leisure Park, with an array of restaurants and bars.

More importantly perhaps is Basildon’s reputation for having more open space and park areas than any other Essex Town too. Both the 100 acre Wat Tyler Country Park and the stunning wetland habitat, Vange Marsh, are areas rich in wildlife and a welcome retreat into nature. Combine that with its location just 10 miles from the beach at Southend and you have all the outside space you need to forget the weekday city rat race.

For many the weekend is a chance to unwind too, so where better than Basildon Sporting Village, a facitlity renowned for its swimming pools, indoor climbing wall and gymnastic setup, where a chance to see Olympic Bronze medallist Max Whitlock train is often on the cards.

So for the second year running Basildon has been recognised as the place for capital commuters. This vibrant town, just 32 miles and 35 minutes from the Big Smoke has much more to offer than simply cheaper property and travel rates. Cheaper they most certainly are, but Basildon is also a place you can locate a family to, where the opportunity to create a home to live in, and not just one to commute from, is an attractive pull for those whose home life comes before their work.

. . .

2014 for Temme English

Published: 02/01/2015

2014 has been a great year for Temme English. From the very beginning to the very end the company had grown and expanded, meaning more successful sales and happy buyers than ever. Across Wickford, Colchester and now of course Basildon, the Temme English brand has become a trusted source of valuable, impartial advice and a supplier of hugely positive results.

Throughout the year we have been involved in a number of events and sponsorships that have given us the chance to give back to the community and help local schools and colleges. It began in June with the Birch School and Home Farm Annual Fetes, where we supplied both raffle prizes and our ‘Unusual Properties’ stall. October saw us return to sponsor the Home Farm Fireworks too, another fun filled event for the community. Even more recently has been our proud sponsorship of the Bromfords School and Sixth Form P.E. kits. They look amazing and we are privileged to know that the Temme English name will travel across the country for national competitions thanks to the sportsmen and women who wear them.

Back in July we also saw the grand opening of our Basildon branch. Almost 6 months on and the team are providing the same fantastic results for our clients as Wickford and Colchester, taking the Basildon market by storm. In September our Wickford team were also happy to be named the sole selling agent for the Bellway Escala Development and their batch of luxury apartments. A major brand within the industry, it was great recognition of Temme English’s standing in Wickford that we were chosen to market these fantastic homes.

We have looked to offer advice via our blog posts too, giving both buyers and sellers our Temme Tips and sharing expertise where needed. From Top Tips for Sellers to Why Buy To Let we have done our best to be both topical and informative and give our clients extra ammo in their quest to buy, sell or rent a home.

We try to combine info with opinion where possible too, and throughout the year have given our personal view on some of the more controversial builds and plans that have popped up. Starting all the way back in January with the North Colchester Development Mistake we have refused to hold our punches. As an Estate Agent it is important to us that we not only have homes to sell but also an environment that makes them a great place to live. So from the Jumbo Debate in Colchester to the Housing Development between Brentwood and Basildon, we provide the facts so you can make your choice.

So what does 2015 hold for us? For our Colchester branch it is a change of scenery as we ascend up the hill to take on the big hitters in Crouch Street. Being in the town centre can only bring great things and we look forward to settling in to our new surroundings. Other than that you can expect more of the same, with more sponsorships within the local community and more sales and lets across all our branches. We can’t wait and look forward to seeing you in the New Year.
. . .

Colchester Park and Ride

Published: 06/11/2014

Park and Ride is coming to Colchester! Planned for March 2015 there is cynicism and optimism on both sides of the argument, with the scheme promising to ease congestion in the town. The site itself will be situated at Cuckoo Farm, north of the A12 towards the Western Homes Community Stadium, with bus lanes leading directly into the town centre via the Northern Approach Road and North Station.
As it stands the Essex County Council will forward fund the development until SELEP (South East Local Enterprise Partnership) have their own funding finalised. The council has been investing heavily on resurfacing and upgrading the roads in and around Colchester too recently, something as residents we have all been clamouring for for some time. Mersea Road, Southway, Cowdray Avenue and Ipswich Road have all been targeted, with heavy delays an inevitable outcome.

We are all well aware of the increasing pressure that North Station is under from traffic congestion at peak times of the day. Councillors within the ECC claim that the Park and Ride scheme will relieve this, offering economic and residential growth and improving air quality in polluted central areas.

Perhaps the most crucial changes will be under the bridge at North Station, with a dedicated Park and Ride bus lane to be added alongside the four current lanes we already use. This will be a town centre bound lane. From now until March we will see huge delays around the area as development continues to accommodate the Park and Rides needs. Short term disruption for long term benefit.

But will it really be benefit? Will the introduction of a Park and Ride make it easier or more difficult for people outside the town to visit? Will they want to, or will the buses remain empty? We have written previous blog posts on how housing developments need to take into account the infrastructure of the area to be successful. In this situation, to make a Park and Ride successful, work to the Town Centre needs to be done.

By investing heavily in the Town Centre you give people a reason to visit. We can reenergise our High Street with incentives and more variety in our shops. We can increase event days and make use of the empty space above our stores to develop housing for a town centre community, creating a buzz in an otherwise nightlife orientated Town Centre.

Investment in the Park and Ride may prove to be inspired, with congestion eased in key areas and at key times, and businesses allowed to flourish. Many would call that a naïve viewpoint and question the motives and potential success of such a scheme. We believe that investment can only improve our town, the key is finding where to invest it.
. . .

Checking Your Boiler before Buying

Published: 13/10/2014

There are many factors you need to consider when buying a home, and one of them will inevitably be bills. Boilers especially are an area where you could be paying more than necessary to heat your home. Making sure you know what kind of boiler you are investing in, or the price to pay to have another installed could prove paramount to your decisions.
Boilers that were installed before 2005 are slowly edging towards a period where regular repairs will be required to keep them running successfully. Even then they are likely to be highly inefficient in energy production. In winter especially this could prove a huge increase to your bills that can be avoided and is where an upgrade could prove beneficial, to save money in the long run.
A more up to date condensing boiler is likely to save you somewhere in the region of £300 to £500 every year, but again much of that will depend on the age and efficiency grade of what you buy. The more modern, the more efficient and of course the more expensive.
The newest grading system uses a percentage value to determine exactly how efficient your boiler will be. Previously you were confronted with grades A – G, with the old systems A grades as the equivalent of around 88% efficiency in the current one.
Hopefully the home you buy will already have a modern boiler system installed that offers you this 88% efficiency. If not though there are investments to be made. For something that is modern and highly efficient, expect to be faced with a bill starting from £600 upwards. What you must take into account though is that although this may seem expensive, you must factor in the likelihood of repairs costs to an old boiler, and the monthly bill reduction through added efficiency.
Whatever you do make sure that you use a trained, qualified engineer to perform the works. There are various boiler types to choose from, so by using an accredited source you guarantee the correct system for your specific requirements.
The boiler types you are likely to be faced with are:
• Combination / Combi Boiler – Ideal for smaller properties and easy to store away.
• System Boiler – Better for larger properties but take time to reheat.
• Open Vent / Heat Only – Located in the loft, this is old style system no longer installed.
So make sure whenever you view a property to check exactly what you are inheriting; the type of system, the efficiency value and how old it is. If you feel it will be beneficial then make sure you incorporate the cost of a newer boiler into you overall budget before signing on the dotted line.


. . .

Bellway Release the new Escala site on the 27th

Published: 24/09/2014

The team at our Wickford Branch has recently been given the opportunity to work alongside Essex house building giants, Bellway, as the sole selling agent for their latest batch of luxury apartments. The Escala site will be located on Golden Jubilee Way, near to both the station and the A127 for incredibly easy access.
Bellway as a company have grown enormously since they were founded over 70 years ago. What started as a simple, family run firm has expanded and evolved to become one of the most successful house builders in the UK.

Now boasting over 2,000 reliable and meticulously trained employees, Bellway has a well-deserved reputation for quality, in both its service and its attention to personal details. With a 5* rating awarded by the National House Builder Federation for customer satisfaction, it is easy to see why they are so successful, and why we feel so privileged to be marketing their latest venture.

As with every Bellway build, the Escala site has a focus on the living environment as well as the structure of the properties. By looking after individuals and focussing on personal needs throughout the process, the builders from Bellway have been able to create a lifestyle as well as a home.

With 1 and 2 bed apartments available, and the close proximity to the station, this latest development offers opportunity to a host of different potential buyers. It is perfectly situated for the commuter who wants to live outside of the city, or is great as a relaxed option for downsizing after the kids have left. It would be great for a young couple looking to take those first steps onto the property ladder too. Whatever your requirements, the homes at our disposal will be able to meet them, providing you are looking for stylish apartments of course.

The prices too are incredibly reasonable for such expertly crafted properties. The 1 bedroom homes start from £149,995 and the 2 bedroom from just £169,995. We are also lucky enough to have a Bellway rep based in our office throughout the process, giving all the necessary detail you will need to make your decision. They will be able to show you all the offsite plans, while the buildings themselves are reaching completion.

The release date will be the 27th of September between 10am to 5.30pm at the Temme English offices in Wickford. These fabulous buildings will be sold fast, so don’t get left behind. Speak to a Temme English team member today for details and make sure you come to see us on Saturday to get ahead of the queue.


 
. . .

Cricket Match and Fun Day in Little Wigborough

Published: 01/09/2014

Temme English is proud to announce that our Colchester branch will be sponsoring a different kind of property development this September. On Saturday the 6th at 2pm we will be taking part in a Cricket Match and Fun Day event held by charity ‘Friends of the Wigbouroughs’ in their quest to raise vital funds to maintain and restore two medieval Churches in their villages.

The charity was registered in 2005 with the intention of uniting these two small rural communities, Little and Great Wigborough, so that local people could get together and have some fun. Having lost their pub, village hall and shop down the years, the idea was to set up local events and unite them in a cause; in this case the restoration of their historic buildings. Since that day they have held regular quiz nights (that take place in St Stephens church!) and ran an annual Cricket match, where locals come out to support their sporting heroes!

The St Stephens and St Nicholas Parish Churches have great historical and local relevance. Both date back to around the 13th Century and an early Norman. Clergy and Rector records present dates around this time, though the churches themselves would be more categorized as 15th century, due to subsequent rebuilds. Even more recent refurbishment has been applied and the churches have now been modernised to include heating and toilet facilities, whilst keeping the aesthetic that makes them such a treasure to the locals.

Located just 8 miles south of Colchester between Peldon and Mersea Island, the villages of Little and Great Wigborough regularly show that community spirit is strong, regardless of the loss of their local amenities. It is the people that make a place great, which is why we were so keen to be involved with the ‘Friends of the Wigbouroughs’. Their cause is selfless and their events enjoyable.

So whether you are a sports fan or not, getting yourself down to Elmdale on Peldon Road in Little Wigborough on the 6th of September is an absolute must. There will be light refreshment and local rivalry; all the ingredients for a great family day out and all for a fantastic cause to help keep our local history alive.
. . .

Colchester Farmers' Market offers undiluted food experience

Published: 16/08/2014

Colchester Farmers’ Market celebrated its 10th birthday in July and, although footfall has dropped a bit, it is still thriving with producers flocking to sell their wares directly to customers without the burden of shop overheads.
 
Andrew Wilkinson, of En-Form, the Colchester-based environmental charity that organises the market, says: “At its peak the Colchester Farmers’ Market used to see 1,000 customers coming through the doors and 28 stalls.

“Yes, some products may cost more than the supermarket, but if you take the sausages as an example, you can’t eat more than two of the local producer’s sausages because they are packed with real meat, whereas you may eat three or four supermarket-bought ones, so the cost balances out.

“One of our stallholders makes real apple juice with nothing else added in,” he says.
 
A council-run Farmers’ Market was originally run from Vineyard Street car park between 1997 and 2000, but had to close. Without a regular venue the town was without a Farmers’ Market until 2003, when En-Form, which was running a similar market in Dedham, was called on to reopen its market at the Arts Centre in Colchester.

It is popular with Chinese university students, many of whom enjoy shopping around for their produce rather than loading up at supermarkets.

But, although sourcing locally has become fashionable with the likes of Jimmy Doherty and High Fearnley-Whittingstall promoting all things local, Andrew says the young do not know what to do with food, let alone where to buy it from.

He says: “At our market they cannot only learn about different foods and how to use it and cook it, but in the case of meat, the producers can tell you about the animal it came from.”

The next Colchester Farmers’ Market will be held on Friday, September 6, between 9.30am and 1pm.

Visit enformfarmers markets.org.uk or call 01206 367776

(Source: Daily Gazette)
. . .

Colchester’s Park Awards

Published: 07/08/2014

There was great news recently for both Colchester’ Castle Park and the Highwoods Country Park, as they received Green Flag awards from the environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy. This isn’t the first time that these particular green spaces have received this accolade and each has become quite renowned for its cleanliness and sustainability, with consecutive awards over the last 12 and 11 years respectively.

Keep Britain Tidy is an environmental group that relies on volunteers and charity work to make a difference to the environment in Britain. Having been established 60 years ago, the group has been through many changes, but what has stayed the same is the desire of its members to create environmental programmes that protect and preserve beaches, parks and schools, keeping areas clean and able to be enjoyed by the local community.

They work closely with Businesses, Governments and Locals to create an understanding of the environment and our impact on it, endeavouring to prevent damage that could ruin these communal areas for future generations. The vision and the aims are simple; to eliminate litter, improve the environment, educate the future and eradicate waste.

The Green Flag award focusses especially on areas of green space; places where people can come together whether young or old and enjoy. It is widely acknowledged that living near to and visiting areas of green space is good for your health and quality of life, making these areas vital to us all. Volunteers visit on behalf of Keep Britain Tidy, to assess the cleanliness and general feel of the park or area, making sure that it is maintained sustainably and a fun place to spend time.

The Green Flag is generally considered to be the benchmark for quality when it comes to environmental cleanliness. These parks are just two of 123 in the East of England, highlighting the dedication of those who live here to creating a more sustainable, green future.

At Temme English we consider being close to green space, especially areas that have been awarded this accolade, as a great selling point for a property. To be able to explore and enjoy an area of beauty near your home is another plus for Colchester, and long may the Keep Britain Tidy group appreciate the work of those who make our parks great.
. . .

Colchester Carnival!

Published: 09/07/2014

We are getting pretty excited here at Temme English, with yet another great town event on the horizon. Last month it was the Colchester Castle Medieval Event, as well as the Home Farm and Birch Primary Schools Summer Fetes that we sponsored, and this month it is another community event that has got us buzzing; The Colchester Carnival is coming to town!

On the 19th of July the Colchester community will be coming together yet again to celebrate the gorgeous weather in style, with a Parade and Family Fun Day inspired by the theme, ‘The Magic of the Movies’. It returns again to relive its past success and is a celebration of a town regularly coming together to enjoy fun activities and a procession of creativity.

People are encouraged to register and enter their float, bringing vibrant spirit to the event and livening up the High Street in the process. The event has been organised by both the Colchester Round Table and the Colchester Ladies Circle, social groups with an emphasis on charitable fundraising. It will also be backed up through partners such as The Mercury Theatre, Weston Homes and Essex Audi to help cement its success.

To make it a wonderful day out for families, the event will be split between a Family Fun Day in the Castle Park, and a procession through Colchester of the participating floats.

The Fun Day will consist of a number of entertaining activities throughout the day, including a Mascot Games, for the town’s most recognisable characters, Tai Chi lessons and stalls with artisan gifts. There will also be a kid’s area for the little ones, with activities from Kiddi Caru and a ‘Tent of World Dreams’, which will play host to Belly and Bollywood dancing.

The Procession will run from Abbey Fields from 3pm and after travelling down Butt Road is likely to hit the High Street at around 3.30pm. So come out and show your support for an event that gets bigger and bigger every year. The Colchester Carnival is yet another example of the spirit and togetherness of this developing town. If you are a local already, or an out of area buyer looking to relocate, we highly recommend you visit and spend the day supporting a great cause, with likeminded people who care.
. . .

Colchester Castle Medieval Fun

Published: 06/06/2014

There is going to be plenty of feudal fun coming to Colchester Castle Park this weekend. As part of the Castle’s grand reopening a Medieval Festival and modern day Chariot Race are being staged, marking both the redevelopment and the outstanding investment that has gone into it.

The Chariot Race itself will be on Saturday the 7th in the Lower Castle Park and is a creative way of celebrating the event. This incredible spectacle will see six teams fight it out in what is being called ‘The Battle of the Ages’, with local businesses sponsoring the teams and event. It is yet another example of community coming together, both business and residential, to mark another outstanding achievement by the town.

The six teams will each represent a battle from history, with the Romans facing the Iceni, Saxons taking on the Normans and the Cavaliers and Roundheads going head-to-head. The races will take place around the Castle Bailey, with the initial round determining who will represent their era in the final and have a chance to claim the trophy for their time.

It is an exciting prospect and a really great way to mark the grand opening of the castle in true Medieval style.

As well as the Battle of the Ages, there is also the Medieval Festival too, another way to commemorate the past and celebrate the present. This Fayre and Market is an annual event that is eagerly anticipated throughout the year. And with falconry, combat, archery, theatre, music and dance events it is easy to see why. Everything on show will represent the period, with entertainment both reminiscent and complimentary of the time in equal measure.

The event will be filled with authentic traders selling fine food and proving good ale. These merchants uphold Medieval philosophy and, with new juggling, magic and medieval singing on show, we are all in for a treat.

We realise we sound like excitable kids here at Temme English, but we don’t mind. When it comes to bringing a town together to celebrate its history and achievements, there aren’t many that do it better than Colchester. So we urge you to get on down this weekend to Colchester’s Lower Castle Park and immerse yourself in not only history but also a community that it is a pleasure to be a part of.
. . .

Colchester Medical Practise

Published: 08/04/2014

There are many things that contribute to making a happy community. Things that help it to grow and evolve to create a prosperous town. Over the past few months we have written about several different projects in and around Colchester that have made it a more attractive and enjoyable place to live. From community plans like the Park Improvement in Mile End and the Braiswick Primary School Development, to those that look to boost Colchester both as a tourist attraction and economically, such as the Colchester Castle Renovation and the Vineyard Gate Shopping Centre. All of these developments have centred on investment, with people willing to commit the time and the money to creating a better place for us all to live.

Having looked to address Colchester’s social, economic and educational needs, now medical is on the agenda. We see this as further evidence of the progress the town is making and the dedication there is towards helping local residents.

The Colchester Medical Practise will be a merger surgery that will provide the back office services for the Shrub End, Castle Gardens and Wimpole Road surgeries. It will hold the records for 25,000 patients, with a catchment area that covers roughly half the town. Although a merger of three surgeries, the focus is on efficiency; refining the services provided to create a more pragmatic and functional system. With that in mind each surgery will retain their current sites, but will use Colchester Medical Practise as a base from which to deal with office duties, such as payroll and pensions.

By creating this central hub they will hope to remove duplication and be able to spend more time on what it actually important; patient care. These are likeminded surgeries providing the best care they can without the restriction of administrative duties. At Temme English we think this is a fantastic idea and provides yet another selling point for out of area buyers assessing the living standards of our town.

The project will save money, increase efficiency and mean better care for those in need. What we think this shows is that it isn’t just housing development or the renovation of an attraction that makes this a great place to live. It is the consistency that we are seeing investments made into key areas that is making this an exciting time for residents. We hope this will prove to be a success and will always keep you updated on the latest developments in our town and why we love to sell houses here.
. . .

Colchester Castle Renovations

Published: 26/03/2014

As we all know, Colchester has a long, esteemed history and will go down in the record books as the country’s oldest recorded town. It is a fact that locals are proud to share, but sometimes might wonder how having these Roman ties can benefit themselves and the town. Well thanks to new investment they now have their answer. Colchester Castle is the focal point of the town. Iconic, imposing, impressive and probably many other words beginning with ‘I’, it is now having a major revamp that could have a lucrative effect for us all.

But first a little on that history of Colchester.

Formally under the rule of Queen Boudica and known as Camulodunum in the early AD’s, it was founded as one of the first Roman towns and was the English capital of its day. When the Roman rule became too heavy handed for the natives it became the scene of a revolt, with Boudica and her Iceni tribesman destroying the town and slaughtering its Roman settlers. Although renowned as a strong leader, she was eventually defeated and a defensive wall was placed around Camulodunum, much of which can still be seen today. Since then Roman artefacts are regularly unearthed; treasures from Colchester’s bloody past, displayed within its historic 11th century castle.

And it is this castle that has been given a £4.2 million revamp over the past year, with the noble incentive of bringing history to life and Colchester’s past into the 21st Century. Tim Young, the Colchester Councillor in charge of culture, has said that the renovations will turn Colchester Castle into one of the best museums in the country and having looked at the upgrades we are inclined to agree.

There have been many modern additions made to the castle, including virtual Chariot races as part of the exhibition on the Colchester Roman Circus. IPads and tablets will be made available on arrival, supplying information on the castle and on the numerous displays on show. A mobile app is also on the cards to offer a similar service to continue this interactive theme. The museum will become technology driven, giving a modern take on what is a historical building and getting locals and tourists alike interested in the history of the town.

The castle will reopen on May 2nd 2014, with an estimated 100,000 tourists anticipated to visit in the first year alone. The upgrades are family friendly, creating a place that parents will love to take their children and children can’t wait to visit. This increase in tourism will be an incredible boost to the local economy too. Yet another investment into our town in the same mould as the Firstsite art gallery and the plans for the Vineyard Gate Shopping Centre. Money is available and Colchester is considered a place of opportunity for such ventures.

Sure, as estate agents an increase in tourism doesn’t help us in the short term; people are here to visit not buy property. But at Temme English we look in the long term. Increased tourism leads to increased customers for businesses in the town centre. A boosted town centre brings a higher quality of living. A high quality of living leads to an increase in popularity, with out of area interest in moving here. So really an investment of this magnitude is a huge benefit to us all; from the smallest child looking to learn about the history of their town, to businesses who can take advantage of more potential customers on the streets. We look forward to seeing the end result and hope it lives up to expectations.

. . .

First Ipad Mini presented

Published: 17/02/2014

Nathan was today pleased to wish Mr & Mrs Walsh good luck on their moving day and to also present them with their new Ipad Mini.

We ran a promotion through December and January offering an Ipad Mini on completion to vendors that instructed us in that period.

The promotion proved very successful with many home owners taking advantage of the offer. It seems fitting however that Mr & Mrs Walsh were the first to complete and therefore the first to receive there Ipad mini as they wasted no time instructing us on the 2nd of December.

Mrs Walsh said earlier “I was unsure whether marketing our home a few week's before Christmas was a good idea, my concerns did not last long, we had 6 viewing booked within 24 hours of going on the market and a sale agreed 10 days later”

We wish the Walsh family all the best in their new bungalow and we also wish Mrs Walsh good luck hanging onto the Ipad mini, her daughter seemed very keen to get her hands on it!

. . .

700 Days!

Published: 07/02/2014

Temme English proudly boast the title of being Wickford’s TOP SELLING Estate Agent for 700 days now.

We have worked hard as a team to achieve and maintain this huge landmark getting the basics right and making sure the presentation of each home is to its maximum. 700 days in a row shows consistency in this respect amongst its competitors.

If you are looking to move we will provide you with a free valuation without obligation. An appointment can be arranged by calling 01268 573035 or by popping into the shop.

*Source: For Sale Sign Analysis Ltd
. . .

Braiswick Primary School 2015

Published: 13/01/2014

Braiswick Primary School 2015

It is widely accepted that one of the most important criteria for a family choosing a home is the schools. Making sure that your kids are going to get the education they deserve, without having to travel across the country to do so, can be the icing on the cake for families moving to a new area.

In Colchester we are very lucky for a number of reasons. We are considered one of the fastest growing towns in the country, have a fantastic cultural hub thanks to the Firstsite art gallery and there are even signs that Col United are starting to turn their form around! As well as this, we are now going to see the £5 million development of a Primary School in Braiswick, yet another reason for Colchester’s residents to smile.

Braiswick School, as it will be known, will have 420 places available for both Braiswick and Mile End based students and is due to be opened in September 2015. Sponsored by the Learning Pathways Trust, who already have successful schools in Braintree and Clacton, and funded by a combination of government and the Essex County Council, it will be on what was once the Flakt Woods factory site.

There are many reasons to be excited about a development like this. The continuing construction of both housing and amenities shows the ambition of the town. A community is often built around school and education and so, for the residents of Mile End and Braiswick, this Primary School offers the opportunity to become more than just neighbours. Jobs will be created and the idea of a modern educational facility in Colchester will be an incredible pull to the area.

For families looking for a place to call home, Braiswick now offers the full package. With easy access to the town centre, modern, attractive housing, plans for a new school and the chance to build a community in which every member can play a part. We look forward to hearing what changes are made to the initial plans at the end of March, but look forward even more to its completion in 2015, as further evidence of Colchester’s progress and another great selling point for us!
. . .

Buying Property Frequently Asked Questions

Published: 07/01/2014

span style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold">How can I find my dream home?

There are lots of ways you can search for property for sale.

Rightmove and other property portals are a great source of information and can give you a real insight into what types of property are available, their location and price. Most estate agents list their properties on the main property portals so this will give you a good overview of what is for sale at any given time.

You should also contact your local agents and register your interest with them. Put yourself on their mailing list, make firm connections and get to know them. This helps to get them on side.

Drive round your chosen area to get a real feel for the place, highlight the areas that are of interest to you and make sure your agent knows where they are. If something comes up for sale in that area, you’ll want to know about it so get the agent working for you.

How much time should I spend looking for houses?

You should spend as much time looking around houses as you can. The more houses you look at, the greater an idea you will form of what your dream home should have to offer.

Try to get round to see new listings as quickly as possible. This will accomplish two things; firstly, you may come across your ideal home and because you’re one of the first to see it, you’ll stand more of a chance of getting it and secondly, it will show the estate agent that you are a serious buyer, so when a new property comes to the market that seems to fit your requirements, they will be more likely to contact you.

Once you do find a property you are interested in, arrange a second viewing at a different time and perhaps take someone else with you such as a family member or friend.

Apart from the house purchase price, what other costs will I have to pay when buying a house?

There are a number of additional costs that need to be factored in when buying your new home. Below is a list with approximate figures.

Solicitor’s conveyancing fee

You should allow anything between £500 - £1000 + VAT but shop around for the best deals. Here at Temme English Estate Agents we can recommend good local solicitors if you don't already have one organised.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty is a banded payment. It is payable at different amounts, depending upon the sale value of the home. The bands are listed below:

0% on homes sold at up to £125.000
1% on homes sold at between £125.001 and £250.000
3% on homes sold between £250.001 and £500.000
4% on homes sold at £500.001 and above
5% on homes sold over £1 million

7% on homes sold over £2 million

Mortgage survey fee

This can cost anywhere between £250 and £1,000 depending on the type of survey you have done.

Mortgage lender's arrangement fee

This is only applicable on certain mortgages and your mortgage advisor will be able to tell you in good time, what the situation is with yours.

Buildings and contents insurance

Once you have moved in, building insurance is compulsory for anyone who has a mortgage. This insurance protects the lenders money in the event of the building being damaged

If the sale does not go through, what costs do I have to pay?

Many solicitors and estate agents offer their services on a No Sale No Fee basis. If your purchase falls through prior to exchange of contracts and survey then you will not have to pay anything. If it falls through after survey then you will lose the money paid for the survey. If the sale falls through after exchange of contracts has taken place, this can be very costly as your buyers and sellers will sue for the inconvenience caused. A Home Buyers Expenses Insurance scheme is available to help safeguard against some of your costs if your purchase fails to proceed to legal completion.

How much can I borrow?

Before you start to look for your new home, it is essential that you find out what size mortgage you can get. After all, there's no point searching for the house of your dreams if it's out of your price range. The best thing to do would be to speak to an Independent Financial Advisor or (IFA). IFA’s are not tied to a lender and they provide objective advice of the various mortgage products available. They will find the best deal for you that matches your own personal circumstances. Get a lending agreement in principle and a certificate that confirms the amount. A lot of estate agents will request sight of this and you can use it as a bargaining tool because it will add weight to your offer.

Your borrowing ability is based on the size of your deposit and your salary. Lenders will usually lend up to 3 times your annual salary. If you are buying as a couple, the lending criteria changes and becomes 3 times the 1st income plus the second or, two and a half times the joint income. Do your own research as well, look through newspapers, magazines and the internet, it pays to be informed.

Temme English would recommend Brian Leppard at Buckingham James 07718 476015

What are the most important questions to ask the seller when buying a property?

You need to know whether the property is freehold or leasehold and if it’s leasehold, how long the lease has to run on it and whether it can be lengthened.

Another key question concerns maintenance charges. Are there any maintenance charges that you would be contracted to pay?

Has the road been adopted by the local council? Is the local council responsible for its upkeep and the upkeep of the drainage system?

Are you allowed to erect business signage and/or hang out your washing? Believe it or not, there are restrictions in place in some parts of the country, forbidding you to do this.

Do any rights of way exist over the land of the house?

Can the current occupiers guarantee full vacant possession upon completion? This is very important, after all, you do not want to move in, only to find you have to share your new home with some existing tenants.

Is the property built on a floodplain? Has it ever flooded or been in danger of flooding?

Make sure these questions are answered to your complete satisfaction prior to moving forward with an offer.

How much should I offer?

As tempting as it might be to try to get a bargain, it would be saddening to lose the property you have set your heart on for the sake of trying to save a few pounds. If you consider the house or flat to be a reasonable price, then offer the full asking price. In doing this you are more likely to secure your dream home. The owners are less likely to want to hold out for more money and you stand less of a chance of someone else coming along to pip you to the post with a higher offer.

When should I sell my house?

If you are reliant on the funds from the sale of your current home to finance, at least in part, the purchase of your new home, then it is absolutely the right thing to do, to sell your home first. It will place you in a much better position if you already have a buyer for your home when you put in an offer on a new home.

We would recommend putting your home up for sale as soon as possible. When you find a buyer, make sure you state in the contract, that you will not move out before you have found a new home. Another advantage of adopting this strategy is that you will know exactly how much money you have available to you, to make your next house purchase.

Any time is a good time to sell and buy property, especially if the mortgage market is stable. It used to be said that the property market was a cyclical thing, prone to slowing in the holiday seasons and whilst it may be true that slightly fewer property sales go through at Christmas time or in high summer, we have over the past few years noticed these seasonal trends levelling out.
. . .

700 Days In A Row!

Published: 11/11/2013

Temme English proudly boast the title of being Wickford’s TOP SELLING Estate Agent for 700 days now.

We have worked hard as a team to achieve and maintain this huge landmark getting the basics right and making sure the presentation of each home is to its maximum. 700 days in a row shows consistency in this respect amongst its competitors.

If you are looking to move we will provide you with a free valuation without obligation. An appointment can be arranged by calling 01268 573035 or by popping into the shop.

*Source: For Sale Sign Analysis Ltd
. . .

Bloor Homes

Published: 07/11/2013

£2million will be spent revamping Wickfords old swimming pool

Published: 21/08/2013

An ageing swimming pool will be turned into Wickford’s own version of the Basildon Sporting Village after the council decided to spend £2million on the plans.
Wickford swimming pool, built in the 1960s, will be transformed to include a new hi-tech gym and fitness suite after Basildon Council officers thrashed out a financial agreement.

The council hopes the plans, first mooted nine years ago as part of the doomed Wickford masterplan, will start by the end of the year, with the project completed by the end of summer 2014. Malcolm Buckley, Basildon councillor responsible for regeneration, said: “This project will play a major role in breathing new life into Wickford while delivering on our promise of transforming our borough.

“It is unusual in these cash strapped days for councils to invest in leisure facilities, but these things really matter “If we are to really create opportunities for local people, as we have pledged, then we must make our town centres places where local people, and families in particular, want to be.”

The project will include new changing facilities for swimmers.

The council also outlined its intentions for new toilets in the heart of the town, which will be free to use and could be open by the spring.

In March, the council set aside up to £1million in its budget to invest in Wickford, and a proportion of that cash will be pumped into the pool improvements.

The council insists the remainder of the £2million is budgeted for, but could not be specific on where it would coming from.

Mr Buckley has previously said land in Radwinter Avenue, Wickford, will be sold to developers to help finance the package of improvements.

The council claims the pool, in Market Avenue, will remain open during the work, but last month Mr Buckley said the pool may need to be closed.

The centre’s current operators, SLM, will continue to oversee the running of the pool.

David Harrison, vice-chairman of Wickford Action Group, said: “The pool has been a priority and has needed a revamp and we were promised this nine years ago, but it is good to see work looking like it will start.

“We are, however, interested in how these changes will be financed.”

Source: Evening Echo

. . .

£1million plan unveiled for Wickford park

Published: 31/07/2013

A REFURBISHED pavilion, restored memorial area, and spruced up walkways are at the forefront of plans to spend £1million improvements to a popular park.
Basildon Council has revealed its plans for Wickford Memorial Park, in Rettendon View, even though it is still trying to find the majority of the money for the two-year project.

Almost half of that money, £439,000, will be spent on doing up the park’s pavilion for community use, as well as a cafe and changing rooms for sports teams who use the park’s playing fields.

Trees to commemorate soldiers who haven’t been previously recognised will be planted in the Memorial Avenue while the Garden of Peace will be restored, and works will take place to improve walkways near to the River Crouch.

Alan Ball, chairman of the Wickford Action Group, said: “We are happy for any inward investment in Wickford. We welcome this latest initiative as it does not involve the selling of land or any building to pay for it as this is the correct way to go and Wickford will benefit from a regenerated and vibrant park.”

David Harrison, vice-chairman of the group, added: “We hope the bids for money are a success and this does not end up in failure like the Wickford masterplan.”

In April, the authority was told that its bid for cash from the Heritage Lottery Fund was unsuccessful, so officers have now tabled bids to other organisations.

Kevin Blake, the Tory administration’s cabinet member for leisure and the environment, said: ”Although external funding cannot be guaranteed, we are working hard to ensure we will be able to deliver significant improvements to a fantastic facility for our residents.

“The plan is for the park to be a base for the community to enjoy the nature and open space as well as top quality facilities.

As part of this, a Highcliffe Neighbourhood Group has been set up, and it is hoped community volunteers will help publicise and maintain the park, as well as run the pavilion’s café.

The role of volunteering officer will be created to co-ordinate this, at a cost of £120,000.

It is hoped that the park’s enhancements will eventually lead it to attain Green Flag status, which is barometer of well-run and maintained open spaces.

If the authority is successful in its funding applications, work will start in March next year and will be completed by the end of 2015.

But the authority is only providing £68,000 towards that £1million figure, with the rest coming from grants, donations, and S106 contributions.

 The council has managed to get £320,000 in grant funding from the Veolia Pitsea Marshes Trust and is also bidding for money from Sport England and the BIG Lottery Fund to try and get the project moving.

So far, it has just under half the cash required for the revamp.

. . .

FIFTH Time In A Row!

Published: 09/05/2013

Excitingly, this Tuesday, Temme English Estate Agents were confirmed as Wickford’s Top Selling Estate Agent for the fifth consecutive quarter in a row. Independent company ‘For Sale Sign Analysis’ announced that Temme English display more SOLD boards in Wickford than any other estate agent. This quarter particularly, represented an impressive figure, boasting over a 30% share of the total SOLD boards in Wickford.

Flying Start at Colchester

Published: 21/01/2013

Temme English Colchester have got off to a flying start. The team tied up three sales last week, all of which had been on the market for over 9 months with local agents. Nathan (Colchester manager) said ‘we are very pleased indeed, selling these three homes in under a week of marketing has put the whole team on a high. It’s a lovely feeling, we have made three sets of vendors incredibly happy indeed.’ Nathan continues ‘our professional photos and straight forward approach is key to selling our stock’.

Colchester Office Opens

Published: 02/01/2013

Its an exciting day here at Temme English with the opening of our new Colchester office. We have some excellent incentives for January.

Please call resident partners Nathan or Carl for more details on:

01206 578112

Solar Panel Auction

Published: 08/08/2018

Solar Panel Auction

Essex County Council have launched a new solar panel scheme for Essex residents and business in partnership with iChoosr.

Solar Together offers residents and business the opportunity to group together and take part in an online auction to buy high quality solar panels, saving money on both installation and future energy bills.  For more information click HERE
. . .

Perseid Meteor Shower

Published: 02/08/2018

The annual Perseid Meteor shower hits our skies on the 12th & 13th of August. Due to the current clear skies you can expect to see around 60-70 shooting stars per hour! For a bit more info click HERE
. . .

Basildon Sporting Village

Published: 30/07/2018

Basildon Sporting Village is the premier destination in Essex for incredible events, business meetings, and conferences, and, of course, as much sporting activity as you can possibly imagine. In this guide, we’re going to take you through everything you need to know about this impressive sports complex, that serves Basildon, Essex, and the surrounding areas.

Basildon Sporting Village - the Basics

Basildon Sporting Village is famed for being the official training centre for the London 2012 Olympics. Costing £38 million, there are a vast array of sporting facilities, as you would expect from an Olympic-class sports centre. There is a 50-metre swimming pool, a 750-seater athletics stadium, three outdoor sports pitches and a climbing wall. Pride of place, however, is the vast sports hall, which can host eight different sports and has enough space to seat 800 people. It’s an ideal venue for boxing, fencing, and gymnastics events.

Business & Conferences

Sport might be the centre of the equation for this huge and impressive complex, but it’s not all that is on the menu. Business owners and managers can host meetings and conferences in the corporate-ready facilities, which come complete with AV and PA systems. The centre has its own catering service, too, making the Sporting Village the ideal place for parties, buffets and hosted events. Past events include business, industry and art exhibitions, team building days, and it even makes a great venue for filming adverts, movies, and TV shows.

Perfect for Families

The Basildon Sporting Village is also handy for parents with young children. There is a creche area with friendly, checked employees who will look after your kids while you take an hour or two out to get some well-deserved exercise. In the past, the complex has served comedy nights, craft fairs, car boot sales, community events and everything in between.

Amazing Activities

The team at Basildon Sporting Village offer a huge range of different activities to local residents, and for those travelling in from other parts of Essex and beyond. There is a range of fun, healthy group exercises, and the climbing wall sessions are always popular with kids and adults alike. Need swimming lessons? Whether you are a beginner or trying to master your swimming technique, there are lessons available for everyone and any ability. And for those who just want to have fun, the Inflatable Party in the main pool is available on Saturdays, or for private bookings.

Conclusion

Basildon Sporting Village has everything you need to get fit and healthy, host fun events and parties, or use as a conference venue for your business, organisation, or industry. Simply put, the impressive arena is a world-class facility that serves Basildon and the surrounding Essex area superbly. Without a doubt, the Basildon Sporting Village is one of the leading leisure and entertainment venues in the region - of not the country. And no matter what you need - whether a birthday celebration, a desire to attend an exhibition, or just to get fit - there is everything you need, and probably even more than you can imagine.

. . .

The Northern Gateway and what is planned there

Published: 30/07/2018

The Northern Gateway has been a long time coming for Colchester residents. The original plans arrived almost six years ago, but many changes have been made, and the project looked like being stalled for some time. However, the new plans have finally arrived and can be found over at the Northern Gateway website. The big questions are - what can we expect? Let’s take a look at what is planned for the Northern Gateway.

The Vision

The Northern Gateway is all about healthy, active lifestyles, and aims to encourage residents of Colchester and the surrounding areas to focus on fitness and wellbeing. It’s also a place for local businesses to flourish, and become a central part of the community. The Gateway will be ideally placed in terms of transport access, and the design plans so far look incredible - it’s contemporary urban design with a focus on the environment at its finest.

Fitness

The Northern Gateway aims to be a hub for fitness and sport. The idea is to increase the opportunity to participate in a sport of all kinds and to promote a healthy lifestyle. But it is also hoped that the sports centres in the Gateway will provide top competitors a high-quality facility to improve their performance. Residents can expect seven grass playing pitches, alongside two illuminated 3G artificial pitches. There will be a standard cycle track, a sports hall, and an archery area, as well as a Learn to Ride area. But you don’t have to be particularly sporty to enjoy the healthy activity at the Northern Gateway. Plans include landscaped walks for those who prefer a more gentle form of physical activity.

For Leisure

The Northern Gateway also has plans to be a focal point for Colchester leisure activities. There will be plenty of restaurants to enjoy healthy, tasty food, and a new cinema for the region. Other leisure activities will be available, too, although the full range of businesses getting involved has yet to be finalised.

For Creativity

Feeling a little more creative than sporty? In the future, residents of Colchester will be able to make use of The Boulevard. Plans include ideas for all kinds of things, including the arts, concerts, and much more.

Conclusion

As you can see, there is a huge amount of potential for the current plans for the Northern Gateway. It’s certainly an exciting time to be alive and living in the Colchester area. The ideas behind the plans are simple - to provide great spaces for business, family, and leisure, and to promote health and fitness for all in Colchester. This could be the ‘must go’ place to visit in the area, joining the likes of Colchester Zoo and the amazing museums we have here as the pride of place.



. . .

Where to take your children in & around Colchester

Published: 25/07/2018

It can be a tricky time when you have kids of school age. The reality is that the little ones will go stir crazy if they don’t have anything exciting to do. The great news is that if you live in the Colchester area, there is plenty of brilliant things to do to keep the little ones occupied. Let’s take a look at some of the best local places to take your children.
 

Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo is set amongst 60 acres of land and is a great place for the kids to visit and enjoy some of nature’s most wonderful creatures. There are, in fact, over 260 different species of animal, including elephants, giraffes, and the incredible red pandas. Kids will love the Lost Madagascar Express road train, too, as well as the 24-metre underwater tunnel that takes you through an aquarium.
 

Colchester Castle Museum


Colchester Castle Museum is home to some amazing artifacts and historical items dating back over 2000 years. If you want an educational day out with the kids, it’s a brilliant place to go. Not only will the kids learn about the Romans, Boudicca, and the Witchfinder General, but they will also find out the long and ancient history of the city they live in.
 

Colchester Leisure World


Feel like the kids need to cut loose and release some steam? If so, Colchester Leisure World has everything you need. Take your little ones swimming in the fun-packed leisure pool, complete with exhilarating flumes, a wave machine, and shipwreck water cannons.  


Marsh Farm


Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park is an exciting place for any kids - or adults - interested in cute animals, fun activities, and plenty of entertainment. It’s a huge place, spread over a massive 30-acre plot of land, and you have a plethora of amazing things to do. You can milk a cow, check out the birds in the aviary, ride a tractor, play mini-golf, and go see one of the famous Marsh Farm magic shows. There are plenty of seasonal events, too, and if your child is celebrating his or her birthday during half term, it’s a fantastic place for a party.
 

West Mersea Beach


West Mersea Beach is one of those places that is fantastic in all weathers. If the skies are clear and the temperature is hot, it’s a great little beach to enjoy the sun, sea, and sun. If it’s windy, rainy, or both, the beach is the perfect place for the little ones to clear out the cobwebs, get some fresh air, and run around to let off some steam.

As you can see, there is plenty to see and do with the kids in Colchester - and this is just the tip of the iceberg! Check the local press and the Internet to find out more amazing things to do in Colchester!


. . .

Thomas Comes To Essex

Published: 19/07/2018

Thomas Comes To Essex - A school holiday day out idea?

It is advised to book early - To buy tickets click HERE
. . .

Top things to do in and around Wickford

Published: 01/07/2018

Nestled in the heart of South Essex, Wickford is one of the best communities for those looking to balance a professional life in the capital with surroundings that are a little less hectic and perhaps more suited to family life. With a population of over 33,000 people, it’s far from empty and there is plenty to love about the town and its surroundings. Here are a few examples.
 

Nevendon Manor


A must-see for anyone living in or near Wickland, Nevendon Manor is a 16th-century property and an interesting historical sight in its own right. However, that’s not all it has to offer. Nevendon Manor Events runs a whole range of different interactive performances and seasonal events that focus on using the environment to its very best, including Christmas and springtime fairy tale shows.
 

Partyman World of Play


If you have kids, then the Partyman World of Play is going to be a lifesaver. One of the most impressive recreational centres in all of Essex, it has huge play areas,  indoor football stadiums, and the UK’s only indoor climbable volcano, making it a favourite for parties and parents who have kids with off-the-charts energy levels.
 

Wat Tyler Country Park


The natural landscape surrounding Wickford is gorgeous and the Wat Tyler Country Park puts the very best of it on display. From nature trails to miniature railways, it can make for the perfect family day out, dog walker’s route, or just a quiet retreat where you can enjoy some of the natural wildlife on offer.
 

Barleylands Craft and Farm Village


While the Craft and Farm Village might be especially beloved by children, it’s a great attraction for those of all ages. Besides feeding the animals and grooming bunnies, you can go go-karting, make bird feeders, drive a mini-land rover, and much more. The craft shops at The Village always offers something unique and provides an excellent way to support and connect with the local community.
 

Action Park


For those that might find the Farm Village a little too sedate, the Off-Road Action Park is anything but. Beloved by wedding and birthday parties and adrenaline junkies both, this park makes use of its natural surroundings with motorsports, paintball, clay pigeon shooting, and much more. As such a popular attraction for stag and hen groups, corporate retreats and the like, booking does need to be carried out in advance.
 

Towngate Theatre


If you’re looking to catch the latest show or see some of the artists from local communities, the Towngate Theatre in Basildon is a very short trip away. Accessible and well-designed, it makes going out for a little culture a lot easier, with a wide variety of different shows on offer throughout the whole year. Definitely a favourite spot amongst the high street with both a café and a cocktail bar to accompany whatever kind of show you want to see.
 
Whether you’re looking for a peaceful, but not-too-quiet place to live or the perfect commuting spot to reach the capital, Wickford has plenty to offer.
. . .

How much is your property really worth?

Published: 26/06/2018

How much is your property really worth?

Whether you’re looking to sell your home, or you simply know how much of an asset you have on your hands, your property’s real value shouldn’t be ignored. By knowing the market and your place in it, you can ensure the best sale, or find ways to improve that value. So, how do you get the all-important information you need?

Getting a valuation

If you’re looking to sell and you want to really know how much your property is worth, then the most direct way of finding out is by having a valuator or an estate agent take a closer look. It’s important to make sure you start with realistic expectations. Most often it’s the size, layout, and the area of the property that a valuation will take into account. This valuation is most likely to be the most accurate, though it can be influenced by renovations, improving your curb appeal, and other upgrades you can make to the home.

Take a look around you

Looking at the market is another way to figure out not only what your property is worth, but what you’re likely to get out of it. You can look at estate agents and online home buying sites to see what homes around you have sold for, for instance. Bear in mind that the more similar to your property, the more accurate and reliable the information will be. Sharing a postcode matters, but it only makes sense that a five-bedroom house will, in most cases, be worth more than a two-bedroom in the exact same area.

Tracking the trends

You can see not only how much your property is worth, but how the market is doing, as well. Things like Rightmove & Zoopla show not only recent sale value but allow you to compare the data over the years. You can see whether the market is turning in your favour or away from it, which may influence whether you decide to sell just yet or to wait a while for the hopes that you will gain some value. However, these kinds of sources tend to generalise and cover very broad areas, so it might not give you the most specific details.

See what’s hot

Even if your property’s value has been determined, you might be able to ask for a little more if your home is in an area that’s high in demand. Estate agents will often take this into account. Take advantage of a hot market and you might have more say over the asking price if your area is particularly hot right now. If it’s bone cold, then you might have to stick more strictly to its baseline value.

A property’s value is far from fixed. Not only can it be influenced by changes to the property and the surrounding area, it shifts up and down with the market. It’s worth re-checking its value now and then to make sure you’re working off old and obsolete information.

We offer have a FREE instant valuation tool where you can find out the value of your property Click Here


 

. . .

Clacton Air Show - A Free Event For All This Summer

Published: 18/06/2018

Clacton Air Show has been running for no less than 27 years in 2018, and it’s a fantastic event for flight enthusiasts and families who travel from all around the country. The event welcomes some of the best aerobatics teams like the Red Arrows, and there is plenty of participation from the RAF’s best display pilots. Over the years, Clacton Air Show has featured some of the most iconic planes from throughout history, and this year’s event looks set to continue with that trend.

The History

The first Clacton Air Show happened way back in the early nineties, and while the event has grown and expanded since that time, the planes still follow the same coastline path as they did during the early days. Some of the most famous sights that tend to appear at Clacton every year include:

  • Red Arrows
  • Great War Display Team
  • Tigers Parachute Display Team
  • RAF Typhoon
  • BBMF Lancaster & Spitfire
  • RAF Chinook
  • Strikemaster
  • Muscle Biplane
  • Twister Aerobatic Team
  • Fireflies Aerobatics Team

Still, the organisers aim to include as much variation as possible, and so there is a reasonable chance visitors will see something different every time they attend! Best of all? The air show is free to all attendees and families that wish to enjoy the event, and the only advice is that you need to arrive early to secure the best viewing spots.

The Air Show

The 2018 Clacton Air Show takes place on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th August at West Greensward and Clacton Seafront. The opening times are between 11am and 9pm on Thursday and 11am and 5pm on Friday. It’s a spectacular show that is sure to prove a big hit with children and parents alike. The event organizers expect to welcome no less than 250,000 visitors this year, and that is why it’s sensible to arrive as early as possible. However, by the very nature of an air show, it’s not like anyone will have to deal with restricted views.

Other Attractions

Alongside the planes, Clacton Air Show also features exhibitions stands, food stalls, and lots of on-site entertainment for all the family. Following the flights on Thursday 24th August, visitors will enjoy a fireworks display at Clacton Pier that is sure to make the evening seem as magical as possible. So, make sure you don’t head back to your hotel room or apartment too early because you might miss out on all the fun!

Clacton Air Show organizers comply with all flying restrictions put in place by the authorities, and flight times are liable to change due to health and safety issues and other constraints. However, the event has proved a massive hit with families from all over the country during the last 27 years, and so those regulations and rules never get in the way of the pilots putting on a fantastic show.

If you’re looking for a free event that’s guaranteed to impress this summer, make some accommodation arrangements and head down to Clacton for a couple of days. You’re going to love it!

 

To see more about the local area of Colchester CLICK HERE

 

Are you looking to find out the value of your home in Colchester? CLICK HERE


 

. . .

Summer Fun In Suffolk - Largest Splash Park In The UK

Published: 05/06/2018

Aqua Park arrives in Suffolk in the 7th of July at Alton Water. Hailed to be the biggest splash park in the UK. With 72 obstacles including, climbing walls, trampolines, balance bats and blast bags! The perfect days adventure for all adrenaline junkies. Open from 7th of July to September 9th

From more information click here
. . .

A look at the Colchester property market in 2016

Published: 08/02/2017

The UK property market experienced a lot of changes in 2016 and the market had to withstand a lot of issues throughout the year. Now that we are into 2017, there is an agreement that there is now a sense of stability about the property market and that while some areas suffered, things could have been a lot worse in the property market.


Of course, while we talk about the property market as a single entity, this is far from the case. There are often places that experience great changes or notable changes while others do not. Colchester is an area that is regarded as being on the up, even with the market as a whole experiencing some difficulty or pressure.


As of January 2017, the average property price for Colchester stood at £309,324 which presented a rise of 8% on the figure at the start of 2016. The value change stood at £22,905 so the average property price at that time was £286,419.


Over the past 12 months, the average price paid in Colchester has stood at £272,736 with close to 4,000 property sales being made in this period of time.


The Colchester property market is one that has been growing sharply for a while and there are a number of factors involved in this outcome.


Transport links
Quick transport links to Stratford and London Liverpool Street ensure that Colchester is highly regarded as a commuter location for the heart of London. There is also easy access to the A12 which ensures that Colchester is a destination that allows fast and simple transport.


Work in Colchester
The rise in the local economy has drawn a growing number of people and families to the area. With a greater chance of finding work or people looking to be located closer to their work, the Colchester property market has experienced a significant rise in demand.

One area where Colchester has developed is with respect to the creative industries. A report issued in the second half of 2016 has seen Colchester listed as the 8th best place in the entire country for drawing people to work in the creative industry. Affordable property is always important in reaching out to these professionals and this industry but there has been action over and above property pricing to make the area more attractive and hospitable to this sector.
The overall success of change in Colchester can be seen in the ranking of 20th spot, for the whole of the UK, with respect to high concentration and growth. Both of these findings were issued in a report called The Geography of Creativity in the UK, issued by Creative England and NESTA.


New build properties
There have been a number of property developments in Colchester in the past year, which is always going to have a positive impact on the property market. The west and north of the area have benefitted from a number of new developments, and these are handily located for commuters and people looking to travel to and from Colchester on a regular basis.


Colchester is an area that is going places for people who are going places and this can be seen in the local property market.

To see our available properties in Colchester clickHERE

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10 Secrets of Basildon you never knew

Published: 25/08/2016

While the history of Basildon isn’t as long or as illustrious as many areas in the south east of England, there is still a lot to learn and know about the area. Here are 10 secrets of Basildon you never knew or maybe forgot about, so why not have a read through and see what you know or don’t know.

1. Basildon was one of 8 new towns that were established in the south east of England in the aftermath of the Second World War. Basildon was created in 1949 due to lengthy waiting lists with soldiers returning from their wartime efforts and the aftermath of the damage London received during the war.

2. The first residents to move in to the area did so in 1951, moving into property at Redgrave Road, Vange.

3. While the creation of what is recognised as Basildon today dates back to the 1940s, the name dates back to Saxon times.

4. The 1,000th new home to be built in Basildon appeared in 1953 at Denys Drive in Fryvern. This indicates the volume of property that was added to the area in a short period of time, allowing Basildon to develop quickly in a short period of time.

5. The first area of parkland to appear in Basildon arrived in 1957 when Gloucester Park was officially opened. The park currently expands over 250 acres and is considered to be a key meeting point and place to socialise or relax in the local area.

6. The very first shops in the town centre of Basildon, and Basildon Market, opened in 1958.

7. 1962 was a landmark year for Basildon because this was the year that the tallest building in the area was finished. This accolade goes to Brooke House. The building stands at 162 feet tall and it is a Grade II listed building.

8. There were many different landmarks that were celebrated and noted in Basildon over the years but for many people in the local area, a notable event occurred in 1971. This is because this was the year that the very first Marks and Spencers opened in the local area.

9. For an area to flourish, it is vital that transport links are in place and in 1974, the residents of Basildon benefitted through the opening of Basildon Railway Station. This made the commute to London easier and also opened up the possibility of travel across the south east of England and beyond.

10. Basildon is twinned with a number of areas in Europe including Meaux in France and Heiligenhaus which is located in Germany. Basildon also holds international relationships with Gweru, which is a city in Zimbabwe.

These facts about Basildon help showcase the development of the area, which has come a very long way in just over 60 years. Basildon is no longer referred to as a new town, but it stands as a great example of what can be achieved with planning and a desire to grow.

If you are thinking of moving to Basildon and would like to see our current stock please click HERE

If you are thinking of selling in Basildon and would like a valuation please call 01268 207222 or find in the short form HERE
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10 Top attractions in Essex this summer

Published: 21/06/2016



If you are looking to make the most of Essex this summer, here are 10 top attractions to keep an eye on.

Chelmsford City Racecourse
If you love horse racing, there is no doubt that Chelmsford City Racecourse has been a great addition to the local attractions in Essex. While this can be a great way to spend a family fun day out, the venue is becoming a must-see location for many reasons. With an ever-changing line-up of gigs, comedy events and even murder mystery nights, you’ll not be short of attractions. Some big shows this summer include Simply Red, Katherine Jenkins, Rick Astley and many other big stars of yesteryear.
For more information about Chelmsford Racecourse click HERE

Audley End House and Gardens
When it comes to a stunning garden that lends itself perfectly to lazy and sunny days, Audley End House is an ideal option for you this summer. With a 17th century stable block and views of the glorious Essex countryside, this is a stopping point that can keep you enthralled all day.
For more information about Audley End House click HERE

Layer Marney Tower
When it comes to examples of local Tudor buildings, this is one of the best in Essex. It was so impressive that Henry VIII stayed for a while in 1522 and if you have a head for heights, make sure you climb the tower and enjoy the views of the Blackwater estuary.
For more information about Layer Marney Tower click HERE

Hedingham Castle
Summer days are made for exploring and Hedingham Castle remains one of the best preserved castles in England, making it the ideal place to stop off. Whether you seek fun, a sense of history or a touch of romance, Hedingham Castle is a great place to add to your list of sights to see in Essex in 2016.
For more information about Hedingham Castle click HERE

RHS Garden Hyde Hall / Beth Chatto Garden
Summer time should be spent in gardens and the RHS Garden Hyde Hall and the Beth Chatto Garden are two fantastic examples of gardening at its best. If you are looking to be inspired or just want to enjoy the best flowers in the county, these gardens are well worth a visit.
For more information about RHS Garden Hyde Hall click HERE

For more information about Beth Chatto Garden click HERE

Firstsite
If architecture rather than flowers interest you, this spectacular building is well worth seeing, but it also plays host to a wide range of exhibitions which run all of the year. However, the building and the backdrops are well worth seeing in the summer time.

For more information about Firstsite click HERE

Colchester Zoo
Colchester Zoo has long been one of the best places to spend a summer in Essex and with over 270 species on show, with 50 displays taking place every day, there is a lot to keep you happy and occupied.

For more information about Colchester Zoo click HERE

Lee Valley White Water Centre
If you would rather spend your spare time to enjoy exciting pursuits, you’ll find that the Lee Valley White Water Centre is a must visit. This venue was utilised in the London 2012 games and you can challenge yourself in the same way that many of the leading athletes in the world were.

For more information about Lee Valley White Water Centre click HERE

Colchester Castle Museum
The award of Best Large Attraction at the Essex Tourism and Hospitality Awards in 2015 suggests that this is a museum that is well worth checking out. Don’t expect a dull or dry museum; this is a chance for you to get hands on with a wide range of activities.

For more information about Colchester Castle Museum click HERE

Boydells Dairy Farm
Anyone looking to ensure the kids have some fun while learning will find that the Boydells Dairy Farm, which is a working farm, will provide plenty of opportunities for entertainment and education.

For more information about Boydells Daisy Farm click HERE

 

If you would like to know the value of home please click HERE

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10 Tips for First Time Renters

Published: 25/04/2016

If you re renting for the first time, it is likely that you’ll be excited but here are ten tips to bear in mind.
Always read over the terms and conditions
It can be too easy to assume that everything is okay in a contract and then find yourself in trouble later. Before you sign a tenancy agreement, take the time to read over the terms and conditions to ensure that you are comfortable with everything associated with the tenancy.


Ensure your deposit is protected
This is something that the landlord should do and they should provide you with details of how the deposit is protected within 30 days of starting your tenancy. Feel free to ask about the chosen scheme and if the landlord doesn’t provide you with all details within 30 days, press the matter. The scheme not only keeps your money safe, it provides a dispute resolution service in the case of any disagreements over a deposit.


Ask for an independent inventory check
One of the most important documents you will have as a tenant is the document listing the items, and their condition, when you move into a property. You should receive a copy and agree on its findings. In the long term, an independent inventory check is often best for the tenant and landlord.


Is there a need for a guarantor?
You could say that the important step is to ensure that you know all of the terms and conditions of your agreement but it is often worth knowing, in advance, if your landlord is looking for a guarantor. If you have someone willing to act as a guarantor, this can be of benefit to you as it will save you money, but make sure that you are aware of whether this is a requirement or not.


Don’t forget about bills
It is one thing calculating that you have enough money to pay for the rent but what about all of the other bills you need to pay? Electricity, internet, TV licence and other utility bills are part of parcel of having a flat, so you need to sort out these aspects and make sure that you have enough income to pay for everything you need and use in the property.


Think about insurance
Your belongings will not be covered by the landlords insurance so look to take out your own home insurance policy to care for your belongings. Some landlords will insist on the tenant holding insurance so make sure you are aware of their requirements on insurance.


Have you considered safety?
Landlords should take care of all safety requirements in the home, they are legally obliged to carry out various tests, but knowing your own rights, what safety aspects you have at home and how to deal with certain dangers or problems will make your home safer.


Think about other tenants
If you are a first time tenant, it is likely that you will be sharing with other people, and this means you need to know your rights and responsibilities with other people. If a utility bill comes in to a property that is a joint tenancy, there is joint liability, and everyone will be responsible for the bill. If one person is named on a utility bill, that person is ultimately responsible for the bill. In an ideal setting, everyone would provide money to pay for this bill, but it is important to have agreements in writing and if you are the named customer, be aware that the utility provider considers you responsible.


Maintain records
Keep correspondence, agreements and everything that you have in writing. You never know when you may need it.
Leave on good terms


There will be terms and conditions in your agreement, if you can, leave by these terms. You’ll also find that leaving in a good manner, and leaving the home in good condition, will save money and ensure you don’t have to deal with a negative reference in the future.

. . .

7 Tips to help sell your home this Spring

Published: 22/03/2016

While the winter months are becoming increasingly important for the property market, it is true to say that Spring is the season where the market becomes highly competitive. If you are looking to sell your home in Spring, you aren’t alone, and you will need to work hard to make sure your home stands out from the crowd. Here are 7 tips to help you sell your home this Spring.


Undertake a thorough spring clean
This is the time of year when many people decide to clean their home but you should view this as an opportunity to carry out an extensive clean of your property. If you lack the time, skills or experience to properly clean your home, hiring professional cleaners will pay off as the cleanliness and freshness of your property will play a huge role in creating the right impression for any potential buyers.


Upgrade and improve
Depending on the amount of time you have available and the budget at your disposal, you should look to carry out upgrades at your home. Taking the time and effort to make your home more attractive or increasing the functionality to a property will add value and it can give your home an advantage over similar homes in a local area. If you are unsure of what sort of improvements are best for your home, speak to a specialist building or home improvement firm for ideas that will offer value and sit within your budget.

Clean your windows
This is a very simple and obvious step but it is one that many property owners overlook or forget about. You should be looking to have the inside and outside of your windows cleaned and the outside of your windows has to be a priority. Your windows will be one of the first things that people see at your property and if they are in poor condition, a potential buyer may develop a bad impression of your home that is hard for them to overcome.


Provide a blank canvas
If you have any rooms that have a bold colour scheme, it is worthwhile toning this down to a more neutral palette. You should also look to remove the majority of personal items and photographs around the home. This is because these reinforce the identity of you in your home, so by providing viewers with a blank canvas, it is more likely that they will be able to see themselves in this home.


Pack up and declutter
One of the most important tips for anyone looking to sell their home revolves around the importance of decluttering property. Packing up non-essential items and storing them safely (even utilising storage facilities) will enhance the available room at your property. Making a home feel bigger is a positive aspect that too many property sellers overlook.


Give every room a purpose
While making space in every room is important, there is also a lot to be said for ensuring every room in your home has a clear and distinct purpose. Whether it is a bedroom, an office, a gym or a social room, ensuring that every room has a distinct purpose rather than a general storage room where items get left or dumped will allow potential buyers to realise the true potential of a home.


Don’t forget the outside of the home
Spring is the time of year when flowers start to bloom and garden areas start to show colour and vitality after the winter months. You may not have spent too much time in the garden in the months leading up to this stage but before visitors attend your property, be sure to view the garden and ensure that it looks at its best.

 

If you want to know the current value of your home click HERE

. . .

10 Reasons why Wickford is a great place to live

Published: 12/03/2016

Located in South Essex and with a population of over 32,000 people, Wickford is a great location for people looking to combine working life in London with a more sedate pace of life in their leisure time. With train travel to the heart of the capital taking less than 40 minutes, Wickford is a location that helps people to enjoy the best of both worlds but if you are keen to learn more about Wickford, here are 10 reasons why Wickford is a great place to live.


 

Nevendon Manor
If you are looking for a party venue that has a fantastic track record in creating events that people remember for a very long time, you’ll find that Nevendon Manor is exactly what you are looking for. This isn’t a venue that has a wide array of events on, but the events that are found here are family-orientated, a lot of fun and sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.


Action Park
Anyone looking for a touch of excitement in their life should head to the Off-Road Action Park. This park is very aptly named and there is a wide range of high-adrenaline activities for people aged 6 and over. There are plenty of fully trained and qualified staff members on hand to ensure that safety is paramount alongside the high-octane action.


Wick Country Park
Spanning 50 acres of land that was formerly used for agricultural purposes, Wick Country Park is an ideal place to relax, wander and connect with past times. There are more than 2km of easy trails across the site and with lakes, ponds and even pillboxes dating back to World War II, there is more than enough to delight guests.


Transport links
Even though Wickford has plenty to offer to local residents, there is no doubt that the easy connections to Liverpool Street Station are of considerable benefit. The area is also well served by the A127 and the A130.


Wickford Memorial Park
With over 80 acres of parkland, this is the natural choice for people looking to engage in sporting activity or exercise. There are specialist areas and courts for football, bowling, tennis, basketball and even novelty golf.


The Battlesbridge Antiques Centre
Anyone looking to indulge in some antique shopping and viewing will find that the Battlesbridge Antique Centre is a delightful place to visit.


Wickford Market
Local market places remain the hub of modern life in many towns and Wickford Market, while simple, provides a great deal to enjoy and peruse. No matter what you are looking for, there is a great chance that it will be on offer at Wickford market.


Property prices
When it comes to finding a great home at a great price, Wickford has plenty to offer. As of November 2015, the average price of property in Wickford stood at £283,284 which compares very well to the average price of property in London, which stands at £548,538. The manageable commute time makes Wickford a great place for many people to stay without breaking their budget. The average property price in Wickford has risen by 5% in 12 months from November 2014, where the figure stood at £270,639.


Attractive rental yields
Another aspect of the property market that indicates Wickford is on an upwards trajectory is the positive rental yields. One bedroom properties offer a 5.82% rental yield and all property sizes offer more than 4%, which many property experts are considering a great starting point for landlords.


Naturism
A quirky reason to appreciate Wickford is the fact that it is the recognised birthplace of naturism in the United Kingdom. This may sound like a cheeky reason but you have to be pleased with an area that encourages so much personal freedom.

 

To see the available stock we currently have in Wickford click HERE

 

Are you looking to find out the value of your home in Wickford? Click HERE


 

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How to stage my property to get the best price in the shortest amount of time

Published: 15/02/2016

How to stage my property to get the best price in the shortest amount of time


Given that property sellers are looking to sell their home quickly or for the best possible price, or indeed both of these outcomes, you would think that every seller would do their best to present their home in the most effective manner. This isn’t the case though and you will find that many homes are not presented in the best possible manner to facilitate a sale. This may be an issue of taste or style but in reality, it is often because a seller is not aware of the importance of staging and the impact it can have on the people who view a property.


Staging is the act of preparing a property in order to appeal to the most buyers and sell for the best price in the shortest period of time. That may not sound like a lot but anyone who has ever attempted to sell a home will tell you that obtaining one of those outcomes can be difficult never mind all three. Staging can involve a lot of different aspects but it mainly focuses on:


• Planning and utilising space effectively
• De-cluttering your property
• Neutralising any unpleasant or unexpected smells
• Painting and carrying out minor home improvements
• The placement of furniture and accessories
The last point is so important that it is not uncommon for property sellers to rent furniture to make their home look more attractive. Some people will think that this is a step too far but when you think about the benefits that can come from effective staging of a property; you will find that the outlay for renting furniture can be money well spent for any seller.


There are many parts to the staging process

 


You should start the staging process by packing up non-essential items, and this is often referred to as a “partial pack”. You will then find that the next step is to remove all items from your home, including furniture, that are not involved with the staging process. After this, you will have a better idea of what repair work needs to be carried out and what can be done to freshen up a property.

 


This then leads to the staging and styling step, which is where a home is made to look attractive and functional. This is the stage where renting property can help to create a sense of space while making the home seem more appealing to any potential buyer.

 


The small tasks can make a big difference when staging a property

 


Some of the steps that should be included in the staging process include replacing light bulbs with higher watt bulbs, placing new covers on light switches, having carpets professionally cleaned and making sure that all minor repair jobs have been taken care of. It can be all too easy to let the little jobs around the home slide but if you are looking to sell your home quickly, you’ll find that minimising imperfections as best as you can is a very sensible step to take.

 


Staging is part and parcel of selling a home, and many buyers expect it, so it is not as if you are completely fooling any potential buyer. However, if you don’t carry out the steps and stages involved with staging, you’ll find that your home comes across as being much less attractive in comparison to properties which have been effectively staged.

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Benefits of selling your property with an Independent Estate Agent

Published: 10/02/2016

Benefits of selling your property with an Independent Estate Agent

Depending on your area and the quality of your home, you may find that there is already a high level of demand for your property. This can lead you to think that you don’t need to call on professional help when it comes to selling your home, but this isn’t the case. There are so many important elements and aspects involved with a property deal that it is always best to call on the services of a professional estate agent. The peace of mind and confidence that is provided by working with an estate agent is a great bonus for property owners and it will help you to sell your home in an effective manner.

You will likely find that you can choose between an estate agent from a major nationwide brand and an independent estate agent. Some people will instinctively plump for the corporate agent, rationalising that there is strength in numbers and depth but you may find that selling your property with an independent estate agent is the best option for you.

An independent estate agent will work with your best interests in mind

When you work with a corporate estate agent, they are likely to be working with a range of clients. This means that they may have a conflict of interest in certain areas or it may mean that they are unable to provide you with the time and attention your property needs and deserves. This isn’t the case when you work with an independent estate agent because they will be able to devote more time to your needs and selling your property. An independent estate agent is also much less likely to suffer from a conflict of interests, so you can rest assured you will receive the best possible service.

An independent estate agent will have a good level of local knowledge

Local knowledge is absolutely vital in selling a home. Knowing the local area means that an agent can promote to the right people, they can promote in the right places, they can talk about the benefits of the local area and they can help buyers find out the best information about the amenities and facilities on offer in a local area. An estate agent from a major firm will likely work from a factsheet that has been compiled by someone else, and they won’t have a feel for what the area can offer. If they are asked a question about the local area, they will likely have to get back to the potential buyer, which can make them seem unprofessional and which can place doubts in the mind of a potential buyer. If you want the best standard of service when selling your home, call on a local independent estate agent.

An independent estate agent works harder to build and retain their reputation

An independent estate agent knows that every job they do can have a big impact on how they are perceived or known in the local area. This is why they are likely to work harder and smarter for you. An agent from a major firm knows that the company reputation will still see work come their way, regardless of how they work on an individual job but an independent estate agent knows that a bad review or negative testimonial can seriously impact on their business. This means you get a better standard of work and service from an independent estate agent.

TO BOOK A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION WITH TEMME ENGLISH CLICK HERE
. . .

Why a Buy to Let property in Basildon is a sound investment

Published: 04/02/2016

Why a Buy to Let property in Basildon is a sound investment

 

Located just over 30 miles from central London, Basildon is ideally situated for people looking to commute and who want to be removed from the hustle and bustle of London life. Basildon is one of the new towns that emerged after the Second World War but it is an area that has continued to thrive and prosper since then and in the present day, it presents an attractive proposition for people looking to enter the buy to let market. Strong transport links to the capital and a close proximity to notable towns and areas means that there is a great deal on offer in Basildon and beyond for any young professional or family.

One of the strongest reasons you will have for investing in a buy to let property in Basildon is the fact that the rental yield looks very attractive. In the current climate, anything of a high 4% or above is enough for many property investors to appreciate what they have but if you look at the rental yields for a number of areas in Basildon, you will find that the rental yield is above this level.

The rental yield opportunities in Basildon are strong

This is definitely the case for 1 bedroom properties with the rental yield for the SS13 postcode standing at 6.97%, for the SS14 postcode standing at 6.34% and the rental yield for the SS15 postcode standing at 6.63%. The rental yields for 2 bedroom properties are just as attractive. For SS13 postcodes, the rental yield stands at 6.45%, for the SS14 postcode it stands at 6.76% and for the SS15 postcode, the rental yield stands at 5.98%. Three bedroom properties in all three postcode areas stand at over 5%, so if you are looking to buy property in an area where there seems to be a good return on your investment, Basildon is a strong option.

Another reason for buying to let in Basildon comes with the fact that property prices in the area are still rising. This isn’t 100% perfect because it means that buying now, as opposed to having bought last year, is more expensive but in the grand scheme of things, rising property prices are a positive factor for people looking to benefit from the buy to let market. Between September 2014 and September 2015, overall property selling prices in Basildon rose by 9%, from £209,887 to £229,578. The two properties that rose by most were flats and terraced properties, which correlates with the high level of rental yield in the local area. Yes these properties are becoming more expensive but the level of demand associated with these properties means that there will be a steady stream of potential tenants.

Given that there is a large level of demand for rental property in Basildon, it makes sense to work with the experts in order to find the best candidate. If you are interested in renting quickly, you’ll have no shortage of candidates but in order to maximise your return on investment and to minimise hassle or damage to your property, working with an agent to find the most suitable tenants for your property makes sense.
 
To see what available stock we have in Basildon click HERE
 
For landlords information click HERE

 

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6 Things a Landlord needs to do really well

Published: 21/01/2016

6 Things a Landlord needs to do really well


Being a landlord is a sensible way to generate regular income. Some people and personality types will find that being a landlord is a great way to utilise their skills and to use their time in an effective manner too.


However, being a landlord can be difficult and there are 6 things a landlord needs to do really well, which are:


Research
The research element should begin long before a landlord buys a home or starts looking for a tenant. If you are looking to invest in property, you should look at the best markets to buy for letting purposes and research what the rental yields are in certain areas. It may be that you are keen to buy in an area close to you, so you can be a “hands-on” landlord. This is a sensible idea but even with this in mind, you need to research different areas and determine what sort of property, in a particular area, is likely to offer the best return for your money. You should also research who the likely tenants are going to be for the area and what they are looking for from a landlord.


Being able to communicate makes a difference
It is important for a landlord to be able to communicate clearly and effectively. Whether this is communicating effectively to property managers, to companies where property advertisements are placed, to professionals carrying out work at home or to their tenants. It is best practice to have everything in writing and agreed upon from the outset, especially when dealing with tenants. Aspects like the details of how a tenancy should end and inventory reports can make life so much easier in the long run.


Negotiating
When it comes to getting the best possible rental yield for your investment, small margins can make a big difference. This is where the skills of an expert negotiator can make a big difference to your income levels in the long run. Money saved in the property price or even the price charged by a professional to carry out work or make improvements on your home can all positively impact on the overall rental yield a landlord receives. However it is important to note that in order to receive the best possible service from a professional it may be worthwhile paying a suitable going rate for their time and expertise.


Brush up on your networking skills
Networking may not seem like the most important task for a landlord but there are many ways in which you can engage with others, develop relationships and generally make life easier for youself. You may think that you are in competition against other landlords but it may be that working with landlords will help you find better professionals or allow you to find out which suppliers can help you save money in the long run.

Marketing and Promotion
You also need to know how to promote your property. Yes, there is a high level of demand for rental property at the moment but if you want the best income from the best tenants, you need to ‘sell’ your property to the right demographic. This means you need to understand the benefits of your property and where to reach out to the people who are most likely to benefit from what you offer. Well written descriptions and good quality images of your home looking attractive can make a noticeable difference to the level of income you receive as a landlord so don’t overlook the promotion and marketing aspect of the role.


Never stop learning
It is also important to never stop learning. You can always provide a better service and even if you make mistakes or don’t provide a good service at one point, think about why this was the case. If you can make improvements to your service, you will develop better relationships and be more likely to earn better income in the future.

. . .

Commuting Colchester

Published: 09/12/2015

With Colchester becoming a hotspot for commuters, it is no surprise that properties within reasonable walking distance of Colchester’s two stations are being snapped up. One perfect example of this is the Northfields development built by Lindon Homes, which is just off Turner Road. Located perfectly for Colchester General Hospital and Colchester’s North Station, additionally offering direct links to London Liverpool Street, homes here are very desirable. Currently, over 20% of the property sales we tie up have been to buyers from out of the area, mainly people moving up from South Essex and the Greater London areas.

 

We feel that our two South Essex branches in Basildon & Wickford complements our Colchester branch, therefore enabling us to tap into those ‘out of area’ buyers. The three properties pictured are all located on the Northfields Development. We secured buyers for all three within the last few weeks. If you are looking to sell or buy a property close to North Station; please call our sales team on   01206 578112.

 

Click HERE to find out how much your home is worth

 

Click HERE to see what we have for sale in Colchester

 


 

. . .

Butternut Squash Soup

Published: 05/10/2015

Recipe

As the summer warmth begins to fade and autumn brings its cooler temperatures, there is nothing better than a hearty, warming meal at the end of a long day to help stave off the cold.

This recipe for a delicious butternut squash soup uses chilli to add a little kick and burst of flavour, and is a simple meal to prepare in the evening. Serve alongside a big chunk of doorstep bread for dunking, then cuddle up and enjoy.

Recipe:
- A 1kg Butternut Squash, peeled and deseeded
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 2 Onions, diced
- 1 Garlic Clove, thinly sliced
- 2 Chillies, deseeded and finely chopped (use mild for a lower heat, hot for the opposite)
- 850ml Hot Vegetable Stock
- 4 tbsp Crème Fraiche (Plus more to serve)

Needed:
- Large Roasting Tin
- Large Saucepan
- A Stick Blender and/or Liquidiser

Method:
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut squash into large cubes, roughly 4-5cm, then place in roasting tin with half the olive oil. Roast for 30 mins, turning once, then remove then soft and golden.
While cooking the squash, melt the butter with the oil in a saucepan, adding garlic, onions and roughly three quarters of the chilli. Cover and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes, until onions are soft.
Once cooked, tip squash into the saucepan then add stock and crème fraiche. Blitz with the stick bender until smooth. If looking for an even smoother finish then use the liquidizer in batches. Once smooth enough, return to the pan to reheat and then season. Serve in deep bowls with another spoonful of crème fraiche and a sprinkling of chilli.
. . .

Basildon - A town on the up!

Published: 22/09/2015

A recent study from property website giants Rightmove has placed Basildon as one of the Top Rental Hotspots in the country. When looking at areas outside of Greater London, the Essex town of Basildon, alongside neighbours Southend and Chelmsford, was rated just behind Stevenage in second place on the Top Ten Rental Hotspots list. A combination of the amount of searches and query emails each area received on Rightmove’s site, as well as how often a property description was viewed, helped Rightmove to rate each town in order of popularity.


Basildon’s high rating is likely attributed to a number of factors. It is a town that is able to meet the expectations of people who are struggling to enter the property market as buyers, supplying high quality rentals at a much lower rate than other towns across the country. The average rent in Basildon for example is £1,000 per month, almost half that of a Greater London equivalent. The commuting distance to the capital is another major plus point, with people moving out of London to take advantage of the cheaper rental rates, yet retaining a simple 35 minute train ride back in.
The positives for commuters don’t stop there either, with Basildon also boasting some of the cheapest rail travel of anywhere in the country too, leading to yet another title as the most affordable commuter hotspot in the UK. A London season ticket is an affordable £3,748, compared to the £5,000 UK average. One million commuters currently travel to London each day to ply their trade, with Basildon’s cheap, quick travel and inexpensive housing a huge incentive to them.


Although the financial benefits are an obvious pull, it isn’t the only reason why Basildon is such a highly sought after location. It is a town that is experiencing economic growth too. This is bringing extensive development to the town, with the Dry Street development currently under consideration proposing 725 new homes.


As far amenities are concerned, Basildon is not found wanting either. For leisure there is the Eastgate Shopping Centre, home to over 100 stores, including major brands Asda and Topshop. Basildon Hospital has been rated ‘Outstanding’ and ‘Good’ in recent Care Quality Commission ratings, and in Basildon Park you have the benefit of 400 acres of parkland and the historical value of a Grade I listed Georgian Mansion.


Schools too are feeling the benefit of both the economic and population growth that Basildon is experiencing. With Essex as a whole suffering from a shortage of school places, £200 million has been pledged to deal with the issue, with a number of expansion projects underway. Three of Basildon’s Primary Schools; Whitmore, Abacus and Runwell, have each benefitted from the scheme. This has meant an additional 465 places already created as a result.
So at the moment Basildon has a lot to shout about. The second place finish in the Top Rental Hotspot table, and the title as the Most Affordable Commuter Town only tells half the story. The town is one on the rise, with investment meaning even more homes, additional school places, and even the commitment to develop internal transport links to deal with the increased population. So whether you are looking for a quick commute to London, or want to take advantage of exceptional hospital treatment and spectacular historic parkland, Basildon is certainly somewhere you should be exploring.

. . .

DIY Tip

Published: 29/07/2015

Squeaky Door Hinges


There’s nothing more annoying than a squeaky door hinge, especially during the summer time when doors and windows are thrown wide open wide.


To deal with the squeak, simply spray a little WD-40 onto the hinges, moving the door back and forward to ensure it seeps into the joint. Another fix is to use petroleum jelly, something easily found around the home.

. . .

Conveyancing Guide Part 2

Published: 17/06/2015

The Conveyancing Process – What Buyers Should Expect Part 2


In What Buyers Should Expect Part 1 we set the scene with an overview of what Conveyancing is, who can act on your behalf and what the first steps you need to take are. In Part 2 we look in more detail at what comes next. While the contracts are being reviewed and the property searches completed, it is a good time to look at getting your mortgage in place, before eventually signing on the dotted line.


Getting a Mortgage
With the process well underway it is important to get your mortgage sorted now, including the deposit payment. You need to understand which mortgage is right for you and the differences between the options. Do you choose repayment, interest only or a fixed rate mortgage? Each have pros and cons, but often it comes down to how big a risk you are willing to take and the current state of the market. You need to decide what term you should take too and how much are you able to borrow in relation to your annual income. All are vital questions to ask, with our team at Temme English more than happy to run through the options with you.
Once you have made a choice of which mortgage, and which lender, then comes the mortgage valuation. This is a security measure on behalf of the mortgage company that lends to you, to make sure that what you are borrowing is what the property is definitely worth. The valuation won’t be cheap, unless the lender is looking to drum up business and throws it in free of course, but are unfortunately a crucial part of the process.


The contract signing comes next, though not before you get building insurance. Most lenders will make this a requirement before you exchange contracts, as you are immediately responsible for the property as soon as paper changes hands.


Time to Sign the Contracts
With your shiny new mortgage agreement in place you should now have your draft contract back from the seller’s representative, with all enquiries answered and amended where applicable. It is yet another time that you will have to concentrate carefully on exactly what has been set out. Your solicitor will run through everything with you until you are happy. Common things that are covered include fixtures and fittings in the property and that you are getting what you expect for the money you are paying. At the end of the draft contract will be a completion date, which can be up to 12 weeks after the exchange.


What you will have to ensure is that your deposit is in your solicitors account before the exchange can take place. It is also a good move to visit the property and confirm that what is included in the contract is actually there, checking the house against the inventory list. It is a good opportunity to check for damage too and finally make sure that the house is worth the amount. Once you are sure then a signature seals the deal.


So the mortgage is finalised and the contract is signed. In What Buyers Should Expect Part 3 we look at the final pieces of the puzzle, explaining what happens once the contracts are exchanged and the processes between swapping and completing the sale.

. . .

Conveyancing Guide Part 1

Published: 09/06/2015

The Conveyancing Process – What Buyers Should Expect Part 1
This is the first of a three blog series looking at The Conveyancing Process. It is important when you are buying a property to understand exactly what is required of you, which is where our short Conveyancing series will hopefully be of assistance. In Part 1 we will outline exactly what Conveyancing is, who you need to perform the process and the first steps that you and they will need to take.

What is Conveyancing?
Conveyancing is legally transferring home ownership from a seller to a buyer. It will generally start with an offer being accepted on a property and will end when the key is in the buyers hand. A smooth transaction if you understand the process, it is important to find the right Solicitor or Conveyancer to conduct the conveyancing for you. A Solicitor is a qualified lawyer, highly trained in all aspects of law and therefore with more power. A Conveyancer is less well trained but specialises in property, with a better understanding of the protocol. A lot will be expected of your representative in terms of paperwork and deadlines, so make sure you choose a firm that is both easy to get hold of and that you feel comfortable with.


You can perform conveyancing yourself in some cases, though it isn’t something we would necessarily recommend. You will have to deal with mounds of paperwork, have an in-depth understanding of the industry from a legal perspective and be mortgage free. It may seem straightforward but there are risks involved, especially when it comes to missing deadlines or misplacing paperwork. Some mortgage lenders will even insist on a Lawyer or Conveyancer’s involvement to alleviate risk, hence why you need to be mortgage free.

The First Steps
Firstly shop around and get quotes from numerous suppliers. Combine the best the price with the best quality service and generally who you feel most comfortable with. At Temme English we can recommend Solicitors and Conveyancers that we trust locally to perform the service, but it is important that you are happy with any appointment.

Whoever you choose will initially need to draw up a ‘Draft Contract’, also known as a ‘Terms of Engagement’. This is the contract that will define the terms of your agreement, including their charges and any deposit needed, as well as what you are then entitled to. This is so that each party understands their legal standing.

Next they will look to get in touch with the sellers representative, requesting details on the property that they might not yet have and all of the standard forms needed to begin the process. They will also request the ‘Draft Contract’ between the seller and their Solicitor.

Dealing with Documents
Your Solicitor or Conveyancer will then examine the documents that they receive and raise any issues with the seller’s representative. You too will be involved in this process, reading through the documentation and instructing your conveyancer to raise any concerns. You must know everything about the property at this stage, for example if it is leasehold or freehold, and what the difference is. Knowing where you stand in incredibly important.


It is important to go beyond simply what you can see from your viewing and have your Solicitor perform a ‘Property Search’ too. This looks at the property’s legal standing and unearths any unexpected surprises. This could include whether the Local Authority have any plans to build around or even through your land, chasing up the ‘Title Register’ at the Land Registry and even whether the property is a flood risk. All could be crucial to your decision, but not easy to see at first.

So that’s all for Part 1. In What Buyers Should Expect Part 2 we look at what you need to do in terms of a mortgage and the process of finalising your contracts. Stay tuned!

. . .

Are you looking for something to entertain you in Essex in the following weeks? Here are a few ideas.

Published: 09/04/2015

The Colchester Town & Country Show
Lower Castle Park, Colchester

Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th April

Thousands are expected to flock to Lower Castle Park right in the heart of Colchester over the weekend of 18 and 19 April 2015 for the annual Town & Country Show and Oakleigh Fairs, who organise the event say that this year the show is offering even more family entertainment than ever, including a children’s farm where your little ones can meet lots of Spring baby animals.


Now in its 5th year, the show really is shaping up to be a cracking event. Organisers, Oakleigh, say ‘We are delighted to be in Colchester at this, one of our very favourite family country shows and we are really looking forward to welcoming some great new acts and entertainment for 2015 making the Colchester Town & Country Show the must-do destination for families over the weekend’

For more information, click here.

 

Comedy Club 4 Kids

Saturday 18th April at 2pm

Chelmsford City Theatres, Chelmsford

Cracking entertainment for everyone over six years old and under 400 years old (no vampires). With  the best comedians from the UK and world circuit doing what they do best… but without the rude bits! Since 2005, the Comedy Club 4 Kids has been getting the best stand-ups and sketch acts from the international circuit to do their thing for an audience of children and their families… but without the rude bits! It's just like a normal comedy club, but it's on in the day, kids are allowed in, and thus there is a higher than usual chance of heckles like "why is that your face!?"

For more information, click here.

 

Nature and Wildlife Photography Workshops in Essex at Wat Tyler Country Park and Norsey Wood

Photographing Wildflowers and invertebrates - 25th April 2015

Norsey Wood - Billericay

After a successful 2014 we will once again be running our photographic workshops.  This year we're holding 5 workshops, including an introduction to nature photography and other more specific workshops that cover a number of different subjects, including the Autumn Fungi workshop which is new this year.

Each course will have a maximum of 8 participants, to allow all those attending to have enough time with the tutor.

All sessions are lead by Neil Phillips, a wildlife photographer with eight years experience, who has photographed many different species across the UK.

for more information click here

 

 

Thorndon Country Park

Every day, Brentwood

This beautiful country park contains a diverse range of habitats and is managed both for people and for its precious wildlife.


Thorndon Country Park North

In spring, the woodlands of Thorndon North are filled with the scent and colour of bluebells, anemones and other woodland flowers. The woods are rich in birdlife and attract many species of migrant and over-wintering birds including bramblings, siskins and redpolls. Childerditch Pond is both beautiful and tranquil. Please note: Thorndon Country Park North car park is the best way to access the Gruffalo Trail.


Thorndon Country Park South

The open parkland at Thorndon South is busy with families enjoying barbecues and picnics, whilst drinking in views reaching out across countryside and into the heart of Canary Wharf. It’s a great place to fly a kite.

For more information, click here.
. . .

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Published: 24/01/2015

A recent report by Estate Agent market share specialists For Sale Sign Analysis showed that Temme English in Basildon have a higher percentage of SOLD boards than any other agent when compared to the number of properties for sale.
 
The report, commissioned January this year shows Temme English have SOLD boards on 75% of the properties they are marketing. The nearest competitor has 67% with some agents as low as 33%.
 
This clearly demonstrates that Temme English are more likely to get a positive result for their clients when selling than any other agent.
 
What is remarkable about the Temme English result is that the office only opened in the Summer of 2014 following the success of their offices in Colchester and Wickford.
 
Partner, Steve English said: “We are delighted that we have been so well received by the people of Basildon and that this report from For Sale Sign Analysis clearly demonstrates the success of our unique and personal approach.
 
Our proactive approach is unique because we operate without any tie in period to our agency agreement and rely entirely on delivering a quality service and result for our clients.
 
We have no upfront charges and include a free EPC, professional photography and floorplans as standard.
 
We are also open long hours, including Sundays, to ensure that we are always available to both sellers and buyers at the times that they most want us to be available.”
 
Partner Carl Temme added: “Despite the uncertainty of a General Election in 2015 our prognosis is that, with continuing low interest rates, reduced stamp duty, changing pension legislation and a shortage of new build property, that the market will remain strong and prices will continue to grow positively albeit at a slower rate than in the last two years.
 
Now is an excellent time to move and take advantage of the low cost of borrowing.”
 
The three Temme English offices work closely together to provide clients with access to buyers and all properties are widely advertised both on the internet and via traditional media.
 
Temme English will be delighted to provide any homeowners with a  free valuation of their property and to discuss the current market in more detail.
 
With Temme English it is about delivering results not rhetoric.
 
To find out more or arrange your free valuation, please contact the Basildon office on 01268 207222
. . .

Basildon – The Top Commuter Town

Published: 15/01/2015

Last year we noticed a trend developing at our Basildon branch. It seemed to us that more and more commuters were coming through our doors looking for high quality, yet affordable housing within a stone’s throw from the country’s capital city. The latest polls have shown that we were quite correct and Basildon has officially been named the UK’s Top Commuter Town again.
Essex as a whole has seen a huge rise in popularity from those looking to travel regularly into London and it is Basildon that tops the list. This comes thanks to a combination of both fabulous amenities and incredibly low market prices.

Basildon’s standing as the most affordable commuter hub comes courtesy of two very important factors. Firstly is the cheap property prices at present, with the average house price of £176,886 dwarfed by the country’s average, an incredible £271,000! That’s almost £95,000 less, a huge saving, especially when you consider London prices. The second is the train fare. Thanks to a 2.2% increase at the start of 2015 the annual rail season ticket for most has risen to a staggering £5000, with Basildon a modest £3,748 in comparison. These savings alone prove a great pull for many but that’s not all that Basildon has to offer.

The American commercial real estate giants, CBRE tell us that there are now 1 million London commuters across the country. As much as financial gain will always be important to people’s decisions, lifestyle too must play a part. For Basildon’s cause there is the fantastic local amenities, notably the Eastgate Shopping Centre. A thriving shopping hotspot with over 100 stores, it offers Basildon Town Centre something severely lacking from others across the country; shoppers! Slightly further afield is the equally popular Festival Leisure Park, with an array of restaurants and bars.

More importantly perhaps is Basildon’s reputation for having more open space and park areas than any other Essex Town too. Both the 100 acre Wat Tyler Country Park and the stunning wetland habitat, Vange Marsh, are areas rich in wildlife and a welcome retreat into nature. Combine that with its location just 10 miles from the beach at Southend and you have all the outside space you need to forget the weekday city rat race.

For many the weekend is a chance to unwind too, so where better than Basildon Sporting Village, a facitlity renowned for its swimming pools, indoor climbing wall and gymnastic setup, where a chance to see Olympic Bronze medallist Max Whitlock train is often on the cards.

So for the second year running Basildon has been recognised as the place for capital commuters. This vibrant town, just 32 miles and 35 minutes from the Big Smoke has much more to offer than simply cheaper property and travel rates. Cheaper they most certainly are, but Basildon is also a place you can locate a family to, where the opportunity to create a home to live in, and not just one to commute from, is an attractive pull for those whose home life comes before their work.

. . .

2014 for Temme English

Published: 02/01/2015

2014 has been a great year for Temme English. From the very beginning to the very end the company had grown and expanded, meaning more successful sales and happy buyers than ever. Across Wickford, Colchester and now of course Basildon, the Temme English brand has become a trusted source of valuable, impartial advice and a supplier of hugely positive results.

Throughout the year we have been involved in a number of events and sponsorships that have given us the chance to give back to the community and help local schools and colleges. It began in June with the Birch School and Home Farm Annual Fetes, where we supplied both raffle prizes and our ‘Unusual Properties’ stall. October saw us return to sponsor the Home Farm Fireworks too, another fun filled event for the community. Even more recently has been our proud sponsorship of the Bromfords School and Sixth Form P.E. kits. They look amazing and we are privileged to know that the Temme English name will travel across the country for national competitions thanks to the sportsmen and women who wear them.

Back in July we also saw the grand opening of our Basildon branch. Almost 6 months on and the team are providing the same fantastic results for our clients as Wickford and Colchester, taking the Basildon market by storm. In September our Wickford team were also happy to be named the sole selling agent for the Bellway Escala Development and their batch of luxury apartments. A major brand within the industry, it was great recognition of Temme English’s standing in Wickford that we were chosen to market these fantastic homes.

We have looked to offer advice via our blog posts too, giving both buyers and sellers our Temme Tips and sharing expertise where needed. From Top Tips for Sellers to Why Buy To Let we have done our best to be both topical and informative and give our clients extra ammo in their quest to buy, sell or rent a home.

We try to combine info with opinion where possible too, and throughout the year have given our personal view on some of the more controversial builds and plans that have popped up. Starting all the way back in January with the North Colchester Development Mistake we have refused to hold our punches. As an Estate Agent it is important to us that we not only have homes to sell but also an environment that makes them a great place to live. So from the Jumbo Debate in Colchester to the Housing Development between Brentwood and Basildon, we provide the facts so you can make your choice.

So what does 2015 hold for us? For our Colchester branch it is a change of scenery as we ascend up the hill to take on the big hitters in Crouch Street. Being in the town centre can only bring great things and we look forward to settling in to our new surroundings. Other than that you can expect more of the same, with more sponsorships within the local community and more sales and lets across all our branches. We can’t wait and look forward to seeing you in the New Year.
. . .

Colchester Park and Ride

Published: 06/11/2014

Park and Ride is coming to Colchester! Planned for March 2015 there is cynicism and optimism on both sides of the argument, with the scheme promising to ease congestion in the town. The site itself will be situated at Cuckoo Farm, north of the A12 towards the Western Homes Community Stadium, with bus lanes leading directly into the town centre via the Northern Approach Road and North Station.
As it stands the Essex County Council will forward fund the development until SELEP (South East Local Enterprise Partnership) have their own funding finalised. The council has been investing heavily on resurfacing and upgrading the roads in and around Colchester too recently, something as residents we have all been clamouring for for some time. Mersea Road, Southway, Cowdray Avenue and Ipswich Road have all been targeted, with heavy delays an inevitable outcome.

We are all well aware of the increasing pressure that North Station is under from traffic congestion at peak times of the day. Councillors within the ECC claim that the Park and Ride scheme will relieve this, offering economic and residential growth and improving air quality in polluted central areas.

Perhaps the most crucial changes will be under the bridge at North Station, with a dedicated Park and Ride bus lane to be added alongside the four current lanes we already use. This will be a town centre bound lane. From now until March we will see huge delays around the area as development continues to accommodate the Park and Rides needs. Short term disruption for long term benefit.

But will it really be benefit? Will the introduction of a Park and Ride make it easier or more difficult for people outside the town to visit? Will they want to, or will the buses remain empty? We have written previous blog posts on how housing developments need to take into account the infrastructure of the area to be successful. In this situation, to make a Park and Ride successful, work to the Town Centre needs to be done.

By investing heavily in the Town Centre you give people a reason to visit. We can reenergise our High Street with incentives and more variety in our shops. We can increase event days and make use of the empty space above our stores to develop housing for a town centre community, creating a buzz in an otherwise nightlife orientated Town Centre.

Investment in the Park and Ride may prove to be inspired, with congestion eased in key areas and at key times, and businesses allowed to flourish. Many would call that a naïve viewpoint and question the motives and potential success of such a scheme. We believe that investment can only improve our town, the key is finding where to invest it.
. . .

Checking Your Boiler before Buying

Published: 13/10/2014

There are many factors you need to consider when buying a home, and one of them will inevitably be bills. Boilers especially are an area where you could be paying more than necessary to heat your home. Making sure you know what kind of boiler you are investing in, or the price to pay to have another installed could prove paramount to your decisions.
Boilers that were installed before 2005 are slowly edging towards a period where regular repairs will be required to keep them running successfully. Even then they are likely to be highly inefficient in energy production. In winter especially this could prove a huge increase to your bills that can be avoided and is where an upgrade could prove beneficial, to save money in the long run.
A more up to date condensing boiler is likely to save you somewhere in the region of £300 to £500 every year, but again much of that will depend on the age and efficiency grade of what you buy. The more modern, the more efficient and of course the more expensive.
The newest grading system uses a percentage value to determine exactly how efficient your boiler will be. Previously you were confronted with grades A – G, with the old systems A grades as the equivalent of around 88% efficiency in the current one.
Hopefully the home you buy will already have a modern boiler system installed that offers you this 88% efficiency. If not though there are investments to be made. For something that is modern and highly efficient, expect to be faced with a bill starting from £600 upwards. What you must take into account though is that although this may seem expensive, you must factor in the likelihood of repairs costs to an old boiler, and the monthly bill reduction through added efficiency.
Whatever you do make sure that you use a trained, qualified engineer to perform the works. There are various boiler types to choose from, so by using an accredited source you guarantee the correct system for your specific requirements.
The boiler types you are likely to be faced with are:
• Combination / Combi Boiler – Ideal for smaller properties and easy to store away.
• System Boiler – Better for larger properties but take time to reheat.
• Open Vent / Heat Only – Located in the loft, this is old style system no longer installed.
So make sure whenever you view a property to check exactly what you are inheriting; the type of system, the efficiency value and how old it is. If you feel it will be beneficial then make sure you incorporate the cost of a newer boiler into you overall budget before signing on the dotted line.


. . .

Bellway Release the new Escala site on the 27th

Published: 24/09/2014

The team at our Wickford Branch has recently been given the opportunity to work alongside Essex house building giants, Bellway, as the sole selling agent for their latest batch of luxury apartments. The Escala site will be located on Golden Jubilee Way, near to both the station and the A127 for incredibly easy access.
Bellway as a company have grown enormously since they were founded over 70 years ago. What started as a simple, family run firm has expanded and evolved to become one of the most successful house builders in the UK.

Now boasting over 2,000 reliable and meticulously trained employees, Bellway has a well-deserved reputation for quality, in both its service and its attention to personal details. With a 5* rating awarded by the National House Builder Federation for customer satisfaction, it is easy to see why they are so successful, and why we feel so privileged to be marketing their latest venture.

As with every Bellway build, the Escala site has a focus on the living environment as well as the structure of the properties. By looking after individuals and focussing on personal needs throughout the process, the builders from Bellway have been able to create a lifestyle as well as a home.

With 1 and 2 bed apartments available, and the close proximity to the station, this latest development offers opportunity to a host of different potential buyers. It is perfectly situated for the commuter who wants to live outside of the city, or is great as a relaxed option for downsizing after the kids have left. It would be great for a young couple looking to take those first steps onto the property ladder too. Whatever your requirements, the homes at our disposal will be able to meet them, providing you are looking for stylish apartments of course.

The prices too are incredibly reasonable for such expertly crafted properties. The 1 bedroom homes start from £149,995 and the 2 bedroom from just £169,995. We are also lucky enough to have a Bellway rep based in our office throughout the process, giving all the necessary detail you will need to make your decision. They will be able to show you all the offsite plans, while the buildings themselves are reaching completion.

The release date will be the 27th of September between 10am to 5.30pm at the Temme English offices in Wickford. These fabulous buildings will be sold fast, so don’t get left behind. Speak to a Temme English team member today for details and make sure you come to see us on Saturday to get ahead of the queue.


 
. . .

Cricket Match and Fun Day in Little Wigborough

Published: 01/09/2014

Temme English is proud to announce that our Colchester branch will be sponsoring a different kind of property development this September. On Saturday the 6th at 2pm we will be taking part in a Cricket Match and Fun Day event held by charity ‘Friends of the Wigbouroughs’ in their quest to raise vital funds to maintain and restore two medieval Churches in their villages.

The charity was registered in 2005 with the intention of uniting these two small rural communities, Little and Great Wigborough, so that local people could get together and have some fun. Having lost their pub, village hall and shop down the years, the idea was to set up local events and unite them in a cause; in this case the restoration of their historic buildings. Since that day they have held regular quiz nights (that take place in St Stephens church!) and ran an annual Cricket match, where locals come out to support their sporting heroes!

The St Stephens and St Nicholas Parish Churches have great historical and local relevance. Both date back to around the 13th Century and an early Norman. Clergy and Rector records present dates around this time, though the churches themselves would be more categorized as 15th century, due to subsequent rebuilds. Even more recent refurbishment has been applied and the churches have now been modernised to include heating and toilet facilities, whilst keeping the aesthetic that makes them such a treasure to the locals.

Located just 8 miles south of Colchester between Peldon and Mersea Island, the villages of Little and Great Wigborough regularly show that community spirit is strong, regardless of the loss of their local amenities. It is the people that make a place great, which is why we were so keen to be involved with the ‘Friends of the Wigbouroughs’. Their cause is selfless and their events enjoyable.

So whether you are a sports fan or not, getting yourself down to Elmdale on Peldon Road in Little Wigborough on the 6th of September is an absolute must. There will be light refreshment and local rivalry; all the ingredients for a great family day out and all for a fantastic cause to help keep our local history alive.
. . .

Colchester Farmers' Market offers undiluted food experience

Published: 16/08/2014

Colchester Farmers’ Market celebrated its 10th birthday in July and, although footfall has dropped a bit, it is still thriving with producers flocking to sell their wares directly to customers without the burden of shop overheads.
 
Andrew Wilkinson, of En-Form, the Colchester-based environmental charity that organises the market, says: “At its peak the Colchester Farmers’ Market used to see 1,000 customers coming through the doors and 28 stalls.

“Yes, some products may cost more than the supermarket, but if you take the sausages as an example, you can’t eat more than two of the local producer’s sausages because they are packed with real meat, whereas you may eat three or four supermarket-bought ones, so the cost balances out.

“One of our stallholders makes real apple juice with nothing else added in,” he says.
 
A council-run Farmers’ Market was originally run from Vineyard Street car park between 1997 and 2000, but had to close. Without a regular venue the town was without a Farmers’ Market until 2003, when En-Form, which was running a similar market in Dedham, was called on to reopen its market at the Arts Centre in Colchester.

It is popular with Chinese university students, many of whom enjoy shopping around for their produce rather than loading up at supermarkets.

But, although sourcing locally has become fashionable with the likes of Jimmy Doherty and High Fearnley-Whittingstall promoting all things local, Andrew says the young do not know what to do with food, let alone where to buy it from.

He says: “At our market they cannot only learn about different foods and how to use it and cook it, but in the case of meat, the producers can tell you about the animal it came from.”

The next Colchester Farmers’ Market will be held on Friday, September 6, between 9.30am and 1pm.

Visit enformfarmers markets.org.uk or call 01206 367776

(Source: Daily Gazette)
. . .

Colchester’s Park Awards

Published: 07/08/2014

There was great news recently for both Colchester’ Castle Park and the Highwoods Country Park, as they received Green Flag awards from the environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy. This isn’t the first time that these particular green spaces have received this accolade and each has become quite renowned for its cleanliness and sustainability, with consecutive awards over the last 12 and 11 years respectively.

Keep Britain Tidy is an environmental group that relies on volunteers and charity work to make a difference to the environment in Britain. Having been established 60 years ago, the group has been through many changes, but what has stayed the same is the desire of its members to create environmental programmes that protect and preserve beaches, parks and schools, keeping areas clean and able to be enjoyed by the local community.

They work closely with Businesses, Governments and Locals to create an understanding of the environment and our impact on it, endeavouring to prevent damage that could ruin these communal areas for future generations. The vision and the aims are simple; to eliminate litter, improve the environment, educate the future and eradicate waste.

The Green Flag award focusses especially on areas of green space; places where people can come together whether young or old and enjoy. It is widely acknowledged that living near to and visiting areas of green space is good for your health and quality of life, making these areas vital to us all. Volunteers visit on behalf of Keep Britain Tidy, to assess the cleanliness and general feel of the park or area, making sure that it is maintained sustainably and a fun place to spend time.

The Green Flag is generally considered to be the benchmark for quality when it comes to environmental cleanliness. These parks are just two of 123 in the East of England, highlighting the dedication of those who live here to creating a more sustainable, green future.

At Temme English we consider being close to green space, especially areas that have been awarded this accolade, as a great selling point for a property. To be able to explore and enjoy an area of beauty near your home is another plus for Colchester, and long may the Keep Britain Tidy group appreciate the work of those who make our parks great.
. . .

Colchester Carnival!

Published: 09/07/2014

We are getting pretty excited here at Temme English, with yet another great town event on the horizon. Last month it was the Colchester Castle Medieval Event, as well as the Home Farm and Birch Primary Schools Summer Fetes that we sponsored, and this month it is another community event that has got us buzzing; The Colchester Carnival is coming to town!

On the 19th of July the Colchester community will be coming together yet again to celebrate the gorgeous weather in style, with a Parade and Family Fun Day inspired by the theme, ‘The Magic of the Movies’. It returns again to relive its past success and is a celebration of a town regularly coming together to enjoy fun activities and a procession of creativity.

People are encouraged to register and enter their float, bringing vibrant spirit to the event and livening up the High Street in the process. The event has been organised by both the Colchester Round Table and the Colchester Ladies Circle, social groups with an emphasis on charitable fundraising. It will also be backed up through partners such as The Mercury Theatre, Weston Homes and Essex Audi to help cement its success.

To make it a wonderful day out for families, the event will be split between a Family Fun Day in the Castle Park, and a procession through Colchester of the participating floats.

The Fun Day will consist of a number of entertaining activities throughout the day, including a Mascot Games, for the town’s most recognisable characters, Tai Chi lessons and stalls with artisan gifts. There will also be a kid’s area for the little ones, with activities from Kiddi Caru and a ‘Tent of World Dreams’, which will play host to Belly and Bollywood dancing.

The Procession will run from Abbey Fields from 3pm and after travelling down Butt Road is likely to hit the High Street at around 3.30pm. So come out and show your support for an event that gets bigger and bigger every year. The Colchester Carnival is yet another example of the spirit and togetherness of this developing town. If you are a local already, or an out of area buyer looking to relocate, we highly recommend you visit and spend the day supporting a great cause, with likeminded people who care.
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Colchester Castle Medieval Fun

Published: 06/06/2014

There is going to be plenty of feudal fun coming to Colchester Castle Park this weekend. As part of the Castle’s grand reopening a Medieval Festival and modern day Chariot Race are being staged, marking both the redevelopment and the outstanding investment that has gone into it.

The Chariot Race itself will be on Saturday the 7th in the Lower Castle Park and is a creative way of celebrating the event. This incredible spectacle will see six teams fight it out in what is being called ‘The Battle of the Ages’, with local businesses sponsoring the teams and event. It is yet another example of community coming together, both business and residential, to mark another outstanding achievement by the town.

The six teams will each represent a battle from history, with the Romans facing the Iceni, Saxons taking on the Normans and the Cavaliers and Roundheads going head-to-head. The races will take place around the Castle Bailey, with the initial round determining who will represent their era in the final and have a chance to claim the trophy for their time.

It is an exciting prospect and a really great way to mark the grand opening of the castle in true Medieval style.

As well as the Battle of the Ages, there is also the Medieval Festival too, another way to commemorate the past and celebrate the present. This Fayre and Market is an annual event that is eagerly anticipated throughout the year. And with falconry, combat, archery, theatre, music and dance events it is easy to see why. Everything on show will represent the period, with entertainment both reminiscent and complimentary of the time in equal measure.

The event will be filled with authentic traders selling fine food and proving good ale. These merchants uphold Medieval philosophy and, with new juggling, magic and medieval singing on show, we are all in for a treat.

We realise we sound like excitable kids here at Temme English, but we don’t mind. When it comes to bringing a town together to celebrate its history and achievements, there aren’t many that do it better than Colchester. So we urge you to get on down this weekend to Colchester’s Lower Castle Park and immerse yourself in not only history but also a community that it is a pleasure to be a part of.
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Colchester Medical Practise

Published: 08/04/2014

There are many things that contribute to making a happy community. Things that help it to grow and evolve to create a prosperous town. Over the past few months we have written about several different projects in and around Colchester that have made it a more attractive and enjoyable place to live. From community plans like the Park Improvement in Mile End and the Braiswick Primary School Development, to those that look to boost Colchester both as a tourist attraction and economically, such as the Colchester Castle Renovation and the Vineyard Gate Shopping Centre. All of these developments have centred on investment, with people willing to commit the time and the money to creating a better place for us all to live.

Having looked to address Colchester’s social, economic and educational needs, now medical is on the agenda. We see this as further evidence of the progress the town is making and the dedication there is towards helping local residents.

The Colchester Medical Practise will be a merger surgery that will provide the back office services for the Shrub End, Castle Gardens and Wimpole Road surgeries. It will hold the records for 25,000 patients, with a catchment area that covers roughly half the town. Although a merger of three surgeries, the focus is on efficiency; refining the services provided to create a more pragmatic and functional system. With that in mind each surgery will retain their current sites, but will use Colchester Medical Practise as a base from which to deal with office duties, such as payroll and pensions.

By creating this central hub they will hope to remove duplication and be able to spend more time on what it actually important; patient care. These are likeminded surgeries providing the best care they can without the restriction of administrative duties. At Temme English we think this is a fantastic idea and provides yet another selling point for out of area buyers assessing the living standards of our town.

The project will save money, increase efficiency and mean better care for those in need. What we think this shows is that it isn’t just housing development or the renovation of an attraction that makes this a great place to live. It is the consistency that we are seeing investments made into key areas that is making this an exciting time for residents. We hope this will prove to be a success and will always keep you updated on the latest developments in our town and why we love to sell houses here.
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Colchester Castle Renovations

Published: 26/03/2014

As we all know, Colchester has a long, esteemed history and will go down in the record books as the country’s oldest recorded town. It is a fact that locals are proud to share, but sometimes might wonder how having these Roman ties can benefit themselves and the town. Well thanks to new investment they now have their answer. Colchester Castle is the focal point of the town. Iconic, imposing, impressive and probably many other words beginning with ‘I’, it is now having a major revamp that could have a lucrative effect for us all.

But first a little on that history of Colchester.

Formally under the rule of Queen Boudica and known as Camulodunum in the early AD’s, it was founded as one of the first Roman towns and was the English capital of its day. When the Roman rule became too heavy handed for the natives it became the scene of a revolt, with Boudica and her Iceni tribesman destroying the town and slaughtering its Roman settlers. Although renowned as a strong leader, she was eventually defeated and a defensive wall was placed around Camulodunum, much of which can still be seen today. Since then Roman artefacts are regularly unearthed; treasures from Colchester’s bloody past, displayed within its historic 11th century castle.

And it is this castle that has been given a £4.2 million revamp over the past year, with the noble incentive of bringing history to life and Colchester’s past into the 21st Century. Tim Young, the Colchester Councillor in charge of culture, has said that the renovations will turn Colchester Castle into one of the best museums in the country and having looked at the upgrades we are inclined to agree.

There have been many modern additions made to the castle, including virtual Chariot races as part of the exhibition on the Colchester Roman Circus. IPads and tablets will be made available on arrival, supplying information on the castle and on the numerous displays on show. A mobile app is also on the cards to offer a similar service to continue this interactive theme. The museum will become technology driven, giving a modern take on what is a historical building and getting locals and tourists alike interested in the history of the town.

The castle will reopen on May 2nd 2014, with an estimated 100,000 tourists anticipated to visit in the first year alone. The upgrades are family friendly, creating a place that parents will love to take their children and children can’t wait to visit. This increase in tourism will be an incredible boost to the local economy too. Yet another investment into our town in the same mould as the Firstsite art gallery and the plans for the Vineyard Gate Shopping Centre. Money is available and Colchester is considered a place of opportunity for such ventures.

Sure, as estate agents an increase in tourism doesn’t help us in the short term; people are here to visit not buy property. But at Temme English we look in the long term. Increased tourism leads to increased customers for businesses in the town centre. A boosted town centre brings a higher quality of living. A high quality of living leads to an increase in popularity, with out of area interest in moving here. So really an investment of this magnitude is a huge benefit to us all; from the smallest child looking to learn about the history of their town, to businesses who can take advantage of more potential customers on the streets. We look forward to seeing the end result and hope it lives up to expectations.

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First Ipad Mini presented

Published: 17/02/2014

Nathan was today pleased to wish Mr & Mrs Walsh good luck on their moving day and to also present them with their new Ipad Mini.

We ran a promotion through December and January offering an Ipad Mini on completion to vendors that instructed us in that period.

The promotion proved very successful with many home owners taking advantage of the offer. It seems fitting however that Mr & Mrs Walsh were the first to complete and therefore the first to receive there Ipad mini as they wasted no time instructing us on the 2nd of December.

Mrs Walsh said earlier “I was unsure whether marketing our home a few week's before Christmas was a good idea, my concerns did not last long, we had 6 viewing booked within 24 hours of going on the market and a sale agreed 10 days later”

We wish the Walsh family all the best in their new bungalow and we also wish Mrs Walsh good luck hanging onto the Ipad mini, her daughter seemed very keen to get her hands on it!

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700 Days!

Published: 07/02/2014

Temme English proudly boast the title of being Wickford’s TOP SELLING Estate Agent for 700 days now.

We have worked hard as a team to achieve and maintain this huge landmark getting the basics right and making sure the presentation of each home is to its maximum. 700 days in a row shows consistency in this respect amongst its competitors.

If you are looking to move we will provide you with a free valuation without obligation. An appointment can be arranged by calling 01268 573035 or by popping into the shop.

*Source: For Sale Sign Analysis Ltd
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Braiswick Primary School 2015

Published: 13/01/2014

Braiswick Primary School 2015

It is widely accepted that one of the most important criteria for a family choosing a home is the schools. Making sure that your kids are going to get the education they deserve, without having to travel across the country to do so, can be the icing on the cake for families moving to a new area.

In Colchester we are very lucky for a number of reasons. We are considered one of the fastest growing towns in the country, have a fantastic cultural hub thanks to the Firstsite art gallery and there are even signs that Col United are starting to turn their form around! As well as this, we are now going to see the £5 million development of a Primary School in Braiswick, yet another reason for Colchester’s residents to smile.

Braiswick School, as it will be known, will have 420 places available for both Braiswick and Mile End based students and is due to be opened in September 2015. Sponsored by the Learning Pathways Trust, who already have successful schools in Braintree and Clacton, and funded by a combination of government and the Essex County Council, it will be on what was once the Flakt Woods factory site.

There are many reasons to be excited about a development like this. The continuing construction of both housing and amenities shows the ambition of the town. A community is often built around school and education and so, for the residents of Mile End and Braiswick, this Primary School offers the opportunity to become more than just neighbours. Jobs will be created and the idea of a modern educational facility in Colchester will be an incredible pull to the area.

For families looking for a place to call home, Braiswick now offers the full package. With easy access to the town centre, modern, attractive housing, plans for a new school and the chance to build a community in which every member can play a part. We look forward to hearing what changes are made to the initial plans at the end of March, but look forward even more to its completion in 2015, as further evidence of Colchester’s progress and another great selling point for us!
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Buying Property Frequently Asked Questions

Published: 07/01/2014

span style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold">How can I find my dream home?

There are lots of ways you can search for property for sale.

Rightmove and other property portals are a great source of information and can give you a real insight into what types of property are available, their location and price. Most estate agents list their properties on the main property portals so this will give you a good overview of what is for sale at any given time.

You should also contact your local agents and register your interest with them. Put yourself on their mailing list, make firm connections and get to know them. This helps to get them on side.

Drive round your chosen area to get a real feel for the place, highlight the areas that are of interest to you and make sure your agent knows where they are. If something comes up for sale in that area, you’ll want to know about it so get the agent working for you.

How much time should I spend looking for houses?

You should spend as much time looking around houses as you can. The more houses you look at, the greater an idea you will form of what your dream home should have to offer.

Try to get round to see new listings as quickly as possible. This will accomplish two things; firstly, you may come across your ideal home and because you’re one of the first to see it, you’ll stand more of a chance of getting it and secondly, it will show the estate agent that you are a serious buyer, so when a new property comes to the market that seems to fit your requirements, they will be more likely to contact you.

Once you do find a property you are interested in, arrange a second viewing at a different time and perhaps take someone else with you such as a family member or friend.

Apart from the house purchase price, what other costs will I have to pay when buying a house?

There are a number of additional costs that need to be factored in when buying your new home. Below is a list with approximate figures.

Solicitor’s conveyancing fee

You should allow anything between £500 - £1000 + VAT but shop around for the best deals. Here at Temme English Estate Agents we can recommend good local solicitors if you don't already have one organised.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty is a banded payment. It is payable at different amounts, depending upon the sale value of the home. The bands are listed below:

0% on homes sold at up to £125.000
1% on homes sold at between £125.001 and £250.000
3% on homes sold between £250.001 and £500.000
4% on homes sold at £500.001 and above
5% on homes sold over £1 million

7% on homes sold over £2 million

Mortgage survey fee

This can cost anywhere between £250 and £1,000 depending on the type of survey you have done.

Mortgage lender's arrangement fee

This is only applicable on certain mortgages and your mortgage advisor will be able to tell you in good time, what the situation is with yours.

Buildings and contents insurance

Once you have moved in, building insurance is compulsory for anyone who has a mortgage. This insurance protects the lenders money in the event of the building being damaged

If the sale does not go through, what costs do I have to pay?

Many solicitors and estate agents offer their services on a No Sale No Fee basis. If your purchase falls through prior to exchange of contracts and survey then you will not have to pay anything. If it falls through after survey then you will lose the money paid for the survey. If the sale falls through after exchange of contracts has taken place, this can be very costly as your buyers and sellers will sue for the inconvenience caused. A Home Buyers Expenses Insurance scheme is available to help safeguard against some of your costs if your purchase fails to proceed to legal completion.

How much can I borrow?

Before you start to look for your new home, it is essential that you find out what size mortgage you can get. After all, there's no point searching for the house of your dreams if it's out of your price range. The best thing to do would be to speak to an Independent Financial Advisor or (IFA). IFA’s are not tied to a lender and they provide objective advice of the various mortgage products available. They will find the best deal for you that matches your own personal circumstances. Get a lending agreement in principle and a certificate that confirms the amount. A lot of estate agents will request sight of this and you can use it as a bargaining tool because it will add weight to your offer.

Your borrowing ability is based on the size of your deposit and your salary. Lenders will usually lend up to 3 times your annual salary. If you are buying as a couple, the lending criteria changes and becomes 3 times the 1st income plus the second or, two and a half times the joint income. Do your own research as well, look through newspapers, magazines and the internet, it pays to be informed.

Temme English would recommend Brian Leppard at Buckingham James 07718 476015

What are the most important questions to ask the seller when buying a property?

You need to know whether the property is freehold or leasehold and if it’s leasehold, how long the lease has to run on it and whether it can be lengthened.

Another key question concerns maintenance charges. Are there any maintenance charges that you would be contracted to pay?

Has the road been adopted by the local council? Is the local council responsible for its upkeep and the upkeep of the drainage system?

Are you allowed to erect business signage and/or hang out your washing? Believe it or not, there are restrictions in place in some parts of the country, forbidding you to do this.

Do any rights of way exist over the land of the house?

Can the current occupiers guarantee full vacant possession upon completion? This is very important, after all, you do not want to move in, only to find you have to share your new home with some existing tenants.

Is the property built on a floodplain? Has it ever flooded or been in danger of flooding?

Make sure these questions are answered to your complete satisfaction prior to moving forward with an offer.

How much should I offer?

As tempting as it might be to try to get a bargain, it would be saddening to lose the property you have set your heart on for the sake of trying to save a few pounds. If you consider the house or flat to be a reasonable price, then offer the full asking price. In doing this you are more likely to secure your dream home. The owners are less likely to want to hold out for more money and you stand less of a chance of someone else coming along to pip you to the post with a higher offer.

When should I sell my house?

If you are reliant on the funds from the sale of your current home to finance, at least in part, the purchase of your new home, then it is absolutely the right thing to do, to sell your home first. It will place you in a much better position if you already have a buyer for your home when you put in an offer on a new home.

We would recommend putting your home up for sale as soon as possible. When you find a buyer, make sure you state in the contract, that you will not move out before you have found a new home. Another advantage of adopting this strategy is that you will know exactly how much money you have available to you, to make your next house purchase.

Any time is a good time to sell and buy property, especially if the mortgage market is stable. It used to be said that the property market was a cyclical thing, prone to slowing in the holiday seasons and whilst it may be true that slightly fewer property sales go through at Christmas time or in high summer, we have over the past few years noticed these seasonal trends levelling out.
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700 Days In A Row!

Published: 11/11/2013

Temme English proudly boast the title of being Wickford’s TOP SELLING Estate Agent for 700 days now.

We have worked hard as a team to achieve and maintain this huge landmark getting the basics right and making sure the presentation of each home is to its maximum. 700 days in a row shows consistency in this respect amongst its competitors.

If you are looking to move we will provide you with a free valuation without obligation. An appointment can be arranged by calling 01268 573035 or by popping into the shop.

*Source: For Sale Sign Analysis Ltd
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Bloor Homes

Published: 07/11/2013

£2million will be spent revamping Wickfords old swimming pool

Published: 21/08/2013

An ageing swimming pool will be turned into Wickford’s own version of the Basildon Sporting Village after the council decided to spend £2million on the plans.
Wickford swimming pool, built in the 1960s, will be transformed to include a new hi-tech gym and fitness suite after Basildon Council officers thrashed out a financial agreement.

The council hopes the plans, first mooted nine years ago as part of the doomed Wickford masterplan, will start by the end of the year, with the project completed by the end of summer 2014. Malcolm Buckley, Basildon councillor responsible for regeneration, said: “This project will play a major role in breathing new life into Wickford while delivering on our promise of transforming our borough.

“It is unusual in these cash strapped days for councils to invest in leisure facilities, but these things really matter “If we are to really create opportunities for local people, as we have pledged, then we must make our town centres places where local people, and families in particular, want to be.”

The project will include new changing facilities for swimmers.

The council also outlined its intentions for new toilets in the heart of the town, which will be free to use and could be open by the spring.

In March, the council set aside up to £1million in its budget to invest in Wickford, and a proportion of that cash will be pumped into the pool improvements.

The council insists the remainder of the £2million is budgeted for, but could not be specific on where it would coming from.

Mr Buckley has previously said land in Radwinter Avenue, Wickford, will be sold to developers to help finance the package of improvements.

The council claims the pool, in Market Avenue, will remain open during the work, but last month Mr Buckley said the pool may need to be closed.

The centre’s current operators, SLM, will continue to oversee the running of the pool.

David Harrison, vice-chairman of Wickford Action Group, said: “The pool has been a priority and has needed a revamp and we were promised this nine years ago, but it is good to see work looking like it will start.

“We are, however, interested in how these changes will be financed.”

Source: Evening Echo

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£1million plan unveiled for Wickford park

Published: 31/07/2013

A REFURBISHED pavilion, restored memorial area, and spruced up walkways are at the forefront of plans to spend £1million improvements to a popular park.
Basildon Council has revealed its plans for Wickford Memorial Park, in Rettendon View, even though it is still trying to find the majority of the money for the two-year project.

Almost half of that money, £439,000, will be spent on doing up the park’s pavilion for community use, as well as a cafe and changing rooms for sports teams who use the park’s playing fields.

Trees to commemorate soldiers who haven’t been previously recognised will be planted in the Memorial Avenue while the Garden of Peace will be restored, and works will take place to improve walkways near to the River Crouch.

Alan Ball, chairman of the Wickford Action Group, said: “We are happy for any inward investment in Wickford. We welcome this latest initiative as it does not involve the selling of land or any building to pay for it as this is the correct way to go and Wickford will benefit from a regenerated and vibrant park.”

David Harrison, vice-chairman of the group, added: “We hope the bids for money are a success and this does not end up in failure like the Wickford masterplan.”

In April, the authority was told that its bid for cash from the Heritage Lottery Fund was unsuccessful, so officers have now tabled bids to other organisations.

Kevin Blake, the Tory administration’s cabinet member for leisure and the environment, said: ”Although external funding cannot be guaranteed, we are working hard to ensure we will be able to deliver significant improvements to a fantastic facility for our residents.

“The plan is for the park to be a base for the community to enjoy the nature and open space as well as top quality facilities.

As part of this, a Highcliffe Neighbourhood Group has been set up, and it is hoped community volunteers will help publicise and maintain the park, as well as run the pavilion’s café.

The role of volunteering officer will be created to co-ordinate this, at a cost of £120,000.

It is hoped that the park’s enhancements will eventually lead it to attain Green Flag status, which is barometer of well-run and maintained open spaces.

If the authority is successful in its funding applications, work will start in March next year and will be completed by the end of 2015.

But the authority is only providing £68,000 towards that £1million figure, with the rest coming from grants, donations, and S106 contributions.

 The council has managed to get £320,000 in grant funding from the Veolia Pitsea Marshes Trust and is also bidding for money from Sport England and the BIG Lottery Fund to try and get the project moving.

So far, it has just under half the cash required for the revamp.

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FIFTH Time In A Row!

Published: 09/05/2013

Excitingly, this Tuesday, Temme English Estate Agents were confirmed as Wickford’s Top Selling Estate Agent for the fifth consecutive quarter in a row. Independent company ‘For Sale Sign Analysis’ announced that Temme English display more SOLD boards in Wickford than any other estate agent. This quarter particularly, represented an impressive figure, boasting over a 30% share of the total SOLD boards in Wickford.
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Flying Start at Colchester

Published: 21/01/2013

Temme English Colchester have got off to a flying start. The team tied up three sales last week, all of which had been on the market for over 9 months with local agents. Nathan (Colchester manager) said ‘we are very pleased indeed, selling these three homes in under a week of marketing has put the whole team on a high. It’s a lovely feeling, we have made three sets of vendors incredibly happy indeed.’ Nathan continues ‘our professional photos and straight forward approach is key to selling our stock’.
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Colchester Office Opens

Published: 02/01/2013

Its an exciting day here at Temme English with the opening of our new Colchester office. We have some excellent incentives for January.

Please call resident partners Nathan or Carl for more details on:

01206 578112
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