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Where Are Olympic Heroes Made? Look No Further Than Your Local Sports Clubs


Could the Next Olympic Champ Come from South Devon? Let’s Nurture Local Talent

In this three-minute read, we look at where three GB Olympic stars started their sporting journey.

Eleven thousand elite athletes will converge in Tokyo next week for the 32nd Summer Olympic Games.

Each of them will have put in tens of thousands of hours in practice and shed blood, sweat, and tears to get there.

But as you marvel at the rippling abs and razor-sharp mental strength of these sporting Titans, pause to consider where their careers started.

Most will trace their success back to a local sporting club that introduced them to the joys of competition and fostered their prodigious talent.

In the UK, there are 151,000 sports clubs. The majority get by on shoestring budgets and the goodwill of volunteers; many are the lifeblood of communities.

In South Devon, we’re lucky to have a lots of clubs such as Newton Abbot Gymnastics Centre, Decoy BMX Club  and Newton Abbot Squash and Tennis Club on our doorstep.

So, as we cheer on Team GB, let’s also pay credit to the grassroots clubs nurturing the Olympians of tomorrow.

Here are three Olympic stars who got their start at a local club.

Jade Jones

At the age of eight, Jade attended a Taekwondo taster session at the Flint Pavilion Leisure Centre in her North Wales hometown. She was quickly hooked on the sport and became a star performer at Flint Taekwondo Club.

Jade has gone on to win national and European titles and took gold in London and Rio. Look out for her at Tokyo, where she’s pushing for her third title.

And if you ever visit Flint, you’ll notice that the leisure centre has a new name: the Jade Jones Pavilion.

Shirley Robertson

Scottish sailor Shirley Robertson won gold in Sydney and Athens. These victories made her the first woman to win consecutive gold medals in different Olympic sailing events.

Shirley learned to sail in a homemade dinghy at the Loch Ard Sailing Club, located in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. (Surely, one of the most picturesque sailing venues in the UK.)

After several years away from competition, Shirley recently hinted at a return. She’s eyeing up Paris 2024.

Sir Bradley Wiggins

Sir Bradley was 12 when he joined the Archer Road Club – so named because its original members met above a cycle shop in Archer Road, Westbourne Grove, London. Heavy traffic in West London later saw the club move its road racing activities to Hillingdon Cycle Circuit.

During his career, Sir Bradley won five gold, one silver and two bronze Olympic medals.

From all of us here at Chamberlains, stay safe and stay active.



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Advice on Choosing a Good Conveyancing Solicitor in South Devon


Choosing the Best Solicitor for Your South Devon Property

This two-minute read will help you learn about conveyancing solicitors and how to find the right one for you in South Devon.

Whether you instruct a conveyancer or a solicitor, they essentially do the same thing when it comes to dealing with a property transaction. The terms are often used interchangeably by people who aren’t working in the industry. This is the person who does the paperwork for you when you are buying or selling a property.

Cheap is rarely cheerful

You know the old adage: you can have fast, cheap, and good; but you can only have two at any one time. This is very true for conveyancers. ‘Fast’ isn’t always the best word to use as there are multiple variables that may slow down the process. ‘Efficient’ is what you’re looking for.

There’s no template

When getting quotes from different solicitors for the work, bear in mind that there isn’t a set template for how those quotes are presented. There can easily be hidden costs. Ideally, you’d find a solicitor who offers a guaranteed fixed fee and a ‘no sale, no fee’ promise. Otherwise, the whole deal can fall through, for whatever reason, and you still have to pay the solicitor.

Get recommendations

And then take them with a pinch of salt. Buying and selling property is something that happens so infrequently in most people’s lives. They may have had a good experience in the past but you don’t know what’s happened in that firm. Maternity leave, staff changes, even holidays can mean that a previously great firm takes a dip for a few months.

TOP TIP: Your estate agent has a great overview of the whole market. They deal with solicitors all day, every day. Ask them for their advice.

Different properties need different work

The advantage of asking your estate agent for a recommendation is that they’re used to dealing with the variety of properties in your area. Flying freeholds, chancel repair liability, coalman’s accesses: these are all things that are completely normal to deal with for some solicitors.

Others have never dealt with them before and can cause massive delays. Even worse, they can advise their clients that it’s a risky issue, simply because they don’t understand the nuances, even causing them to pull out from the purchase.

If you’re looking for a conveyancer or solicitor to help you to buy or sell a property, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We can chat you through the options. Get in touch today.

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Landlords in South Devon Need to Heed These Rules and Regulations


What Rules and Regulations Are South Devon Landlords Falling Foul of the Most?

In this three-minute read, we take a look at the most common rules and regulations that South Devon landlords need to remember.

Being a landlord is a tricky business. There are nearly 200 different pieces of legislation covering the how, why, and when of managing a rental property. Here are just four that landlords are often not getting quite right.

Deposit protection

In England, Scotland, and Wales, the deposit must be registered with a deposit protection scheme. The 2021 UK Landlord Survey found that 81% of landlords find registering their deposit difficult.

The deposit must be registered within 30 days of receiving cleared funds. The schemes are government-approved and the tenant must be informed where the money is deposited.

Energy performance certificates

Every rental property in the UK has to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). They are stored on an electronic register that is publicly available. However, they also have to be included in any advertising you do for your property.

Electrical safety regulations

In June 2020, strict rules about electrical testing for new tenancies in rental properties came into force. Inspections must be carried out by a qualified person on all fixed electrical installations.

Since 1 April of this year, it also came into force for existing tenancies. A professional with an industry-recognised apprenticeship or Level 3 Certificate in Installing, Testing and Ensuring Compliance of Electrical Installations in Dwellings must carry this out. Any issues have to be resolved and the tenant must receive a copy of the inspection report within 28 days.

Gas safety check regulations

If you have gas going in to your rental property, all appliances, pipework, and flues must be checked annually.

As for the electrical safety tests, ensure that you use a qualified engineer and don’t plump for the cheapest. The report must be given to the tenant within 28 days as well.

TOP TIP: As with any time you need to visit, or arrange a visit to the property, make sure you give the tenant at least 24 hours’ notice. Keep a record of having given notice. If the tenant refuses access, you’ve then got the evidence that you tried.

If you’re a landlord in South Devon and are not 100% sure on all the rules and regulations you need to abide by, get in touch with us at Chamberlains. A free, no-obligation chat will show you what you might need to tweak or if you’re on the right track.



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Buy to Let Mortgages: What Landlords Need to Know

buy to let mortgage

A Guide to Buy-to-let Mortgages for South Devon Landlords

In this three-minute read, we compare the different types of buy-to-let mortgages.

When choosing the right buy-to-let mortgage, landlords face a key decision: go with an interest-only deal or opt for a capital repayment arrangement.

Both options have their pros and cons. Let’s take a closer look.

Interest-only mortgage

Your payments only cover the interest on the loan and have no impact on the capital.


  • Lower repayments

Your monthly repayments are lower than that of an equivalent capital repayment mortgage.

For example, with a 25-year interest-only mortgage of £200,000, monthly repayments would be £573 (4.45%, fixed for three years). With a similar capital repayment mortgage, you’d pay £996 a month*. That’s a difference of £423 a month.

  • Less financial stress in between tenancies 

If the property is vacant for any reason, it will fall on your shoulders to cover the repayments. Lower repayments equal less stress.

  • Bigger monthly income

As your mortgage repayments are lower, less of the rent goes to your lender. Instead, it winds up in your pocket.

  • More flexibility

You can spend this extra cash on the upkeep and improvement of the property or divert it to other investments.

  • Sell and make a profit

If the property appreciates in value over time, you can sell up and make a tidy profit.


  • You won’t own the property

As you won’t be repaying the capital loan, you’ll still owe a substantial sum at the end of the mortgage. (Although you can sell the property, pay this debt, and hopefully still be ahead.)

  • The lender earns more

You pay more interest to your lender over time compared to a capital repayment mortgage. This is because you never reduce the size of the capital loan, so the interest charges never reduce.

  • Risk of negative equity

Historically, property prices have been on an upward trajectory – last year, they grew in the UK by a whopping 8.5% – so the risk of negative equity is low.

And even if prices do drop, if you’re prepared to ride out market fluctuations, then the long-term outlook is positive.

The real risk comes if you need to sell in a hurry. If the property’s value has dropped, you could end up owing more than the property is worth.

Capital repayment mortgage

Your monthly repayments cover the interest and gnaw away at the capital.


  • Ownership

At the end of the mortgage term, the property will be yours. 

  • Less interest

You pay less interest overall because the capital loan decreases – albeit gradually – with every repayment.


  • Higher repayments

As we mentioned earlier, the monthly repayments will be higher, and you’ll need to cover them when the property is vacant.

 Choosing the right option

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, although most landlords opt for interest-only**.

Landlords need to weigh up their circumstances and investment goals carefully. For some, the priority is earning a monthly income; for others, it’s working towards owning a property that they can pass on to their children or even move into themselves.

For advice about making a buy-to-let investment work for you, contact us here at Chamberlains.  If you would like a free financial review with award winning advisors click here and fill in the short form. 

*Approximate figures only, based on a property worth £265,000. Always seek independent financial advice.

** National Landlords Association


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Why Some South Devon Workers Are Opting for the Office

home working

Why Might the Office Make a Comeback in South Devon?

A three-minute read looking at why some workers are opting for the office.

Once upon a time, in a land before Covid-19, working from home was considered the holy grail for many. Who knew that the vision of an idyllic flexible work-life balance where you could manage the school run, a lunchtime dog walk, and avoid the lost time of a commute, would become reality. For some, this was one of the very few positives to have emerged from the pandemic.

Now, it appears that the novelty of this unexpected ‘work from home – if you can’ order has long since worn off and many are itching to get back to the office.


Distractions and boundaries

When you physically go to work, you are there for one purpose – to work. When you’re working at home, distractions are all around – household chores, last night’s leftovers, Federer v Nadal… Boundaries work the other way, too. Focused workers can find it hard to switch off from work at the end of the day – especially if their dining table doubles up as a home office space.

It’s good to talk

While the dog may be the ideal colleague for some, they’re generally useless when it comes to IT, brainstorming, and bringing in cakes on their birthday. We are humans and we need social interaction. A quick chat, while you’re making a brew, makes for strengthening co-worker relationships. And sometimes, you just need five minutes face to face with your boss, rather than a 30-minute Zoom.


How much we learn about a business and its operation by subconsciously listening to others is often underestimated. Career progression for trainees and apprentices who learn ‘on the job’ is inevitably hampered if the workforce is remote.

Suited and booted

There’s a reason it’s called a power suit. Dressing smartly can instil self-confidence and boasts an air of authority. We’ve gotten used to a mix of shirts and trackies for Zoom calls, but there’s nothing quite like donning a sharp jacket or a pair of killer heels to make you feel unstoppable.

Whether work is office-based, fully remote, or a hybrid mix of both, we hope that employers will adopt a sensible approach going forward.

What we do know, is that a desire for home office space is likely to increase. If you’re looking to buy, sell, or let, talk to us at Chamberlains about how to make the most of your property to accommodate working needs.

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Tips for Getting a Good Mortgage Deal

mortgage advice

What South Devon Buyers Need to Know about Getting a Mortgage 

In this three-minute read, we look at how South Devon homebuyers can get a good mortgage deal.

For most people, a mortgage is the biggest loan they’ll take out in their lifetime so, understandably, they want to land the best deal.

But with hundreds of mortgage products on the market, it’s easy for homebuyers to feel overwhelmed or confused.

There’s a lot to consider, including:

  • Interest rates (they’re currently low – but won’t be forever).
  • The term (most mortgages last 25 years, but some can stretch to 40 years).
  • Whether to go fixed (where the interest rate is set for a certain number of years) or variable.
  • Mortgage fees. Lenders can charge valuation, arrangement, early repayment, or missed payment fees. Now, you won’t necessarily be hit up for all of these fees – each deal is different – but it’s important to know what you’ll be charged.
  • An interest-only mortgage (you pay back the interest, not the capital) versus a repayment mortgage.

Where to start

Given a mortgage is such a significant transaction, most people seek advice from a lender or independent financial adviser.

Talking to your bank or building society isn’t a bad idea (after all, they’ll know quite a lot about your financial situation). But this approach does have a significant limitation: the lender will only advise you on their products.

For this reason, many people go with an independent mortgage adviser to get a broad picture of the overall market.

If you use an independent mortgage adviser

Always choose an experienced adviser with a good track record (ask friends or family for a recommendation).

Also, be aware that some mortgage advisers charge an upfront fee; others get paid a commission from lenders. So it’s best to know from the outset what the situation is.

Other mortgage tips 

If you’re re-mortgaging: Even if you think you know what you’re doing, it’s still worth getting advice as the market has changed significantly in the past 12 months due to Covid-19.

Get your paperwork in order. To make an application, you’ll need three months of bank statements, three months of payslips, ID, a P60 if you’re employed, or copies of your accounts if you’re self-employed.

Credit check caution: Avoid making multiple mortgage applications at the same time (either online or in-person), as this can negatively impact your credit rating. A single application won’t do any damage, but several ‘hard searches’ – when a lender takes an in-depth look at your credit history – will. Essentially, the system assumes that you’re trying to obtain several loans simultaneously and are in financial difficulty.

Be honest. Like it or not, most, if not all, of our financial activity is tracked online. If you lie in a mortgage application, chances are you’ll be found out.

If you’d like to arrange a free financial review with an award winning mortgage broker, simply click this, fill in the form and a friendly advisor will contact you.