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The Safe Way to Let South Devon Children Play in Your Street

We all know that kids these days spend more time indoors (often on screens) and less time running around outside. If you’re a parent or carer frustrated by this trend, read on to learn how some parents are fighting back through a scheme called Playing Out. 

What is Playing Out?

Playing Out was set up in 2009 by two mums dismayed that their kids couldn’t play out on the street like they did when they were growing up.

The pair asked their local council for permission to temporarily close their road to traffic to allow the children to play, run, skate, cycle and scoot in the street safely.

After a bit of paperwork and consultation, the first Playing Out session was held and was such a success that it became a regular fixture.

Since then, more than 500 streets in the UK have introduced similar schemes. Here’s how it works.

  • To instigate a Play Street scheme, you must ask the council for permission to close the road for a few hours. If your council doesn’t have an official Playing Out policy, you can apply using the council’s Street Party policy.
  • Playing Out sessions usually last for three hours. Volunteer stewards patrol each end of the street to ensure a rogue driver doesn’t ignore the road closure signs. If a resident in the street needs to use their car, a steward will walk ahead of the vehicle to ensure it’s safe.
  • Some streets have occasional Playing Out sessions. Others opt for monthly events, while some keen beans do it weekly.

Playing Out benefits

Health: The scheme encourages physical activity, and with childhood obesity at record levels, that’s got to be a good thing.

Friendships: Kids make friends and develop social skills.

 Sense of community: Residents of all age groups can enjoy a natter and get to know each other better.

Top tips

  • The Playing Out website (playingout.net) offers a step-by-step guide to starting your own scheme. Save time by making use of their experience and expertise.
  • Before applying to the council, speak to your neighbours. Discussing your plan with them is important as the whole point of Playing Out is that it’s inclusive.
  • When you notify people about a session, remind parents that they must accompany their children and be responsible for their safety and behaviour.
  • To keep things manageable, don’t publicise your Playing Out event too widely.

From all of us here at Chamberlains, thanks for reading.

 

 

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How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

resolutions

In this two-minute read, we look at what are the most popular New Year’s resolutions and, more importantly, how to stick to the ones you make.

According to data analytics firm YouGov, at the end of 2020, around a fifth of the adult population in the UK made New Year’s resolutions.

And this year promises to be no different as some of us vow to make a positive change to our lives in 2022.

YouGov states that women (23%) are more likely to make New Year’s resolutions than men (15%).

The ten most popular things people want to tackle are, in no particular order:

Losing weight

Saving more money

Exercising more

Improving their diet

Spending less time on social media

Decorating or renovating their home

Taking up a new hobby

Changing career

Volunteering

Cutting down drinking alcohol

How to stick to your resolutions

Making resolutions is one thing, but what are the best ways to make sure you stick to them? Especially when you consider that 66% of resolutions are broken within one month, and just 12% of us feel the resolutions we made were a success.

Here are five ways to keep those positive promises to yourself, as recommended by several leading life coaches, including Tony Robbins.

  • Focus on one resolution.
  • Take time to create an action plan.
  • Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
  • One failure isn’t fatal. Keep going.
  • Enlist the help of friends and family.

A common call we take in January is from people looking to move to a new home in the new year.

And while we can’t help you get fitter, more fulfilled or wealthier, we can help you find a new property.

So, if you want to stick to a resolution to move in 2022, give us a call.

And to all our clients, colleagues, and community we wish you a Happy New Year.

 

 

 

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How to Make Money from Your Clutter in South Devon

How to Make Money from Your Clutter in South Devon

Top Tips for Selling Your Clutter Online in South Devon

In this two-minute read, we give you our top tips for selling your unwanted items online. 

Let’s face it, as a nation, we like a lot of stuff. Whether we’re panic buying loo rolls or ordering fashion bargains online, sometimes all the ‘stuff’ can take up valuable space in our homes

With Chrimbo within touching distance, there’s no better time to declutter and make space for all those gifts. Plus, by selling things on, you’re not only making money but you’re doing your bit for the environment and sending less to landfill. Win-win!

Plus, if you are thinking of selling your home then decluttering it is one of the best pieces of advice we’d share with you.

Picture perfect

Not only should you take numerous pics of your item from different angles, but you also need to make sure the lighting is good and the background is clear. Give your potential buyer the best view of your item to make sure it sells. No one wants to see your messy floor or leopard print bedsheets so go with a solid colour background.

Be realistic

“This time next year Rodders, we’ll be millionaires.” Remember that golden line from everyone’s favourite wheeler dealer? Well, no matter how much you love Del Boy, selling clutter online probably won’t make you a million quid, it should however give you some extra pennies.

Set your prices sensibly: too high and you won’t get any interest, too low and it’s more effort than it’s worth. Also, beware of postage costs. Some things are so big you’ll be paying more in postage than the actual selling price. Try and get the buyer to pay for delivery, but remember, this may also put some people off.

Tell the truth

Don’t be tempted to exaggerate the quality of what you’re selling. If something is scratched or chipped, be honest. There’s nothing more annoying than dealing with returns. If they know exactly what they’re getting, there’ll be less chance of complaints. Include a picture of the fault and offer a detailed description of any issues.

Research

Newsflash: eBay isn’t the only auction/selling site around. Yes, it’s easy to use, but it also takes a big percentage of your selling price so investigate other options. There are dedicated sites for fashion (Vinted and Depop), designer items, books and so on. In some cases, you can sell unwanted items such as CDs and DVDs to online retailers in exchange for vouchers.

Face to face

Got a Facebook account? Check out Facebook Marketplace. It’s free to use and you sell items through your profile. While most sales are agreed online they often take place face to face. Be prepared to ask for cash and always meet the buyer in a public place (safety first).

If you’re looking to sell your home after a successful declutter, give us a call at Chamberlains on 01626 365055 and let us help.

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Why Do Some South Devon Properties Hang Around on the Market?

properties

The Secrets Behind What Stops Properties Selling in South Devon

 In this three-minute read, we look at what South Devon sellers can do to avoid their property sitting on the market.

 Making a bad impression

We’ve all heard the adage that first impressions are the most important. This is definitely the case when it comes to selling your home. Smart presentation is a must as it sets the tone for the whole viewing.

First things first – kerb appeal. Does your property entice strangers to want to peek inside? If it doesn’t, make a difference by tidying up the outside of your home. Maintain the same level of pride throughout your home. Make sure you’ve cleaned and tidied and the space is smelling fresh. Clutter can be distracting, making it difficult for prospective buyers to imagine how to make your property their home.

Poor state of repair

It’s critical to make sure the basic fixtures in your home are in good working order. You may not need to replace whole bathrooms and kitchens before you go to market, as any modernisation required will be reflected in your sale price. But minor issues can create doubt and concern about what further essential work might be needed.

Fix broken door handles, attend to areas of damp and replace faulty fittings. A little bit of pride goes a long way.

The price is too high

Sounds simple, and it is. Pricing your home is not about how much it’s worth to you, it’s about being realistic. Consider the strength of the market, the area, and what similar properties around you have sold for recently.

Naturally, buyers are always looking for a bargain and there’s a fine line to tread, but take the guidance from your agent seriously. If you’re overpriced, you’ll struggle to get viewings, never mind offers.

Poor photography

Great photography of your home will make all the difference online. True first impressions begin here and if you think about how many property listings the average buyer scrolls through, it’s crucial to stand out.

TOP TIP: Remove any unnecessary objects as the eye will be drawn to these first. Dishcloths, bathroom products, piles of toys, and clutter should be out of sight for pictures – even if it just means hiding them for the photographs.

It may sound like a cliché, but fresh flowers can lift a room by their mere presence. Remember, you are creating a lifestyle that accompanies the home so your accessories should reflect that.

Human interaction is key and the right agent can make all the difference. Here at Chamberlains, we create demand and a buzz around your property rather than solely waiting for it to be discovered online. Call us to find out more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How the UK Shapes Up to Europe in the Property Game

europe

How Homes in the UK Compare to Their European Rivals

A two-minute read looking at the price of property across our continent.

The month-long football festival AKA the Euros 2021 kicked off at the weekend.

And the home nations of England, Scotland, and Wales are all competing to win the crown of the best national side in Europe.

A win for England would be priceless, and we thought it might be a bit of fun to look at how property prices compare across the continent.

So, we jumped on Google to see what the average prices for a place to call home are in the following eight countries taking part in the 24-nation tournament. (Stats taken from 2020 – 2021 unless noted.)

England – £268,000

Wales – £178,907

Scotland – £164,099

France – £200,241

Across other parts of Europe, the focus is on the average price based on a square metre of the property.

Germany – £2,922 – per square metre (psm)

Portugal – £964 – psm

Spain – £2,071 – psm (based on new build properties)

Switzerland – £5,078 – psm

To give you a comparison, the average price psm across England and Wales was £2,954 (Jan 2021) and in Scotland £1,579 (2018).

And just like star footballers, the average values depend on how in-demand the areas are.

The cost of properties in many of the above countries is much higher in cities and areas where people buy holiday / second homes.

At Chamberlains, we can’t predict with any guarantee who will win the Euros when it concludes at Wembley Stadium on 11 July, but we can guarantee you a champion level of service if you choose us to help with your move.

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5 Reasons to Leave Property Viewings to the Experts

viewings

5 Reasons to Leave Property Viewings to the Experts

In this two-minute read, we look at why it pays to get an experienced estate agent to handle viewings.

When it comes to selling a property, many people overlook the important role viewings play in the process.

They mistakenly believe that viewings are simply about opening doors and making sure would-be buyers don’t nick any valuables.

In fact, buyers share crucial information during viewings that can be helpful during negotiations and push up the final selling price.

Cutting corners on viewings – as many low-fee and online-only agents do by insisting the seller handles them – only chips away at the end result. Here are five reasons to entrust viewings to an experienced professional.

  • Honesty

Brits are a polite bunch who don’t like hurting other people’s feelings – which is lovely if you’re hosting a tea party, but not much use if you’re selling a property. Buyers are much more likely to give honest, constructive feedback to an agent than an owner.

  • Personal safety

When you open your front door for a viewing, you’re essentially letting a stranger in to wander around your home. In most cases, buyers are genuine and well-meaning, but many sellers prefer to have a professional in charge for peace of mind.

  • Buyers prefer it

There’s a reason why sellers are asked to remove family photos and personal belongings before a viewing: too much personal information is a turn-off for buyers. Similarly, buyers can feel awkward when an owner, especially one with a strong emotional attachment to the property, conducts viewings.

  • Spot genuine buyers

Viewings are an opportunity for the seller to suss out if a buyer is for real. As well as achieving top price, you’re looking for a buyer who won’t mess you around or drop out at the last minute. A good agent will ask the right questions during a viewing to glean if the buyer means business.

  • Negotiation

If you’ve never negotiated a large transaction before (and let’s face it, selling your home will probably be the largest transaction of your life), why start now when so much is at stake? Let an experienced agent with a proven track record handle it for you. They’ll be calm and level-headed and immune to any buyer shenanigans.

To learn more about our sales success in South Devon, get in contact with us here at Chamberlains.

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Seven Ways South Devon Residents Can Avoid Cowboy Builders

cowboy builder

Seven Ways South Devon Residents Can Avoid Cowboy Builders

In this three-minute read, we look at how South Devon homeowners can protect themselves from unscrupulous builders.

We’ve all heard the renovation horror stories. The builder who does a runner halfway through a job, leaving a homeowner out of pocket and living in a construction site. The messy contractual dispute that winds up in court and ends in tears. Or the new roof that leaks at the first drop of rain.

The good news is that by following a few simple steps, South Devon property owners can avoid getting ripped off.

  • Online research

Many websites offer consumer reviews and information about tradespeople, such as Checkatrade and Trustmark. Do some homework online to see if your chosen builder has a good track record.

2)   Membership bodies

Most good builders will be members of at least one trade body such as the Federation of Master Builders, the Guild of Master Craftsmen, or FENSA. Always double-check a builder’s membership claims. Never take their word for it.

  • Check the finances

The last thing you want to do is spend tens of thousands of pounds – or more – with a company that is in negative equity. Ensure the builder is in good financial shape by reading over their annual accounts on the Companies House website.

4)   See for yourself

Ask to see examples of previous building projects. Ideally, visit the site and speak to the client (Covid-19 restrictions permitting). Also, find out where the builder is working currently and drive past to see if the site is tidy and if workers turn up on time.

5)   Get three quotes and a watertight contract

It always pays to get three quotes and to ensure contracts cover the full scope of works. Never leave detailed building projects to chance or make agreements based on a wink and a handshake.

6)   Avoid cold-callers

If someone knocked on my door and offered to do a job for me on the cheap, I would immediately be suspicious. Good builders are busy – for example, they may have clients lined up until the end of the year. Steer clear of canvassers and be prepared to wait for a good builder to start work at your property.

7)   Go on instinct

Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right when you talk to a builder, exercise caution.

If you would like advice about how renovations could add value to your South Devon property, get in touch with us here at Chamberlains.

© Chamberlains 2021

 

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International Nurses Day: How People in South Devon Can Say Thanks

Nurses Day

In this three-minute read, we celebrate those working in the noblest of professions – nursing.

As it’s International Nurses Day next week, we thought we’d share this brilliant quote with you: “Save one life, and you’re a hero. Save 100 lives, and you’re a nurse.”

International Nurses Day is on 12 May (the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing). It’s a chance to thank a profession that has given so much during the pandemic.

Nurses have served on the Covid-19 frontline for more than a year, delivering high-quality professional care along with unstinting compassion and kindness.

This was most apparent at the height of the UK crisis when hospitals banned visitors to stop the spread of the virus. It fell to nurses to provide soothing words and comfort to the critically ill.

And let’s not forget the nurses who work in other parts of the health system such as care homes, hospices, cancer units, and paediatric wards. They truly bear witness to birth and death and the journey of life in between.

To mark #NursesDay, here are four inspiring nursing stories:

– When East Londoner Laszlo Kelemen isn’t working as an NHS nurse, he volunteers as a Red Cross emergency responder. Laszlo has attended car crashes, house fires, and major incidents including the 2017 London Bridge attack and the Grenfell Tower blaze.

– Vasu Lingappa is a senior nurse with University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. Earlier this year, Vasu won praise from the Duchess of Cambridge for his compassionate care throughout the Covid-19 crisis. During one patient’s final moments, Vasu held his hand while playing music by the man’s favourite band, Bon Jovi.

– Alma Ainslie-Davies is a nurse with the end-of-life charity Marie Curie in the Grampian region of Scotland. Alma spent 24 years in the Army but changed careers after witnessing Marie Curie nurses care for her late mother. Alma now works to ensure the terminally ill enjoy respect and dignity in their final days.

– Viveki Kapoor works in a Delhi hospital. She has nursed for 22 years but has never seen anything like the Covid-19 crisis currently engulfing India. She told the BBC: “I’m so tired at the end of the day that I can fall sleep anywhere. I don’t even need a bed anymore.”

You can show your support for nurses by sharing #NursesDay on social media on Wednesday.

All of us here at Chamberlains, would like to thank the nursing community for their dedication and service.

© Chamberlains 2021