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From Sepia to Selfies – How Photography Has Changed Over the Years

From Sepia to Selfies – How Photography Has Changed Over the Years

As it’s World Photography Day tomorrow (19 August), we look at how the camera and its role in society has changed over the past 200 years.

Brits do it five times a day, while Americans manage it 20 times a day.*

Yes, taking a photograph has become second nature for many of us who snap our pets, holiday destinations, dinner or ourselves without a second thought.

Across the world, people take a dizzying 1.81 trillion photos annually and share 1.3 billion photos on Instagram and 6.9 billion on WhatsApp daily.**

This is thanks to the high-spec cameras in our phones that mean we can easily capture all of life’s significant (and mundane) moments and share them in seconds.

It’s all a stark contrast to what the pioneers of photography went through in the 1800s. Back then, taking a single image took hours, required specialist equipment and involved handling toxic chemicals such as mercury.

A major breakthrough came on 19 August 1839, when Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre revealed the secrets of his revolutionary image-making process to the world. The move introduced photography to the masses and put many portrait painters out of business.

Later came the roll-film Kodak camera (1888), the box Brownie (1900), the Polaroid (1948) and the digital camera (first sold commercially in 1987).

And then, in 1999, the digital camera was incorporated into the mobile phone – a development that revolutionised how we see the world.

As a result, our hunger for imagery has never been stronger, and we expect it to be high quality.

Gone are the days when we’ll excuse a grainy, out-of-focus photograph. This is worth bearing in mind if you plan to market a property; good lighting and careful positioning can make all the difference.

We’d love to see some of your best snaps. Whether it’s a brilliant landscape or a photo of your beloved pet, share them with us on social media at

Here at Chamberlains, we take photography seriously, which is why we invest time and care into getting high-quality photographs to market properties. To learn more, read our recently published guide to property photography.

* Source: Phototutorial

** Source: Phototutorial





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Buying a Property in 2023: What You Need to Know

Buying a Property in 2023: What You Need to Know

Buying a new home is a big step that comes with lots of considerations. Finding the right property in a good location at a price you’re willing to pay isn’t always easy and can take time.

But when you finally move into your new place to start the next chapter of your life, all the hard work is worth it.

Here are some factors to consider if you’re considering buying in 2023.

Shifting market

The property market has made headline news recently, but it’s important to remember that nothing happens in isolation. When interest rates change, so too does property price growth.

For example, 12 months ago, most buyers had no trouble securing a low-interest-rate mortgage but found sellers weren’t budging on asking prices. Skip forward a year, and the mortgage landscape is much tighter, but there’s more wiggle room on price.

It’s important to focus on the bigger picture (after all, the average person in the UK spends 21 years living in the same property*).


Saving for a deposit, working out what you can afford, costs of a mortgage, stamp duty… none of these things have changed.

It’s important to do your homework so you know how far you can stretch yourself. Work with a mortgage broker to understand the financial commitment you’ll be making if you choose to buy in the coming months.

Demand for housing is strong

The UK has a chronic undersupply of housing to buy or rent (and has had for years). This is one of the reasons why the Office for Budget Responsibility predicts prices will grow again in 2025. Long-term property is still a reliable investment.

Hunt down a bargain

In response to changing interest rates, some property owners, particularly buy-to-let landlords, may have decided to sell. If they’re looking for a quick deal, you may be able to negotiate a good price, especially if you’re a first-time buyer and aren’t in a chain.

Strong position

While any offer you make needs to be realistic, in the current market, you might be able to avoid things like bidding wars and competition from other buyers.

If you’re looking for a new property, contact the team at Chamberlains – we’re ready to help.  

* Zoopla

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Selling a South Devon Property? Why You Should Choose a Local Agent

Selling a South Devon Property? Why You Should Choose a Local Agent

If you’re selling a property, you’ve got a big decision to make. Which estate agent do you pick? Should you go with an independent local agency or choose a big-name brand?

Should you use an agent based on the local high street or go with a cheaper online option?

Before you make up your mind, it’s best to get a couple of agents in to value your property and discuss the sales process. Find out how they will help and what they will do differently from other agents.

In this quick read, we look at why staying local and using an independent agent can offer you real value for money.

Realistic valuation 

It’s easy to get swayed by big numbers. The bigger the valuation, the better the agent, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, some agents could offer higher valuations to win your business, and you may find yourself dropping the price quite swiftly once it goes to market.

Working with a local agent who lives and breathes properties in your area gives you a better sense of what similar properties have sold for and the current level of demand. If you choose to sell with an online agency, you’ll lose the benefit of having a local expert on your side, singing the praises of your property to potential buyers.

Unlike more corporate estate agents, most local agents live in the area they work in, so they’ve seen the market change over time. This gives them a deeper understanding of what price a property can achieve.

Local knowledge 

You can’t put a price on local knowledge. An estate agent that has experience of your neighbourhood can be the reason your home sells. Not only will they be able to offer you information about what local buyers are looking for, they can also share bags of knowledge with potential buyers during viewings.

And if buyers have school-age children, a local agent will be able to discuss proximity to schools, catchment areas and Ofsted ratings. Similarly, a local agent’s knowledge of commuter routes, public transport options and local gyms, parks and shops will help persuade buyers who are unsure of what an area offers.

Focused viewings

Most agents have an email database of buyers wanting to live in the area, but only a local agent can use it to full advantage. They’ll be able to find a property that suits a buyer’s needs more acutely than a corporate agent who moves around a lot and is relatively new to the area.

A good local agent will be tuned into what their buyers are really looking for, so can target your property to the right people.

If you’re looking to sell your home, our team at Chamberlains has got the knowledge and motivation to get your property sold. Contact us on 01626 365055 for more information. 




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The Best Online Accounts for DIY Hacks and Help

diy hacks

If you’ve got wonky shelves or pictures that you keep meaning to put up but haven’t got around to doing, are your DIY skills holding you back? Can’t tell a drill bit from a screwdriver head? We feel your pain.

Knowing how to do basic DIY is a huge help, especially if you’re about to move home or you’ve been avoiding certain tasks for ages.

Before you start anything, it’s important to have the right tools. Get yourself to a local hardware store and speak to an expert about what you need (try not to get upsold fancy equipment you’re never likely to use). Also, DO NOT attempt any electrical or plumbing work – those are jobs for professionals.

Ready to get drilling? In this quick read, we look at some of the best DIY tips and tutorials the Internet has to offer.

The Carpenter’s Daughter

Run by Vikkie Lee, her blog and YouTube channel are dedicated to all things DIY. Her website offers everything from fitting blinds, fixing kitchen door hinges and (errr) restoring a narrowboat. Her work is great for beginners and for those of you more established with a glue gun and saw.

DIY Basics

This YouTube Channel is dedicated to beginner DIY projects and offers numerous videos advising which tools you will need, how to paint your front door and how to repair and clean grout. It’s a goldmine of info for a novice and worth scrolling through.

DIY Doctor

Run by tradespeople, this site offers lots of tips and tricks about home projects you can do yourself. It’s not the easiest site to navigate but keep digging and you’ll find nuggets on subjects like carpentry, kitchen fitting and ways to tackle damp and mould.

DIY Fans (Facebook Group)

If you prefer a more interactive approach to your DIY woes, get onto Facebook and search for “DIY Tips”. You’ll find loads of groups where members share their projects and advice on how to get those home projects underway. DIY Fans is a great group with daily updates.


If you are looking to brighten up old pieces of furniture or add some wow to boring flatpack buys, then Instagram is the place to go. There are thousands of home renovation accounts that you can get inspiration from. Some great ones to look at include @our_bears_home@ikeapaxhacks and @joannecondon.

Have you got a favourite DIY hack? We’d love to know how you’ve improved your home. Comment below.


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Dealing with Repairs When You’re a South Devon Tenant


Problems in the home are a nuisance. Like when you’ve got a leaky tap and the drip drip drip drives you to distraction, or when your fridge packs up and food goes to waste. When things go wrong, it’s understandable you want them fixed ASAP. But what if you’re a tenant? What’s the best way to get an issue resolved?

Repairs and maintenance in a rental property are usually a landlord’s responsibility. As a tenant, you’ve got to wait until they sort it out, so what’s the best way to communicate with your landlord? How can you get them to fix things in a timely manner?

Who manages the property?

It may seem like an obvious question, but many tenants don’t know who to contact when things break down or need repairing. When you first move in, it’s good to get these details and keep them in a safe place.

If an agent is managing a property, contact them to report any issues, and if the landlord manages the property, speak to them directly.

Assess the level of urgency 

There’s a difference between a loss of water pressure in the shower and a broken-down boiler. The latter will affect heating and hot water so should be classed as urgent. Contact your landlord as soon as you’re aware of the problem so they can start the repair process.

For less urgent matters, such as a loose curtain pole or noisy dishwasher, you could report it at your next inspection.

Provide full information

Even if you’ve got the best landlord in the world, they may not know the make and model of all the appliances within your property. So, whether you’re sending an email or typing out a text message, give them the full information. Include the make and model number of the appliance (so they can order parts or let their maintenance person know), the problem that’s occurred, and how and when it happened. The same applies to non-appliance-related issues. The more information you provide, the quicker an issue can be dealt with.

Call or email?

If the issue doesn’t require urgent attention, it’s best to email/text your landlord in the first instance. If you don’t hear back within a couple of days, follow up your message with a call.

In some cases, you might be happy to deal with a problem that arises yourself. However, it’s best to check your tenancy agreement to see if you should do this.

Luckily, Chamberlains have every aspect covered with a dedicated lettings team available Monday to Saturday 09:00 to 17:30. We also have an emergency out of hours team in place to help at all other times.  If you’re looking to rent a property or you’re a landlord with a vacant residence, give our team at Chamberlains a call.





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How a Good Agent Can Stop Your Deal Falling Through

sales progression

Want to guard against the disappointment of having your property deal collapse? Then go with an agent who is skilled at sales progression.

Selling a property is a bit like a football match – it’s a game of two halves.

The first half centres on finding a buyer and agreeing a deal, and the second half is about making that deal a reality.

Most buyers are familiar with the wheeling and dealing that goes on in the first part of the process but underestimate what it takes to get an offer to completion.

But with industry insiders estimating that 30% of deals collapse before completion, it’s clear that having an expert handle sales progression is important.

Here’s a list of how a good agent can help get a deal across the line.

Manage expectations

A good agent ensures all parties have realistic expectations about dates and timescales.

This is because deals often fail when buyers and sellers aren’t on the same page or don’t understand the complexity of the process.

Anger and frustration can scupper a deal if one party grows impatient or feels things are moving too quickly.

Communicate with all parties

They say no news is good news, but in the property world, radio silence breeds mistrust and suspicion.

So, it’s vital to keep all parties regularly updated on the progress of surveys and searches and to keep the lines of communication open. A proactive agent checks in with solicitors, sellers and buyers and liaises with other agents in the chain.

If you’ve never bought or sold a home, or are a bit rusty on what’s involved, having a professional steer the process can make all the difference. 

Keep sellers and buyers motivated

When deals drag on, fatigue can set in. One party may wonder if moving is worth all the hassle or start scrolling property portals to see if an alternative property catches their eye.

A good agent steps in before things reach this critical state by reminding buyers and sellers that progress is being made, and the importance of staying positive to realise their property dreams.

Choosing an agent

When choosing an estate agent, go for an all-rounder – one who is skilled at marketing and negotiating but will also help you see the deal through to completion.

Contact us at Chamberlains today if you’d like a free property valuation.




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Is Your Property Sale Being Hampered by an Overvaluation?


When you’re selling a property, getting a valuation is the first step. You need to know what a home is worth before you can plan your next move, but what if the value you’re given is completely inaccurate?

If your property has been intentionally overvalued (priced more than it’s worth), it’s probably down to the agent hoping to win your business and bag more commission once sold. Of course, if the overvaluation was what the agent genuinely believed it to be worth, ultimately, the price might have to be reduced for sale.

Whatever the reason, time and time again, properties are put on the market at an over-inflated price. Sellers are forced to lower the asking price or have to accept a much lower offer. So, why do people still fall for overvaluations?

  • Flattery

Of course, it feels great to think your home is worth a huge amount. All the years you’ve spent living there, making improvements – to you, your home is priceless. But you’re not a property professional. You’re emotionally attached to the memories of a property and can easily be blindsided by a high valuation. Unfortunately, falling for flattery can tie you into a contract, delay the sale of your home and stop you from moving on.

  • What the overvaluation represents

More money means more opportunities for your next home. It could represent an extra bedroom, a bigger garden or two bathrooms instead of one. When a property has been overpriced, you could be lulled into a false sense of security about what your buying power is.

Yes, you’ll still need a mortgage and to sort out your finances, but if you think you’re going to achieve more than you originally thought, it’s only natural to set your sights higher.

  • Lack of research

Selling a property isn’t as simple as contacting an agent, setting a price and getting viewings. You need to know what’s on the market, how much similar properties in the area have been sold for, how long properties take to sell and so on. If you don’t research the local market, there’s no way of knowing whether your property has been valued accurately.

  • Naivety

If you get a couple of agents round and one gives you a much bigger number than the other, you’ll probably go for the one that is promising a higher return. But are they the right agent for you? Have you spoken to other local agents? What’s their success rate? What are their terms and conditions?

All good agents know that those coming in with overvaluations and inflated promises very rarely deliver. An ethical and experienced agent will give you an honest and accurate property valuation based on hard evidence that clearly demonstrates the value. They will compare similar properties, similar sizes, and similar styles too, giving the most realistic figure. They may suggest making small improvements to add value or to make the property more appealing. What they won’t do is promise you something that is unrealistic and leave your sale in limbo for months to come.

Are you looking to sell your home? At Chamberlains, we pride ourselves on providing accurate, well-researched valuations. Get in touch with our team today, to find out how much your home is really worth, please get in touch.

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How to Make Sure Your South Devon Rental Property Is Safe


Many people are under the assumption that being a landlord is an easy ride. Get your tenants in, collect the monthly rent and that’s it, you’re laughing. Sounds like a dream… Unfortunately, it’s far from the truth, as most experienced landlords and agents will tell you.

Unless you’re lucky enough to have long-term tenants, every time a new lot of renters move in, there are lots of checks to be made, forms to sign, letters to send and on it goes.

One thing that should never be ignored or delayed are your annual safety checks. As a landlord, it is your legal duty to ensure your tenants are living in a safe, hazard-free environment.

In this quick read, we look at some of the responsibilities a landlord should always have at the top of their to-do list. Whilst some are legally required on an annual basis, others are recommended.

  • Gas Safety Certificate

Every year, a new Gas Safety Certificate needs to be provided to tenants in either electronic or hard copy form. Officially called a CP12 form, this safety check must be performed by a Gas Safe registered engineer. It’s designed to make sure all gas appliances, pipes and flues within the premises are safe and in good working order.

Make sure you add the date to your diary a few weeks before it’s due to expire so you can get an engineer in before the current certificate expires. Much like an MOT, a gas safety check can be completed two months before the expiry date without shortening the life.

  • Electrical Safety Checks

Landlords must ensure that the electrics within a property (such as sockets and lights) are safe and properly installed. It’s always a good idea to get these checked professionally and to use the services of an NICEIC registered electrician.

Every five years, a landlord must legally provide an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), which will confirm if the electrical system is safe. If you provide movable electrical equipment, such as a microwave, kettle or so on, these must be PAT tested (Portable Appliance Test) annually.

  • Fire Safety Checks

Legally, every rented property should be fitted with a working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector. These should be tested at least once per year, if not more.

If you rent out properties that are furnished, all furniture and upholstery should be fire safe. This is often clearly printed on the label of such items. Tenants should be advised to keep all escape routes clear from obstruction in the event of an emergency – a point to also check during routine landlord inspections. Some rental properties must also have fire extinguishers and other safety equipment to hand – it’s best to check with a local assessor (Fire Risk Assessors (FRA) Register ( if your rental meets requirements.

If you’re a landlord and need help managing your property, please contact our team at Chamberlains. We’re happy to help.