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Are you asking yourself whether you should decorate your home when selling up?

If so, it’s a good question. Not all buyers will appreciate your décor, and it could lose you a sale. But selling your home at Christmas doesn’t mean you have to go bah ‘humbug for the entire season. There are some things you can do to spruce up the festivities the right way, as long as you keep it simple.

To help you sell your Ashton Under Lyne home, here are our top tips on decorating your home at Christmas that won’t impact your sale.

3 Things To Avoid
1. Decorating Before the Professional Photos

While it may be tempting to put up your decorations before the photographer has stopped by, don’t. Estate agents aim to sell your home as quickly as possible. But sometimes, a sale can take a few months before the right buyer shows up.

If this happens, people browsing your online listing in spring will spot the Christmas tree and could be put off. Don’t take the risk!

2. Outdoor Decorations

If you usually light up your exterior like a Christmas tree, give it a miss this year. The kerb appeal is the first impression a buyer will have of your home. If you have climbing Santa’s and flashing lights everywhere, this can be a huge turn-off.

Keep it simple, like a small, sophisticated wreath on the front door if you want something outside.

3. Window Displays

Natural light is a huge selling point. If you have swinging elves and sprayed-on snowflakes covering your windows, this could hinder the amount of natural light coming in. To keep things looking the way they usually do, keep the windows clear.

3 Things You Can Do to Decorate at Christmas
1. Keep it Subtle

When a buyer walks in, you want them to notice the space. Decorations can distract buyers from the important things. It can even put them off your home entirely. To keep things neutral, stick to a Christmas tree and a few festive items that are small or subtle.

2. Opt For Neutral Colours

We know that bright reds and greens are cheery at Christmas. But too many colours can damage the overall vibe of your home. If you’re going to decorate, keep the colours neutral. The same applies to any tree lights. Ditch the multi-coloured bulbs and opt for a warm or cool LED light instead.

3. Add Festive Smells

A fresh and inviting smell in your home can help it stand out to buyers. It can even make your home appear cleaner and more appealing. A great way of making your home feel festive when you’re selling up is to add pleasant smells, like cinnamon or sweet cookies. A scent that isn’t too overpowering can help you feel festive without putting buyers off.

Want More Home Staging Tips?

We’re Alex Jones, and we know everything there is to know about selling properties in Ashton Under Lyne – including how to stage your home for a sale.

If you’re selling your home, we’d love to hear from you! Reach out to us today on 01612929223 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Autumn Jobs: How to prepare your home and garden for autumn

A rare warm breeze is a playful reminder that we are now into autumn, the summer months having passed us by.

Blue skies peppered with clouds will seemingly quickly turn to rain. Mornings start with wet ground underfoot, while the nights are already drawing in and the streetlights in and around Ashton Under Lyne will be glowing earlier. Children are collecting conkers, and while some of us relish the walks through the fallen golden leaves, others might be looking forward to snuggling down at home in the warmth.

It’s the perfect time to get our homes and gardens in order, ready for the rest of autumn, the slow onset of winter and the cold, snowy weather it often brings.

So, we’ve put together six things you should be doing right now to prepare your home and garden for the weeks ahead.

Store your garden furniture

You may already have been prepared and put all your summer items away, but some of us just haven’t got around to it yet, reluctant to say goodbye to the slim chance of just one more warm and sunny day! It’s a job that must be done though, so make sure that your patio furniture is stored away in a garage or a shed, or at least has a protective sheet over it. Chances are, you will have spent a few pounds on the furniture so you should look after it.

Top Tip: Give your garden furniture a good scrub before storing, as not only will it mean things are clean, it means you won’t have to spend time doing it when you bring your furniture out of hibernation in spring next year.

Don’t leaf it too late! (Sorry! We couldn’t resist!)

Many trees and plants have now shed their leaves, and you might love the look and sound of those crunchy piles as they mount up against a wall or fence, but it’s best to sweep all the fallen debris up before it begins to rot and leaves an unsightly mess in your garden. Similarly, ensure your gutters are free from mud, leaves and twigs.

Top Tip: Invest in a composter. That way, you have somewhere nearby to put garden clippings and leaves in, and, if managed carefully, you’ll have the beginnings of great compost.

Check your pipes and drains

As the days become colder, it makes perfect sense to make sure that you don’t get any headaches from broken pipes or blocked drains. With drains, ensure that they are not blocked by leaves or soil. With pipes, it’s best to ensure that they are well insulated. It’s also recommended that you keep your heating at set temperatures, even if you are away from home so that pipes don’t keep contracting and expanding, making them prone to damage.

Top Tip: Landlords who let out properties have a duty by law to have gas safety checks and boiler checks, but it’s easy for homeowners to skip an annual service. It makes sense to us here at Alex Jones for every homeowner to make sure their heating and boilers are in good working condition. It’s safer and more efficient, saving the pennies.

Ensure insurance is in place

No matter what you do, sometimes things go wrong, and it can prove costly. Through no fault of your own, harsh weather conditions in winter can mean leaks, breaks and cracks can happen. Check that your insurance is in place and that it covers you for everything you need.

Top Tip: As you’re checking your insurance cover, take the time to do an audit of other bits and bobs of paperwork too. Perhaps your car insurance needs looking at, or you need to renew policies or update your will. Seriously, spending time doing essential paperwork can save you money and heartache.

Sound the alarm

With the coming cold weather, chances are you’ll be spending more time indoors – the kettle is on, the fire is roaring, candles are lit, the heating’s on. While you’re indoors, you need to know you are safe, and that if anything should happen, you will be quite literally alarmed. Get a smoke alarm fitted, and a carbon monoxide alarm too. A few pounds spent could save your life.

Top Tip: If you’ve got your alarms sorted, do you have a plan of what happens if one sounds? Make sure you and your family know what they should do in the event of a fire or other emergency, including escape routes.

Seal up for winter

No matter how new your house may be, a little gap here and there can let in drafts – and allow heat to get out. Make sure your insulation is good and do any work to make sure doors close properly, or gaps in window frames are sealed. It’ll keep you warm and save you money.

Top Tip: A nice draft excluder by the front door can actually add to your decor. If you’ve got children, perhaps they would like to make a draught excluder out of old clothes and textiles as a fun project!

These are just a few tips to help you prepare your home and garden for autumn and winter. If you would like any more advice, we will be more than happy to help. Call a member of our team at Alex Jones on 01612929223 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Moving house is a pretty stressful event at the best of times, and that’s when everything runs like clockwork.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t always run so smoothly, and there are plenty of potential pitfalls and oversights that you’ll want to avoid if your move is to go as planned.

Here are 6 of the most common moving house horrors you might come across, and how to avoid them.

1. Not Packing An Essentials Box

As moving day horrors go, this isn’t too bad, but it can be extremely frustrating. Just imagine, you’re sitting in your new pad, feet up on the sofa after a long day and your phone battery is down to the final 2%. There’s a mountain of boxes in front of you, and you can’t remember for the life of you where you put that phone charger. Damn!

Substitute phone charger for kettle and tea bags in the above scenario and you’ve pretty much got the same situation.

Just remember when you’re packing up your old place – keep a box of essentials separate from everything else!

2. Furniture Doesn’t Fit

This is an awkward one, especially if it’s something valuable or sentimental to you. Equally, if it’s the sofa or a bulky bed, then you might not have somewhere to sit or sleep for a few weeks while you’re waiting on a new one to be delivered.

It’s always a good idea to measure up in advance, unless you have furniture that can be taken apart and easily reassembled, or if you’re lucky the new place might have double doors into the garden so you’ll breeze through the back door with that swanky sofa.

Again, as with most things, preparation is key. If you’ve measured up in advance and there’s just no practical way of getting your bulky furniture into the new place, then at least you’ll have time to donate or sell it and get something new ordered. And on the plus side, it’s one less thing to have to take with you on moving day!

3. Forgetting To Notify People Of Your New Address

If it’s the in-laws then maybe ‘accidentally forgetting’ isn’t such a bad thing! But on a serious note it’s important you inform a few essential people, such as your bank, employer, and utility providers. After all, you don’t want to be paying for someone else’s gas and electricity in your old place too!

A good way to avoid this is to make a list of all the companies and service providers you use a few weeks before you move, and tick them off as you notify them. It’s also worth getting in touch with Royal Mail and having your post redirected for a few months, as you’re bound to miss someone out.

4. Damaging Items

If you think your smartphone is fragile, just imagine what could happen to your 60 inch Plasma screen if you drop it! The best way to avoid damage is to package everything overly cautiously and don’t rush. Just remember, you can never have too much bubble wrap, and it’s better to take your time and get everything in the house in one piece than finish by lunchtime and have broken glass on your new living room carpet.

Of course, accidents can happen though, so make sure you’ve got your contents insurance in place ready for moving day. And, if you’re using a removal company, check they’re insured too before you hire them.

5. Running Out Of Time

If you’re a naturally laidback person then it’s time to focus and be organised. Just for a few weeks at least!

If you’ve never moved home before it can be easy to underestimate how long it takes to get everything packed up, especially if you’re wrapping your valuables well to protect them.

As much as you won’t want to live among boxes for a few weeks before your move, it’s often necessary in order to have a smooth moving day when the time comes.

So unlike your school exams that you didn’t revise for until the night before, don’t leave your packing until the last minute, or you’ll be running around like a headless chicken on the morning of your move!

6. Getting An Injury

Ok, so you’ll have to be really unlucky to trip over a box and break your leg, but it’s not completely impossible.

A more likely injury is a pulled muscle or a back spasm. Ouch! Just take your time with all the heavy items, make sure you’ve got plenty of pairs of hands to help out, and don’t overstretch yourself!

Talk To The Experts

Here at Alex Jones, we provide advice that can help you avoid these Halloween horrors!

Contact us today on 01612929223 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Moving home can be a lengthy process, sometimes taking several months. A lot of buyers use Christmas as a self-imposed deadline, often so they can host the festivities in their new home and start the new year in their new house.

However, if you’ve still not put your house on the market then don’t fret, as it’s still entirely possible to sell up and be moved into a new home in Tameside and move into a new one in a matter of weeks rather than months.

Prep Your Property

If you want a quick sale then now is the perfect time for a clearout, so you can showcase your property in its best light.

At a minimum, it’s a good idea to declutter and tidy the house and garden. Improving your property’s kerb appeal by cutting the front lawn and putting a couple of plants out the front can also make a bigger difference than you might think.

And if any rooms are looking tired or outdated then a lick of paint could do just the trick. Go for neutral colours too, because when combined with a room that’s been decluttered, it gives potential buyers a far clearer idea of how they’ll use the space if they move in.

Get Your Finances In Order

To give yourself the best chance of moving quickly you’ll need to have everything in place as soon as possible, particularly when it comes to finances.

Speak to a mortgage broker about how much you can borrow, and what your options are regarding porting your mortgage. You should also get your mortgage in principle arranged in plenty of time too.

You’ll also need to have at least three months’ wage slips available, as well as your most recent P60. Another thing you’ll need to check is that you have instant access to all of your funds, as many savers will often deposit large amounts of savings into an account that doesn’t provide instant access in order to get a better interest rate. So make sure you’re able to access your funds when you need them.

Weigh Up All Offers

If you’re fortunate enough to get multiple offers on your property then you may have to compromise a little on price in order to meet your Christmas deadline.

For example, first-time buyers and cash buyers are ideal when you’re looking for a quick sale, but they might be offering less than someone else who is part of a lengthy chain.

Ultimately it comes down to how important your Christmas deadline is, but if it’s absolutely vital to you, then you may have to accept a slightly lower offer to get the ball rolling quickly.

Make Sure Your Property’s Being Marketed Properly

It’s highly likely that your estate agent will advertise your home on the major property websites, on their website and social media too, but it’s worth double-checking that this is the case.

Make sure you have a ‘for sale’ sign put up outside too, as you never know who might be looking around the area on the off chance of seeing a place they like on the market.

Basically, you want your property to be seen by as many people as possible, so when you’re speaking to estate agents, find out how and where they plan to advertise your home, to ensure it’s getting plenty of exposure.

Don’t Cut Corners

Just because you’re in a rush to move into your new place, don’t allow it to cloud your judgment when it comes to the important things.

For example, it’s always a good idea to get a survey carried out on the new property, even if it could mean a slight delay in completing the purchase.

Surveys can flag up some pretty big issues, so it’s better to find out about them before you’ve committed to buying a place than after you’ve moved in.

And on the subject of cutting corners, don’t fall into the trap of choosing the cheapest solicitor and estate agent to handle your property transaction. Although it might take some extra time, it’s always worth speaking to a handful of agents and solicitors to get an idea of their timescales and their professionalism. After all, it’s important to deal with professionals that you can trust and who’ll look to meet your deadline, rather than those who don’t pick up the phone and leave your file on the bottom of a mountain of case files!

Talk To The Experts

Here at Alex Jones, we will do our utmost to get you moved into your new home by Christmas – but you’ll need to get in touch quickly!

Contact us today on 01612929223 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The UK property market appears to be stabilising after a frantic 15 months, and the stamp duty holiday is finally coming to an end this month.

Read on to find out more, with some of September’s key headlines:

Stamp Duty Holiday To End

The tax holiday on stamp duty will finally draw to a close at the end of September in England and Northern Ireland after 15 months.

The scheme was introduced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in July 2020 to stimulate the housing market following the first national lockdown and is widely considered to have been a great success.

House prices have rocketed, and demand has soared thanks to the tax break, which meant savings of up to £15,000 for buyers.

Initially, the holiday allowed buyers to avoid stamp duty on properties up to £500,000. This was then lowered to £250,000 earlier this year, and from 1st October it will be axed completely, with stamp duty payable on all properties over £125,000 as the UK economy continues to bounce back post-pandemic.

Rents Outside London Rising At Fastest Rate For 13 Years

Leading property website Zoopla has reported a significant rise in rental prices across the UK, with prices increasing at their highest rate since 2008.

Their data indicates that rental prices have risen by 5% on average in the 12 months to the end of July, meaning renters are forking out an extra £456 a year on average.

The trend doesn’t apply to London though, with average rental prices in the capital actually falling 3.8% as renters moved away from the city during the peak of the pandemic.

Government To Spend £8.6bn on 119,000 Affordable Homes

The UK government has announced a new funding package to help thousands of people get on to the property ladder.

Approximately 119,000 new homes are to be built, with 57,000 available to buy, and just under 30,000 available for social rent.

The scheme has been confirmed in response to the growing trend of demand outstripping supply, which has pushed prices up to unaffordable levels for many would-be buyers, as the government looks to redress the balance.

Top 5 Hotspots For Sellers Revealed

A study by leading property website Rightmove has revealed the top five property hotspots for sellers.

With demand for homes far outweighing supply, some towns across the UK have become hotspots, with more buyers on the market than at any time in the past 10 years.

Newmarket in Suffolk tops the hotspot list. The market town that’s synonymous with horse racing has seen the number of homes available for sale drop by 49% in the past year, while the number of sales being agreed has gone up 79%. As a result, asking prices have seen a 9% increase since 2019, with average prices now sitting at £320,000.

It’s a similar story in the Hertfordshire town of Berkhamsted. The commuter town has seen a 57% drop in the number of properties for sale, with a 59% increase in properties sold. Similarly, prices have increased by 9% since 2019, with the average property now costing a shade over £694,000.

The rest of the top five is completed by Witney in Oxfordshire, High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, and St Ives in Cambridgeshire.

Perhaps tellingly, all five hotspots are peaceful, countryside locations away from the city centres.

Pet-Friendly Rental Homes Increase In Demand

A report from national property portal Rightmove has revealed a huge increase in demand for rental properties that accept pets.

It’s estimated that over a third of UK households have become pet owners since the first lockdown in March 2020, as furloughed employees and those who are new to working from home picked up pets to keep them company while spending more time indoors.

As a result, demand for pet-friendly rental properties has increased by a whopping 120%, with ‘pet-friendly’ and ‘pets allowed’ being the top searches for renters.

And in a sign of the changing demands of renters, and especially those with four-legged friends to consider, the next two most popular searches are for balconies and gardens, where demand is up 70% and 39% respectively.

Best Value Homes Revealed

Property portal Zoopla has revealed the findings of a study that shows where buyers can get the most floor space for their money, and it makes for very interesting reading.

Unsurprisingly, London is the least budget-friendly, with homes costing £562 per square foot on average, in stark contrast to the North East, which is the cheapest region at £157 per square foot.

In terms of towns, Burnley is the best value place in the UK at £123 per square foot, however, perhaps the most surprising finding in the report is the cost in Kensington and Chelsea, West London. The average cost there is £1,491 per square foot, which means the floor space required for a double bed would set you back an astronomical £46,550!

For more property news and updates and a more detailed overview of the Ashton Under Lyne area, get in touch with Alex Jones. We are your local property experts. Call us on 01612929223 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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