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A garden is a perfect place for dogs to get some exercise, have a play, and of course explore.

However, they can also be full of potential hazards, so before letting your four-legged friend run riot around your lawn, here’s a handy guide to some of the ways in which you can create a dog friendly garden so it’s as safe as possible.

Make Sure it’s Secure

Some breeds of dog are notorious for digging, especially smaller ones like Jack Russells and Yorkshire Terriers. Check that your fence is secure and there’s no way of your dog escaping underneath it.

If you have a bigger dog then you’ll need to ensure that the fence is high enough too. Some dogs can jump much higher than you imagine, so ensure you have a fence that’s at least 6ft.

Make sure you keep gates closed at all times too. Even the most well-trained dogs can make a bolt for it if they see something that catches their eye, so don’t give them the chance to get out.

Keep Sheds & Garages Closed

If you’re leaving your dog unattended for any period of time, even just for a minute, then ensure that you’ve left the shed and garage firmly closed.

There are all sorts of hazards that could harm curious pooches, such as paint, chemicals and sharp tools, so make sure they’re out of bounds to pets to help avoid any accidents.

Avoid Toxic Plants

Some plants can be very harmful to dogs and it’s important to know which ones to avoid before letting your pets run wild in the garden.

Daffodils, Hydrangea and Yew are some of the more common ones to avoid, but it’s best to check all plants individually before doing any planting.

Add Some Dog-Friendly Plants

Not all plants are bad for dogs, although of course you don’t want to encourage them to be eating any at all.

Do a little bit of research before you buy any plants and you’ll find there are lots of affordable, attractive plants that won’t cause any harm to your dog if they do decide to chew them.

Sunflowers, Honeysuckle and Camellias are just some of the more dog-friendly plants you’ll be able to find.

Avoid Slugs & Snails

While you can’t watch your dog at all times, you should try to keep an eye on them to stop them from eating any slugs or snails, as these can cause lungworm.

Try and ensure your dog is kept away from them altogether, or use a pet-friendly slug repellent to keep them out of your garden.

Avoid Using Cocoa Chips

Some gardeners like to use these as an alternative to bark, however cocoa can be very poisonous to dogs, so if you are putting chippings down, then make sure you use bark instead.

The above tips have focused on potential hazards and things to avoid, but below are some of the positive things you can do so your dog can make the most of the garden and have a safe place to roam.

Create a Designated Play Zone

There are lots of advantages to creating a specific play area, with the primary one being that it will help teach your dog to avoid some of the no-go areas of the garden. You can train your dog to only use the play area in the same way you would train them to go to the toilet outside, or to only jump on a specific chair in your house for example.

If your dog has a fun area to play in, then it should hopefully make the rest of the garden less appealing to them, meaning you don’t have to worry about plants getting damaged, or slugs being eaten.

To make the play area attractive, put some toys in there, maybe bury some treats for them to find and even put a bed in there for them to lie on. Anything you can think of to make the space their own will work.

Give Them a Shelter to Lay in

Dogs love to be outside, but if it’s wet and windy, or they need some protection from the sun then a shelter is the perfect solution. It doesn’t need to be large or fancy, just a small wooden hut with enough space for a bed and a water bowl.

It will give your dog a great place to have a nap, while still getting some fresh air and having humans nearby.

Create Clear Boundaries

Creating clear boundaries in the garden will reinforce to your dog that it mustn’t cross into certain areas.

In much the same way as the sofa or your bed may be out of bounds, your bed of plants could be a no-go zone too, marked with a border of stones or bricks for example.

It can also serve as an additional feature for your garden, so it’s a win-win for you and your dog!

Let us find you the perfect home for you and your dog! Call us on 01612929223 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on property trends, with rural areas seeing a huge surge in interest.

This is no doubt due to people spending more time working from home and looking for a property with some outdoor space to enjoy.

If you’re thinking about getting away from the city and escaping to the countryside, here are 7 tips to help you find your perfect rural property.

1. Dip Your Toe in The Water Before Committing

While the relative tranquility and more laidback lifestyle in the countryside can seem very appealing, if you’ve only lived in major cities then it can come as a huge shock to the system.

As a minimum you’re likely to have to travel further for most things, and it’s unlikely you’ll have 24-hour access to groceries for example.

Therefore, if you’re able to do so, consider renting for at least 6 months before you buy a property. That way you’ll get a much better feel for what you like and dislike about a rural location, and it will be much easier to move back to the city if you find the change of lifestyle to be too much.

2. Do Your Research

It pays to be prepared, so find out as much as you can about the area you’re looking to move to before you commit. As your local property experts for the Ashton Under Lyne area we can help you familiarise yourself with different areas of interest.

One thing that can catch people out is the boundaries and shared access that comes with living in a rural area. You may be seeking peace and privacy, only to find that there’s a public footpath crossing through your land, or a shared driveway that’s regularly used by farm vehicles.

Just make sure you do your homework on any potential property before you go all in.

3. Get to Know The Locals

Living in the country can be very isolating if you don’t know anyone, so it makes sense to have a few connections before you move if you can.

Just popping into the local shop or pub and chatting to some of the staff can go a long way to helping you settle in and you’ll be contributing towards the local community too.

Having some connections will also be invaluable if you ever need some help in future, such as finding a reliable tradesperson or getting a stray sheep out of the garden!

4. Contact your Local Estate Agent

This might seem simple, but it’s definitely a good idea to reach out and let us know what you’re looking for so that we can keep you up to date.

As your local agent, we have excellent knowledge of the local areas and can offer invaluable advice with regards to local facilities, schools and amenities.

There’s nothing wrong with finding a property through an online website and putting an offer in, but speaking directly to your local estate agent will help you to be better prepared for the reality of moving to a new area.

5. Embrace the Lifestyle

One of the main reasons why a lot of people’s rural move goes wrong is because they’re too set in their ways and they fail to adapt.

If you are going to move to the country then you’ll need to be prepared for potential issues that you don’t have in major towns and cities, such as fewer convenience shops and takeaways on your doorstep and reduced public transport services.

Embracing these lifestyle changes will go a long way towards settling and staying somewhere in the long-term.

6. Be Aware of Potential Extra Costs

You will often find that rural properties aren’t connected to mains water and drainage. Instead, you may have a shared septic tank and a private water supply, which may be your sole responsibility, or shared with neighbours.

Other utilities such as broadband can be unreliable in extremely rural areas, so if it’s essential to have superfast internet then you may have to pay extra for this too.

As with everything, do your research and look into the potential additional costs you may have to face before putting in an offer.

7. Be Flexible

If you’re buying in a large town or city then you’ll often be spoilt for choice, so you can find exactly what you want if you look hard enough.

When it comes to rural areas though, because there are fewer properties to choose from you may find that some of your ‘must haves’ just aren’t going to be possible.

Therefore, you’ll need to either consider a wider area to find your perfect property or come to a compromise on the property itself to ensure you get to live in your perfect area.

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. to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.

If you’re thinking of making some improvements to your Tameside home then a conservatory can make a really nice addition to a property, and it will almost certainly add value.

The exact amount will depend on a number of factors, but roughly speaking you can expect it to add around 5% to the value of your home.

Ultimately, it’s an extra room in the house, and most houses will benefit from having more space, particularly if the conservatory is used to its potential, as a dining area or extra lounge for example.

Before committing to any major expense though, you should take a number of factors into consideration.

●     Check If You Need Planning Permission

Most conservatories won’t require planning permission, but you should double-check with your local council before having any work carried out.

Having one built and then finding out you need planning permission afterwards can be a very expensive problem to deal with, and could easily wipe out any added value on your home.

●     Don’t Try To Cut Costs

If you’re serious about adding a conservatory to your property then make sure you get it built by a reputable company using quality materials.

If you’re planning to just slap a cheap conservatory on the back of your house with the intention of making an extra £10,000 when you come to sell then you could be in for a nasty shock.

While conservatories generally add value to a property, it’s only if they’re made of quality materials and have relevant safety certificates and guarantees with them.

●     Keep It Maintained

Maintaining your conservatory is vital to protecting the added value of your property. After all, if a new owner is going to come in and need to rip it down immediately then it’s not worth having in the first place.

Maintenance doesn’t need to be particularly expensive or time-consuming, just look after it in the way you do with the rest of the house. Regular vacuuming, dusting and cleaning of windows for example.

Bear in mind that during the winter months, in particular, there’s likely to be mud and dirt coming in and out, so it’s usually a good idea to go with a tiled or wooden floor and avoid carpet.

●     Make Sure It Blends In With Your Property

It’s rarely a good idea to think that adding a conservatory will automatically see a high return.

Some properties just aren’t suited to having a conservatory, while some companies may just be trying to sell the most expensive one they can with no regard for how it will look once finished.

So take your time when choosing, obtain a few quotes and go with a company you trust and who are looking to sell you the most suitable conservatory for your property, not just to line their own pockets.

●     Consider How It Will Look In Your Garden

Houses with small gardens are often just not suitable for a conservatory as they take up most or all of the available outdoor space.

If it’s your ‘forever home’ and you’re happy to take over the garden then go ahead, but if you’re planning on building a conservatory as a way of adding value to your property then it’s probably a good idea not to dominate your entire outdoor space with one.

Remember, when it comes to adding value you need to put yourself in a potential buyer’s shoes, and if they’re looking for a property with a garden then yours won’t meet the criteria.

●     Ensure You’re Getting It For The Right Reasons

First and foremost, a conservatory is best added as an additional room that you’re going to use. Whether it’s as an additional dining area, living room, playroom, office or even an extension of your kitchen, it should be something that’s going to be used and enjoyed.

If your sole intention is to add value to your property so you can make a return on your investment then it’s wise to carry out some research before going ahead.

Find out how much other properties in your area have sold for with and without conservatories to see if it makes as big a difference as you hope.

Contact us on 01612929223 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and ask for our opinion as we are more than happy to appraise your property.

Is buy to let in Tameside a good investment? That’s a really good question, for so many different reasons.

Firstly, what makes a ‘good investment’?

What are the hallmarks of a ‘good investment’?

Secondly, is buy to let a ‘good investment for you’, personally speaking?

Just like the word ‘good’ is a concept for discussion, so is whether a good investment works for you. Thinking about it further, what does investment actually mean?

These are exactly the type of questions you should be asking yourself if you are thinking of becoming a buy to let investor in Tameside . They will help you shape your future if you do become a landlord of residential properties.

Here, we will look at what makes a good investment when it comes to property.

What does a good investment look like?

First ask yourself: What do you want a good investment to look like?

It might be that you have a little money in the bank, or you want to use some of your savings as a deposit for a buy-to-let mortgage. The rewards from a property investment will certainly outweigh leaving the money in a standard bank account. That’s great on the face of it, but what are you investing for? Do you want to get a return in terms of a good rental income, or are you thinking long term when the property you buy could be worth a lot more money giving you the option to sell and profit later on?

So, think about your reasons for investing and what you want to get out of it.

What does good actually mean?

What does ‘good’ mean when it comes to looking at a ‘good investment’ in property?

It might be that you’re looking at capital growth (your property rising in value) or it might be that ‘good’ means a good rental yield. This means that you get a solid return on your money through the rent you get back.

To calculate the yield, divide the annual rental amount by the property value and then times that by 100. This will give you the rental yield. A good yield varies depending on where the property is located, but you should be looking at around six percent or above. To decide whether your investment is good, make sure everything adds up. Your rental income must at least cover your costs.

Is the property right for a good investment?

To answer this question, you’ll need to consider whether the property is in the right area for it to do well when it comes to finding a good tenant.

  • Is it likely to soak up some of your funds because it needs a lot of repairs and maintenance to bring it up to scratch?
  • You may understand that it needs work, and you may have budgeted for it, but if you exceed your budget, will this still make it a good investment?

Try and keep your emotions out of it. Buying and renting property should be based on business decisions. Plan, and then plan some more.

Is it just a money investment?

There is more to buy to let than just investing money. Finances are imperative but it’s not the only factor you should be thinking about.

  • Can you afford the time to be a landlord?
  • Can you invest thinking space and dedicate hours to make sure you are on the right side of the law?
  • Do you have the time to invest in doing any maintenance or repairs?

Being a buy to rent landlord is so much more than merely buying a property and waiting for the rent to arrive in your bank account.

Assess your priorities, as not having the time doesn’t mean you can’t invest in property. It might mean that you ask a lettings agent to find you a tenant and then manage the property on your behalf.

Buying and renting out a house could be a fantastic opportunity for you, but you must do your homework. While you will of course be looking online and asking friends or relatives, it’s important you speak with the property experts. In Tameside that’s us and we would love to help you as you start your journey. Give us a call on 01612929223 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Tameside property market is continuing to enjoy a boom, with prices also reaching record highs nationwide. With demand far outweighing supply, many buyers are increasingly paying more to secure their dream properties.

Read on to find out more, with some of July’s key headlines across the UK property market:

UK Prices Reach Record High In Buying Frenzy

The average asking price of a UK home has reached a new high according to the property website Rightmove.

Figures that are due to be released shortly will show a new peak, surpassing the previous record that was set back in May.

Rightmove also confirmed that the first six months of 2021 have been their busiest since 2000 as buyers rushed to complete their purchases before the phasing out of the stamp duty holiday.

The pricing boom has partly been caused by a shortfall in properties on the market. Rightmove confirmed that 140,000 more sales were agreed in the first half of the year than the long term average, however, there were 85,000 fewer new listings, leading to a shortfall of 225,000 properties, which has put sellers in the driving seat when it comes to negotiating as demand for properties continues to outweigh supply.

Stamp Duty Holiday Winds Down

The government’s stamp duty holiday is now winding down.

The scheme, which was introduced to stimulate the housing market during the Coronavirus pandemic has been an overwhelming success, with savings of up to £15,000 for some buyers.

That saving has now ended, however, buyers can still save up to £2,500 on stamp duty if they complete before the 30th September.

And the housing market is expected to remain strong, despite the ending of the stamp duty holiday.

Biggest Rent Rises In Coastal And Commuter Towns

Property website Rightmove has announced the towns and cities with the highest rent increases in the past year with coastal and commuter towns seeing the biggest jump.

Rochdale, Farnham and Folkestone have all seen average rents increase by more than 25% as tenants look for more space away from the major cities.

However, the recent easing of Covid restrictions has also seen some of the UK’s major cities begin to make a comeback, with renters looking to move back to city life.

Prices have risen 6.8% in Nottingham, and 3.8% in Liverpool compared to a year ago, however, in London and Edinburgh, rents are still lower than 12 months ago, at 6.8% and 4% respectively.

Self-Employed and Furloughed Workers Refused Mortgages Over Covid Grants

Self-employed people who have received government grants during the pandemic are being refused mortgages by many high street banks.

NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland have confirmed they’re not accepting applications from anyone who applied for a self-employment income support grant after 14th July 2020, while employed people who have been on furlough are also not having their applications accepted by many major lenders.

Self-employed workers are also being asked to come up with a higher deposit by some of the major high street banks. Metro Bank has confirmed that a deposit of at least 20% is required, while Santander wants a minimum of 25% before lending to self-employed workers.

It’s not all doom and gloom though as interest rates remain low!

The North West Continues To Lead The Housing Boom

Prices in the North West of England have risen by more than 15% over the past year, making it the area that’s seen the biggest increase across the UK.

Wales and Scotland aren’t far behind, having seen 10%+ increases too, but London has seen the smallest rise in prices, at an average of 5.2%, as buyers have increasingly looked to move away from the city to find more affordable properties with additional space.

Some Homebuyers Still Face Lengthy Search Delays

Homebuyers in some areas are still facing lengthy delays for council land searches. Increased demand has left some buyers facing an average wait time of 55 days for searches to be completed when the target is 10 days. Conveyancers and local councils are playing catch-up after the stamp duty holiday rush.

If you are considering buying or selling, Alex Jones are your local property experts for the Tameside area. Call us on 01612929223 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.

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