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Whether you are a green fingered fanatic and can’t wait to pull on your gardening gloves and get stuck in, or if you consider the maintenance of your outside space as just another household task that you need to tick off a list, you can’t deny that the imminent arrival of summer is the perfect time to update and refresh your garden.

From the planting of spring flowering bulbs to sprucing up your winter-weathered garden furniture, keep reading to find out how you can make your garden summer ready in six simple steps.

1.   Get underway with weeding

Possibly the most boring and time consuming of all the garden maintenance tasks is weeding, but unfortunately it is a crucial step in getting your garden summer ready.

Start by removing any weeds that have accumulated in your flower-beds and then look to remove any dead plants from around your garden.

You can also tidy up your borders using a strimmer or an edging tool.

2.   Tend to your lawn

After a long winter without a trim, your lawn is no doubt in need of a good mowing. It is always best to mow your lawn when it is dry, and you should also leave the grass clippings where they fall as this will provide the soil with moisture and nutrients, resulting in a healthier lawn.

Now is also the ideal time to aerate your lawn. This can be done either by hand with a fork, or with an aerating machine.

3.   Fix up your fence

Fences can take quite a battering over the winter months and nothing can make your garden look as neglected and uncared for as a faded wooden fence. Therefore, it is vitally important that you repaint and treat your fence to ensure it looks its best once the sun starts shining again.

If you have painted your fence previously, you should first strip off this colour before you start the re-painting and treating process.

The colour of your fence is completely dependent on your personal preference although it should be noted that darker stains can make your garden appear smaller. If in doubt, try and choose a shade that will complement the plants and flowers in your garden, as well as any garden furniture that you may have.

4.   Set up a scrubbing station

Depending on the items you have in your garden, you may have a fair amount of cleaning on your hands. From a rusty BBQ, to grubby outdoor seating, to debris littered decking; essential cleaning will definitely be on your list of tasks for ensuring your garden is summer ready.

To remove rust from your BBQ, simply mix one cup of baking soda with a little bit of vinegar, apply to the affected area, leave for half an hour and then scrub away with soapy water and a sponge.

Outdoor tables and chairs can also be revived with just a bucket of warm soapy water and a bit of elbow grease.

5.   Sow your seeds

Whether you favour flowers or prefer growing a selection of edible plants, now is the perfect time to start deciding what you want to grow and where. Once you have established your preferred plants, you should start ordering your summer flowering bulbs and seeds.

Now is also a good time to hunt down and eliminate any hibernating garden pests that may attack and destroy your precious plants and produce once they awake from their slumber.

You can either use a shop bought pesticide, or you can make your own soap spray that will effectively eliminate any pests. Simply mix one tablespoon of dishwashing soap with one gallon of water and spray directly onto the insects.

6.   Install a water butt

Keeping your garden looking fresh and vibrant requires a lot of watering, especially over the warm summer months. Using water from your tap can send your utility bills spiralling if you have a water meter fitted, so instead, install your own water butt.

There are a wide variety of sizes and styles to choose from including slimline options if you do not have much space and second-hand butts available on eBay if you are keen to save money and do your bit for the environment.

Other water saving tips for your garden include:

  • Using a watering can instead of a hose pipe
  • Watering your plants when the temperature is at its coolest, either first thing in the morning or later in the evening
  • Not overwatering your plants
  • Not worrying if your lawn becomes scorched, it will recover quickly once the rain returns

If you are getting your property market ready and planning on moving to or within the Tameside area soon, why not telephone us on 01612929223 or call in. We’ll be happy to advise you on our available properties in the area.

There is a dance we do when it comes to buying and selling a property! In most cases, you’ll want to sell your property first and then buy another property second because this means having a greater deposit to work with and enough funds to cover all your moving costs. If you sell at the right time, then you can potentially sell your house fast and for the asking price or, if you can start a bidding war between multiple interested parties, in some cases, greater than the asking price.

Seasonal Selling: Housing Market and Selling Expectations

Spring

Spring is a great time to sell and traditionally is the season when lots of properties come to market. Potential buyers are not away enjoying their summer holidays, there is that feeling of warmth and renewal in the air, and in general, many people want to move during this season simply because it means they can settle into their new home during the warmer, more pleasant months of the year.

Summer

Summer has windows of opportunity for selling your home but it’s important to understand that this is also a time when families will be preoccupied either with taking care of their children who are off from school, or away on holiday. That said, many people do have extra time in the summer due to taking time off work and may potentially fit viewing houses into their schedules.

Autumn

Like Spring, Autumn is another traditionally great time to sell. Try to get your property up and ready – clean it, declutter it and stage it – before the summer ends. This way, you can get it on the market by late August ready to woo those fresh September buyers!

Winter

Winter is busy with preparations for Christmas, which means that after December 1st you may see buyer activity slowing down. Come January though, the market usually picks up again ready for that all important leap back into Spring!

Other Considerations When Putting Your Home on the Market

It’s not only the season that can make a difference to the best time to put your home on the market. These other factors also play a part:

Planning Works Nearby

If there are big road works or building works going on outside your property, you might want to wait until these are completed. Objectively, it should only improve the value of your home, so it may be worth holding off!

Conversely, you could also use planning works in progress to boost the value of your home whilst it’s on the market. For example, if new transport links are being built nearby this could attract more buyers to your property. Be aware of what is being done near you so that you know whether to wait or whether you can use it to boost value.

The Housing Market

In some cases, the housing market will be booming, and the value of properties will be so high you will want to ensure you take advantage of this and get a sale as fast as you can. In this case, it is best to hire professionals to come in and deep clean and stage your home so you can sell it fast, whilst the market is hot.

The Economy

A recession or political uncertainty is always going to have an impact when selling your home, but you do have other options whilst you wait for the ideal time to put your house on the market. If your mortgage is entirely paid up, you could rent your property out until the best time to sell. This way you can also benefit from an income.  If you want to rent out your home but still have a mortgage, then you will need to speak with your lender to get the necessary permissions and switch to a buy to let mortgage.

Be Prepared in Advance No Matter What

Of course, you want to sell, above all else, so whatever the season, it’s important to be ready. This means having your finances in order, getting your home in order, decorating and making minor improvements and repairs, and ensuring your property looks its absolute best and so attracts views. A house that is ready to be sold is far more attractive to buyers than one that is not!

If you are considering putting your house in Tameside on the market, talk to us at Alex Jones on 01612929223 for the best possible advice.

Photographs are an essential step when selling your home in Tameside and are integral to an effective marketing strategy.

Your photos need to look fantastic and stand out in a busy market. The images need to be an accurate and honest representation of the property, which is why staging your home before the professional photographer arrives is crucial.

If you are not hiring professional home stagers, there are some simple steps you can take to prepare your home in the best possible way before we send our professional photographers out to capture your home at its best!

Pay Attention to the Front of The Property

Even the nicest of cars cause distraction. Remove your vehicle from the driveway to give the viewers the full impact of the outside space and an unobstructed view of the front of the property. Additionally, ensure garage doors are closed. Small changes will make a significant impact on the overall quality of the photography.

If you usually keep the bins at the front of the property, ensure they are hidden away out of any shots. Thoroughly clean windows and windowsills to provide that the all-important front image of the home is immaculate.

Take some time to tidy the front garden, giving the best first impression. Mow the lawn, trim back any hedges and remove any empty plant pots that may be lying around.

Make Your Gardens Attractive

Gardens are often a huge draw for potential buyers, both those who are breaking free from the rental market and those climbing up the property ladder. Gardens are subject to personal taste, but neat lawns, clean decking, smart patios and clearly defined eating areas are what buyers want, so take time to prepare them before the arrival of your photographer.

Showcase Your Bedrooms

Remove any signs that may be stuck on bedroom doors, especially common for children’s rooms. Store away any children’s toys which may eliminate part of your target audience. If you don’t have the storage room, hide them in the car while the photographer is working!

Make all the beds and plump up the pillows. If any cushions are looking past their best, hide them out of shot. Items like this can do more harm than good and make the whole room look tired.

Add Sparkle to Your Bathroom

Bathrooms and kitchens are the main rooms that can really draw viewers to a home. Simple hacks in the bathroom can drastically elevate your photographs. Simply make sure the toilet seats are down, and mirrors are sparkly clean with no watermarks or smudges.

As bathrooms are often small, create space by being as minimal as possible. Store away cosmetic items such as shampoo, lotions, or razors. The bright colours of the bottles can be unattractive and distracting when photographed.

Remove Kitchen Clutter

Kitchens are the heart of the home, and a beautiful kitchen is often the factor that convinces unsure potential buyers. Clear all surfaces, leaving minimal appliances in view. This will prevent clutter from causing distraction and give the illusion of a bigger and fresher space with plenty of work surfaces.

Don’t Distract with Electronics

Turn off the TV and any computers and make sure there are no loose electronic devices left on countertops, which are distracting for people viewing the images. The last thing you want to see are beautiful images of your home with a distracting TV show in the corner of the otherwise perfect image.

Let in The Light

Open curtains and blinds wide to let the natural light flow through the home. Your photographer will then be able to manipulate the light to show your home in the best, most natural way possible. If you have blinds, open them tilted upwards. This will push the natural light towards the ceiling, allowing it to illuminate without being too harsh for photography.

Give Your Pets a Day Out!

Although you love them, it is best to keep pets out of your listing photographs whether it is a cat, dog or hamster, if possible, remove the pet from the home for the whole day, as this will give you an excellent opportunity to clean, ready for staging, and prevent them from getting in the way of the photographer.

In addition to the pet itself, make sure any pet toys, food bowls and beds are out of shot. Furthermore, tidy up the garden, ensuring no waste or pet toys are lying around.

Call the friendly team at Alex Jones Estate Agents now on 0161 292 9223 – we use professional photography as standard!

Once again, it continues to be a busy time in the property sector. The property market is inextricably linked to wider economic issues, so it’s no surprise that government decisions and the pandemic will affect what’s happening locally.

As far as we are concerned, we continue to be busy and we’re still seeing lots of interest in the Tameside area.

At Alex Jones, we always keep up to date with the property market, so here’s a helpful roundup of some of the property market news over the past couple of weeks.

Don’t forget, if you want to know more about the local market in particular, drop an email over to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

It’s A Moving Business

We often talk about property – which is obvious since it’s our line of buisness – but we thought we’d start this month’s news update with talk from the removals industry.

Today’s Conveyancer recently ran an interview with a couple of businesses in the removals sector which interestingly stated that for one particular company, stats showed “registrations for their removal services in August 2020 didn’t hit the same peaks as they had done in 2019. However, their data showing the first couple of months of 2021 have shown that demand for the services is indeed still at an all-time high.”

This is good news for the sector and correlates with the market we are seeing, which has faced some uncertainty over recent months.

Market Dips, But Prices Stable

The Halifax House Price Index shows that prices in February 2021 were 5.2 per cent higher than the same month a year earlier. The bank says that the market dipped slightly in February but prices remained stable, with the average property price being £251,697.

Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, is quoted as saying: “In the longer-term, the performance of the housing market remains inextricably linked to the health of the wider economy. The pace and extent of recovery are still highly uncertain, and much will depend on the ongoing success of the UK’s vaccination roll out.”

We agree that the market is linked to the economic situation, but at the moment, it’s a buoyant market in Ashton Under Lyne .

Stamp Duty Holiday Extension Welcomed

Perhaps one of the most eagerly-anticipated news items of March was the extension of the temporary stamp duty holiday (in England and Northern Ireland), which now runs until the end of June.

The announcement came as a relief to many homebuyers, especially those mid-transaction, and there is little doubt that the holiday gave the market the shot it needed. Indeed, Rightmove’s property data expert Tim Bannister said that the extension “should give tens of thousands of home-movers the chance to complete before the new deadline”.

Echoing these thoughts was Zoopla, the property portal, which said that buyer demand soared, but warned that supply remained tight, thus pushing prices upwards.

Eviction Ban Extended

One for the landlords here, as many news outlets reported, the ban on tenant evictions has been extended. Zoopla says that under the ban, “bailiff-enforced evictions will not be allowed except in the most serious circumstances, such as cases of fraud or domestic abuse”.

Additionally, “the requirement for landlords to give their tenants a six-month notice period before they can evict them has also been extended until the end of May”.

Good news for tenants, but for landlords who have issues with a tenant, it may not be so welcome. If you need help managing your property portfolio, we’re happy to assist. Just get in touch and we’ll have a chat about what we can do to help alleviate the stress.

Key Info To Be Shared Earlier?

This is an interesting one, reported on by Property Wire. The Law Society and its partners are looking at making “key information for home buyers and sellers available at a much earlier stage in the conveyancing process”.

If the pilot currently being rolled out proves to be successful, it means information normally sourced after conveyancers have been instructed will be available earlier in the process via the TA6 form. This is typically information relating to the property to be purchased, for example, parking arrangements, Japanese knotweed and flooding risks.

This could definitely change how things are done and makes a certain amount of sense, informing a potential buyer of the information they need to make an informed decision .

We’ll keep you updated as this progresses.

In the meantime, if you need help buying or selling, in Tameside then please get in touch on 01612929223 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We’re here to help you get moving.

Moving home! The very thought of it is probably enough to send shivers down your spine and cause you to break out in a cold sweat, and this is unsurprising as moving home is right up there with divorce and death when it comes to heightened stress levels!

The fact is though, that any kind of ‘change’ creates stress and whether you are moving home within Tameside or relocating from further afield, plenty of planning and preparation will be required.

Moving home, and especially relocating to a new town or city, represents one of the biggest changes you may make in your life and so naturally brings a great deal of stress along with it. This in turn can lead to a double whammy, as stress can often lead to a lack of energy and motivation. So how are you expected to plan and prepare for your home move during one of the most stressful periods in your life?

Stay focused!

When preparing to move home there will be an element of multi-tasking required as there are such a lot of elements vying for your attention which need to be done. At Alex Jones we understand this and genuinely want your move to run super smoothly, so with this in mind, we have compiled a handy moving home checklist to help you remain stress free.

At first glance, some of our suggestions may appear to be common sense, but you will be surprised at just how often the simplest of tasks is overlooked or forgotten when the dreaded stress strikes!

Moving home calls not only for exceptional organisational skills, but also proactivity. Grabbing the bull by the horns and completing certain chores well in advance of their deadlines will go a long way to helping you stay ahead of schedule, so the aim of this home moving checklist is to help you accomplish that by concentrating on the basics of planning and preparation.

Get rid of everything you don’t need

One thing you can accomplish efficiently is to sort through all of your ‘stuff’ and get rid of the things you don’t need. Moving unwanted items from your current property to your new property is a great waste of time and effort, so don’t do it! It’s surprising how much more in control you will feel once you start narrowing down your inventory. Getting rid of unwanted items can be done through a car boot sale, selling on eBay or donating to charity.

File important papers and documents together

Since moving home is hectic to say the least, you need to be aware of the exact location of all your important items. These are the things that you absolutely must not misplace and should be hand carried on moving day, not placed in a box for the removal company to transport.

Make sure all of the following paper items are kept together in one secure place such as a document wallet:

  • Address Books
  • Birth Certificates
  • Passports
  • Bank Statements
  • Insurance Policies
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Credit Cards and Statements
  • Medical and Dental Records
  • Irreplaceable Memorabilia
  • Photos and Photo Albums
  • Vehicle Documents
  • Pet and Vet Documentation
  • Wills
  • Any other important or legal documents
Prepare well in advance for the move to your new location

There are many things you can organise before you reach your new home that will help smooth out the bumps of the moving process. In particular, make sure you contact utility companies and arrange for your new services to be connected. These can include:

  • Cable TV
  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Oil
  • Telephone
  • Internet access

Contact your insurance companies too as you will need to have your policies amended ready for moving day:

  • Car insurance
  • Home & Building Insurance

Prepare change of address forms for all of your correspondents:

  • Credit card companies
  • Banks
  • Vets
  • Kennels/Cattery
  • Insurance companies
  • DVLA
  • Magazines and other subscriptions
  • Family and friends

Register for new medical providers such as a new doctor and dentist if necessary.

Keep a ‘little black book’

Keep all your important phone numbers written clearly and legibly in a diary or notebook, for both your old and new contacts. This should include banks, doctors, emergency contacts, family members, friends, estate agents, removal companies, pharmacies, schools, storage facilities and utilities.

With proper planning and preparation, the whole moving process will be smooth, and you won’t frantically be searching for a new doctor, pharmacy or important information at the eleventh hour.

With proper planning and preparation, you will have your important documents at the tips of your fingers at all times and you will endure minimum chaos and clutter.

Keep this handy moving checklist safe and get organised or for more home moving planning and preparation advice, drop in and talk to the expert team at Alex Jones or telephone us on 01612929223 and we will be happy to ensure your home move runs smoothly.

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