Tel: 0161 292 9223 | 24/7 Tel: 07984 384 433 |

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 Ashton Under Lyne 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 are so many different tasks to take care of when selling your home in Ashton Under Lyne , from getting all the paperwork done to packing your old home up, to finding the right estate agent to help you sell it. Just when you think you’ve got everything covered, you find something else that needs taking care of. 

Selling a property requires some effort on your part! After all your hard work into preparing your home for sale, you don’t then want your work to be sabotaged by the one little detail that so many people overlook: the lighting in your home. 

When you’re trying to sell your home, first impressions make all the difference. Homes that are poorly lit and dark are less appealing to potential buyers. Low lighting makes the space look and feel smaller, colder, uninviting, and dingy, even if it isn’t. It can also look as though you are trying to conceal some kind of flaws in the shadows, which can be a huge turn off for buyers. 

Good lighting is crucial, but if you don’t have the time or the budget to overhaul the lighting in every room of your home, have no fear. You can still improve your lighting situation and in turn, increase the likelihood of your home being sold sooner. 

Here are five great lighting tips to help sell your home. 

1. Audit each room’s lighting

The first step to take is to check out how each room in your home fares when it comes to it’s current lighting. Open all the blinds, pull back the curtains and turn on all the lights, then do a walk-through of every room in your home. You also might want to do this at a few different times during the day since viewings can happen from day right through to the evening when it’s darker. Try it in the morning with the morning sun, in the afternoon in full sun, in the evening at sunset, and then once the sun has completely set. It’s also a good idea to try it on rainy or cloudy days. 

While you’re conducting your audit, put yourself in your potential buyer’s shoes and think about what they would think if they were walking through. Take note of any areas that are lit very well and any areas that need more lighting. If it helps, use your phone camera to take photos to highlight which spaces need some work. 

2. Remember exterior lighting

Don’t forget about your home’s exterior lighting! Your home’s kerb appeal is important no matter what time of day. Consider that potential buyers could drive past your home at any time, or evening passers by could see the ‘for sale’ sign in your front garden. You want to make a good impression on these people, so keeping the exterior of your home well lit is crucial. The front porch and path leading to the door should be lit well to make your home look warm and welcoming. If you have a garden or patio, it should also be lit to help make the space look inviting and to highlight any features that are worth seeing. 

3. Upgrade your current fixtures

Most home buyers are willing to accept that there will be some improvements needed once they move in, but the more work you’ve done for them, the more appealing your home is. This includes any dated light fixtures or fittings that don’t work anymore. 

You also may want to consider upgrading your lightbulbs to LED lights which have less of an environmental impact, generate less heat, and allow you to get longer use out of your bulbs. 

4. Use tricks to help brighten dark spaces

Sometimes your lighting may be fine but wall colours or decoration dark, making the rest of the room feel gloomier and smaller than it actually is. To combat this, you can address those problems directly by repainting and changing the colours. If you don’t have the time or the budget to go that far, you can take a few other steps that are quicker and easier. 

Strategically placing mirrors to help reflect light can help the room seem brighter and more open, especially in rooms with small windows or windows that don’t actually offer much natural light. Additionally, adding bright or light coloured cushions, blankets, pictures, or rugs can help brighten up your space in an instant. 

5. Add more lighting if needed

When all else fails, adding extra lighting in dark spaces will be sure to do the trick. Table lamps and desk lamps can be stylish ways to bring more light into the room while adding accent lighting can help create or highlight an existing focal point. If you want to take it to the next level, under cabinet lighting, tread lighting for dark stairways and track lighting for shadowed ceilings will definitely brighten up the whole space.

If your property is for sale or you are thinking of selling your home, why not try some of these lighting tips today and ensure you create a lighter, brighter space ready for viewers. For further property related advice, contact the team at Alex Jones on 01612929223 and we will be delighted to offer you professional guidance.

Alex Jones Estate Agents are asking the residents of Tameside to help us this Easter.

We feel the urge to help Sandwich Angels provide Easter Eggs to children of low income and struggling families.

We would ask that if any Tameside residents can afford to drop an Easter Egg off at our office in Ashton so we can donate this.

The closing date from Drop offs is 30th March. 

We thank you in advance and hope to see some of you at our Ashton Branch.



Sell Your Home: 6 Signs of a Great Estate Agent!


Whether you’re selling your home in Ashton Under Lyne or looking to rent or buy, choosing a great estate agent is a hugely important part of the process. Pick the right agent and your transaction is much more likely to go off without a hitch. You’ll be able to find the house of your dreams or get your property off the market much more quickly.

The question is, how do you distinguish between a great estate agent and a mediocre one? It can be hard to tell at the initial stage when the agent will be on their best behaviour trying to pitch their services to you. Luckily, there are some signs to look out for. Read on to find out how to spot a great estate agent:

1. They’ll have excellent online reviews

Thanks to Google, it is no longer possible for any service provider to get away with lousy service. Customers and clients can easily leave bad online reviews which will affect their future business. Look online before you decide on an estate agent. If they don’t have their own reviews section, Google Business usually has honest reviews from customers.

Search for reputable estate agents that have verified reviews. If they’ve delivered exceptional service in the past, it’s likely, they will again. The same applies to those who have delivered bad service and have poor reviews – avoid them!

2. They’ll often come recommended

One of the best ways to start your hunt for a great local estate agent in Ashton Under Lyne is to ask around for recommendations. If anyone within your friends and family circle is personally vouching for an estate agent, they’re likely to provide excellent service. It also adds an element of credibility, as the recommendation is coming from someone that you know and trust.

3. They’ve been doing this for a while!

Find someone equipped with the experience you need to navigate the property market. Gain an understanding of how much experience your estate agent has before choosing them for your home move.

The more experience an agent has navigating the housing market, the more easily they’ll be able to spot any issues and help you circumvent them. They may also have partners that they can recommend to help you with your move, such as independent surveyors and removal companies. If you’re buying or renting, we’d recommend opting for someone just like us as we have great local knowledge of the Ashton Under Lyne area.

4. Their average selling time speaks for itself

One of the signs of an effective estate agent is how quickly they can work to move your property off the market. While you want to ensure that they don’t rush the process and achieve a good price for your property, you also don’t want to wait too long when you’re ready to sell your house. A great estate agent will be skilled on how to market your property and will be able to find interested buyers and line up viewings until they get your house sold.

So, how do you find out whether your estate agent will be effective at selling your property? Ask them what their average selling time is. Beware of those with very short selling times, as this could have been done at the expense of price.

5. They offer a fair property valuation

To value a house accurately is a lot more work than you may think. All estate agents know that the property valuation you offer them could lead to you choosing to hire them or not, and they may adjust their valuation accordingly. Some agents may decide to overvalue the property to tempt you into working with them, only to reduce this to a more realistic valuation once you’ve chosen them. Opt for an estate agent that gives you a realistic valuation from the start that is aligned with the market value.

It’s perfectly okay to ask an agent to explain their valuation if you think it’s too high or too low. A great estate agent will happily explain their reasoning for their valuation and break down why they’ve given those numbers.

6. They have good communication skills

This is less easy to ‘measure’, but it’s one of the most important things that make up a great estate agent. They should be friendly and communicative so you can be sure that you will be kept informed throughout the process.

Suss out their communication style with a simple phone call or video call, although keep in mind that all agents will be putting their best foot forward at this stage!

If you are planning on moving to the Ashton Under Lyne area soon, why not get in touch. We’ll be happy to advise you on all our available properties in the area. Contact us on 01612929223 for more information and an expert, friendly service.

Property Portals