Friday, December 02, 2011

Moving House with Pets

Moving house is an exciting time and process; after finding your perfect new property for sale, you can’t wait to get moved in and settled.  You’ll want to make sure everything’s planned ahead so that it all runs smoothly on the day.

Pets can find the process of moving house somewhat stressful, so here are a few top tips for keeping your furry friends happy when you decide to up sticks and shift postcode:

Prepare for moving day
If there’s going to be any sort of journey involved, then have a think about how your pet is going to make that journey.  For example, if your cat is going to spend a good few hours in a carrier, then it might be an idea to let them get used to it first.  Knowing how suspicious our feline friends can be, it might be an idea to place the carrier in a familiar or favourite place and let them get used to it at least a week before moving day.  The more comfortable they are, the less stressful moving day will be for everyone.

Make moving day as easy as possible
There’s going to be a lot of noise, movement, and unfamiliar people in your home when it comes to moving the boxes into the van.  Minimise this disruption for your pets by limiting them to one room in the house, in which you’ve placed familiar items – toys, blankets etc.  Depending on the animal involved, you might find it useful to notify the movers / family members that the pets’ room is not to be disturbed, so as ensure as smooth a day as possible for everyone involved.

Make preparations at the other end
As you have a room at the start of the journey, have a room at the end.  Your pets will take a few days to adjust to new and unfamiliar surroundings, so you may want to section off a small area of your new home where they can get their bearings and figure out their new home, with all of its new sounds and smells.  You’ll find it strange waking up in a new bed – and so will your animals!

In the event of an emergency
Most people when moving house plan for moving their electricity and gas suppliers, their newspaper, broadband and television subscriptions.  But have you thought about the nearest vet?  Even if your pet doesn’t have any current health issues, it’s a good idea to add the nearest emergency vet to the “need to know” numbers for your new home.

Get to know your neighbours
This is good advice for everyone, but especially your furry or four-legged friends.  If you’re a dog owner, then perhaps your fellow dog-walkers might be able to suggest a good local route?  If you’ve got a rabbit, perhaps your next door neighbours might be able to advise on the presence of foxes in the area?  Quite apart from investigating the possibilities of cat-sitters, using your animals to get to know your neighbours can be an easy way to introduce yourself to the locals.  

Hunters are an independent UK Estate Agents with properties for sale and for rent nationwide.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Decorating your Home for Sale – how to avoid the pitfalls!

If you’re thinking of moving, or if your home is for sale already, then you’re probably thinking about what you need to do to prepare it for viewings and ready the property for sale.  Usually this means clearing away clutter, finishing all simple DIY jobs, cleaning the entire place from top to bottom, even laying the table in the dining room. 

But sometimes more substantial decorating needs to be done – remember that you’ve got to think about your house as a product, not your home.  It can be difficult – and sometimes emotional – but it is worth it in the end!  Here’s how to avoid some of the most common mistakes that sellers make:


Clean the grout, if that doesn’t work then definitely replace or refresh it.  If tiles are uneven or cracked you may want to completely re-tile, just don’t buy anything overly expensive.  Remember that replacing worn vanity units and painting grubby walls will go a long way – as long as you’re careful about colours!  You might love avocado and hot pink, but it’s probably worth waiting till you’re in your new home for that kind of colour scheme...


Don’t spend money on top of the range appliances – it simply won’t help sell your house.  If your cupboard units are looking tired, consider new fronts rather than entirely new units, they’ll do the same job for a fraction of the price.  Make sure that any new lino is fitted properly – no curling edges.


If your living room carpet is covered in red wine and other, perhaps unidentifiable stains, then yes, you probably do want to look at replacing it.  But as with kitchen units, there’s no need to go overboard – a simple, and relatively cheap piece will do if deep cleaning or carpet shampoo won’t bring it to life.


Whilst your child might love animal prints and huge murals, it’s entirely possible that one of your prospective buyers wants to turn that room into a study – and the decoration might not let them imagine that.  Where possible go with relatively neutral colours.
 Curtains & Soft Furnishings.

Simple, clean blinds or light curtains are the most effective choice here – heavy or garishly printed curtains will block out light and prevent the buyer from imagining the house as their home.  Similarly, a few cushions will set off a room, whilst too many will make it feel like a soft play area.

A good coat of magnolia is a cliché – but it’s a cliché for a reason.  Bright red walls might look wonderful to you – but to your buyer it’ll feel like your house, not their future home. 

The easiest way to avoid mistakes like this is to follow the golden rule:  Imagine yourself as the buyer.  If you’re viewing lots of properties for sale at the same time as selling, think about the houses you didn’t like.  What put you off? 

If you’ve got any golden rules for decorating to sell, then send us your tips via the comments section, we would love to hear them! 

Friday, October 14, 2011

There’s Still Time To Start an Autumn Vegetable Garden.

It’s October already – but a week or so back, it still felt like summer – great! If you’re new to growing vegetables, or perhaps you’ve just moved house, you might think it’s too late to think about planting vegetables, and that you need to wait until next spring. But actually, there are a range of interesting vegetables that you can start right now for harvest during winter and spring.

Perennial Kale – This is an unusual vegetable that will add interest to both salads and cooked winter dishes. It’s also highly nutritious, very hardly and lasts all year round – so ideal for beginning gardeners. A winner, then. Sow now, and you’ll have ready-to-eat-leaves within 30 days.  It’s also an ideal time to bed in young plants or seedlings rather than the seeds themselves. Kale needs plenty of moisture- so regular watering is important if it’s warm. It can survive temperatures as low as -7C, so it can weather most UK frosts.

Garlic – Growing your own garlic is fab as you get to benefit from all stages of the plant – leaves as well as bulbs. Plant cloves in November, and harvest in May next year. It’s best to get cloves from a garden centre or other seed merchant – you’ll have an easier time growing it than if you use garlic from the supermarket. 
Purple Sprouting Broccoli- Another unusual vegetable to interest your dinner guests. It’s really more like asparagus than broccoli. More tender and delicate in flavour than the usual type, purple sprouting broccoli is nonetheless a hardy variety that will grow through the colder months. Sow seeds or plant mature plants at this time of year. Plants grown from seed will be ready in spring.

Brussels Sprouts – Grow your own in time for Christmas. Bed in the young plants now, and your sprouts will be ready for December.  Seeds sown now will be ready in January – so a little late but still a very tasty home-grown vegetable. Try the sprouts roasted rather than boiled to experience their full flavour potential.  Brussels sprouts need rich soil and a sheltered area.

Broad Beans – A home gardener’s favourite, broad beans straight from the vine are sweet and delicious either raw or steamed. You even eat the “tops” (leaves from the tops of the plants) gently steamed and with a little butter melted over them. Good broad bean varieties to start in autumn include Aquadulce Claudia 
Super Aquadulce. Sow in October for a spring harvest. 

As well as adding visual interest to your garden and flavour to your plate all year round, growing these vegetables over winter will prevent leaving soil fallow, and hence keeping it packed with nutrients for great growing all year round. Happy autumn gardening! 

We hope you found our guide useful and would love to hear any additional ideas or tips via the comments section. 

Hunters Estate Agents have offices all over the UK with thousands for properties for sale and rent. Feel free to drop by your local branch for a chat if you are looking to buy sell or rent.