5 top tips for saving money on household bills

With the new year in full swing, there is no better time to take a look at household spends to understand best how you can make some positive changes for the year ahead. In the UK, the average household bills total to £144.30 a month. With some simple tips in this blog, we share how you can save on household bills.

Switching energy supplier

A great place to start to save money on your household bills is by changing energy supplier. If you are not sure how to find the best deals, you can use a variety of comparison sites such as Comparethemarket, uSwitch and GoCompare. Some of these even have rewards you can get such as discounts on meals out and buy one get one free movie tickets, so you can benefit from a better energy supplier and a trip to the cinema!

It is important also that you ensure that your meter readings are accurate, rather than estimations. If your energy supplier has overestimated your energy use, you could be entitled to a rebate. You should also look into a smart meter to help keep track of your energy consumption. You can contact your supplier for more information on installation.

Water meters

 

Following on from the previous tip, water meters could be a great way to save on your water bills. Instead of being charged for the size of your home, you will instead be charged for what you use. However, if you are unsure about whether a water meter will help you save money, simply use the water calculator by The Consumer Council for Water. If you live in a rental property, you will need to ask your landlords permission if you have a fixed-term tenancy agreement of fewer than six months. If your fixed-term tenancy agreement is longer than six months, you don’t need your landlord’s permission to have a meter, but your tenancy agreement may mean you have to ask their permission for alterations to the property.

Combi boilers

Otherwise known as combination boilers, these boilers work by having both a high-efficiency water heater and a central heating boiler in a compact, single unit. They also work to save roof space, by not requiring a hot water storage cylinder or a cold-water storage, but instead come straight from the mains when you turn on a tap.

These boilers are both cost-effective and energy-efficient as the water is heating instantly compared to being heated and then stored in a cylinder. Their compact size benefits for smaller properties as they do not require much space.

 

Broadband savings

With the latest superfast broadband being rolled out through Milton Keynes, it is important to check that you have the best broadband for your area. To find the best broadband for you, simply enter your postcode on switchly. You can also take a look into saving even more with getting broadband without paying for line rental. A major provider for this at the moment is Virgin Media, but there are other options you can take a look at on GoCompare.

Saving on the food shop

The average household spends £3,151 a year on food for at home. As essential as food is, there are certainly ways you can save. Small actions can make a huge difference, such as picking up food in the reduced isles and purchasing own-brand ranges. Furthermore, you can sign up to be a member with supermarkets, such as the Tesco Clubcard, Morrisons more and myWaitrose means every time you shop you earn points which become discounts and coupons that you can use in-store.

You would also benefit from saving on food waste by doing simple things like storing food correctly so they last longer, saving leftovers and reusing as much food as you can in meals. For ideas on recipes, check out lovefoodhatewaste.

Waterside Living: Is it all plain sailing?

Waterside properties have always been high up on the property wish list. With picturesque views and a calming environment, there is a vast array of homes available – from traditional canal side cottages to contemporary townhouses and modern flats overlooking Milton Keynes lakes, rivers and canals.

Milton Keynes is famed for its man-made balancing lakes that are designed to provide open spaces for the town’s residents to enjoy in their free time and are cleverly engineered to prevent flooding. Lakes such as Furzton, Caldecotte and Willen provide beautiful waterfront homes for those longing for a stunning all-year-round view that brings an ever-evolving scene, with migratory wildlife and the changing of the seasons.

But what is the price you have to pay to enjoy this water life? Buyers and tenants are willing to pay a premium for a waterside property and prices can be between 20-50% more than countryside properties. They attract city-dwellers who need an escape from the hustle and bustle of a hectic, fast-paced working life. Milton Keynes creates the perfect balance of both urban and waterside living. You’re never too far away from civilisation and you can still enjoy those gorgeous sunrises over the water.

Let’s dive into the bonuses of waterside living a little deeper…

Boost your health

Living near water has added physical and mental health benefits, allowing for walking, cycling and relaxing with activities such as fishing and boating. Milton Keynes has various cycling and walking routes along its waterways such as the River Ouzel and the Grand Union Canal. Aside from building stamina and maintaining a healthy lifestyle through exercising, you also reduce the risk of developing various illnesses and help to improve your mental health with the release of endorphins.

Lower pollution

If you’re concerned about pollution levels and their impact on your health, these tend to be lower by lakes and rivers as these areas are generally free from heavy traffic found in the more densely populated areas of town. By having a less polluted environment to live in, your general health can benefit from clearer airways, lower blood pressure and improved digestion.

Stimulate your mind

Do you work from home or work in a creative industry? If so, a waterfront property could be the ideal home to relocate to. Imagine having all that creative inspiration on your doorstep – just step outside into a watery scene and feel re-energised by your surroundings. A clear clean environment also helps for a clear mind, which benefits productivity.

Future investments

In terms of investment and value for money, waterside homes are in short supply meaning it is highly likely that your property will always be in demand, making them a sound investment for the future. If you’re considering purchasing a second home in a desirable waterfront location, your property could also provide the opportunity for a holiday let investment.

What are the drawbacks to living in waterside homes?

Home insurance premiums

With all the benefits of owning a beautiful home by the water, there may be an increased risk of flooding. Elevated homes and gardens provide some protection against this, but it can have an impact on insurance premiums if the location is known to flood. Always read the fine print and check you have flood insurance, this is something you can find out more about here. You can also check the risk of flooding with the Environment Agency.

Safety first

If you live in a waterside property with young children, it is advisable to invest in extra child-safety precautions such as securing the boundary of your property with sturdy fencing or gating. It is not only important for children to remain safe around water, but also for pets too. Any boundary fencing/gating will also help to keep pets safe within your property.

A price to pay

Despite the longer-term benefits on investing in these properties, it is inevitably more expensive to buy and rent these desirable properties. With high demand and short supply on the market, they can be difficult to get your hands on. Remember it’s all about location, location, location!

There are many benefits of living in waterfront homes, including personal benefits for your mind and soul. However, factors such as price, availability, safety and insurance should all be considered when deciding whether to invest in these properties.

 

 

 

 

 

What is a catchment area and why should you consider yours when buying a property?

Relocating to a new town is a big decision, and there are a few factors that you should consider before moving. One of these factors is the school catchment area, especially if you have children or are thinking about having children in the future.

A catchment area can be defined as the geographical area served by a school and it is important to do your research into the schools in the area that you are looking to move to. Both primary and secondary schools should be able to provide information on where their catchment areas are, so you can find out if you’re close enough to be considered for a place.

Milton Keynes is fortunately packed with Infant, Primary, Secondary and Independent schools, meaning that when you are looking for an area to move to, you will probably have a choice of schools to send your child/ren to. In Milton Keynes, we are also very lucky in that we have a various Special Education schools for children with complex needs along with SEN provisions in place at all Primary and Secondary schools.

In light of this, one area within Milton Keynes that is worth mentioning is Bletchley, as it has a large amount of schools within its borders, including Lord Grey Academy, Abbey’s Primary School, Barleyhurst Park Primary School, Romans Field School, MK Prep School, Chestnuts Primary School, St Thomas Aquinas School, Newton Leyes Primary School and Sir Herbert Leon School. Average housing prices in Bletchley are £265,483, which is below the average of £313,587 for a house in Milton Keynes as a whole.

You should also take into consideration a schools Ofsted rating, especially if you would be looking to sell you home later down the line. According to Net House Prices, the average price of a house with an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted school in its catchment area is £331,605. That’s 13.2% higher than the cost of a home near a school with an Ofsted grade of ‘good’. The figures show the average house price increases by a whopping £96,363 if you want to live in an area with an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating compared to one with an Ofsted ‘inadequate.’

As well as considering catchment areas, it is important to consider when in the academic year that you are moving to a new area, most schools will need you to be living at your new address before you apply for your child to attend the school, and although it is possible for your child to move schools midterm, it is recommended that this happens in a half term or, even better, over the summer holidays.

If you are considering relocating to Milton Keynes, click here for more information

Smart investments to keep your home a safe one.

Limestone Sales & Lettings Office Manager Paul Neale gives his top tips for looking after your home and keeping it safe.

Owning a house and making it a home is one of the greatest achievements in life. It is important that you know how to keep your home safe and there are smart investments you can make to help achieve this. Some of these investments may also make your home more appealing to potential buyers in the future.

Digital home monitoring

A remote home monitoring system is usually controlled by an app, in which you can place small cameras around your home to view both the inside and outside of your property via your phone and can be used for everyday use, such as watching your pets or checking the kids while you’re out. If motion is detected whilst you are away from home, you’ll be sent a notification to your phone so you can watch the activity in your home, sound an alarm or call the police. You can also place detectors on doors and windows which can detect when they are being broken into.

Smart doorbells

Smart doorbells help you to see who is at your front door before allowing visitors access to you home. These doorbells are particularly useful for pre-screening unwanted cold-callers or monitoring the whereabouts of parcels. Many of these smart doorbells you can connect to an app on your smart phone to view camera footage and will get a notification if you have a visitor at your door and for other things, such as when the post arrives.

Remote Garage door opener

This gives you the power to open your garage from wherever you are. Therefore, if you have a trusty friend popping over to check the house then you can grant them access to your home via the garage with a click of a button. On the other hand, if you were to have an intruder (most commonly homes are burgled through the garage) then you would receive a notification immediately.

Security gate

There are a variety of gates that you can use to protect your home, including Aluminum double swing gates, manual gates and wireless gates. These can be fitted near the front of your home or around it. You will also be able to use it every day to let visitors in and out of your property. With this system becoming more and more affordable, protecting your property through secure gates is becoming much more accessible. 

Access code home lock

Do you often lose your house keys? An access code home lock allows you to enter your property using a PIN code. This device rather than using keys. This means that the door is much more advanced and is a good preventative measure for house intruders as it removes the risk of traditional locks being snapped or forced open. This can also be used as a great safeguarding device for the elderly as relatives can access the home using a key code instead of having multiple sets of keys.

LED home lighting

When in doubt, trick ‘em out. By using remote LED lighting, you can schedule times for your lights to go on and off within your home while you’re away, to give the impression that someone is home. This is also a great tool to use day-to-day (e.g. If you want to monitor the lights on behalf of an elderly family member).

From smart doorbells to LED lights, all of these things will help you have a safe and secure home. However, not all security has to be smart. For official guidance, Thames Valley Police have their very own top tips regarding how to maintain your garden, windows, doors etc. to help prevent crime. You can find out more here: https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary/

For more tips like these and to get the best price for your property, contact the team on 01908 234 111 or email us at info@limestonemk.co.uk

Top 10 tips for moving home

Limestone Sales & Lettings Office Manager Paul Neale gives his top tips for moving home.

There is a time in everyone’s lives where you take the plunge and move home. Whether it be moving into a flat or your ideal family home, moving can be hard work! However, if executed correctly, the job can be made a whole lot easier. We share our top 10 tips fora (relatively) stress-free house move.

  1. Pack early

Seems like an obvious thing but is it crucial you make time to pack. If you leave it too late, you run the risk of ‘panic packing’, which would result in things not being packed as organised or as well as they could be. Set aside a small amount of time each day at least one month before the final move date to start packing away non-essential items – this will help significantly reduce the amount of packing you need to do before you move.

  1. Start with the things you use the least

Non-essential items are usually stored in the ‘spare room’, utility room or in lofts. By doing this, it also saves time so you can focus on packing your essential items and moving large pieces of furniture. Prioritising is the key to the whole process of moving home and choosing what rooms are most important to start packing helps everything else fall into place.

  1. Pack one room at a time

It is important to take time and ensure you pack one room at a time. This helps to make sure that you aren’t jumbling up your things, like kitchen utensils with duvet covers. This also means that when you move into your new property, you will be able to easily and quickly place each box to the right room instead of having to dart around the house trying to find the right room for your belongings.

  1. Label your boxes

This relates to the previous point, if you organise the boxes in a logical order (such as by each room within your current home), labeling them accordingly makes organising your new home a lot easier to do. If you are getting rid of a cluster of things labeling the boxes, they’re in helps to differentiate what you are taking to your new home and what you are parting with.

  1. Declutter!

When sorting out your things, you are almost guaranteed to sift through things and find that you have a lot of unwanted or unused items. This is a prime opportunity to organise what items you want to get rid of and you can either donate the goods to a local charity shop or start selling them at car boot sales or online on Depop/eBay. By selling these things, it also helps to accumulate a few extra coins for things you may really need in your new home. Any items that aren’t fit for selling (e.g. if they are broken or missing parts) can either be recycled or disposed of.

  1. Do not make the boxes heavier than 30 pounds

Packing light will mean that you have more boxes to move, but overall it makes moving and handling your boxes safer. If you over pack and accumulate heavy boxes, you are putting yourself and others at risk of injury. Lighter boxes reduce the risk of injury and you are less likely to drop or break boxes because they are easier to hold.

  1. Heavy boxes at the bottom, lighter boxes at the top

Seems logical but having the heavier boxes at the bottom and the lighter boxes at the top when travelling means you are less at risk of accidents and breakages. If anything were to fall from the top, it is less likely to cause a problem and also means that the lighter items are not crushed by heavier things.

  1. Fill empty gaps within the boxes

Filling gaps in boxes, particularly with crockery or glasses with newspaper or polystyrene, helps to keep delicate things stable and secure. By preventing breakages within boxes, this also helps reduce injuries when moving, handling and unpacking boxes for those involved.

  1. Have an ‘essentials’ box

When you are finally ready to move out of your home, it is great to have an ‘essentials box’ full of the things you use every day, such as phone chargers, tea and coffee, cereal, milk, toilet rolls, body wash etc. This is the box you should load last and unload first. This box would essentially work as your overnight bag for the transition from your old home to your new home and is also great to have if you don’t manage to finish unpacking within your first day. It is also wise to try and assemble a bed or have an air mattress to hand so you have a comfortable place to sleep at the end of a hard day’s work.

  1. Take time to clean

Your mind may be completely fixated on moving everything out of boxes into your new blank canvas home, however, it would also be useful to take time to clean your new home, so your new and beloved furniture is sat within a clean home, rather than having to clean around them. Take advantage of the fact that the rooms are empty and easy to clean! Don’t forget to make sure your former home is also left in a clean and tidy state (especially if you are moving from rented accommodation) when you move out as it will add a nice touch to those moving into the new property and if you are moving out of a rented property, it will also help to recuperate your deposit money

As exciting as it is to move home, keeping these tips in mind will help you to make your moving home journey much smoother, easier and safer.

For more tips like these and to get the best price for your property, contact the team on 01908 234 111 or email us at info@limestonemk.co.uk

Tenant Fees Ban: Clean up your costs this Spring with Limestone

Limestone Sales & Lettings Office Manager Paul Neale talks about the upcoming changes that Limestone are putting place for Landlords over Spring.

As Spring approaches it is synonymous with change and new beginnings. Many people embark on a ‘Spring clean’, which often means an increase in dusting, cleaning around the house, but what about tidying your finances?

In our 25 years’ experience within the local property market, we have learned what best to offer to our Landlords. At Limestone, we currently offer a wide range of landlord services to help landlords manage every aspect of the tenancy lifecycle, however, we have recently revised our services to offer landlords greater flexibility and choice.

As of 1st June 2019, the Tenants Fee Act comes into force, which bans tenants letting fees in the private rented sector and sets a cap on tenancy deposits in England. Our understanding is that many agents will pass the fees that they have been traditionally charging to tenants onto Landlords. Here at Limestone, we are committed to NOT passing this cost on and you can be assured that all of our fees are upfront and transparent.

For any new managed tenancy, our charges to the Landlord will be as follows:

  • £350 + VAT – One off admin fee charged at the start of a new tenancy to a new tenant. No renewal fees to the Landlord.
  • 10% monthly commission from the rent collected.

In accordance with this restructured approach, our historic ‘Tenant Find Service’ will no longer exist as a ‘fixed service’. Any Landlord will be able to choose exactly what they want us to do based on our Tenant Find Price List that includes factors such as:

  • Internet advertising and viewings
  • Right to rent and identity verification checks
  • Moving tenant into the property
  • Informing utility companies of new tenant and meter readings and much more

Prices will start from £360 Inc. VAT

Full details of our Tenant Find Price List can be downloaded here.

With all of these exciting changes going on, why not get in touch with us and see how we can help you to manage your tenancy.

For more tips like these and to get the best price for your property, contact the team on 01908 234 111 or email us at info@limestonemk.co.uk

It takes two: How to have a good Landlord and Tenant relationship

Limestone Sales & Lettings Office Manager Paul Neale talks about what makes for a good Landlord and Tenant relationship.

Renting a property requires both the tenant and landlord to be cooperative and strive to be the best for a smooth renting process. But what really makes a ‘good’ landlord and a ‘good’ tenant?

What makes a good tenant?

  • Honesty is the best policy: No matter what you are getting yourself into in life, being honest is always the best way to be. In your role as a tenant, don’t give excuses as to why your rent is late, lie about your employment status or any damages or problems in the property while you’ve been there. Communicate in an open and honest fashion with your landlord or letting agent so that all parties are on the same page.
  • House proud: Your landlord pays you a visit- are you panicking that the place is a mess? Or are you welcoming your landlord into a smart property? Treat the place with the upmost respect – after all, it is your current home. Keeping it clean and tidy is essential in being a good tenant and is a lesson learnt for when you eventually move into a property that you own.
  • Steady income: This is an essential aspect in being able to pay your rent each month. Your Landlord can also run a credit check to see if you are in any debt, which could indicate reliability issues for paying the rent on time. If you struggle to pay your rent each month, you could face eviction, so it is important to make sure you have a reliable source of income each month and you can afford the rent payments from your salary.
  • Communication is key: Urgent matter or not, it is important that you respond to emails, phone calls and texts from your landlord or letting agent to ensure you always have good communication with them. Showing you are responsive and willing to work with them is always a good sign.
  • Be kind: Kindness goes a long way. This doesn’t mean becoming best friends with your neighbours or building a friendship with your Landlord. A simple “hello” and a smile and wave gives the people that live around you and the person you rent from a good impression of you. Being friendly during your tenancy will make the whole experience much easier, and it can also mean that if a problem does arise you’re treated a bit more generously.

What makes a good landlord?

  • Firm but fair: As a landlord, you need to keep the balance between being firm and being fair. Good landlords should keep their rental properties in order (such as organising annual gas safety checks and addressing any repairs immediately) and treat the tenant with respect at the same time (i.e. giving advance notice before visiting a tenant at the property).
  • Always be available: If you have chosen to manage the tenancy yourself, then you must be available to a tenant when needed. There is nothing more frustrating from a tenant’s point of view than not being able to reach their landlord. No matter how trustworthy your tenant is, or how big or small the problem is that they are contacting you about, things have to be dealt with right away.
  • Be transparent: A good landlord doesn’t cover things up from their tenants. You have to be honest with the property you are offering, including things that you cannot see at first glance. The history of the property such as pests, mould, plumbing etc. are key facts to inform your tenants of.
  • Document everything: You need to ensure that your tenants sign a well written, detailed tenancy agreement. Any extras such important dates and details are also vital to document (i.e. where a tenant’s deposit will be held). If something isn’t in writing, it usually can’t be enforced if it was ever needed.
  • Trust your tenants: Innocent until proven guilty right? If you do not trust your tenants to look after the property, then it’ll form a bad relationship between yourself and your tenant. By trusting them, you can use this to your advantage by having them work with you for things such as styling the property, so it is attractive to future tenants.

If both parties work with these pieces of advice, then it’ll help to make the experience smoother and easier. Besides the tenants and landlords, a letting agent can help facilitate a smooth tenancy. At Limestone, we offer a range of services including a range of tenant find services that cover areas such as checking potential tenant’s credit history to moving the tenant into the property. We also offer a ‘Fully Managed Service’ in which all you have to do is sit back and watch the money come in each month.

For more tips like these and to get the best price for your property, contact the team on 01908 234 111 or email us at info@limestonemk.co.uk

The power of social media for sales and lettings.

Limestone Sales & Lettings Office Manager Paul Neale talks about the power and advantages of using social media to promote your sales and lettings business.

Social media is a powerful tool which can boost awareness of brands and help generate more customer leads. But how can social media specifically benefit property agents? There are actually more benefits than you’d probably realise…

By promoting your properties on social media, it allows your audience to share, tag others and react instantly to what you’re posting. This is a cost-effective way to advertise and promote your properties, all with the help of those interested in what you have to offer!

Whether you are buying your first property, the property you set to retire in or looking for a property to rent, the process of property searching is unique to every person. Therefore, having your own social media accounts for your property agency allows you to reach out to new audiences and adds a personal touch to your organisation by providing an opportunity to share what makes you stand out from your competition.

Social media does not only help you to promote the properties you have on offer, but also the services you provide – which is what we also promote! This allows our customers to get direct links to services they may need from us on our website. By keeping your customers in the know of what you have to offer as a company is just as important (if not more) as promoting what properties you have available to buy or rent. Having your customers know that you can be a helping hand from a buyer and sellers’ perspective is a massive bonus for your company.

 

 

When promoting properties via social media, give potential customers snippets of useful information. High – quality images are also a powerful asset that can immediately connect a user with a property. If you’ve also had a property on your site for a while, you can always add an alternative perspective on promoting the property by remarketing it on your social media.

 

Hashtags are also another great way to promote your services and properties. As you can see, we have used #property #rent and #MK, short and simple tags that relate to the tweet. These can help you massively with boosting the awareness of your property.

If a user who has never heard of your company is currently looking at the hashtag #rent and spots the property you had posted and clicks the link-result!

 

Another way to gain a trusted relationship with your customers and followers is by posting content other than things to do just with your own company. At Limestone we like to post top tips, latest news and useful articles to help inform our customers and share best practice. Another good content tip is to keep up with the seasons and post content related to the season you’re in help to stay relatable and relevant to your following. For example, we recently posted this on our twitter:

Not only is it relevant to something that a lot of people face in the New Year/Christmas, but it is also a third-party post, giving our customers the best advice and guidance to tackling moving out before the New Year.

Showing your customers that you have got advice for them from your own expertise and sourcing others helps to make you build a better sense of trust and a better relationship with them.

Overall, if you invest the time in social media it can become a powerful marketing tool for property agents. From boosting the awareness of your new properties to helping to build a better relationship with your customers, the opportunities and power that social media can give you are endless, so why not give it a try?

 

For more tips like these and to get the best price for your property, contact the team on 01908 234 111 or email us at info@limestonemk.co.uk

 

Is Milton Keynes really the place to be? Find out the pros of buying a property and what to expect to get for your money.

Limestone Sales & Lettings Office Manager Paul Neale talks advantages of moving and living in Milton Keynes, and what the town has to offer that other places don’t.

Milton Keynes 55 years ago didn’t even exist. But now, it has Europe’s largest indoor ski slope, the 14th biggest shopping centre in the UK and a population of 255,700 recorded in 2013, along with being rated the 8th best place to work in the UK. But what types of property can you expect to buy for your money and what areas in MK provide a good return on investment?

The first thing to consider is why people choose to move here in the first place. One feature that is attractive to many is the job opportunities; many successful companies have their head offices in Milton Keynes, such as Network Rail, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Virgin Active, Dominos and Santander to name a few. These jobs are of high demand and well paid, and right on the doorstep of MK citizens.

Another factor is the easiness of commuting from Milton Keynes. The town is located between London and Birmingham, with a train to Euston taking only 35 minutes on a direct line. This means you can work in London without the hassle of London house prices. It is also easy to commute to Oxford and Cambridge as MK is roughly in the middle of the two, along with being able to travel to as far as North Manchester due to good train and road connections. We have covered even more reasons why people move to MK in our May blog post: – https://www.limestonemk.co.uk/benefits-living-milton-keynes-people-love-mk-attracts-people-move-area/

In the area of property demand, many families have relocated to MK with young children, looking to buy or rent their first homes. Experienced buyers also often staying close to where they have bought/lived before, so the demand for homes is always high. With the average house price of £294,887 in Milton Keynes (compared to the UK average of £365,697)  and the average rent price of £500-£1,000 PCM (compared to the UK average of£900 PCM), for a town with so much opportunity and so much to offer, the pricing is decent.

However, everyone has different life situations and different budgets, but that’s not a problem in Milton Keynes as there are a variety of properties on offer.

First time buyers

For a first-time buyer, you are typically looking at buying something not too expensive or too big. A cluster home or one-bedroom home are a particular hit as you have everything you need without the big spending. Limestone are currently selling a one-bedroom cluster home in Newport Pagnell (which you can view here: https://www.limestonemk.co.uk/property-details/?pid=56245). This is a great example of what kind of first-time buyer homes are currently on the market and what you can expect for how much you’re willing to spend in.

Many first-time buyers like to live near Centre MK (central Milton Keynes and the shopping centre) to be part of the excitement and busyness the town has to offer. Locations such as Loughton, Shenley Brook End and New Bradwell all surround the centre, making them commutable areas to the city center. This means that working in the city or days out there are super easy to do, along with going to events, such as if you chose to live in Downs Barn you can see the fireworks on Bonfire Night at the Campbell Park Fair without having to deal with driving around and parking on busy roads.

Second Homes/Family Properties

For second homes or family properties there is an equal amount of options available, along with these locations being in catchment areas of the top schools in MK. Limestone currently have a suitable family home on the market in Wavendon Gate (view it here: https://www.limestonemk.co.uk/property-details/?pid=4693409) this is a good example of the type of family homes on the market in MK as it is within school catchment and has three bedrooms, all within reasonable price.

There are also places such as Shenley Church End have an average house price of £354k and have the best rated school in MK just around the corner. Another area is Bletchley, with an average house price of £279k which is within the area of Lord Grey School, the second-best school in Milton Keynes. There is also a primary school directly opposite this secondary school along with a school next door for children with disabilities.

For things to do with families, there are many parks within the area. For a stroll and a hot drink you can take a trip to Howe Park, with Shenley Wood around the corner. There are also lakes to walk around such as Furzton Lake which also has a hotel and a family friendly pub. There is also Willen Lake which has a pub, water sport activities, GoApe and a park for teenagers and one for children. These places are fantastic for days out with flexible spending.

Empty Nesters or Downsizing

For those who have had children who have flown the nest and are looking to downsize but also keep luxury, areas such as Shenley (avg house price: £375k), Hodge Lea (avg house price: £205k) and Walnut Tree (avg house price £290k) have properties suitable. Limestone currently have two bedroom home on the market (view it here: https://www.limestonemk.co.uk/property-details/?pid=4694393) which is a perfect home for empty nesters as it is small enough for a couple and space for guests, along with being in a location close to a High street, shops, petrol stations etc. There are also activities for adults, such as a trip to Bletchley Park, watch an Ice Hockey game at Plant Ice, or going for a bite to eat at The Hub. You can also join the variety of gyms in the town or take part in classes at local clubs such as the Equestrian Center in Loughton.

All in all, Milton Keynes is a town thriving with job opportunities, things to do and reasonably priced homes. With its perfect location making it so easy to commute and the ease of travelling around the town itself, its hard to see how any other place in the UK has all of these things to offer.

For more tips like these and to get the best price for your property, contact the team on 01908 234 111 or email us at info@limestonemk.co.uk

Time to downsize? A buyers guide to understanding the benefits of living in a smaller property

A big home may still be a dream for some, but a smaller home may be a smarter and more flexible choice for those looking to save money and time. Limestone Sales & Lettings Office Manager Paul Neale shares his insight into how living in a smaller property could benefit you.

Lower Mortgage Payments
One of the most obvious and biggest selling points of downsizing is that less square footage = lower mortgage payments. If saving money has become important to you, downsizing can be a great way as you may also be able to pay your mortgage off quicker than if you purchased a larger space.

Treat Yourself Or Loved Ones

Downsizing from your current larger property may see you end up with a significant lump sum –  all yours to spend on whatever you like. A nice new car, an exotic holiday or a gift for loved ones could all soon be within reach with appropriate downsizing.

Lower Maintenance Costs
Big beautiful homes take a lot of looking after, whereas with a smaller space you can do most of the maintenance work yourself and in a far reduced amount of time. If you currently pay others to keep your property looking spick-and-span, downsizing is an immediate way to save on the cost of labour.

Less Clutter
Owning a smaller property can often result in keeping a neater home. With less space, you’re less likely to become (or remain) a hoarder! Having little extra space at your disposal will require you to ruthlessly edit your possessions. You are forced to rethink buying habits and make decisions about what you need versus what you hold on to.

Be Greener
With smaller homes you are almost guaranteed to use less natural resources. Your gas and electricity bills will go down as your space won’t require as much energy, meaning you can be safe in the knowledge you are saving both money and the environment.

More Manageable Renovations
By virtue of having a small house, any refurbishments can be done easier and in much less time than the full-scale renovation of a larger home. Less space means less materials which also means the costs of renovating can be significantly cheaper from your old property to your next.

Smarter Spaces
In a smaller home, you can be more creative in maximizing the square footage. Walls and ceilings can be fully utilized with open shelves and organizers and it pays to be clever with more built-ins and storage solutions. Smaller homes often turn out to be some of the most resourceful.

Think downsizing could be for you? Give us a call on 01908 234 111 or drop us an email at sales@limestonemk.co.uk and a member of our friendly team will be happy to explore your options with you.

To see the latest properties we have available please click here