SELL YOUR NEW
HOME QUICKLY

FIND OUT HOW

SELL YOUR NEW HOME QUICKLY

FIND OUT HOW

New Homes For Sale Preview Hook Hampshire

NEW HOUSE FOR SALE MCCARTHY HOLDEN ESTATE AGENTS SITE PLAN HOOK

On the 8th February T A Fisher will be releasing for preview sale plot one at their new development in Hook, Hampshire, their small quality development of only 5 new build homes.

Number one at Acorn Grove(temporary site name) will be selling at a guide of £525,000 and we are delighted to provide this news item early.

NEW HOUSE FOR SALE MCCARTHY HOLDEN ESTATE AGENTS PLOT 1 HOOK

Plot One Preview Day 8th February

This property is a superb new semi-detached house, providing almost 1,100 sq. ft. of space, with the added benefit it’s own driveway and garage independent from that of the main development.

NEW HOUSE FOR SALE MCCARTHY HOLDEN ESTATE AGENTS SITE PLAN HOOK
FIRST-FLOOR-PLOT-ONE-PLAN-ACORN-NEWS
Plot One First Floor
GROUND-FLOOR-PLOT-ONE-PLAN-ACORN
Plot One Ground Floor

The quality of the TA Fisher build quality can be seen at their site in North Warnborough, so for insight into the T A Fisher approach to building superb homes take a look at the video below showcasing the show house at Castlebrook.

The specification will differ at the new house in Hook, but this will give you some valuable insight into the build quality of a T A Fisher new home.

To Be Released For Sale Later In 2020

Plot 2 at this site is another set-detached house and plots 3 to 5 are distinctive terraced houses which will also be released for sale later in 2020.

The CGI images are shown below.

NEW HOUSE FOR SALE MCCARTHY HOLDEN ESTATE AGENTS PLOTS 3TO 5 HOOK
Plots 3 to 5
NEW HOUSE FOR SALE MCCARTHY HOLDEN ESTATE AGENTS PLOT 2 HOOK
Plot 2

To view plot one at our preview event, please telephone 01252 842100 or 01256 704851 to arrange a viewing.

8 Ways to Create a Happier and Healthier Home

create a happier and healthier home

Healthy home, healthy life!

In the great pantheon of wellness trends, the home is strangely neglected. There are diet crazes and fitness hacks aplenty – but outside the occasional tidying fad, the home is merely a vessel, a framework in which other lifestyle regimes take centre stage.

Given that we often spend more time at home than anywhere else, this might be a little unfair.

Wellness, like most things, begins at home, after all. Here’s how to make sure that’s a good thing…

create a happier and healthier home

1. House plants

You don’t need actual woodland for forest bathing, not when there are snake plants, peace lilies and aloe veras to turn your home into a mini-greenhouse. Study after study has shown that exposure to greenery reduces stress, helps lower blood pressure and stimulates the senses.

So shrub up to calm down – from a simple cactus on the window sill, to a miniature jungle of domestic palms and pines.

create a happier and healthier home

2. Maximise natural light

Like plants, natural light is inherently invigorating and reinforces the circadian rhythms that impact our mood and sleep cycles. Just think of the hefty price hike tagged to south-facing homes, the all-glass exteriors of modern office blocks – or the sinister, claustrophobic feel of a dimly-lit basement.

Aside from the obvious (open your curtains), make sure there’s no furniture blocking your windows’ line of sight, using off-white or cream colour schemes to cultivate a lighter feel, and putting up strategically placed mirrors to send light bouncing round the room.

create a happier and healthier home

3. Declutter

They say cleanliness is next to godliness, and, though we’re not suggesting a full-scale Kondo-esque purge, a clear environment can be an aid to a clear mind. Your home is supposed to be where you recharge, and if you’re never able to find things, pressured by a pile of unopened mail, or in fear of accidentally standing on your laptop, it may be a source of stress in itself.

Time to put your ‘floor-drobe’ back into the wardrobe, and we don’t mean by just shoving it all under the bed.

create a happier and healthier home

4. Address your sleep

Poor sleep pas been linked with everything from low mood and fatigue, to shortened life expectancy in the longer term, so creating a conducive sleep environment is an essential step for a healthy home.

Make sure summer nights aren’t cut short by leaky curtains (invest in blackout linings if required), use ear plugs to cut out street noise, and dust the area around your bed. If you always sleep better in hotels, there may be a problem with your bedding, and low-quality mattresses can cause stiffness and back pain as well as disturbed sleep. It’s easy to undervalue sleep but the more priority you give to time spent in slumber, the more productive and energised you’ll be during the day.

create a happier and healthier home

5. Invest in an air purifier

Once derided as noisy and unsightly, thanks mostly to a particularly pointed episode of Friends, demand for purifiers is now rising steadily year on year and modern models are sleek, stylish and near-silent.

Exhaust fumes, chimney smoke and particulate emissions are just another part of urban life, and purifiers are here to help.

create a happier and healthier home

6. Create a designated work space

Some 1.54 million Brits now work from home in their primary occupation (millions more do so intermittently), and it’s wise to resist the temptation to work at the kitchen table in your pyjamas.

It’s hard to maintain a work-life balance when they operate in the same space, so dedicate a work area that allows you to ‘go to work’ in the morning and leave at the end of the day. Posture is paramount, so invest in an ergonomic chair as a minimum. You might even consider the benefits of a standing desk.

create a happier and healthier home

7. Get a pet

You don’t need an ’emotional support animal’ to get emotional support from an animal, and this is another lifestyle choice with the weight of science behind it. Among a whole raft of benefits, pets have been shown to increase life expectancy, substantially slash stress, and even decrease physical pain.

We hope it goes without saying that you should only opt for an animal if you’re fully willing and able to shoulder the responsibility and costs of care.

create a happier and healthier home

8. Don’t worry, be happy

It’s easy to obsess over the ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts’ of your home, and end up neglecting what you actually want. Adding value to your home, tapping into fashionable aesthetics – it’s all well and good if it aligns with your tastes, but most homes must be residences first and investments second.

Home is where the heart is, and there’s no point crafting a masterpiece of modern minimalism if what you’d really like is a large, squashy sofa.

These are the Best Garden Shows and Festivals to Visit in 2020

2020 garden shows and festivals

Put a date in your diary to visit these inspiring and informative plant-filled shows and events

If you’re looking for inspiration, colour, or just a lovely day out, there are plenty of flower shows and other horticultural events to mark on your calendar this year.

Here’s a look at some of the best and brightest gardening shows and festivals on the line-up for 2020…

2020 garden shows and festivals

Daffodil delights

To mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of William Wordsworth, four main RHS gardens, Wisley, Rosemoor, Harlow Carr and Hyde Hall, have planted enough bulbs to make each spring garden a sight to behold.

Meanwhile, in Buckinghamshire, Cliveden is staging its daffodil spectacular The Gilded Gardens (Feb 29-May 1) for the second year.

Inspired by the 24-carat gilded golden gates on the Sounding chamber and the hundreds of thousands of daffodils across the estate, you’ll be able to see narcissi springing up throughout March and April and rolling displays of rarer, pot-grown varieties will be on show in the Ferneries. For details visit nationaltrust.org.uk.

2020 garden shows and festivals

Irish blooms

If you’re in Dublin, don’t miss Bloom (May 28-June 1), a show spanning 70 acres of Phoenix Park, with show gardens and other attractions based on other successful shows such as Chelsea and Hampton Court.

Launched in 2007 by Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board), Bloom has numerous highly creative gardens and plant displays which are used to inspire and excite the public about gardening and garden design.

The show gardens, created by some of Ireland’s top garden designers, are the heart and soul of the five-day festival which not only focuses on flowers but also on the best food Ireland has to offer. For details visit bloominthepark.com.

2020 garden shows and festivals

Scottish celebration

This year, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is celebrating its 350th birthday with a year of community celebrations. Don’t miss the exhibition Think Plastic (Jan 31-Apr 26), which brings together local artists and scientists to explore the possibilities of transferring sustainable, recyclable and environmentally-responsible plastics from the laboratory into craft and arts productions.

2020 garden shows and festivals

Garden party and giant veg

The Malvern Shows (Spring Festival, May 7-10; Autumn Show, Sep 26-27) in Worcester should be on every gardener’s calendar. The RHS Malvern Spring Festival celebrates its 35th anniversary this year with a new feature, Music At Malvern, with two spectacular evenings of performances featuring the 54-piece English Symphony Orchestra led by Lesley Garrett, performing a special VE Day commemorative concert on May 8.

The following night, Radio 2’s Jo Whiley will be hosting the Gardeners’ Party as she plays music throughout the decades, chosen by the show’s special guests. This will be along with the show’s stellar lineup of experts, including Alan Titchmarsh, Carol Klein, Joe Swift, Jonathan Moseley and the new show ambassador, Chris Beardshaw.

In the autumn show, grow-your-own fans shouldn’t miss the ever-popular popular CANNA UK National Giant Vegetables Championship, top quality plant specialists in the Floral Marquee and a throwback to Forties and Fifties Britain in the Vintage Village. For details visit rhs.org.uk.

2020 garden shows and festivals

Northern show-stopper

The Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate (Jul 14-16), an iconic three-day event and one of the biggest agricultural shows in the English calendar, features spectacular nursery displays, including several RHS Gold medal-winning exhibitors from far and wide. This year the show will be welcoming back floral designer and celebrity florist Jonathan Moseley, who will be appearing daily on the Garden stage, creating some fantastic displays. For details visit greatyorkshireshow.co.uk.

Chelsea perfection

It’s considered the most elite gardening show on the calendar, and this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show is targeting the challenges of our changing climate. Gardens will highlight the future of cities in the face of climate emergency, while there will also be a slant on sustainable materials and growing methods adopted by the world’s leading garden designers and growers. Running from May 19-23, for details visit rhs.org.uk.

2020 garden shows and festivals

TV expert advice

BBC Gardeners’ World Live at Birmingham’s NEC (Jun 18-21) may be a more commercial show than some of its rivals, but it packs a punch with its top-notch TV gardening experts, including Monty Don and Alan Titchmarsh, who’ll be offering advice in the GW Live theatre during the show.

Visitors can admire a range of innovative show gardens and bag a bargain from the many plants and accessories outlets. Less for the specialist, more for the practical gardener, you can bag yourself some bargain plants and get advice on how to grow them too. For details visit bbcgardenersworldlive.com.

Flower power

If you want to see a riot of colour, book your ticket for the Wisley Flower Show at the RHS flagship garden (Sep 8-13), where you will see an array of spectacular blooms, feast your eyes on the National Dahlia Society Show and browse the offerings from more than 50 specialist nurseries selling a range of horticultural goodies.

Learn how to make gorgeous flower arrangements from the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies and enjoy talks and demonstrations in an Expert Zone. For details visit rhs.org.uk.

Orchid mania

Kew’s 25th annual Orchid Festival (Feb 8-Mar 8) will for the first time celebrate the incredible wildlife and vibrant culture of Indonesia – an archipelago of more than 17,504 islands, including Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, Papua and Bali. Indonesia’s landscape is as diverse as the flora and fauna that inhabit it, from tropical rainforests to spectacular volcanoes.

The festival features an immersive journey through the different zones of the glasshouse, where visitors will find spectacularly beautiful orchid displays which each represent an aspect of Indonesian wildlife and culture. For details visit kew.org.

2020 garden shows and festivals

Festival fever

The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Garden Festival (July 7-12) rebranded itself as a ‘Garden Festival’ in 2019 and remains high on the list of go-tos among gardeners for its royal setting, show gardens, floral marquees and trade stands, to buy everything from artisan goods to basic tools.

From contemporary to traditional, its show gardens will be awash with ideas on how to revitalise green spaces, while plants people, celebrities and foodies will be making guest appearances. For details visit rhs.org.uk.

Bulb bonanza

Brighten up your day with a visit to the RHS Flower Show Cardiff (Apr 17-19) to see thousands of beautiful spring bulbs. This year, the show is celebrating its 15th anniversary and to mark the occasion some 15 exhibitors that have had a presence at every show will be there.

The event will also tie in with the Visit Wales theme, the Year of Outdoors. Health and wellbeing will be much promoted at the show, displaying the benefits of of being outside and connecting with the natural world. For details visit rhs.org.uk.

10 On-Trend Ways to Transform your Home in 2020

on trend home 2020

Glamour, fun and feathers all feature in this year's hottest looks - but first and foremost, individual style rules.

If you want your interiors to look fashionable and Instagrammable, then you need to know what’s hot for the home this year.

There’s full-on colour, as well as more pared-back looks with natural materials (rattan’s ruling currently), alongside some key must-haves – love seats, dressing tables, and glamorous headboards. In other words, plenty of trends and stylish items to choose from.

But what’s emerging most strongly is that this decade, there’s no need to follow the crowd.

Trends should be followed selectively rather than religiously. A successful home is where your taste rules (we’re all becoming much more informed and confident about expressing it, thanks to inspiration-filled sites like Instagram and Pinterest).

We’ve chosen some best buys (including high-street bargains) and brilliant looks to help you create your own perfect, personally-tailored space….

on trend home 2020

1. Feel the love

We’re embracing curves and cushioning in seating, as we hanker after homes which cosset and comfort us, and the love seat has become a must-have.

“Love seats are the ultimate giant armchair for those who love to stretch out and get comfy, or if you’re feeling romantic you can snuggle up together,” says Claire Wilks, from the Sofa.com design team.

“They’re also a great space-saving size for those who are tight on room. Velvet, so practical now with protective finishes, are one of the most popular upholstery choices and they ramp up the luxe effect. “

on trend home 2020

2. Turn to table-scaping

Table-scaping is the new on-trend description for creatively decorating tables. So stand down your boring workaday china and go all out with fancy cutlery, table linen and snazzy plates. It’s all about dressing to impress. For inspiration, trying searching #tabledecor and #tablesetting on Instagram.

3. Rule with ribbing

Grooved, ribbed textures are riding high this year, and the effect can be seen in upholstery, wood, and glass. We love this stripe-effect, ribbed cabinet.

4. Explore wild style

If you’re over that hot, steamy jungle look – all palm prints and tropical colours – the latest, more pared-back desert look could be just for you.

Bold tribal prints, an earthy palette, natural materials and vibrant animal prints are combined in the new George Home collection, which is so well-priced you can afford to experiment. But beware: it could inspire some serious summer wanderlust…

on trend home 2020

6. Pamper and pose

Special stand-out pieces make a room. Think cocktail cabinets which add glamour as well as holding all those drinks and glasses. Dressing tables are now vying for attention too – there’s a brilliant array of slim, handsome examples suitable for compact rooms. And by clearing all that cosmetic clutter, you’ll be well on your way to a peaceful space.

7. Let your heart rule your head

“Just as fashion trends have shifted to celebrate individuality and personal style, so have interiors,” says Lucy St George, co-founder of uber cool interiors destination, Rockett St George.

“I’m always a fan of throwing away the rule book – taste is often overrated – and I believe if you love it and it makes you smile, then it deserves to be celebrated in your room.”

Take inspiration from trends and the world around you, she says, but always make your home a reflection of you and what you like. “Go to town with all your favourite things and curate displays around your home that express your individuality – so that ‘you do you’!”

on trend home 2020

8. Go green or go home

The colour – and its association with eco-friendly living – has been strong for a while and shows no sign of waning. A wall painted in a deep shade of green will ground a space, and other vibrant colours for furniture and accessories will ‘pop’.

John Lewis’ ‘Eclectics’ theme for spring/summer is a stylish blend of zingy colour and stand-out designs. Inject punchy shades with contemporary wall prints, jewel-colour lamps and cushions.

If you’re feeling flush, invest in an elegant Refine 3 Seater Sofa in a glowing Elegant Velvet Mustard, £1,299, and a Lounge Chair in a brilliant pink, blue and orange Ampana Print, £499, both John Lewis.

9. Go for gold

How to instantly add character to a room? A couple of stand-out pieces featuring that winning metallic shimmer should do the trick.

10. Bring Eastern drama to the boudoir

Staying home is the new going out, and JOMO (the ‘joy of missing out’) is a buzzword – which means spaces need spoiling with luxury touches and details.

“We’re predicting a rise in Eastern influences across interiors this year,” says Jane Rockett. “Inspired by increased global travel and our adventures around the world, trends are set to celebrate unique pieces collected or inspired by past travels, that bring back memories and create a unique and personal interior.”

The style-aware should look out for decadent dark wood, woven cane textures, oriental prints and structure furniture, adds Rockett.

10 Ways to use Classic Blue – Pantone’s 2020 Colour of the Year

classic blue colour of the year

Rich, deep and oh-so soothing, blues certainly won't be banished this season. Gabrielle Fagan shows how to add a splash of Classic Blue.

Big up the blues at home this year, if you want to be on trend. Pantone, the global authority on colour, has declared ‘Classic Blue’ its Colour of the Year for 2020, which it describes as a “timeless and enduring hue”, and “elegant in its simplicity”.

This bold but calming deep cobalt ushers in a fresh decade on the colour charts, and you’ll definitely be seeing it everywhere as designers and decor companies rush to get on board with blues.

It’s a complete contrast to last year’s choice – a peachy ‘Living Coral’ – but, in reaction to the turbulent times we’ve been living in, this year’s shade is apparently designed to bring “a sense of peace and tranquillity to the human spirit, offering refuge”.

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of Pantone Color Institute, who says the shade is “suggestive of a sky at dusk”, explains: “We are living in a time that requires trust and faith.

“It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on.”

We’ve found 10 ways to give your home a beautiful blue injection, to take it from dull to dazzling in 2020 and beyond…

classic blue colour of the year

1. Splash out on a statement seat

“The popularity of blue is down to its versatility. Blues are easy to live with and simple to pair with other colours,” says Charlie Marshall, founder of furniture company, Loaf. “Plus they don’t really ever go out of style, unlike some bolder, fleeting of-the-moment shades.

“If you want to make a real statement, then a sofa or love seat in a blue fabric will add real wow-factor to a sitting room.”

If you’re baffled by blues and its many hues, Marshall advises checking out blue interiors on Pinterest and Instagram. “It will help inspire you and show you how the colour works,” he adds. “Experiment first, before you invest in a large item, by updating inexpensive, smaller accessories like cushions and throws, or introducing an artwork that features a blue palette.”

classic blue colour of the year

2. Take flight with blue

“Classic Blue is a strong, honest colour that gives you a feeling of being anchored when you look at it,” declares Anna Jacobs, one of many designers inspired by this year’s blue palette.

“There’s nothing frivolous about blue,” she adds. “This timeless colour will outlast through multiple trends. It also makes a fantastic base colour for many colour schemes, as it will support and enhance bright colours, while enlivening neutrals.”

classic blue colour of the year

3. Go grand with majestic blue

Bold decorative designs in rich dark blues will add a touch of grandeur that could turn your home into a little palace. “Although it may be considered a bold choice for walls, Classic Blue is surprisingly versatile,” points out Alex Whitecroft, head of design at I Want Wallpaper.

“It can be styled in many ways to achieve different looks. Deeper shades of blue can look regal, so add a splash of opulence to your living space with a quirky feature wall, such as one papered with a Rasch Portfolio Peacock Print.”

Alternatively, for a contemporary vibe, he advises geometric prints with metallic detailing.

classic blue colour of the year

4. Think blue & take two

Splashing out on the home, particularly after Christmas, may not be on the agenda – but you can easily add a fashionable dash of blue by styling up with a couple of affordable accessories.

Give a sofa a smart, new look with a cosy throw, and invest in that most useful of occasional seats – a plush pouffe.

classic blue colour of the year

5. Dream in blue

Colour blocking is another chic way to introduce Classic Blue while creating visual interest, enthuses Rebecca Snowden, interiors style adviser, Furniture Choice.

“Painting a blue band on the lower half of a wall, and having the upper half ivory or white, is super effective” she says. “Take the colour up to less than half the height of the room and paint the larger proportion in ivory or white. This will make the wall appear higher and is ideal for making smaller, low-ceiling rooms look airy and more spacious.”

Blues are perfect for rocking a coastal vibe, she points out. To channel this look, Snowden suggests pairing the shade with light wood and natural materials like rattan or jute, and completing the effect with sea-inspired artwork.

classic blue colour of the year

6. Feast on blue

A deep blue tone brings a summer vibe to any room, which is calming, relaxing and ideal for an eating area.

Combine fresh white and blue with a pared-back contemporary interior, free of clutter, and let the colour sing in the space.

classic blue colour of the year

7. Transform a tabletop

A successful table setting is one which is a visual feast for the eyes, but doesn’t compete or clash with colourful food, allowing the meal to star.

Serve up delicious shades of cool blue in tableware and contrast with a pure white tablecloth, or for a more rustic feel, display on a richly grained wooden table.

classic blue colour of the year

8. Guarantee a blue skies outlook

Add drama and luxury to a room by dressing windows with new curtains in a deep blue shade, reminiscent of velvety blue skies.

“It’s amazing how blue can transform a home, and a sophisticated, deep, dark blue for curtains and Roman blinds will not only be dramatic and striking but will ramp up a feeling of cossetting comfort,” says Susan White, group marketing director for blinds and shutters specialists, Hillarys.

Their Onyx Magma curtain and Roman blind range, in a blue-toned marble effect print, starts from £276, Hillarys.

classic blue colour of the year

9. Make an open & shut case

“Brightly coloured shutters make for a fantastic alternative to a feature wall,” says Chrissie Harper, customer experience manager at California Shutters.

“Full height or solid shutters work particularly well painted in a bold shade, instantly creating a major statement. Classic Blue is striking but not anchored to a season, so the shade will make your home feel cosy during the colder months but bright and open when days are lighter and longer,” she adds.

The company has a colour-matching service, which gives you the option to match your shutters to your wall so you can achieve an impressive all-over look for a room.

classic blue colour of the year

10. Quick step into blues

Interior designers always plan the floor before the walls, because they know the impact it can have on a space. Carpet or flooring in a deep, rich hue could lead your scheme and make your wall colour choice easy, as it should merely complement the floor.

“Carefully considered flooring is the perfect way to introduce blue in a subtle yet stylish way,” says Anna Del-Molino, buyer at Carpetright.

“Using a deep shade of blue on floors, curtains and walls adds depth and interest to a space. To keep the shade from overwhelming your room, complement with pops of softer colours, such as dusky pink, grey, or rich oranges, and reflect the light with gleaming metallics.”

5 Clever Time-Saving Tips for Busy Gardeners

garden tips to save time

Back to work? So when are you going to find time to get all those gardening jobs done to make sure your plot looks pretty?

garden tips to save time

Well, you can save hours later on in the year by making a few changes now to give you that time back when you most need it.

Here are five ideas to give you a head start on maintaining your garden when others will be digging, mowing, watering and weeding every chance they get…

garden tips to save time

1. Use permanent plantings in containers

Plant containers with evergreens, shrubs or perennials that will come back year after year, to save time having to replant annuals with every change of season.

Lavender is a good stalwart, or you could also choose patio roses, which make a good low-maintenance alternative to summer bedding, with a long flowering season. Plant them in a big enough container and they can stay there for several years.

garden tips to save time

2. Consider automatic irrigation

Installing an automatic watering system in your garden will save you hours in the summer months. You can introduce seep hoses into borders and subtle irrigation systems to take care of patio plants.

It may involve some effort initially to get to grips with the timers and securing the hoses where you want them, but it will be worth the effort. Some systems have sensors that are placed in the soil, which can assess how dry it is and adjust watering accordingly.

garden tips to save time

3. Stop weeds before they start

You can save hours of weeding by spreading a thick mulch over your beds and borders, which not only suppresses weeds but will also help retain moisture. Loose mulches such as cocoa shells and compost will provide nutrients to the soil, while bark chippings and gravel will be long-lasting.

Mulches should really be applied annually and should be at least 5cm (2in) thick to be effective. If you’re a busy gardener, a thicker mulch of 7.5cm (3in) of good quality bark chippings should last up to three years, and can be applied at any time, although it’s better to mulch in late spring when the soil is moist and warm but before the weeds emerge.

garden tips to save time

4. Create no-dig vegetable beds

Save time in the long-run by making a no-dig raised bed with room to walk in-between. The soil won’t become compacted because no-one will be walking on it and will negate the need to dig. Make each bed between 1-1.5m (3-5ft) wide, so you can reach to the centre from the path.

The depth of the raised bed depends on which crops you are growing, so if it’s root vegetables you will need to make it deeper, while shallow-rooted crops such as lettuces will thrive in shallower beds.

garden tips to save time

5. Go for a natural lawn

Keeping a lawn looking pristine can be extremely time-consuming, as annual jobs include removing moss and thatch, reseeding bare patches, feeding, getting rid of lumps and bumps and regular mowing during the growing season. So, go for something that will take up less time.

Create a clover lawn for a longer, more natural look. It will need much less maintenance than a grass lawn, needs no feeding and only has to be mown once to remove dead flowerheads. Clover is also a magnet for bees.

Alternatively, go for a herb lawn with a mixture of creeping thymes or non-flowering chamomile, although these won’t stand hard wear, so you may need to cut a path if you’re going to walk through your herb lawn regularly.

10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Money in 2020

money 2020

Brushing up your money habits this month could make a big difference to your finances in 2020 and beyond.

money 2020

The new year often means a fresh start – and for some, 2020 could mean turning over a new leaf when it comes to their finances. But don’t be put off by the idea of having to grapple with big numbers, as large gestures aren’t always what’s needed.

You may find small actions taken now could go a long way towards improving your financial prospects, whether it’s cutting down on daily treats or trying out online tools to help you manage your money better.

“In 2020, investing a little more time managing our money could be the best investment we make,” says Alistair McQueen, head of savings and retirement at Aviva.

Here, he shares 10 top tips for better money management in 2020…

money 2020

1. Don’t just focus on your big financial commitments – small ones can also add up

For example, did you know that over a working life of 40 years, we could spend more than £25,000 on daily coffees? Reducing this to one takeaway coffee every other day could save more than £10,000.

In 2020, it would be a good idea to think about where you spend your money and what little savings could be made.

2. Make the most of free help

Many of us are not confident when it comes to managing our money – but there are many free services to help us along the way, such as the independent Money Advice Service website.

3. Shop around

Many people don’t shop around when making financial decisions. This could be costly. A different bank account, a different pension, or a different mortgage could save you a lot of money.

money 2020

4. Understand your state pension

The state pension represents the biggest source of income for most people in retirement. But it is also complicated. In 2020, it would be a good idea to get a free state pension forecast from the government to understand how much state pension you could be entitled to, and from when. More information is available at gov.uk/check-state-pension.

5. Take control of your workplace pension

Record numbers of people have been saving into private workplace pensions. This can make a big difference to your retirement wellbeing. In 2020, it would be a good idea to understand your workplace pension, to ensure you are maximising the benefits.

6. Hunt down lost savings

It’s been estimated that more than £20 billion of people’s private pension money could have been misplaced over the years. In 2020, you could use the Government’s free pension tracing service to track down any pensions you may have lost. Go to gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details.

money 2020

7. Use your retirement freedoms

This year marks five years since the freedoms launched. More than one million people have since taken advantage, seizing greater private pension flexibility from age 55. If you are aged over-50, the Government’s free Pension Wise Service (pensionwise.gov.uk/en) can help you understand your options.

8. Make the most of online tools to help you manage your money

Many banks and pension and investment providers offer free online services to help you make the most of your money, whenever and wherever you want.

9. Keep calm during volatility

Continuing economic and political uncertainty may cause investment volatility in the year ahead. In 2020, it would be a good idea to ease your nerves by reminding yourself that the value of your investments can go up as well as down, and many investments are designed for the long term. Try to avoid short-term panic.

10. Keep fit

Last year saw the number of people in work over the age of 50 reach a record 10 million. Working longer is a very powerful way of paying for our longer lives in retirement. Keeping fit and healthy will help us do this.

money 2020
×
Find a Property
M
Country & Equestrian