Laurus Blog

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Inspiration, tips and advice - everything you need to know when buying your new home

Is the kitchen the heart of your home?

  

Kitchens help bring us together, whether it’s the hub of the action at a party or just where a family meets up at the start and end of the day to eat. Whether that involves sharing stories of your days or just being with each other while everyone scrolls through their devices, the kitchen is still where we spend time together.

So, is the kitchen the heart of your home?

15 things families need to consider when looking for a new home

  

There’s always a lot of things to think about when you’re buying a new home, depending on your stage in life. If you’re a first-time buyer your needs are different from someone looking to downsize. And if you’re looking for a family home, there’s even more to consider, so we’ve pulled together a guide to the 15 things you need to think about when selecting your family’s next home.

Moving into a New Home Checklist

  

There’s a lot of work involved in buying your new home, from finding it in the first place to arranging your mortgage, dealing with conveying and waiting to finally be able to celebrate the biggest purchase you’ve ever made. 

That relief and excitement at this new stage of your life is a great feeling, but even then there’s still a lot of work ahead of you before you can actually settle into your new house and enjoy everything that made you want to buy it in the first place.

Yes, you’ve got to move out of your existing home and move into your new one. But don’t worry, we’ve created this moving house checklist of everything you need to know and everything you need to do to make this move as painless as possible.

 

Street scene of a row of three houses on Giantswood Grove development

The Stamp Duty holiday is changing soon – here’s what you need to know

  

The Government’s Stamp Duty holiday is changing after 30th June but there are still savings to be made on Laurus homes. Brought in last year to kickstart the housing market amidst the financial impact of Covid-19 and the first lockdown, it was a huge success and, having been intended to last only until the end of March, it was extended until 30th June.

How to speed up your mortgage application

  

Waiting for confirmation that you will be given a mortgage can be one of the most stressful things when buying a new home. You might have your heart set on a property but until you know for sure if you can pay for it with a mortgage, it can feel like you’re stuck in limbo...

 

Buying a New Build: The Ultimate Guide

  

First-time homebuyers aren’t the only people who need a little help understanding the process of purchasing new build homes.

Standards frequently change, as do the mandates that are associated with homeownership. And so this handy guide serves to walk upsizers, downsizers, and first-time buyers through the process of purchasing a new build house and all the things you should be considering along the way.

Let's jump into it!

Expanding your living to the outdoors

  

Spring has sprung, the flowers are blooming, the sun is (mostly) shining, the beer gardens are packed and lockdown is easing. These are exciting times for us all, and one of the biggest changes that has happened in recent weeks is that we can now entertain people in our gardens again...

Why you should consider downsizing

  

One of the most important parts of searching for a new home is knowing which homes offer you what you need. If you’re a young couple looking for a first step on the ladder, your needs are different to a slightly older couple about to start – or grow – a family. But the size of home you need doesn’t always grow as you get older...

Advice for First Time Buyers

  

There’s not many bigger steps we take in our lives than buying our first home. It’s the result of searching for the right place, negotiating the sales process, getting that all important deposit in order and navigating the mortgage application process, but it’s an amazing feeling when you finally get the keys to your new home.

Of course, the first time you do anything you are also learning as you go along, so there’s lots of complicated terminology and processes that first-time buyers need to get to grips with. This can be overwhelming, particularly right now, when many crucial conversations are taking place virtually.

Here are some tips to help you navigate the house buying process:

A guide to the newly announced 95% mortgages

  

Along with the good news about the extension to the Stamp Duty holiday, the Budget delivered another boost for homebuyers with the announcement of 95% mortgages, which mean that first-time buyers and existing homeowners can both benefit from the opportunity of getting a mortgage with a deposit of just 5%.

Here’s everything you need to know about 95% mortgages...

Stamp Duty Holiday Gets Extended

  

Last July the Government announced a Stamp Duty holiday aimed at making it easier for people to buy homes in the midst of the financial issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Initially this was due to run until the 31st March, but in his Budget speech, Rishi Sunak announced that it will now be extended until the end of June, and the nil rate band will be £250,000 - double its standard level - until the end of September.

Are new homes really more expensive?

  

An early decision you need to make when you are looking to buy a home is to decide whether you want to buy a new-build or an existing home that someone else is already living in. There’s lots of factors to consider, including personal preference, and you may be thinking that a new home could be more expensive than an older one.

But is that actually true?

How to save for your dream Laurus home

  

One of the biggest things you’ll ever do in your life is buy your dream home. Finding your forever home takes imagination, research and lots of hard work to earn the money to make that dream come true. It also requires the ability to save up enough of that money to get a mortgage, and that can be the hardest part for many people...

How to make sure you’re getting enough light in your home

  

At Laurus we work hard to make sure our homes bring in as much natural light as possible and, in this blog, we’ll talk about ways to further maximise that through your interior design.

How to make the most of your home storage space

  

Storage space is crucial when looking at buying a new home. Whether you’re a family of four, a young couple or are looking to downsize, not having enough room to keep your possessions safe, neat and tidy can leave your home feeling too small, too cluttered and this can have a real impact on your happiness.

Here are some of the tips we’ve picked up along the way that can help you make the most of your storage space around your home...

How to set your home up for homeschooling

  

At Laurus we take a lot of care and consideration when laying out our homes to ensure that you get the maximum usage from every space, which has been crucial over the last 10 months when families have been juggling homeworking and these times of homeschooling.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your homes while the kids are out of school.

Making the most of your blank canvas

  

One of the reasons why people buy new-build homes is because it gives them a blank canvas to work with to create their perfect home. Buying a home that has already been lived in means having to compromise your vision based on what previous owners have done to it already.

In time you might be able to make all the changes you want, but this is dependent on time and money. When you buy a new-build home, there are no dubious or dated interior design decisions to deal with and no ill-advised attempts at DIY to get fixed.

Read more...

How to speed up the house moving process

  

Buying your dream home is one of the most exciting experiences you can go through. It opens up the prospect of a whole new life in the surroundings you’ve always wanted and as soon as you’ve made that big decision, it’s only natural to be eager to move in as quickly as possible.

But that’s not how it always happens. There are all kinds of financial and legal issues to work through and that’s even before you factor in potentially having a home of your own to try and sell.

Benefits of buying a new build for your first home

  

Have you considered buying a new build as your first home? Doing so could save you money and give you greater peace of mind than a second-hand property.  

After all, new means new: the latest designs, the best appliances, and the opportunity to personalise. From the day you move in, your home will be ready to live in.  

Here are some of the best reasons to considering buying a new build with Laurus Homes. 

What to consider when choosing your home in 2021

  

It’s fair to say that 2020 has been a year like no other.

The global Covid-19 pandemic has changed our priorities, our ways of working and almost every other aspect of our lives.

Understandably, it’s also impacted many people’s decisions when it comes to buying a new home. The recent lockdowns have highlighted to many of us what’s important when it comes to where we live.

Beat the January rush

  

Trying to buy or sell a home at Christmas is generally said to be a bad idea because of the belief that the market tends to go quiet at that time of year, but the reality is that it can actually be a great opportunity to give yourself a festive present to remember by finding your dream home.

Here are some top tips for buying and selling over Christmas:

Kitchen upgrade

Upgrade and options

  

Buying a new home from Laurus not only means that you’re getting a home built to the highest specifications; it also means that you’re getting a blank canvas that you can start to make yours from the very start. 

Help to Buy is Changing

Don't forget Help to Buy is changing

  

Since 2013, Help to Buy: Equity Loans have been helping people find the homes of their dreams, with over 272,000 homeowners having used the scheme so far. However, it’s coming to an end in its current form very soon, because from April 2021 the scheme is changing to be eligible for FTB and regional property price caps are being introduced.

New property releases in Cheshire & Lancashire

  

We’ve got great news if you’re looking for your new home in Lancashire or Cheshire as new plots have just gone on sale at our Weaver Meadows, Vision and Giantswood Grove developments. With Shared Ownership properties and Help to Buy Equity Loans available, now’s the time to act quickly and secure your dream home with us.

Reasons for buying a Laurus home

10 Reasons for buying a Laurus home

  

Buying a new build home knowing you are the first person to live in it is a special feeling. Here at Laurus Homes we work hard to help you have the perfect starting point to finding the home of your dreams.

Here are our top 10 reasons for buying a Laurus home.

Move Easy

Move Easy explained

  

Buying a new build home takes away many of the issues that can crop up, but one of the biggest stresses involved in moving is when you have an existing home that you need to sell before you can complete your purchase.

Move Easy is designed to ease that stress, because we'll go out of our way to find the right estate agent, the right price and the right buyer on your behalf to help you sell your home and get you into your new home nice and quickly.

But how does it work?

Skelmersdale

New plots go on sale in Skelmersdale and Congleton

  

We’ve got great news if you’re looking for your new home in Skelmersdale or Congleton as new plots have just gone on sale at our Vision and Giantswood Grove developments. With Shared Ownership properties available, now’s the time to act quickly and secure your dream home with us.

Benefits of buying off plan

  

When you are deciding which new home to buy, the traditional path is to go and visit them in person to get a feel for whether you’d like to live there. But the traditional route isn’t always the best way for everyone and that’s where buying off-plan comes in. If you’ve never heard of this option or aren’t sure if it’s right for you, here’s everything you need to know.

Mum and daughter planting flowers in a garden

How to make the most of your gardens and outdoor spaces

  

2020 has been a year that has seen us all spending much more time at home than we would normally, meaning that the chance to spend time outdoors was even more important than ever before. Even when the garden centres and recycling centres were closed, people who would never have called themselves keen gardeners before were tempted to pay more attention to their gardens.

Here are some gardening tips to inspire you:

Making space work for kids from baby to teenager

  

Planning ahead is crucial if you’re looking for a home that meets the needs of your growing family and can evolve to meet their needs, tastes and lifestyles.

Here’s some design tips for giving your kids the perfect bedrooms, from toddlers to teenagers...

family painting their new home

Tips on selling your home

  

Buying a new home is one of the most exciting experiences you can have, promising a fresh start and the chance to take something and make it your own. But if you’re not a first-time buyer, there’s a complicating factor that can throw a spanner in the works, and that’s selling your existing home.

We know how frustrating it can be to have your dream home in sight but not be able to complete, so here are our top tips for selling your home:

Changes to Help to Buy

  

Help to Buy has been running since 2013 and has helped hundreds of thousands of people achieve that dream of getting their own home, but there have already been changes to how it works, and even bigger changes are coming next year.

Learn everything you need to know in our latest blog.

Woman At A Home Desk Working On Financial Matters

Buying your new home: a financial checklist

  

Buying a new home is an exciting time. It’s also one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make, so it’s worth having a good understanding of the costs involved.

This guide runs through all the costs you might need to think about when buying a home, from the value of the property, through to the fees required to complete the purchase, as well as your move-in and beyond. Where possible, we’ve provided estimates for the amounts you should budget for.

CGI street view of Weaver Meadows in Winsford

How to take advantage of Shared Ownership to find your Weaver Meadows home

  

Buying a home is a big step that requires a lot of planning, preparation and traditionally it has also required a large lump sum of money to put down as a deposit for a mortgage. It’s not always easy or even possible to save up that much while also paying bills, rent and all of life’s other expenses, but that doesn’t need to mean the end of your dreams of owning your own home, thanks to Government initiatives like Shared Ownership.

So, if you’re looking at our Weaver Meadows development of family homes in the scenic heart of the Cheshire Broads in Winsford, this could be exactly what you need to turn this dream into a reality. However, not everyone qualifies for this scheme, find out everything you need to know in our latest blog.

Young woman watering her potted plants on the balcony

The Balcony Gardener

  

Apartment living doesn’t necessarily mean ditching your dreams of an outdoor green oasis.

If you’re lucky enough to have a patch of outdoor space - whether it’s a dinky patio or a small but perfectly formed balcony - read the latest Laurus Life blog to find how to make the most of it.

 

 

How Shared Ownership can work for you

  

Shared Ownership is a government-backed scheme that helps people get on the property ladder if they can’t currently afford in the traditional way.

Under the scheme, buyers obtain a mortgage for 25% - 75% of the property’s value, whilst paying a small rent to a housing provider such as Laurus Homes who own the remaining share.

Click view to learn eight ways Shared Ownership could help you own a new home. 

example of The Kensington render exterior Earlsbrook

A good time to buy a new home.

  

As lockdown measures continue to be eased, life is starting to get back something more like normality. Whether these last few months have seen you putting your home moving plans on hold or have made you realise that your current home isn’t right for you anymore, the good news is that there are a number of reasons why now is a great time to buy a new home.

Find out more in our latest blog.

Baking. A Kitchen Work Surface And Utensils With A Chocolate Cookie With A Heart Shaped Sprinkling Of Icing Sugar On Top.

LOAVES IN LOCKDOWN

  

If you’re yet to jump on the baking bandwagon, Lockdown is the perfect opportunity.

From the perfect batch of gooey brownies to Great British Bake Off worthy banana bread, lockdown is churning out budding bakers in their droves.

Click view to find out why there's a widespread shortage of flour!

example of Earlsbrook The Clarence house style

Why Buy New

  

There are a lot of choices you need to make when buying your home, but one of the first decisions is whether you want to buy a new-build property or not. Knowing this can shape the rest of your search, so it’s important to be well-informed about the potential benefits of opting for a new build.

Click view to read our latest blog. 

Wreaths are not just for Christmas

  

From hanging rainbows in our windows to placing pumpkins outside our doors, this year has seen the importance of how we decorate our homes in the midst of a pandemic. The fronts of our homes are a connection to the wider community and can bring joy to neighbours and people passing by as well as giving us that warming, welcoming glow when we get back home from a trip out.

Man drinking coffee in a residential kitchen, whilst using a laptop computer at the kitchen table

Home working tips

  

Lockdown has affected all of us in different ways. One of the biggest changes it has brought to many people’s everyday lives has been a sudden increase in homeworking. Almost overnight we’ve had to go from working in offices, factories, warehouses and more to working… anywhere we can put a laptop and get some peace.

Laurus Lifestyle Family Moving Into House

Rethinking the home after lockdown

  

If we had ever taken our homes for granted in the past, the lockdown we’ve been living through because of COVID-19 has changed all of that. Suddenly our homes have become everything to us, taking on the roles of our workplaces, schools, gyms, discos, nightclubs, pubs and much more.

Click the view button to read more.

Earlsbrook minimalist child's room

Interior Design Ideas: Creating a picture-perfect home

  

You've bought your new home, but it's a blank canvas. You’ve got so many different interior ideas, but how do you implement them? Where do you start? How do you create that picture-perfect 'show home' look that inspired you to purchase your new home? Not to worry, we’ve got all those answers for you. We sat down with Interior Designer Sarah Mather, who gave us the low-down on inspiration, creativity, and implementation! Make yourself a cuppa, grab a pen and paper, and let’s get right into it!

1960s First Time Buyer Girl

1960s vs now: Why the average first-time buyer is not who you might imagine

  

Experts at leading North West housing developer Laurus Homes examined how the state of home-buying has changed since the Baby Boomers to understand how it’s shaped the first-time buyers of today.

family enjoying their new home

What is Help To Buy ISA?

  

Trying to get a foot onto the housing ladder in the UK can be difficult. To help first-time buyers achieve this goal, the government has launched a number of Help-to-Buy schemes, including the Help to Buy Individual Savings Account (ISA). These accounts are designed to provide you with a boost to your mortgage deposit savings. Under the scheme, the government will add 25 percent to your savings - up to a maximum contribution of £3,000.

Keep reading to find out more about how this scheme works, the benefits of using it and whether you may be eligible for one of these accounts.

family painting their new home

How Does Help to Buy Work?

  

If you’re looking to purchase your first home or you’re interested in moving to a new home, Help to Buy could be an option for you. It’s likely you’ve heard of this term before - but you might be wondering what it means and how it works.

To find out more about Help to Buy and how you could benefit from it, keep reading.

laurus-homes-smart-credit

Get Smart About Credit Day

  

There’s no bigger financial commitment that most of us make in our lives than buying a house. It means getting a mortgage, which involves all kinds of financial checks with credit score, credit history and debts all aspects that you’ll have to talk to your lender about.

women and child potting plants

Greener Life

  

2020 is a year that has given us all plenty to think about and lots of time to do it. Many of us are finding that we have new priorities in our lives. If yours is to do more to play your part in making our world a greener place, the natural place to start is at home. 

Read the latest Laurus Life blog to find how you can live a Greener Life

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