As the temperature drops and winter sets in, we’re all starting to feel the chill – and increased energy bills at this time of year are a common topic for discussion.

If you’ve just moved into a new house, chances are you’ll be making a few changes. Decorating and buying furniture or other items is fun but, as not many of us are blessed with the talents of Kelly Hoppen or Philippe Starck, it can also be stressful trying to get the look you want.

Buying a new home is exciting – and a little scary. It’s a big commitment after all. Maybe you already know exactly what you want and where it should be, but as with any major investment your head needs to play a part in the decision rather than be ruled entirely by your heart. Our checklist gives you some essential points to consider when viewing properties and deciding which one is right for you.

Seven Secrets for Selling Your Home So you’ve instructed your agent and your home is up for sale. Now, you’re waiting impatiently for a flood of viewers who will fall for its charms and be keen to put in an offer as soon as possible. That may or may not happen, depending on the market and factors such as the all-important location, but there are certainly a few steps you can take to make potential buyers more likely to decide yours is the property for them.

NEWS: Off target? Oh dear. Just as the media is clamouring for more insight into the housing sector after the Brexit vote, the cross party Economic Affairs Committee releases a report called Building More Homes. It's conclusion? The government isn't. Building more homes, that is. In fact, the committee goes further and says that the government's target to build new homes isn't nearly tough enough, and should be increasing its current commitment by a whopping 50 per cent. That means 300,000 new homes would need to be built each year which, says the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), “is a tall order.” “Politicians can set as many targets as they like but unless we look at the reasons why not enough houses are being built things will not improve,” says Mark Hayward, Managing Director of NAEA. In other news, the private rented sector continues its rapid growth across the UK; while a new forecast says that house prices will fall by 1% in 2017 before rising by 2% in 2018.

NEWS: Moving out One month on and everyone in politics, on TV and in the media has stopped talking endlessly about the European referendum. Thank goodness for that! Unfortunately, they're now talking endlessly about Brexit — and chances are they won't stop talking about it for the next five years. Because as new PM Theresa May made clear just as she was about to move into her new home, Number 10 Downing Street, “Brexit means Brexit — and we're going to make a success of it!” Which is a much better message to send than, “Brexit means Brexit — and we're going to make a hash of it!” In the main, landlords seem to be sanguine about the EU result. For one thing, as the Sunday Times pointed out, it may mean fewer rules with a “potential question mark over, for example, the EU ban on letting homes with poor energy efficiency, due to start in 2018.” It's not yet clear what will happen to Brits who own properties abroad, mind you — and depending on which newspaper you read, house prices are either tumbling or rising, post-referendum. Either way, buckle up, property watchers. This Brexit thing could be quite an interesting ride...

NEWS: Heading for the door marked 'Brexit' Seismic. A political earthquake. Unprecedented. In the early hours of 24 June, the superlatives started to fly as it became clear that the British public had voted to leave the European Union. The political ramifications were immediately apparent: within hours, David Cameron had resigned and Boris Johnson was being talked of as his successor. The financial markets and the pound plunged. Yet in property terms — as with so much else connected to this historic vote — it's unclear as to what could happen next. Melanie Leech, Chief Executive of the British Property Federation, summed up the mood of many property experts and analysts, however, with her statement. “The priority for the government and the Bank of England must now be to stabilise the position and maintain confidence in the UK,” she said. Depending on what side of the remain/leave divide you are, this is either a desperately worrying and uncertain time — or the beginning of an exciting new era of UK growth and opportunity...

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