Your mortgage is probably your largest monthly expense, whether you are buying a home, or considering a remortgage, getting the best deal is therefore crucial.

Here are my seven top tips to help you do just that

1. The lowest rate isn’t always the best deal

That might sound strange, but it really isn’t.
The lowest mortgage rates often come with large upfront fees. A higher rate, with lower fees, may actually be a better deal. It’s important to do your sums though and work out which option represents the best deal over the long term.

2. Fixed or variable rate?

It might be hard to resist the attraction of a very low interest rate, but remember, rates may rise in the future. How would you cope if your mortgage payments rose significantly?
It’s often a trade off between lower rate, that may rise and certainty of a fixed rate, giving you security of knowing it will remain affordable. 

3. Make it easy for the lender to say “yes”

Almost all mortgage lenders use a system known as credit scoring.  Start by checking yours, and where possible, try to improve it by:


  • Making sure you are on the electoral role
  • Repaying your credit cards in full each month
  • Avoid late payments
  • Get mistakes on your credit record corrected

4. Keep your bank statements clean

New regulations mean that mortgage lenders have to consider each application in far more detail than in years gone by.
They will analyse your spending habits, often by looking at your bank statements, and may decline your application if they see things they don’t like such as bounced direct debits or unauthorised overdrafts.

5. Lenders like stability

Mortgage lenders find stability reassuring and it certainly helps to improve your credit score.
It might not be possible, but try not to change jobs or the property you rent in the year or so before you plan to make your mortgage application.

6. Save hard

Mortgage lenders give better deals to applicants who have largest deposit
Saving hard to build up your deposit, has the added benefit of proving to the mortgage lender that you have spare income, and can therefore afford the monthly repayments

7. Shop around

This might sound obvious but too many people get caught up in the excitement of buying a new home and make rash decisions.
I recommend shopping around for a mortgage before you start house hunting. This means you definitely have a mortgage in place when you find the house of your dreams and estate agents will expect to see a decision in principle before accepting your offer.

Please contact the office on 0113 2899669 for more information or to be put in contact with Sean

Autumn may be in the air, but there’s still plenty that can be done, we give 8 handy tips on what needs your attention this October

* Plant spring bulbs…it will be here before you know it!

* Remove any dead plants and plant them up with some winter plants to give some colour in the dark months

* Rake up autumn leaves on a regular basis

* Harvest any apples, pears or nuts

* Shorten whippy rose shoots so that they won’t become damaged in high winds and also so they are ready to be pruned in late winter

* Give grass a final mow and feed before the winter

* Move any delicate or tender plants into shelter before the frosts

* Plan for next year, order your seeds now!

For more tips on what to do next have a look at RHS expert articles which are great with tips!


You may just be breathing a sigh of relief at getting everything organised for the children to be back at school but anyone with children going to high school, a new secondary school or starting reception need to be looking now to apply for a place for their child for September 2017, we’ve put together 6 tips to make it easier for you!



Before you decide which school to apply for, take some time to learn about how school places are allocated in your area.

Read the booklet published annually by your local authority explaining your area’s applications process. You may be given this by your child’s primary school, or you could order it online from your local authority website or collect it from your local town hall. You could also pick it up at school open days or from your local library.

Many local authorities also hold meetings for parents of children applying for places in their schools. If you have questions about the process, you could either attend one of these meetings or call your local authority’s education department.  You can look up on the Leeds councils website for more details



Find out as much information as you can about the schools you want to apply for and their admissions procedures.

Open days are a useful way to find out about a school’s admissions procedures. These are advertised on school websites, or you could phone the schools you’re interested in and ask when they plan to hold their next open days. You could also phone the school with any specific questions you have about their admissions procedure.

Other ways to find out about schools include: looking at their websites, talking to parents and pupils, talking to your child’s head teacher, and looking up Ofsted inspection reports and league tables.


Many schools receive more applications than they have places. They use oversubscription criteria to decide which children will be offered places. The School Admissions Code states that children in public care (‘looked-after’ children) must be given top priority. Other oversubscription criteria that might be used include:

  • Distance from the child’s permanent home address to the school. Often this is referred to as being in ‘catchment’ for a school. The distance is not necessarily based on the simple radius from the school – it can be a designated area. In densely-populated areas, the catchment area may just be a specified number of streets around the school.
  • The parent or child has a disability which makes travel to a school further away more difficult.
  • The sibling rule – priority is given if the child has a brother or sister already attending the school.
  • The child’s faith – this is only a factor at faith schools. Priority is given to children who have the same faith as the school (ie if you are Roman Catholic and wish your child to attend a Catholic primary or secondary). Some faith schools may ask you for a reference from your priest or other religious minister as confirmation that you attend a relevant place of worship.
  • If it is a selective school, such as a grammar school, the school will award places on the basis of academic ability – usually the selection is based on the results of an entrance exam (whether the child has reached a certain score or pass rate).

Make sure you read the oversubscription criteria very carefully. If your child doesn’t match the criteria, think again.

If your main concern is whether or not you are in a school’s catchment area, the best thing to do is to phone the school and ask them to clarify their catchment area criteria. If it is a primary, they will often send or email you a list of roads which fall within the catchment for that school. If it is a secondary, the catchment will usually cover a wider area. But, in general, the nearer your child lives to the school of your choice, the higher your child’s chance of getting into that school.


Your local authority manages the admissions process for all state schools in your area. They produce a common schools application form that you’ll need to complete, either on paper or online. This form is usually fairly straightforward, and you list your choices in order of preference.

There are supplementary forms for some schools, especially faith schools, which may be complicated. Read them through carefully. Photocopy complicated forms and do a rough draft. Have the entrance criteria in mind as you complete supplementary forms.

You’ll need to apply during the autumn for a school place the following September. If your child is moving up to secondary school, their primary school should give you an application form. If your child is starting primary school it is up to you to apply for a place. However, if your child attends a school nursery you should receive a form through them.

If you haven’t received an application form, contact your local authority. The deadline is very important – if you miss it you’re less likely to get offered a place at your preferred school.

Don’t lie on a school application form. The information you give about where your child lives will often be checked. Some education authorities also carry out spot checks to tackle the growing problem of fraudulent applications. If a school place is offered on the basis of misleading information it will usually be withdrawn.

It’s possible that in the future, parents who lie on application forms could face a spell of community service and be given a criminal record. (These options were discussed in recent years.)



If your child is in line for more than one of your chosen schools, you will be offered a place at the school you ranked highest on the application form. But if none of your schools can offer your child a place because other applicants met the admissions criteria more closely, your local authority will offer you a place at another school.

Your local authority booklet or website will tell you when you’ll hear the outcome of your application. Letters usually go out in March (for the following September) but you may be able to get the information online.


If you’re not happy with the school place your child has been offered, then you have the right to appeal to an independent appeal panel.


If you are new to the area and you would like more info about schools in the area feel free to call on of our team, we are experts in the North Leeds area and will be happy to advise where we can

So it’s nearly May, I know we don’t feel like it’s spring with the very strange cold weather we have been having but it is on it’s way so now is the best time to get your garden spruced up and get it looking ship shape for marketing to take advantage of the many buyers entering the market wanting to be moved for summer!

Here are some tips to get your garden looking tip top!!


use this


Don’t neglect the front garden!!  This may seem obvious but when you are passing it every day this is usually the part of the house that can be left looking a little sad, a quick lick of paint on the front door and a sweep up of the leaves from the winter can really make a big difference.


Go potty!!  Buy a couple of small colourful plants to put by your front door, these aren’t a wasted expense as you can take them with you but will create a welcoming entrance to your home for perspective buyers


Get cracking with the decking!!  Decking that is left neglected can become slippy, mossy and unusable so don’t leave it to be damaged by the weather, give it a good sweep and give it a coat of oil which you can buy from any diy store, it will give it a whole new lease of life!


May seem obvious but give the lawn a good cut, we have had a lot of rain so most gardens we are seeing are well overdue a ‘hair cut’ give it a really good trim and shape the edges


Weed and tidy up and leaves and trees that have blown in


Even if the sun hasn’t come out yet get your furniture out!! Buyers like to visualise how they will enjoy the property if they were to buy it so help them on their way, you want to have them visualising a glass of wine in one hand and sitting looking out at their new garden, seeing that you sit out in your garden will help them visualise this!

If you are too busy to get cracking then get in touch, we have a whole team of gardening experts who help us with our property management side of things who offer competitive quotes and will make you fall in love with your garden again when you see the results!!

For more tips on looking after your garden Rightmove did an excellent article with some more tips for getting the garden tip top! 

                               10 Tips to sell your home this winter 

Well we are certainly feeling like winter has hit this week in Leeds, we’ve gone from a mild Christmas to freezing cold icy mornings and dark afternoons!  Question is when it’s icy, snowy and raining are people thinking of moving?

The answer is yes!!  With a real shortage of properties on the market at the end of last year and being a slow start on instructions this new year we are seeing a whole new group of buyers entering the market as well as the large database of buyers still looking from last year.  Demand at the moment for property is far out waying supply.

Due to our 15 years experience in the Meanwood area we now spend a lot of our time matching buyers to properties that they haven’t even considered, this is because we know our area, we know our buyers and we make sure we know our properties inside out.


Martyn Baum, president of National Association of Estate Agents, says: “Traditionally, properties are harder to sell during the winter. It’s dark and cold and while homes don’t look as attractive, we’re less inclined to be proactive and search for a property – and this can leave sellers feeling in a stalemate position, waiting for the spring to kick in. Your estate agent should be well equipped to adapt to selling homes in these quieter periods but you can start by making changes as small as turning on a light or clearing out clutter.”

                     We’ve put together 7 tips to help you sell your home this winter!

images (1)warm

  • Keep it warm – It sounds simple but a cold house is not only unwelcoming but can make potential buyers worry how warm the house is and about running costs to keep it warmdownload (1)curb
  • Keep it light and bright – If you have a good estate agent they should arrive 15 minutes before each viewing to turn lights and lamps on to give a welcoming glow to your home, there is nothing worse than walking into a dark unwelcoming housedoor
  • Make a good first impression – A really important step to consider when selling a home, is making a good first impression. Make sure the entrance to your home as attractive as possible. Give your door a fresh lick of paint, make sure the porch light is bright and vibrant and perhaps even decorate your front door step with some fresh potted plants and a welcome mat. It may sound superficial, but tiny refurbishments like these can have a huge impactlandscape-lighting
  • Set your lights to timer – You never know when a potential buyer is driving past your home to check it out from the outside. If you’re not always in, it’s important to set your lights to timer. It will make your home look attractive and secure from the outside and more importantly, they might decide to arrange a second lookimages fire(1)
  • Set the stage – A roaring fire can be a great asset in the winter, so you’ll want to use your fireplace during an inspection. Thick blankets can be used on couches and in the bedroom to create a cosy feeling, making buyers want to snuggle up in your (dd1)
  • Clean the windows and doors – As the exterior of your property is a lot more exposed in the winter, windows and doors can soon get grimy, so spend a bit of time washing these, paying particular attention to knockers, numbers and handles – as well as the frames and glass itselfimages (1)
  • Keep the street clean too!  – First impressions count and if your street looks like a dustbin it can actually affect the property by up to 12% according to a recent article in the Daily Express.  It doesn’t matter if it’s not your litter, it could be the difference between you getting your home sold and get the best priced its time to get those marigolds out!

Call us now on 2899669 for your free valuation on your property and lets have you moved to your new home by Spring



                    LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!!



We had a very exciting October in our North Leeds office, after placing this desireable terrace in Chapel Allerton onto the market we were bombarded with interest, one phone call was from Chanel 4’s Location Location Location producers who we arranged to show round on behalf of a first time buyer couple looking in the area.



Elissia got to meet the very lovely Phil Spencer and spent an enjoyable day at the property whilst they filmed for the show as you can see we had great fun!!


The couple offered and the offer was accepted and they are now buying the property as their first home, we are very much looking forward to the show being aired in January, we will keep you posted once we have the exact date!!


Keep up to date with all our news, check us out on our facebook page


Nothing tells a better story about our service other than the people who have used us, we had the pleasure of selling a property for Ms M in Leeds 17 who kindly left us the following glowing review on Facebook



 To read the full review visit our Facebook page and like our page to keep up to date with our news.  Our main aim when selling your home is to exceed your expectations and we are delighted when our clients tell us we have done this.

To experience our excellence yourself invite us out for a free market valuation on your property

Call 2899669 for our North Leeds office or 288 8882 for our Rawdon office




This week we have a stunning property crush just off the bustling trendy Street Lane and reduced for a quick sale to the excellent price of £250,000

With a spacious extended modern breakfast kitchen this property is an excellent spacious family home


The property does require some modernisation so it’s ideal for a buyer looking to put their own stamp and make a home!


With a modern house bathroom, two double bedrooms and a single this really is a value for money buy


A little about the area – The property is within the catchment area for several excellent schools making this a desireable area for young families – Just a minute’s walk from the bustling Street Lane and all it’s amenities, shops and eateries it has to offer including Starbucks, San Carlo and Napa you are spoilt for choice of where to go!  There is also a butcher and several small boutique shops to wander around.  It really is the location to be! Street Lane offers excellent public transport links to the city centre and surrounding areas which run regularly on each side of the road.  Beautiful Roundhay park is just a short pleasant stroll away from the property as is the Butterfly house and picturesque Monet garden. 

Click here for the full property details

Call now to arrange a viewing to fully appreciate this property – 2899669