Getting the kids back to school ready.

Whether your little ones will be starting school for the first time this September, or returning after six weeks of summer fun, there are a few things you could do to help them prepare, both practically and emotionally, for the new term – all things that are going to make this time easier for parents up and down the country.

Make sure you have everything ready for the new term

If your child is starting school for the first time and is not used to wearing a uniform, let them ‘wear it in’ around the house so it doesn’t feel as strange and new on the first day of school. During the first few years of school, they may come home with a messy uniform and need a fresh full set each morning, so make sure you have plenty of spares, otherwise the washing machine will be constantly on! If returning to school, sort through your child’s wardrobe and make sure all their uniform still fits – even if it was fine at the end of last term, they may have had a growth spurt over the summer!

Name everything! Buy iron on or self-adhesive labels, or just write on the garment labels with a permanent pen. Label all clothes, shoes, PE kit, bags, lunch box, water bottle, pencil case, etc. It may also be a good idea to include your child’s class name or year group if you can fit it on the label, then if something gets lost it can easily be returned to the right classroom. If your child is just starting reception year you could also include a little iron on picture or symbol they can easily recognise, just in case there is someone else in their class with the same or similar name.

TOP TIP: It’s also a good idea to pop a spare set of pants, socks/tights and trousers/skirt in their PE bag, particularly during reception year, just in case of any accidents.

Help your child get back into the school routine

Get back into a ‘normal’ routine in the week before school begins. So, gradually make bedtimes a little earlier and morning lie-ins a little shorter. Practise being ready by a certain time – dressed, washed, teeth brushed and ready for the day ahead – even if you’re not going anywhere, it will help in the long run! Also eating lunch and dinner at similar sorts of times your child would on a typical school day can provide consistency in their transition from home to school.

Try to focus their minds back on learning as well as having fun during the weeks before the new term starts. Look for fun learning opportunities at home. Make a cake and ask your child to help measure out the ingredients and read the recipe together. Or play ‘shops’, adding up how much things cost and counting money. With older children, try to refresh their knowledge before returning to school. This doesn’t have to mean setting tests, but a few simple activities on the topics they learnt throughout the previous year will reinforce what they’ve already learnt and get them back in to the right frame of mind for school.

Encourage a positive attitude about the new term

Talk to your child about the new term and find out what they are looking forward to. Try to address any concerns they might have before the new term starts and let them know that they can always speak to their teacher if they are worried about anything at school.

Above all, try to make the return to school a positive thing. It can be worrying for parents on the first day of term, especially those with young children starting in reception, but your child is more likely to be anxious if they see you are too. Talk about all the fun activities your child and their friends will be doing at school, so they can see the new term as an exciting opportunity, rather than something to be worried about.

Caring for your patio furniture

There are few things as lovely in the summer than relaxing in our gardens, hosting family BBQs or simply reading a good book. When we invest in garden furniture, we want to make sure it lasts more than one season, providing us with an outdoor space we can use year after year. Knowing how to properly maintain and care for our furniture is key in keeping it looking as good as new, especially when the weather is as it has been up and down! Here is our quick tips for keeping your outdoor furniture in tip top condition.

Metal Furniture
With the exception of aluminium, metal furniture is prone to rust, especially if left out during the wet and cold winter months. Keep dry with a waterproof cover, or store in a garage or shed. Rust can become a problem when paint begins to flake. Remedy this by sanding off the affected area and applying a coat of anti-rust paint. You can then top this off with standard metal paint to match the original colour. Even though aluminium doesn’t rust, it can change colour over time – this is completely harmless and does no damage to the furniture! Storing away and using weather covers will help you avoid this happening.

Rattan Furniture

Rattan furniture is woven from plastic, which makes it very easy to look after, requiring just soapy water for a wash every now and then. Avoid pressure washers or any harsh chemical cleaners, as these can damage the material. It’s easy for dirt to accumulate between the weaves, so it’s best to store somewhere cool and dry during the winter. This also prevents weathering and avoids the rattan from discolouring. Apart from this, your rattan furniture should provide you with a low maintenance and attractive option for your summer entertaining.

Introducing…The Sandpipers

We are pleased to be able to introduce the new Create Homes’ ‘Prestige Collection’ at The Sandpipers. As the agent of choice to market this new development we are excited to share everything it has to offer. Create Homes is a friendly and forward-thinking company, whose main aim is to build new communities by providing quality designer homes in beautiful semi-rural or countryside developments.

The Sandpipers is an exclusive development with a mix of 3, 4, & 5
bedroom houses, ensuring the perfect home for every type of family.

LOCATION

The Sandpipers is nestled in the lovely countryside village of Longridge, which sits on the outskirts of the beautiful Forest of Bowland, the perfect family retreat your family could be calling home. The development itself overlooks the adjoining RSPB wetlands and Ribble Valley, providing stunning views. It is also within easy travelling distance to the local towns and cities including Preston, Lancaster, Blackpool and Clitheroe.

Longridge and the Ribble Valley are perfect for those who love the great outdoors and enjoy activities such as walking or rambling. On the doorstep there is a bird reserve and the impressive Londgridge Fell landmark. The village has a cricket club and local football team, plus a cinema, as well as an annual agricultural show. Longridge and the nearby villages such as Goosnargh, Chipping and Ribchester offer a variety of places to eat and drink to suit everyone’s taste. There’s a mix of modern and traditional restaurants, charming countryside pubs & cafés, as well as farm shops to buy fresh local produce, plus local supermarkets. The city of Preston and other nearby towns offer a wide range of drinking and dining experiences to enjoy at your leisure.

THE HOMES

The exciting new collection of quality homes includes a range of enhanced Create house types, plus some new luxury house designs offering exceptional levels of specification throughout – including SieMatic kitchens by Stuart Frazer, integrated NEFF appliances, security systems, fast car charging points, block paving and fully fenced & turfed rear gardens – along with beautiful countryside right on the doorstep.

There are also a limited number of quality shared-ownership properties available, as well as homes reserved specifically for the over 55’s.

THE QUALITY

By choosing a Create Home, you will be buying a quality and spacious home which is built to last. Purchasing a new home is one of the most important decisions you will ever make, so by choosing a beautiful Create Home, you can be assured of the quality of the build and the desirable location of the development. You can also be confident that the finishes, fixtures and fittings included throughout your home will be of the best possible quality.

We will be taking you through the different home styles available at The Sandpipers over the coming weeks, and sharing updates from Create Homes. For any more information on the development please don’t hesitate to contact our team here at Love Homes on 01995 213101 or email your enquiry to hello@lovehomesestateagents.co.uk

Mental Health Awareness – Connect with Nature.

Do you ever find yourself feeling calmer, more relaxed, or more focused after spending time in nature? That’s because time outside has studied and proven benefits for your mental health.



There is a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced negative emotions. This includes symptoms of anxiety, depression, and psychosomatic illnesses like irritability, insomnia, tension headaches, and indigestion.

What you see, hear, and experience in nature can improve your mood in a moment.


Feeling stressed? Research shows a link between exposure to nature and stress reduction. Stress is relieved within minutes of exposure to nature as measured by muscle tension, blood pressure, and brain activity. Time in green spaces significantly reduces your cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Nature also boosts endorphin levels and dopamine production, which promotes happiness.
How does time spent in nature help us here at Love Homes?… Well…Being outside also improves creative thinking. Taking regular breaks in nature helps boost concentration and improves productivity.


We are very lucky to live in a beautiful part of the country. We have everything from sea and sand on the Fylde Coast to Williamson Park in Lancaster to Brockholes in Preston and over to Rossendale Fells and the rest of the West Pennine Moors.
In honour of Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 we have shared snippets into our time in nature.
If you could benefit from some time out in nature and are looking to get outdoors make sure you visit https://www.lancswt.org.uk/

We have found a new home!

Now let us help you find yours…

2020 was an unprecedented year for the whole world, but despite the troubles and storm we have all been braving over the last 12 months, here at Love Homes we are very fortunate to have seen our independent family run business grow, making 2021 our most exciting year yet.

Coming from humble beginnings (the business was started in a spare bedroom!) the business and the family has grown into what it is today- an independent, award winning bespoke estate agency. We are here to assist all of our clients, past, present and future with an all round property service.

We can help you in an array of property matters including but not limited to conveyancing, mortgages, surveys and utilities.

Our new office is located at 16a High Street in Garstang — for all the locals, that is the old Billingtons Electrical. It is a beautiful building in the heart of Garstang, and we are thrilled for it to be our new home. We are also happy to be able to take over a premises that has been a large part of Garstang’s history.

If you are passing the new office don’t hesitate to give us a wave, and if you need any help or advice on anything property related pop in and we can have a coffee and a chat in our beautiful property lounge.

Spring Cleaning: Ten Tips for a good spring clean without expensive products.

With the weather changing and Easter almost upon us, Spring is officially here.

 We have ten timely tips on how to clean your house without spending money on expensive household cleaning products. Delve into the darkest depths of your kitchen cupboards and you will probably find that you already have everything you will need to Spring clean your home for less. All the tips below require nothing more than vinegar, scouring powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and a dash of elbow grease. The only fresh items you will need to buy are a couple of lemons.

1. Windows

A mixture of 25% vinegar and 75% warm water is all that you need to make your windows shine again. Rub the mixture onto your windows with an old cotton towel and then dry them by giving them a good rub with scrunched up newspaper.

2. Taps

You can remove the build-up of limescale around the base of your taps by simply wrapping a paper towel around them and giving them a thorough soaking with hot vinegar. Leave for at least an hour and then give them a rigorous buffing to restore their shine.

3. Baths

Remove those stubborn rings around your bath by using nothing more than half a lemon sprinkled with baking soda. As well as being cheaper than bathroom cleaners, it will not scratch the surface!

4. Shower Heads

Restore the power to your shower by zapping the limescale that builds up inside the head. Just soak it in a bowl of hot white vinegar for an hour and then scrub it with an old toothbrush to remove any lingering limescale.

5. Toilets

Say goodbye to using messy bleach and germ-infested toilet brushes. You can give your toilet a cleaning it, will never forget with just a paper towel and some old-fashioned scouring powder. Simply put the paper towel down the loo when you are finished and flush.

6. Kettles

A limescale encrusted kettle can be restored to health by filling it with a solution consisting of 2/3 hot water and 1/3 brown vinegar and leaving it to soak for an hour. After pouring the mixture away, fill it with water and bring it to the boil a couple of times to remove any remaining limescale.

7. Microwaves

Prepare a solution consisting of 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar and two cups of water. Place the solution in an open microwave-proof bowl and microwave on full power for three minutes. Remove the bowl afterwards and wipe the inside of your microwave clean with paper towels.

8. Ovens

Even the most stubborn oven can be thoroughly cleaned with a simple paste made up of nothing more than baking soda, salt and hot water. Just leave for fifteen minutes after applying and then rinse.

9. Bins

Do you empty your kitchen bin when it gets too full or too smelly? Banish any nasty niffs by simply pouring a generous portion of talcum powder or baking powder into the bottom.

10. Drains

If you are suffering from a clogged bathroom or kitchen drain, try pouring down a mixture of ½ cup of white vinegar and ½ a cup of baking soda. Allow to foam for a few minutes before washing it down with approximately 8 cups of boiling water.

Why spring is a great season to sell your home.

Is there a ‘good’ time to sell your property? Is there even such a thing as the ‘right’ time to sell? In the property industry, every month can bring new challenges but here we take a look at why we think spring is the perfect time to put your house on the market.

Spring makes us all feel better! The sun is starting to have some warmth in it, making summer feel like it’s not too far away and, with days getting longer, there are more potential daylight hours for house viewing. With gardens bursting into new life at the same time, the kerb appeal of properties is at a high, giving prospective buyers a great first impression. So, never underestimate the effect of sunshine on buyers and homes. The sun streaming into a house will bring it to life and there’s no doubt that people are much more likely to want to take part in viewings in good weather.

Springtime is a great time to put your home on the market too if it can be marketed towards young families. For families with school-age children who are house hunting, finding a property in the springtime means they have a really strong chance to exchange, complete AND move before the new academic year begins in September, giving them the time to settle their children in a new area before starting a new school.

Of course, an increase in the number of properties on the market means you will be up against the greatest number of competing sellers. But don’t despair! Read on for some simple ways to show your house at its best; some are quick, easy fixes and others need a bit more time and money but, all will give you the edge over other sellers when trying to attract the best buyer, and make your property stand out.

Declutter!

Buyers want to view your house and see themselves living there. So, if your windowsills are covered in personal photographs, think about removing some. You don’t have to remove all traces of your family and friends but let people see the surfaces and they’ll be able to picture their own trinkets in residence. Additionally, if you have a lot of furniture, occasional tables for instance, or perhaps a room with too many chairs, remove some. Staging your home will give you the best chance of a sale so if you have somewhere to store your overflow pieces until after completion, do it now. It’s good to do the same in the kitchen – clear worktops of unnecessary equipment. Put the toaster away, and make sure all pots, pans and condiments are in cupboards. Tidy the top of the fridge and consider whether you really need a hundred fridge magnets on display.

Clean the house

This may seem obvious but it’s surprising how many people leave dirty dishes in the sink or on the kitchen worktops. And put dirty laundry out of sight, removing laundry baskets if possible and making sure there are no smalls on the rads! It’s worth getting carpets professionally cleaned once you know you will be having viewings. If this isn’t practical then at least put the vacuum round before each appointment – a dirty carpet covered in crumbs, or worse pet hair, will put buyers off straightaway.   Give your windows a clean too; dirty windows will make the whole house feel dark and grubby, and if you have net curtains, make sure they are clean and uncreased.

Smells!

The belief that the smell of freshly ground coffee or home baked bread will sell your home may have held water in the 80s but today, such polarising aromas can do the opposite. As will strongly scented candles and plug-in air fresheners. The best scent for a home is fresh air so open windows on a dry day, fill a fruit bowl with oranges and lemons and, most importantly, if you are a household of smokers, refrain from lighting up indoors on the day of a viewing and empty ashtrays and put them away. The smell of stale tobacco clings to carpets, curtains and soft furnishings and no buyer wants to be viewing the Rovers Return! Although we are a nation of pet owners, put your animals outside too when showing people round. Your buyers may not be a fan of your furry friends and Fido may take exception to strangers in his territory.

Redecorate

This takes a little time and money but if your house has a strong colour palette, it’s worth considering painting over in neutral shades. The majority of house hunters will be unable to see beyond the colour of your walls and this could cost you the sale, so you need to help them see what your home could look like when they are the occupants.

Carry out repairs

If viewers come into your home and see repair jobs that need to be done, that will automatically add ££ to the price they are paying in their head. This will lead either to a lost sale or a reduced offer. So, carry out any repairs ahead of viewings, such as replacing cracked tiles or repairing broken fences or gates.

Dress your home for each viewing

And lastly, prepare a go-to box of accessories you can quickly put out ahead of each viewing. Very few of us have co-ordinating towels so keep a laundered set of matching towels to hand that can be substituted for the My Little Mermaid or Liverpool FC bath sheets that you use usually. Keep a new sofa throw and matching cushions at the ready too and clean tea towels that can be whipped out at short notice. If you don’t have matching bedlinen all the time, invest in a bed throw that will cover up mismatched linen in a heartbeat. All little things maybe, which will hardly even be noticed on a conscious level but that will surely register with your viewer subliminally.

If in doubt about your preparations, ask friends and family to cast a critical eye over your home but, if you think impartiality or objectivity will be hard for them, ask your estate agent. At Love Homes, we know what sells houses and we will always be happy to advise how to showcase your property in the best way possible.

So, now your house is clean, tidy, uncluttered and smelling beautiful, what are you waiting for? For a free valuation, call us today on 01995 213101 and let us get you moving!

What the Budget means for Homebuyers.

Here in the office at Love Homes Estate Agents, we were waiting for the budget with baited breath. And Mr Sunak has not disappointed. As the country begins to think about emerging from the social restrictions of the pandemic, and rebuilding the economy, the chancellor has unveiled his plans for the property sector.
In a move that will surely bring a smile to all those trying to get onto the property ladder, struggling first-time buyers will be able to secure a mortgage on properties up to the value of £600,000 with just a 5% deposit. This effectively reduces by half the amount that first-time buyers will need to buy their home. In real terms, that means a deposit of £10,000 – previously £20,000 – will secure a £200,000 home.
The government backed initiative will launch next month and will be available up to December 31st 2022. Currently, Lloyds, NatWest, Santander and Barclays will be offering 95% mortgages, with other lenders, including Virgin Money set to follow suit ‘shortly after’.
With 95% loan-to-value (LTV) lenders having withdrawn this product as being too high risk in the wake of the pandemic, the opportunity to buy a home seemed far out of reach for many first-time buyers and in fact, in January of this year, there were only 8 such lenders. This new mortgage guarantee will now unlock the property market to younger buyers who have been trying to compete with a surge in house prices that has outstripped salaries, and even more so as it is not restricted to new builds.
The budget also brought news about stamp duty thresholds. Currently, the threshold stands at £500,000 but this was due to return to the original rate of £125,000 on July 1st. Under the chancellor’s new announcement, the threshold will now reduce to £250,000 between July and September, not returning to the original £125,000 until October 1st.
These exciting announcements represent a positive move towards starting to rebuild the economy on firm foundations (pun intended!) and are a step in the right direction to, as the Prime Minister previously put it, ‘turn Generation Rent into Generation Buy’.
As always, Love Homes Estate Agents are here to help you with every aspect of your home purchase so if the budget has brought a new home within your reach or if you would like to explore the properties we have to suit you, our experienced staff is here to help. Call today on 01995 213101 or send us an email now: hello@lovehomesestateagents.co.uk

Hello world!

Welcome to Our Blog!

We are Love Homes Estate Agents, a local, independent, family run estate agency in Lancashire.

We have a reputation built on trust, value and customer satisfaction. We possess a wealth of knowledge about the areas we cover and we have worked tirelessly to build a fresh approach to helping people buy and sell properties.

We look forward to sharing news, advice and behind the scenes with you in the future.