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For affordability and an easy commute to Canary Wharf, the only way is E16.

Canning Town platform Photo source: Geograph.co.uk http://bit.ly/2ljhSX8

East London’s post-industrial landscape is rapidly disappearing in favour of quirky cultural venues, artfully rustic cafes and glassy residential towers. While the investment potential in Hackney and Tower Hamlets has been well-documented, other locations that are just as accessible have managed to slip under the radar.

One of these is Canning Town, a part of town with a rich dockers’ history, that has just been re-zoned along with Stratford into Zone 2. Sitting on the Jubilee line and the DLR, commuters can be in Canary Wharf in 10mins and, once the Elizabeth Line is up and running at nearby Custom House, 17mins from Bond Street.

The first sign of investment interest arrived with the ExCeL London exhibition centre in 2000, but the financial crash slowed down further development – until the recent residential boom.

Now, 10,000 new homes are planned from a variety of developers and housing associations, many for sale on affordability schemes like Help to Buy and Shared Ownership, along with a £600m revamp of the town centre and a hotel along with new pedestrian and cycling routes.

The real jewel in the crown, though, is nearby London City Island sitting just across the border in Tower Hamlets, whose anchor tenant will be the English National Ballet bringing a much-needed cultural boost to the area in 2018.

Compared to other areas with similar commuting times prices are a steal, too, which is why young professionals priced out of surrounding boroughs are looking for value in Canning Town.

Nick Parr, partner at Knight Frank City & East, agrees, but thinks its investment appeal can only be fully realised when put in context with surrounding areas. “It’s a great place to be, two stops down from Canary Wharf and half the price, two stops from Stratford and The Royal Docks are taking off.

Data from Johns & Co bears this out; the estate agent reports that “a lot of interest” is coming from corporate tenants aged between 25 and 35 working in the City or Canary Wharf and, recently, buy-to-let investors.

“It’s proving a hotspot for investors, not least because property price growth is anticipated to rise by up to 30 per cent in the next five years,” says managing director John Morley. “Yields north of five per cent are now hard to come by in many parts of central London, but this is still possible in E16 with yields currently at five to six per cent.”

Area highlights

If you’re a keen comic book fan or just like roaming wistfully around travel shows, you’ll like being a short walk away from the ExCeL London Centre. Regular business travellers will also enjoy being so close to London City Airport, which is only 10 minutes away on the DLR and it’s so small, it’s like waiting to board a plane from someone’s living room. If you’re looking to meet new people, seek out the Canning Town Caravanserai, a flexible space used for art installations, story-telling, food markets and skills workshops. You’re never far from water, with the River Lea, the Thames and the Royal Docks nearby, and you can take the Emirates Skyline over to the 02 Arena. Good restaurants nearby include reasonably-priced Italian Pepenero, contemporary brasserie Docklands Bar and Grill and Fatboy’s Diner the other side of Bow Creek, a 1950s-style diner next to arts space Trinity Buoy Wharf.

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Photo source: Geograph http://bit.ly/2BYpnxr

  • South Woodford lies in the north-east corner of London, minutes away from the border of Essex. In fact Woodford and Woodford Green are both located in Essex.
  • E18 is leafy and suburban; it’s popular with commuters who love the convenience of being less than 30 minutes away from the West End.
  • The high street contains your usual, basic convenience chain stores but is broken up by boutiques, gastro pubs and a local cinema.
  • If you like weekend walks, then this is the place for you, as Epping Forest is on the borders of this area.
  • The area is reasonably small and quiet, but with that comes a sense of living in safe surroundings.

South Woodford’s retail and business area is centred on George Lane, the location of South Woodford tube station, and Woodford Green High Road. There are several leading chain store shops, such as Sainsbury, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Boots and a number of smaller shops, restaurants and cafes. There is a crown post office and Royal Mail sorting office.

There is a seven screen Odeon cinema, which opened in 1934 as a Majestic and is the only cinema in the area. As of November 2017, its freehold is for sale. Next door, The George pub, an 18th-century building on the site of an earlier inn, was originally a stopping point for stagecoaches, with several bars. The George once had a fine dining area on the first floor and then later a pizzeria in the basement, with a large spiral staircase between the floors. Other amenities include a number of green areas, many of which form part of Epping Forest.

There are numerous churches and chapels representing various Christian denominations, several synagogues and a mosque.

The area is served by South Woodford tube station in Travel card Zone 4 on the Central line of the London Underground.

South Woodford has a good selection of schools including Nightingale Primary, Snaresbrook Primary, Churchfields which has a junior and infant department, as well as Oakdale. There is also Snaresbrook Preparatory, St Josephs’ Convent voluntary maintained school, and Woodbridge Secondary School.

Forest School is an independent school, within close proximity to South Woodford, in that the playing fields are arguably in South Woodford.

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Photo source: Flickr http://bit.ly/2BGcvcF

We’re all familiar with the saying ‘first impressions count’, but why is it that when it comes to our homes, the hallway is usually the most neglected area of the house?

 

‘Hallways are the most important transitional spaces within our homes so whatever we choose to do decoration-wise has to work perfectly with the other rooms that lead off it,’ says Marianne Shillingford, creative director at Dulux. ‘This decorating dilemma often results in us being super cautious with colour and using neutral pale shades which can flatten the atmosphere creating a space that is simply a functional corridor that no-one really lingers in or remembers.

 

You don’t know what colour scheme to choose.

 

‘Focus on the fun in the function of a hallway and use colour and painted details to draw the eye through the space and towards the places you want people to go. Paint a subtle harlequin design on a wooden floor and let the diamonds guide you towards the most interesting bits of your home. Strong blocks of colour used on doors will add personality without overwhelming a space plus you can make the choice of colours personal to the people who live behind them.’ – Marianne Shillingford, creative director at Dulux

 

‘Hallways, by nature, are typically dark. Brown, green, grey, telephone box red, and any of the primary colours in full hue, are all ones I would avoid. These are dark and very strong colours. Primary colours in small spaces give off to much vibration and stimulation for us to absorb, causing unwanted headaches, loss of attention span and in some cases, even feelings of nausea. When deciding on a palette, if you are seeking drama, consider the level of sheen as well as the colour. You may also want to consider what colours the other adjacent rooms your hallways are coming of off as well as leading towards.’ – Gillian C. Rose

 

You are unsure what wallpaper will work in your hallway.

 

‘Often hallway space is limited, leaving little room for lots of accessories or other decorative items. Adding wallpaper is an ideal way to add a design feature and personality to the area without taking up valuable space or over cluttering. Stripes are a classic choice for homes and can be used to create the illusion of space in a hallway. Horizontal stripes will lead the eye upwards and vertical stripes will elongate the area. Choosing light and neutral colours or the ever-popular shades of grey will also add to the feeling of air and space.’ – Alex Whitecroft, head of design at I Want Wallpaper

 

Your hallway doesn’t feel warm or welcoming.

 

‘Think about how you wish to feel in your home. This will inform you of the colour and the direction you will go towards. For example, for a warm glow, the skirting could be a clotted cream colour high (gloss finish); the walls could be in a soft butter yellow (flat finish), and the ceiling could be in a hint of peaches and cream (flat finish). For a fresh, cool bask, the skirting could be a crisp light grey (high gloss finish); the walls in a pale minty colour (flat finish), and the ceiling the palest of azure (flat finish).’ – Gillian C. Rose

 

You’re not sure what the best flooring for your hallway is.

Normally a hallway tile is an extension of any tiling on the ground floor. For instance, a tile used in a kitchen/dining area is followed through into the hallway to give a consistent feel to the flooring and will make the area feel larger. This can be a variety of aesthetics to suit the property. Alternatively, the hallway can be made a feature, such as encaustic or a traditional Victorian chequerboard. Wood is often used in living areas and by using wood effect porcelain tiles throughout areas including hallways, you can achieve the warmth and depth of wood with the practicality of porcelain.

– James Arkell, founder of tile specialists

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Photo source: Flickr http://bit.ly/2B8Syyc

Even if you feel pretty confident that you’ve done a thorough job of childproofing, chances are you’ve missed something. In fact, in a study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), when first-time parents of children ages 12 to 36 months were taken through a model home and asked to point out potential hazards, they could identify fewer than half of them.

 

But the truth is, household injuries are one of the top reasons kids under 3 visits the A&E. each year. And it’s smart to be prepared for the worst. So we’ve shown you many of the hidden risks for young children — as well as pointed out the safe spots and provided expert advice on how to childproof your home.

Make sure candles and matches are out of reach. It’s possible for a toddler to accidentally light a match and start a fire, no matter how undeveloped their fine motor skills. And if they chew on a candle, they could choke on the wax. Keep candles and matches well out of reach, and try flameless LED candles to mimic the effect of flickering candlelight.

Put photo frames are up and away. If your child knocks over or drops a frame, the glass can shatter and cut them, even in a carpeted room. Put frames somewhere well out of reach, mount them on the wall, or replace them with plastic.

TV is mounted. If a child tries to climb on a TV stand, the set can fall on them. Mount your television securely on the wall, if possible. TVs on stands need to be anchored to the wall too: Slip industrial-strength Velcro straps through the air-vent holes and connect them to eye hooks that you screw into the wall.

Fireplace is covered. Install heat-resistant gates to use while the flames are burning. Kids could fall and injure themselves against a sharp or stony hearth, so make sure you buy pads for the edges. Artificial fireplaces often contain small rocks that are a choking hazard if yours does, remove them. Two risks in our picture: The doors should be locked when not in use, and the fire-stoking tools should be out of reach.

Remote control has a missing battery cover. Be especially careful of button batteries the kind you find in watches, hearing aids, greeting cards, and some toys which are higher voltage than traditional batteries. If your child swallows any type of battery, it can get lodged in the oesophagus and cause severe damage, so get them to A&E.

Window blinds are cordless. A child can get their neck caught in a looped cord and be strangled. More than 200 young children have died this way since 1990, says the CPSC. Eliminate the hazard by cutting the loop. But if possible, invest in new cordless window coverings

 

Kitchen is gated. Because the room is full of risks, it is a good idea to make it off-limits when you’re not around.

Door slamming. The most common types of amputations in kids involve fingers and thumbs, according to recent research from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The usual cause among those age 2 and younger? Doors. “I’ve stitched up the ends of so many fingers frequently from a game of chase that ends with a door slamming,” says Dr. Schmidt. You can buy devices that keep doors from closing all the way, or simply drape a towel over the top.

Toilet is left open. The toilet is just the right height for your toddler to stick their head in, and since they are top-heavy, they could fall over and not be able to get up. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional-injury death in kids ages 1 to 4. Keep the toilet-seat lid down, install a latch, and remind visitors to use it. In a Home Safety Council survey, only 21 percent of parents said they’d installed toilet latches.

Hair dryer is plugged in. If your child turns it on, they could burn themselves or not turn the hairdryer off and leave it burning on something which could cause a fire.

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Photo source: PropertyReporter http://bit.ly/2j6Hhmt

Affordable houses may not be a strong point for London, but the city is still on the preferences list of Millennials.

Studies show that Millennials would choose the city for a couple of reasons. And, as stated in this article on Property Reporter, the top five London Millennial Hotspots are:

1. Redbridge – Best For Culture
2. Croydon – Best For Young Families
3. Newham – Best For Star Neighbourhood: East Ham
4. Barking & Dagenham – Best For First Time Buyers
5. Tower Hamlets –  Best For Hipsters, Foodies And Festival Heads

Yes, you noticed rightly! Locations with a high cost of living like Kensington and Chelsea are not on the list. This is because Millennials search for cost effective places.

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Photo source: ThisOldHouse http://bit.ly/2ynxHkj

Taking good care of your house means fixing all that needs to be fixed in time, before the problems overgrow.

However, sometimes the bad road is also paved with good intentions and we tend to exceed. Results may vary upon your house, depending on what you are trying to fix.

We found a very good article on ThisOldHouse about how very good ideas can end up being wrongly implemented and causing more damage than good.

For example:

  • brighter light bulbs can over-heat and cause fires;
  • repainting can make even more cracks in the paint;
  • trees planted too close to the pavement can cause cracks when they grow;

Consult the full list in the article and suggest some more ideas of small reparations that need, in time, some more repairing!

 

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Photo source: Property Division http://bit.ly/2BdqYyG

Window blinds are a must for some homes. And somebody has to make the decision and choose the most adequate and fit all around the house.

The main types of blinds are: Roman, roller , Venetian, vertical, and panel. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages so analyse them throughout before choosing one.

The Various Types of Blinds That Are Best Meant for A Homeowner

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Photo source: Grist.org http://bit.ly/2nQFLu2

We can all notice the good and the bad about the city we live in now. The longer we have been staying in one place, the more bad things we seem to notice: the trash is wrongly positioned, the high buildings are creating a shadow all day long over the children’s park, not enough greenery etc.

Some of these we can change and improve by ourselves, but there are some things that are unchangeable. These are usually the things that were designed or simply appeared once with the city. And the more impact they have on us, the more frustrating it is that they cannot be changed.

The continuous development will bring more cities on the world map. It is important that we learn from the current examples and make the new ones better and better.

Having this in mind, Peter Calthorpe, urban designer, started planning the cities of the future and advocating for community design. He made a list of  7 principles to build the new cities on and you can hear them all in his TED conference from April this year.

 

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Photo source: MoneyObserver http://bit.ly/2iHG8Bz

The Elizabeth Line: it’s the new, purple Tube line with the royal seal of approval.

Rightmove recently reported that asking prices for homes along the line have soared by up to a third, and they’re continuing to rise, with analysts predicting average price increases of £133,000 between now and when the line launches in 2018/19.

If you want to move or invest to take advantage of the line, here’s some of our top property hotspots…

Forest Gate

Forest Gate is located on the southern edge of Epping Forest, and neighbours Stratford and Leytonstone. It has enjoyed significant gentrification over the past few years, thanks to the Olympic Games and the opening of Westfield shopping centre, and now the anticipated arrival of Crossrail is gentrifying the district even further.

The transport links definitely appeal to potential buyers. There’s an Overground train to the City that takes 13 minutes, and when the Elizabeth line opens, locals will be able to catch a train to Tottenham Court Road in just 17 minutes.

The Zone 3 district also offers a wealth of affordable, Victorian houses, and is a haven for investors and first-time buyers.

We expect property prices to rise by 10% by the time Crossrail is complete.

Ilford

Crossrail will finally put Ilford on the Tube map! Although it was not traditionally an elegant place to live, it is certainly becoming gentrified as a result of the new transport plans. New build apartments, trendy eateries and bars are popping up in the east London borough, signalling a wave of new buyers coming into the area.

It is one of the best value spots in London. Despite values rising since the announcement of Crossrail. Ahead of the line’s completion, we forecast further price rises of 10%. It believes the area will prosper as a result, making it an ideal location to both live and invest in.

Romford

Romford is becoming an increasing popular choice for homebuyers, as many are being driven out of the capital because of rising property prices.

The Essex town offers affordable housing, a quick commute, (you can get to Liverpool Street in 20 minutes), and a wealth of trendy cafes, delis, late night bars and independent shops and boutiques.

House prices have already reached record highs in the area due to infrastructure plans, but we predict they will continue to soar until Crossrail is fully operational in 2019.

If you’re planning a move to take advantage of the line, you’ll need to move quickly, we expect the market to get extremely competitive the closer we get to the opening of the line.

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Photo source: Pixabay http://bit.ly/2yP5kiA

Flooring in a property can make a massive impact on first impressions, so it pays to get it right. Here’s our top tips on choosing the right flooring for your rental property…

Consider the property’s use

The first step in choosing the right flooring for your rental property is to consider who will be living there. If your target tenant type will be families, for example, you’d want to avoid flooring types that can’t be easily refinished or could be ruined by a loose crayon or dirty paws. We’d recommend vinyl or laminate flooring for high-traffic areas of the property, as these flooring types can withstand heavy foot traffic better than most others.

You could also opt for non-slip wood-effect tiles, which are easily maintained, stylish and affordable. In properties with fewer tenants, you have more choices with flooring, so you could consider more stylish choices of tile, as they’re less likely to be damaged and can improve the property’s appearance even more.

 

Think on a room-by-room basis

Certain flooring types are best matched to particular rooms in the house, so when changing flooring for an entire property, you should think on a room-by-room basis. When it comes to kitchens, keep in mind the type of material that will be easiest to clean and won’t need to be replaced every time you get a new tenant.

Natural stone floor tiles look great in kitchens. There are also a range of designs and colours to choose from, which gives you the chance to build up the room’s style from the ground up. Tiles are also the obvious choice for bathrooms, as they are waterproof, durable and easy to maintain.

If you’re steering clear of carpets in an effort to avoid having to replace flooring too regularly, bedrooms will benefit from engineered or hardwood flooring for extra warmth and homely comfort. Living rooms are very much dependant on tenant type, as properties with more people will require more durable flooring, so we’d suggest hardwood flooring so that you won’t have to update your flooring every time your property is up for let.

 

Avoid obvious pitfalls

Certain flooring types are a definite no-no, with 14% of tenants saying carpet in the bathroom would completely put them off a property. Other pitfalls you should avoid include installing wooden flooring in wet rooms, light-coloured carpet in hallways or installing your flooring yourself, without experience or guidance. All of these mistakes can cost you tenants, time and money – so make sure you consider all potential pitfalls before rushing into buying your flooring.

 

With flooring playing such an integral role when it comes to securing tenants, it pays to make sure the flooring types you choose are well suited to your property. To make sure you choose the right flooring for your rental property, follow these top tips and build your property appeal from the ground up.

 

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