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Moving to Leicester: Pain Free Packing Tips

When you ask most people what’s been the most stressful thing they’ve gone through, many of them will put ‘moving house’ up there with changing jobs or having a new baby. Not only do you have the long process of trying to find a house to suit your needs, there’s months of paperwork and phone calls with solicitors, switching your utility suppliers to a new house, and sorting out things like new schools for the children. This is all before the actual moving day, where you may find yourself running around trying to cram things into boxes.

One thing that can help with the stress of moving is being organised, and this is especially important when it comes to packing. If you don’t want to be dashing around on the morning of the move, follow these tips for pain-free packing and a smooth move.

Declutter first

A new home means a fresh start, so in the weeks before the move, spend time decluttering and deciding what you really want to take with you. Garages, sheds and lofts can be real clutter zones after you’ve lived in a house for a few years, so you may want to get a skip or hire a van when you clear them out, making it easy to get rid of junk.

Try not to send too much to landfill. Charity shops will usually be grateful for donations, and some will even collect larger items such as furniture. Once you’ve had a big declutter, the job of packing will seem much less daunting.

Buy supplies

Having the right supplies is important, so make sure you have:

  • Plenty of strong boxes
  • Tape and tape guns
  • Labels and permanent markers
  • Bubble wrap
  • Strong bin bags

You can buy packing boxes online, or pick them up free from Freecycle or Facebook, as you’ll often find local people who’ve just moved and who want to get rid of their boxes.

Start early and pack things professionally

The earlier you start packing, the better the job you’ll do. Most people have things in their house they don’t use often, from decorative items to books, so start with these items that you won’t mind putting away for a while.

To pack properly, you should:

  • Find the right size box and assemble it with plenty of tape
  • Decide whether it will be used for fragile items, and if so, line it with bubble wrap
  • Put the heaviest items in first, then lighter items on top, wrapping in bubble wrap if needed
  • Don’t overfill boxes. If you have heavy items, pack them in a lot of small boxes rather than one very heavy, bulky box
  • Seal the top using plenty of tape
  • Clearly label the box with the name of the room and a brief description of the contents
  • Make sure the box is clearly labelled ‘fragile’ if your removal company need to take extra care

Pack a suitcase each and an essentials box

A few days before the move, pack a suitcase for each member of the family with the clothes they wear most often, not forgetting school and work uniforms, and then start gathering essentials together in a big plastic box. This box will contain the items you’ll need on the day of the move, from paperwork and toys to teabags and a kettle, so you don’t need to unpack boxes the minute you arrive.

Once you know which essentials to keep handy, you can go from room to room and pack up, using the same tips as before. The aim is that by the night before the move, the only things you’ll have left unpacked will be bedding, a few clothes, and some kitchen essentials.

The day of the move

When you’re getting ready on the day of the move, you can pack as you go. For example, bedding can be rolled up and placed in thick bin bags, ready to go to the new house. It’s worth having a couple of extra boxes made up so that you can throw in any odd bits and bobs as the removal company do their job.

It’s always recommended to hire a professional removal team, as they’ll make moving day so much easier. If you’ve packed everything properly, then it should be a smooth process to get everything in the van and ready to go. If you really don’t like the thought of packing, then you may choose to use a professional packing service, where everything is packed up for you a couple of days before the move, saving you time and stress.

If you are planning on moving to the Leicester area soon, why not telephone us or call in. We’ll be happy to advise you on our available properties in the area. Contact us on 0116 271 3333

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The Billionaire Christmas Wish List

At Knightsbridge Estate Agents, we always charge our clients a value for money fee unlike some of the eye-watering prices you’re about to discover. Here are what billionaires are willing to stump up for shoes, burgers, a photo, some vino, and an unbelievable home – a three-minute read.

Have you written out your Christmas wish list yet?

If your loved ones have given you theirs, and you’ve thought, ‘do they think I’m made of money?’, consider yourself lucky.

The letters to Santa from the mega-rich contain some incredibly pricey everyday items.

Wine

£237,000 (yep, you read that right)

A bottle of wine for good neighbours is usually seen as a nice gift. But the 1947 Cheval Blanc is probably only something Jeff Bezos could afford to give to the people over the road. This rare vintage was thought to be the only bottle of its type when it sold at a 2011 auction for a record amount.

Burger

£1,785                                                  

What better way to finish a socially distanced Christmas shopping trip than grabbing a burger?

The Guinness World Records confirmed that a Dutch Chef had made the priciest piece of fast food on the planet. The Diego’s Wagyu burger is made up of Wagyu steak, lobster, caviar, foie gras, truffle, and 24-carat gold leaf. You’ll probably want to savour EVERY mouthful, very slowly.

Suit

£450,000

While this Christmas will see many of us having smaller than usual gatherings, a lot of us like to dress up smartly on 25 December.

A diamond merchant, Laljibhai Patel, paid a record-breaking £450,000 at a charity auction for a suit which was personalised with gold monogrammed stripes. The outfit used to belong to India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. So, not only did Patel buy a second-hand suit, but it also had someone else’s name all over it – literally.

Photograph

£3.36m (And it’s not that nice)

The festive period is often a great time to be at home, make memories, and take photos. But if you had the kind of cash that Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has, you might be tempted to buy Andreas Gursky’s snap Rhein II for your living room wall. We think we take much better photos of the properties we sell. If you Google the crazily expensive photo, you’ll see what we mean.

Now, one thing we do know a lot about at Knightsbridge Estate Agents, is the values of homes in Leicester.

We know what will be popular with buyers when we see it.

But in all honesty, the world’s most expensive home, called Antilia, which is owned by Indian business magnate Mukesh Ambani, left us scratching our heads at its valuation.

The 27-storey Mumbai tower block comes complete with a 50-seat theatre, three helipads, a ballroom, 168-car garage, and even its own air traffic control room.

And there was us thinking that a friend’s Christmas tree that we saw on social media was over the top.

The building is valued at around £1.6 BILLION. But architecturally, it looks like something a five-year-old has stuck together while distracted when watching CBeebies. (Again, Google it and you’ll see what we mean.)

Most of the buyers we show around the homes we sell are looking for much simpler creature comforts.

And while billionaire buyers are a rare breed, there are still plenty of serious buyers looking to move in Leicester. And at the top of their Christmas wish list, is finding a new place to call home in 2021.

Thanks for reading and if we can help you with any of your property needs, please get in touch.

Copyright 2020 Knightsbridge Estate Agents

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Six Ways to Have Your Most Environmentally-Friendly Christmas Ever

Who says you can’t have a great time this Christmas AND do your bit for Planet Earth? In this two-minute read, we look at some simple things people in Leicester can do to make the festive period as eco-friendly as possible.

There’s been some positive vaccine news starting to come out in the UK and across the world.

But the news around our planet’s health isn’t as rosy. On Wednesday (2 December), United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres urged nations to make radical changes before it’s too late.

It’s obvious now that climate change needs tackling with as much energy and vigour as finding a vaccine for Covid-19 was.

The good news is we can all play a positive part, even at Christmas.

Here are six wonderful ways to keep it green this festive period.

  • Get Real – You would have to use your artificial Christmas tree for more than 20 years for it to be greener than one real tree.
  • It’s a Wrap – Use recycled paper or fabric to wrap up those pressies.
  • Plastic Not So Fantastic – Choose gifts that are certified plastic-free. Look out for trusted labels like Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and check out The Plastic Free Shop online.
  • Glittered Up Decorations – Use plant-based glitter, which is much kinder to the environment.
  • Lasting Memories – Instead of a jumper that never gets worn, why not give a loved one an experience-based gift. Just Google ‘experience gifts’ and you’ll be spoilt for choice.
  • Waste Not Want Not – We all know Christmas is a time when we relax and eat a little more than we should. But it pays to be mindful of the amount of food waste that happens over the holiday period. Plan ahead to reduce the waste and all its negative environmental impacts.

Doing any of the above won’t reduce your happiness this Christmas. Look at it this way, by going greener, you’re giving a priceless gift to future generations.

At Knightsbridge Estate Agents, we’re about much more than just property. We love to do all we can for our clients, our community, and our climate.

What’s your best environmentally-friendly Christmas tip you’d like to share with your neighbours in Leicester?

Thanks for reading.

Copyright 2020 Knightsbridge Estate Agents

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Budget for Your Big Move with Our Homebuyers’ Guide to Fees and Charges

In this two-minute read, we outline the costs and fees associated with buying a property so that you can budget for your next move.

 

Buying a new home can be an exciting prospect, but often in the thrill of the search, buyers fail to budget for some of the costs that are part and parcel of the process.

 

Consumer champion Which? estimates moving costs on average of £10,000 (that’s excluding deposit), although this figure varies depending on the value of the new property.

 

By starting with a clear picture of all the fees you’re likely to incur, you can avoid any last-minute surprises and the indignity of raiding your toddler’s moneybox to pay the removal crew on moving day.

 

Here’s a checklist of moving-related costs.

 

FOR ENGLAND AND NI ONLY – DELETE IF YOU’RE IN SCOTLAND OR WALES

Stamp Duty – This is a tiered tax – the more expensive the property, the more you pay. Due to the pandemic, temporary changes are in place, meaning Stamp Duty does not apply to the first £500,000 of a property purchase. This rule ends on 31 March 2021.

 

FOR SCOTLAND ONLY, DELETE IF YOU’RE IN NI, ENGLAND OR WALES

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) – This is a tiered tax – the more expensive the property, the more you pay. Due to the pandemic, temporary changes to LBTT are in place. Currently, you don’t have to pay LBTT on the first £250,000 of a property purchase. This rule ends on 31 March 2021.

 

FOR WALES ONLY, DELETE IF YOU’RE IN NI, ENGLAND OR SCOTLAND

Land Transaction Tax (LTT) – This is a tiered tax – the more expensive the property, the more you pay. Due to the pandemic, temporary changes to LTT are in place. Currently, you don’t have to pay LTT on the first £250,000 of a residential property purchase. This rule ends on 31 March 2021.

 

Legal fees – The cost of conveyancing – that’s the paperwork that secures the legal transfer of property – varies depending on whether you’re buying a freehold or leasehold property (expect leasehold to cost you more). Tip: When you’re getting conveyancing quotes, check the final price includes VAT, search fees and Land Registry fees.

 

Valuation fee – If you’re taking out a mortgage, your lender will insist on a valuation to ensure that you’re not paying over the odds for your new home.

 

Mortgage fees – Some mortgage deals include an arrangement fee or an application fee (or both).

 

Survey fees – Different types of surveys are available. The most basic option should be a few hundred quid, while the most comprehensive survey can cost thousands of pounds.

 

Insurance – Most lenders insist on buildings insurance as part of the terms of the mortgage. It covers the cost of repairing your home in the event of a disaster such as a flood, fire, or falling tree.

 

Removals – Removal costs vary depending on how far you’re going and how much stuff you have (are you a minimalist or a hoarder?). The website comparemymove.com estimates it costs £800 to move belongings from a three-bed house to a property 50 miles away. Throw in another £250 for packing and materials.

 

Redirecting mail – If you’re planning on redirecting your mail to your new address (not such a bad idea in this era of identity fraud), Royal Mail charges £80 for 12 months.

 

The team at Knightsbridge Estate Agents can ensure your move goes smoothly. If you need advice or have any questions about the moving process, please get in touch. We’re here to help.

 

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A Tiers Update for Leicester

Now the new tier system has come into effect across England, we wanted to remind you we are still open for business.

And we wanted to share this useful information from the NHS about what we can (and can’t) all do in Leicestershire now we are tier 3

And remember there’s a slight relaxing of the rules between December 23-27, so there’s a chance of some Christmas cheer.

The Government guidance can be viewed via this link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know

Stay safe, and thanks for reading.

From all at Knightsbridge Estate Agents

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Santa Claus is coming to town….for Rainbows Hospice

Santa Claus is coming to Town ....and 100% of the money raised goes to Rainbows Hospice

We’re super excited to announce that our friends at the North Pole have sprinkled some elf magic to arrange for your little ones to have a very special call with Santa Claus this Christmas (100% of the money goes to Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People)… but you need to be quick to book your slot! 🎅
 
With the countdown to Christmas underway, Santa’s schedule is getting busy… but he’s put some time aside to have a quick Zoom call with friends of Rainbows… and he’d love for you to join him! 🎅
 
Along with Zoom calls, so he can speak to as many children as possible, he’s also going to ask Mrs Claus to hold the camera while he films some pre-recorded personalised messages too. Book your call today! 
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Let’s Look Out for Each Other’s Mental Health in Leicester This Winter

In this important two-minute read, we look at six ways people in Leicester can look after their mental health and that of their loved ones as we head into winter.

In early November, a week after the clocks went back, there was a spike in the UK’s highest levels of acute loneliness during the pandemic, according to the Office for National Statistics.

A BBC report claimed that the longer, darker evenings had led to 8% of adults saying they were feeling “always, or often lonely”. This is a staggering 4.2 million people across Britain.

Now, more than ever before, it’s essential to note how we’re feeling mentally as well as physically.

With mindfulness in mind, here are six ideas from the Mental Health Foundation to improve your mental wellbeing over the winter months.

  • Get Help – If you are struggling with debt or feeling down, seek professional support and guidance.
  • Routines Work – Lockdowns play havoc with our schedules, so aim to create a simplified one that works for you. Try to build at least twenty minutes of exercise into your day.
  • Good Sleep Matters – A very important but overlooked aspect of good mental health is getting quality sleep. Try reading a book instead of watching the telly before bedtime.
  • Look for the Positives – Since the Pandemic hit, many things we took for granted have been temporarily stopped. But new ideas and events have emerged like online book clubs and Zoom pub quizzes. Many people are also finding a new purpose by volunteering in their local communities.
  • Stay Connected – There may be restrictions around meeting people, but that doesn’t need to stop us staying in touch with friends and family. Pick up the phone and call or text someone you like/love today.
  • Make Friends with Winter – The Scandinavians have become experts over the centuries in coping with long, dark winters. Their approach is to make your home as comfortable as possible and enjoy the time indoors to read, cook, reflect, and relax.

 

At Knightsbridge Estate Agents we see the big picture. And we know our community cares about more than just property, so we love sharing articles like this and hope they help you or someone you care about.

Thanks for reading and let’s look out for each other this winter.

PS: The Mental Health Foundation has published some handy articles providing advice and support for people who need it. Visit: www.mentalhealth.org.uk

Copyright 2020 – Knightsbridge Estate Agents

 

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3 Tips for Staging Your Leicester Home on a Budget

When the time comes to sell your home in Leicester, you want to do everything you can to make it look appealing to potential buyers. Fixing up any aspects of your home that needs maintenance is one way to go, as is renovating or modernising some rooms to increase your home’s resale value, but if you have already finished these or aren’t planning on making any major renovations before the sale, how do you attract buyers? 

Here at Knightsbridge Estate Agents & Valuers we know that staging your home is a crucial element to the home selling process. It allows people to imagine their lives in their potential new home and gives them a chance to see what it would be like if they lived there themselves. Homes that aren’t staged have less chance of being sold quickly because it’s hard to imagine how you would fit into a new home when there’s no furniture and you have to picture it all in your head. It helps improve your online property listing as well as helping with open house events. Not only that, but it also can increase your sale price by an average of one to five percent if you implement home staging tips before putting your home up on the market. 

Home staging can be pricey if you hire a professional and rent furniture to make it look picture-perfect but don’t give up on the idea if you don’t have a big budget to work with. You can easily stage your home with a low budget. Whatever you do, try not to leave your home completely empty. 

So, how can you make your home look appealing to buyers without spending a small fortune? Here are three tips for staging your home on a minimal budget. 

1. Tidy up everything

The first step is to clean like mad, both the inside of your home and the outside. The exterior of your home matters as well because it’s likely the first impression most people will get when they see your property either online or from the street. You want to have good kerb appeal to draw people inside to see more, so your first task is to straighten up your garden. Keep your grass cut, remove any debris like fallen branches and leaves, and make sure your hedges are trimmed and maintained. If you want to improve it further, plant some flowers or display hanging baskets where you can. 

Now for the interior of your home. Staged homes look incredibly neat and tidy, free of clutter and junk. Everything is carefully placed and organised. Start by packing up some of your belongings in each room – roughly 30 percent of each room should be packed up before putting your home on the market. This will make every room in your home feel bigger. Once you’ve removed some of your things, you should do a walk-through and de-clutter as much as you can. The tip here is to get rid of it, not stash it somewhere you think is hidden. Potential buyers will be opening cupboards to see how much space they have, so keep that in mind (and remember to clean out and organise your wardrobes too!). Countertops and bookshelves should be sparse except for a few purposeful decorative items. Also, it’s important to neutralise your home in terms of taste and personal belongings. Think of the buyer: what would they want to see? Take down some family photos to make it easier for buyers to picture themselves living there. 

Once this has all been done, it’s time to go from room to room and give everything a good deep clean, making sure to take extra care in the bathrooms and kitchen. Open windows for some fresh air (avoid spraying air fresheners in case people have sensitivities to the scents or chemicals) and try to vacuum before all viewings or open house events. 

2. Maximise your space

Staging your home with your existing furniture is easy when you consider making it function less like a home that serves your needs, and more like a show home. Focus your efforts on the rooms people spend the most amount of time in, like the living room, master bedroom and kitchen, and spend extra time staging rooms that are smaller so you can quell potential buyers’ fears of not having enough space for their furniture. Move your furniture around so there’s an obvious social space and still room for foot traffic. Potential buyers will want to walk around and check out the space, but it’s also good to help them imagine living in a space where they can easily have conversations and entertain friends and family. 

3. Re-invent your space with the right decor

The trick to staging your home on a minimal budget is to use items you already have to re-create your space to make it feel cosy and homely, as well as stylish and attractive. Every room should be inviting and warm, so consider some tips like placing plants near features you want to draw the eye to – like a fireplace or entertainment unit – strategically hanging mirrors to make the room look bigger and brighter, and using vases to add a pop of colour where needed.

For more advice on selling your home and to arrange a free valuation, contact our professional team of experts at Knightsbridge Estate Agents & Valuers 0116 274 5544

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Charity Colouring Sheet – Leicester South Foodbank

Can you help brighten up Santa?

We need your help to help bring some colour to Santa…so grab your felt tip pens, colouring pencils and make him as wacky and colourful as possible!

Don’t forget to tag us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or pop your completed sheet through our office door:

Clarendon Park Office: 72 Queens Road, Clarendon Park, LE2 1TU

Wigston Office: 34 Leicester Road, Wigston, LE18 1DR

Oadby Office: 49 The Parade, Oadby, LE2 5BB

For every completed sheet we will donate 1 item of food to Leicester South Foodbank

DOWNLOAD YOUR CHARITY COLOURING SHEET HERE

To find out more about Leicester South Foodbank and how you can support them this festive season click HERE