Boydens - Life at Home | Summer 2022 - Issue 03

HOME LIFE AT –– A magazine exclusively devoted to proper ty buyers, sel lers, tenants and landlords –– TOP SELLERS 10 WAYS TO ADD VALUE TO YOUR HOME Summer 2022 Issue 03 RENOVATING PROPERTY HOLIDAY LETTINGS How landlords are moving in on Staycation opportunities Exclusive interview with A Place in the Sun’s Laura Hamilton Beauty Why Frinton-on-Sea has so much to offer Beach

Tel: 0345 8500333 Email: [email protected] OUR NEXT AUCTIONS WILL BE HELD DURING May ~ June ~ July ~ September ~ November ~ December The Leading Independent Regional Land & Property Auctioneers ENTRIES CONTINUALLY INVITED SUITABLE LOTS INCLUDE Vacant Residential ~ All Types of Land ~ Garages Commercial & Residential Investments ~ Conversion Projects The Unique & Unusual ~ Ground Rents BENEFITS OF AUCTION Speed Competitive Bidding Transparency High Profile Marketing 03 Welcome Welcome to the Summer edition of Life at Home magazine It has been more than two years since the start of the pandemic, and the importance of our homes has never been more in focus. We’ve seen big shifts in demand from home movers, as many buyers and renters swapped cities for the open space of the countryside, and bigger homes. Demand for property remains exceptionally high despite challenging macro-economic conditions and at Boydens we remain busy serving our clients. Summer is traditionally the time of year when we spend more time outside enjoying open spaces. Gardens are certainly even higher on the priority list for home movers as evidenced by a recent report by property website Rightmove describing a 70% increase in searches for gardens compared to two years ago. If you have a garden or indeed any form of outside space, I hope you are able to make the most of it this summer. This issue of Life at Home provides some useful seasonal content including a focus on the coastal delights of Frinton-on-Sea and the surrounding area as well as the usual hints, tips and information you have come to expect. If now is the time you are looking to move home, or if you wish to discuss your rental property portfolio, we are here to guide you, so please do not hesitate to talk with any of our excellent teams. I hope you enjoy reading this edition of Life at Home. David Boyden Managing Director, Boydens Colchester Branch Aston House, 57-59 Crouch Street, Colchester, CO3 3EY tel: 01206 762244 [email protected] Sudbury Branch 64 North Street, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 1RE tel: 01787 883700 [email protected] Coastal Branch 73 Connaught Avenue, Frinton-On-Sea, Essex, CO13 9PP tel: 01255 851185 [email protected] West Essex Branch 121 High Street, Kelvedon, CO5 9AA tel: 01376 570335 [email protected] Contact Us

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48 05 Life at Home Contents 6 Homes with style Browse our shopping pages for inspiration and ideas for outdoor living. 11 News Check out what’s going on in the property market and pick up essential advice. 14 Getting mortgage-ready Mortgage consultant Chris Pargin looks at what borrowers can do to improve their credit rating. 18 The insider guide to selling a property Philip Boyden reveals what goes on behind the EDITORIAL EDITOR Anna-Marie Casas ADVERTISING SALES EXECUTIVE Chantell Keston, Debbie Taylor CREATIVE ART DIRECTOR Lee Thomas MARKETING CREATIVE MARKETING MANAGER Dominic Littler PUBLISHING PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Clara Deeks MANAGING DIRECTOR Allistair Hunter OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Tracy Norton-Mead CONTACT Life at Home Magazine, DS Media, 7 Faraday Close, Oakwood Industrial Estate, Clacton-On-Sea, Essex CO15 4TR Advertising Enquiries: 01255 221322 Editorial Enquiries: [email protected] Life at Home Magazine is published by DS Media on behalf of Boydens estate agency. The contents of this magazine must not be reproduced without permission. Life at Home Magazine is available FREE for property buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords registered with Boydens in North Essex and South Su olk. HOME LIFE AT –– A magazine exclusively devoted to proper ty buyers, sel lers, tenants and landlords –– TOP SELLERS 10 WAYS TO ADD VALUE TO YOUR HOME Summer 2022 Issue 03 RENOVATING PROPERTY HOLIDAY LETTINGS How landlords are moving in on Staycation opportunities Exclusive interview with A Place in the Sun’s Laura Hamilton Beauty Why Frinton-on-Sea has so much to offer Beach 32 56 Cover image courtesy of Channel 4, A Place in the Sun scenes to achieve the best price for your home. 22 ‘Don’t paint your house magnolia!’ TV presenter Laura Hamilton talks exclusively about her latest home renovation project. 26 Home and away Coastal Branch Manager Matthew Hayward explores the appeal behind holiday lettings. 32 The great outdoors From interiors that harness the soothing effects of nature to garden dens. 40 How add value to your home The HomeOwners Alliance reveals 10 ways to add value to your property. 46 Meet our Coastal Branch team We catch up with the team at Frinton-on-Sea to find out how they can help you. 48 Fantastic Frinton Find out what makes this coastal gem such a great place to live, work and visit. 54 Let it be Colchester Lettings Manager Brian Purvis gives his top tips for landlords. 56 Life is sweet We chat to Great British Bake Off finalist Alice Fevronia about her new, super-stylish kitchen. 63 Allowable expenses Boydens’ Director of Sales & Lettings Paul Buck on how landlords need to get savvy with their tax bill. 64 Countdown to moving If you’re ready to move, check out some expert advice. Shopping 06 HOMES WITH STYLE Beppe Portable Table Lamp (IP45, LED), där lighting, £29.99 A practical portable light from där lighting made from opal acrylic with a cheery orange base and handle. Designed for hanging from a tree or sitting on a flat surface. IK Fairy Lamp – Medium, Interior Kollection, £69 This nickel plated mesh-wire weaved lamp, with fairy lights intertwined, is a classic and contemporary item that will create a beautiful glow in your garden. Dimensions: W34 x D34 x H19cm. Regal 8 Seat Rectangular Bar Set with Fire Pit Table, Harbour Lifestyle, £3,999 The Regal 8 seat bar set with firepit is the perfect blend of opulence and masterful design, with quilting on the outside that oozes contemporary design. With strong back support and a place to rest your legs, this table also has an integrated gas fire pit system – perfect for long, summer evenings with friends. Get inspired with our curated selection of beautiful furniture, furnishings and accessories for outdoor living... Lucy Chair, Alexander Rose, £1,979 The Lucy chair is a signature piece from Alexander Rose. With a sturdy aluminium base, the user is cocooned comfortably in a nest. Its chunky rope weave is available in a dark charcoal or a light french grey – and comes with a beautiful plump base cushion and two scatter cushions. Cantilevered version also available. Forno Grill, Morsø, £849 Morsø’s Forno Grill is a multi-functional grill with a wide opening to the fire pit, which not only leaves plenty of room for cooking, it also provides a great view of the flames to create a congenial bonfire atmosphere.

72 Gosbecks Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 9JS 01206 574488 WE ALSO HAVE A RANGE OF ELECTRIC VANS OUR ELECTRIC & HYBRID RANGE ENQUIRE TODAY ENQUIRE TODAY ENQUIRE TODAY ENQUIRE TODAY ENQUIRE TODAY Shopping Indoor/Outdoor Beanbag Lounger, Armadillo Sun, £290 Sink into a patterned bean bag lounger, handmade from an innovative luxury fabric that won’t fade in the sun – or get soggy in the rain! Choose a bold vibrant pattern, or a neutral for understated chic. Shown here in Tulip Orange. ADAPT Modular Outdoor Kitchen, Vlaze, from £3,000 A new, innovative range of modular and freestanding kitchen units that can be moved freely from indoors to outside, o ering the perfect solution for food preparation, garden storage and al fresco dining. Engineered from stainless steel and adorned in vitreous enamel surfaces, a luxurious vibrant glaze that is heatproof, hygienic and stain resistant. Choose from three models and five stunning colours: Quilted Graphite, Black Splatter, Indigo Stipple, Ochre and Nori. Zambra Sun Longer – Dark Acacia Wood & Natural White, MADE, £425 This lounger comes in a dark stained acacia wood that keeps this sun longer classic, but the white strapping and matching padded cushions take it to a new level of luxe to get you in a Mediterranean mood – and no flight delays involved. It’s also adjustable for maximum snooze capacity. Hampton Planter, Ivyline, from £34.99 Frost and rust-resistant, these Hampton copper planters by Ivyline have a wonderfully luxurious feel. Stable in sunlight (and suitable for outdoors), the curved planters are perfect for enhancing your outdoor living space with your favourite flora and shrubbery. Each planter is lightweight so you can position it with ease. Available in copper or brass. Patio 12 Diamond – Mono Rug, Rugs Direct, £49.44 – £209.99 Available in four sizes and as a runner, this monochrome rug will give your outdoor space instant chic.

Peartree Road, Stanway, Colchester, Essex CO3 0LA 01206 765444 Tag us on Social Media #HatfieldsAtHome CAMBERWELL Sofa Collection. Save up to 25% OFF this Summer Discover Quality Sofas, Furniture, Flooring, Beds & Accessories! ATLANTIC STREAKS Rug Collection ST. LUCIA Corner Set BARBADOS Bedroom Furniture

You can always talk to us about the Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax considerations you may need to take into account. We host quarterly Makers Market Locally sourced affordable Artwork, Textiles, Prints, Ceramics, Cards We host creative workshops March to November in our gallery situated overlooking Finchingfield pond. [email protected] The Green, Finchingfield, CM7 4JS We represent over 50 artists and makers' from Essex and East Anglia Independent Gal lery & Gi f t Shop 11 News The number of f irst time buyers hits a record high Despite inflation hitting a 40-year high of 9% and the country grappling with the worst cost-of-living crisis seen in over a generation, a new study from Stipendium (a life events management platform) has shown that the number of first-time buyers in the UK has increased by 93% in the last decade. Soaring property prices have not been a major deterrent for purchasers as the introduction of the stamp duty holiday in 2021 saw a surge of buyer activity, causing first-time homeowners to increase by 46% from the previous year, hitting a new high of 410,000 – the highest annual total seen in the last ten years. In the same time period, the price of an average first-time buyer home has increased from £141,572 to £216,826 – representing a 53.2% rise. A big contributor to the increase in first-time property owners seems to be the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’. Prices in the property market are becoming increasingly volatile, as an unbalanced supply and demand level pushes the average asking price to £360,101 – representing a £19,082 increase over the past three months. Buyer enquiries are 65% above the levels of 2019 and 53% of properties are selling at or over their final advertised asking price. However, overall property sales have started to decrease for the first time since the end of the stamp duty holiday in October 2021. Completed sales in April came to 106,780 – 12% lower than the same period last year, according to HM Revenue & Customs. The latest decrease in property sales is an indicator that the housing market is starting to cool which would represent an opportunity for first-time buyers. April’s rise in prices is down on the 1.4% increase in March, according to Halifax’s monthly property index. House price growth is expected to continue to slow due to the Bank of England’s decision to raise the Bank Rate to 1%. David Hannah, Group Chairman at Cornerstone Tax, comments: “The introduction of the stamp duty holiday caused a substantial rise in first-time buyers. It’s inspiring to see that the percentage of first-time homeowners is growing in a challenging landscape. Even though house prices have continued to climb, I think we will inevitably see a slowdown in the property market, but it won’t be as substantial as some people think. If we look at what has been going on – house price growth, retail inflation, energy costs surging, that’s going to put pressure on employers to raise wages. I believe wages will rise, meaning real spending power will not actually decrease as much. However, if this doesn’t happen at the required rate, the act of renting or purchasing property will become more and more unaffordable in the UK. “The problem we do have is the rate of demand and supply. If builders are building and they’re over supplying, it will soften the increase and the appreciation in asset value. But, if the number of people wanting to buy houses continues to exceed the supply, then those prices are going to rise. This is exactly what is happening currently, with just 216,000 new homes being built in 2020/21, falling some way short of the government’s 300,000 a year target.” The average price of a property in Essex in June 2022 was £440,279, representing a 9.8% increase year on year, while in Su olk the average home was £348,872, an annual rise of 13.8%. Source: Rightmove

Personal friendly legal advice from a trusted Solicitor in the heart of the Colchester area 01206 767 112 [email protected] Audley House, Berechurch Hall Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 9NW Conveyancing Probate Wills LPA We are fully committed to providing the very best in legal advice for all our clients 3 good reasons... for choosing BFCC Call: 01255 863815 | email: [email protected] | BFCC Garage Doors Showroom, Tendring Road, Thorpe-le-Soken, Essex, CO16 0AA FREE SURVEY & QUOTATION 1. Quality range of doors from leading manufacturers 2. First Class service for all budgets and tastes 3. Unrivalled, knowledgeable and friendly personal service BFCC supply and install garage doors in and around the Essex and Suffolk regions, located in Thorpe-le-Soken within the heart of the beautiful Essex countryside. We offer a free of charge survey and quotation service so why not give us a call today or pop into our local showroom where you can view a variety of operational doors in various styles. B F C C GARAGE DOORS SUPPLIED INSTALLED AUTOMATED REPAIRED 13 News 1 in 10 rented homes could be a bungalow within the next decade Nearly one in 10 rented homes in the UK could be a bungalow in the next 10 years, research from Paragon Bank ( has revealed. A survey of more than 1,300 tenants in the private rented sector (PRS) showed that currently 3% of people live in a bungalow, but 9% of respondents expect to rent this type of property in 10 to 15 years’ time. The increase correlates with a forecast increase in older tenants living in rented homes over the same period. Homes headed by a person over the age of 55 will account for over a quarter of all privately renting households by 2035, analysis conducted on behalf of Paragon Bank by the Social Market Foundation found. Its report, ‘Where Next for the Private Rented Sector?’, found that 18% of households currently privately renting are headed by somebody aged 55 or over. This will rise to 27% of households by 2035, according to the SMF’s projections. The Government’s English Housing Survey shows there are currently 141,000 bungalows in the PRS in England, representing 3.3% of the total number of rented homes. Buy-to-let lending figures show strong growth in the number of bungalows purchased by landlords over the past five years, although they still remain low as a proportion of total properties acquired. Last year, landlords purchased 3,370 bungalows with a buy-to-let mortgage, compared to 1,844 in 2017. Another significant shift in property type was semi-detached homes. Currently 20% of tenants said they rent this type of property, with 25% forecasting they will rent semi-detached homes in the future. Conversely, terraced homes and flats are forecast to experience falls. Just under a third (30%) of tenants today live in a terraced home, with 20% saying they expect to rent this type of property in the future. Flats, meanwhile, are currently home to 40% of tenants, with 30% of people saying they expect to be renting this type of home in 10 years. Richard Rowntree, Managing Director of mortgages at Paragon, said: “The evidence suggests that the demographics of private renters is shifting and that the profile of tenants is getting older. There is a growing proportion of people who will rent property for their entire lives, whilst we have also seen growth in the number of people who have sold property and have gone into rented homes. “The challenge for landlords is providing the right homes for older tenants. Bungalows are typically regarded as unfashionable, but they offer practical benefits for people who may not be as mobile as they once were and certainly have their place in the PRS. We would expect to see an increase in this type of property, as well as homes specifically targeting older tenants, over the next 10 to 15 years. Landlords are not yet buying this type of property in scale, but we would expect that to accelerate to match forecast levels of tenant demand for bungalows in future.” Finances 14 mortgage-ready Mortgage consultant Chris Pargin, of Pargin Financial Solutions, looks at what borrowers can do to improve their credit rating and chances of success in the build-up to a mortgage application. GETTING 15 Finances In our winter edition, I looked back on the effect that the pandemic had on the mortgage market, and changes that have been brought about by mortgage lenders as a result. Thankfully, a lot of the temporary restrictions in lending have since been removed, but now, more than ever, we are finding our clients asking what they can do to look more favourable to mortgage lenders in readiness for their upcoming mortgage application. I have summarised some of the key considerations for anyone that is starting to plan ahead: Credit behaviour Lenders will usually assess your credit behaviour when deciding whether to approve an application or not. A good risk for a lender is someone who doesn’t miss payments and who shows consistent information, so check that your address is correct on all of your bank accounts and bills and also that you are registered on the electoral role. You can ensure that you do not fall into the trap of missing payments on credit cards by setting up a direct debit to pay the minimum required payment each month. If you have missed a payment in the past, it is best to speak to the lender as soon as possible who will be able to provide advice. Time is a healer for someone’s credit report, but the sooner any mishaps are taken care of, the better.

Finances 16 Credit commitments A common misconception is that someone cannot gain a mortgage because they haven’t had loans in the past, although there is some basis for this. A good payer with a proven track record is a good option for lending as we discussed, but you can display this without signing up to costly loans that you do not need. A credit card could be an option that you do not have to spend money on frequently, and will still display that you are a responsible borrower. To keep it active, you could make a small purchase on it every few months, and pay the balance each month to improve your score over time. If you have a phone contract or any utilities and bank accounts, this should give enough information to most lenders in order to review your behaviour. Income to outgoings Although affordability multiples are widely talked about, most lenders use calculators to determine your maximum borrowing, so be careful about what you sign up to. Large credit commitments can reduce your borrowing potential, although this is relative to income. There may be a difference between the impact to maximum borrowing of a £300 per month car finance from someone who earns £50,000 p/a compared to someone who earns £15,000 p/a. The total amount of debt outstanding is important, but monthly outgoings are often key when determining borrowing levels. “I call my clients around six months in advance of their f ixed term end date so that we can start planning, so it is a good idea for current mortgage holders to start to review their f inancial situation around this point.” Deposit and organisation There are 95% loan to value mortgages available at the time of writing, although a higher deposit amount will put you in a better position. It is worth researching your borrowing potential as you look to save so that you have something to work towards. Contacting a broker or even your own bank is a good step for asking some questions in advance so that you know that you are on the right path as you look to accumulate a deposit. When looking for a new mortgage, I call my clients around six months in advance of their fixed term end date so that we can start planning, so it is a good idea for current mortgage holders to start to review their financial situation around this point. Keeping your credit checks to a minimum In the build-up to applying for a mortgage, be careful to keep your credit checks to a minimum as an accumulation of checks can start to impact your score and resulting ability to borrow. Opening up credit such as bank accounts and credit cards as well as gaining agreements in principle can all leave a footprint, so be careful with how much activity there is during this key period. Article by Chris Pargin of Pargin Financial Solutions. Contact Chris on [email protected] or 07398163663. Pargin Financial Solutions Ltd and Boydens are separate entities. For estate agents, Pargin Financial Solutions Ltd acts as introducers only Established for over 35 years we have a range of contemporary and traditional stoves, res, and replaces to suit everyone’s tastes. Colchester Unit 11 Peartree Business Ctr Colchester, Essex, CO3 0JN 01206 546111 [email protected] Halstead 01787 479944 [email protected] Cambridge 01223 833523 [email protected] Chelmsford 01245 360772 [email protected] Ipswich 01473 312008 [email protected] Norwich 01603 436944 [email protected] Property 18 The process of taking on a property for sale – there’s a lot more to this than you might think! Senior Property Consultant Philip Boyden reveals what goes on behind the scenes to achieve the best price for your home. THE INSIDER GUIDE TO SELLING A PROPERTY 19 Property It is surprising how many people tell me that they would love to be an estate agent. The idea of spending your day looking at other people’s houses seems to hold widespread appeal. The job requires hard work and tenacity, but it is extremely enjoyable, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Over the next couple of pages, I detail the work and preparation it takes to bring a property to market and the lengths we at Boydens go to in order to present a property in its best possible light, and so obtain the best price for the seller. An initial enquiry to value a home for sale can come in from a variety of avenues – an online enquiry, telephone call, or indeed a good old-fashioned visit to one of our branches. I like to establish the purpose of the valuation and the reason why the property is being sold, for example, as an upsize, downsize, or perhaps for probate or tax purposes. The Research Stage A lot of time is spent before the valuation researching the property; this is a crucial element when advising on value. It is prudent to establish the type of property (house, flat, bungalow, etc) including the physical aspects, such as the number of bedrooms, but I also like to know when the property was bought by the current owner and to understand whether any changes have been made to the property in the intervening period, as this helps me to be fully informed. I also take the time to view any previous details from the time that the property was previously sold (including pictures) in order to appreciate how it has changed over time. My research often also extends to viewing any planning applications pertaining to the property and often saving copies of granted plans to aid in the physical inspection of the property. Previous sold prices of comparable homes in the area form the basis for much research into the value of a home. The Land Registry provides the best source of reliable information for this, and I tend to look back up to two years for the most accurate and relevant information. The status of properties currently on the market forms the basis of the next stage of the research and we use a Best Price Guide tool provided by the property portals, Rightmove and Zoopla, to provide a snapshot of the homes available for sale in the area. It is crucial to know what has been on the market, for how long and what the property ultimately sold for – it is also important to note properties that have been on the market for a specific price and no sale was achieved.

Property 20 At the Appointment When meeting a new client looking to potentially sell their home, I like to take a walk around the property with them. This helps me to get a feel for the home which already looks familiar due to the research carried out ahead of time, however, there is nothing quite like seeing it ‘in the flesh’ – they can also point out areas in which they have improved the property in their ownership. It is also at this stage that I like to discuss any improvements to the property, which may assist the sale and in achieving the best return for the vendor, and measurements are also noted so that I can work out an internal square footage size if necessary. Having looked around the property, I like to sit down with the vendors and provide a verbal assessment of the value of the property, providing the evidence from my research before the appointment. I think it is also important to seek an understanding of the value and their expectations as sellers and what they are looking to achieve. I would estimate that around 70% of clients I see have carried out some form of online research prior to the valuation of their home. This is usually when the first meeting comes to an end, the next stage being to agree on an asking or guide price in accordance with those expectations and the up-to-date market and general condition of the home; this usually occurs over the phone and can be several days, weeks, months or even years after the initial visit. Going Live Following instruction to put the property on the market, it is time to get underway with the elements of the sales process which are most visible to the public. This includes the ‘write-up’ describing the property, floor plan, video tour (if applicable) and, of course, the photos which are edited and enhanced to showcase the property in the best way. Once the details are approved by the client, it is time to set the property live using our website and the property portals we use, which include Rightmove and Zoopla. This is also the time in which we market the property to clients who are already registered as looking for a property to buy with us. As a close-knit Sales Team, we also brief the other members of the team about the property, which includes them viewing the property to become familiar with it and be able to talk meaningfully with prospective buyers. It is not uncommon for us to have a potential buyer in mind before the property comes to market and so we can be extremely proactive in informing those people in advance of a property launch. I always recommend to clients that physical viewings are accompanied by a member of our team – that gives us the chance to impartially ‘sell’ the home to the prospective buyer. This role as an intermediary is crucial and enables us to obtain honest feedback, where viewers may be uneasy or unwilling to dispense themselves directly to the vendor. It can also help us to spot any misconceptions or issues with the property which may affect its desirability. A recent example I experienced was when viewers struggled to park outside the property as the owner had several vehicles, and so viewers assumed that parking would be a problem if they bought the home. Simply requesting that the owners move the cars when viewings were taking place rectified this. Offers and Negotiation Negotiating offers is perhaps the most important part of the sales process and one which I particularly enjoy. It is important to fully evaluate any chain involved when an offer is placed, in order to qualify who is in the best position to proceed. Once offers have been qualified, we move into the negotiation phase in order to obtain the best price for our clients. Increasingly lately, where we have seen multiple parties involved in the bidding for properties, we have moved to best and final bids as a way of concluding offers with the sellers deciding which bid to accept. At the offer acceptance stage, we then obtain solicitors who are instructed for the purchase, carry out Anti-Money Laundering checks and write up sales memorandums to send out to all parties involved. From here, our dedicated Sales Progressors take on the responsibility to get the property through to exchange and completion. In a future edition of ‘Life at Home’, we will examine how our experienced team will take your property sale forward and the extensive work involved in getting a property through to completion. The handing over of the keys to the new buyer is the last step of the journey, and one which is always rewarding. Agreeing a sale to someone you know will love the home and make it their own, whilst also knowing that you have achieved the best possible outcome for your seller, never fails to satisfy. For further information, contact [email protected] Scan here to see Philip at work

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Interview 22 magnolia!’ ‘Don’t paint your house We catch up with TV presenter Laura Hamilton, of Channel 4’s A Place in the Sun, to chat about how she got into property development and her latest home renovation project. What first got you interested in property and home renovation? It happened by accident really when I was 19. I always had this thing from the age of 15 that I wanted to get onto the property ladder as soon as I could – not that I didn’t get on with my parents, I just wanted to buy somewhere! I was working at a shopping channel and had a permanent job, which meant I could get a mortgage. I’d saved £5,000 and there was a little one-bedroom flat that came up for sale at the end of my parents’ road. It needed a lot of work doing to it, but I thought this is it, so I bought it with the intention of doing it up. Three months later, the channel I was working at went bust and I lost my job and thought, what am I going to do? So I decided to do it up aesthetically, move back to my parents’ and let it out. That’s how I ended up falling into property. When I moved back home, I thought this is a good idea – having a property and letting it out, and saving up for another deposit. So losing a job, which could have been quite a negative thing, ended up turning into something positive. And then, who knew so many years later that I would end up bringing my TV career and love of property together? I’ve done up about 20 properties since. You’re probably best known for your work presenting Channel 4’s A Place in the Sun – of all the foreign destinations you’ve visited, which one ticks the most boxes for you if you chose to live abroad? We have a family house in San Pedro de Alcantara, just outside Puerto Banus in Spain, which I love going to. I really like Mallorca and the city of Palma, but in terms of a second home and spending time abroad, I really do love San Pedro, and I spend a lot of time there. My dad was born in South Africa and it was one of the places I filmed in for A Place in the Sun, and absolutely loved spending time there, too. There are also beautiful parts of Italy and France – I’m a big skier, so the idea of having a nice ski chalet apartment somewhere is nice. But that’s why I also like being in Spain – you can be either in the mountains or on the beach in less than two hours either way. 23 Interview Image courtesy of Channel 4's A Place in The Sun

Interview 24 You thrive on being busy – how do you relax? I love a good old massage. But I really do like interior design as a hobby. I love to create mood boards for my renovation projects. Which is your favourite style of property and why? I love older properties with character, like a Victorian with the original sash windows or lovely fireplaces. If they don’t have these features, I’ll try to put them back. I also love panelling on a wall painted in a nice colour. Please tell us about your current home renovation project. I’m so excited about what I’m doing in this property. It’s an Edwardian house in a Surrey conservation area and has a folly. There’s a double-storey extension being built on the back and not one internal wall is staying. I loved the look aesthetically from the outside of the property, but I knew the layout and configuration inside didn’t work. I loved the setting, but I felt the property wasn’t doing itself justice in the location it is. I’ve already picked my herringbone floor and I’m having a handmade kitchen, a beautiful log burning stove, and a really nice fireplace. Which part of a property gets you most excited when starting a renovation project? The whole thing really! I love doing bathrooms... kitchens; there’s not one room I don’t love doing. More than anything, I love having people come over to see how it was and then again when it’s finished. I’m documenting it the whole way because it’s very easy to forget how it was at the start. Because a lot of the properties I buy and do up are Edwardian or Victorian, I tend to go for a classic, timeless look. Which simple home improvements do you think can add most value to a property? Kitchens, bathrooms and parking. When people are doing up kitchens and bathrooms, they should always think about spending the money on the fittings like taps – you can save money in other areas. What would be your advice to anyone buying or selling a home? Don’t paint your house magnolia! Everyone thinks that you need to go for something that appeals to everyone. Yes, but magnolia is awful! There are so many other neutral colours out there! It also depends on what your intentions for a property are. If you’re doing it up to sell on, it’s better not to go for anything too garish because sometimes people can’t see past that. If you’re doing up a property to let it out, think about the finish and quality. There’s no point going over the top... unless you’re going to let it out to a high-end or corporate client. If you want to add colour and texture, maybe think about doing it through fabrics and soft furnishings. In my current house, I’m doing something slightly different. I’m going for darker tiles and maybe gold fittings in the bathroom. A brushed gold sink that will sit on a navy blue unit in one of the ensuites. You could say that’s not very neutral, but I know it will work. What have you got coming up for 2022? I have a social media relations company, Evoque Management, which I set up with my business partner, Georgie Gavin, during the pandemic, offering social media, influencer outreach, marketing and PR services. I’m also filming for A Place in the Sun and a property feature series with This Morning that will be on in the summer, but my latest property renovation alone will be keeping me more than busy! 25 Interview Lettings 26 Understandably, the events of the past few years resulted in a resurgence in UK holidays. Travel restrictions, flight prices, and growing awareness of climate change all combined to make home getaways more appealing. In addition, cancelled flights and delays at airports have fuelled anxiety among UK holidaymakers due to disruption caused by staff shortages across the aviation industry for Summer 2022. The appeal of holidaying in the UK has not just been limited to holidaymakers. According to research by Suffolk Building Society, 17% of UK adults contemplated buying a holiday let property during the pandemic, with the data highlighting that younger people were leading the trend, with those aged 18-34 most likely to have thought about buying a holiday let property within the past 24 months. Of those who expressed their interest in becoming a holiday let landlord, almost a third (32%) said Covid-related restrictions inspired them to look into holiday lets, however, half (50%) claimed it was always part of their plan. Short-term holiday lets can be an attractive option if you own a property somewhere scenic especially in an area that is popular with tourists, such as the Essex Coast. In fact, holiday lets can be extremely profitable, as landlords are able to charge higher rents for short-term holiday lets when a property is in a highly desirable location. If you are considering venturing into the holiday lettings market there is plenty to consider. The global pandemic of 2020 led to a resurgence in demand for UK vacations with record numbers holidaying at home in 2021. Coastal resorts around the country saw a boom in visitors including to Frinton-on-Sea, from where Boydens Holiday Lettings division operates. Branch Manager, Matthew Hayward, explores the appeal behind holiday lettings as an investment for new landlords. Away Home & 27 Lettings

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What is the difference between a holiday let and a residential let? Generally, a short-term holiday let is a property that is let out to holidaymakers for short periods, usually from three nights, a few weeks or up to 31 days. A residential let is typically a property that is let for 12 months at a time. As with any property investment, the rate of financial return will depend on several factors, such as the initial amount invested in the property, its features, the location, market demand and pricing strategy. Location is key Holiday lets are especially ‘location sensitive’ and those close to the sea are always popular. Quirky, historic, or luxurious properties also tend to be more popular among those looking for places to stay. Log cabins, pretty seaside cottages, ultra-modern five-star houses, and anything slightly out of the ordinary stands out and attracts attention when renting out a holiday home, however, the right location can make a huge difference for a holiday let. People don’t mind ordinary if the location is close to a beautiful beach or a few minutes’ walk from a major attraction. Looking the part As a holiday let is not going to be your home in most instances, it is important to keep décor as neutral as possible. Decorative themes such as seaside shabby chic can be popular though it is advisable to avoid bold colours and the temptation to ‘over-personalise’. Simple, comfortable furniture is a must and, as sofas and beds are likely to see greater wear and tear over time, a landlord should be prepared to have these cleaned regularly and replaced every three to five years. “Holiday lets are especially ‘location sensitive’ and those close to the sea are always popular. Quirky, historic, or luxurious properties also tend to be more popular among those looking for places to stay.” Guests will expect all mod-cons when they go on holiday and look for many of the comforts they enjoy at home. The kitchen should be well fitted with a good selection of dinnerware, cookware, pots, pans, cutlery and glasses. Dishwashers and other white goods are also essential. It might be advisable to invest in an appliance repair policy, so if anything breaks down, you can have it fixed fast as these items are often well used. Broadband is a must-have these days and many people won’t even look at a holiday let without internet access. Guests will also expect a working TV with a good specification, and you might also consider adding a subscription television service if you are looking to attract families to your holiday let and make it a home from home. 29 Lettings Lettings 30 Outdoor space can also be very appealing and provide a place in which guests can unwind on a summer evening. Adding a garden table and chairs or a BBQ can be welcome additional touches which will be appreciated by guests. For seaside properties, consider providing beach toys, such as buckets and spades, sunbeds, beach umbrellas, etc. Optional extras include kayaks, dinghies, bodyboards, and snorkelling gear. In short, anything that might attract guests and set your property apart from others is a worthy investment when setting up a holiday let. Check it out We recommend you conduct sufficient research into the realistic rental income that you can expect, which is where an agent such as Boydens can help. We are familiar with the local area and so are in the best position to guide on potential rental income (whether for holiday or residential lettings purposes) if you are looking to let on the Essex Coast. Before potential owners jump into the holiday lettings arena, investors should also check the nuances of mortgage lenders’ criteria as not all lenders will allow them to market their property on a short-term basis. At Boydens, we are always happy to assist landlords who are looking to review their portfolio, so please do not hesitate to contact our Coastal Branch on 01255 851185. As the demand for UK holidays has surged, so too have beach hut values, which have reached record levels over the last two years. In Frinton, prices have reached as high as £85,000, driven by exceptional demand and a lack of supply. Elsewhere in the region, a beach hut in the upmarket seaside town of Southwold recently came on the market for £250,000 – more than it costs to buy a house in some other parts of Suffolk. Beach huts remain in high demand to purchase and to rent, so if you are an owner considering selling or letting, call our Coastal Branch today. Holiday lettings in Frinton and the surrounding area are extremely popular and encompass both holiday homes and beach hut rentals. You can read more about the area and why it appeals so much on pages 48-52. Beach hut values continue to surge For further information, contact matthew.hayward@

Sculpture in the Walled Garden Saturday 23rd July - Sunday 4th September Over 150 sculptures, from 33 national and international sculptors will be on display in the stunning surroundings of the Walled Garden this July. There will be a wide variety of styles and materials to suit every taste, garden, and budget. 01376 563796 Registered Charity: 256700 Home In an increasingly uncertain world, homeowners and tenants are seeking out ways to enhance wellbeing, from interiors that harness the soothing effects of nature to outdoor dens. 32 Outdoors THE GREAT Inside floor: Arena Grey Porcelain tiles, 120 x 120cm, £96 sqm. Outside floor including steps: Cortina stone, 120cm x 120cm, £90 sqm. Lightwell floor: Toledo Graphite 60x60x2cm, £90sqm. Stone & Ceramic Warehouse Photo by Home 33 Home 34 Garden living The pandemic forced us to spend a lot more time in our gardens when entertaining guests from other households, and the ‘al fresco’ life is here to stay. We have discovered that extending our living space to the great outdoors creates that holiday vibe all year round. All that’s needed is good design, furniture and accessories that factor in the unpredictable British weather. “The expectations for our outdoor living space now hold the same design opportunities as our home interiors,” says Marketa Rypacek, Managing Director of industrial lighting and furniture specialist Industville Ltd ( “There has been a huge trend for chic outdoor kitchens, entertaining areas, bars and garden terraces. To create the perfect summer entertaining space outdoors, combine versatile bench seating with plenty of comfortable cushions for an informal, relaxed feel. Add atmospheric lighting such as stylish metallic wall and pendant lights to set the ultimate ambience for your friends and family to enjoy.” The outdoor den Gone are the days of decks and patios that might be used to host a BBQ once or twice a year, according to Leslie Adkins, Vice Pesident of Marketing for Trex Company ( Now, homeowners are seeking outdoor living areas where they can relax, watch their favourite shows, host a movie night with friends, play games and truly live every day. As a result, deck designs are taking on new shapes and styles, from mid-century to modern. Outdoor dens and sunken outdoor living areas – inspired by the popular indoor trend from the 1960s – are expected to see a resurgence in 2022, and they’ll be outfitted with all the comforts and conveniences of the indoors, from upholstered furnishings and fully appointed kitchens to bars, big screen TVs, surround sound and more! “The concept of the den originally gained popularity for its ability to bring everyone in the home together in a relaxed, comfortable setting,” notes Leslie. Above, Fashion Stone from RAK Ceramics, Light Grey 60x60cm; Left, Brooklyn Outdoor & Bathroom Globe Pendant Light in Pewter from Industville, £80 (image by @life. at.the.anvil) Below, Toka Regular Colour Changing Outdoor Ball Lights, from £35

The Mobile Carpet Store that comes to your door 100s of samples available that will be brought to you 07864 688499 [email protected] AJ SLOWGROVE YOUR LOCAL CLOCK REPAIRER Covering Colchester and the surrounding area Over 50 years Experience All repairs, servicing and restoration Monday – Friday 10am to 5pm Contact Andrew Today! Tel: 01206 381782 Mob: 07899 336059 Motorhomes for Hire Swift Suntor 590RL Auto-Roller 707 Chausson Flash02 Joint150 Chausson Flash09 Chausson Flash08 £300 PRICES FROM JUST FRAMLINGHAM MOTORHOME HIRE 01728 746238 Home 36 The concept of the den originally gained popularity for its ability to bring everyone in the home together in a relaxed, comfortable setting.” “ Trex Transcend decking in Island Mist, along with Trex Signature railing and a Trex Pergola Balance structure top right, ILIV Victorian GlasshouseSpruce fabric collection

“Bringing this concept outdoors and allowing homeowners to enjoy that same comfort and connection is the very definition and goal of outdoor living.” Blurred boundaries Creating a continuous flow from the inside to the outside gives an illusion of space and is a trend that’s set to continue, adds Jo Oliver, Director at tile company, The Stone & Ceramic Warehouse ( “This is the ideal way to extend your living space seamlessly into the garden and enjoy outside eating, entertaining and family life,” she says. Technological advances in recent years have meant that materials like porcelain – which come in a number of finishes and textures replicating wood, decking and stone – are now available in outdoor formats, allowing homeowners to perfectly match their indoor tiles to their outdoor paving slabs. “Porcelain is the perfect material for outside as it is virtually maintenance free and, unlike other paving, it is non-slip as well as being quick and easy to install.” Plant power Biophilia – the approach to architecture and design that seeks to connect people with nature – has now transcended the parameters of trends and taken root to become a flourishing movement. From open-plan kitchens that breathe in the garden through their bifold doors to bringing the outside in with plants and sustainably sourced natural materials, incorporating biophilic design in our living environments has been found to reduce stress and blood pressure and improve mental wellbeing. Whether your home is a detached house or a studio flat, everyone can harness the power of biophilia. Garden centre Dobbies’ Stylist Rebecca Stanton, comments: “This year, our focus is on how we can get the most out of our homes, whether that’s with a hanging herb garden in the kitchen, a mini garden on our coffee table, some hanging plants in the bathroom or a showstopping apothecary cabinet in the lounge. Regardless of space, there are plenty of ways you can breathe life into your home with houseplants and accessories.” “If you were looking to build an extension, for example, using a natural and sustainable building material like timber is great for the environment and for strengthening that link between indoors and outdoors,” says Karen Bell, Creative Director for orangery, conservatory and garden room specialist, David Salisbury ( “Prioritising natural light is a must as well. It’s well documented that natural light is integral to our health and productivity, as well as our overall happiness.” 37