Keep The London House Chain Moving


How to Keep The London Property Market Moving

A property chain is a term used to describe a group of buyers and sellers buying and selling properties from each other. Each party is linked together in a ‘chain’. The chain has a beginning, a first-time buyer for example, and an end, someone who is selling and is not buying on. The rest of the chain is made up of people who need to both buy and sell.

In theory, there could be any number of links in a given property chain, which can make them problematic at the same time. If one person forgets to return a signed document on time, the whole process could be delayed for everyone. Or even worse, if just one person changes their mind about their purchase or has their mortgage application rejected, the chain breaks down completely.

Your chain can only move at the pace of the slowest party. So what can you do to prevent everything from grinding to a complete standstill?

Firstly, if you have a good estate agent, your chain should be progressed efficiently. However, it only takes one party in the chain to not be efficient in responding to their conveyancer’s requests to slow things down. Unfortunately, some of these matters will be out of your control, but there are some things you can do yourself to help progress your part of the chain.

>Employ a good, experienced estate agent and conveyancer/property solicitor. Ask them how long they have been doing the job for and how busy they are.

>Speak to your agent and conveyance regularly. Ask if there is anything they or you should be doing. Email is great for this; not so intrusive but reminding them to keep you updated.

>Get your finances in place early, especially cash for your deposit at the time of exchange.

>File everything. Keep copies of all correspondence relating to the sale of your property and the purchase of your new property, from all parties.

>Sign, date any paperwork promptly, including copies of your correspondence and notes of telephone conversations.

>Sign and return all of your paperwork promptly. Deliver documents by hand, courier or special delivery.

>Put clauses in your buying and selling contracts stating the dates of exchange, surveys and completion.

>Make clear your expectations, via your agent and conveyancer, on dates. Once a survey has been signed-off, and your mortgage has been approved, you can begin to talk about dates for exchange and completion. In a long chain, getting everyone to move at the same pace is difficult. Those higher up the chain will have agreed their sale/purchase later than you and will be behind you with mortgage applications, surveys, etc.

If you’re already in the middle of a sale or purchase and looking for guidance on what you can do to help keep your chain moving, the only real option you have, other than those mentioned here, is to chase up those who are falling short.

There are things you can do to help get it back on track. Communication is key to property chains keeping intact. Communicate, communicate, communicate. If you’ve chosen a good conveyancer, they’ll be happy to talk to you whenever and however it suits you. The key is to stay well informed and keep communicating, and always make sure to do your bit. Make a point of reviewing your tasks daily. If your ‘to do’ list is empty, call your conveyancer and ask if there’s anything else you could be doing.

No one can predict the future and therefore, although you may come across issues, sometimes it is difficult to foresee them. Just because one of the situations does arise, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be overcome. A lot will come down to making the right choice when selecting your estate agent and conveyancer, but you can also do your bit by being proactive, too.

I hope this helps!

If you’re looking for help in selling your home, I cover WillesdenCricklewoodDollis HillWest HampsteadKensal GreenQueens Park and the surrounding areas.

Do I Need Planning Permission?


What Can You do to Your Property With No Planning Permission?

When you decide to start making changes to your home, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘Do I need permission for this?’

Fortunately, there are many things you can do without any planning permission at all. After all, you did buy your property, so it does belong to you.

There are many reasons you might want to make changes to your home. You may want more space for a growing family, you may have run out of storage, or you might need office space for a new small business venture.

Of course, there are restrictions on the right to a PD, especially if you live in the Conservation Area or if you have already made numerous changes to your home. Larger and more significant projects or adding large extensions will require planning approval. Always check everything before you start working to avoid inconvenience.

Whatever your reason, here are some developments you can do without having any permission from the powers that be.

Internal remodelling

If you wish to develop the inside of your home, you can do so long as the development doesn’t involve the expansion of space. However, you will need Building Regulations approval for structural elements and electrical work.

Windows and doors

You do not need permission to move, replace or add new windows to the original walls of your home. So long as you don’t live in a listed building same goes for double-glazing. Bay windows, however, will require permission, as they are considered an extension. You may need planning permission to add or replace windows if the conditions were attached to the original permission, in which case it is a good idea to check with local authorities what the conditions are.

Loft conversion

You won’t need planning permission to get extra space by converting a loft. Loft conversions are a great way to create more space in your home for a bedroom or lounge area. A dormer window also does not require permission. But they must not sit more than the highest part of the existing roof or extend towards the plane of the roof at the main elevation.

Picking the Ideal Estate Agent


How to Pick the Ideal Estate Agent For Your North London Home?

If you are looking to put your North London home on the market this year you’re probably going to need the help of a local estate agent. However, before you go for any old estate agent, here are some tips to help you choose the right estate agent for you and your property.

The Process of Preparing For a Sale


How to Prepare Your London Home For a Sale?

Properly preparing your home before it is listed is critical to ensuring it attracts the most amount of interest possible. This usually means a faster sale, and maybe even a bidding war – which could end up with a higher than expected offer on the table!

The basic rules of prepping your house for sale

Before we dive into the steps of prepping your home for sale, let’s go over the general rules first. In general, the goal of prepping your house should be to:

  • Create a clean, clutter-free environment. Nothing makes a home look more poorly maintained than dirt, clutter, and overall messiness. A clean environment gives buyers confidence in the property and its condition.
  • Offer a neutral colour palette. Prospective buyers need to be able to envision themselves in the home, and that’s hard to do if there’s a bright green wall and crazy, patterned wallpaper staring them in the face.
  • Put yourself in a buyer mindset. Think like a buyer when prepping your home. What would they like? What would give them pause? Let that drive your preparations.
  • Minimise where possible. The less furniture, decor, and personal items you have out, the better. In fact, it might even make your home look larger.
  • Emphasise curb appeal. First impressions are everything. Make sure your home’s curb appeal makes a good one.
  • Ensure your home is photogenic. A picture is worth a thousand words. Make sure your home lends itself to high-quality photos that will really make your listing shine.
  • Address obvious repairs. If there’s a broken window, dent in the door, or nonworking faucet, fix it before you list the home. You can bet it will show up on the buyer’s inspection and need fixing anyway.
  • Add little details and touches that matter. At the end of the day, the property needs to feel like a potential home to buyers. Small touches like fresh flowers or the smell of warm cookies can make all the difference.
  • Prep yourself and your family – particularly for the showing aspect of selling a house. What’s your exit strategy? Where will you go during showings, and how will you keep the place clean? Having a plan in place is vital before you open your doors to prospective buyers.

What other preparations can you make prior to putting your property on the market?

Identify repairs and make a plan

Normal wear and tear can add up, especially if you’ve lived in your home for a long period of time. From a door that squeaks to a window that sticks or a toilet that runs until you jiggle the handle, it’s easy to ignore minor issues that seem like quirks.

Buyers, however, may see these quirks as problems that lower the value of your home or as bargaining chips during the closing process. If you have too many noticeable repairs, buyers may also wonder if more serious issues lurk below the surface, and that could prevent them from making a good offer.

Declutter and clean – make it feel spacious

Big kitchens, bathrooms and storage tend to be big selling points so it can help to make your rooms look as spacious as possible. Professional home stagers recommend that you remove 50% of your items.

Go through your home, decluttering and organising spaces. Don’t just shove belongings in closets, cabinets, attics and basements, as buyers look inside all of those places. Use storage bins that can be tucked under beds or neatly stacked in a basement or closet.

Decluttering also includes furniture. The scale of your pieces should match the size of the room, and buyers should be able to easily walk around spaces without bumping into furniture. Make sure furnishings don’t block doors, windows or architectural features. In a small living room, for example, consider removing end tables or accent chairs. Such moves aren’t convenient, but remember, they’re temporary.

Depersonalise your home and help buyers to see its full potential

In addition to cleaning and decluttering, you should consider depersonalising your home. The goal when selling is to have a buyer fall in love with your house, picturing themselves living there and imagining their belongings inside. That can be difficult if your home has your personal stamp all over it.

Also, consider updating your accessories and furnishings if your décor is outdated or avant-garde. You don’t want buyers to miss out on key features of your home because they’re distracted by your belongings.

Paint where it needs it most

A fresh coat of paint can make a home feel new. In fact, painting is one of the most common recommendations estate agents make to sellers before they list. Paint can help small rooms appear larger and highlight architectural details. Be mindful of your colour choice, however. It is recommended that you use warm neutral colours, such as beige, tan, gold and gray. Because these shades go with anything, they can help buyers to picture their belongings in your home.

Set the stage

Now comes the final step: staging your home. The goal is to create a great first impression so that buyers put your home at the top of their list. On average, staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20% more than those that aren’t staged.

You don’t need to stage your entire home. Focus instead on rooms that impress buyers most, such as the kitchen, living room and bathrooms. In the kitchen, for example, place a bowl of fresh fruit on the countertop and set the table with beautiful dinnerware and linens. It is always a good idea to leave cookies and a fresh pot of coffee with a “help yourself” sign. Not only is this a nice touch, but everyone loves the smell of fresh coffee!

In the living room, toss a decorative blanket on the arm of the sofa and add a vase of fresh flowers to the coffee table. Update bathrooms with fluffy new towels and display a dish of decorative soaps.

Put a tray with a book and teapot on the edge of the master bed. Create a single focal point in each room, hanging a simple piece of artwork that enhances your staging, or highlighting architectural details, such as a fireplace or beautiful windows.

Keep it clean and consistent

Once your home is ready to sell, the trick can be maintaining that level of repair and decoration. Viewing requests can happen at a moment’s notice, and you won’t always have time to ready your home.

Create a cleaning schedule and stick to it. Control of clutter by putting things away when you’re done using them. Enlist the whole family, so the responsibility is shared. Make a habit of wiping kitchen and bathroom fixtures and surfaces daily. Keep wastebaskets emptied. Vacuum or sweep before you leave the house. Keep your garden tidy and remove weeds every week. Keep your walkway and porch clean and accessible.

If you have children, keeping things tidy can be more challenging. Streamline their toys for the time being, or create a rule around how many toys can be out


Estate Agent Terms


Estate Agent Terms You Should Know.

Communication is curial when buddying up with an estate agent to sell your property, and although it is the estate agent’s job to speak clearly so you have an understanding of what’s happening to your property and the market, it doesn’t hurt to know the terminology.

Let’s have a look at the most common and confusing terms here.


Annual Percentage Rate of Charge, the total cost of the credit to the consumer, expressed as an annual percentage of the total amount of credit, including interest and other charges applying.

Bridging Loan

A temporary loan is advanced to help buy a new property before the existing one has been sold.


A number of linked property sales where the exchange of contracts must take place simultaneously.

Closing Date

The date set for submission of offers when more than one party show interest in the property.

Completion Date

Completion of the legal transaction with all monies and documents having been distributed. This is also when the seller’s solicitor will instruct the estate agent to release the keys.


A person other than a solicitor who may conduct the conveyancing.


The legal work involved in buying and selling properties.


A condition contained within the Title Deeds or lease, that the buyer must comply with, which is usually applied to all future owners of the property. A restrictive covenant is one that prohibits the owner from doing something.


Fees, such as Stamp Duty, Land Registry and search fees on top of conveyancing which you normally pay via your solicitor.

Draft Contract

Unconfirmed version of the contract.

Early Repayment Charge

A charge made by the lender if the borrower terminates a mortgage in advance of the terms of the particular mortgage. Normally occurs when the borrower has benefited from reduced payments or cash back in the early period of a mortgage.


Financial Intermediaries Managers & Brokers Regulatory Authority.


The practice by a seller accepting a higher price than that previously agreed with someone else.


The practice by a buyer lowering his offer just before the exchange of contracts.


Independent Financial Advisor


Investments Managers Regulatory Organisation. Regulates investment managers.

Joint Agency

Where two estate agents work together to market a property.

Joint Mortgage

A mortgage where there is more than one individual named responsible for the mortgage.

Land Certificate

A Land Registry certificate proving ownership of property.

Land Registry

The Government organisation that holds records of all registered properties in England and Wales.


Life Assurance Unit Trust Regulatory Organisation.

Maintenance Charge

A charge made towards the upkeep of a leasehold property.

Missives Concluded

Scotland only. The solicitors must agree on the written negotiations of the sale – the ‘missives’. This can only be done once a mortgage offer is received. When the missives are agreed, this is known as ‘conclusion of missives’. Both parties are now legally bound to the sale/purchase.

Mortgage Deed

A legal document relating to the mortgage lender’s interest in the property.

Mortgage Offer

A formal written offer made by a bank or building society to lend an approved amount to purchase a property.


The selection of two or more estate agents to act on the seller’s behalf, usually incurring a higher fee than if the sale is completed by a sole agency.

Negative Equity

When the value of a property is less than the outstanding sum owed on a mortgage.


Independent professional bodies who investigate complaints on behalf of customers against estate agents, solicitors and insurance companies.


The term is used when a property is being sold, where a tenant has a legal right of occupation.

Private Treaty

The way in which most house sales are completed in England and Wales.

Repayment Mortgage

Your monthly repayment includes part interest and part capital repayment. So long as you meet all of the payments required by the lender on time, your mortgage will gradually reduce until it is repaid in full at the end of the mortgage term.


When loans are in default the mortgage lender can repossess the property and sell it so they can repay the debt.


Holding back part of a mortgage loan until repairs to the property are satisfactorily completed.

Subject to Conclusion of Missives

Scotland only. These words are used to indicate that an agreement is not yet legally binding.


The ultimate record of ownership of a property, the evidence of which is found in the title deeds.

Transfer Deeds

The Land Registry document that transfers legal ownership from seller to buyer.

Under Offer

When the seller has accepted an offer on the property but contracts have not yet been exchanged.

Variable Interest Rate

Rate of interest payment that fluctuates over time inline with general interest rates.


The legal name sometimes used to describe the seller of the property.

Verbal Offer

Offer from prospective purchaser, not legally binding on either party.


Mode of commencing legal proceedings.

Buyers Market vs. Seller Market

Buyers Market vs. Seller Market

Buyers Market vs. Seller Market: What’s the Difference?

A buyers market describes an economic situation in which goods are plentiful, buyers have many options and prices are low because of excess supply relative to demand. A sellers market describes an economic situation where goods are scarce, the number of buyers is relatively few, and prices are high because demand exceeds supply. However, the difference between buyers markets and seller markets is not as straightforward as it may initially seem.

What is a buyer’s market?

In a buyer’s market, real estate is more affordable because supply exceeds demand. This means there are more homes on the market than there are buyers – putting downward pressure on prices.

In a buyer’s market, properties not only tend to sell for less, but they also tend to stay on the market longer before an offer is made. Less interest from buyers means vendors need to price their properties more competitively to sell within a reasonable timeframe.

Although a buyer’s market typically means properties are cheaper to buy, they also might not offer much growth potential in the short term if the market is continuing on a downward trajectory.

What is a seller’s market?

A seller’s market is the opposite of a buyer’s market in that demand exceeds supply, meaning vendors can usually sell their properties quickly and at a favourable price.

In a seller’s market, time on market tends to be low, while median home and unit prices are high. Under these conditions, vendors are less likely to budge on price simply because they have more negotiating power.

It’s also not uncommon for properties to sell above their list price in a seller’s market as buyers compete for the hottest commodities.

How to tell if it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market

In most cases, property markets aren’t strictly favourable to buyers or sellers but rather a combination of both. For example, most UK cities have suburbs where demand is greater than supply and vice versa, creating pockets of both buyer’s markets and seller’s markets.

Tips for selling in a buyer’s market

In an ideal world, you would be able to sell during a seller’s market when property prices are at a peak and buyer demand is high. But there are a number of reasons why you might need to sell in a slow market, such as a change in family circumstances or because you’re moving to a different area. In any case, there are still things you can do to help secure the best price and sell within a reasonable timeframe, even in a buyer’s market:

Cast a wide net – Instead of waiting for prospective buyers to come to you, you’ll need to get in front of as many eyeballs as possible to improve your chances of selling. In addition to listing your property on the usual platforms, talk to your estate agent about marketing your property on places like social media and other community platforms to give it as much visibility as possible.

Have your home professionally staged – If you’re planning to sell your home, professional home staging can go a long way to getting you the maximum sale price. It helps accentuate the space and gives prospective buyers a view of your home as an attractive, modern space with plenty of lifestyle appeal.

Be flexible – You’ll want to take advantage of any potential opportunities that pop up, and that means being flexible and ready for inspections at any time. Keep on top of those little chores so your home is at least largely presentable for any prospective buyer who wants to make a last-minute viewing, as it takes only one to make the sale.

Consider incentives – Buyers are more likely to ask for incentives in a buyer’s market, so consider offering a couple of incentives upfront. This could be anything from throwing in the dishwasher and fridge with the property to offering to pay council rates for the first few months after the sale. Think about what you can do to sweeten the deal and get an edge over comparable properties in the area.

Choose a trusted estate agent – Don’t just go with the most recognisable estate agents by default. Make sure to do your research and ask the right questions when evaluating estate agents so you can be confident the person you choose has an in-depth knowledge of your market and a solid track record.

Economic Crime Bill Receives Royal Assent


What is The Economic Crime Bill?

By accelerating the legislation, the UK Government is concentrating on the powers they can bring into force in the most focused time.

The Bill targets sources of illicit wealth and their permeation through the UK economy and will make it easier to prosecute people for breaching sanctions. The legislation enables the UK Government, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and other agencies to focus on those individuals.

Register of Overseas Entities

A new Register of Overseas Entities, requiring those behind foreign companies which own UK property to reveal their identities, will also be created under the Act. Entities who refuse to reveal their ‘beneficial owner’ will face tough restrictions on selling the property and those who break the rules could face a fine of up to £2,500 per day or up to five years in prison.

Propertymark campaigning

Propertymark has long called for a public Register of Overseas Beneficial Owners. We’ve previously given evidence to the Treasury Select Committee’s Economic Crime Inquiry and hosted a roundtable with members and the UK Government officials on the Draft Bill.

The Register is important because criminal funds can be concealed and made to look legitimate through an untraceable ‘company’ and subsequently the purchasing of property. When property agents try to determine the true, or ‘beneficial’ owners, they find only documents listing shell companies.

Are you looking for help selling your property?
Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWO)

To strengthen and reinforce, the UWOs allow law enforcement an opportunity to confiscate criminal assets without having to prove that the property was obtained from criminal activity.

Property agents and anti-money laundering

Under the Money Laundering rules, property agents must be able to prove the identity of both the buyer and seller and any beneficial owner of the customer, to the property sale. Whilst the beneficial owner is likely to own or control the customer, it may also be the person on whose behalf a transaction or activity is carried out. The level of due diligence is down to the agent to decide, but if the agent has any doubts about a customer’s identity, they must cease activities with them until doubts are resolved.

Second Economic Crime Bill

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel has outlined that a second Economic Crime Bill is currently being drafted, which links to Companies House reform. This will take slightly longer and will cover wider issues about reporting and how to join up Companies House and law enforcement.

Leaseholders Don’t Foot The Bill

Leaseholders Don’t Foot The Bill

Propertymark Hits Back At Exclude Buy-to-Let Landlords Decision

The Levelling Up Committee’s Report highlights too many leaseholders will fall through the cracks of the UK Government’s ‘piecemeal measures’ to protect leaseholders from the costs of building safety remediation.

The report is in response to Michael Gove, Secretary of State of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announcement on 10 January where developers will be forced to fix the outstanding cladding issues and agree on a fully-funded plan.


The Committee, made up of cross-party MPs, disagrees with the UK Government that only buy-to-let landlords with one other property should be included in the statutory protection for leaseholders. There are other options to exclude wealthy property tycoons without making landlords of more modest means liable. The Committee calls on the UK Government to publish an impact assessment before undertaking any action.

The report features a series of recommendations, including calls to:

  • Scrap the proposed cap on non-cladding costs for leaseholders
  • Implement a Comprehensive Building Safety Fund to cover the costs of remediating all building safety defects on any buildings of any height where the original “polluter” cannot be traced
  • Compensate leaseholders for costs already paid out, including for interim measures and for rises in insurance premiums
  • Require all relevant parties who played a role in the building safety crisis to contribute to funds for remediation
  • Ensure the Affordable Homes Programme is protected at its current level and that social housing tenants do not pay the price through costs or diversion of funds away from maintaining their homes or other vital services
Liana Loporto - North West London Estate Agent
Propertymark lobbying

Propertymark (the professional body for the property sector) has argued there is no logical basis to exclude buy-to-let landlords from the same level of financial support as owner-occupiers. Writing to Gove at the end of January seeking urgent clarification on these points and it is positive that the committee shares our views that all landlords should be covered. The same acknowledgement from the UK Government is now needed too.

Markets in North West London


My List of Best Markets in and Around North West London.

Despite the drowsy weather at the moment, there is a sense that Spring and warmer times are just around the corner! So, I thought I would prepare us for things to do over the weekend by researching into markets in and around North West London.

But first, when did markets become a thing here in the UK?

Markets have been in existence since before the 12th century, when charters became a thing. Most Settlements in England, at least, had an outlet for local artisans and tradesmen, together with farmers who usually sold their goods and wares in the local market. Most Towns that we recognise today started life as a market, then a place of worship, before establishing themselves as regional shopping areas.

In the sixties and seventies, private market operators began an expansion of markets in areas mainly outside these chartered areas and are said to be the forerunners in expanding Sunday trading hours.

And whilst we’re taking a quick history lesson, Borough Market is widely considered London’s oldest retail and wholesale food market; it is also one of the largest food markets in the capital.

Now, onto the main event. My list of markets in North West London for you to enjoy this spring and summer!

Archway Market

Only just making it onto my list, Archway Market is considered to be in North London, but as it sits next to Hampstead, I thought I would include it anyway. It is a fun little market surrounded by lots of cafes, bars and restaurants to help you enjoy your afternoon.

Despite the market’s size, there are plenty of traders to catch your eye. It is a proper foodie market, with traders such as Archway Natural & Organics, Chez Francis et Sylvie, Celtic Bakers and Scarlett’s Vegan Bakes, to name a few, all there to delight your taste buds on a lazy Saturday.

You can also see traders selling handmade jewellery, 2nd handbooks, handmade leather accessories, scented candles and clothing.

This is such a lovely market and is right next door to Archway tube, making it really easy to get to.

The market is open every Saturday!

Have a peek at their website here.

Queen’s Park Farmers’ Market

Queens Park is a busy, bustling market and is excellent for families and children. The market attracts attention for its range of stalls, including free-range and organic poultry and meat, organic and biodynamic vegetables, eggs, juice, seasonal vegetables and fruit.

Another foodie market. Maybe you’re getting the pattern here?! But if you are looking for more than just food traders, don’t worry; there are plenty of other stools here. In fact, there is often an added market area here to called the Salusbury Sunday Market, which is in an indoor hall adjoining Queen’s Park farmer’s Market. Here, you can find a fantastic variety of traders, including women, men and babywear, handmade soaps, French textiles, jewellery, ceramics, etc.

You can find out more by visiting their websites below.

West Hampstead Farmers’ Market

West Hampstead Farmers’ Market is a bubbling community of friendly traders and enthusiastic visitors. It is thriving and a great place to visit with friends and family on a Saturday. It’s been here since 2012 and is a well-loved part of the West Hampstead community.

Arrive early each week; stalls regularly sell out before the end of the market. Fish from the Essex coast, free-range and organic meat & poultry, dairy (plus teas and coffee), free-range and organic eggs, a game in season, artisan bread and cakes, the freshest fruit and veg in season and lots more. The market provides the freshest available produce for the people of West Hampstead and is very easily accessible to anyone living in other parts of Northwest London such as Cricklewood, Kilburn, St John’s Wood, and other parts of Hampstead.

They are open every Saturday, 10 am-2 pm, come rain or shine!

To find out more, visit

Swiss Cottage Farmers Market

One of London’s best and friendliest farmers’ markets. Weekly Certified farmers market, small but beautiful, selling everything from fresh south coast fish to meat, pickles, hot food, veg, flowers, & fruit. An excellent destination for a top-up on meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, bread, and more. March House Farm’s free-range meat is really good, plus fresh, in-season tomatoes from The Tomato Stall, vegetables from Ted’s Veg and Wild Country Organics. The list goes on!

To check where to find it and for more details, visit

Parliament Hill Farmers’ Market

This food market – which is open every Saturday from 10 am-2 pm – stocks a variety of produce from fruit and veg to fish, meat, pies, cakes and bread and is a great place to pick up some tasty picnic supplies. Cooked foods like sausage butties and Confit Boeuf are also served.

As the market is based in a school playground (accessed via the Heath), dog walkers are asked to leave their pets in the dog creche area, which is always a welcome sight to see all varieties of breeds hanging out together.

Their dog park is probably the most Instagrammed part of the farmers’ market!

More at

Willesden Farmers’ Market

A new farmers market for Willesden, opening May 2022; watch this space!

Follow them using the link to keep informed about their opening date and trader information

Yum. Writing this article has made me hungry, and I am definitely in the mood to head out this Saturday and buy some local produce. Maybe I will see some of you there!

Tips For Better Energy Efficiency at Home

Better Energy

An Energy-efficient Home Could Help Keep Those Winter Fuel Costs Down.

There’s been a significant rise in buyer interest in the energy efficiency of properties – but so far, it’s making no difference to house prices.

62% of respondents anticipate demand for energy-efficient properties improving over the coming three years; the current barrier for 85% of respondents to improve their energy efficiency is cost.

Energy efficiency means doing more with less. So, for instance, energy-saving light bulbs create the same amount of light but use less energy and waste less heat than old-style light bulbs.

In the same way, if two buildings use the same amount of energy to create heat, the building that can keep in more of that heat is more energy-efficient than the one that lets more escape. You get the idea!

Energy efficiency saves wildlife habitats and helps safeguard the planet. It helps to cut down our reliance on planet-polluting fossil fuels, and it also helps us pay as little as possible for our energy bills.

Taking just a few simple measures, such as turning your heating down or switching to a lower washing machine setting, can significantly affect annual bills. The sooner you start making changes; the more significant the savings will be.

So here is how to make your home more energy-efficient.

Insulate Your Roof

Insulating a roof is perhaps the easiest of all the energy-saving home improvements. It’s also within the capability of most DIYers, and the effect it will have on your energy bills depends on what you’re replacing and how big your roof is. It’s also much more important to do if you don’t have any loft insulation at all. Laying down a layer of roof insulation could cost very little. On average, loft insulation for an average semi-detached house costs around £300 – and it could save you as much as  £750 on your bills after 5 years and about 610kg of carbon per year!

Insulate Your Walls

Insulating your solid walls could cut your heating costs considerably and make your home more comfortable. If your home was built before the 1920s, its external walls are probably solid rather than cavity walls.

Solid walls have no gap, so they can’t be filled with cavity wall insulation.

Cavity walls are made of two layers with a small gap or ‘cavity’ between them and could save you as much as £165 a year in heating bills and 680kg of carbon a year.

Solid walls can be insulated, though – either from the inside or the outside. This will cost more than insulating a standard cavity wall, but the savings on your heating bills will be bigger too.

Upgrade Your Boiler

Inefficient boilers are a significant source of expensive home energy bills. Your boiler accounts for 55% of your energy bills. That’s more than the rest of your electrical appliances combined!

How old is your central heating boiler? If it’s more than ten years old, it may be time to think about replacing it with a new high-efficiency model. You could save up to £205 per year on bills by replacing an old gas boiler with a new A-rated condensing one.

Today’s central heating boilers can heat water more efficiently, meaning they use less gas or oil to do the same job. This saves energy and will save you money.

Building regulations stipulate that the new appliance must be A-rated for energy efficiency if you replace an old boiler. This means it must be at least 88% efficient (most new boilers score over 90%), and to reach this level, it will almost certainly be one of the new-style condensing boilers.

Install Solar Panels

Installing solar panels can indeed be expensive, but in the long run, it’s one of the most effective things you can do to save energy at home. And with the price of solar panels being 70% cheaper today than in previous years, it’s much more affordable lately.

An average solar setup will cost you somewhere between £2,500 and £8,000 (including installation), depending on the number of panels and the size of your roof. Larger solar systems can generate as much as 4kWp, which is enough to meet the energy needs of a family of 3 to 4!

Draught-proof Your Windows

The average home loses 10% of its heat through its windows1. So when you’re thinking about making your home more energy-efficient, your windows should be one of the first places you look. Although double-glazing can be expensive, draught-proofing can be comparatively cheap and easy and often gives immediate results.

Do this, and you could save up to £160 a year on heating bills and 80kg of carbon. And that’s not to mention the increased levels of peace and quiet you’ll enjoy.

Switch To a Better Energy Plan

One of the easiest ways to save on your energy bills is to find the cheapest energy deal for you. You could also use the savings to invest in making your home more energy-efficient.

Most people end up saving money when they switch their suppliers. According to, customers could save up to £300 per year by switching their energy company.

Fit double glazing

Windows contribute 25-30% of heating and cooling energy in your home. Your home could easily lose heat or air conditioning simply because of the type of windows you have.

Double glazed windows not only improve heating and cooling efficiency, but their reinforced material has natural benefits to increase your overall comfort. The most significant benefits to installing double glazed are related to efficiency and heat. Since these factors affect your energy bills, they’re typically the most important to homeowners.

It’s easy to overlook the little things  – but enough small actions can add up to some big changes. Taking small steps such as remembering to switch off lights or TVs does make some difference, so don’t give up on changing habits like this, and try to invest in things like a water-saving showerhead and an eco-kettle. A well-insulated, energy-efficient home can not only lower your bills and boost your home’s value, but it can also lead to a cleaner, greener world for everyone.

The UK government recognised the importance of good insulation and has announced The Green Homes Grant. It’s part of their effort to reduce carbon emissions and help cut energy bills. As part of the scheme, you’ll be able to spend up to £5,000 vouchers towards making your home more energy-efficient.

You can check here to see if you’re eligible for the scheme.