Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Fabulous Flamingos

With their bright pink feathers and enchanting shape, flamingos have proven a huge hit with interior designers across the country. Here we chat to Samantha Simmonds from interior design agency, Killer 5, to find out how best to use flamingos in your new home.


“If you want to inject a bit of colour and fun into your home, then flamingos are a great way to do it. In fact, the Sanderson flamingo wallpaper we used in the Showhome at Edison Place in Rugby received outstanding feedback from visitors, with many people wanting to recreate the look in their own home. The good news is that, since decorating that Showhome, flamingo printed wallpaper has been popping up everywhere, with many high street shops now stocking their own versions.

“If you have quite a minimalist white or grey living room, why not choose one wall where you can make a statement with this coral flamingo wallpaper from B&Q, or if you’re feeling even braver, try this exotic pink and turquoise print or this textured wallpaper from Etsy. Don’t be afraid to be bold!

“If bright palettes are too much for you, there are also more subtle flamingo motifs out there which can help to create a relaxing and calming room and work well with other coloured and textured walls. Try this duck egg version from John Lewis, this sophisticated and neutral design of flamingos in a lagoon from Homebase or this teal and white option from Debenhams. Think outside the living room as well, these patterns work just as well in the kitchen, hallway or study.

“It’s not just adults flapping for flamingos either, there is also now a wide variety of wallpaper for children’s rooms. If your child loves pink, try this very pretty flamingo print from Laura Ashley, or if you want a more effortless way to transform the walls, go for these stickers from NotOnTheHighStreet.com

“Flamingos don’t have to be confined to your walls though. You can add the exotic bird into your kitchen with patterned tea towels, flamingo glasses or mugs, as well as these super stylish plates which I love. Brighten up your living room with these cushions, a colourful candle holder or this digitally-printed silk lamp shade. Alternatively, opt for a flamingo bathroom with this bath mat; there really is something for every room, budget and personal taste!

“So why do we all love flamingos so much? The flamingo first entered people’s homes in the 1950s when people started adopting more colour into their homes. Since then, it has come in and out of fashion, evolving from a lawn ornament to a bright motif on cushions and inspiring some of the finest pieces of art. Last year, it was re-introduced in our modern-day homes and now you can barely go into an interiors shop without seeing a flamingo or two. As homeowners become braver in their décor and move away from the more neutral tones we’ve become used to, bold prints – such as flamingos – will continue to be a feature of people’s homes for the next few years. I love this trend and will always encourage people to express their personalities through patterns and colour.  

“Oh, and if you’re lucky enough to have a pool in your garden, or just fancy a more interesting bath, don’t forget your giant inflatable flamingo!”


Share your photos of your flamingo themed rooms with St. Modwen Homes on Twitter, Instagram or on one of our development’s Facebook pages. Don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest too where you can see all the products mentioned in this blog. 

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

How to buy: What is a Help to Buy Agent?

Welcome to our latest How to Buy blog; a monthly blog that gives you tips and advice on the house buying process.

This month, we’re looking at Help to Buy and, more specifically, what a Help to Buy agent is and how they can help.

Did you know that 60% of our sales in the last 12 months have been under Help to Buy? The Government scheme has become increasingly popular since its launch in 2013, with many people attracted by the 5% deposits and 75% mortgage available.

Helping to meet the high level of demand from people looking to get onto or up the property ladder, theelping Hel Homes and Communities Agency has introduced Help to Buy Agents who are there to help find the right scheme for you.

These agents are fully trained by the Government and are there to be a helping hand throughout the entire process from explaining what schemes you are eligible for, right through to the purchase of your new home.

Help to Buy Agents are able to give you the best advice as well as being the ones who make the initial decision on whether or not you are eligible for Help to Buy or not.
In most instances, people will have initial conversations about Help to Buy with our sales team who will then refer you to our recommended mortgage adviser and the Help to Buy agent.

Our sales team will remain on hand throughout the process to answer any questions you have; meaning you have support from all parties.


You can find more information about Help to Buy on our website. Alternatively, visit The Help to Buy website to see a timetable of the latest Help to Buy roadshows and for frequently asked questions about the schemes. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

How to buy: Stamp Duty explained

Welcome to our latest How to Buy blog. This month we’re going to get to grips with Stamp Duty, as it can often be the forgotten cost associated with buying a new home.

By law, you have to pay Stamp Duty on every house purchase over £125,000 but the amount you need to pay changes depending on the price of the house you’re buying.  Essentially it is a tax that is paid in order to register the change in land ownership with the Land Registry.

In 2014, Stamp Duty was reformed by the Government, meaning most people now pay less Stamp Duty than they would have had to before the changes. Stamp Duty is now progressive with the rate increases applied between Stamp Duty thresholds, rather than on the whole purchase amount. Here’s a breakdown of the costs:

Property purchase price                                                                          Stamp Duty rate
Up to £125,000                                                                                                  Zero
The next £125,000 (the portion from £125,001 to £250,000)                                    2%
The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000)                                    5%
The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million)                                10%
The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million)                                           12%

For example if you purchase a house for £195,950 you will need to pay a Stamp Duty fee of £1,419. This works out to be 0% on the first £125,000 and then 2% on the remaining £70,950.

For help on how to calculate your Stamp Duty take a look at this handy online calculator.

The above information only applies to Stamp Duty when you are purchasing a home that you’re going to live in yourself and you don’t own a second property. If you are buying a second home or purchasing a buy to let property, you’ll usually have to pay 3% on top of the normal rates. 

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Recommend a Friend scheme

Did you know that as a St. Modwen Homes homeowner you could earn you and a friend £250* each?

If you have purchased your property from any of our 15 sites across the UK, simply let your friends and family know how happy you are in your home and, if you persuade them to buy, we will give you both £250 as a thank you.

Whether it’s put towards a new car, a new sofa or a holiday, you could treat yourself just by talking to your friends about St. Modwen Homes and filling in our ‘Recommend a Friend’ card. Your friend then needs to bring it with them when they reserve their new home and present it to the sales consultant at the point of reservation, you’ll then both receive £250 upon legal completion.

Many of our homeowners already live next door, or up the street, from their friends and family – just imagine how easy dinner parties (and babysitting) could be!
The ‘Recommend a Friend’ scheme has already had success across our sites with 20 people having recommended us to their friends, relatives and colleagues in the last 6 months alone.


*T&C’s apply – speak to our Sales Team to find out more about our Recommend a Friend scheme.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Budget friendly garden ideas

As summer approaches and the weather starts to get warmer, we can’t wait to get outside and spend more time in the garden, can you?

Whether you’re planning a big family BBQ or just looking for somewhere to relax in the sunshine, here are some of our favourite budget friendly garden ideas to transform your outdoor space, without breaking the bank!

  • Garden furniture can be expensive and if you can’t afford to invest why not turn your hand to a bit of DIY? You can easily create a garden bench or outdoor seating area using cheap decking or recycled palettes and, because it’s homemade, you can make it fit to whatever space you have available. Just don’t forget to sand it down first!  
  • Rather than spending a fortune on plants, be resourceful and ask family and friends for cuttings. If you’ve got thriving plants of your own you could even trade!
  • Make your own stepping stones using old bricks, recycled wood or pebbles. Not only will this protect your grass, it also adds some style to your garden.
  • Use old jam jars and tea lights to make DIY lamps for your garden, so you can enjoy the space even after the sun goes down.
  • Invest in the future and plant bulbs and seeds rather than buying mature plants. It's not too late to plant Marigolds, Candytuft, Godetia or Larkspur for a show of flowers later this summer.
  • Even better, if you fill your garden with perennials (plants that return year on year) you won’t have to keep planting. Try Allium, Coneflower or Kangaroo Paw for a colourful mix.
  • If you can’t wait, save some money on planters and use an eclectic mix of old clay pots. Paint them in a variety of bright colours and fill with cheap and cheerful plants. Or, add colour all year round and paint your fence instead!
  • Upcycle an old set of ladders to use as a flower plant or herb planter, or use the steps as storage for potted plants and gardening accessories. You’ll save space and it looks great!
  • Hanging baskets look great, no matter how big or small your garden is, but don’t restrict yourself. Why not use an old watering can or bucket instead? Just make sure you secure it properly.

Remember, maintenance is key to keeping your garden in tip top condition, if you need some advice on how to look after your new garden, take a look at the useful information section on our website here.


Monday, 6 June 2016

How to buy: Part Exchange

Here’s the latest instalment in our How to Buy blog, where we look at the different options available when you buy new with St. Modwen Homes. This month, we’re talking about Part Exchange and taking the stress out of buying.

If you’ve found your dream home but are struggling to find a buyer for your existing property, our Part Exchange scheme could make all the difference.

With Part Exchange there’s:
-       No hassle
-       No estate agent fees
-       No risk of broken chains
-       But most importantly… a guaranteed buyer so you don’t need to worry about finding one

So how does it work?
First of all, you need to be pre-qualified (if you’re not sure what that means you can read our previous How to Buy blog to find out more) and you need to make sure your new home offers Part Exchange – not all of our new homes are available under the scheme, only selected plots.

You then need to speak to a member of our Sales Team, who will talk you through the process and ask a couple of questions about your existing property, for example location and approximate value, to make sure you qualify.

At this point, we arrange the valuation of your property, we get two independent valuations, from trusted local estate agents, so we can agree a fair price and you don’t lose out by using Part Exchange.

By selling your existing property to us, rather than putting it on the market, the sales process becomes a lot less stressful. There are no delays and no risk of the sale falling through so you can move in as soon as you’re ready.

Not only is it hassle-free but by using Part Exchange you won’t pay any estate agent fees, leaving you with more money to spend on making your new house a home (check out our interior design blogs if you need some inspiration).


If you want to know more, or to see if you qualify for Part Exchange, get in touch with our Sales Team, who are always on hand and happy to help. 


Wednesday, 18 May 2016

A star studded service

Fantastic news! We have recently been accredited with a four star rating from the House Builders Federation (HBF) customer service survey.

During the period between 1st October 2014 and 30th September 2015 an independent customer satisfaction form was given to every purchaser of one of our properties. The results reveal that over 85% of our purchasers would recommend us to a friend, as well as being highly satisfied with the quality of their new home.

The results of the survey, operated by the National House Building Council (NHBC), is completely independent of any builder group or developer so you are safe in the knowledge that the information is from real-life home buyers and not edited in any way.

We’re really pleased to have achieved a four star rating in the first year of participating in the survey. Even better, we’re well on our way to achieving five stars in the next 12 months.