Tag: local

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Property Detective Continues Work With Independent Estate Agents

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Property Detective, is pleased to announce another collaboration with an innovative and professional estate agency located in several boroughs throughout London, Elliot Lee Estate Agents.

Elliot Lee’s team members are recognized for their professional work and tireless efforts for both their clients and in support of the local community. Property Detective is pioneering the effort to increase transparency in the home buying process, through their detailed reports which are packaged with information including schools, nurseries, demographics, local amenities, crime rates, travel connections and much more.

“We are thrilled to enhance Elliot Lee’s client offering. We know they are a pioneering team with a focus on core values while using innovative methods to provide the best service to their clients,” says Barry Bridges, Founder of PropertyDetective.com.

“We are delighted they see our local area reports as a valuable asset to their professional services,” adds Bridges.

Teaming up with Elliot Lee increases Property Detective’s reach by giving Elliot Lee’s customers access to the in-depth report.

Jesmond Newcastle

The Top Tweeters Worth Knowing In Jesmond, Newcastle

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In our thirteenth instalment of ‘Who’s Who?’, following on from our last ‘Top Tweeters worth knowing in Gosforth, Newcastle’ post, we are keeping the focus near the Tyne to the area of Jesmond. Just north of Newcastle City Centre, Jesmond is one of the most popular places to live in Newcastle, and with good reason too. This fashionable, leafy suburb is popular with students, young professionals and families alike thus creating a great diversity and a busy little hub of activity just outside the city centre.

Getting to Know the Local Area & Landscape Online

For those thinking of moving to Jesmond, getting to know the local area is an extremely important part of the property research process, but so too is getting to know the local landscape online; who’s worth listening to, following or liking? Follow the right people and you’ll be a local expert in minutes, and anything you don’t know you can consult your Twitter community.

As such, we have identified the subsequent Twitter users as being worth following in order to get an insight into the communities, people and places that matter.

These are the Top Tweeters worth Following in Jesmond, Newcastle:

Arlo
Open 7 days a week, Arlo bistro and cafe is a well-established part of Jesmond life, offering a fantastically diverse menu of food and drink. The informal yet stylish interior décor has a distinctly Swiss feel, and the international influences on the menu add a fascinating twist to the experience. They are very good at engaging with the local community on Twitter so give them a follow.

Jesmond Dene House
Set in a grand stone Arts and Crafts estate on secluded grounds, Jesmond Dene House is an award-winning hotel which prides itself on ensuring that the service given is as exceptional as the incredible location within which it sits. This upscale boutique hotel is active on social media with a range of topics from showcasing their palatable dishes to advertising upcoming events.

Bar Blanc
Bar Blanc is the in-house restaurant of the contemporary Whites Hotel in Jesmond. It serves a great range of delicious cuisine throughout the day, whilst there is also a fine selection of English and Continental dishes. There is also a wide range of drinks available making it the perfect place to start a night out. Give them a follow to stay updated with upcoming events in the bar.

Jesmond Life
Jesmond Life contains information on local arts, businesses, shops, local government, religion, entertainment (hotels, bars & pubs), schools and education, and healthcare (including doctors, dentists and clinics). They use their Twitter feed to showcase these businesses and are a must-follow for those from the local area.

Archers
Archers is an award-winning ice cream parlour made with local luxury milk, produced exclusively at New Moor Farm, by the pedigree Newmoor herd of Jersey cows. They offer a very wide range of ice cream flavours and this is evident by the mouth-watering pictures that make up their Twitter feed.

Rehill’s of Jesmond
Rehill’s Specialist Food and Wine Merchants from the outside looks like a regular corner shop, with the exception of the bottle of beers and spirits adorning the window display. Inside however, you find the small descending stairs to a cave-like oasis of beer, cider, wine, spirits, cigars and delicatessen. Check out their Twitter for an example of the wide variety of exotic beverages they have on offer.

Jesmond Tennis Club
Jesmond Lawn Tennis Club is a small and friendly club located in the heart of Jesmond. The club was founded in 1883 and has a long and distinguished history which includes member Muriel Robb winning Ladies Singles at Wimbledon in 1902. The club offers tennis for all ages and all standards of play, with regular men’s and women’s practices taking place throughout the week, and adult social tennis on the weekends. Their Twitter feed focuses on upcoming events and other local items of interest.

West Jesmond Primary School
West Jesmond Primary School is a highly rated school based in Jesmond. The institution has a long history of successfully providing the highest quality education in Jesmond since 1901. The school prides itself in making the children feel special and nurtures their talents in all areas of the curriculum. Check out their Twitter profile to see how they actively encourage their students to embrace the vibrant Jesmond community.

The New Northumbria Hotel
In a classic townhouse, the New Northumbria Hotel is a boutique hotel situated within walking distance of the West Jesmond Metro station and many other local amenities. Upscale rooms and suites are individually decorated and range in style from conservative to Mediterranean to contemporary. The hotel also houses a high-end Italian restaurant and a posh bar with a trendy vibe and heated outdoor terraces. Their Twitter page has very good engagement with the local community and does well in not only promoting the hotel, but also Newcastle as a city.

Sacalini’s
Scalini’s restaurant in Jesmond is a large and relaxed Italian restaurant offering a wide selection of tasty dishes. You can eat, drink and relax al fresco style on our all-weather heated terrace, or wine and dine within our internal chic surroundings. Head over to their Twitter now for tempting gastronomic pictures guaranteed to whet your appetite.

Tweeters in Middlebrough

The Top Tweeters Worth Knowing In Middlesbrough

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In our eleventh instalment of ‘Who’s Who?’, following on from our last ‘Top Tweeters worth knowing in Swindon’ post, we are now turning our attention to Middlesbrough, a large industrial town situated on south bank of the River Tees in North Yorkshire.

Getting to Know the Local Area & Landscape Online

For those thinking of moving to Middlesbrough, getting to know the local area is a vital part of any property research process, but so too is getting to know the local landscape online; who’s worth listening to, following or liking? Follow the right people and you’ll be a local expert in minutes, and anything you don’t know you can consult your Twitter community.

As such, we have identified the subsequent Twitter users as being worth following in order to get an insight into the communities, people and places that matter.

These are the Top Tweeters Worth Following in Middlesbrough:

Love Middlesbrough

Love Middlesbrough was launched in 2008, at the Riverside Stadium. The initiative was designed as a way for passionate people to come together to promote Middlesbrough as a fantastic place to live, learn, work, invest, visit, shop and play. They are a must-follow for anyone from the local area, and do very well in maintaining their active, engaged follower base.

Middlesbrough Powerchair Football Club

Middlesbrough Powerchair Football Club (PFC) is a sports club for people of all ages, male and female, with a severe physical disability. This fast paced team sport enables those with even the most severe physical disabilities to play the beautiful game. They are active on Twitter and bring regular updates of the goings on around the club.

Flares Middlesbrough

Flares is a nightclub in the town that plays 1970’s and party tunes all night long. The venue is open 5 nights a week and is guaranteed to provide a fun night out that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Give them a follow to stay updated on the latest nights and offers.

The Gazette

The Gazette has been published for over 140 years, and is the most widely read local newspaper in the Teesside area. The paper provides the community with updates on all the latest news, sports, events, jobs, property and more. Their Twitter feed is regularly updated with local and occasionally national updates.

Middlesbrough Town Hall

Middlesbrough Town Hall is a stunning Grade II* listed Victorian concert venue. The building plays host to a wide range of events from concerts to comedy, conferences to theatre, weddings and workshops. Give them a follow to stay in touch with upcoming event announcements and information.

Meze Lounge

The Meze Lounge is an authentic Turkish restaurant offering a menu of traditional dishes. At the restaurant you will find a rich tapestry of tastes and atmosphere all perfected in the kitchens of the Sultans’ palaces from the Ottoman era. Their Twitter feed full of tempting food pictures is guaranteed to whet your appetite.

Middlesbrough Theatre

Middlesbrough Theatre was opened in 1957 and was one of the first new theatres built in England after the Second World War. Today it is a great little venue with an exciting and varied repertoire of drama and other theatre activities. Give them a follow for news and updates surrounding the theatre.

Ageing Better

Ageing Better Middlesbrough is working to reduce loneliness and isolation for people over 50 in Middlesbrough by inspiring current and future generations to live active and happy lives. A very worthy cause to follow and support.

Al Forno

The Italian restaurant Al Forno is a fantastic place to meet and eat. Choose from a range of superb, fresh Italian food, accompanied by beautiful wine and excellent service. Whether you’re just popping in for a fresh salad, or you’re visiting for a hearty home cooked Italian dinner, their award-winning chefs will not disappoint. Another account that’s Twitter feed will leave you hungry and extremely tempted.

Chadwicks Inn Maltby

Situated in a quiet village on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors, Chadwicks Inn Maltby is a traditional country pub with an award-winning restaurant. These awards include Michelin guide appearances, Michelin eating out pub guide appearances and 2 AA Rosettes – a clear indication of the high level of food and services in this small quaint location.

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New research from Which? suggests 1 in 10 buyers fail to conduct even the most basic research on their next home purchase

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It’s an annual press release that we look forward to with relish – and this year Which? has surpassed itself once again with a phenomenal piece of research that has found 1 in 10 homebuyers fail to do any research on the new home they eventually end up buying.

Viewing a Property Before Purchase

For context, 11% of buyers never actually view the property they buy, which seems like an appalling admission of utter incompetence, cavalier behaviour and total disregard for risk…on their part.

5% have never actually viewed the property they ended up buying whatsoever (e.g. investors), which seems even more bizarre. Clearly some people have a lot more money than sense.

The Value of Property Research Shouldn’t be Underrated

All of this points clearly to the need to do the most basic checks, particular in light of other research showing just how much money homeowners lose when things go wrong. Even if it’s just a Property Detective report, there’s a clear need to satisfy yourself that the dream home you’re thinking of buying is everything it purports to be.

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Acacia Road Best Place

Is London Family Friendly? – Our Top 15 Streets

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Here at Property detective we’re all about property research, so we spend a lot of time asking ourselves “what makes a place great?”. As September many people will start thinking of going “back to school” – (or is it just me that gets the urge to buy new stationary at this time of year?!), in that vein this month’s focus for our thinking is all about great places for children and in particular families – so we’ve asked “what makes a place great for families?”.

We’ve taken data on everything a family needs – from amenities such as GPs and chemists, to schools and support networks (other mums and NCT), activities (parks, kids playgroups etc) and have weighed up the facilities and the community to measure up every location across the country in our assessment of which places are truly great to start or raise a family.

So, what about London?

When we look at our top scoring places nationally most inner city locations are left behind in favour of the more rural out-of-town areas which are still within a stones throw of a major hub. And we can see why, cities are great for facilities but you often face a battle for availability; they have great support networks but often suffer from higher crime and almost certainly have less green spaces and play areas. However, our data has unearthed the London locations which provide the exceptions to the rule, and actually provide an enclave of family friendliness within the capital. As you’ll see, areas in London can and do score highly – with 89% as the highest score, only just out of the top scoring 10%, which dominate the top places in our national ranking.

We’ll take a look at the top places in London, brought to you for the first time, based purely on objective data assessment, exclusively by Property Detective.

London’s Top 15 Family spots

Where Why? Score
Acacia Place, St Johns Wood Great for nurseries and childminders 89%
Mitre Street, Aldgate Good for activities and amenities 89%
Brushfield Street, Spitalfields Good for schools 89%
Palace Road, Crouch End Great for nurseries and childminders 87%
Baskerville Road, Wandsworth Common Great for nurseries and childminders 86%
Old York Road, Wandsworth Town Good for schools 86%
Beverley Road, Chiswick Great for nurseries and childminders 86%
Lonsdale Road, Barnes Good for activities and amenities 85%
Grandison Road, Battersea Great for Primary schools 85%
Connaught Gardens, Highgate Great for Primary schools 85%
Regents Park Road, Camden Great for Primary schools 84%
Balfern Road, Chiswick Good for activities and amenities
Cloak Lane, Mansion House Good for childcare and Primary schools 84%
Empress Avenue, Wanstead Great for nurseries and childminders 84%
Champion Hill, Dulwich Good for activities and amenities 83%
Acacia Place by Stephen McKay, available at http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/549171
Acacia Place by Stephen McKay, available at http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/549171

Acacia Place in St Johns Wood takes the number one slot with good primary schools nearby and very good secondary schools on the doorstep. There are 4 good nurseries and several child-minders within 10 minutes walk. This area has surprisingly low crime rate for London, making it a safe and desirable area for families. Primrose Hill, Regents Park and for a longer buggy push Hampstead Heath are all easily accessible and ideal for stretching little legs or having a picnic (if the British summer behaves!).

Palace Road by David Howard, available at http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/4128161
Palace Road by David Howard, available at http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/4128161

Our 4th top pick is Palace Road in Crouch End, a lovely leafy street with 3 good schools within walking distance and another 8 good or outstanding schools a short drive/bus ride away. There’s several options for child-minders and nurseries in the neighbouring streets and a great support network for families with a thriving NCT community. Priory Park and Alexandra Park which are only a short stroll away offer that all important green space, in addition to all the amenities and activities you would expect in a family area. In comparison to London and he South East this area has lower than average crime. In short – we can’t fault it as a family spot in the smoke.

Palace Road by David Howard, available at http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/4128161
Palace Road by David Howard, available at http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/4128161

Baskerville Road, near Wandsworth Common takes our number 5 place. This pretty road right which borders the common offers a mix of village-y feel and city amenities. The schools and childcare nearest this road are great and the nearby facilities – everything from GPs to supermarkets is within easy reach. On top of that the area feels safe, with a lower than average crime rate for both the London region and when compared nationally. This area of Wandsworth is well known for being a family area – we’re not the first to say it – so as you’d expect there are plenty of other families nearby, creating a great family community.

So there you have it, there are in fact plenty of family friendly spots in the city – and surprisingly even some within the square mile itself!

You can check out the family friendliness of your area by trying our index.

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Top 20 Family Friendly Locations in the Home Counties

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If you’re thinking of starting a family and are considering a move out of London to the “Home Counties”, you might be asking yourself “where exactly is the best place to go?”.

Now for the first time the team here at Property Detective have done what they do best – challenged themselves to find the answer on behalf of their users. We have devised and then re-defined the appropriate algorithm, taken a large pile of relevant data, and then crunched the numbers to bring you the answers to this ever-relevant question (We have also identified the top family friendly streets in London).

The Home Counties – What are they?

A quick recap: The home counties have long been considered the areas that Londoners retreat to at the end of a busy week; this is increasingly true today as London workers are priced out of central London by escalating rents and house prices, and so a vast majority of London commuters now live in these neighbouring/bordering counties. On the face of it they offer commuter access to the city of London and (slightly more) affordable family homes as such they are a mecca for professional couples with young families wanting a little bit of fresh air and green space. If this is you, then you’re exactly the type of home-mover we can help.

The Average London Commute

Firstly let’s focus on the areas that fall within a distance you’re willing to commute. This is now small distance because if there’s one thing us Londoners know, it’s how to commute. The ONS stats show that the average UK commute is 54 minutes according, but the average London commute is mind-numbing 74 minutes! Based on the 2011 census the ONS produced a map of where London commuters lived:

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(Dark blue means over 20-40% of workers from this area commute to London. Mid blue is 10-20%of workers and light blue is 5-10%)

Our friends and partners in Travel Time crime, igeolise can tell us exactly where you can live if 75 minutes is your commute time cut-off; here’s their results on a map:

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As suspected this points to neighbouring regions in the Home Counties including areas as far as Tonbridge, Reading, Chelmsford and Milton Keynes places serviced by fast and frequent trains.

Although the definition of the “Home Counties” is a recognised to be a bit fluid, for the purpose of our research we have included Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Kent, Essex and Sussex, all of which embody the quintessentially home counties characteristics of comfortable middle-class prosperity and are known to be desirable locations.

So, the big question, are they actually family friendly and where are the best areas – and let’s be specific, which are the best streets to live?

Drum roll please…

Here’s the Top 20 Places to Raise a Family in the Home Counties:

Street High score What’s great about it?
Birch Lane, Flaunden 98% Primary schools – nearest 6 are rated outstanding or good!
Streatley Road, Sundon 97% Childminders
Lower Harpendon Road, Harpendon 96% Primary schools – nearest 14 are rated outstanding or good!!
Swinley Road, Ascot 96% Childcare + nurseries
Chertsey Road, Windlesham 95% Primary schools – nearest 8 are rated outstanding or good!
Flamsteadbury Road, Redbourn 95% Childcare + nurseries
Long Hill Road, Bracknell 95% Playgrounds + parks
The Common, Amersham 92% Playgrounds + parks
Dagnall Road, Great Gaddesden 92% NCT community
Tebworth Road, Leighton Buzzard 92% Other families
Hatchet Lane, Windsor 92% NCT community
Hammerpond Road, Horsham 87% Childminders + nurseries
Box End Road, Kempston 83% Kids activities
Cheddington Road, Tring 82% Nurseries
Silchester Road, Bramley 82% Maternity facilities
Long Mill Lane, Sevenoaks 81% Childminders + nurseries
Runworth Road, Basingstoke 80% Kids shops
Priory Lane, Farnham 80% NCT community
Downhall Road, Hatfield Heath 79% Kids activities
Bryanston Avenue, Twickenham 77% Childminders + nurseries

If you live in these places – lucky you! And if you’re a London commuter and thinking of relocating for your young family then we recommend checking out these family friendly hot spots.

You can check out the family friendliness of your area by trying our index.