Woods Homes, part of the Experts in Property, the South West’s network of independent estate agents, are delighted to launch their ‘Hedgehog Friendly Property’ initiative, a new campaign designed to support the plight of our endangered prickly friends and promote properties where measures have been taken to encourage and sustain the hedgehog population.
The hedgehog first evolved around 15 million years ago and is one of the oldest mammals on the planet. In the 1950’s, hedgehog population around Britain was estimated to be around 36.5 million, but by 1995 the number had drastically plummeted to around 1.5 million and the latest estimate is that there are just 1 million hedgehogs left in Britain. Last year, the British hedgehog was officially announced a species vulnerable to extinction, so there has never been a more desperate need for action to save the increasingly vulnerable spiky garden favourite.
Many factors have contributed to the rapid decline. Firstly, a loss of habitat due modern farming methods with larger fields and fewer hedgerows, the building of roads and infrastructure, and residential and industrial development. This, as well as more widespread use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers have reduced the number of invertebrates available for hedgehogs to eat. Traditional hedge-laying has been replaced by flailing, which thins and damages the hedgerows making them a less than ideal habitat for nesting; our roads are busier causing more hedgehog fatalities; and there has been an increase in badger population – the hedgehog’s main natural predator and the only animal in the UK which can unroll and kill hedgehogs.
Hedgehogs love the countryside but are also abundant in urban areas. Urban hedgehogs can roam an average distance of 2km in a night, through our streets and gardens, which provide food and shelter. There are plenty of things we can do to help our hedgehogs survive, and even thrive, for the long-term protection and preservation of the species.
The Woods Homes group, which includes Woods & Woods Bryce Baker offices in South Devon, are now engaged in the the Experts in Property - ‘Hedgehog Friendly Property’ initiative, encouraging vendors, buyers, landlords and tenants to champion our nation’s iconic hedgehog. The ‘Hedgehog Friendly Property’ badge will be used to highlight hedgehog-friendly properties for sale and to rent across the Southwest.
Details of the simple steps, householders can take to ‘help the hedgehogs’, along with links to organisations providing more information and guidance on measures we can all take, to defend and protect our hedgehogs from extinction, are available in the links below.
Further details of how we will be raising the profile of 'Hedgehog Friendly' properties will be announced over the next few weeks.
Guide to helping hedgehogs:
Independent estate agencies across the South West have today launched a Spring Prize Draw with monthly prizes and two lucky homeowners in the region set to become the ‘grand’ winners of £1,000 each to spend at their local garden centre.
To enter the Spring Prize Draw, all property owners need to do is invite their local participating estate agent to conduct a free market valuation on their property – for either a sale or if you are intending to let a property – between now and the end of June 2021. With every valuation comes an entry into the draw.
A. As a general rule, there is nothing to be gained by waiting before putting your home on the market. Assuming that you are looking to sell in order to buy somewhere else, the swings and roundabouts principle always applies – whatever the state of the market.
That said, this Christmas is the one real exception. Quite frankly, with the double whammy of Christmas and a General Election there is no point rushing to market this close to the start of the festive season. Right now, just about everybody has other things on their minds than looking at properties – properties which, with even the best will in the world, they won’t be able to move into before the New Year.
However, far from just sitting on your hands for the next few weeks, you can always turn this enforced lull to your advantage by putting everything in place, so that you can hit the ground running immediately the festive season and election is over.
The key thing, of course, is to do your research, select your estate agent carefully and instruct them. Most agents are going to have quite a lot of time to spare over the next two or three weeks, so your chosen firm should be perfectly able to get everything ready for a New Year marketing blitz – from commissioning your Energy Performance Certificate, taking good-quality photographs and preparing marketing materials, to advising you on any little things you can do to improve the buyer-appeal of your home.
The net result of all this is that you will be ideally placed to take the fullest possible advantage of the increase in market activity which invariably follows the Christmas lull. And don’t forget, the further you are down the road to selling your current home, the stronger position you’ll be in when it comes to striking a deal on the next one.
All in all, a little preparation now - and you could be in line for a very happy New Year indeed!
From now until mid-December 2019 we are giving some very attractive discounts on our fees to a limited number of new customers for participating branches in our ’12 Days of Christmas’, seasonal offer. So, if you are thinking of selling then get in touch now.
Question answered by Simon Rodwell, Sales Director at of Woods, the Experts in Property in Chudleigh & Bovey Tracey.
Q. Why do estate agents keep sending me details of properties that don’t match what I ask for?
A. This is a complaint often levelled at estate agents, and I accept that it can be annoying. If you take the trouble to detail your precise requirements to an agent, you expect them to listen, right?
The thing is, things aren’t always quite as simple as that. Very often, while most people may start out with a reasonably clear idea of what they want in a new home, this can very easily change once they start looking - for all sorts of reasons. People’s individual circumstances may change. They may realise that they need a different type of accommodation after all, or they may decide that another area might be more suitable.
More often, however, people simply decide to breach their own self-imposed search parameters if they see something really special that they particularly like. Let’s face it, most of us have done that at some time or other.
Experienced estate agents know this. It’s not that they haven’t taken on board what they have been told. It’s simply a matter of recognising that people often change their minds. All of us can quote examples of buyers who – having originally insisted that they were only interested in, say, thatched cottages in one particular location – end up buying penthouse flats with a sea view somewhere entirely different. There are also plenty of instances where an agent has scrupulously observed a purchaser’s stated preferences – only to see the same individual buy something completely different through another agent!
By the same token, agents will also sometimes send out details of more expensive properties, perhaps because they are aware that the sellers concerned might be prepared to consider offers.
Nevertheless, if you really, really don’t want to be sent details of properties that are even a whisker outside your chosen criteria, then you need to make this absolutely clear right at the outset and I’m sure your request will be respected.
The £2,000 grand prize in the Experts in Property’s latest prize draw has been won by a brother and sister selling their late mother’s property in Kingsteignton.
A very sad day for the duo was made a little more bearable with news that theirs was the winning entry in the draw, which by complete coincidence took place on the day their property sale completed.
With offices of the Experts in Property spread from St Ives to Poole and Bristol, there were hundreds of entries into the prize draw competition. All homeowners who had their local member estate agent round to conduct a sales or rental valuation on their property during the winter of 2018/2019 were entered for a chance of winning the grand prize of £2,000 to spend in John Lewis.
Julie Copsey, Homes Manager at Woods’ Kingsteignton branch was invited to value a bungalow in the Golvers Hill area of the town back in November, for brother and sister, Michael Beer and Marilyn Degutis. Their mother had sadly passed away but had lived in the bungalow for many happy years. The duo instructed Woods to sell the property, a sale was negotiated and the transaction completed on the 24th April, the day the draw took place.
Both Mr Beer and Mrs Degutis live out of the area, but Mr Beer’s daughter, Jackie Dart still lives locally and was able to visit the Woods’ Kingsteignton office to collect the £2,000 John Lewis vouchers for her father and aunt.
Both Michael and Marilyn were delighted with the news that they had won the draw. Both said they had never won anything before.
Julie said: “We are thrilled for Michael and Marilyn. Their mother had a lovely home and we were pleased to agree a sale at close to the asking price within just a few weeks. We submitted tens of entries into the draw and it was wonderful news to hear that Michael and Marilyn had won the grand prize, particularly as the draw fortuitously fell on the very day they said goodbye to the bungalow.”
All eight branches in the Woods Group are members of the Experts in Property, the network of highly trusted independent estate agency offices throughout the South West, all working together to reach more buyers and sell more homes.
To discuss any property-related matter or to arrange a free no-obligation valuation, pop into any office of the Woods Group or visit www.woodshomes.co.uk, or to find your nearest member of the Experts in Property, visit www.theexpertsinproperty.co.uk.
In the photograph (L-R): Jackie Dart with Julie Copsey, Woods Kingsteignton
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