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Steps to Take Before Visiting a Marketing Suite

Steps before visiting a marketing suite

Buying a house can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be difficult. If you’re organised the home buying process can be made much easier.

Often as soon as people consider buying a home they head down to one of our many developments across the UK. It can be really exciting to see what we have to offer, but there are a few steps you could take before visiting a marketing suite which will help you to be more in the know.

Here are our steps to take before visiting one of our marketing suites:

How much you can borrow?

Find out how much you can borrow by arranging an appointment with a mortgage broker. A mortgage specialist will be able to search the market for the best available deal and to help you with impartial advice on borrowing. At this appointment you’ll need to give details of how much you earn and all of the things that you spend money on each month.

When working out how much you can afford to put down as a deposit, remember to keep some savings aside for things such as stamp duty (or LBTT in Scotland), legal fees and to furnish your new home.

Do your research and determine how much homes in your desired area cost, consider what you can afford and how much you'll need to save for a deposit.

We often hold events at our developments where you can receive independent mortgage advice. We announce these events on our social media channels and emails for people who have registered with us.

Boost your credit

Your credit score plays an important role in qualifying for a mortgage.

Many young would-be home buyers might find themselves with blemishes on their credit report. If you check your credit report early, you should have time to sort out any issues. What you won’t want is to have to address mistakes on your credit report while actively looking for a home and trying to get approved for a mortgage.

Know what you are looking for

Don’t buy a home where you live now just for the sake of homeownership. If you’re serious about becoming a homeowner, make sure the area you decide to buy in is a place you won’t mind staying in for a while. Experts often advise would-be buyers to plan on staying in a new home no fewer than five to seven years.

Decide what you’re looking for in a home – do you need parking? A garden? How many bedrooms? Apartment? Detached?

You should also consider what you want out of the location, such as:

-    - local schools

-  l - local job market

-    - transport links

-    - the city’s demographics

-    - social scene

-    - shopping facilities

We build our developments in areas which offer good transport links, schools and local amenities. Read our location blogs to find out more about where we are building and what the areas have to offer.

Beginning the search

Visit our website www.millerhomes.co.uk where you’ll be able to explore our locations and offers, as well as some help and advice.

Each of our development pages include information key on the local area, including local history, transport, entertainment, leisure, recycling facilities, education, health and shopping. 

Out and about

Don’t be shy about asking questions when you’re at our developments, marketing suites and show homes. Our sales advisers are very knowledgeable and able to provide you with details about the individual properties, the development and local area. They’ll also be able to chat to you about all the options and offers available.

Make the dream real

Once you’ve found your dream home, the next step is reserving your chosen property.  The earlier in the build process you reserve your home, the more options you are likely to have. We offer in as many different options as we practically can, to let you choose the fixtures, fittings and extras that fit your lifestyle and preferences*. Your Sales Adviser will be able to tell you exactly what’s available.

You’ll also be able to log into My Miller Home, which is a personalised part of our website created just for you. As someone who has reserved a new Miller home, you’ll naturally be very excited and looking forward to the day you move in. My Miller Home will let you know just what needs to happen before that big day.

We want to make the housebuying process as easy and stress-free as possible. Here are just some of the features you’ll enjoy at My Miller Home:

-    - regular updates on the build progress of your new home

-    - the chance to receive emails and free text messages with the latest news on your home

-    - an explanation of the stages involved in your new property purchase

-    - you’ll also be invited to a pre-plaster meeting and welcome meeting

We hope with our tips and advice your home buying experience will be an exciting and enjoyable experience!

What tips would you give to would-be home buyer? What are your queries when looking for your dream home?

*Optional extras will come at an additional cost to the purchaser.

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR ANY OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT.

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Meet The Team: Neil Reaney

Neil Reaney

When it comes to creating the perfect new home and providing excellent levels of service throughout the homebuying journey, there are many people across Miller Homes who are involved in that process.

In our efforts to highlight ‘the Miller Difference’ and conveying the importance of the work of our employees, our careers profile blogs consist of interviews with various members of our teams located up and down the country.

Here we talk to Neil Reaney, Customer Services Director in our Yorkshire region.

Position and how long you have been in the property industry?

I am the Customer Services Director for Miller Homes’ Yorkshire region, I have been working in the housebuilding industry for 22 years.

What does your job involve?

My job involves the effective running of the North Area Customer Services team, although it stretches across all the disciplines of the business. My task is to oversee the process of effectively looking after our customers once they have moved into their home and in line with ‘The Miller Difference’.

For the fourth consecutive year we retained our five star rating, the highest level attainable, in the Home Builders Federation (HBF) National New Home Customer Satisfaction Survey – this is something that as a team we are really proud of.

We go to great measures to ensure that we are continuously exceeding our customers’ expectations with the quality of our product and the levels of service we provide. Also in our own independent customer satisfaction surveys, 95% of our customers said they would recommend us to their best friend. 

What did you do before you joined Miller Homes?

I was a Customer Services Manager for another housebuilder in Leeds.

What skills or qualifications do you have?

I have 22 years’ experience within the industry which has given me the knowledge to get to where I am now.  One of my skills that have developed over my time in the industry is problem solving and this has just come with experience and industry knowledge.  

My main skills are communicating in an effective and professional manor with all our teams and individuals, I am naturally very much a people person and I like to think I’m quite charismatic.

The qualifications I have for my role are NVQ Level 5 Construction Management, Member of Chartered Institute of Builders, Site Managers Safety Training Scheme and IOSH Directing Safety.

What attracted you to a career with Miller Homes?

I joined 9 ½ years ago after discussions with a colleague who worked for Miller Homes while I was seeking a career move. Miller Homes had, and still has, an excellent reputation for progression of staff and being a great place to work. I have been with the Company the longest I have been at any other and this really does reinforce my comments.

What tips would you give to someone wanting to enter the industry?

Do what you say you’re going to do when you said you’re going to do it.  It may sound simple but too many people don’t follow the principle. This is not only applicable to my role or team but across the business and industry. Do this simple thing and you’ll have a great career in a great industry. Finally learn from your mistakes and use the experience of your mentors to push you on to the next level.

 

 

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Creating The Perfect Home Office

Home office

If you work from home you’ll want to create an environment that is both comfortable and inspiring. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) there are now over four million people in UK who work from home; this is a figure that is ever increasing. Working from home comes with many advantages but one of the disadvantages is the numerous distractions and not having the right workspace. Here are some of the best tips and advice we have found to help you make the most of working from home.

Ideally you want to have your work space separate to living and sleeping areas of your home. This can help you to be more productive and separate work and home life.

Décor

As you will be spending a lot of time in your home office the décor and colour scheme is important. The colours and themes you choose may depend on the work you do or how you want to feel.  

If you want to step away from the traditional office colours of cream and white, get imaginative and use colours that ignite emotions - these could be happy orange and calming greens. We would recommend that don’t choose dark colours as this will make the room feel small.

Take a look at Dulex’s home office inspiration – where you can discover decorating trends, stunning room sets and surprising colour combinations.

Desk and Chair

Picking the right chair will be the most important purchase you make for your home office. Choose a chair with an adjustable seat and armrests to protect your spine and help reduce aches and injuries. A supportive chair can also help your productivity and improve posture.

As the central point of your home office it is key to choose the right desk for your needs and that fits with the theme of the room. Styles you could go for including everything from classic wood to modern glass. Also keep in mind the shape and size of the room, for example you could maximise your space with a corner desk.

Lighting

The source and amount of light you need to let into your home office will depend on the work you do. For example if your work requires you to be working off paper, then most likely you will need natural light to flood in. Alternatively if you work off a technology such as an IPad or laptop natural light can cause an unwanted glare.

It can take a while to figure out the right lighting so don’t be afraid to play about with it until you get it right.  

Blinds

Some people can find natural light and glare intense and distracting although shutting it out all day with black out blinds is not a desirable alternative. Instead opt for some cool sheer curtains, plantation shutters, roman shades and simple blinds can also ensure that you only have as much natural light as you need.

Another option would be buy a tall indoor plant which could be placed next to the window and will cut back on the glare while giving the room a sense of natural freshness. Research has shown that there are many benefits to having plants in your work space. The benefits include reduced stress and sickness, increase in productivity and creativity, create a better environment to work in and they provide cleaner air.

Storage

Having sufficient storage in your home office is important as it will help you to keep your work organised and on top of your tasks. Also keep your desk clutter free to create a more productive work space. Take a look at Better Homes and Garden’s storage ideas

Accessories

Now you have the basics it’s time to inject some personality. Make a list of everything you need, from pencils and paper clips to research materials. Measure all the electronic equipment you’ll require to see where it will fit best.

Having something pleasant to look at other than your computer screen is a must. Nature themed wall art is often considered to help increase productivity.

Use accessories to motivate and inspire you – display achievements and goals, as these will help you to keep focused and driven.

We hope our advice will help you to create the perfect environment to work in. Let us know what you have done to your home office?

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Show Home Style Stealer – Quercus Green

Showhome stealer

We get a lot of comments and enquires about the interior design of our show homes, which has led to our new blog series, Show Home Style Stealer. Each blog will focus on one particular show home and the ideas behind it.

Every Miller show home is truly quite unique. The process starts from a dedicated brief which is set well before the first brick goes into the ground.

To kick start this new blog series we’ve focused on our Quercus Green show home, which is on one of our developments in Harrogate, in the Yorkshire region.  

Our regional interior design, Jeanette Holmes, talks us through her process and items she picked for this show home. Many were created from her own interiors range, Interiors by JH, but similar products can also be found at stores such as Casafine, Oka, Homesense, TKMaxx, Next or John Lewis.

Jeanette explains: “The Area Sales Manager for Yorkshire and I sat down with a cuppa and from one little Emma Bridgewater teapot the interior design started to come to life…

“Imagine a country loving couple with two kids at a local school, who enjoy long walks in the lovely leafy market town of Knaresborough… and that's where the story started.

“Also, around the time we were coming up with inspiration for the show home the Tour de France had just started in Yorkshire which played an enormous part of the design scheme for the second bedroom.”

Lounge

The lounge has a luxurious yet homely feel. The bespoke seating arrangement was designed exclusively by Interiors by JH and is available in any size and choice of fabric. The fabric used for the sofa for this combination was from the Warwick Bronte Collection. The Chester sofa from Oka is similar. The Albany Console table and the Oval Brindleigh distressed wall mirror are both from Interiors by JH, but you can also find something similar on Casafina’s website. Large clocks are a feature throughout this show home. Old town wall clock is another item from Interiors by JH - Joss & Main and Casafina.com have a similar clock. The other accessories in the show home lounge were purchased from Homesense, TKMaxx, Next or John Lewis

The wallpaper selected for the lounge is from BN Wall Covering’s Elements range. We picked the Royal Wood design for the feature wall (product number: 46523). The other wall paper we used was plain contrast (product number: 46556). These particular designs are approximately £28 per roll.

Kitchen/Dining

The Valente Dining Table and six Lauryn Chairs are from JH Interiors, Oka, Marks and Spencers  and John Lewis offer similar styles. The Plantation Shutters in the show home fit in with the overall theme and are a home décor trend this year. We bought them from Custom West finished in Sail White, available through Wendy's Carpets and Curtains.

Outdoors

The outdoor seating was supplied by Lakeside Furniture Direct. The outdoor stone wall clock is from Interiors by JH or you can find similar at notonthehighstreet.com, The Range or TK Maxx.

Master Bedroom

We wanted a relaxing, restful theme in the master bedroom. To create this we choose neutral tones. The bed is from DBL Antionette Bed also from Loaf.com with bedsides available from JH Interiors, however you can find similar on Achica.com or Casafina.com. The luxury hotel style bedding, which again is very on trend, is available from the Dorma Collection, exclusively for Dunhelm Mill. The fabric used for curtains and contrast cushions is from a collection by Clarke & Clarke called Medina in Pebble from Global Luxe Collection. The wall emulsion for master bedroom is Oak Apple by Fired Earth teamed with a custom made wall transfer purchased from eBay.

Bedroom Two

The Cycle themed bedroom has wallpaper from Andrew Martin Engineer Collection called Atlantis in Cement available from Andrew Martin wall coverings. This is teamed with The Smoke Upholstered Bed from Loaf.com, with matching MIMI Bedsides, also available from Loaf.com. The cushions are from Amara, with some cycling inspired cushions from eBay and Amazon.

We hope with the expert advice from our interior designer you have been inspired to bring a little of our showhome into your home and picked up some tips on how you can personalise your home with some brilliant bespoke pieces but also get some great alternatives on the high street or online! 

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Apps to Help You Organise Your Home Life

apps

We have been looking into the best apps to help you with life around the home. From DIY to gardening and eating out to finances; you won’t need to ask for help again! Here are our favourite apps that can make home life easier and more organised.

DIY

Instructables: This app lets you explore projects, get inspired and shows you useful ‘how-tos’ and hacks. With over 100,000 tutorials we’re sure this app will help with all your DIY needs. Price: Free

Clinometer: Turn your smartphone into a spirit level. You just hold your phone on the surface or object you need to check and the app will tell you the vertical, horizontal or diagonal tilt. Price: £1.99

Paint Tester: with so many colours you can pick for your home, this app lets you try before you buy. You take a photo of a room and virtually paint the walls with any colour you want. Price: Free

Rooms Planner LE Homes Design: If you’re furnishing several rooms having an on-the-go floor plan can be very helpful. This app lets you lay everything out and is easy to use. Price: Free

Home Décor

Sewing Guide: If you’ve read our Create Your Own blog and now want to give it a go; this guide will provide you with the need to know info. Price: £0.79p

Houzz: Is known as the Wikipedia of interior and exterior design. It’s a giant database of ideas for you to use as inspiration for your own home. Houzz also helps you to find local professionals to turn your dream interiors into reality. Price: Free

IKEA catalogue: If you need to stock up on lots of things for your new home the IKEA app is a great place to start. This app includes videos and pictures showing a variety of styles and colours. You can also see how items from the catalogue would look in your home, share ideas with friends and scan pages in the printed catalogue to download even more ideas and info. Price: Free

Garden

RHS Grow Your Own: Is filled with expert advice on growing lots of vegetables and fruits. This app also allows you to buy additional content bundles. Price: Free

Garden Bugs: If you have been hard at work in your garden you’ll want to protect it from the pests and diseases that attack your plants. Garden Bugs provide advice on every garden pest from slugs and bugs to fungal infections and blackspot. Price: £0.79p

Gardenate: If you are a green fingered beginner and want to grow your own veg, then Gardenate is the app for you. It has a long list of vegetables and fruit, giving detailed instructions for cultivating, tips on using them in the kitchen and a monthly calendar to tell you what to do and when. Price: £0.79p

Eating in and out

Mary Berry Bakes: This app is host to over 60 of Mary’s cakes, biscuits and buns, plus some general baking tips. You can transfer Mary’s ingredients to an in-built shopping list, so there’s no danger of forgetting anything, and there’s a built-in timer, too. Apple Price: £3.99

Jamie’s 20 Minute Meals: has lots of easy-to-follow recipes for quick-to-cook food. Additionally this app also has Jamie’s handy video guides to basic kitchen techniques, from slicing an onion to cooking the perfect steak. Price: £4.99

Urbanspoon: is great if you’re looking for restaurants and eateries to try in your local area. Search for eateries by cooking style, price and time of day, check out the newest or most highly rated places, or use the Slot Machine function: shake your phone and let the app choose somewhere for you to go to eat. Price: Free

Organise

Online banking: the majority of banks now have online banking service/app making it ever more convenient to keep a track of your money. Price: Free

HMRC: Calculate how much tax and national insurance you should be paying with this app from the people you’re paying them to: HM Revenue & Customs. The app has information about various benefits and tax credits and access to HMRC forms. Price: Free

Local Councils – A lot of local councils across the UK now have an app, where you can find out information such as bin collections, local services and schools.

Evernote: Can be used to store just about everything including, meeting notes, interviews, transcriptions, business cards, spoken notes, recipes and even pictures. It also lets you store all your notes in the cloud and access them from any device. Price: Free

You can plan a meal to decorating all at the touch of a few apps! We’d like to know what apps you use around the home?

Image by Karlis Dambrans and licensed via Creative Commons 

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