• All Properties listed with John Minnis available to view via Propertynews
    Posted on 15 March 2024

    All Properties listed with John Minnis available to view via Propertynews

    All listed properties across John Minnis Estate Agents' five branch network are available to view at www.propertynews.com 

    Our experienced staff at our Holywood, Bangor, Donaghadee, East Belfast and Comber offices are on hand to help you find your dream home! 



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  • RBAI triumph over Banbridge Academy in John Minnis Burney Cup Final
    Posted on 15 March 2024

    RBAI triumph over Banbridge Academy in John Minnis Burney Cup Final

    Following a thrilling match, Royal Belfast Academical Institution has been crowned champion of the 2024 John Minnis Burney Cup with a 2-1 win over Banbridge Academy.

    Two goals from Man of the Match John Cunningham proved to be decisive despite a late goal from Banbridge’s Adam McKee.

    Sponsored by leading local estate agent, John Minnis Estate Agents, the Burney Cup is an annual competition which sees the strongest schools affiliated to the Ulster Branch of the Irish Hockey Association participate during the spring term of the school year.

    Speaking following the final, John Minnis, Company Director at John Minnis Estate Agents commented:

    “As a local business, John Minnis Estate Agents is committed to lending its support to community initiatives, and as sponsor of the Burney Cup, is thrilled to play its part in promoting sport, fitness, and friendly competition.

    “The John Minnis Burney Cup is always a hugely enjoyable event, and it is fantastic that the 2024 final has mirrored the success of previous years.

    “We would like to congratulate the Royal Belfast Academical Institution team on its win and Banbridge Academy on a superb effort – we’re already looking forward to next year!”

    John Minnis Estate Agents has an expansive portfolio of properties across its five offices in North Down and Belfast, specialising in property services including valuations, land sales, residential lettings, and financial advice.
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  • Tips for Renting in Belfast
    Posted on 13 March 2024

    Tips for Renting in Belfast

    Renting in Belfast

    Renting a property in Belfast can be a daunting task, especially if you are new to the city or the rental market.

    However, with the right knowledge and preparation, finding the perfect rental in the city can be a smooth and stress-free process.

    Here are some tips from the John Minnis team to help you navigate the rental market in Belfast:

    Start Your Search Early

    It's important to start your search for a rental property in Belfast as early as possible.

    Rental properties are in particularly high demand across the city at the moment, especially in popular areas near the city centre and university campuses, so being proactive and starting your search early will give you a better chance of finding the perfect property for your needs.

    Set a Budget

    Before you start looking for rental properties, it's important to determine your budget. Some key considerations to think about when budgeting for a rental property are:
    • What percentage of my monthly income will I pay in rent?
    • How much are Gas & electricity bills going to cost on average?
    • Are rates included in the monthly rental payment?
    • How much will I need to spend on travel each month?
    • Can I afford the first month's rent and security deposit up front?
    This will help you narrow down your search and ensure you are only looking at properties that you can afford - don't be afraid to ask landlords what these costs typically come to.

    Research Different Areas

    Belfast is a diverse city with a range of neighbourhoods, each offering its own unique character and things to do.

    Before you start your search for a rental property, take the time to research different areas of the city to find the one that best suits your lifestyle and needs.

    Consider factors such as how close you will be to your place of work or study, things to do in the area, and public transport links.


    Be Realistic

    Getting a rental property in Belfast should be a quick process, but delays can happen.

    Consider temporary accommodation options like AirBnB or hotels if you don't already live near the city.

    Being flexible and proactive in exploring different living arrangements can help ease stress and make the renting process smoother.

    It's important to be realistic and prepared as sometimes the process can get stalled or the property can be snatched up by another tenant.

    Areas Outside of Belfast

    Living in places around Northern Ireland outside of Belfast, such as Dundonald, Holywood, or Bangor, can offer rental opportunities that are both cheaper and surrounded by natural beauty.

    These areas provide a peaceful retreat from the bustling city life of Belfast, with stunning coastal views, quaint villages, and lush green landscapes.

    The charm and affordability of rentals in these areas make them attractive options. However, potential tenants should carefully consider transport options when considering these areas, as they may require a longer commute to and from Belfast city centre.

    Be Prepared for Viewings

    When you find a rental property that interests you, be prepared for viewings. Bring along any necessary documents such as proof of income, references, and identification, as well as a list of questions you may have for the landlord or letting agent.

    This will show that you are serious about the property and help you make an informed decision.

    By following these tips, you can navigate the rental market in Belfast with confidence and find the perfect place to call home. Good luck with your search!


    What's Next?

    Are you interested in a rental property in Belfast? Contact the John Minnis team to speak to an expert lettings agent who can help you on your journey.
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  • Northern Ireland property prices increase by 4.2% but is still 'the most affordable UK region'
    Posted on 1 February 2024

    Northern Ireland property prices increase by 4.2% but is still 'the most affordable UK region'

    Latest statistics published by Nationwide and PropertyPal, have revealed that in contrast to most UK regions, average house prices across Northern Ireland rose once again throughout the last quarter of 2023.

    Northern Ireland property prices increased by 4.2% throughout the year, to an average figure of £203,100.

    However, despite this increase, it still remains the most affordable region for buyers with average prices across the UK recorded as approximately £55,000 higher.

    Commenting on the data, John Minnis, company director at leading Northern Ireland estate agent, John Minnis Estate Agents, said: "Northern Ireland witnessed a steady increase in property prices during 2023, a trend which was somewhat surprising given the challenging economic conditions seen in the opening half of the year.

    “It is very encouraging that the property market finished strongly in 2023 and has started 2024 on a positive note. We have witnessed sustained demand throughout January across our five-branch network in Northern Ireland, as buyers appear more confident, most likely spurred on by a reduction in mortgage rates.

    “The gradual improvement in inflation levels has encouraged competitiveness amongst mortgage lenders, something which we expect will result in a more active market in 2024.

    “We have seen a recent uplift as vendors hope to benefit from improving market sentiment, and we are pleased to report that interest in high-quality properties remains strong, with the majority of properties listed with John Minnis continuing to sell at or above asking price.

    “Although an increase in average prices may raise concerns about affordability, it is important to note that Northern Ireland maintains its position as the most affordable UK region for residential property purchases.

    “This is good news, not only for those hoping to invest in property, but also for current owners seeking to maximise their return on investment.

    "For those looking to buy or sell property, engaging with a trusted estate agent should be the number one priority. At John Minnis, our experienced team is always on hand to provide expert advice and support to facilitate seamless property transactions."
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  • Spotlight On... East Belfast Restaurants
    Posted on 22 January 2024

    Spotlight On... East Belfast Restaurants

    Across the city of Belfast, there is a wide range of the finest eateries. In this month's Spotlight On, we will be focusing on the best restaurants that you can find in the east of the city.

    From Ballyhackamore to Belmont Village, Upper Newtownards Road to Strandtown, you can expect local culinary delights, as well as some of the best cuisine from around the world.

    We will take you through a selection of our favourite places to go and eat in this part of the city, which we think just adds to why Northern Ireland is the best place to live in the world.

    1. Neill's Hill Brasserie

    An image of Neills Hill Brasserie.
    Since its opening over 25 years ago, Neill's Hill has been at the heart of the neighbourhood on Upper Newtownards Road.

    A great place for both a special evening and a family gathering, it offers a traditional carvery on Sundays or Tapas evenings in the late spring and summer months.

    2. Graze

    An image of inside Graze restaurant
    Another on the Upper Newtownards Road, Graze opened its doors in 2013 and hasn't looked back due to the vision of the proud owner

    With fresh produce is delivered every morning from their vendors, the local community has supported them from the start.

    A warm place for anyone looking for a great experience.

    3. Oliver's At Knock Restaurant

    An image of outside Olivers restaurant
    A great way to start your weekend is with Oliver’s bottomless brunch.

    A casual dining experience done professionally it has a well-balanced menu and friendly staff, making it the perfect place for your friendship group or date night.

    4. Il Pirata

    An image of inside Il Pirata restaurant
    A rustic Italian restaurant, Il Piratas' life began in 2011, creating and serving traditional dishes skillfully prepared using the best local produce.  

    The food is served in a relaxed licensed neighbourhood restaurant.

    5. Horatio Todds

    An image of outside Horatio Todds restaurant
    Expect European cuisine with modern and global twists.

    At Horatio Todd’s you can also expect a fine range of cocktails from around the world in a comfortable, glass-fronted space.

    6. General Merchants

    An image of inside General Merchants restaurant
    Brunches at General Merchants East Belfast are renowned across the city.

    The extensive menu of culinary delights includes the famous Benny, or keep it simple with an avocado breakfast with perfectly poached eggs.

    7. Cyprus Avenue

    An image of outside Cyprus Avenue restaurant
    Having opened its doors in 2016 and has expanded since then, Cyprus Avenue is a restaurant on Upper Newtownards Road.

    A seasonal changing menu for you to always have something new to try which is often inspired by staff who have drawn from their travels and influences to create the menu.

    With a fully covered heated terrace, you can enjoy your meal outside late into the night.

    8. Kamakura East Sushi and Ramen Restaurant

    An image of inside Kamukura restaurant
    Kamakura Sushi and Ramen Restaurant aims to give every food lover a real Japanese experience.

    Located at 69 Donegall Pass, Kamakura uses the best local suppliers for fresh vegetables and whole fish.

    Their main chef has 35 years experience of in making mouth-watering sushi and sashimi.

    Striking murals of the restaurant create a welcoming feeling, and you can relax to the delicate soundtrack of soft piano and ocean waves crashing on the shore.

    9. Stix and Stones

    An image of inside Stix and Stones restaurant
    Providing diners with a delicious selection of local steak and seafood, Stix and Stones offer the unique experience of being able to cook steaks on hot stones in beautiful surroundings.

    All steaks are dry-aged to ensure only the finest taste.

    10. Bistro Este

    An image of outside Bistro Este restaurant
    This family-run restaurant in Ballyhackamore Village serves locally sourced, freshly prepared food.

    As well as an extensive menu, you can also enjoy a fine drinking experience with a wide range of different wine and cocktail list plus local craft beers.
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  • How to Invest in Property in 2024
    Posted on 10 January 2024

    How to Invest in Property in 2024

    Why Invest In Property?


    Now is the perfect time to invest in property in the UK. With property prices in many cities still low, property portfolios are a great way to diversify and begin capitalising on the property market for 2024. Choosing the right area for property investing brings a wealth of opportunities, which depend on personal preference, budget and expectations.

    Whether you're looking for rental investment or want to resell for large profits, there's something out there for everyone. No matter what approach you take, it always pays to research relevant property markets thoroughly before committing financially.
    Investing in property is an excellent idea and with some help from knowledgeable professionals, it can help you start building your financial future in 2024.

    Take A Look At Your Finance Options


    2024 presents a variety of financial options for investing in property, ranging from traditional methods to more innovative and flexible ways. For those who choose to use more traditional financial products such as a mortgage, it is always advisable to seek financial advice from professional mortgage brokers who can help you find the most suitable mortgage deal relative to your financial situation.

    However, it is important not to forget about the upfront costs associated with securing a mortgage, such as a solicitor and surveyor fees, stamp duty and surveys. With some financial planning and clever budgeting it is still possible to invest in property during 2024 - even if you have a limited budget!

    Understanding The Risks Involved


    Renovating properties has its risks that must be taken into consideration by investors. The purchase price of a property will often reflect the condition and it is important for investors to accurately assess the cost of renovations before purchase.

    This estimate should include labour costs, materials, energy savings and management fees associated with renovating a property. Depending on how much capital growth an investor is expecting from their renovated property, these costs can quickly add up to more than expected.

    Investors need to have a thorough understanding of their investment portfolio when looking to purchase renovations and be aware of potential pitfalls before they purchase new property.

    Investing in buy-to-let property is a popular type of investment for many property investors, but there are certain risks that should be taken into account before taking the plunge. When investing in this type of property, it's important to consider the condition of the building and its location. Unforeseen costs to restore or repair a property can really hit a buy-to-let investor hard, both financially and emotionally.

    It's also important to factor in potential issues such as tenant turnover and rental voids when calculating how profitable an investment will be. Furthermore, if renting out buy-to-let properties, you'll need to weigh up the pros and cons of managing rental finances yourself versus hiring an agent to help you handle tenant relations. Overall, investing in buy-to-let properties has its advantages but also comes with inherent financial risks that must be carefully considered before making any commitments.

    Research Various Options For Property Investment

    2024 presents a variety of financial options for investing in property, ranging from traditional methods to more innovative and flexible ways. For those who choose to use more traditional financial products such as a mortgage, it is always advisable to seek financial advice from professional mortgage brokers who can help you find the most suitable mortgage deal relative to your financial situation.

    However, it is important not to forget about the upfront costs associated with securing a mortgage, such as solicitor and surveyor fees, stamp duty and surveys. With some financial planning and clever budgeting it is still possible to invest in property during 2024 - even if you have a limited budget!

    Property Development

    One popular route is buying properties at auction and refurbishing them or subdividing them into smaller units in order to increase their value. But remember: auctions require quick action - funds must be available immediately in order for the sale to go through. Luckily, bridging loans offer a speedy solution when it comes to financing; although they tend to be more costly than other forms of finance, refinancing after purchase can reduce costs significantly down the line.

    It is crucial to negotiate the purchase price when buying an investment property to gain the maximum return on your investment. If you are looking to refurbish a property and re-sell it once the works have been completed, buying it for the lowest price possible will help to ensure that you make a profit on the investment.

    There can also be a lot of hidden costs involved with buying an investment property. Carry out surveys on the property before you complete the purchase to help to make sure you know exactly what you are investing in, and it helps to eliminate any nasty surprises!

    Investing In Buy-To-Let


    Are you considering investing in property and becoming a landlord?

    Getting your finances organised is the first step - speak to both a financial adviser and mortgage broker so that when you find your ideal investment, you’re ready to go. Generally, you will need a minimum of 25% deposit to buy a rental property. This will need to be factored in, along with other costs such as stamp duty, mortgage fees, solicitors costs and survey fees.

    Then comes finding tenants; an agency could provide hassle-free assistance or if preferred, look around privately for suitable candidates. In addition, insurance should be taken out during this stage: buildings as well as policies protecting against possible injury to renters, accidental damage etc.

    Owning a buy-to-let property will provide you with a steady stream of rental income, and it can be low maintenance if you use a letting agent or an estate agent to manage the property. However, be aware that you will need to account for periods of time that the property is left empty and upkeep costs.

    If you are borrowing money, the lender will also want to ensure that the investment is a viable one. Do your market research and check the supply and demand for the area, along with the projected rental income measured against what the mortgage payments will be on the property.

    Then there is the decision of whether to invest in commercial properties or if you would rather buy a residential property instead. Buying a residential property is usually the preferred choice for new landlords, as it is an area they are more familiar with. After all, most people are aware of the costs involved in running a home.

    However, don't overlook buying a commercial property, you can ask for a longer tenancy, larger deposits and the tenant to cover upkeep costs. Depending on the area and type of property, it can be a very lucrative investment.

    Investing In Property Overseas


    For investors looking for potential profits from overseas, UK property may not be the only option. Buying a holiday home in another country can offer multiple benefits - you have a getaway of your own to enjoy while simultaneously providing an income stream by renting it out on platforms such as Airbnb. And should fortunate market conditions arise, selling could result in netting even more profit than when originally purchased!

    Some things to consider when buying a property overseas are:

    • How long will it take to travel there?
    • Is it close to transport links and the airport?
    • Are the local amenities good? Think about what shops, restaurants and bars there are in the area.
    • What type of rental will this be?
    • Is this a popular location with holidaymakers?
    • How long is the tourist season? Consider how long the property will be sitting empty for.

    It is worth seeking professional advice before purchasing abroad if you are not familiar with the area and market there. But, if you love to holiday in that region yourself, it could be a good way to make extra income from the property if you're not using the property yourself at that time.

    Steps To Better Investing


    Now you have a clear idea of what type of area you might like to invest in, it's time to think about how to become a better investor. This will help to eliminate many of the risks that come with property investment, and will help to protect you and your finances.

    Research The Market

    An image of two people shaking hands
    Before investing in a new area, it's important to do some research. Analyse the local job market and population profile. Understand which employers are present locally, as well as how available rental space is by industry classification for commercial properties - this will help you understand the strength of potential returns on your investment when comparing rental income with yields calculated from any necessary mortgages.

    If you are renovating a property, take a look at the demand in that area and what the average house price is for that type of home in that area. Then, take into account the fees and costs involved and the timescale that it will take you to complete the work. After these calculations, will the investment still be worth it? If yes, arrange a viewing, but if the answer is no you may want to continue looking or consider it as a rental property instead.

    Negotiate The Lowest Price

    Have you ever heard the saying, "you make money when you buy, not when you sell"? Well, it's true.

    This saying applies to investors who are financially savvy and take property values into account while formulating a property investment strategy. By buying property at a good price and carefully managing its value, property owners can expect to generate a healthy return when they eventually resell the property.

    It is important to remember that the purchase price is the main factor that influences profit later on, so it is crucial to know what you're doing before taking the plunge into property development.

    It is also the one thing that you can control now. Yes, property prices may have risen by the time you come to sell and the property market is looking strong, but that could easily not be the case and you have to prepare for that.

    Exit Strategy


    Property investing can be a great way to increase your wealth, but it always pays to have an exit strategy in mind. Should you find yourself needing liquidity or wanting to diversify investments, options could include selling the property on the market or at auction (with capital gains tax likely applicable), refinancing across all of your holdings, or some combination thereof.

    Planning is key for any successful property investment!

    What's Next?

    For more investment tips, check out our ultimate guide to investing in Northern Ireland. Or why not take a look at some of the properties for sale at the moment? You may find your next investment property sooner than you think!
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  • Emma McNeill joins director team at John Minnis Estate Agents
    Posted on 4 December 2023

    Emma McNeill joins director team at John Minnis Estate Agents

    Leading Northern Ireland estate agent John Minnis has announced the appointment of Emma McNeill to its esteemed Director team.

    Emma's journey at John Minnis Estate Agents began in 2016 when she joined as an Office Coordinator, and having demonstrated exceptional skills and commitment, she advanced to the role of Valuer in 2018.

    Her ability to excel in challenging roles resulted in a well-deserved promotion to the position of Branch Manager at John Minnis’ Holywood branch in 2019.

    Emma’s leadership in this position further underscored her capability to navigate and thrive in the dynamic Northern Ireland real estate landscape.

    Emma commented:

    “I am thrilled to join the Director team at John Minnis and to take the next step in my career as part of company from which I have gained so much.

    “Working in collaboration with the wider John Minnis team for the past seven years has allowed me to grow professionally as part of a dynamic business, and I am excited to embrace this new challenge.

    “I am very much looking forward to continuing to contribute to the growth of John Minnis Estate Agents and maintaining the high standards of service that we are known for.”

    John Minnis Estate Agents was established in 2005 and currently operates branches in Bangor, Belfast, Comber, Donaghadee, and Holywood, offering a comprehensive range of services for both buyers and sellers.

    The company is also the exclusive Guild of Property Professionals Member for the areas in which it operates.

    John Minnis, Founder and Company Director at John Minnis Estate Agents, added:

    "Emma has been an invaluable asset to our business since first joining the team in 2016 and her new position as Director reflects her outstanding performance and a commitment to excellence.

    “We are delighted to congratulate Emma on her promotion to Director, testament to our commitment to recognising and nurturing talent from within.

    “Emma's wealth of experience, industry knowledge, and proven leadership set her apart in the industry, and I have no doubt that she will play a key role in shaping the future of John Minnis Estate Agents.”

    John Minnis Estate Agents is a team of over 30 knowledgeable specialists working to deliver excellent customer service while challenging tradition to improve the way in which the industry operates.
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  • Spotlight On... The Best Cafes in South Belfast
    Posted on 28 November 2023

    Spotlight On... The Best Cafes in South Belfast

    Ormeau Road starts with a collection of roads in the City Centre and cuts southwards across the Lagon and through the residential suburb of Ormeau itself.

    With many commuters, pedestrians and vehicles using this as a route to the City Centre, as well as a diverse range of properties in the surrounding areas, this has resulted in the fantastic range of cafes in their area.

    In this article, we will pick out a few of our favourites and shine a spotlight on the local businesses that are the beating heart of our local communities. One thing is certain, for coffee lovers Ormeau Road's cafe scene is definitely worth exploring.

    General Merchants


    An image of inside General Merchants restaurant
    Nestled at 361 Ormeau Road, General Merchants is a beloved neighbourhood cafe, renowned for its exceptional coffee and Antipodean-inspired brunches. The cafe exudes a warm, inviting atmosphere, making it a perfect spot for both leisurely mornings and bustling afternoons.

    The commitment to quality is evident in every cup of coffee and meticulously prepared dish, offering a taste of the Southern Hemisphere in Belfast.

    First Avenue Coffee


    First Avenue Coffee stands out with the promise of serving the finest and freshest coffee in Belfast. A hub for coffee aficionados, this cafe prides itself on its vibrant atmosphere and exceptional food offerings and creating a welcoming space for all who step through its doors.

    Located on Ormeau Road and Stranmillis, it's a perfect stop for a morning pick-me-up or a leisurely afternoon break.

    Kaffe O


    An image of outside Kaffe-O coffee shop
    Inspired by the coffee culture of Copenhagen, Kaffe O brings a slice of Nordic charm to Belfast. This cafe is more than just a coffee shop; it's a cultural experience, offering double shots of hand-roasted coffee and an array of Nordic-inspired fare like Brøds, soups, and salads.

    The minimalistic decor and focus on quality espresso make it a haven for coffee lovers and those seeking a taste of Scandinavia.

    Shed Belfast Bistro


    An image of inside Shed Belfast Bistro restaurant
    Since its opening in 2012 at Ormeau Road, Shed Belfast Bistro has been a culinary landmark, known for its unique dining experience. Run by Jonny and Christina Taylor since 2018, features an open kitchen concept, allowing diners to engage with the cooking process.

    Offering award-winning cuisine and the thrill of watching your meal being prepared to make Shed an unforgettable dining experience.

    387 Ormeau Road


    An image of outside Ormeau Road cafe
    This vegan cafe and shop provides a health-conscious and ethical dining option on Ormeau Road. Embracing vegetarian and vegan diets, the cafe serves a variety of meals suitable for breakfast, lunch, and brunch.

    It's not just a place to eat but a community hub that promotes sustainable and compassionate eating choices, all within a cosy and inviting environment.

    Canteen


    An image of outside Canteen cafe
    Canteen, at 322 Ormeau Road, is a culinary delight, offering a range of mouth-watering breakfast and brunch dishes. Known for its scrumptious poached eggs, pork, sausages, and brioches, the cafe also boasts an impressive latte selection.

    The welcoming staff and great service enhance the dining experience, making Canteen a must-visit for those seeking a hearty and satisfying meal in Belfast.

    LWR Ormeau Cafe & Guest House


    An image of outside LWR Ormeau Cafe and Guest House
    This establishment, located at 144-146 Ormeau Road, doubles as a cafe and guest house. It's known for its traditional approach to food, offering a variety of fresh, hand-selected ingredients that come together in its delicious breakfast, brunch, and lunch offerings.

    The cafe provides a warm, friendly setting that complements its tasty and nourishing meals, making it an ideal spot for both locals and travellers.
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  • Avoiding Interior Design Pitfalls: A Guide to Preserving Property Value
    Posted on 22 November 2023

    Avoiding Interior Design Pitfalls: A Guide to Preserving Property Value

    Everybody wants to make the place where they live to feel personal and tailored to them. Design is a way of expressing oneself, and as a result, this can often mirror your interests and personality.

    But when it comes to the time to try and sell your house, could your house design actually be holding back interest from prospective buyers?

    In this article, we will look at the common design pitfalls to avoid or rectify to improve your chances of a swift and successful sale.

    An image of a cluttered room

    Over Personalisation & Trend-Chasing

    Your home is a reflection of your taste and style, but when it comes to preserving property value through interior design, it's crucial to strike a balance between personalisation and broad appeal.

    One of the common pitfalls homeowners face is over-personalisation, where the design becomes so personalised that it limits the potential pool of buyers. This doesn’t mean that you should completely remove all evidence of you living there and make your home completely sanitised.

    It just means if you have any intensely personal touches like excessive family photographs, niche hobby collections or overt colour schemes that may not resonate with others, then it may be worth removing.

    With similar trends, this can be risky as design trends may come and go. Whilst it may be tempting to do so, things can change quickly for example, be extremely popular one day and look dated the next.

    Potential buyers may see trendy-looking rooms as additional work to rectify, which would come as an additional expense, affecting their perceived value of the home.

    Three Key Tips for Achieving Timeless Appeal:

    1. Neutral Foundations: Start with neutral foundations for significant elements like walls and furniture. This provides a timeless backdrop that can easily adapt to different styles.

    2. Selective Personalisation: Instead of saturating the entire space with personal items, choose specific areas to showcase your personality. This allows buyers to envision their own style within the home.

    3. Classic Elements: Integrate classic design elements that have enduring appeal. Timeless pieces of furniture and decor can add sophistication without yielding to fleeting trends.


      An image of a clean and tidy bathroom

    Neglecting Functionality for Style

    In the pursuit of creating visually stunning interiors, it is easy to fall into the trap of neglecting functionality. A home that prioritises style over practicality can lead to frustration for its occupants and potentially decrease its overall value.

    Stylish furnishings and decor can undoubtedly elevate the visual appeal of a home. However, when these elements compromise the functionality of a space, the allure can quickly fade.

    Imagine a beautifully laid-out living room with uncomfortable furniture, impractical layouts, or insufficient storage. While on the surface it may look impressive, the lack of functionality can make daily living frustrating.

    A well-designed home seamlessly integrates style and functionality. It's not an either-or scenario but a delicate balance that ensures each room serves its purpose while still being aesthetically pleasing.

    Homebuyers, especially those with families or specific lifestyle needs, prioritise spaces that are not only visually appealing but also practical and adaptable to their daily routines.

    Four Tips to Avoid Functionality Pitfalls

    1. Space Planning: Prioritise efficient space planning that allows for comfortable movement and usability. Avoid overcrowding rooms with too much furniture or decor.

    2. Comfortable Furnishings: Invest in furniture that not only looks good but is also comfortable and functional. Balance style with ergonomics to create inviting and comfortable spaces.

    3. Storage Solutions: Adequate storage is key to maintaining a clutter-free environment. Choose furniture that doubles as storage and consider built-in solutions to maximise space.

    4. Traffic Flow: Arrange furniture to facilitate smooth traffic flow through rooms. Ensure that pathways are clear and unobstructed, promoting both safety and convenience.

    Ignoring Lighting and Ventilation


    An image of a clean and tidy living room

    Often underestimated, yet still crucial elements of design, lighting and ventilation. Overlooking these aspects can not only diminish the comfort of your living spaces but also have a significant impact on the perceived value of your home.

    Let's shed light on why proper lighting and ventilation should never be ignored in your design considerations. Lighting is a powerful tool that can transform the ambiance of a room.

    Insufficient or poorly planned lighting can make spaces feel cramped, dull, or unwelcoming. On the flip side, thoughtful lighting design enhances the aesthetic appeal and functionality of a home.

    Three common lighting pitfalls:

    1. Insufficient Natural Light: Neglecting to maximise natural light can make spaces feel smaller and less inviting. Consider ways to amplify natural light, such as using sheer curtains or strategically placing mirrors to reflect light.

    2. Over-Reliance on Harsh Lighting: Harsh, overly bright lighting can create a stark and uncomfortable atmosphere. Opt for a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting to create layers and evoke a balanced, cosy feel.

    3. Ignoring Room-Specific Needs: Different rooms have varying lighting requirements. For instance, kitchens benefit from bright task lighting, while bedrooms may benefit from softer, more subdued lighting.
    A well-ventilated home is synonymous with a healthy and comfortable living environment. Poor ventilation can lead to issues such as stale air, moisture buildup, and even potential health hazards.

    Proper airflow not only enhances comfort but also contributes to the longevity of your property.

    Three Common Ventilation Pitfalls:

    1. Inadequate Ventilation in Bathrooms and Kitchens: These areas are prone to moisture buildup. Install proper ventilation systems like exhaust fans to prevent issues such as mould and mildew.

    2. Blocking Natural Ventilation Paths: Ensure that windows and doors should not be obstructed, therefore allowing for natural cross-ventilation. This simple yet effective method can improve air circulation throughout the home.

    3. Ignoring Outdoor Spaces: Overlooking the connection between indoor and outdoor spaces can impact ventilation. Consider incorporating features like windows that open to outdoor areas or using landscaping to promote airflow.

    Lack of Cohesion Throughout the Home

    A common design pitfall that can impact the overall harmony and appeal of your home is the lack of cohesion from room to room. When each space feels disjointed, it diminishes the flow and can leave occupants and potential buyers feeling disconnected.

    A home without a cohesive design can create a sense of chaos and visual clutter. It may feel like a collection of individual rooms rather than a unified living environment. This lack of continuity can make it challenging for prospective buyers to envision the home as a cohesive and harmonious living space.

    Common causes of cluttered design include mismatched and abrupt styles as you go from room to room, inconsistent colour schemes throughout different areas of the house and neglecting these transition spaces, which can often be overlooked.

    Cohesion is about creating a sense of continuity and unity throughout your home. When each room complements the next, it fosters a seamless transition from one space to another, enhancing the overall living experience.

    Three Key Tips for Creating a Cohesive Flow From Room to Room

    1. Consistent Colour Palette: Choose a cohesive colour palette that spans across different rooms. This doesn't mean every room has to be identical, but there should be a unifying element, whether it's a common colour or complementary shades.

    2. Transitional Elements: Incorporate transitional elements that guide the eye from one space to another. This could be a consistent flooring material, a repeating design motif, or thoughtfully placed decor that visually connects adjacent areas.

    3. Furniture Placement: Pay attention to the furniture placement in relation to the overall layout. Ensure a logical flow that allows for easy movement between rooms. Consider open sightlines and avoid obstructing pathways.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Personalisation in your home reflects your taste and style, but balance is crucial for broad appeal, especially when selling.
    • Overpersonalisation, such as excessive family photos or niche collections, can limit the pool of potential buyers.
    • Trend-chasing in design may lead to a dated look, and buyers might see trendy elements as additional work and expense.
    • Prioritise functionality alongside style to avoid frustration for occupants and potential devaluation of the property.
    • Well-designed homes seamlessly integrate style and functionality, catering to both visual appeal and practical needs.
    • Proper lighting and ventilation are often overlooked but significantly impact comfort and perceived home value.
    • Insufficient or poorly planned lighting can make spaces feel cramped, dull, or unwelcoming.
    • Proper ventilation is crucial for a healthy living environment and contributes to the longevity of your property.
    • Lack of cohesion throughout the home can impact overall harmony and appeal.
    • Cohesion is about creating continuity and unity throughout your home for a seamless living experience.
    To find more tips to improve the attractiveness of your home, visit our blog archive, where we have a range of different tips and ideas.

    Our team of experienced and knowledgeable agents are always on hand to help with any of your questions regarding any part of the house selling and buying process – to find out more get in touch with us today.
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  •  Results: North Belfast Harriers and Annadale Striders take home the gold at Bangor 10K
    Posted on 17 October 2023

    Results: North Belfast Harriers and Annadale Striders take home the gold at Bangor 10K

    Andrew Milligan (North Belfast Harriers) and Robyn McKee (Annadale Striders) won the top prizes at the 2023 John Minnis Estate Agents Bangor 10K on what was a record-breaking day for the run.

    Organised by North Down Athletic Club and Ards and North Down Borough Council, the much-anticipated NI & Ulster Championship 10k event reached new heights with John Minnis Estate Agents on board as new principal sponsor.

    Having recommenced for the first-time last year after a COVID induced break, the Bangor 10K saw almost 1000 entrants compete – a 25% increase from last year.

    In what was a very strong field of top athletes, Andrew Milligan of North Belfast Harriers won the men’s race in a time of 30 minutes and 26 seconds, with Conor Bradley of City of Derry Spartans AC finishing second ahead of Conall McClean from St Malachys AC in third.

    Robyn McKee of Annadale Striders took the honours in the women’s event, crossing the finishing line after 36 minutes 11 seconds. Dearbhla Cox, also Annadale Striders, was second, with Sarah McNutt (Lagan Valley AC) coming third.  

    Jamie Stevenson, Chairperson from North Down Athletic Club, said:

    “It was truly amazing to have such a strong participation rate at this year’s Bangor 10K having only recommenced last year following the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “The support from John Minnis Estate Agents as our new principal sponsor has been instrumental in the success of this year’s race, where we were proud to see nearly 1000 runners cross the finish line.

    “The Bangor 10k continues to attract some of the strongest athletes from across the country to compete and I would like to congratulate Andrew and Robyn on their respective victories.

    “As well as the elite runners, we also had a number of fun runners taking part, all of whom enjoyed the scenic route along the coastal promenade.”

    The 2023 Bangor 10K prize fund is in excess of £3,100.

    John Minnis, Company Director at John Minnis Estate Agents said:

    “As a dedicated supporter of local initiatives, we were thrilled to partner with North Down Athletic Club to back this exciting community event and promote positive health and well-being.

    “Bangor is widely regarded as one of Northern Ireland’s most scenic locations, and the route for the Bangor 10K – which passes directly past our Bangor branch - does not disappoint.

    “It was an incredible day for runners and spectators alike, and I would like to say a big well done to everyone that took part.

    “We’re already looking forward to next year!”

    As an exclusive member of The Guild of Property Professionals for Bangor, Holywood, Comber, Belfast and Donaghadee, John Minnis Estate Agents offers a comprehensive range of property services, including residential sales, lettings, and property management.

    For more information and the full list of results, visit www.northdownac.co.uk

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