Latest Posts

stamp dutyWhether you are a buyer or seller (or both!), the recent announcement of the new Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) system is unlikely to have passed you by.

The government’s reform of the ‘slab style’ system to one that it is fairer and more progressive, effective from 4 December 2014, was welcome news to most. Under the new system anyone buying a home costing under £937,000 should pay less or the same SDLT.

However, the new system is not just helping buyers. Since the reform we have already agreed sales on two properties which we feel have directly benefited from the new rules. Both properties had sales agreed just over the previously tricky thresholds of £250,000 and £500,000, showing that there is now less of a barrier at these levels resulting in the sellers achieving a better price and the buyers paying less tax.

To find out the tax payable on your property purchase, enter the proposed purchase price into the Stamp Duty Land Tax calculator.

foodbank elyFollowing last year’s success we decided to run our Ely Foodbank Christmas Appeal for a second year.  Thanks to the people of Ely and the support they have shown with donations, the Christmas Appeal has once again been a great success.

We have collected enough donations for the foodbank to be able to hand out Christmas Hampers alongside the emergency food packages that are given out over the festive period.

TuckerGardner would like to thank everyone that has made a donation, hopefully spreading a bit of festive spirit to those that otherwise may not have had it.

Christmas 2014 lightsThe 10th Ely Christmas lights switch on takes place tomorrow, Friday 28th November. From 4pm on the Market Square there will be a night of free entertainment, with craft and charity stalls, a funfair and Santa’s Grotto. Our Ely team will be there too, offering mince pies, mulled wine and balloons to get everyone in the festive mood. We hope to see you there!

Also this weekend is the Ely St John’s School Christmas Fayre. From 1.30pm to 4pm this Saturday (29th), there will be lots of stalls, food, a raffle, tombola, face painting, sand sculptures, craft, sweets, popcorn, hook the duck and more! All proceeds will go to the Friends of Ely St John’s School, who are raising funds for a theatre visit to the school, more visualisers, cd players for audio books and other educational material which are much needed by the school.

The Feast organisers

The Feast organisers

This year the modern Shelford Feast celebrated its 20th anniversary of providing entertainment to the village and raising money for local groups and causes.

Village feasts are a long standing English tradition and the Shelford Feast dates back to Medieval times. It is held annually around the feast day of St Mary the Virgin, the saint of the Parish Church, in July. The Feast died out just before the Second World War and lay dormant for over 50 years but was resurrected in 1994 and since then has expanded from a small village barbeque to a week-long festival of entertainment and enjoyment.

2014’s Feast was the most successful yet, raising over £26,000, and the money was distributed to the various local causes at a presentation evening at the village Memorial Hall this weekend. As TuckerGardner have been the main sponsor of the event from the beginning, I was invited to hand out some of the cheques.

Some of the recipients

Some of the recipients

Samuel Cooke handing over a cheque

Samuel Cooke handing over a cheque









The focus of the distribution has always been on local groups, with a particular emphasis on younger and older people and this year’s main recipients were:

Great and Little Shelford School
The Mobile Warden Scheme
Rainbow Pre-School and Wacky Club
The Parish Council
SSYI Youth Club

Other beneficiaries included:

Acacia Court Residents, Beavers, Bowls, Brownies, CAMMS Meals on Wheels, Cangaroos, Carpet Bowls Club, Chestnut Club, Cricket, Cubs, Different Strokes, Football Club, Friends of St Mary’s Church, Friends of the Library, Friendship Club, Guides, Junior Badminton, Parkinsons, Rugby, Scout & Guide HQ, Scouts, Shelford Twinning, Stapleford Twinning, Strikers, Sunnyside playgroup, SURFF United, Winter Comfort, Women’s Institute, Orchard House, Pantomime, Community Association, Magpas.

Xmas shoeboxes histonOur office in Histon is seeing the start of the Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes arriving with approximately 65 deposited already. We anticipate around 400 being brought in by the closing date of 18 November.

These brightly wrapped festive Shoeboxes are providing a great deal of cheer to all who come in to our office, so can you imagine the cheer one simple Shoebox, filled with love, would bring to a child?


Fill one today and bring it to any one of our local offices, all of which are drop off points this year. For details of how to pack your shoebox visit the Operation Christmas Child website.

next springThis time of year I usually visit about a dozen people a week to give advice on selling their home. On about a dozen of those dozen appointments the subject of whether it’s best to sell now or in the spring comes up.

The simple answer is yes. And no.

I’ll elaborate.

Imagine you live in the countryside. A mile down a pretty little lane, in a lovely Victorian farmhouse with acres of landscaped gardens and original sash windows. To a London buyer, pursuing the countryside dream but concerned about the countryside compromise, it’s fairly obvious that deep winter isn’t the best time to fully appreciate such a house. A once pretty, narrow lane to whistle along on a bright summer morning becomes a slippy, dark muddy lane to battle against on the way to the train station, lovely period sash windows become drafty, rattly old windows and big gardens become a leaf-strewn chore rather than a beautiful, green joy.

Conclusive stuff.

Until you consider supply and demand.

Let’s say there are two London buyers who fancy moving and two buyers with a new job in the area who need to move, making four. In the winter the two London buyers drift off the idea until the spring. But the other two don’t, because they need to move. Come the spring there are four buyers again, but because perceived wisdom amongst sellers is to wait until the leaves come out, three similar houses come to the market instead of one. So a 2:1 ratio of buyers to sellers in the winter, becomes a 4:3 ratio in the spring. And as fans of maths will know, a 2:1 ratio is preferable to 4:3. Unless you’re riding a bicycle up a hill.

So to answer the original question; whether one should wait until the spring: Yes, because a house in the country looks prettier in the spring, but also no, because that doesn’t necessarily mean it will sell better if other similar houses come to the market giving buyers a choice.

And not all houses are miles down a country lane. Houses in easily accessible areas are probably no less desirable in the winter.

There are specific circumstances where the advice may be to wait – for example if you back on to a block of flats that is obscured by a deciduous tree in the spring. But generally, for all of the above reasons, best advice is that if you feel ready to put your house on the market in the winter, then do so and ignore the time of year. There are too many variables to give the definitive advice to wait.

Every year I tell everyone this, every year fewer houses come up over the winter than in the spring and every year we achieve some fantastic prices during the winter, from keen buyers who don’t want to wait.

FireworkIt’s that time of year again when the eagerly anticipated Histon and Impington Fireworks Extravaganza takes place.

Year-on-year this proves to be a spectacular display and one which TuckerGardner are proud to sponsor.

This Saturday, 8 November, at Impington Village College Field, there is a BBQ from 6pm and fireworks from 7pm.

Tickets can be purchased from our Histon Office and are priced as follows:

Family: £8 

Adult: £4

Under 18: £1

Don’t miss out on this visual delight!

HH November 2014 1Take a look at this month’s HouseHunter magazine, available as a flip magazine on our website and as a hard copy in each of our offices. Want it sent direct to your inbox in future? If so, click here to register.

There are some great properties featured in this month’s edition, including a perfect example of a chocolate box cottage on page 6 and a large city property boasting 3,500 sq ft of accommodation on page 22. Turn to page 38 for a range of central London properties currently on the market through John D Wood & Co., our London associate.

With less than 8 weeks until Christmas, this edition has a distinctly festive theme. If you are struggling for gift ideas, you could try out the Panettone recipe on page 25 for a more personal, handmade present. Cambridge Cookery School are hosting classes where you can bake under their supervision if you feel it is beyond your skill level. Turn to page 30 if you are stressing about what to wear to upcoming parties or events. Mark Abbs is here to help and will do the hard work for you.

Christmas will come early at Ely Museum, when they host a Christmas celebration on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th December. Your kids will have a chance to meet Father Christmas and receive a special gift and you can shop for Christmas presents – turn to page 18 for more details.

We still have feature slots available in some of our upcoming editions, so if you would like to see your local business featured in our HouseHunter magazine, email

With the festive season fast approaching, our thoughts turn to helping those in need, both locally and globally.

Operation Christmas ChildWe are therefore offering our offices as drop-off points for ‘shoeboxes’ – boxes filled with gifts for needy children around the world – in support of Operation Christmas Child. Our Histon office has acted as a drop-off point for a number of years and our staff there have always enjoyed the festive spirit they bring to the office, so this year all our branches will be accepting shoeboxes and making up some of our own. The deadline for the drop off is Tuesday 18 November – if you are interested in getting involved visit the Operation Christmas Child website – help bring a little Christmas cheer to a child this festive season.

Along with being a shoebox drop-off poElyfoodbankint, our Ely office are also asking for donations of traditional Christmas fayre (non-perishable items) to help Ely foodbank provide Christmas hampers for families and individuals who rely on their emergency food parcels. Last year, with the help of the local community, we were able to provide 50 Christmas hampers – we hope you can help us achieve an even better result this year.