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As a first-time seller, selling your home can be emotionally challenging as well as surprisingly time-consuming. People you’ve never met before will come into your home and poke around your prized possessions, and to top it off, they’ll offer you less money than you think your home is truly worth. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to give you five top tips to generate the highest possible price for your home as Spring 2018 comes around - without the emotional distress!


1)     1) Setting an unrealistic price

Whether you’re working in conjunction with an agent or going it alone, setting a realistic asking price is key. To put it simply, overpriced homes do not sell – but setting a low asking price may, in theory, generate multiple offers and bids, leading to the property’s true value.


2)     2) Getting emotionally involved

Once you’re 100% certain about selling your home, it may be a good idea to start thinking of yourself as a businessperson, as opposed to a homeowner. Start looking at the transaction from a financial perspective, and you’ll distance yourself from the emotional aspects of selling your beloved home.


3)    3)  Hiding potential issues

Almost every problem with your property you try to mask will be found during the buyer’s inspection – so save yourself the bother. It would be easier to fix the problem ahead of time or market your house below standard value to account for the problem.


4)     4) Deciding not to hire an agent

Although a fee will be involved, trying to sell your home on your own could be very difficult. A good agent will help you identify a fair and competitive selling price for you home, and provide in-depth advice on all aspects of selling, including: potential value, presentation, demand, marketing and legislation. Comprehensive marketing both online (website, property portals and social media) and offline (buyer-matching via our existing database of buyers looking for a property like yours) are also of high importance. Accompanied viewings with feedback, handling and negotiating all offers, qualifying of buyer’s position, and drafting and sending of sales instructions to solicitors are also further points of concern an agent would help you with. Most local independent estate agents will do all of this on a no sale no fee basis!


5)     5) Not being properly insured

When hosting a viewing, you’ll need to make sure you are insured in case someone has an accident on the premises and subsequently sue for damages! It’s also key to make sure that there are no hazardous areas in the property, and that you make steps to erase them. For example, ensuring the family pet is not present if the children of potential buyers are around.


Christmas is coming, and your wallet is looking a little thin - but don’t worry! Here are 3 top tips on how to save money this Christmas, so you aren’t left out in the cold:

1.     Student Discount

Take advantage of the fact that you are a student. Don’t be afraid to ask about student discount, you’d be surprised how many restaurants and shops accept student discount. As the Geordie saying goes “shy bairns get nowt” – you won’t know until you ask! When shopping online, look out for extra discount codes as many websites do student discount on top of promotions and sale, too!

2.     Secret Santa

When you’re at university, your list of friends is probably very long. Especially when you live in a full house, have a group of course mates along with your Society friends. Organise a secret Santa and limit the expenditure to £5 or £10 (if you really like them). Trust us - it’ll really help you out and all your friends will be thankful that you suggested it! Instead of going out for food when doing your secret Santa exchange, arrange a home-cooked Christmas dinner whereby you all chip in towards the cost.

3.     Eat In

You might not know it, but eating out all the time could be the cause of your suffering bank account, even if it is just £3 here and there. Try and eat in, have a good look to see what you have in and eat all the tins you have pushed to the back of your cupboard which you’ve been saving for a rainy day because this is your rainy month (but please make sure you check the best before date!!). When going into university make packed lunches and cut down on buying that pick me up morning coffee from Starbucks and Costa.


So, you've completed the first semester of the university year and now it's time to look forward to the festive season! 

If you're staying in Newcastle over the Christmas break, there's plenty to keep you busy, here are five things to do in and around the city over winter.

1. Coca-Cola Christmas

We all know the advert. Once we see the Coca-Cola advert on TV, it's a sign that it's offically the festive season. You can go and see the Coca-Cola truck itself at the Metrocentre on the 18th and 19th November this year. It's just a short bus ride from Newcastle City Centre and it's a sure sign that 'The Holiday's are Coming'. There's also plenty of shops and restaurants at the Metrocentre so you can make the most of your day. 

2. Visit Fenwicks Window

Newcastle's Fenwicks has a unique 46-year-old tradition of unveiling a creative window display to tell the people of Newcastle a Christmas story. Underneath Northumberland Street's Christmas lights, this year's display tells the story of Paddington Bear. Be sure to take a leisurely stroll past the window when you're looking for your last-minute Christmas presents.

3. Visit Newcastle's Christmas Market

It's tradition to visit a Christmas Market at this time of year and Newcastle has its own, situated on Grey Street and Grainger Street. There are stalls selling unique crafts and quirky gifts, so be sure to have a browse around. The market is continental so it's stalls will give you a taste of food from all around Europe. From Dutch waffles to German sausages, you can get the taste of another country even if you're staying in Newcastle this Christmas. 

4. Try Ice Skating

What is more Christmassy than heading to an ice rink for a wintery skate around? The Centre For Life have a pop-up ice rink every year around the festive season. It runs from November 11 - February 18, so there's plenty of time to get your woolly hats and gloves on for a skate in the city. 

5. Watch a Traditional Christmas Film

Throughout December, Tyneside Cinema will be screening a range of Christmassy films, from Home Alone and It's A Wonderful life to a the less traditional, including Die Hard. Why not get your friends together and pop along for a cosy afternoon watching a festive favourite? Afterwards, you can make the most of the Tyneside Bar Cafe where you'll find a range of food and drink on offer. Check out Tyneside Cinemas website for more details. 


Starting university is a brilliant time for most. The independence, the student loan and the non-stop partying on Freshers week leaves an adrenaline rush that feels as if it will never stop!

However, after a while it can become incredibly easy to begin to miss home – and in particular, your old school friends.

This is NOT a nice feeling – and the only way to combat it is to make new university friends!

Join a Club/Society

Whatever your interest, we can guarantee there is a club or society to suit you at university. Societies are used to catering for novices and are perfect for bedding people in! Furthermore, you already know your fellow society members have at least one common interest, giving you something to talk about and connect upon!

Head out and explore the area

90% of students who visit Newcastle for university aren’t from the area. Therefore, getting together in groups and going to explore our wonderful city is a GREAT way of bonding, making friends and seeing everything Newcastle has to offer.

From the beauty of Jesmond Dene to the history of Hadrian’s Wall, interesting features can be found everywhere – enhancing your Newcastle experience. Basically – DON’T JUST STAY IN YOUR ROOM!

Don’t Try and Reinvent Yourself

Coming to university is a chance to express yourself – but you should never sacrifice your true ideologies, hobbies and interests.

Being yourself is the best way to make friends with common interests – at the end of the day, you’re all strangers in a new city and acting natural is a great way to be at ease with what can be a quite nerve-wracking situation!



A summer filled with anticipation is over and you’ve now arrived at Newcastle or Northumbria – congratulations!

One of the best things about becoming a student is undoubtedly receiving your student loan – quite possibly the largest sum of money you’ve ever had in your bank account at once!

However, all good things come to an end – and student loans are no different. So here are our top tips on how to make your money last for the entire semester.


1)      Plan your spending

Boring, we know. However, planning your spending is a great way to work out where to divide your money up. Essentials such as rent, food and nights out should be put first – everything else can be looked at afterwards!


2)     Select a good bank account

Many banks will offer student bank accounts – but choosing the correct one is integral to making your money last at university.

Some banks will offer interest-free overdrafts of up to £3000 – something which is a HUGE help when costs undoubtedly begin to mount up!


3)     Save on food

Waitrose may be the norm at home – but saving money on food at university is essential to making your money stretch the distance.

Essentials like pasta and beans can be bought in bulk for next to nothing at Asda, Tesco and Lidl – ensuring more money is saved for that wild night on the Diamond Strip you have planned next week!


So there we go – enjoy this year, freshers – it really will be the best time of your lives!


You’ve done it. Months of battling with UCAS, re-drafting your personal statement and revising for A-Levels is over – and you’ve made it into university!

Whether it's Northumbria or Newcastle, you’ve picked the perfect city to study in – and the fun begins with the most exciting, action-packed Freshers week in the country!

So sit back, relax and read on as we take you through our top tips for surviving Freshers in the Toon.


Introduce yourself to EVERYONE

Locking yourself in your halls is one of the WORST things you can do during Freshers Week. Everybody is in the same boat and it’s the perfect time to make new friends for life. If you hear a conversation in the kitchen or a party next door, head on by – Freshers Week is for EVERYONE to enjoy.

Oh, and the taxi fare to the club will be far cheaper when split between more people!


Set up a student bank account

The luxury of a student loan is something that never ceases to amaze during your first year at uni. Suddenly being afforded the luxury of a hefty bank balance is an AMAZING feeling – but sadly, it will run out.

Shopping around for a student bank account is a great way of ensuring your money lasts as long as possible.

Many banks will allow you to an overdraft of up to £2000 with no repayment scheme during your time at university – this may sound like a lot, but it’s easily used up if you don’t have a part time job!



Nothing fractures the atmosphere in halls more than someone not doing their fair share of cleaning. Making a rota to help with this is ideal and your flatmates will likely lend a helping hand if they know you always make an effort!


So there you have it, freshers! Get ready for the best three years of your life – in the BEST city in the world!


A cat and dog shelter in Newcastle is set to play host to a special event featuring Channel 4 superstar ‘The Supervet’.

Newcastle Dog and Shelter is set to welcome the star - real name Noel Fitzpatrick - as he hosts a five-day adoptathon in the city.

‘Clear the Shelter’ is aimed at providing homes for every dog, cat, rabbit, and bird at the Tyneside Shelter – with the overall aim of encouraging people wanting a new pet to adopt rather than buy.

Over 250,000 pets are left to the care of rescue centres every year – a number Fitzpatrick hopes will seriously drop through the awareness raised by the event.

Professor Fitzpatrick told the Sunday Mirror: “Through raising awareness of the fun, love, and hope that rehoming an animal can bring, I think we speak a language of joy and compassion, and that this is a fantastic message to put out into the world right now.”

Leyla Rutter, Chief Executive at Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter, believes the national attention the Shelter is set to receive next month is a ‘fantastic opportunity to showcase some of the amazing animals and to highlight the work that the shelter does on a daily basis.’

“Helping to raise awareness of issues facing Animal Welfare organisations across the country is vital if we are to stop some of the awful situations that animals find themselves in, and we will hopefully encourage people to visit rescue centres to adopt – not shop – when looking for new pets,” Leyla added.

Leyla is running her last ever Great North Run this September, and you can sponsor her at, helping the Newcastle Cat and Dog Shelter provide further help and attention for the animals that need it most.

Let’s hope this brilliant initiative will provide lots of Newcastle-based animals with new homes!


At the start of the year, living with a bunch of third years sounded like a GREAT idea. They’re far more mature than your year group, you get on well and the year has been AMAZING.

However, they’re all about to graduate. What do you do next year? Who do you hit Osborne Road with every night!?

Don’t panic, disgruntled second year – Mansons has you covered!


1)     Make more of an effort with your course mates

This one may seem simple, but if you’ve made friends away from your course then it is definitely worth paying attention too.

Coursemates are the only people in the university going through EXACTLY what you’re going through and that comes in VERY handy towards the end of the year!

2)     Brace for the Inevitable

You can promise your friends all you want that you’ll stay in touch after they graduate, but the reality is that won’t happen.

Full-time jobs and adult life get in the way – leaving a distinct possibility that you’ll be all alone next year. The best way to combat this is to prepare for that inevitable separation, make new friends and absolutely SMASH final year!

3)     Enjoy the Peace

Saying goodbye to friends can be sad – but there’s always a silver lining. The majority of graduates move out when the term ends in May, meaning you usually have an additional six weeks of FREE HOUSE bliss!

So there you go, Newcastle-based students – follow these steps and you’ll be in a perfect position come your own graduation ceremony next year!


Three Things To Do In Jesmond This Summer

So, you’ve finished university. All your friends are heading home for the summer, but you’ve decided to stay in the city of dreams and continue working your part-time job to earn some much-needed cash. It seemed like a great idea at the time, right?

Well, that doesn’t have to change! Although the summer evacuation of students does somewhat dampen the vibrancy of Jesmond, there is still plenty to do and see – and here are our three top things to do to keep your summer fresh and exciting!

1)      Visit the BRAND NEW Spy Bar

Of course, you’ve visited Spy Bar plenty of times during the academic year – Osborne Road is THE student haven! However, the infamous string of Jesmond bars returns to a brilliant, local twist of nightlife during the summer and a brand new take on your favourite bar is the perfect way to embrace this.

Benefitting from a new £400,000 investment, Spy has been reborn and will shortly open its doors once again – and you will be the one making your mates jealous every week while they stay stranded in tiny villages across the country!


2)      Visit Jesmond Dene

There are tons of things to do in Jesmond Dene this summer. The stunningly picturesque tourist attraction is heaving with wildlife, waterfalls and luscious nature – the perfect hangover cure after a long night partying.

Check out what is going down at the Dene this summer here:


3)      Indulge at Jesmond Food Market

If you have never experienced the Jesmond Food Market, this summer is the time to start. Occurring every third Saturday of the month, the Food Market brings a range of wonderful tastes and flavours to our wonderful community! The next market is on 15th July – check out @JesFoodMkt on Twitter for further information.


It’s quite possibly the saddest time of the student calendar. The year is over, and you are moving back from the vibrant nightlife of Newcastle to the boring, pub quiz ambiance of your home village in the middle of nowhere and morale has never been so low.

So, having to pack your increasingly small car with ALL of your things is the last thing you want to do – particularly after a heavy end of year night with your course mates.

So how can you pack your car efficiently? Well, Mansons has three top tips for storing your University life in a vehicle and still having enough space to breathe – just about anyways!


Donate unwanted goods to local charities!

This may seem obvious, but it’s amazing how many things you’ll throw out that could prove incredibly valuable to local charity shops in the region!

Basic things like plates and bowls take up a lot of car space and can be very heavy when packed together – getting rid gives you more room to work with, and also allows you the joy of a fresh dinner set when you come back to Newcastle in September!

A few charity shops that could potentially benefit from your unwanted possessions include;

- Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter on Chillingham Road in Heaton 

- St Oswalds' Hospice Shop Jesmond 

- Oxfam Shop Jesmond

2)  Bags not boxes

This can be difficult as boxes offer more security, but using bags where possible is a great way of saving space in the car.

Boxes take up a huge amount of unnecessary space due to their bulky texture – and you can never really fill a box completely!


3)  Make use of every space

Your car has so many hidey-hole's that you really need to take advantage of! Store small appliances down the back of the seat and in the side pockets, sit on your pillows/cushions and lie any flat items (eg. Corkboards and whiteboards) across the boot cover!


There you have it – you are fully prepared to make your way home, enjoy the summer and count down the days until you are back in Newcastle – where this guide may come in very handy yet again!

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