Heart health is a big concern for my family.

On Boxing Day 2019, my 36-year-old daughter suffered a massive heart attack, following two minor attacks in the run up to Christmas, which she simply put down to anxiety. She had three stents fitted to repair the damage but unfortunately her heart still only pumps at 31% capacity.

As you can Imagine, this means she gets tired very easily and finds every daily task a chore. Not easy when you are the mother of two children aged eight and six, but she continues to smile and make light of her situation.

Last Easter, my fiancé was also rushed to hospital and was diagnosed with arterial fibrillation.

Christmas was therefore a time of reflection after such a worrying year for my loved ones.

My work as an Estate Agent doesn’t naturally encourage a healthy lifestyle. Often it involves spending days sitting in front of a computer screen, on the phone, or driving to properties.

I realised I needed to work on adopting a healthier lifestyle to make sure I stay healthy and be able to carry on supporting my family.

I asked for a treadmill for my 60th birthday and started to use it to up my daily exercise. I did complete the NHS’s Coach to 5k challenge but using the treadmill soon got very boring.

I realised I needed to motivate myself with a specific goal to take my running to the next level. I also realised that I could combine this with raising money for the amazing British Heart Foundation (BHF), the charity that has been so amazing in helping my daughter and continues to support her regularly over the phone while rehab in person is not possible.

It is the support and encouragement that she draws from the BHF which keeps her going. So it was a lightbulb moment when I read about the BHF’s ‘Go The Distance - £100k’ challenge. This is the challenge I have been looking for!

I have therefore set a target to run 100k in 36 days and raise £250 for the BHF. Some of this distance will be completed on my treadmill. I will also be running outside some of the time.  

If you feel you can help me support this wonderful charity, I’d be so grateful.

You will find my fundraising page here.

It would be nice to add an extra “0” to the end of my fundraising target but knowing the difficult year everybody has had, any contribution would be more than appreciated.

Thank you for your support and generosity in advance.

I sincerely hope you and your family all stay safe and that you will never need the services of the British Health Foundation.

Andrea Catley

11th January 2021


Is This a Good Time to Buy Your First Home in Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet?


Should you wait to buy your first home in Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet or buy now? What sort of mortgages are available? What sort of deposit is required? These are questions all Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet buyers are asking at the moment, yet this week we would like to focus on Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet first-time buyers and what it means directly and indirectly to Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet homeowners looking to move up the Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet property ladder and Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet buy to let landlords.


Well quite frankly, to answer that question it’s contingent on what Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet property you are looking to move into and even more significantly, how long you are hoping to live in that property.


We have many armchair economists and even professional economists predicting Armageddon when it comes to the property market, yet the Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet (and UK) property market is essentially very sound. Don’t forget the Chancellor himself, George Osborne warned that if we voted to leave the EU two things would happen. Firstly, the UK property market would crash, and property values would drop by 18% in the two years after the vote. Secondly, there would be an ‘economic shock’ to the country’s economy that would increase the cost of mortgages (through increased interest rates as there would be a run on the Pound). UK GDP rose by £132bn in the two years after the referendum and interest rates actually dropped and locally, with regard to property values…


Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet house prices rose by 7.9% in the 2 years following the Brexit vote.


Lloyds have predicted an enormous 30% fall in property prices over the next 36 months whilst Savills have suggested a short dip of 5% during the summer, based on very low transaction numbers, with property prices bouncing back to be just over 15% higher in 5 years’ time. This

assumes that the UK plc economic downturn is short & sharp, and that no substantial gap opens up between supply and demand in the property market (i.e. everyone doesn’t dump their property market all at the same time).


Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet property values after the 2008 Credit Crunch crisis plummeted 8.3% between 2008 and the end of 2009


Yet, the circumstances of the 2008/9 property crash were fundamentally different to today. Many ‘armchair economists’ assume there will be a re-run of the 2008/9 and 1988 property crashes in the coming 12 months in terms of house value falls. Yet, dissimilar to the last recession, this dip has not been led by previous years of strong property price growth like the other two crashes. House prices in many parts of the UK have been down in the last 12 months.


You would think Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet first time buyers who have already saved their deposit could grab a bargain in the coming months, as you would believe they would have less competition in the market because of landlords holding back buying additional rental properties.  This is because of the press speculation that rent arrears are sky high from tenants who are unable to pay their rent.  Yet evidence from many professional bodies in the private rental sector state rent arrears across the whole of the country are appearing to be very low indeed, despite Covid-19.


Interestingly, the firm Yomdel who handles ‘web live chat’ and ‘phone support’ for thousands of estate and letting agents have reported national activity is higher than the two months of the Boris Bounce (in January and February 2020). The number of new buyer enquiries for the last two weeks is double (108.9% higher to be precise) than the 2019 yearly rolling average. New landlord enquiries are 32.1% higher than the 2019 average and tenants are 150.1% higher than the 2019 average ... these are all great signs and go against the doom monger economists.


Our best advice to all Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet property buyers is, be they second time buyers, first-time buyers, landlords ... whatever number buyers, they should buy with a medium-term view of future Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet property values, instead of an expectation of always looking to making a quick few pounds flipping a property (i.e. selling it quickly).


Let’s not forget that mortgage Interest rates are another important factor: they are at a 325-year low, so borrowing money has never been so inexpensive. If you know you are going to be living in your first (or second) Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet home for five years and you want the peace of mind of knowing precisely what your mortgage payments will be, then it’s very attractive. At the time of writing, Barclays are offering any first-time buyer a 95% mortgage on a 5-year fixed rate of 2.95%. The average value of an average terraced house in Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet is £203,200 and so with the 5% deposit of £10,000 on a 35-year term the…


Mortgage payments on a typical terraced house in the Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet area would only be £738 per month

(i.e. much cheaper than renting)


Many lenders are lending money even if you are on furlough, yet you may find you won’t be able to borrow as much pre Covid-19. Interestingly, some mortgage companies will even take into account total income, where your employer is topping up the Government’s furloughed amount, whilst other lenders will consider mortgage applications on a case-by-case basis. The best advice I can give is, don’t assume what you can or can’t borrow. Speak to a whole of market mortgage broker, to see what is possible – not what your friend on Facebook tells you what you can or can’t borrow.


You only need to put down a 5% deposit

for the property you would like to buy


If you think about it, it’s inconsequential if Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet property values drop or not, or if they do drop whether they bounce back quickly (or not as the case maybe) because it’s impossible to know the bottom of the property market. I would say if you find the right Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet property for you, at the price that feels right, that will be your home together and you are going live in that Midsomer Norton and Shepton Mallet property for the next five to ten years, it’s not a bad time to be buying.  It’s like waiting for the next piece of tech – there will always be a better model or an assumed better time. We are talking about your home here – a home for you and your partner and family, be that your kids, dog, cat, pet or favourite pot plant because…


Spending money on rent is all wasted money - at least when you buy your own home, you start to pay your mortgage off from day 1


So many first-time buyers use the Bank of Mum and Dad to help with their deposit, yet I have spoken to many parents who wouldn’t want to interfere in their mature children’s life and subsidise day to day expenditure yet are embarrassed to offer help with the deposit. If you don’t ask …you don’t get!


NB  At the time of writing this information was correct but as the current situation is subject to change, we recommend you seek your own independent financial advice.


Showing our support for the #NHS and all key workers & carers. All our staff will be joining in a round of applause at 8pm every Thursday evening from their homes.


Geoffrey Smith Midsomer Norton are delighted to welcome Cath Jefferies to the team.

Cath has many years of estate agency experience  within the area and is probably already known to many of the local residents.

We hope Cath will enjoy her new environment and she looks forward to meeting clients - past, present and future.


Local author Sue Hughes has had her first book published. 

A Tremendous achievement! 

Sue is a valued member of the team at the Midsomer Norton office


We are pleased to announce the promotion of TANYA SQUIRE to Branch Manager in the Midsomer Norton office .  Tanya has worked very closely with Paul since joining the Company in February  2006.  She offers a wealth of experience and local knowledge to would be buyers and sellers and is an active member of her local community.  She looks forward to hearing from clients, past, present and future.






  01749 342457

  01761 411010


Jackie, her husband Mike, 12 year old son James and the remainder of Team Mash cycled into Buroughbridge this evening after a cruelling 96 miles in a mix of weather - rain, wind and sunshine.

Tomorrow's final leg takes them to the Freeman Transplant Hospital in Newcastle upon Tynne  approx 85 miles.  The centre of their fund raising challenge.

If you live along this route please cheer them on. 

It has been a tough 3 days - leaving Ashton Gate Stadium, in Bristol 9.00 am on Friday morning with no rest days inbetween.

There is still time to show your support for this worthy cause by clicking on the link below



Thank you

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