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Cross Keys Estate Agents All Agents Award

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  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Mobile Slide One

    Opening doors to your future Residential Sales and Lettings in the Plymouth area

  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Mobile Slide Two

    Opening doors to your future Locally owned and run Independent Estate Agents

  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Mobile Slide Three

    Opening doors to your future Sales and Lettings offices centrally located

  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Mobile Slide Four

    Opening doors to your future Highly motivated friendly staff

  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Mobile Slide Five

    Opening doors to your future Established in Plymouth since 2003

  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Mobile Slide Six

    Opening doors to your future Highest levels of customer service

  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Mobile Slide Seven

    Opening doors to your future Extensive knowledge of Plymouth and surrounding areas

  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Mobile Slide Eight

    Opening doors to your future Dedicated to making the process as smooth as possible

  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Slide One
    Opening doors to your future
    Residential Sales and Lettings in the Plymouth area
  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Slide Two
    Opening doors to your future
    Locally owned and run Independent Estate Agents
  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Slide Three
    Opening doors to your future
    Sales and Lettings offices centrally located
  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Slide Four
    Opening doors to your future
    Highly motivated friendly staff
  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Slide Five
    Opening doors to your future
    Established in Plymouth since 2003
  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Slide Six
    Opening doors to your future
    Highest levels of customer service
  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Slide Seven
    Opening doors to your future
    Extensive knowledge of Plymouth and surrounding areas
  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - Slide Eight
    Opening doors to your future
    Dedicated to making the process as smooth as possible

My husband and I relocated south to Plymouth from Yorkshire in April 2022 after a long time spent deliberating, weighing up the pros and cons and mostly trying to convince friends and family that we hadn’t gone completely crazy. Not only did we rent a property from Cross Keys, they also offered me a job too, which I readily accepted after an interview in The Fisherman’s Arms down in the Barbican!

I cannot believe now that it has been just over two years and like our family and friends who visit, we have very much concluded that it was a great move for us to an amazing city.

Whilst a little apprehensive about moving to a city from a small town we have been very pleasantly surprised by how much Plymouth feels like the world’s largest village.

Easy to navigate around and being based in the Barbican area of the city we genuinely have the best of everything within walking distance of our front door.

We can cross the road and enjoy all the fantastic variety of pubs, bars and eateries that are on offer along with some lovely little quirky shops. A few minutes’ walk takes us to the Hoe with the stunning Smeaton’s Tower and breath-taking views across Plymouth Sound and Fireworks when the festival is on in August … a personal favourite of ours. In the other direction is the city centre with more than enough shopping and entertainment including The Theatre Royal, Drake Circus, The Box, The Pavilions and The Barcode to name only a few.

A short ferry ride from the Barbican makes both Mountbatten and Cawsand easily accessible and good to escape to when it is busy in the holiday months, in addition to the Royal William Yard where the monthly food, craft and produce market is not to be missed.

Working for Plymouth’s number one Estate Agent, Cross Keys, has certainly helped me to find my feet and my way around as well as meeting a fantastic bunch of people who I am proud to call friends as well as colleagues.

Estate Agency was a new direction for me and there are some great aspects of the job not least meeting a wide variety of people on a daily basis and helping them with the next chapters in their lives, whether they are upsizing, downsizing or just stepping onto the property ladder for the first time, it’s so rewarding when they find their next home and helping them through the process to make it enjoyable rather than stressful, it’s a great job.

We have settled so well into our new life and feel incredibly lucky to live in such a vibrant and diverse part of the country beside the ocean and welcome many visitors from the North who now think we are less crazy for moving here as they always enjoy their stays in such wonderful surroundings.

It is well documented that we, as a nation, have had some particularly challenging times in the last few years including covid, gas and electricity prices going sky high, interest rates going up, rents going up, to mention but a few! The fact that gas and electricity prices have risen so much has had an impact on people’s energy usage and this has meant that people have not heated their properties as much as they would ordinarily do, due to being afraid of the enormous bills these would create.

As a result of this, there has been a huge increase in the amount of condensation that is in people’s homes, which has, in turn, been detrimental to their standard of living and in some cases their health. There is a real lack of knowledge when it comes to things like condensation and black spot mould but the rise in it has meant that we, as a Company, are finding ourselves trying to inform and educate people what causes it and how to treat it. It is understood that there are other types of damp such as rising damp and water ingress, which are entirely different things and would need a specialist to investigate further.

The most common type of damp found in properties is caused by condensation. As you can imagine, just by living in a property, moisture is created by cooking, bathing & showering, washing & drying clothes and even breathing! Condensation occurs when moisture laden air is cooled to a point where it can no longer hold all its moisture and it will then go to the coldest part of the house, which is invariably an external wall that does not open to the elements. Over time, the condensation can then start to turn into black spot mould, which can be dangerous to health if the spores are inhaled in sufficient volume. Unbelievably, there are 100’s of species of mould that are carried in the air that can settle and grow if the conditions are right.

The best way to keep the levels of condensation down is to produce less moisture by following the tips below:

  1. Cover saucepans whilst cooking & do not leave kettles boiling.
  2. Do not dry your washing inside the property.
  3. Always close the bathroom door when showering / taking a bath.
  4. Always close the kitchen door when cooking.

It is also particularly important to heat the property but sadly some homes are only heated for part of the time; this can result in condensation occurring when the rooms are unheated. This has been a huge issue over the last 18 months or so due to the energy crisis, which has impacted people’s affordability to use their heating. Keeping the whole home consistently warm will reduce condensation. This is better, and may be cheaper, than having intermittent heating to higher temperatures of parts of the home.

As well as heat, it is also imperative that properties are well ventilated, which will help remove the moisture from the atmosphere. Please see some tips below, which will assist in keeping the air moving:

  1. Ventilate kitchens and bathrooms when in use. After use open the windows wider to remove the remaining moisture.
  2. Keep windows on “air lock” or ensure the windows “trickle vents” are open (if fitted).
  3. Ensure that any extractor fan you have in the kitchen or bathroom is switched on when the rooms are in us and for approximately 20 minutes thereafter (they are usually set to a timer for this).
  4. Ensure that your tumble dryer is vented outside (if applicable).
  5. Wipe off wet surfaces, for example, where condensation has formed on windows or after using the shower.
  6. Use a dehumidifier if you have one available to you.
  7. Ventilate cupboards and wardrobes. Avoid putting too many things in them as this stops the air from circulating. Where possible, position wardrobes and furniture against internal walls.
  8. Leave a space between the back of the wardrobe and the wall.

In simple terms, if you see black spots around your window or on your walls then that is black spot mould, which is caused by a lack of ventilation coupled with a lack of heat. It is our enemy, so immediately wipe it away and then introduce both heat and ventilation to the room. I am sure you have seen some horrific examples on the news, but these are the extreme and it is usually a combination of condensation, water ingress and even some rising damp. Nevertheless, it is important to keep on top of the issue but if you feel it is getting out of control then speak to a specialist to see if there is an underlying cause.

Hello again everyone and welcome to the second instalment of my guide to different aspects of life in Plymouth. As we head nearer to Christmas and start wearing woolly jumpers and big coats, we start to organise ourselves in readiness for the festive season. This is why I thought I would have a chat about how great it is to live in our ocean side city. My last blog concentrated on areas and activities around our waterfront and coastline, this time, I thought I would talk about city life and all the benefits that it can bring.

I moved to Plymouth from, what is in comparison, the small county town of Taunton to join the Royal Navy in 1993, I still cannot believe that this was 30 years ago. When I got here, I was a little overwhelmed by all the amenities that were on offer and the size of the city itself. I wouldn’t consider myself a country boy, but I guess at this time in my life I really was and I found the transition exhilarating.

There were restaurants, shops, cinemas, pubs, clubs, parks, and lots of traffic. It is true that I used to walk miles to the bus stop to get a bus to school as a kid, here every area had its own school, sometimes two or three all within a few minutes’ walk away, but the biggest change for me was the socializing aspect of the city.

The Barbican was, is and will always be a mecca for socializing, especially in the summer and even more so on bank holidays, as it is the place where so many people congregate for meeting with friends and having a drink or three. Many people start a good afternoon out closer to their houses and most seem to end up following a well-trodden trail to the Barbican where you can sit, chat, eat or dance until the sun sets and further in to the evening. There is something for everyone, from cocktail bars, pubs, clubs and some really great restaurants as well.

For me, I do love a wander around the cobbled streets of The Barbican looking around the antique and curiosity shops and the odd charity shop as well. If you wander off the beaten track, there are some real gems there waiting to be explored like artists’ studios, tea rooms and the odd psychic to tell you your destiny.

The one thing that I have noticed since living in Plymouth for over three decades now is how much things really do change. What was Bretonside Bus Depot is now The Barcode, a large complex for people to go and enjoy themselves. There are burger bars, restaurants, cocktails and drinks, cinema, childrens’ activity centre and parking all in one place, what could be simpler or easier.

Drake Circus is the largest shopping complex for Plymouth and has retail and food outlets over three floors. I do feel that this facility could benefit from having some bigger named brands in there but for what it is, you can find most of what you need. Clothes, books, food, toiletries, eateries, jewellers, foot wear or just coffees, you can find all here as well as the added benefit of onsite parking.

Mutley and North Hill have a younger / student vibe with lots of bars and coffee shops to suit all wallets with the addition of one of the city’s newest attractions – The Box. This is Plymouth’s biggest art gallery and cultural centre, which is now home to thousands of fascinating objects from all around the world and includes many local exhibits spotlighting Plymouth’s heritage and achievements. Plymouth prides itself on its arts and culture and regularly hosts many exhibitions and events throughout the year. This is the second time I have mentioned The Box, but I still have no favourites or prejudices for places to go or things to do in Plymouth.

It is around this time of year that Plymouth sets up the Christmas Market on the city centres piazza. Plymouth Christmas Market will run from 30th November to 17th December this year and will be sure to have lots of festive treats on offer. The last Christmassy thing is the panto, oh no it’s not, oh yes, it is! Every year it keeps audiences enthralled right through to the new year, but not many people realise that there is usually another panto / Christmas show at the Barbican Theatre or you might want to go to one of the many other Christmas shows that are put on by local am-dram societies.

This year Cross Keys Estates are proudly sponsoring Zak the Zombie and the Christmas Repair Shop, a production by the very talented Theatre of Boom. I can’t wait to see this as some of my closest friends have not only written it but also taken starring roles in the performances and before you say anything, YES, I am being a little bias, but what else do you expect when you come to realise just what a friendly and sociable lot of people Plymothians truly are.

I hope you have all enjoyed reading this and look forward to writing part 3 for you.

Take care everyone and have a very Merry Christmas.

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Properties of the Week

Cross Keys Estate Agents Sales Property of the Week 1

Sales Property 1

Devonport Road, Stoke

£400,000 to £440,000 Guide Price

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Cross Keys Estate Agents Sales Property of the Week 2

Sales Property 2

Victoria Place, Stoke

£375,000 to £400,000 Guide Price

3 5 1

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Cross Keys Estate Agents Lettings Property of the Week

Lettings Property

Manor Close, Ivybridge

£1,200 pcm

2 3 1

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Key Notes Blog

From Yorkshire to Plymouth

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