So you’ve completed on your new home and can’t wait to move. You’ve even started thinking about how to decorate. There’s one thing you might have forgotten, though: you’ve got to move out of your home first. Between packing your things and preparing for your first night in a new home, moving house can seem overwhelming. However, moving from one property to another doesn’t have to be stressful. Read our tips to remove the stress from your moving experience. 

1. Stay organised 

As with any daunting task, staying organised is key. Pack by room and decide when and how you will organise your things. Once you’ve assigned items to labelled boxes, consider the moving van. How will the boxes go inside? Will you need to take multiple trips? Once you’ve worked these things out, you’ll have a plan for your moving day which should give you peace of mind. 

2. Pack early

There’s nothing worse than having a moving van booked and realising that you’ll need to pack all night to be ready. Start packing as soon as you can. Choose non-essential items first (decorations, etc.), and pack your essentials like furniture and cutlery the week of the move. 

3. Take your time

When you’re moving house, be sure to allow more time than you actually need. Feeling rushed will make your stress levels skyrocket, so being slow and methodical is the best way to combat moving worry. The extra time allows you to be more careful when you’re packing and unpacking, and it also takes into account the inevitable moving day setbacks. 

4. Be flexible

There are sure to be bumps in the road when you’re moving house, so remind yourself to stay flexible. Having a plan is a great way to stay organised, but don’t be afraid to deviate from it when circumstances require. 

5. Have a backup plan

When you’re planning your move, take a small amount of time to think about the things that could go wrong and write them down. Once you’ve got your list, think of ways that you could overcome these problems. A backup plan will help take the stress out of your move because you’ve already thought of potential solutions. 

6. Enlist help

Moving house is a huge task, and it becomes even bigger when you have to do it all yourself. Ask for help from your friends and family (most of them will be willing to lend a hand for a few slices of pizza) to take the pressure off. You’ll be finished much faster, and the more people that are involved, the easier moving to your new home will be. 

7. Say goodbye

You’ve lived in your old property for some time, so give yourself a moment to think about all the good memories you associate with the space. If you’re in the mood to entertain (and you haven’t packed all the plates and glasses), have a party and invite your friends to say goodbye to your old home in style. 

8. Take care of yourself

Purchasing a new property and moving into it can be extremely draining, so be careful to take care of yourself throughout the process. A healthy diet and plenty of exercise can help take the edge off your moving stress. Taking care of yourself also means that you deserve a treat every now and then, so consider a takeaway on your first night in the new home to reward yourself for all your hard work!

Are you looking for your dream home? Contact Debbie Fortune Estate Agents at one of our three offices located at Backwell, Chew Magna and Congresbury.


Once again we have a very satisfied customer: 

"I would like to say how impressed we have been with all three Debbie Fortune offices and their staff. All have been so helpful and accommodating in helping us to find the right house with an office for my expanding business. I would definitely recommend Debbie Fortune Estate Agents to others looking in the area."
Melanie Healy. 

Why not come and see us and see if we can help you! Contact one of our three offices based in Congresbury (01934 862370), Backwell (01275 406880) or Chew Magna (01275 333888), or visit our website at www.debbiefortune.co.uk



Director Joanna Tiley and Judi from the Chew Magna office attended the launch party of Chew Valley Wellbeing on Thursday 12th April 2018. They are pictured with co-founders Abi park and Annie Johansen.

Chew Valley Wellbeing is a light and airy studio and treatment centre, which is complete with a healing garden, offers a holistic approach to wellbeing with classes, courses and treatments running daily. Treatments and classes are easily bookable online. Plus our membership scheme gives you the chance to enjoy more while paying less.

Our highly qualified and talented teachers and therapists are all specialists in their fields and passionate about natural health so you can rest assured you are in good hands.

In addition to the varied timetable of treatments and classes, we also offer specialised pregnancy care; pregnancy massage, birth preparation, hypnobirthing and baby massage classes.

The Chew Valley Wellbeing Centre is available to rent for those looking to run weekend courses in a relaxed setting just outside of the city.

Guests can expect a warm welcome from founders; Yogi Abi Park and Massage Therapist Annie Johansen. To find out more about Chew Valley Wellbeing's beginnings and the story behind it, read our blog, 'Chew Valley Wellbeing, The Story Behind the Centre.'



Channel 4's cookery presenter, writer and chef Peter Sidwell was the guest chef at Angel Interiors Open Evening held on Thursday 12th April. Director Joanne Tiley attended the opening, together with her husband John, on behalf of Debbie Fortune Estate Agents.
Peter was giving a cookery demonstration at the new showrooms of Angel Interiors, located at Twenty Three, The Cattle Market, Chew Road, Winford, 01275 595359.
The new interior design and installation company, specialising in kitchen and bathroom projects, is a family-run business offering a personalised, independent and local services to their clients, taking care of the whole process of designing a kitchen and bathroom to your specifications and wants, fitting and finishing it for you.
With a combined experience of over 20 years in the business, brothers Matthew, Jonathan and Robert Newman have pooled their skills and experience in carpentry, electrical engineering, fitting and design, creating a "one-stop shop" for all your kitchen and bathrooms needs.
You can contact Angel Interiors at the above address, or visit their website at http://www.angelinteriors.co.uk/
Pictured here are John and Joanne Tiley, Angel Interior's director Rob Newman, Susan Mackay, lead kitchen designer, and Tim Baber, lead bathroom designer. The other picture shows Joanne looking on as Peter Sidwell demonstrates cooking at the opening.




Many people attended the official launch party of the stunning new offices situated at Bridge House, High Street, Congresbury, on Thursday, 12th April. Well done to Debbie, Mark, Neil and the team for making it such a success. To contact the Congresbury office, telephone 01934 862370 or email salesadmin@debbiefortune.co.uk



Our Congresbury office have taken on sponsorship of the Congresbury Bowling Club. The club was founded in 1945, and has a full calendar of events throughout the bowling season, which runs from April until September. They run teams for both men and women, as well as mixed teams, and they are affiliated to Bowls England and Somerset Bowls Association.

They compete in the Clevedon and District League, the Somerset County League, the Co-Operative Funeralcare Evening League, the Mendip League and the Weston & District Ladies League. Apart from league games, there are friendly games against local teams and we welcome touring sides from many parts of the country. They also run their own very popular Triples League - another mixed tournament - played on a Friday night.

The club also run many social events for members during the year and the clubhouse bar is licensed to sell drinks at very reasonable prices to members and their guests. Short Mat bowls is played in the Clubhouse on Monday evenings (7.30pm-9.30pm) from October to April.

Congresbury Bowling Club is affiliated to both Somerset Bowls Associationhttp://www.somersetbowls.org.uk/ and Bowls England http://www.bowlsengland.com/



Converting a derelict wreck into a beautiful home is a dream for many. But what do you need to know before embarking on a renovation project? Here are some top tips from Guild Members.

1. Finding the right property 

Renovation projects can be few and far between. When one does come along, there can be many interested parties. Some people interested in making a profit from the renovation, while others will want to create their dream home. 

“Finding a major renovation project is never easy,” admits Stuart Mills from Rickman Properties. “Get to know your local agents instead of just looking at websites. Talk to the agents, go in to meet them and explain what you want to achieve. Give them confidence in your ability to go through with a purchase, rather than just being another hopeful looking to make a quick profit.”

Make sure you check all the sources available to you. John Newhouse from Roseberry Newhouse says: “Finding derelict homes or barns to convert can be tricky. Properties such as these can be in high demand and will often be found at auctions or in private adverts in the local press.”

The auction house is a particularly good place to find dilapidated homes. 

“Those properties that are particularly tired or have other complexities may be sold at auction and therefore local, online and national auction houses are a good place to look,” suggests Stefan Collier from Joplings. “You may be able to contact the auctioneers directly to see if any properties can be bought before or just after the auction to avoid an expensive snap purchase in a rush of auction room excitement.” 

2. Setting a budget and getting finances in order 

If you have ever watched an episode of Grand Designs, you will know that personal building projects often go over budget. It’s important to plan realistically and have a large contingency budget. 

“Given the likely structural integrity of run-down properties, the big issue may be finance,” says John Newhouse from Roseberry Newhouse. “Buying at auction will require you to have funds or finance in place before you attend and to have done your homework with surveys beforehand.”

Martin Moore from Morris Marshall & Poole agrees. “Costing such projects is notoriously difficult. To avoid running out of money during the work, check and recheck repeatedly before committing and always allow a generous contingency to cover the unexpected.” 

3. Legal considerations and planning application 

From planning permission to area restrictions, there is a lot of legal work to do before building can start. 

Edward Dixon from Simmons & Sons says: “One has to be extremely clear-headed about major renovation projects and start with the most basic questions, such as ‘is the work I am wanting to do legal?’”

“Don’t think that just because you have the imagination and drive to save an old building that the local Planning Authority will agree with you. There may be any number of restrictions in place which might not be immediately obvious, such as those imposed by Listings, Heritage requirements, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and so on. Start by looking into the background of the building and the Local Planning Policy for clues. Councils now offer dedicated pre-application advice for a fee, which is not the same as a planning application but gives a good insight into the issues that might arise.” 

4. What surveys do you need? 

It’s important to conduct several surveys before building starts to assess the building and work out exactly what you need to do. 

“Start with a specialist building surveyor and a structural engineer who, between them, will be able to start building a picture of how much work will be needed,” says Edward Dixon from Simmons & Sons. “Older structures will need careful examination of roof parts, wall strength, and foundations, whilst 20th Century properties and former industrial sites should have an asbestos survey as well. 

“Another point that is particularly relevant for rural properties is the supply of utilities. That old barn may make an ideal home, but where is the nearest water main or electricity supply? If they must cross someone else’s land to get to you, there will be costs involved and legal agreements to be drawn up.”

Stefan Collier from Joplings has further advice. “Derelict properties are often empty for some time and therefore can be prone to structural, damp and timber defects. Therefore, it is essential to instruct a chartered surveyor to carry out a full Building Survey on the property. This will outline the current defects and give you advice and help to plan for any intended alterations.”

5. Choosing your contractors 

Now that all the property research has been done, it’s time to start thinking about the build itself and the people that will need to oversee it. 

Stuart Mills from Rickman Properties says: “Carefully consider who is going to project manage the build. There are qualified people for this; you can get the architect, or if you are brave and have the time to devote, you can do this yourself. This involves coordinating all the tradespeople, such as when they should be on site and what they should be doing. Plus, they will liaise with the planning department, arrange inspections of works done, and get everything signed off. Getting the paperwork right is vital; the last thing you need is to get toward the end of the project and find you cannot move in because of paperwork that has not been completed.”

6. Thinking about profit 

“Buying and rescuing a derelict property can be a difficult task, however, if you get the right professional advice along the way, you can create a truly fantastic and individual home. I have also found that well-finished period and character homes get an excellent reception on the market and, therefore, your investment could prove lucrative in the long run,” says Stefan Collier. 

Are you dreaming of your own renovation project? Contact Debbie Fortune Estate Agents at Backwell, Chew Magna or Congresbury for expect advice.



Members of the Congresbury New Village Hall Development Trust joined Debbie Fortune and her team at her new offices in Congresbury to welcome John Penrose, MP for Weston super Mare, in its official opening on March 23rd.

“It was very good of John to pose for photos and cut the ribbon,” said Debbie, “but that was just a tiny part of the celebrations.

“The main event came later when we were absolutely thrilled to present a cheque for over £4,000 to Mr Penrose, as patron of the Congresbury New Village Hall Development Trust.”

As a Congresbury resident and supporter of the New Village Hall project, Debbie and her team are committed to fundraising in the village, and in 2017 pledged 10% of their income from sales and lettings in the village to the project.

Debbie said: “Everyone has worked so hard selling and letting in the village and we are delighted that our fund-raising has been such a success and has helped to swell the coffers towards this fantastic project.  I hope that our success will continue and already we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from the village to our new offices here at Bridge House.

“I said last July,” she concludes, “that we hoped that our pledge to donate 10% of the fees we earned from Congresbury property sales and lettings in 2017 would raise lots of money for the fund, and I am delighted with the result. Now we’ve got a target to beat so to celebrate our opening, I am thrilled to announce that we will continue our initiative and pledge in 2018, and everyone at Debbie Fortune Estate Agents are committed to raising a record amount for the village hall project this year.


Award-winning local entrepreneur, Debbie Fortune is at it again, opening another high street office, this time in the busy village of Congresbury.

This office adds to her other two offices, in Backwell and Chew Magna which she has opened since she started her own business in January 2009.

Debbie is a true local success story, now employing a team of over 30 local employees, which includes Reggie, the office dog (seen above). She remains staunchly independent and is determined to resist the advances of corporates or larger firms, a number of whom would aspire to own offices in such prestigious villages.

“We are absolutely delighted to be open in Congresbury,” says Debbie,” right in the heart of the village at Bridge House in the High Street, with loads of parking, and we can’t wait to show off this stunning character office building to all our clients, customers and friends. Bridge House has been empty for three years so we are proud to have regenerated this lovely corner of the village.”

“Our business philosophy is simple, straightforward and very well received by everyone. We simply, professionally and honestly advise on what’s best, whether buying, selling, letting or renting.

“This third office in the country area south of Bristol gives us unrivalled coverage in prime locations, and it also allows us the perfect opportunity to bring our own style of the agency to a wider audience,” she adds.

“Our team is in place,” Debbie continued, “headed up by Board of Management Executive, Neil Drejer in sales, and Lisa Chaplin, also on our Board of Management in lettings.

“The Congresbury office will handle the sale and rental of property in all the local villages including Wrington, Congresbury and Yatton, and in the whole area including the Yeo Valley, the Wrington Vale, The Mendips and Somerset. Effectively joining up with our Backwell office to the North and Chew Magna office further to the East. There truly is no independent agent that covers this prime commuter area better!”

For all your property matters call Congresbury on 01934 862370, email the office on salesadmin@debbiefortune.co.uk or simply call in for a cuppa and a chat.

“Most importantly,” adds Debbie: “You will be guaranteed a warm welcome and always with a smile!”

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