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Things Everyone Wishes They Did The First Time They Sold Their Home

The housing market isn’t doing too well right now, so if you’re trying to sell up, you might find it could take some time. If you haven’t tried selling a property before, you might be totally confused with how to go about it. But there isn’t anything to be worried about really, especially when you can learn so much from previous sellers. Want to know what former homeowners knew when they sold their first house? Here are all the secrets that you need to know.

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Don’t Try And Sell Without An Estate Agent

Some homeowners try to save money by selling their house on their own. Instead of listing it with an estate agent, they simply take out their own adverts in local newspapers and on internet advertising sites. It’s true that you will have to pay to use the services of an estate agent. However, you will find that they help you sell your home much quicker and at a good price. When people want to buy a home, they always go straight to their local estate agent. So if you list it with them, your advert will be seen by its target audience. An estate agent will also be able to correctly value your home and let you know what the best price for a quick sale would be. You can find details about Taylors online. This estate agent offers a free home valuation.

It’s Not Worth Overpricing Your Home

Your estate agent will tell you a guide house for your home. This is what they will estimate that it could sell for. However, you don’t have to go with this price. It is merely a guide price. But most homeowners tend to price their house around the estate agent’s estimates. Don’t be tempted to ask for much more, though. The estate agent will know the current housing market and is the best-informed person to know what your property is worth. In fact, if you want a very quick sale, you could benefit from pricing your house slightly cheaper. Don’t undersell it, though. Just ask for about five thousand less than what the estate agent estimated.

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Think About Curb Appeal

If your house doesn’t look too good from the outside, you might not get that much interest from potential buyers. Even if it looks very smart inside. If the outside looks untidy and messy, passersby will assume it is the same inside. So you need to work on your front garden and the outside of your home to increase the curb appeal. One of the easiest ways to spruce up your front garden is to plant some new flowers in the flowerbeds and get rid of any weeds. If you have the space for it, add some benches and a small table as well. This will help viewers use their imagination to see how they might make the most of the outdoor space. You should also take a look at the paint work on the exterior of your property. If it looks old or flaky, give it a quick lick of paint.

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You Should Organise Spare Rooms

Many of us store all our clutter in any spare rooms in our home. This is especially the case for those of us who don’t have an attic or basement. However, when someone comes to view your home, it is a good idea to clean out all your spare rooms. When the viewers are walking around your home, they will want to imagine themselves living in it. They’ll be trying to imagine how they use each room. If one room is filled with a lot of clutter and very mess, they will find it very difficult to place themselves in the room. Keep all your rooms free from clutter and, if possible, add some small pieces of furniture to each one so that they look like they have a purpose.

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It Pays To Make Your Home Personal

One way to help people envisage themselves living in the home is to add some of your own personal touches. This way, viewers will see the house as a family home and will easily be able to see their own family living in it. The aim is to prevent your home from looking like a generic hotel. If you don’t have any family photos on display, place a couple on your shelves and surfaces. Make sure you have plenty of comfortable appointments, such as cushions and rugs. These can be very warming and will make a room look super cosy.

Leave Some Stuff Behind

Are there some pieces of furniture that you’re thinking of throwing away when you move? It might be a better idea to leave them in the house for the next homeowners. Let viewers know that there will be furniture in the house when they move in. They might be attracted to the idea of moving into a fully or semi-furnished home as it will save them from buying new items. It can be an especially big attraction to potential buyers if the furniture is included in the price.

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Be Very Flexible

You should try and cater to buyers as much as possible. If possible, you should agree to a move date that suits your buyer. Even if that means you need to rent a place while you finalise on the home that you are planning on buying. If you make things easier for potential buyers, they are much more likely to put in a bid on your property. No one wants any hassle when moving home. So if you can offer a hassle-free move, buyers will be very likely to try and snap up your home.

One of the main things to take away from this blog post is that you should try and do as much as possible to make things easier for potential buyers. A quick sell is beneficial for everyone involved. So if they have any deal breakers, try and meet all their requests. By doing this, and sprucing up your home, you’ll find the property will sell in no time!

 

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Designer Lighting Trends

Lighting is a prominent feature in 2016 design trends and it can be used to help lift a space and is a relatively easy way to incorporate some designer flair into your home.  A wonderful way to make an impact, lighting is now being used much more as a focal point rather than just as a way to light a space.  Whether you are in need of a statement or a clever way to light a certain area, this trend hit list is sure to give you some ideas.Lighting

First up, we have statement suspension lighting that combines two design trends this year: metals and fifties glamour.  Brass and rose gold are the hot metals at the moment and they create beautiful soft rays of light in a space, making it warm and cosy yet it still retains a feeling of elegance.  These rich metals paired with a black or a white high gloss finish would seem over decadent if they were not carefully mingled with mid-century design silhouettes.  It is this combination, the luxury materials matched with relaxed shapes, that makes for some truly elegant lighting.  Portuguese brand Delightfull has done just this and their Ike collection is a stylish representation of these trends.

Next, we have a style that has been prevalent in the last few years and still remains strong.  Pendant lighting is here to stay and has found itself to be so versatile that design has been able to constantly evolve or change to suit the current space layouts that are fashionable.   For example, cluster 3 or 4 pendant ceiling lights together and hang them low over a dining table for an intimate effect.  If that isn’t interesting enough then hang them at different heights or mix and match colours or styles to go wild.  Just in this one space there are so many possibilities.  Instead of clustering, line three in a row above a kitchen island for a more formal, uniform effect.  And if you are feeling particularly inspired, talk to your electrician about having a pendant light hang either side of your bed for some contemporary flare.

Last but certainly not least, we have beautiful, hand-blown glass.  These Nordic and minimalist-inspired designs are the perfect example of striking simplicity.  Each piece is completely unique in some way as they have all been individually blown and this really adds to their charm.  The clear or coloured glass allows the viewer to notice the bulb inside and so it is a great match for coloured or Edison bulbs to inject a little nugget of interest within.  Czech brand SkLO have an exquisite collection of hand blown lights and accessories and their statement Float 20 floor light is a lovely example of this growing trend.  Find it at The Longest Stay and use as a feature lamp to create low-level light in a snug, reading corner.  The craftsmanship of hand blowing is a skill that ensures true quality in designer lighting.

Family · Life

The Day I Ran Over a Cyclist

Last Sunday started off a day like any other. Burrito Baby had been poorly for a couple of days, showing what we thought were the initial signs of chicken pox, which threatened to get our holidays off to a really rubbish start. However, after a very long sleep she woke up seeming much better and the sun was shining so I hatched a plan to take the girls out and surprise them by taking them for breakfast and buying them a paddling pool for the garden. We got dressed, covered in sun cream and left the house.

Living where we do means that we get a LOT of walkers and cyclists using the roads, especially on sunny days, so I’m always careful when taking the winding single lane road which leads away from home, and this day was no exception. I made it up to the junction which takes us out onto the National Speed limit lane at the end of our road and stopped to let a car and a cyclist go past. It’s a poorly-sighted road so I always give an extra couple of looks to make sure the road is clear.

Just as I pulled away, a cyclist came around the corner and into the path of my car. I swerved one way to avoid him, he swerved another way to avoid me, but we hit. He, and his bike, rolled over my bonnet and onto the concrete as I brought the car to a halt. I think I shouted a few expletives as I jumped out of the car and, stupidly, asked “shall I call an ambulance?”. Of course he needed a fucking ambulance; he’d just been hit by a car.

As I was calling for an ambulance, a few other people from the larger part of our village stopped their cars and came over to see what was going on, an older couple who went into help-mode and started propping umbrellas over the injured cyclist (who by this point, although conscious, was bleeding from his mouth and his knee and seemed pretty badly in shock), and a woman of about my age but heavily pregnant who asked if she could check on my girls in the back of the car.

The call to 999 was, frankly, excruciating. Our road doesn’t have a name and aside from a farm or two has no major landmarks, so trying to direct them to where to go was virtually impossible. In the end, I gave them my own address and told them to just aim for there because they couldn’t miss us. In fact, the police turned up after just ten minutes while the ambulance took a full 45 minutes to arrive. The people who stopped joked about how they suddenly understood why there was a defibrillator at both ends of our village. The injured man had been cycling with a friend who had made it to their destination, realised his friend wasn’t showing up and cycled back to find him.

I won’t lie; I was shitting myself. Until the police arrived, I was convinced that I was going to be clapped in irons and thrown in a cell. Although I was sure that I hadn’t driven recklessly nor made any careless mistakes, I’ve never been involved in this sort of thing and had NO idea how I would be dealt with. The first response car had two male officers on board, one of whom took me into the back of his car to ask me a whole bunch of questions and take my details, warning that I may be questioned under caution and breathalysed when the traffic unit arrived.

Low and behold, when the Traffic guys turned up, I was questioned again (the “anything you do say may be given in evidence”, etc, was casually dropped into the conversation but felt hugely surreal nonetheless) and given a Breathalyzer. I hadn’t had an alcoholic drink for about a week before the accident, but I was still relieved when the display read ZERO. The officer took photos of the car, questioned me and the cyclist and did a load of other bits before telling me that he was convinced that it was “just one of those things”, an accident which was unavoidable and which wasn’t due to anyone being at fault.

He said that the speedo on the man’s bicycle showed that he’d been doing 23mph around the corner as we collided and that it was a sharp bend, meaning it could have happened to anyone. His injuries (a broken tooth and a badly scuffed knee) were largely superficial because I was only going slowly as I pulled away. At the most, I may have to attend a course to prove my hazard perceptions skills but I wouldn’t be in trouble or even get any points on my licence.

Obviously I was relieved that the blame wasn’t being laid on me but I was also gutted that I had contributed to someone getting hurt, so I asked the man’s friend to apologise to him for me. As the ambulance pulled away, the officer who’d taken the cyclists statement came to me and said “He asked me to tell you to try not to feel guilty, he knows you weren’t at fault”, which made me feel mildly better.

Skip forward to 5 days later; I haven’t heard anything else about the man, so I assume he is on the mend. Despite the full force of a human man and a bike hitting my car, there’s a dent on the bonnet about the size of a fifty pence piece, so Volvo FTW. Sausage seems pretty unfazed by it all and BB has only mentioned it once – they were both in the back, Sausage looking down at Pokemon Go, so I don’t think they really saw much.

As for me…well, I don’t really know. I’ve had nightmares a couple of nights since it happened and I keep seeing the guy’s face as he rolled off of my bonnet onto the tarmac, the image popping into my head at random. I got straight back into the car and drove again because me being able to drive is basically essential to us living in our dream house here in the country, but I won’t lie; I feel sick every time I see a cyclist on the road and I have visions of them swerving in front of me as I overtake. The whole thing could have been a whole lot worse, but I still feel awful about it all.

Why am I writing this, you may ask? Well, I don’t know…catharsis, maybe? A warning to be extra, EXTRA vigilant for cyclists on the road? Maybe just to get it all off of my chest in the hope it stops swirling around in my brain at any opportunity. Who knows?

Maybe as an opportunity to thank a few people – My fellow villagers for reminding me exactly why we wanted to live in a small, friendly community. The Cuthberts for making me strong tea, showing me their garden and their kindness and introducing us to their chickens – all of which calmed me down massively. My in-laws for, as ever, being on my team and making me feel less like a bad person. My kids for being resilient little buggers. Mostly Husband for hugging me, telling me that it wasn’t my fault and giving my hand a little squeeze whenever we have to drive past a cyclist. And the Police for realising that I wasn’t a hapless criminal, just a very shocked Mum of two on a Sunday morning drive.

I doubt the cyclist will ever read this but I hope he’s okay and that he’ll be back on his bike as soon as he’s able. I’d hate to think that his love of cycling was tarnished by this. Most of all I just hope that he and I are both able to get back behind the wheel and never have anything like this happen to either of us again.

get well soon

Beauty

Does Your Husband Have A Beauty Regime Of Their Own? Here’s How It Should Look

Women these days have such varied skincare and beauty regimes. They can vary from the specific morning and nighttime rituals. Right through to using different products at different times of the year. Men, on the other hand, are a little more basic when it comes to things like this. Which, in fairness, I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing. However, you will also find that some men don’t take as much care of their appearance as they should. Which is why I thought it would be a great idea to highlight how a basic beauty regime should look for a man.

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Do they use a facial wash?

I would be surprised to hear that a man doesn’t wash his face, even just with water. It’s a great way of waking yourself up in the morning and getting all the sleep out of your eyes. But just like a woman would, it’s a good idea to include a facial wash in this part of the routine. It can cleanse the skin leaving it feeling fresh for the day. Men can suffer from spots and skin problems to, and may find that they have varying skin types from oily sections to dryness patches. Just like we would, it’s essential to find the right product for them and then sticking to it.

Is there any hair maintenance that needs to take place

Hair maintenance is something that will be different for each and every man. Some will need to shave every day as they like a clean look. Others may have something more commonly known as “designer stubble” which needs more maintenance than it let’s on, and the right shaving tools – electricshaversuk.co.uk. Then you have the men that grow their beards. All of which require care and time to perfect the look that man is going for. It’s hard to find razors and beard trimmers that can cut the time down. But once a routine is established you will find your man will get this sorted in no time. Another thing to consider would be a shaving gel and an aftershave balm to cut down irritation after shaving.

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Moisturising is just as important for a man as it is for a woman

Skin is skin. But why is it that some women take more care of it than some men? It’s the same thing, requiring different levels of attention and needs. Which is why moisturising is just as important for a man as it is for a woman. While some men don’t need to go to the same lengths as some women do, a good light moisturiser will keep their skin hydrated. Again this is something to consider if you find that the skin in question has any oily tendencies or dry patches.

Don’t forget to finish off the look

Finally, once all that maintenance is taken care of, which isn’t drastic, then it’s time to finish off the look. This could be with a bit of restyling of the hair and apply some gel or spray. Or just making sure that all hair maintenance is taken care of, and they look ready for the day.

It’s not as complex, or as lengthy as some beauty regimes. But a basic foundation to taking care of your skin and overall look. I hope it helps you encourage the man in your life to consider how they start their days.

 

Family

How to Have Fun with Your Family This Summer

Summer is the perfect time to be outdoors with your children. There can be so many different things to do. Having an appreciation of the great outdoors is important to instil in our children. It helps them to learn, as well as help them to stay active. If we only encourage them to be inside playing on the computer, then they aren’t going to argue with that! Encouraging play outdoors is fun for all ages and all members of the family to get involved in too. Here are some ideas for what you could do with the family.

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Days at the Beach

If  you live closeby to the coast, then you have the perfect playground on your doorstep. Luckily here in the UK, we are only ever a small drive from a beach of some form. So it might be an idea to plan a trip if you don’t live too close by. Children can skim rocks, build sandcastles and have a little paddle. It is a good idea to take some deckchairs with you to stay comfortable. When you have reached a certain age, you don’t want to get a back injury! You can’t go wrong with looking for fish or crabs either. Then finishing off the ice cream or fish and chips is a pretty perfect trip.

 Woodland Walks

Not all of us live close to the beach, but more of us will have some woodland area nearer to us. These are great to explore over summer. You can build dens or teepees out of sticks and logs. You can do rubbings on tree bark and even look for mini-beasts. You could do a scavenger hunt for certain leaves or see what nature and birds they can see. There are lots of options in the woods, as well as just enjoying a nice family walk.

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City Trips

A trip into town might not be a great idea with the most little of one’s. Having a pushchair with you isn’t the most fun. But if your children are a little older then it is a great idea for a trip out. There are different walks that you could do, as well as lots of different historical sites. It can be a busy day so make sure that it is all planned out well.

Farm Trips

I don’t think that there are many things better than a trip to the farm with your kids. It works well for children of all ages. It is a relatively cheap option for a day out too. So pack up a picnic and head to your local farm. They can pet the animals and learn all about them. It is so fun seeing little ones making all of the animal noises at the farm.

Are there any favourite things that you all like to do as a family? It would be nice to share some hints and tips for days out with our little ones. I hope that you have a great summer holiday with your children.