Adulting · Home

Are You Ready To Buy A House?

Buying a house is a big step to make. It’s the time when you can exercise your true independence, with all the choices and decisions on your side, as well as have all the say in where your money goes. And because of that, it’s something a lot of people look forward to in their life! We can’t blame hordes of young couples and burgeoning families for having huge house plans, right down to the shade of the skirting board around the edge of their lovingly cluttered living room.

But there’s a lot you’re going to have to go through before you get to this stage; mainly, you’re going to have to be able to manage every facet of buying and running your own household without anything to go easy on you the way a rented apartment is easier to manage! And whilst getting both you and your house ready to sell is hard, being ready to buy a new home is still going to be twice as hard! After all, there’s a much bigger chance of a loss occurring here, and that’s never a good start to settling down!

So let’s stop and ask ourselves a few questions before we take the leap into buying a house. Here’s some of the best ones to consider first (but this isn’t an exhaustive list by any means!).

A sight a lot of people dream about… Not something you’d want to make a mistake over purchasing however!

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Are Your Bills All Paid Up?

Because if they are, it’s a good sign you’re managing daily living from month to month, and you’re unlikely to experience any trouble in continuing with this lifestyle. And if that’s already comfortable on your budget, then maybe you could upgrade a little? Move up in life with the size of your home, and finally get those sea views from the top window you’ve always wanted? After all, being able to afford the amenity consumption you’re going to be using for the rest of your life at such a steady rate already is always a good sign! Don’t worry, the amount of money you’re paying out rarely changes.

So if the bills coming in and out of your household are paid immediately from your direct debit, and you’re still storing about 20% of your income away in a savings account, you’ve got some breathing room to get used to standing in a bigger living space with bigger living responsibilities. But of course, only you know how finely you’re cutting it each month with your cash flow, so this readiness is completely up to you to decide. Just let yourself think about this symbolism for a while…

Could You Afford a Mortgage?

Mortgages. The scariest monster of the real estate world. The idea that stops a lot of people from finally going all in with their savings on a house of their dreams. The mortgage is the loan that guarantees you’re going to be living in comfort in a space you’ve been building up to your whole adult life; you know, as long as you have the ability to keep up with repayments and the right projection when you head down to the bank with your current credit score.

So, can you afford a mortgage? With all the different loaning options and repayment amounts out there, who is to really say? Well, your local bank is going to have a huge stake in this, as well as any trustworthy lender you can find online. And most of these people run on the same loan calculating formula, even if you don’t know what that is. Sometimes it feels like you need to have at least ten degrees in the finance sector to understand anything to do with money and how it makes the world go round!

But there’s a quick check you can make yourself here, as long as you have the information at your fingertips. Open up your email account and get some of your records out: it’s prediction time for your household! Use a mortgage and loan calculator to make sure you’re in with the right chance for affording that home you saw in the estate agent’s window, the one you’ve been practically drooling over every time you passed it in the street, and sneakily checked no one had put their own interest down on it yet.

Are You Itching for a Change?

Change is one of the most revitalising things in this world, and that means a lot of people are itching for it. However, a lot of people can’t afford to scratch such a tremendous itch like this, and likely won’t be able to for a long time. And that’s an unfortunate reality of the real estate world, and one you’re probably worried the most about, even amongst all the changes you’re going to have to adapt to when you actually do move.

But when people want a change, and truly want one, they’re going to go out of their way to make sure it happens. And whilst that might not take the form of being able to move and live elsewhere quite yet, it’s still an effective process that’ll change the way they think about their home. Take a leaf out of their book! If you’re in a position to buy a house, and you absolutely know for sure it’s what you want because of how stale your current surroundings are, this is the time for you to make your move. It’s a little point, but it’s often your emotional and spiritual wellbeing that tips people over the edge when it comes to purchasing a house of their own.

Feeling Ready Yet?

There’s no harm in not being sure, but make sure you don’t take too long to think about it. Ruminating over the same decision for years on end is never a good way to live your life! Take your chance now if you know you’re in the position to make the right household change.

DIY

Easy Home Improvements That Can Make Your Life Better

We all want to live in a nice home, which is why we spend so much time decorating and updating them. Some jobs take forever and do not really make a big difference to how comfortable we are. While, others, like the ones I am going to talk about below, really do make our life easier and more comfortable.

Install a heated towel rail

Heated towel rails, like this, are great. They look good, will not rust and ensure that you always have a nice, warm, dry towel to use. Often, you can use the pipes that are already in place for your existing radiator. So, installing one need not be too disruptive.

Update your shower

If you want to enjoy a more powerful shower, try updating the showerhead. Sometimes this is all that is needed.

It is also worth checking that the connection between your mains and home supply has been fully opened. Occasionally, this connection can get turned off during construction work and not get turned on properly again. If you suffer from low water pressure throughout your home, this could be why.

Enhance your lighting

Updating your lighting is a great way to improve the ambience of your home. This in-depth article explains what you need to consider when tackling this project. It also outlines the easiest approach.

Draught-proof your home

Draught proofing your home need not take long and it will make a huge difference to how comfortable you feel. Plus, it should also reduce your fuel and power bills.

Refresh your walls

Re-painting or wallpapering a room is a hassle. Fortunately, you can usually get away with taking an easier approach. Sometimes just hanging new artwork or wall hangings can be all you need to do.

Other times, touching up the paintwork will be enough. Just wallpapering one wall can also work. Or, if you could use stencils or wall stickers to change things up a bit.

Paint your front door

Painting your front door will make a huge difference to how nice your home looks from outside. It also worth power washing the path cutting the grass and spraying the weeds.

Renew your door furnishings

If your internal door handles are looking worn, just replace them. It is easy to do.

Sort out your flooring

If your floors or carpets have seen better days, cover them up or replace them. For some rooms, rugs will be all you need. If you do need to renew your flooring, use the easy to lay options. Lino or laminate flooring are too particularly good options. You do not need any special equipment to be able to lay them.

Renew your kitchen cabinet doors

Instead of ripping out your old kitchen and installing a new one, just replace the doors instead. This is far cheaper. Plus, this is the kind of job that you can do gradually, which makes it manageable for most DIYers.

Many of the suggestions I have made, above, are not expensive. So, if you want to make your home more comfortable why not try one or two of them.

Holidays · Home

4 Clever Things to Do at Home Before a Holiday

With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s a good time to be smart and start preparing. We’re not just talking about packing all those chargers and remembering to turn off the coffee machine, although you certainly should keep this in mind too – it is, in fact, a lot you can do at home to make your holiday just a little bit better.

Image link: Pexels

Here is a handy guide to the first things you should tick off your to-do list the day before you’re heading off. It may be a bit boring but you’ll definitely thank yourself later.

#1 Write an out-of-office response for emails

If your job depends on you replying to all those emails, you’ve probably thought about this already but even if you don’t really rely on emails that much, you should get this one over with. First of all, it helps you to maintain that image of professionalism that you’d like to return to after the holiday and, most importantly, you’ll be able to relax on your time off, knowing that the automated message will take care of everything.

That way, nobody can expect anything of you – which is just what you need for a few weeks.

#2 Remember the fridge

Why do so many people forget to empty their fridges before leaving? Sure, you can always call someone who has a key to your home and ask them kindly to empty your fridge for you – or, as the most likely outcome, you can return home to perishable food that is almost ready to crawl out on its own.

Just remember it this time; get rid of the milk, meat, fruit and anything else that may start to stink and try to give it to your neighbor before leaving. It shows that you’re a responsible adult who cares about not wasting food – and it’s the kind of people the world needs more of.

#3 Get your entertainment ready

Now, it’s time to take care of the part that’s a bit more fun. For a longer flight, you’d want to have all your music ready and maybe a couple of shows to watch on your iPad if you’re not a fan of what the plane has to offer. Sync and backup all of your devices and make sure they are fully charged before it’s time to go.

It’s also an excellent idea to prepare your Netflix account via nordvpn, by the way, so that you have access to all the shows wherever you are in the world. It’s the kind of stuff you’ll be happy about on the rainy days.

#4 Sweep the floor and open the cupboards

Sweeping is a great idea if you’d like to return to a home that is free from pests – they tend to invite themselves in if they find crumbs on the floor and notice that nobody’s going to disturb them for a while. Some of us like to open the cupboards as well to make sure it has a chance to air itself out. This is all optional, of course, but it makes it a bit nicer when you’re back home again.

Rushing off to the airport and making sure everybody has their passports can be a big stress factor to many and we often wind up forgetting about the small things. Try to remember it this time and you’ll feel like such a responsible adult when you’re back home.

Home

Improving Your Home’s Kerb Appeal

kerb appealMost people agree that when they’re viewing houses, they make their mind up within a few seconds of seeing it from the outside. This means that it doesn’t matter if your house is a palace on the inside, if it lacks kerb appeal, you won’t get the sale. There are lots of things you can do to improve your house’s kerb appeal, and these are five of them:

Update Your Exterior

It’s a well-known fact that pebble dashing is one of the least popular exterior wall coatings, but even rendered walls and brick can look past their best. Take an objective look at your exterior walls and decide if they could do with sprucing up, as this investment could pay back easily when you sell your property.

Front Door

Front doors are the main entrance to your house and one of the first things that people see, so if your UPVC is looking tatty or a wooden door needs a rub down, this can affect how people view the whole property. Updating a door can be as simple as giving it a clean or a lick of paint, costing very little but improving your chances of a sale.

Lawns

If your lawn is overgrown, patchy or full of weeds, it’s going to make your property look tatty. It takes very little effort to sort out a front garden and an afternoon of graft could make your house look SO much smarter. Invest in a few plants or ornaments to give your garden a nice finish. If you’re really keen on giving your garden a proper makeover, re-laying turf would also be a winner.

Window Coverings

Technically, this is an interior thing, but you need to take a really objective look at your window coverings from the outside of your property and decide if they do your property justice. Blinds which look tatty or net curtains which have seen better days not only make a property look less-than-clean, they also make the whole place look dated, and can make it really hard to envision a modern look. Replacing nets with privacy film on half of the window, or even investing in shutters, can give your property a modern, luxurious feel and can make your home look fresher with very little effort. At the VERY least, wash and rehang your nets so they look clean and new!

Woodwork

If your home has wooden window frames or wooden fascias, are they looking well looked after? Wood needs to be cared for, be it with varnish or paint and can degrade quickly if it’s not, so giving them a rub-down and re-paint will not only make them look better, but it will show prospective buyers that you’ve cared for the property too – it can be a huge turn-off if it looks like buyers will need to do a lot of work on a house, especially if they’re looking to move straight in and not do any work.

Do you have any great tips for improving the kerb appeal of a home? Leave me a comment below.

Family

How To Build A Healthy Family – Follow These 6 Steps

Photo credit https://unsplash.com/@everythingcaptured

If you were able to time-travel and you asked someone who lived in 1900, what their main priority in life is; they would probably say “Having a healthy family.” If you asked someone in 1940, 1960, or 2010 the same question, you would probably get the same answer. Having a healthy family has always been a top priority. But, today’s family is nothing like the family in 1900 or 1950. We, as society changed our concept of what having a healthy family means.

The old days and the old ways

In the past, it was expected that the male partner would go to work every day and the female partner would stay home to take care of the children, home, and the needs of every member of the family. The female was not expected to get a higher education, to have a career, or to step outside of her defined lines.

Today’s families are different. A family unit may be a traditional male and female. The family may be a single parent, same-sex partners, grandparents raising children or adopted children. A  family is defined by the people who love each other, support each other and nurture each other.

All people have the right to choose if they want to further their education, have a career, or dedicate themselves to the raising of children. To put it bluntly, we each have a right to create our version of a happy, and healthy family.

Photo credit https://unsplash.com/photos/ZtLASJerPb0

6 Fundamental properties all healthy families need

No matter how you choose to live your life and raise your family, there are some basics that hold true for all healthy families. We are going to list them for you below.

 

 

  • Leadership

 

Each member of your family has a particular position. You adore your child, but you cannot give your child a position of authority. Parents must be the leadership of the family. Parents must set the standards for the family and enforce the rules that are needed to be safe and healthy. Adults should adult in private and stand together when an issue arises. This gives children the feeling of security.

 

  • Family hobbies

 

A family needs to have something that you do as a unit. It can be something like hiking, biking, or planting a flower garden. Teaching your child how planting something like Bee Balm Plants which you can later use for making salads or dry the leaves and make your kids a healthy and aromatic tea.

 

  • Health

 

From an early age children need to be taught how to eat, exercise, and the impact of what they put in their bodies does for them. They learn from you. However, they are children. When there is a holiday, party, or event coming up that will feature candy; you do not want your child to feel like they cannot enjoy the event. Be proactive. Keep a supply of sugar-free lollipops in bulk in your home. Your child and their friends will enjoy their treats and they don’t need to know they are sugar-free.

 

  • Communication and compassion

 

It is important to establish open communication with your children. But, be careful not to dismiss their concerns as trivial. They may seem small to you, but in their world, it is important to respect that.

 

  • Attention

 

Many families have a superstar. One of the kids always aces the tests, hits the home-run, and looks great in anything they put on. Parents do not mean to ignore the other children, but it happens. It is important that each and every person has equal time in the spotlight. Point out each child’s strengths and attributes.

 

  • Independence

 

As important as it is to come together, having alone time is a part of life. You need it as an adult and your child needs it in smaller doses so they will grow. They will learn to entertain themselves. They will learn to trust their instincts. They will learn to stand on their own two feet. You owe it to your children to teach them to stand on their own. They are only children a little while. It is your job to teach them to become self-sufficient adults.

As stated, you have a right to create the family you want. Our suggestions are just that. They are suggestions for you to consider. You may want to change them or replace them. Create your roadmap to success. Remember, there are little people following your every move.