24 articles Tag house

Guide For Buying a Home For Your Family

If the time has come for you to purchase that next family home then you may be slightly overwhelmed at just how much there is to consider here. It is for this reason that we want to offer you some tips on exactly what you should be looking for with regards to that next property. We have recently spoken with the brilliant real estate guru Frank Carioti, check him out here http://frankcarioti.com.au/, to bring you some of the finest tips on how you can ensure that you get this property choice just right.

The Need For Right Now 

When it comes to invest in property you have to think about the future of you and your family’s needs. With this being said however the most important aspect to consider is the right now, and this is where the majority of the focus should be. Thinking about what the life of your family looks like in the now will include the following questions with regards to where you should be looking for a property.

How far from your job?

Where is the high quality nearest school?

What are the transport options like?

Where is the nearest grocery store?

Can my children play nearby?

These are key questions which will impact your daily lives and the answers will certainly help you to whittle down which places are possible choices.

The Bigger Picture

One thing which many people fail to look at is the big picture of where you live and this is one of the most important considerations to make. What everyone wants to find is a property that is in a safe place and one which can become more than just a house or apartment to live in, but also a community. Make sure that you do your research around crime rates, community groups in the area and the demographics of the place that you are thinking about living.

Planning For The Future

Ultimately those kids of yours will grow up and get jobs, advance their education and look to enjoy a vibrant social life. You as parents will also move on with your careers and your personal life and it will be important that you are able to find a property which can fit with your potential future needs. This will be a big factor when considering what size property to buy and what extras you would like it to have. You may have twins sharing a room right now but in the future they’ll want their own space, consider factors like this to help you in your decision to buy a property which you can stay in long term.

Budget

The budget will be a huge factor here and more often than not it will be the deciding factor between location or property type. The reason why so many people live in suburbs is because they wanted more bang for their buck and they were happy to travel if it meant a sizable property. This is usually the decision of those who are looking for a family property too, that they want the space more than they want to live in a hot location. The key will be balancing these two and in order to do that you have to work hard on the budget. Even if you are borrowing, it is important that you don’t go too big that you will feel under pressure to pay the mortgage every month, but also not to be too conservative and end up with a property which isn’t fit for all of your needs. Be smart, decide on a healthy budget and stick to it.

Take your time, consider all options and use a process of elimination to get the property which you want.

 

First Time Parents: Keeping the Cleaning Simple

For first time parents, the first few months of your baby’s life is an absolutely wonderful time, but some of it can seem a little overwhelming and mysterious. In the lead up to the birth, your mind will be absolutely full of questions and worries, with preparations taking over the majority of your thoughts.

One of those pressing concerns is making sure that the house is clean and tidy enough to bring a newborn into, as well as being able to keep the place in order once your little one or ones are home, without sacrificing too much time with your precious new arrival. With this in mind, I thought I’d give you some tips on little things that you can do which will make things more simple for you:

Declutter in Advance

One thing on which most new parents will agree is that newborns require a lot of STUFF. Your usually minimalist space will suddenly contain dummies, muslins, toys, books, nappies, a million babygrows, teethers, wipes, changing bags, nappy bins…the list goes on! Something that can really help is having a serious declutter before baby comes along. This will ensure that your house isn’t full of unneccesary stuff that will just give you more to dust and tidy in the long run.

Keep it Simple

When you’re recovering from birth, looking after a baby and probably hosting a whole slew of family and friends, you want to make sure you get as much rest as possible. Grabbing 40 winks when the baby sleeps is one of the most important tips I can give first time parents, but once you feel rested enough to tackle the housework, just take care of the basics. No-one cares if your windows aren’t spotless or if your oven hasn’t been deep cleaned. Vacuuming, washing up, laundry, cleaning loos – that’s all fairy vital. Almost everything else can wait!

Use a Sling

When Sausage finally came home from the NICU, she did NOT like to be put down for very long, which made doing almost everything tricky. Then, I invested in a sling and suddenly, life was easier! Sauage was more than happy hanging around on my front while I did washing up, vacuuming, all sorts of stuff (although nothing involving chemicals or fumes, obvs!) and it was lovely to have that closeness. By the time BB came along, I was a pro and the sling was deployed straight away.

Accept Help

Everyone tells you to accept help if it’s offered, but so many first time parents are too proud or don’t want to be an inconvenience. But seriously, if someone is offering help, ACCEPT IT! Your parents, siblings and friends all want to feel like they’ve been able to help you, so you should let them. Something simple like chucking a wash in the machine, loading the dishwasher or pushing the hoover round will be a minor effort for them, but a big load off for you. It will also give you more precious time with baby.

Do you have any handy tips for first time parents? I’d love to hear your thoughts and advice!

5 Tips to Financing your Next Home

Everybody, once you become an adult, you would love to enjoy your private space. Having your own home is a dream come true for most people in the world. However, as we all know, that does not come easy. You have to be ready to work for it.

Money is the main factor that can limit you from making a down payment or paying the new house in full. You may need some help in this area. This article focuses on giving you five tips 

that you will need the next time you are making an investment of this magnitude.

Do you need a new home?

Any dream is achievable. However, you have to sit down and analyze whether you require this new home or not.

One of the things you have to analyze is your income. Most lenders will give you reasons why you should take a mortgage. You should nevertheless think about the risk that you are about to undertake. Even if you qualify for a particular mortgage limit, it does not mean that you can pay it off in time.

Thus, if buying a house can wait for some time, you had better do so.

Preparing to acquire the property

Once you think that you are ready to invest in a new home, you have to think of ways of investing in this new asset. If you do not have the ability to pay in full, then your other option is to look for a mortgage.

Before you even start the process, ensure that you prepare beforehand. For instance, you could try to work on your credit score. If it is low, then you lower your chances of getting a mortgage. However, if you can work on getting up, then you can increase your chances by a considerable margin.

A good credit score, by the way, can range between 650 and over. If it is below that, you can work towards improving it.

Look for various borrowing options

Here is where many people make mistakes. You can get the wrong option if you do not shop around to see the various options available. There are many lenders in this space, which means that you have to be keen when making a decision.

Here are the mortgage options you can consider:

– Use a private lender

If you have a poor score on your credit, you can look for a person or a private business that offers that. This is a good option for people that do not have documents required to acquire a mortgage.

– Make a deal with a homebuilder

Most home builders provide in-house mortgages, which you could also use. Nevertheless, you have to be keen when agreeing with these types of lenders.

– Using FHA mortgage

Most federal banks support these loans because they are affordable to many. Even when you have a bad credit score, you could get the mortgage as long as you make a 10% down payment.

Other financing options include rent to own, using your retirement account and crowdfunding.

Final remarks

Before you make any purchases, you have to ensure that you analyze your current situation. For instance, with a new home, you may have to adjust your current budget to help pay for the mortgage you just committed to repaying it. 

Remember also that people take years to finish paying off a mortgage. Therefore, ensure that you make the right decisions and consult professionals in this area.

 

 

 

 

 

Family Admin: The Background Work In A Successful Household

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Being a parent is often considered a full-time job, and this makes sense when you think about all of the work you have to do. You will have to feed, clean, and help your child to sleep, while also providing them with an early education and plenty of play, eating a huge amount of the time you used to spend on other things. When you’ve got this much on your plate, it can be all too easy to find yourself making mistakes or ignoring crucial work which could have a big impact on your life. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring a range of different admin areas, giving you some easy ways to handle them when you’re trying to keep your family moving in the right direction.

Money

While it might be a subject which people don’t like to think about too much, money is crucial to your family, and is one of the key areas which you need to focus on. Children can be extremely expensive, often costing their parents a small fortune before they reach adulthood. During this time, you’re going to need to be on top of your money, or you could find yourself struggling to give your little ones everything they need. You can find some examples of the areas you need to keep in mind below.

Savings: Saving money when you’re having to spend a lot can be a difficult task, and a lot of people choose to have small comforts instead. Having savings behind you will make it easier to afford the big things in your child’s life, like getting their first car or paying for college. There are loads of tools on the market which are designed to help with this, from bank accounts which can manage your saving for you, to financial experts who can be on hand to help you to make the tough choices which come with your money.

Debt: It’s likely that you’ll get into some sort of debt as a parent, whether this is the occasional credit card spending or something much larger, like a mortgage. When you borrow the wrong kind of money, though, it can often be a challenge to pay what you owe, and a lot of people struggle with this. A debt relief order can help your family to get out of debt. In most cases, though, it’s best to work hard to avoid this position, putting time and effort into the background work to avoid debt.

Taxes & Bills: As the last part of this to consider, it’s time to think about the tax and bills you pay. A lot of people struggle to cover these parts of their lives when they have kids, and even doing the work to get them paid can be a challenge. It’s well worth looking for help if you’re struggling with this, though you should be putting enough time into working on it to avoid this. If you need help to get started, there are countless blogs around the web which are in place to cover this sort of work.

Education

Giving your child the best possible education your home town can offer is crucial to their success in the future. Even if they don’t like going to school, being in a good one will make it far easier for them to get good grades, though you will have to be on top of a lot of admin work to make this possible. Schools are becoming increasingly competitive, and will often open applications long before your child would be old enough to enroll. This makes it worth doing plenty of research to figure out the process you’ll have to go through at least a year before they start. There are a lot of Facebook groups which are filled with knowledgeable parents who have gone through the same process in the past.

Medical

Along with enrolling your child in a good school, it also makes sense to make sure that they have access to a quality doctor. A lot of people ignore this factor when they are thinking about their children, assuming that they will be healthy for years to come. Of course, though, it’s impossible to tell what might be around the corner, and the help of an experienced health expert could be invaluable. You can research your local doctors, but will also have to fill out a bit of paperwork to make sure that they are ready for your child. In a lot of cases, it will be worth having the little one see a professional like this on a regular basis until they have developed enough for you to be confident.

Moving Home

A lot of families have to move home during their first few years together. As your unit grows, your old home will lack the space and resources you need to function properly, and this will put a strain on everyone. When you decide to move, a lot of the work you’ve done in the past will be reset. For example, if you’ve signed your child up with local medical professionals, but move to a different town, you’re going to have to go through this process again to avoid having to go back to the old place every time the kids need help. There are organisations out there which are happy to help with this, though it will also be worth taking steps to make it easier for yourself. Making a to-do list will be very helpful, giving you the chance to forget about your mountain of jobs to focus on one at a time.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to start taking your family admin work more seriously. A lot of people struggle with this, finding it hard to know what needs to be done when they are trying to build a successful household. This sort of work is becoming more and more crucial in the modern world, and a lot of people are finding themselves having to put time into it.

Making Our Current Home Work for Us

Making Our Home Work for UsPhoto by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Next week, Sausage starts senior school. She turned eleven a few weeks ago and suddenly seems so grown up. She currently shares a bedroom with her sister, which was their choice when we moved in, but a lot can change in the space of four years and I think Sausage is craving her own space. It will be even more important when she has homework to do and needs a quiet place to do it, so we’re having a re-jig of the whole home, to make it work for us.

We have three bedrooms in our home – one for Husband and I, one for the girls and another which is used as an office/dressing room/junk room. Sausage is going to have the room that Husband and I are in so that she and BB have rooms which are the same size, while Husband and I will move into his office and the dining room will become the office.

Both girls would like their bedrooms decorated too, and their colour choices could not be a better illustration of their differing personalities. Sausage wants her bedroom to be purple with black accents, and BB wants hers to be even more pink than it already is! Everyone says they look alike, but I always counter that with “…but their personalities are VERY different!” We’re buying a new bed for Sausage as she’s currently in bunk beds with her sister, and she’s looking forward to choosing one.

At the moment, what we call “the dining room” isn’t actually used for anything close to dining. It’s where Sausage’s budgie, Bagel, lives, as well as the family’s bikes. Our shed isn’t massively secure, so we keep the bikes inside, but this will definitely need to change. As well as a bed, we need to invest in some sort of bike storage for the home, like a shed or lockable bike box to keep everything safe and secure.

We need to do a few other things around the house, too. Our kitchen floor needs replacing and we have the tiles, we just need to get around to actually laying them! Our upstairs bathroom is in a state of disrepair, just because it’s quite old, so we’re hoping our landlady will take care of some of that this year too.

I think the only room we’re not doing anything to is the living room! However, once we get all of the moving around and rearranging done, our home will work a whole lot better for us.

Think It’s Time To Move House? Let’s Look At What You Should Do

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You’ve been comfortably living in a fitting home for a while now, and whilst it’s been a blast, you think the tenure here has reached its last legs. It would be lovely to stay here forever and not have to put in the effort regarding relocation, but that’s not the world we live in. As weeks, months, and years go by, your life changes and your situation changes. You’re a completely different person or a completely different family to what you were just a few years ago, and it’s time to find a place to suit your new needs.

If you’ve been through this stuff a fair few times before, then you’ll know all of the aspects it entails – and there are quite a lot, huh? Whilst it’s not a hugely troubling affair, it does need some thought. Let’s have a little look at some of the stuff you should do in the lead up to the potential move.

Plan Things In Advance

Like a lot of things in life, you should probably have a little plan of action written down for you and those around you to follow. If you are doing everything off-the-cuff, then it may get a little confusing as there are many steps.  Check out this moving home checklist from Pink Storage.

Get Your Home Ready To Be Sold  

When the current home eventually leaves your grasp, you’ll want more than enough money in return. If you can afford to invest heavily to hike the price up, then good for you, but you don’t always need a big overhaul – little aesthetic changes can up the value a lot. When it comes to actually letting go, you can go through the traditional process, or you can sell quickly. You can visit the Flying Homes website and others that are similar if you want to take a lot at how that system operates. It is good to make sure everything is looking fresh and smart before leaving as you don’t want potential buyers think it’s a sty!                                                                                                                                                   

Figure Out What Type

There are a bunch of different styles of house in the world, and it’s up to you to choose which would be best. Your initial thoughts are probably to find something similar to what you have now but upgraded or downsized, but there might be something unorthodox out there that suits you perfectly.

Look Up Movers

The whole thing takes a lot of effort – and physically is needed on the day as you’ll be on your feet lifting stuff. If you want some help, then you should probably research companies that handle this process for you so that you can kick back when you have the chance.

Don’t Stress!

It’s easier said than done, but this entire process doesn’t need to keep you on edge throughout. Sure, it can occupy your mind quite a lot as it’s a significant chapter in your life, but there’s no need to worry about it. The moving process is something everybody goes through, and if it were so difficult, nobody would get it over the line! It’s a piece of cake, so enjoy it as much as you can.  

Dress up Your Outdoor Windows for Summer

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As we move into the warmer weather, you may want to give your home a fresh look to reflect the change of season. Not only can you make interior décor changes to fit the summer vibe, but the exterior of your home deserves some TLC too.

Do you ever walk past a lovely-looking house and admire decorative features in the driveway, beautiful windows, or a brightly painted door? First impressions are everything, and what your home looks like from the outside can instantly boost a home’s curb appeal.

With so many styles to choose from, it can feel overwhelming to do a complete overhaul of your home’s exterior, so take it one step at a time, and begin with your windows.

Here are four ideas to dress up your outdoor windows for summer, using the classic English House for style inspiration.

Select Your Window Type

Don’t underestimate the power of your window frames as they make all the difference when preparing your home to “pop” from the outside. Sash windows are the perfect choice to achieve the English House look as the “sashes” form a frame to hold the panels of glass. They’re an elegant and timeless way to finish off a period-inspired home.

You can choose between uPVC Sash Windows or Timber Windows, each of which offers you a range of styles and configurations. From dual swing to tilt and slide to casement and sliding sash, you’ll be sure to find the right option to suit your home. For a classic English House style, a timber window with the sliding sash style would be ideal.

You can also choose any colour for timber windows if you treat the frames with several coatings of specialised paint. White window frames offer a classic English House style and look great against bricks or stone. View sash window inspiration here.

Add Window Flower Boxes

When properly arranged and placed, window boxes are a wonderful addition to your home’s exterior to add some colour and to make heads turn.

The best window boxes compliment the style of a house, so make sure that the size is correct (not too wide) and that the depth gives your flowers enough room to grow, without blocking the window’s view.

Pick your favourite summer flowers and you can look at them with pride every time you return home. View window flower box inspiration here.

Install Decorative Exterior Shutters

Typically, window shutters are used on the inside of the window frame to control the amount of light that comes through. However, you’ve likely seen them on the outside of people’s homes and wondered do people actually open and close them? Although window shutters were originally designed for privacy and security, they are now more commonly used for decoration and style.

Exterior window shutters add character and charm to your home’s appearance and require little in the way of maintenance. View exterior shutter inspiration here.

Consider Window Awnings

Window awnings are another great addition for aesthetic purposes as the overhang above the window adds an extra dimension to your home’s exterior. With so many, colours, patterns and designs available, it’s easy to choose an awning that will match the style and décor you are trying to create. View window awning inspiration here.

Awnings also prevent the sun from shining in through the windows and protect the window from above.

Not only are these window additions great for curb appeal and your own enjoyment, but they can also translate into a higher resale value of your home — in case you ever decide to move.

Now take a step back and admire your Pinterest worthy outdoor windows you’ll be amazed at how much they doll up the exterior of your home!

Tips to Refresh your Home at the Start of 2019

As we move into 2019 many people will be looking to refresh their homes with a new modern look. Here we cover several top interior design tips you could use in order to do so.

• New theme

Changing the style to your home is a very good way of giving it that new updated look. This could be done through simply changing the colours around your home. Using a selection of no more than 2-3 core colours is usually the best approach.

• Making a statement

Many people are now looking to make a statement with the style of their home, whether this be through a floor rug or a modern composite door such as the ones at Truedor. Rugs add comfort to almost any space, the right one can push forward a striking statement. It is important to look over the proportion of your room prior to selecting a rug.

• Artwork

Adding artwork to walls can completely change the overall look of the room as on many occasions these are neglected. There are an endless list of different ones to choose from, so you can give your home that preferred style you are looking for.

• Plants

Adding greenery to your home or workspace can really improve the space. It can be a ready compliment to the room, when added to a neutral colour scheme.

• Style right

Choosing the correct décor is very important. Simply keeping things arranged in groups of different heights, textures and tones instantly gives the room that greater visual interest.

• Lighting

Lighting is possibly the most important factor when it comes to creating a modern inviting home. This can be through allowing more natural light into your home through the correct windows in place. Or simply adding floor and table lamps around the living space to create a bright home. Creating a warm glow to a room, is a great and simply way to modernise the space.

• Minimalism

The final tip is being simple. Minimalism is continuing to grow in popularity and is a great way to not only give your home a modern look, but will enable you to enhance the space around the room and home in general.

Get The House In Order Before Christmas

Get The House In Order Before ChristmasIt’s that time of year when our thoughts are filled with festive plans; where we’re going for Christmas dinner, what’s happening on Boxing Day, who will we see the New Year in with? If you’re someone who likes to host, you may also be thinking about getting your house into shape before the masses descend upon you for eating, drinking and general merriment. But what can you do to spruce the place up without spending a fortune? Here are some ideas:

Flooring

It doesn’t matter how perfect your paintwork is, if your flooring is worn or dated it can ruin the whole look of a house. One of the most economical and hardwearing ways to improve things is by putting down some laminate flooring. It won’t cost a fortune, it will last for decades and you won’t have to worry about someone spilling a glass of Christmas mulled wine on it (which you KNOW will happen if you put a new carpet down instead!)

De-Cluttering

Another thing which can massively improve the look of a house is de-cluttering. If you get rid of stuff you don’t want and keep surfaces as clear as possible, it can even make your rooms look bigger and improve your health because of the reduction in collected dust. If you sell anything of value, you could even make yourself a few quid in the process!

Woodwork

Sprucing up things like skirting boards and dado rails can give the room a much fresher look, and sometimes they simply need a wipe down with a wet cloth or Magic Sponge to get them looking nice again. Look at the bottoms of doors and the areas around handles which can often get grubby over time, especially if you’ve got kids or pets.

Sofas and Cushions

If your sofa cushion covers and throw cushion covers are washable, taking time to stick them through a wash cycle will have two positive benefits – as well as looking cleaner, they’ll smell nice too, which can make your whole living room smell nicer. If they’re compatible with fabric softener, opt for one of the strong smelling concentrated ones for maximum effect.

Carpet Cleaning

If you don’t have the option of ripping up your carpets and laying laminate (if you live in a rented property, for instance), hiring a carpet cleaner is a good alternative. It won’t cost much and will revive the carpets, leaving them looking cleaner and smelling much fresher. You can get spot stain removers and even anti-pet smell solutions which can get your carpet looking and smelling as good as new.

Top 8 Ways to Simplify Your House Cleaning

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House cleaning is a necessary but stressful process for everyone. Generally, it starts off as a seemingly simple chore which becomes increasingly overwhelming as time passes by. And most of us wish that the process could be simpler and less tedious. Well, it could be, but only if you know how to make the process simpler and less stressful. This article focuses on eight ways to make house simpler.

Do a little daily

Staying on top of  small daily tasks makes cleaning so much easier. Most of us prefer to do all our house cleaning in a single day, the main reason being the lack of time during weekdays due to work. However, doing a few small tasks daily such as wiping counters and washing dishes can make a huge difference. The aim here is to avoid building smaller chores into large ones.

Make a Schedule

Staying on top of things is not as easy as it sounds especially because there is a plethora of other stuff which occupies your mind and could cause you to forget that you have to do the dishes or wipe the counters. That is why it is important to have a schedule which clearly shows when you want to get some house chores done. Having a schedule gives you a clear-cut plan of action and prevents lagging or idling around when you have work to be done.

Make and implement rules

 Sometimes, making a few rules could be just what you need to make house cleaning simpler and less stressful. This is especially necessary if people usually make a mess at your home which you have to clean up all by yourself. Some rules would go make it easier to do your job, especially if everyone does theirs. Consider rules like “no shoes on while on the carpet” which could help reduce the number of times you need to vacuum-clean your carpet. An important part of making rules is implementation of the rules since rules without implementation are nothing but words.

Decluttering

 An important part of making cleaning simpler is organization. The main cause of cluttering at home is the fact that everything is kept everywhere. Have places for everything. If possible, label places where certain stuff should be kept like cups, plates, spoon/forks and other household equipment. This also applies to clothes, undies, and shoes.

Clean as you go

This technique is better and easier to use after decluttering. Once clusters have been reorganized, wiping becomes much easier, maybe even fun. Wiping bathroom counters and sinks after taking a bath could be easier after bottles and accessories have been moved out of the way. Also, cleaning dishes after meals make the sink empty which in turn makes wiping easy. However, not all chores are compatible with this technique but it is important to do those that are.

Be consistent

 Consistency is important in making house cleaning simple. If you have work to be done, do the work. There is nothing worse and demotivating than being in work mode and then lagging only to continue later. Being consistent is also about doing a little each day without skipping. Doing some laundry for about ten minutes each day will reduce the overall amount of laundry you have to do during weekends.

Delegate chores 

If dirtying the house is not entirely your fault, then, cleaning the house should not be entirely your responsibility. Make cleaning a family thing. Delegate some of the chores to the kids. Regardless of the age, everyone should be able to contribute in some way (except a toddler, of course). Being a mom doesn’t mean you have to carry the entire load of housecleaning.

Consider outdoor help

 If the burden of work is too much for you, employ a maid or a yardman. Employing outside help will immensely lessen your workload and give you time to actually spend with your kids and train them in the way you would like them to be. However, if you think you couldn’t handle the workload, outside help is unnecessary.

Liz is a part of the Content team at Best Vacuum Expert, sharing expert knowledge and best tips on how to have a clean house.