27 articles Tag house

Five Tips for Selling Your House Fast

Five Tips for Selling Your House FastPhoto by Alexandr Podvalny from Pexels

Selling your house can be a lengthy process. From deciding you want to sell, to putting it on the market and waiting for all of those potential buyers to show up, it can somestimes take a matter of years before your sale is final. With this in mind, I thought I’d share some tips with you today which can speed your house selling process up exponentially:

Sell to a Company

Probably the fastest way to sell your house is to sell it to a company which buys property. There are a few of them out there and some can help you to sell your home in as little as 7 days. The beauty of this is that it’s usually a cash sale and there’s no chain on their side so they won’t have to wait for mortgage approvals or payments from other buyers.

Put it on Facebook

Believe it or not, Facebook Marketplace has become a really popular way to sell houses. You’ll get far more eyes on your property than you would by selling through a bricks-and-mortar Estate Agent, and you can often save yourself a whole lot of fees by managing the viewings and sale by yourself. You’ll need someone to write up the proper contracts and surveys, etc. but it’s still a good option for getting things moving.

Go to Auction

Auction sales are especially good if your house isn’t in the greatest condition, and auction sales are usually contracted to finalise just 28 days after the hammer falls, so you could be out of your property in just four weeks if you choose to go this route. There’s obviously a risk that you won’t make your full asking price, but that’s often the chance you take in getting a quick sale.

Part Exchange

Believe it or not, some new house builders will accept your old property as a part exchange on a new house, just like car dealerships do! Obviously, this is only helpful if you plan to buy a new house, but it’s still a really good way to make the whole process of buying and selling property faster and simpler. You’ll only have to deal with one set of agents, there’s no ongoing chain and you’ll have a shiny new property at the end of it!

Reduce Your Asking Price

Everyone who puts a property on the market usually puts it up for the maximum price they could feasibly get. However, if there are a lot of other properties on the market like yours, it’s unlikely you’ll sell for the top price. Take a really pragmatic look at your property and what you’re asking and think about whether you could stand to drop the price, JUST A BIT, to make it a more competitive option and usually the buyers come flooding in.

Five Ways to Help You to Sell Your House

Five Way to Help You to Sell Your HousePhoto by Matt Jones on Unsplash

Despite the UK being in a bit of flux, financially speaking, due to the coronavirus pandemic, house prices are currently at an all time high, making it a sellers market right now. However, that doesn’t mean that your property will immediately fly off of the shelf, and leaving a property sitting on the market for too long can be costly in the long run. With this in mind, today we’re looking at five things that you can do which will increase your chances of selling your property quickly:

Deep Cleaning

When you live in a house, it’s really easy to become a bit blind to some of the every day bits of grubbiness, like dirty skirting boards or door handles. Hiring a professional cleaning company, such as Clean 360, means that you’ll get a team of professionals tackling a deep clean and they’ll be better placed to spot those tricky areas that you miss when it’s your own home. You may also find that when the house os properly spotless, there are areas which don’t need as much maintenance or redecoration as you’d once thought.

Declutter

If you walk into a house which is up to the shoulders in clutter, not only will it be harder to see the true size of the rooms, it also makes it harder to envisage your own stuff inside the house as well. If you’re trying to sell your house, make it easy for them to see all the fantastic living space you’re offering them but don’t make it look like a generic hotel; leave some personality. Apart from anything else it gives unimaginative buyers suggestions as to what they might do

Think About Kerb Appeal

First impressions really do count and buyers are judging your home well before they step over the threshold. Your house may be stunning inside, but if the outside doesn’t look great you jeopardise your sale. Look at your property from the road? How does it compare to other houses in your street? As you walk from the pavement to your front door, does every element of your property look cared for and well maintained? If not, taking care of those things will make a huge difference.

Use Your Nose!

There are lots of people who advocate baking or brewing coffee before showing potential buyers around your home to make it smell more homely when you sell your house, and I’m sure Mrs. Hinch and her army of followers would have a few tricks using pints of Zoflora, too. Obviously, you want the place to smell good, BUT…not TOO good! If you use strong air fresheners or smells in every single area of your home, people may wonder if you’re masking something, like the smell of damp.

Check Out the Competition

There’s basically zero chance that yours is the only property that potential buyers will be viewing, and it’s good to know what you’re up against. While going on viewings of every similar property in your area would be time consuming, it’s well worth doing some browsing on the usual property websites to see what else is out there at a similar price point to yours. This will  allow you to see if there’s anything else you could add to your home to make it a more competitve option.

Updating My Custom Doll House

Updating My Custom Doll HouseThis is a picture of the house halfway through being built.

You may remember that I posted some years ago now about the doll house that my Nan and Grandad built for me when I was a child, and how I planned to renovate it. Well, life well and truly got in the way and it has, unfortunately, lived in my mother-in-law’s loft since then. However, with the summer holidays getting close, I’ll have a lot more time on my hands and I’ve decided to make it a priority. Here are some of the things I plan to do:

Wallpaper

When I first started planning the renovation, I had thought about going to my local DIY superstore and getting sme wallpaper samples to use. However, it turns out that dolls house wallpaper is actually a thing! It can be bought by the sheet and is self-adhesive, with much smaller print which looks better on the little walls.

Floor Coverings

Most of the rooms are carpeted and in great condition, but on the surfaces which aren’t carpeted, I plan to use some really funky checkerboard floor tiles that I’ve seen. They’re perfect for a small floor and will give the whole house a nice updated look and I can’t wait to see what the finished effect will look like.

Roof Repairs

As I said in my old post, the roof tiles are individually cut out of a teracotta colours lino to look like the real thing. I don’t want to retile the while roof as that would be an enormous job, so I plan to find something which is as close to the original material as possible and patch the roof up where it needs it. I’m hoping to get it looking back to its original glory, but I’m nowhere near as skilled as my lovely Grandad, so I just hope I can do him justice.

Me with my doll houseYes, that is tiny me!

Curtains

The curtains that my Nan made for the doll house are still pretty good, but the fabric is a little dated and could do with some modernisation. Thankfully, I’m fairly decent with a sewing machine and I can do a good job of updating all of the curtains and soft fabrics in the house. I’ll probably choose a fabric which co-oridinates with the new wallpaper so that it all goes well together.

Furniture

This is the one area where I may choose to outsource and buy replacements for the furniture, instead of attempting to make my own. Aside from having nowhere near the skill of my grandparents in this area, I don’t have the tools OR the space to do this type of work, so I’ll hit eBay, Facebook and maybe Freecycle to see if I can source a whole house worth of new furniture that way.

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

https://unsplash.com/photos/r3WAWU5Fi5Q

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

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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!