You Might Be Devaluing Your Home Without Realising

It’s not always easy to sell your home for the price you want at the best of times. If you live in an area that doesn’t have a booming property market, then you to need to make sure that your home is on point in as many areas as possible to give yourself the best chance of moving on to your next home. Unfortunately, sometimes we’re putting ourselves at a disadvantage without even realising it.


Termites and Rodents


A home can be as presentable and as well furnished as possible, but if you have creatures living just below the surface, then it’s going to be an immediate red flag for potential buyers. Termites and rodents can have a hugely detrimental impact on the well-being of a home, and this will show when it gets valued by an inspector. Get a rodent and termite inspection if you suspect anything and bring your house back up to full value.




A Swimming Pool


It’s a nice image: a large, clean swimming pool right in your back garden for use on those long summer days. Sounds great on paper, but it does make selling your home more tricky. For starters, the upkeep of a swimming pool can cost a lot. Second, not everybody actually wants a swimming pool. In fact, most people don’t. When they see one in the back, they’re not thinking of the health benefits of swimming – they’re seeing the cost of getting it filled in.


Crazy Paint Schemes


Many people like to stamp their creativity and personality onto their home, and that’s a really great thing. But if you are thinking of adding an unorthodox paint scheme to your home, then you should be aware that it’ll probably decrease the value. Part of what makes your decoration so enjoyable is that it’s your personality; someone else will have a different personality. Understated colours work best as they show the potential of a home and not the drawbacks.


The Small Details


It’s easy to overlook the small details, especially when you live in your home and don’t really notice them anymore. You might think that potential buyers are just going to see the big stuff – the size, how clean it is, the location, and so forth, but all the small details contribute to their overall view of the property. Deeply dirty windows, light switches that don’t work, wallpaper peeling in the corners will all give a bad impression. However, they’re easy to fix so make sure they’re all in order!


The Front


Don’t just focus on the inside of your home: potential buyers will be entering through the front, and it’s here where their impression of the property will begin. Spend some time sorting out the front of your home, ensuring the grass is trim and any debris or toys have been cleared away. The door, also: it might not be a priority to you, but it’s the first buyers interact with and it needs to be in good shape!

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Things to Consider Before Becoming A Landlord

Buying a property to let out is becoming one of the quickest-growing ways to invest your money in the current market. If you have wanted to place your cash into something that is financially secure, this may not be the route for you; it’s a sort of fall-or-fly conundrum, and you can either thrive within it or crash hard. However, if you keep your mind-set on the goal and take more than just a few factors into account, you are more likely to succeed.


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Research Before Buying


Look at what is available to you on the market. Compare and contrast prices that you would pay for your ideal buy (for example, a two-bedroom apartment) and see how the prices differ from one area to another. While looking, keep in mind other offers that spring up; if you had initially set out to get one type of living space, don’t rule out others that appear to be bargains too. But remember – if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Houses do not sell for much less than what they are worth, and if they are then there is something dodgy either with the seller or the house itself.


Make Sure the Area will Return Your Investment


It’s no surprise that better areas of living will demand higher rent prices. If a tenant feels safe and secure within their home, and if local amenities such as shops and schools are available to them, there will always be somebody willing to move in to your property. Don’t just think about the here-and-now when thinking about a return on your investment; later on, it’s worth taking into consideration whether your property will sell for more a higher profit. Even if you don’t sell it, the equity behind it can contribute towards further real estate investments.


Put Yourself in Their Shoes


Everybody has an ideal tenant in their mind, but you need to really hone in on their demographics to be able to get them to come to you. Different people have different styles, and whereas your home might be simple enough for the tastes and needs of, say, a student, it may not be suitable for a family. It’s also worth considering whether the space will need to be furnished or not, and whether that is a sound investment or a useless one; again, with students it may be appreciated, but with an established family they probably have their own bits and pieces that they have accumulated across the years, making yours essentially redundant (until the next tenants move in and may want to take it). Keeping the property user-friendly is a must, and ensuring that the tenants know that they are allowed to “make a house a home” could be the difference in them staying 6 months or 6 years; if somebody knows that they can make their space personal to them, they are more likely to want to carry on the tenancy.


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Do-Up Properties; A Good Investment of Money but Not Time


If you are looking at purchasing a property to renovate, take into consideration the time-scale of when you wanted to be letting it out and how long it will take the work to be done. It can work out as a really good investment of your money as the property value will only increase with the work that you’re doing on it. WIth that in mind, there are other factors to consider with it, like putting in more money than you could get as a return and setting your sights on things which are out of your reach in term of how much input you can provide; you may have to outsource some contract work to get the job done (examples can be found at or leave certain jobs until a later date, pushing back the goal that you had set out in the first place. Can you afford the initial outset of payments, or will this impact on your finances more than you wished?


Use an Agent or Going Alone?


It is pretty standard knowledge that using a real estate agent is probably the safer bet when it comes to dealing with issues of renting. Although they will take a fee, consider whether it is worth it to you; it will free up more of your time, main issues will go through them and everything would be (should be!) above board. They sort out all of the paperwork and the legal side for you, and you can usually get your insurance into place through them too. If you decide to go it alone, make sure that you know all the pros and cons of being a landlord – cover your back and triple check that you are doing everything the way it should be done. If not, it could cost you in the long run.


Know What’s Expected of You


As the owner of a property, you have certain criteria to meet. You need to make sure that the tenant’s home is livable, that it has had all of the necessary boxes ticked (plumbing checks including boiler services, electrical safety checks and certain insurances covered) and that it is up to scratch on standard; if you wouldn’t consider living in your property, why would anybody else?


Essentially, it can take a lot to start up your own little monopoly of properties. When you start off with one, you want to make sure that you gain a reputation for it being good value, but without selling yourself. There are a lot of points to take into consideration when starting off, but good research will not abate your progress at all – in fact, quite the opposite, as you will have a clear path as to how to get your property up and running and out on the market. If you establish yourself as a landlord who listens, cares and is available to fix a problem at a moment’s notice, the rest will take care of itself.

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A Boost In Productivity Is All You Need


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Keeping staff motivated and productive can be one of the biggest challenges that a business faces. Staff is very easy to upset or demotivate, and hard to turn around. So, you need to be making efforts to keep your staff happy long before they ever get sad. Knowing what to do with your staff can be the hardest part of all, though. So, to help you out, this post will be going through some of the best ways to increase productivity in your business.


Even in relatively interesting jobs, it’s hard for staff to keep from getting bored. When you work for months on end, without any real break, things start to get tiring. So, it might be about time to treat your staff to an event. Giving your staff the chance to let their hair down on company time can be a great way to motivate them to do more. After an event like this, you’ll find that your productivity goes up massively. And, of course, your staff will be much happier. Arranging an event can be hard. First, you need to try to find a venue and choose the type of event that you want to host. One of the biggest parts of an event like this is the food. So, it’s worth using professional catering or café services to deal with it for you. In fact, you can use other companies to do most of the work at events like this.


Sometimes, hosting an event will be a little too much, though. Or, you could feel that your staff don’t work hard enough for it yet. So, you might need to start using incentives to get your staff working well. Offering small rewards for people who go above and beyond in their work is a great way to make sure that they’re working hard. Incentives can promote healthy competition between staff. This means that your staff will be working hard; without even realising it. Some places even offer vouchers and gift cards when their staff perform well.


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Most people thrive when they’re told they’ve been doing well. So, it’s very important to make sure that you recognise your staff’s work. Usually, it’s best to thank people in public. This means that all of their workmates will see. This can foster the same sort of competition that incentives do. Thanking your staff will make them feel good, and it doesn’t cost you anything at all. This is one of the best ways to make your business more productive, without having to do any real work. All you have to do is say thank you.
This should give you a good idea of what it takes to make staff work harder, without having to get on their backs. Positive actions like this are usually much more effective for your staff than negative ones. People will be demotivated when they’re told off; but, when you celebrate their success, people will be happy to work hard for you. This sort of work is incredibly important to a business. So, it’s worth investing time and money in it early.

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