A Guide To Property Hunting

Buying a property is often the biggest purchase that we make in our lives. Whether you are buying for the first time or the fifteenth time, it remains a significant commitment, which is why today we are sharing a few tips with you in a guide to property hunting. 

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Begin your hunt with a clear vision of what you need

Before you start searching and looking at what is available on the market, you need to work out exactly what it is that you need from a property. We stress the word ‘need’ there, as there may be many ‘wants’ on your list, but you must focus first on your key requirements.

It might be about the space that you require, the location that you need to be in or whether it will work as a family home. Think through the reason for your purchase and then take the time to come up with a specific list of requirements that are absolutely essential in your next home before your hunt begins. 

Location means something different to everyone

Even though you might be seeking a certain location, remember that it can actually mean something different for everyone.

Whilst it is true that some neighborhoods can be in greater demand and therefore cost more to move into, this will not be the only deciding factor where location is concerned. 

You might prioritise being near to leisure and facilities such as wigwam golf or perhaps excellent schools are the key here for you. You might visit an area and be struck by how handy it is for your commute, whereas someone else might enjoy being a few miles away from their family. 

This being the case, when you are moving to a new area, take your time to familiarise yourself with all that is available. Do not assume that one person’s ‘best’ area will be best for you. Stick to your key priorities when you are looking around so that you can find the perfect location for you. 

Think both short term and long term

When many of us set out on our property hunt, we have either a short term or a long term mindset, but we need to think about both in order to buy successfully.

In the short term, how would this house work for us in our current lives? What would our commute be like? Where would our furniture go and what would we redecorate when we move in? Importantly, if the market shifted next month, would this still be a viable option for us? 

We then need to think longer term. Is this house likely to work for us if changes come along in our lives? How long can we see ourselves here? What changes are afoot in the neighborhood, or can we see an upturn or downturn in the property market. Of course with this one it is harder to predict changes, but it is worth thinking them through to help you to evaluate whether this is the right buy for you.

We need to know that this is the right house for us now, personally and financially, and that it makes sense for us to buy. Equally, if we plan to be here over the longer term, or have no option but to be here over the long term, is this still a sensible choice?

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How to Build the House of Your Dreams

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Ask anyone and they will be able to tell you what the house of their dreams looks like. For some, it’s a treehouse, like a grownup version of what they had as a kid; for others, it’s a chic city pad with views to die for. But no matter what your dreams are, if you have the time, money and passion, you can almost certainly build your perfect home. 

If it’s time to move house but you can’t find anything you really want on the market, now is the perfect time to think seriously about building your dream home. 

Research Building Methods

Unless you are an architect or builder, you probably won’t have much of an idea about how the building process works. In some ways, this gives you an advantage because you can dream up your scheme without any limitations and then research how to make it happen. If you work the other way around, you could quickly stifle your dreams simply by ignoring possibilities and going for convention. 

The building industry is full of different choices from High Rise Pump Hire mechanisms to pour a concrete slab to build on through to seaming a zinc roof. This means that while there are some building conventions, as long as an architect approves your ideas, you can use a wide range of building methods to get the finish you want. 

Find the Right Place to Build

Finding the right plot is essential for any design. This is because you need to work with the land to create the perfect design, you can’t just drop your design onto the land and hope it works. Finding a plot in the right location can be tough but if you are open-minded and willing to think outside the box, you should be able to find something within your budget and location. 

Location is the only factor you can never change in a property (unless your house has wheels) so you must think carefully about where you want to live. For example, while a secluded hilltop might give you what you want in theory, a long hard winter could quickly put you off! 

Refine Your Design

When you refine your design, you need to think about two main things: how usable is the space you have dreamed up and how affordable is it to build? Building an affordable house is definitely possible if you are willing to make a few tough choices. An architect is usually best placed to help you turn a dream into a refined design but do take your time in choosing the right person to help.

Refining your design should be just as creative a process as your dream house but this time, you need to think within a few practical parameters including the cost to run as well as to build. As you refine your plans, you might find that what you come up with actually works better than the dream might have done – especially now you are designing for a particular plot of land. Remember, what you are creating in reality has to be liveable first and foremost! 

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Top Tips to Make a Retirement House a Home

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Whether you’re thinking about purchasing your own retirement property, or you’re helping a family member settle into theirs, it’s an exciting time. A retirement property is somewhere to spend the golden years of life relaxing, enjoying the company of friends, and making the most of your free time. It’s no wonder people put a lot of thought into making it a special haven. But just like any time you move house, it can be a bit overwhelming. Here are a few things to consider to help you make your retirement house a home. 

Decoration 

If you’re downsizing, you’ve probably had a big clear out and decluttered your home in preparation for the move. A lot of what you’ve chosen to keep will likely have sentimental value, whether it’s books, ornaments, or heirlooms. Why not add beautiful glass cases, or shelves built into alcoves, to display your treasures? Nothing makes a house feel more like home. You’ll also most likely be busy painting and choosing soft furnishings. Many people want light, soft shades for their walls and curtains since they have a timeless quality. These colors will also help to make your space lighter and brighter. 

The furniture 

If you’re picking out new furniture for your home, you don’t need to throw style out of the window! Classics like leather sofas and solid oak dressers will always be an excellent investment. But sometimes when you’re buying for retirement, you need to consider some other factors too. You might prefer higher backed chairs that provide more support, or reclining armchairs for additional comfort. As people get older, they tend to prefer more solid cushions, to prevent them from sinking into the sofa. Firmer seats are much better for your posture, especially if you experience back pain. Crown Furniture has some good options, and if you particular back problems you could seek the advice of your physical therapist. Be sure to choose furniture that radiates comfort and style. With all the options available, you shouldn’t have to compromise. 

Mobility 

We all know that aging can mean decreased mobility. It might not be a problem now, but as you get older, you may find it harder to take the stairs, or you may have visitors that do. If you’re yet to buy a property, look out for one’s with a broad and straight enough staircase that would make it easiest to fit a stairlift. Outside of your home, you can add a mobility ramp or a grab rail. But they don’t have to be unsightly. You can paint the railings and ramp to complement your door or even install a zig-zagging slope instead of stairs, made to match the walls and surroundings. 

Another consideration is mobility in the bathroom. Many people find it hard to get in and out of the bathtub as they age. Luckily, there are many options for stylish and useful walk-in showers and even walk-in baths! You could also convert the bathroom to a wetroom, with elegant tiles and a luxurious sunflower showerhead. 

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Restoring Your Home After A Fire

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It’s during the summer months that you can find that your home is just a bit too warm, so you end up going out a lot. But when we are going through those incredibly hot southern summers, it can switch our brain off from time to time, and this is where our lack of judgment can mean that we burn our food, or even worse, suffer a fire. And when this happens, it can feel devastating. While you’re more than relieved that everybody is okay, you’ve still got to deal with the cleanup. What can you do to make sure that you rebuild and restore your home effectively after a house fire?   

Assessing The Damage

After you’ve called the insurance company, you should think about bringing in a professional fire restoration contractor. They can recommend a structural engineer to examine the property so you can get the ball rolling. It’s important that you contact the insurance company right away because the claims process can take a long time. Once you’ve secured the property, you can get on with addressing the structural repairs. This follows with the assessment of the electrical system, and then it’s time for the cleanup.

Restoring The Property

In terms of a house fire, there are two main sorts of damage apart from the fire damage itself. There is soot damage and smoke damage.

You’ve got to be careful when it comes to soot damage, even if the fire didn’t completely gut your property. Soot can be very dangerous to your health. You’ve got to be careful not to breathe it in. And when you are cleaning up the property, you have to start from the top and work down to the bottom because soot could fall from objects while cleaning. Because soot can be oily and stain carpets, you have to make sure that the carpet is secure. Once you are confident that the search has been removed from all of the high up areas, you can vacuum it all up. Be sure that you protect yourself in terms of the appropriate breathing apparatus.

Smoke damage is a different beast. It’s something that you can see for the most part, but you can smell it more. Even if you don’t see particles deposited, you will always be able to smell it. And when you are attempting to clean up specific materials, it’s important to go for the textiles first. And if you’re wondering what are textiles, they consist of items that don’t break, so this could be blankets, clothing, toys, sports equipment, and so on. Cleaning these can be difficult to get rid of the smoke residue and the odor, but there are some homemade techniques that you can use. To begin with, you can use a bucket of warm water with non-corrosive detergent on surfaces, and in terms of clothes, a good quality washing powder should do the job. Because it can be a lot of money to replace all of these items, you naturally want to be able to recover most of it. But if there are items damaged beyond repair, especially in terms of clothes, this is something that you need to discuss with your insurance company.

Additional Cleaning

In terms of soot and smoke damage, you’ve also got to be aware that your home should be protected from future damage. Mold is one of those things that may not enter your mind because of the severity of the fire. But if there’s minimal damage to your walls and ceiling, you can use a solution of hot water and bleach to wipe down the walls and prevent mold and mildew growth. It’s also important to realize at what point you should bring in a professional. Some homes will need to be treated right away by a professional. And again, this is something that you will have to discuss with your insurance company, but you can also look at local contractors that provide services for cheap. It’s difficult to find the right contractor because your insurance company will have specialized ones that they use. Generally, it’s far better for you to have an expert deal with it that comes highly recommended, rather than finding a cheap contractor that may not do everything to a high standard.Restoring your home after a fire is a long process, and can be emotionally draining. But you have to remember that, despite the hardships you are going through, and the time that it may take to get the home back up to code, that you shouldn’t lose heart.

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What Not To Do When Buying A First Home

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There are so many potholes to swerve when buying a first home, which is why rather than a generic ‘What to do when buying your first home’ post here’s the what not to do’s. From using the advice below, you can expect to retain some of your money, time and sanity during the first home buying process.

Listen To Advice

Just to be clear, this title refers to listening to advice from those who have no idea about what owning a home entails. So if your friend Jack, who still lives with his mom reckons he has a few opinions about what your priorities be when buying a home, just ask Jack to write it all down for you, and then put it in the bin. Get your real estate advice from people who work with houses, such as real estate inspection professionals, people who own their own property or people who work in the real estate sector.

Think Bigger Is Better

It’s almost certainly not when houses are concerned. You might be thinking ‘hey, the lender tells me I can afford to buy this 5 bedroom house, awesome!’, even though you’re single, and will be cohabitating with your pet goldfish Lucky, and will never ever use even half of those rooms. This isn’t a good idea in anyone’s eyes surely, unless you are unreasonably rich of course. Houses are expensive, but not just to buy, to keep, to fix, to maintain, it’s a never-ending cycle, so where possible, opt for less house, less mortgage, less work and you will get less stress.

Rely On The Lender

Banks to an extent take an interest in your finances in so far as they want to establish what you can afford, comfortably. So if you have a house in mind to apply for, they will also demonstrate the eventuality of interest rates rising, and assess if you have the freedom in your budget to accommodate to this change and maintain the mortgage payments. Which is reasonable. But, some lenders, may suggest that due to your earnings, and based on their findings while assessing your finances, that you could, in fact, afford a bigger home. This is a wow moment for most people, but it’s a trap! A large family home means a bigger mortgage, and a bigger mortgage means more interest to repay. Therefore if you’re already settled on a home that’s big enough, avoid deviating from this plan and buy the home you intended to.

Reserve On A Whim

This is obvious, yet, people still have their houses repossessed because they can’t keep up with the payments. And some people will happily commit to a home they can’t afford at the moment, but hope to rack up the deposit requested in a short amount of time. Buying a home is black and white where numbers are concerned. You work out the deposit (and other home buying costs) you need to buy the house, if you don’t have it, you can’t reserve it, it’s as simple as that!

To save failing at buying your first home, choose a home that’s practical and affordable, check the house is worth its price, only reserve a home when you have the savings to cover all of the costs and avoid the temptation to keep upping your budget. Stay strong and logical when buying your home, and you’ll thank yourself for it later on.

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Finding Value In The Old Home

Old properties are filled with exciting memories from the lifestyle of those who used to live there many years ago.

It could be yourself when you were a child. Many adults remember with fondness the lines their parents used to draw on the wallpaper each year to measure how much they grew.

It could be a previous owner you’ve never known. You might discover some handwritten notes under the wallpaper that let you find out who they were and what they thought.

Sometimes, it’s an old house you inherit from a relative. You try to retrace their footsteps inside each room, getting to know them better as you.

Regardless of how you’ve come to the property, there’s no denying that there are sometimes more memories than there is value in the house. Ultimately, time can leave a path of breakage and damage as it passes, turning the old into a financial burden. And even if it’s still in working condition, you know there are maintenance and management costs associated with any property. Finding value is not only a matter of identifying a new source of income, but it’s also about giving a new life to a place that isn’t used as much as it should.

Rent out your unused bedroom

Do you want to keep it?

The first question you need to ask yourself when it comes to old properties is whether you intend for it to become a permanent real estate asset. Indeed, if you’ve suddenly inherited an old house from a distant relative, the chances are that you don’t want to invest much time and money into its restoration. However, it can be tricky to put a property on the market, especially if your relative was not able to look after the building before you inherited it. You might be tempted to sell it as soon as possible to prevent any issue from appearing. If this is the case, you should take a look at local home buyers who can make you a cash offer and close a sale in a matter of weeks – if you’re not sure where to start, visit WrenRealtyInc.com for further guidance. It’s fair to say that selling a property is a practical solution when you have no real estate strategy associated with the home. In other words, a secondary property you can’t afford to maintain is a perfect candidate for a quick sale.

Is it a well-maintained property?

Admittedly, not all old houses need renovation. Many properties have been carefully maintained and structured so that they only need very little maintenance to hit the real estate market. If this is the case, you may want to consider the benefits of a long-term investment strategy, such as becoming a landlord. Indeed, a rental property is the guarantee of a regular source of income if you focus on long-term tenancy agreements. While it’s fair to say that you’re responsible for the maintenance of the house, you can finance most management works through the rent your tenants pay. Most landlords also find that letting a professional agency manage the property is a worthy investment, as it frees up valuable time and avoids a lot of troubles!

However, you’re more likely to generate an even more valuable source of revenue if you rent out the property as a holiday home. Naturally, the location plays a significant role in your income potential. A small flat in the city center may not be as profitable as a sea-facing villa in a sunny country.

There’s so much unused space

So far we’ve imagined that the property in question is not your home. But what if the house that needs a value boost is your own home? It’s fair to say that selling or finding tenants may not be an option. However, you can focus your attention on the rooms you never use. If your guest bedroom is always empty, while not refresh its decor and try to rent it out? You can rent a room under your roof and share your living space with a lodger. It’s a fantastic way to spread your energy and utility costs. Another option is to rent an area that can be used as an office for new entrepreneurs. Google, for instance, started in a rented garage, so your home might help the future big player of tomorrow.

Keeping all the old items is a waste of space

It’s in human nature to keep things we don’t need. As a result, you’ll find that you might have a lot of items you never use, from the fancy gym equipment you bought a couple of years ago to the old shoes you’ve worn only once. If these items are still in good condition, you might be able to sell them as explained on TheArtOfSimple.net. Craigslist and eBay are excellent addresses to sell the stuff you don’t want to keep. Finally, you can enjoy an uncluttered home, which can affect both your mood and health positively.

Granddad’s belongings in the garage could make you rich

Decluttering is one thing, but uncovering the old treasures of the past is an entirely different kettle of fish. The attic, the basement or even the garden shed are places that rapidly fall in desuetude in any family home. Indeed, one site that has been refurbished by a family member can become unused after the passing of a relative. And before you know it, years have gone by. Suddenly, you feel like exploring the forgotten rooms, and you uncover collectible treasures, from your grandfather’s vintage car in the shed to the old wooden wardrobe form the previous century. There is a lot of money in vintage items!

Growing your own tomatoes can prove hugely beneficial

Last, but not least, your garden can offer significant value. Growing your own vegetables can save some money on your weekly grocery shopping. But it also put you in control of what you eat. By introducing more fresh and organic food, you can boost your immune system.

There is more than what meets the eyes in an old property. From finding the treasures from the past to being able to receive cash in hand, you can find monetary value in many ways. But you can also improve your health and your overall well-being by exploring new possibilities.

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Here’s What To Think About When Choosing A Family Home

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When you’ve flown the nest, and you’re away from the clutches of your mother and father, you’re ready to head out into the world and experience what it’s all about – you have the freedom to do as you please. When it comes to finding a place to stay, you’ll choose just about anywhere (as long as it’s not disgusting). The little details don’t really matter as long as they’re convenient for you. The same kinda applies for when you’ve found someone you love, and you’re ready to share a home with them – you’d like the perfect place, but a comfy little one will do at that stage.

But now you’re a small family – or an expecting family, and you have to find a place to suit this situation. It’s probably all new to you, and you’ve zero ideas about what to think about. Well, if that is the case, then let’s have a little think about some important aspects of choosing a home for a young family.  

How Are You Going To Find It?

There are a few ways that you can look for homes. The internet provides tonnes of websites that you can navigate through to find something you might like the look of. You can also speak to an estate agent in their place of work to discuss details. Local newspapers also advertise homes that are for sale.

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Can You Get To Work?

It is important to know if a potential new home allows you to get to work conveniently or whether it impedes your commute. Earning money to pay for everything is obviously essential, and you’ll be relied upon to provide for the family. It’s a good idea to look at the distance the potential place is relative to your workplace, and if it’s a bit too far, then you might have to rule it out. If you’re able to find a place with a doable commute, then it would be wise to learn the directions of the routes.   

What About Schooling?

Much like your daily job, any kids you have or kids that are on the way will need to get to school. Their education is important so you’ll want to make sure a good one is nearby.

Is There Enough Space?

When looking for the right place, you’ll obviously want there to be enough room for everything you have with you. If you find a home that suits you all down to the ground but feel it still needs some work, you can get professionals like Mark Saunders Builder to build extensions or conversions which would make things more convenient. These changes or additions could add more value and increase the home’s curb appeal, also.

Is It Friendly?

The last thing you’d want is to move into a new house and immediately regret your decision. Another external factor that should enter your mind is how safe or friendly this new area is. You’ll want there to be a lovely community of people, so it would be wise to do a little reconnaissance beforehand. You can check the area online for any problems or you can go and visit, and ask residents about the neighborhood.   

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