Category: Home

What To Do When Your House Feels Too Small

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Does your house feel too small? Do you feel like you have no space and that you are constantly on top of one and other? If this is the case, there are a number of steps you can take to make your home feel bigger so that you can enjoy a more comfortable life. Read on to discover some useful suggestions.

De-clutter – There is only one place to begin, and this is by getting rid of any clutter. There is no time like the present to sort out all of your belongings. If something does not have a space within your home, you either need to sell it or donate it to someone else, or throw it in the bin. To ensure you keep on top of clutter, you should operate the one in, one out rule. This means that whenever you buy something new, you need to get rid of something in your home to make space for it.

Let there be light – While light will not physically create more space, it can create the illusion of it, making a room look bigger and more welcoming. The key to letting more light into a room lies within using reflective surfaces so that the UV rays can bounce off them and back into the room. Of course, a statement mirror is the most obvious choice.

Put items in storage – Another way to clear out your home and give you and your family more space is to rent a storage facility. This is ideal for those who have lots of belongings but can’t let them go. You can keep all of your important things while ensuring you have more space at the same time.

Make the most of vertical space – Are you making the most of the vertical space that is available to you in your home? If you do not have shelving solutions and such like, then you aren’t. We often tend to use all of the floor space but forget about the vertical space that is available to us.

Consider an extension – Last but not least, if you are really struggling for space, have you considered getting an extension built? Look online for an A+ construction pro that can add an extra room to your home. Not only will this give you the space that you are craving, but also it will enhance the value of your property in the process.

As you can see, there are many different ways that you can make your home feel bigger and more comfortable. Follow the advice that has been provided above and you should notice a considerable difference. If you don’t, perhaps it is a sign that you really have outgrown your property and need to move on?

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Everything Millennials Should Know Before Buying A Home

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When you reach your early twenties your mindset will change. You will no longer want to be living with your parents in their home, and you will want to spread your wings and really make an impact on the world.

 

As a millennial, the idea of buying a home in your twenties might seem like a pipe dream. The way that house prices are going these days it is a wonder that we manage to afford anything at all. Living in this world can be an expensive affair, but it is not impossible by any means to take that leap into homeownership. Here is everything you need to know about buying a home in your twenties and all the things you need to consider.

 

Buy For Long Term


It is incredibly important that you take the time to truly think about your life before you buy a home. Decide exactly where you see yourself being in the next few years and think about everything you want to experience. This is the prime of your life, so it is the perfect time to experiment with new careers and go traveling in different parts of the world. You are young, free and able to do anything with your life, do you want to be stuck in one place for all this time? If you are single and free, think about renting an apartment for the meantime while you have fun and travel, and when you are ready to settle down, move into a home and start a new chapter in your life. Make sure you are ready for the commitment of a home before you commit.

 

Buy To Enhance Your Life


When it comes to buying a home you need to make sure you are buying for the right reasons. Don’t buy a house just because you think that is what you have to do, you need to buy a home because it will bring a positive change in your life. If you decide to invest in a home you need to make sure it is a home you see yourself growing up in, one which you see yourself having a future in for at least 5 years.

 

Don’t Let Fancy Features Sway Your Decision

 

Let’s say you have two options for a home. One of them is in the perfect location, has pretty much everything you want but is a little bit small. The second one is expensive, has a ton of great features but is far away from transport links. Which one would you choose? There is only one of these homes which you should consider and that is the first one. The second one might have some attractive features but it is over budget and will make your morning commute much harder. Always go with a relatively safe option to start off with and then you can spend the next few years saving up for a bigger and fancier place.

 

Stick To Your Budget

 

If you aren’t sure what your budget for buying a home is, you need to apply online for a mortgage in principle with a few different lenders. You will have to input your income information and your financial commitments such as a car or a child, and it will give you a house price to aim for. Don’t go above this price for your first home because it will put you in a difficult position with your bills, and you won’t have any additional income left if something goes wrong in your home or in your life. It is hard enough to get on the property ladder, to begin with, so make sure you don’t take a big risk.

 

You Can Go For A Lower Deposit

 

It is ideal for you to go for a 20% deposit on a new home because it will lower the monthly payments and allow you to go for a shorter term. However, if you won’t be able to afford a 20% deposit you can apply for lower. When you meet with a mortgage advisor you can tell them how much you have at the moment and they will be able to give you advice and options for what kind of mortgage you will pay. It is something which lenders are doing to make it easier for young people to get on the ladder and become homeowners, so take advantage if you need to.

 

Have extra money aside

 

The mortgage itself is not the only payment you have to consider when buying a new house. You will have to pay the solicitor fees, home buyer’s report, land tax and stamp duty on the home before you move in. After you move in you will be buying new furniture and appliances and possibly even decorating. Make sure you have extra money saved up for this occasion and keep saving right up until the day you move into your new home. This will enable you to buy everything you need and to start a new chapter of your life.

 

Compare mortgages


Getting a mortgage isn’t as clear-cut as you would think, and there is not a standard rate you will have to pay at every lender. Make sure you take some time to compare different mortgages because you will find that certain lenders will have a lower interest rate or a lower monthly fee. It may work out better for you to go for a lower fee for a longer stretch of time, and this can be beneficial to your future. Take your time and ask for advice if you aren’t sure which to choose.

 

Be willing to walk away

 

Even if you think you have spotted your dream house at the viewing, you always have to go into negotiations with the willingness to walk away if the price is too high for you. Agree with your partner or a family member upon a maximum price which you are willing to offer, and always try your hand at going $5000 below the price. If they don’t agree, match their price and they should accept you. Never spend more than you are able just because you like the house.

 

Buy furniture in advance

 

The last thing you want to do during the first week of owning a house is scrambling around to buy yourself an oven or a bed to sleep in. Make sure that you start buying items for your new home from the moment the offer goes through. If like most people, you don’t have space in the home you are living in to store the new items, you can store everything in a storage unit for a few months while you wait for the deal to go through. This means that as soon as you pick up the keys you can fully move into your home and start living your new life.

 

Make moving easier

 

If you have a lot of stuff to move, you will want to start packing a few weeks before you get the keys. To make the job of moving a little easier on yourself, pack things room by room and label the room and item on each box. This means that when you bring everything into the new house you can put the box straight into the correct room ready to be unboxed. It will be much less stressful and will allow you to enjoy moving day so much more.

 

Now that you know all of this, it is time to make that move into homeownership and enjoy the new chapter in your life.

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Downsize Home, Upgrade Life

Image Condos are just one of several options

 

The big family home is a wonderful thing to possess while the kids are growing up. Once they’ve flown the nest, though, staying in an unnecessarily big property no longer makes sense. Aside from the financial costs, keeping it in good condition can prove to be a very challenging prospect indeed. In truth, downsizing to a smaller property may be the smartest decision you’ll ever make, but only if you complete the transition in a winning style?

 

Here are 10 top tips to ensure that downsizing opens the door to a brighter future.

 

#1. Prepare To Sell

 

Before buying the new home, you’ll want to sell the current one at the very best price available. It only takes a few short weeks to complete the jobs that will upgrade the value and attraction of your current home. Get those elements right before putting it on the market, and you should reach a far better outcome. It may be tempting to take the DIY approach to selling. However, it’s advised that you use a professional agent to secure the very best deal and complete the necessary legal documentation.

 

Securing the right sale will instantly provide better opportunities as you begin the next chapter. However, you don’t want to be living in temporary accommodation for long, which is why you must get the purchase right too.

Image Sell well to build a platform for success

 

#2. Buy The Right Property

 

There are many different factors to consider when buying a new property. Aside from the interior esthetic and dimensions, you want to consider the geographic location as well as the property type. Finding a condo for sale may be one of the best options. You’ll often find that the amenities are fantastic while the property itself will be in good health. At this time, buying a fixer-upper simply isn’t a solution. By choosing a home that needs minimal work completed, you’ll be able to enjoy the next stage of life right away.

 

Apart from the physical benefits of choosing the right property, you’ll also gain the peace of mind and confidence that you deserve. If that doesn’t provide the platform for a better life, what will?

 

#3. Get Rid Of The Junk

 

Before actively moving, you need to accept that the old home doesn’t have the amount of storage or space as the old one. Offering furniture and other items within the old property to the buyer at a discounted price can make life a lot easier. Alternatively, garage sales and online selling can serve a similar purpose. They’ll free you from some of the junk while ensuring that the new property remains uncluttered. If nothing else, this is a great opportunity to start afresh. Staying loyal to unloved goods is futile.

 

There’s nothing worse than transporting items with you only to realize that you don’t have the space. Being realistic through this part of the process will serve you well.

 

#4. Focus On Safety

 

When downsizing to a condo or a home within a multi-unit facility, it’s very easy to assume that everything is safe and secure. While you might not need to pay quite as much attention as with the old home, you must still take the right precautions to prevent break-ins. Perhaps more crucially, you need to consider that neighbors could potentially cause problems for you. Checking the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors is vital. Even if the dangers are minimal, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

 

Above all else, covering all the bases in this area should lead to far greater peace of mind.   

Image A safe home is a happy home.

 

#5. Make Rooms Feel Big

 

The fact of the matter is that your smaller property is likely to have smaller rooms. Therefore, it’s vital that you do take the necessary steps to enhance the appearance of space. Light color schemes and good lighting can make a monumental impact. Other steps can include mounting TVs to the walls, using shelving rather than bookcases and finding hidden storage. A brighter room that is blessed with a lot of floor space will seem just as big and welcoming as your old home.

 

Better still, it’s easier to clean the home when you keep it in this manner. This in itself is a huge incentive for moving.

 

#6. Stamp Your Personality

 

Moving to a smaller property needn’t stop you from making the place feel like home. Photos, holiday souvenirs, and sports memorabilia are all great ways to turn a plain home into a place that makes you feel comfortable. The money saved from downsizing can enable you to incorporate advanced tech features. This can include voice-activated devices and projector screens. Aside from the personal benefits, this can turn the property into a cool location for hosting friends for small gatherings.

 

Enjoying the property with greater results when you’re alone and with loved ones can only be a better outcome than staying in the old property.

 

#7. Get Involved

 

When moving into a new home, it can be a little daunting. Whether you’re alone still living with your partner, it always pays to play an active role in the community. If living in a condo, joining the board gives you a voice on future change, which is a huge reward for minimal work. However, even if you just move to a smaller house, the neighborhood watch schemes and community activities are brilliant. Aside from actively making the transition feel smoother, it’ll improve the sense of security too.  

  

When moving into the new home, you aren’t just purchasing a property. You’re buying into a new way of life. Active participation can only help.

Image If you can’t beat them, join them!

 

#8. Focus On What You Need

 

It’s not uncommon for family homes to include several rooms that virtually go to waste. Having a smaller property virtually forces you to rethink the way you utilize space. The best way to find a winning formula is to ensure that each area does what it is supposed to do. The bedroom should encourage the best night’s sleep while the kitchen and bathroom should be functional. While the esthetic beauty is still crucial, knowing that your new home is designed to make life easier should be the priority.

 

On a separate note, having a sofa bed instead of a guest room will have an immensely positive impact, even if the kids do stay on a semi-frequent basis.

 

#9. Consider Revenue Streams

 

Depending on the level of downsize, it may be possible to buy another property within the same building or close by. This can open up a wealth of buy-to-let opportunities. Alternatively, short-term lettings through online services can work wonders too. This regular stream of income could be very useful when you eventually reach retirement too. In the meantime, knowing that you have some financial relief virtually secured may allow you to cut down your hours. After decades of hard work, that’s the least you deserve.

 

It’s not for everyone, but this is certainly an option worth consideration.

 

#10. Embrace The Savings

 

One of the best things about downsizing is that it improves your financial situation. You can take this to an entirely new level simply by searching for the best energy bills and embracing green technology. When you do, you’ll have far more money for the luxury purchases. Whether it’s getting a garden jacuzzi for a smaller house or making luxury additions to the living room is up to you. In addition to upgrading the home, you should take this opportunity to enjoy days out and holidays.

 

Downsizing can unlock the door to a brighter future, but you will lose some of the collateral tied up in assets. Keep some money tucked away for unforeseen situations and you’ll be just fine.

 

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Choosing A New Home: Why It’s Important To Sweat Over The Small Stuff

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Before you put in an offer on the property you have been looking at, it’s important to sweat over the small stuff, those little issues that may seem insignificant. Yes, you can probably deal with some of them over time, but do you really want to add further expense to your already dwindling finances? We are guessing not. In this article, we will give you a checklist of some of those things you need to look out for when scrutinising over whether the house is worth buying. Noticing the little things may make a big difference to your ultimate decision.

 

  • Rely on your ears as your eyes. There may be sounds and noises that alert you to the overall state of the property. Do the stairs creak? Are there strange sounds coming from the pipes? Are there scratching sounds behind the walls? Insignificant sounds? Not when there may be structural issues, plumbing faults, and rodent infestations to consider.

 

  • Follow your nose, as there may be smells in the property that you need to be alerted to. Notice a musty odour? There may be damp in the house, though the seller may have covered up the warning signs with wallpaper or a picture frame. Smell something fishy? It may be the remnants of the owner’s lunch, or it could well be a telltale sign that there is something wrong with the electrics. Don’t overlook these smells, follow your nose, and have an honest discussion with the seller about them.

 

  • Check for any cracks in the walls, as this may be symptomatic of ongoing structural damage. Admittedly, older houses will show signs of wear and tear, but a home inspector will let you know if there is anything to worry about from the cracks you have discovered.

 

  • Run your fingers down the windows, and check for signs of condensation. Now, the room may not have been ventilated for a while, so there may be no need to worry. However, if you do see and feel traces of water, there may be issues with the sealing, or the home may not be properly insulated. These are repairs you can do yourself, but you may not want to fork out the expense of buying new windows if the issue is larger than it at first appears.

 

  • Look at your phone, and check the signal bar. This is something many home buyers overlook, but if you intend to ditch a landline in favour of your smartphone, you are going to need a good signal if you ever expect to use it. The same applies to your mobile internet service. Test your phone around the house, as you may find a strong signal in certain rooms, or in worst-case scenarios, minimal or no signal at all, anywhere in the property.

 

  • Beware the seller, as they may be using a range of tricks to cover up problem areas. If you notice the smell of baked cookies, they may simply be trying to make the place look homely, but then again they may be trying to cover up the smells we mentioned earlier. If the seller looks shifty when you’re discussing the house with them, ask yourself one simple question: what aren’t they telling you? Be vigilant, and don’t put the seller’s behaviour down to just being nervous or unsure. You don’t want to buy the house and realise you have ended up with a money pit.

 

Buying a house is one of the most expensive purchases you will make in your life, so going against the usual advice you are given, you do need to sweat the small stuff. Follow the advice we have given, and if there are telltale warning signs, and your gut instinct tells you ‘no,’ then it may be time to carry on your house search elsewhere.

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Treat Your Home to a Facelift

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Your home’s facade is like the cover of a book; although the rest of your property shouldn’t be judged by it, because it is its most visible part, many people undoubtedly will make judgments about your place based on it.

 

So, if you’re looking to sell your home or even just give it a bit of a refresh, the facade is the place to start.The good news is that it’s relatively simple to improve the exterior of your home with just a few small changes. So, why not give your home a facelift, and raise it’s curb appeal right now? Here’s how:

 

Simply Paint Your Door

 

If you’re on a really tight budget, or you simply don’t have the time for a major home facelift, if you simply refresh the paint on your door, it will make a huge amount of difference to how the facade looks. The hardest part will be choosing the right color – I suggest going for something a little less common such as sunflower yellow, lavender or even fuschia pink if you’re feeling brave. That will ensure that your home stands out with a cool modern feel.

 

Replace the Door Furniture Too

 

If you can, as well as repainting the front door, why not replace the door furniture such as the handles and knocker too? If yours is old and a little rusty or out of style switching it with a shiny modern version in an interesting sign will work wonders. If you can’t afford to do that, simply spray paint them and it will do just as good a job at refreshing the entrance as new hardware would.

 

Get Your Powerwash On

 

A big thing that can make your home appear shabbier than it really is, is the accumulation of dirt and grime on the exterior walls and roof. So, get your power washer out of the garage, or rent one if you need to, and clean up the walls and cutters (you might need to do that by hand). Your home will instantly look much tidier and invite.

 

Paint the Walls

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If cleaning the walls simply isn’t enough to give your home the facelift that it so desperately needs, then call in a housepainter from Housepainters USA (or get your DIY on) and paint your exterior walls a pretty shade of cream, white, grey or maybe even pastel blue and it will be totally transformed. It may take a little time, but it really will be so worth it.

 

Clean Up or Replace Your Windows

 

Cleaning your windows, or replacing them with newer models from Renewal by Andersen if they are too far gone, will not only improve your home’s exterior, but it will improve the interior too, adding more class, light and pretty views to your home. It doesn’t get much better than that.

 

Hang Cute Window Treatments

 

Once you’ve got your windows looking good, be sure to pick the perfect curtains or blinds. Why? Because although we think of window treatments as being part of the interior decor, they will show on the outside, and a peak of a pretty fabric will do more to enhance your home’s facade than you would think possible.

 

Place Plants Outside the Front Door

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On either side of your front door, place a large potted plant in a pretty planter to add symmetry and a touch of pretty greenery to the space. If you prefer flowers to plants, that’s fine, as are statues – basically anything that dresses up the door will have a positive impact so long as you look after them.

 

Line the Driveway with Lights

 

If you have a driveway at the front of your home, don’t leave it out – add lots of twinkling solar lights to guide your way to your home and it will make the front of your property so much more inviting than if it was dark and barren.

 

Try Out Tiles

 

If your entryway is made up of plain, dull concrete, you know you can do better than that! Transform the space with colorful mosaic tiles that will sparkle in the sunshine and bring some color to your home’s exterior.

 

Take Good Care of the Garden

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Last, but by no means least, it’s important that you take care of the garden immediately in front of your property too. Trim trees and shrubbery, get rid of weeds, mow the lawn and avoid leaving any junk out there if you want people to be impressed with your home on first sight.

 

Time to give your home’s exterior some TLC?





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