Category: Home

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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The Old Houses… Not Necessarily The Best

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Have you thought recently about buying an old home? For many people, it’s common sense to buy an older house. After all, it seems that the older ones were built better. Or were they? The big thing with homes that are older than a certain age means that they are subject to a few more problems than the modern house. While modern houses are built with the environment in mind but don’t have sturdy materials, older houses appeared built to last, but have a lot more issues. So if you are looking at preventing a home disaster, especially if you’ve just bought an old house, what are the common problems?

Mold And Mildew Damage

Lots of old homes are exposed to more moisture than newer builds. As a result, if your home is in a wet climate, the potential for mold and microorganism growth is very high. The best way to protect yourself against mold and mildew is protection from the elements. You can do this by purchasing a dehumidifier, but also ensuring you’ve got adequate ventilation through every area of your home.

Plumbing Issues

The old-fashioned plumbing systems are cause for concern because the biggest danger of these systems is the wear and tear of these parts that can cause excessive water damage. It’s best not to try and fix his problems itself, but if you have plumbing questions, it’s important to consult the professionals. On top of this, you could ask the seller of the home how old the plumbing system is, and what materials were used. Another problem that is a root cause of plumbing issues is root damage. Over a period of time, tree roots can work their way into all the drainage pipes and affect the water within.

Hazardous Materials

Probably the biggest issue with any old home is the excessive use of lead and asbestos in older homes. Asbestos can cause serious illness, from respiratory problems to even lung cancer, and while most asbestos was banned by the late 1980s, there are still homes that hide this toxic material. The best way to deal with this is to invest in a professional to do the removal of asbestos for you. If you ever plan on doing any renovations to your home, it’s recommended you don’t do anything until you know your home is asbestos free.

Structural Problems

Unfortunately, older builds are more than likely to suffer from foundation and structural problems. From cracks in the walls to moisture damage and even problems with the foundation supports. The one true way to get around this is to hire a structural engineer to assess the house and give you the honest opinion as to how much of the property needs replacing. Of course, this can be an incredibly costly endeavor.

They say the old ones are the best, and when it comes to houses, there can be a lot of positives. However, when you are buying older houses, there are a lot more things that you need to think about. These houses are built at a time when there was no strict health and safety regiment, and although the house may retain a lot of character, this character could come at a very hefty price.

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Disasters That Can Strike Any Home

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Wanting to keep your home as safe as possible is a perfectly natural feeling, and yet it is something which a lot of people struggle with from time to time. As it happens, there are a number of things which can go wrong in any home, and knowing what they are is always going to be a great first step in making sure that you can properly protect your own home from these same dangers. In this article, we are going to start on this process by looking at some of the disasters which can strike any home, no matter who you are or where you live. As long as you consider the following, you might find that you are able to better look after the home, and that is something that everyone can appreciate.

 

Roof Damage

 

If something happens to your roof, it can really cause you a lot of trouble, and yet it is one of the most common problems which can happen in any home. Any number of things can cause roof damage, and it is worth making sure that you are doing everything you can to keep your roof in the best possible condition. As long as you do, the likelihood of roof damage will diminish, although it will always remain a possibility. If your roof is damaged entirely to the point of having to replace it, you might be able to at least claim a little something back on roof replacement insurance. If you are unsure what this exactly is, Concord Roofing & Construction explains roof replacement insurance claim in this article, and it is something you should consider should the situation come to it.

 

Burglary

 

Probably one of your worst nightmares is to find that your home has been broken into and items stolen. Yet this happens fairly often, and it is something which you do need to keep an eye out for. If it happens to you, the first concern is going to be safety. Make sure that everyone in the home is safe, and then you can think about calling the police. The best way to deal with brugulat is preventative, so make sure that you are doing everything you can to keep your home safe from it in the first place. In most cases, this will mean not advertising your wares and keeping it locked and shut at all times. As long as you do that, your risk of burglary will greatly diminish.

 

Fire

 

Fire may be caused by any number of things, but as long as you manage to prevent it a best as you can you should find that your home is relatively safe from it. Also knowing what to do if it breaks out in the home is important too, so be sure to brush up on those skills regularly, and to do the same for you children if you have any. Keeping the home safe from fire is hugely important, so make sure that you are doing this as best as you can.

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