5 Thoughts To Have Before Buying A House

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Once upon a time, joining the property market was a bit ‘meh’. It was a part of that natural progression we call life. You were born, you got semi-educated, you got a career, you bought a house, and so on. But all that has changed.


These days, getting onto the property ladder is about as exciting as anything can possibly be because the odds are completely stacked against you. Why? Because houses are stupidly expensive now – stupidly expensive – which means your excitement will be somewhat marred by stress and worry. Basically, you need to have a plan of attack before you even think about stepping into the ring.


So, without further ado, here is a list of tips that will help you out big time:


  1. Be Realistic

Yes, we would all love to by a house in Downtown Manhattan, but that’s probably not going to be possible. The best thing you can do is speak to an independent financial advisor about your situation, find out exactly what you can afford, what sort of mortgage will be best and what other factors-slash-fees could crop up.


  1. Sort Yourself Out

Before you knock on any lenders door, you need to get your financials under control and your credit file looking snazzy. If you’ve got loads of credit card debts, it’s probably worth speaking to https://debtconsolidation.loans/credit-card-consolidation/ to make this look less drastic than it is. If you have missed payments on your file, an accompanying note to explain everything is all good will go a long way, getting yourself on the electoral poll too – all these sorts of things will go a long way in making you more appropriate to lend to.


  1. Research Everything

To make the right decision, you need to have all the information you can at your fingertips. That means knowing what your ideal location is, what compromises you are happy to make, what the schools are like, the tax band, the commuting distance from work, transport links, crime rates etc. But don’t stop there. Another thing that is crucial is you view any property more than once and at different times of the day. It’s easy to jump the gun and put an offer in as soon as you’ve seen a property. But don’t.


  1. Picture The Dream

This has to be the most enjoyable part of the process – the dreaming. Think about how many bedrooms you want or need, how many bathrooms you would like, which way the garden would be facing, off-street parking, semi-detached or detached, apartment or house. We all have our own list of criteria when it comes to the actual property, so have your wants listed out, and then circle those you won’t compromise on.


  1. Get A Good Agent

When you are looking for a home, you need to know the agent is on your side and knows exactly what you are looking for. That means going into the office and having face-to-face conversations with them, discussing everything in detail, and being friendly with them. Trust us, if they know and like you, they will be more likely to think of you when a property comes onto the market.

Are You Guilty Of These 3 Money Wasting Habits?

You’d say you were pretty good with money, right? You don’t waste money on things that you don’t need and you’ve got a good budget that only covers the essentials. A lot of people think that, but often, they’re wrong. Even if you think that you’re being incredibly sensible with your money, you could be wasting cash without even realizing it. If you can identify this hidden waste and do something about it, you’ll have far more disposable income to enjoy at the end of every month. These are just some of the ways that you’re wasting money without even knowing it.



Credit Card Interest


Paying back credit card debt is obviously a necessity. If you don’t make those repayments, you’ll end up in serious financial trouble. But when you’ve got a couple of different credit cards and you’re paying interest on them all, you’re wasting money that you don’t need to be. Credit card consolidation loans can easily solve that problem for you; by rolling all of those repayments into one, you’re only paying interest on a single debt, rather than paying it on multiple credit cards. That saves you a lot of money and makes it much easier to clear the debt faster.


Expensive Food


Food is one of the biggest areas for wasted money. Firstly, eating out all the time is going to cost you a lot of money but that doesn’t mean you have to stop. Just make sure that you’re going to places that offer better value when you’re picking up food on the go. People also waste a lot of money on their weekly grocery shop in the supermarket. Overbuying is a big problem when it comes to fresh ingredients because people often buy a load of fruit and vegetables that go off before they have the chance to eat it. You might as well cut out the middleman and throw the money straight in the bin. When it comes to fresh ingredients, doing two smaller trips during the week instead of one big shop can help you reduce that waste and save a lot of money.


Unused Subscriptions


That gym membership you’ve got isn’t a waste of money, you can’t put a price on good health. That’s true if you actually use it. If you’re paying for a gym membership but you only go once a month, you’re wasting money. You should only be paying for subscriptions like that if you’re actually getting good use out of it. TV subscriptions are another one that people waste cash on. If you’re paying for a full cable package but you only watch a couple of channels, do you really need it? Things like Netflix and Amazon Prime are worth looking at as well. A lot of people are paying for both when one would do just fine. Most of these subscriptions go unnoticed because, on their own, they aren’t that expensive. But when you’ve got a few unused subscriptions, that adds up to quite a bit of money that you don’t really need to be spending.


Cut out this waste and you’ll soon find that you’ve got a lot more money than you thought you did.


Ways to Take Control of Your Life Today

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Do you ever feel like life is just happening to you? That you’re driving along wherever the wind takes you and not doing or achieving those things that you most desire? Most of us feel like this at some point in our lives (some of us feel like this all the time), but it is possible to take back the reins of control and lead a more intentional life that is better and more akin to the life you really want to lead.


Here are just some of the ways you can take control of your life right now:


Work Out What You Really Want


Obviously, the first step to taking control of your life is working out what you really want; what your ideal life would look like. If you’re unable to do this, then you won’t be able to work towards achieving it. So, sit down and spend some time really thinking about your hopes and dreams. Do you want to start your own business? Travel the world? Get a promotion? Really think about it and then list your wants from the most to least important so you can target those big ideas first and foremost.


Be More Optimistic

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If you’re a negative nancy or Norman, then you won’t really believe that you can take control of your life and do the things that you’ve only dreamed of right now. So, although it might be difficult at first if you’re naturally a glass-half-empty kind of person, start to be more positive about your life. You can do this by appreciating what you do have, writing a gratitude journal at gratefulness.org, and always looking for the nugget of positivity in every tough situation you encounter. This will make you stronger and more resolved to take control and build your ideal life.


Get Your Finances Under control


If you’re in debt or living with too little to get by, it can be pretty tough to feel like you’re in control. The first step to getting past this is to actively start making plans to sort out your financial life. So, draw up a budget, head to personalloan.co and take out a loan to consolidate your debts, get a second job or do whatever it is you need to do to improve your finances starting today. The sense of control you feel will be amazing, and once you’re back on a more even keel, the extra money you have will mean that you can think about starting a new company or going travelling for a while after all.


Just Do It

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Ultimately, you’re never going to be in control of your life or do the things you most want to do if you don’t take the plunge and make that first step towards your dreams. You need to acknowledge the fact that you might fail, but do that thing you most want to do anyway because what will be worse in the end, never trying to do it or trying and failing? I think we all know that it’s the former deep down.


Time to lead a more purposeful life?

Turning Ideas Into Reality: Essential Considerations For Amateur Interior Designers

Have you recently moved house or are you planning a style overhaul at home? Whether you’re revamping your bedroom, fitting a new kitchen or remodeling and redecorating the entire building, there are some essential considerations to bear in mind. If you’re an ambitious amateur interior designer, here are some tips to help you turn your ideas into reality.


Your budget

Interior makeovers can cost anywhere from a hundred dollars to a million dollars, depending on the scale of the project, the materials you use, the products you buy and how much you work you undertake. Unless you have a limitless budget, it’s always wise to start a remodel of any kind with a figure in mind. Budgeting can help you to plan how you’re going to spend your money, and it can also reduce the risk of overspending. Before you even look at brochures or interior magazines, check your finances and see how much you can afford to spend on the project. The next step is to get some quotes for the work you have in mind. If you’re looking for a decorator, a builder or a designer, or you want to fit a new bathroom or kitchen, it’s worth contacting several firms to compare prices before you make a decision. If you’re placing orders, paying bills or buying accessories, paint or furniture, update your budget as you go, so you know exactly how much you’ve spent.

Image taken from https://pixabay.com/en/savings-budget-investment-money-2789153/


Your health and wellbeing

Most of us consider our home a safe haven and a place where we can relax, be ourselves and enjoy quality time with our nearest and dearest. When you’re planning a revamp, bear your health and wellbeing in mind. If you suffer from health issues, you’re recovering from an injury or an accident or you’re keen to ensure that your home is an oasis that promotes positive wellbeing, it’s important to make plans accordingly.


If you struggle to get around and mobility is an issue, for example, consider the layout carefully when remodeling the kitchen. Wide, open spaces are a lot easier to negotiate than cramped kitchens that are packed with units and islands. If you have back pain or you suffer from discomfort related to conditions like arthritis, consider seating options carefully. You don’t want to be sat at the dining table on a hard, wooden chair or curled up on a couch that doesn’t have a high back. If you’re exploring alternatives to a traditional sofa, it’s worth checking out options like an overstuffed lounger. This comfortable bean bag is designed to support your entire body no matter what position you’re in, and it can be hugely beneficial for those who find it hard to get comfortable when watching TV or reading a book. If you’re keen to turn your home into a retreat and improve your mental health, devote areas to hobbies and interests and try and create spaces that are geared towards peace and tranquility. Your bedroom, for example, should be a sanctuary that makes you feel relaxed and calm. If you’ve got a spare room you never use, you have a large kitchen, or you don’t need the whole of the garage to store tools and house cars, you can use these areas to indulge your interests and passions. Whether you enjoy reading, writing, playing music, singing or doing DIY, it’s important that your home affords you the chance to spend time doing the things you love.

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Your lifestyle

Your lifestyle should play a part in determining how you design your home. Think about how you live your life, how your family unit functions and how you spend your time. If you’ve got kids, for example, you need to bear practical considerations in mind. If you’ve got a tiny kitchen or bathroom, your home may not lend itself to family life, but don’t write it off just yet. It may be possible to add an extension or to knock walls through to open up the space. If you’ve got a huge laundry room or a dining room next to the kitchen, for example, get some quotes and go through some plans to knock through and create a much larger, more open kitchen-diner. This is much more practical for a growing family, and it could also add value to your home. If you’ve got a separate bathroom and toilet upstairs or you don’t need a guest room, you could also explore the option of switching the location of the bathroom or knocking down a wall to create one big bathroom. Adapting your home to suit your lifestyle doesn’t have to involve major changes in the layout or the structure of the building. Simple touches can often make all the difference. If you have small children, for example, it may be beneficial to section off an area of the kitchen and create a playroom. If you’ve got teenage kids, it could be an idea to put a desk in the spare bedroom to provide a quiet spot to do homework.


Think about how your home suits your lifestyle and what kinds of changes you could make to ensure your house works for you. Do you enjoy watching movies together as a family or are you a couple famed for throwing the best parties on the block? Are you outdoorsy types or do you work from home? You can use the space you have available both indoors and outdoors to cater for your lifestyle. Set up an office in a garden room or turn a spare room into a studio. Convert part of the garage into a bike, kayak and outdoor clothing and shoe store, or kit out the living room with floor cushions, bean bags and a projector ready for movie nights.  

Image via https://kaboompics.com/photo/4903/stylish-workspace-with-macbook-pro


Your future

Interior design is all about making your home look the business, but it’s always wise to think about how the changes you make to your home will impact your future. Often, doing work to a property will increase its value, but this is not always the case. There are certain projects, which are likely to be much more lucrative than others. If you’re hoping to add value at the same time as enhancing the aesthetic of your home and making it more suitable for your lifestyle, it’s beneficial to do some research, get quotes and talk to real estate agents. If you’ve got prices for an attic conversion in front of you, for example, you can ask agents how much value the project is likely to add, and when you’ve got an answer, you can see if it’s worth going ahead with the remodel. Thinking about the future isn’t just about money. You may also be thinking about how your home could cater for your needs in years to come. You may be considering getting pets, you may be planning to start a family, or you might be thinking of adding to your brood. Perhaps you’re toying with the idea of running a business from home or asking your parents to move in with you as they get older and need more help. Whatever your situation, it’s a good idea to have one foot in the future. You may want to move in the next five years, but if you don’t, it’s worth considering how you could modify your home. Examples of projects that usually add substantial value to a property include attic and basement conversions, conservatories, kitchen makeovers and extensions. If you are mulling over ideas, get in touch with local experts and compare quotes before you make any final decisions. Make sure you have a written breakdown of costs before you sign on the dotted line or make a downpayment.

Image by https://kaboompics.com/photo/6864/enjoying-evening-with-a-macbook-in-a-nice-bed


Your taste and style

If you’re interested in interior design, you’ve probably noticed that trends come and go incredibly quickly. Trends influence us, but it’s important that you put your stamp on your home and you prioritize your taste and style. Don’t feel like you have to deck out a dining room in velvet curtains and animal print cushions just because you’ve seen the opulent trend featured in glossy magazines or coffee table books. Take a look at blogs, social media platforms and magazines, and pick out looks that you like. There is always a plethora of themes on the hot list in any given season, and you don’t have to embrace them all at the same time. Combine elements of looks that appeal to you and create an overall aesthetic that reflects your style and personality.

Picture courtesy of https://kaboompics.com/photo/2048/elegant-home-decor-interior


Are you thinking about revamping or refreshing your interiors, or are you looking to renovate or remodel your home? If your mind is bursting with ideas, the next step is to try and turn these musings into reality. Plan ahead, draw up a budget and work on designs that suit your lifestyle, reflect your personalities and promote health and happiness. If you are undertaking major projects, do some research beforehand, get several quotes and think about how the work will affect the value of the house.

Don’t Let Burglars Steal Your Summer! Hot Tips To Keep Them At Bay



Warning! Your home is under threat this summer from unwanted visitors. And no, we aren’t talking about cousin June and her family brood. Rather, we are talking about that other unwelcome guest, the burglar! A home-break-in is no laughing matter, and your summer will be ruined if this devious swine gets into your home. Here are some tips to keep the miscreant at bay.


  1. Always check your doors and windows.


It’s tempting to leave doors and windows open during the warmer days, especially when trying to cool down your house from the suffocating heat. Bad mistake! Any entrance into your property is a temptation to the would-be thief, and the skilled burglar can get in and out within seconds, particularly if you have valuables lying around in plain sight. Our advice is this: avoid opening any access point, and rely on your aircon instead. If you do need to open a window, ensure you fully shut and lock it when you have to leave the house.


  1. Invest in a home security system


Not only useful during the summer, but considering you may be away from home on a vacation during the season, these nifty devices will deter any burglar from gaining access. Should they still try and bypass the system and gain entry into your home, the security system will notify the law. Check out some of the home security reviews at Homesecuritysystem.co, and find something that fits your needs and price range.


  1. Burglar-proof your garden


No, we aren’t talking about planting a minefield amongst your roses! Instead, reclaim your privacy from any burglars stalking the neighbourhood (and your nosey neighbours), by following some of the ideas listed here. From planting shrubbery tall enough to lose a giraffe in (that was a slight exaggeration) to securing your fence as much as possible, the burglar will likely give up the chase of your valuable goods and sniff out your next-door neighbour instead.


  1. Don’t broadcast your holiday plans


Of course, you’re excited about what you’re doing on holiday, but remember that a burglar could be in earshot, or checking through your social media posts online. So be careful what you say. Don’t, for example, have a daily Facebook status counting down how many days it is before you head out on your annual summer vacation. It’s only 3 more days until you get on the plane, which in burglar speak, is only 3 more days until your home is a welcoming target!


  1. Enlist the aid of your neighbours


Assuming you are on speaking terms, and can trust your neighbours, ask them to be on the lookout for you. Even if you are only going away on day trips, it still pays to have somebody watching your back, or in this case, your home and garden! Give them your number in case they see something suspicious, and if you are away for an extended period, ask them to collect your mail and turn your home’s lights on and off under the pretence that you are actually home.




A burglar will ruin your summer and steal all the peace and relaxation you were hoping for. Follow our tips to keep your home safe, and hopefully, you will be able to rest well, whether you’re at home for the summer or sunning it abroad.


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