Everything You Need To Research About A Potential New Neighborhood

We all think that the most important things to find out about when moving house are related to the house itself. For instance, you will certainly need to know the asking price, and it’s also a good idea to get a survey so that you can uncover any potential issues with the house’s structure. But is that really all that you need to know?



It’s also a good idea to research the house’s surrounding area as well as you can, especially if you are moving to a completely new region and don’t know much about the various different neighborhoods. After all, this is where you will be living for a few years to come, hopefully, so you will want to make sure that you end up in an area in which you feel completely settled.


Thankfully, you can a lot of neighborhood research online these days, making it a lot more convenient for those of you who are moving long distances. However, if possible, it is always best to try and visit a potential neighborhood in person so that you can get a feel for what it would be like to permanently live there.


So, what exactly should you find out about a neighborhood that you might end up moving to? Here are some key points that you should look into.





If you have kids or are planning on having some anytime soon, you should make the effort to look into the local schools. You will probably have to choose one to send your kids to before you move in and, in some cases, you will have to apply for them to go there. But before you do that, you need to find out which will be the best for your children. It’s easy enough to find the average grades and teaching standards of each school online, and it’s also worth looking at message forums, such as Mumsnet, to see if you can find any reviews from parents who already send their kids there. It’s also worth contacting the local educational board or council as they will be able to send you a brochure about each school, which should give you an overview of all the information and data you need to know.

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Proximity To Amenities


Each neighborhood should have its own key amenities, such as supermarkets, banks, and gyms. However, they might not all have their own hospitals, doctors surgeries or hairdressers. There might also not be quite as many entertainment facilities, such as cinemas, bowling alleys, and restaurants, in the immediate vicinity. So, you need to take all of these into consideration. Do you absolutely need to be so close to all of these amenities and entertainment facilities? If not, then you won’t mind moving into a neighborhood that is very residential and doesn’t feature quite so many of them. However, if you believe that it might be a problem, you might only want to look at houses on neighborhoods that have lots of amenities within easy reach of all residents.





A lot of prospective home buyers are very interested in the crime rates of all the neighborhoods they look for properties in. After all, no one wants to inadvertently move to an area that suffers from extremely high rates of crime – there is no way that will be the best place for your family to live. So, while you are considering your shortlist of potential neighborhoods, it’s a good idea to disregard any that have above-average crime rates. It’s possible to find out the exact rates by checking the local police station’s website. Most websites will give you a detailed breakdown of criminal activity and incidents that have occurred over the past few years.



Public Transport Links


Next, it’s a good idea to think about a neighborhood’s public transport links, even if you have your own family car. Good public transport links will help you feel a lot more connected to the rest of the town and city. Plus, it will encourage you to leave your car at home a lot more often, which will be better for your budget and for the environment. Not only that, though, but it will give your kids a lot more independence once they hit their teenage years and they won’t rely on you for lifts around town so much. And it will save them a whole lot of cash on taxis once they start going on nights out with their friends.

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Communication Capabilities


Did you know that not every neighborhood will have as good mobile and internet connectivity as some of the others in the same town or city? Unfortunately, it’s true. So, there is no point just assuming that your new home will have brilliant internet or cell phone reception. In fact, it could be quite a bit worse than what you are used to! If you work from home all the time, or even just a few days a week, this is obviously going to cause you some problems. Thankfully, you should be able to check a property’s current connectivity even before you are moved in. You just need to go onto an internet or cell phone providers website and enter in the address. Most offer this function and, once you have entered in the address, the site will tell you how fast the internet will be and how good the 4G in the area is.



Future Building Plans


There’s nothing better than moving into a home that has a pleasant view out of its back window. But imagine how disappointed you would be if someone built a house or a housing development right out your back. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to stop this if the plans have already been passed. But, you can find out exactly what is planned to be built close to a potential home by looking online at recent planning permission applications.


Remember all of the points above, and you will be able to find the perfect neighborhood for you and your family.

Can A Smart Home Be Stylish?

We’re hearing more than ever before about smart homes. But let’s be honest, it would be no surprise to hear that you hate the idea of dozens of technology devices cluttering up your home. However, if you are worried that too much tech will only be an eyesore, it might be time to think again. While smart homes might have been the preserve of the technology nerd in the past, things are changing quickly, and it’s more than possible to have a smart home that is stylish as well as clever in the tech department. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

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Consider the Control


OK, so the first step in creating a smart, stylish home is to have a good think about where to put your ‘control’ device – in most cases, your voice-control devices, like a tablet or media console. It will need to go where people spend most of their time in the home, so consider placing it on a kitchen unit or in a central area. It’s also a good idea to give your unit a few beautiful companions. Take the Amazon Echo unit, for example. Standing on its own it might look obvious and out of place. But in amongst some other decor pieces, it can blend into your everyday life.


Upgrade your devices


Tired of your ugly wireless router? Want something a little better looking than the standard DVR box you keep jammed in beneath the TV? If so, why not look for some upgrades. There are some seriously beautiful devices out there, such as the TiVo Bolt – it looks like a piece of art – and the Eero router, which is a rounded router that resembles a decorative piece.


Shake up your lighting


The great thing about smart lighting is that there are so many good value options that don’t require a massive installation project. If you read the review at BestSmartLamp.com for more info on smart lamps like the Philips’ Friends of Hue series and many more, you will see what kind of thing is available. There are some incredibly smart lighting options that can produce stunning lighting displays in any room – and many are controllable from your Alexa or Google Home devices.


Smart refrigerators


Let’s head back into the kitchen and take a look at your refrigerator. If you are planning on upgrading soon, why not go for a smart fridge? There are some spectacular options out there, but the vast majority of them are exceptionally beautiful to look at. As pointed out by CNet.com, you should take the Samsung Family Hub refrigerator as a great example. It has a super slick stainless steel design and also has a digital bulletin board where you can put family tasks and notices up. It also links up with an app so you can pull up a shopping list of everything you need when you are at the grocery store.


As you can see, a smart home doesn’t have to mean your living spaces look like something from a movie depicting some kind of dystopian nightmare. There are plenty of stylish options out there that give you everything on offer from modern tech, and look the part, too!

Is Your New Home Lacking Kerb Appeal? Here’s How You Can Put That Right!

When you’re searching for a home to buy, one of the things most of us want is something that looks pretty from the outside. However when you’re on a tight budget (perhaps this is your first step onto the property ladder) there are probably other boxes that need ticking that are more important. Your new home might need a garden, a certain number of rooms and bathrooms. You might want something that has heating and/ or air conditioning and you might want a specific area. For this reason, you may have to make a compromise and take a house that’s ideal in every other way, but just doesn’t look as pretty and charming from the kerb as you’d hoped. If this is the case, no need to fret- there’s plenty that you can do. Here are some ideas!



Windows and Doors

Sometimes, just a good clean of the windows can make all the difference. If you don’t have a ladder or a head for heights, it doesn’t cost much to get a window cleaner to come and get them looking sparkling. Your door is an important part of how your home looks from the outside, so if yours is looking worse for wear it could bring down the appearance of the rest of the property. If it’s made of wood, give it a good sand down and paint it. You could go with a neutral, a cute pastel or even a bright colour! Whatever fits your style. Have some new shiny numbers mounted onto it to finish the look.



Giving the garden a good tidy up can instantly improve the look of a house from the outside. Mow the grass, and treat it with a fertiliser that’s suitable for the time of year. Use a box of grass seed to patch any sparse areas and get it looking its best. Trim back any bushes and shrubs that have grown wild, and if you have any large trees or hedges that block the light, consider cutting them down.


Garage Doors

Garage doors don’t need replacing very often, but if you’ve moved into an older home chances are they’ve been around since the house was built. A coat of paint and some new springs could fix any issues in some cases, otherwise companies like http://www.prestigegaragedoors.com.au/ could fit you something nice and new. A great way to instantly transform the outside of the home.



If any fences at the front of the property look weathered and tired, buy a tub of outdoor wood paint and give them a once over. This can quickly smarten up the front of any home and enhance the kerb appeal without spending much at all.



Finally, flowers always look pretty and using flowers at the front of your home will make it look well cared for. Have a hanging basket put up either side of your door and fill it with beautiful blooms. Use pots, and fill flower beds and borders in the front garden with pretty colourful flowers.


The Only Guide You’ll Need To Find The Best Play Yard For Your Little Ones

Playtime is all about having fun for kids, but it’s also an important development period. As a parent, you want the toys you buy your little ones to keep them entertained, but you also want to encourage them to learn. Play yards are an ideal option for parents who are searching for safe, interactive and fun areas for their kids to thrive. If you like the idea of a play yard, but you don’t know where to start looking for the ideal product for your child, this infographic will come in handy.


Parents usually have two priorities in mind when it comes to choosing toys for their kids: safety and enjoyment. Safety should always come first with small kids, so look out for play yards that have safety certificates and read up on the types of material used and the country of origin. A secure door panel is a feature worth looking for, as it will keep your baby safe and give you peace of mind. Budget may be a factor for many parents, but try and avoid opting for the cheapest option if it doesn’t deliver on other levels. It’s best to pay a little more for a play yard that’s going to keep your kids safe and happy for hours on end. As well as safety features, it’s wise to look at the aesthetics of the design and the layout, and also to consider practicalities, such as cleaning and portability. Ideally, you want to find a play yard that will fit in with your lifestyle and provide maximum fun with minimal maintenance.

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What Do You Need To Make Your Home Green?

Green homes are more than a trend; they’re a new lifestyle that protects the planet. However, unless you’re in the process of building a brand new home, it can be difficult to imagine how you could possibly greenify your old house. After all, it’s often easier to start from scratch than it is to fix mishaps on the way. But it doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to create a home that supports the environmental causes and helps to protect the future of the planet. In the end, every little action can have significant consequences. So, even if you can’t afford to install solar panels on your roof and make your home completely sustainable, there are still a few things you can do to build your own green home. But let’s get something important out of the way first: You don’t need to break the bank to make it work. Of course, if you can and want, nothing is stopping you from investing in a sustainable house model. But if you can’t, your home can still be a marvel of green living!

Pimp your garden


Who says green says garden

Your garden offers the perfect place to live and hide to the wildlife around you. Of course, you don’t want the wildlife to come and eat all your plants, but you can certainly create effective and handy sections within your garden to help guide the bugs, snails and other animals where they need to be. For instance, if you want to keep snails and slugs off your veggies, try building raised vegetable beds. If you want to attract bird and small mammals, you could add a homemade pond where they could drink and wash. Make sure as well to add plenty of pollen flowers to keep the bees active, as urban pollution is endangering their survival.


Green means efficient waste management

Waste management is one of the most controversial topics in the household. In fact, a lot of people are still struggling when it comes to knowing how and what to recycle. Ultimately, you can use separate bins to keep your waste under control. A bio bin is for compost and can be used directly in the garden. You need a bin for everything that can be recycled, paper, plastic, etc. And finally, for items that need to be recycled individually by specialists, such as batteries or electronics. Additionally, you can also improve your wastewater system with modern and effective pumps, such as the Grundfos pumps, for instance. You may not have visible issues, but old wastewater system can become slow and less efficient with age.


Can I use less energy?

Last, but not least, you can actively reduce your energy consumption by using LED light bulbs or simply by asking Alexa to handle the lighting and heating for you. At the end of the year, you can notice significant savings on your energy bills! More importantly, the planet will be grateful for your efforts. Every little help matters!


Reduce your energy consumption


Your green house is not an impossible dream. With dedication and some efforts, you can adopt sustainable habits and make a difference for the environment without breaking the bank. What’s stopping you?


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