Category: Dream Home

The 3 Keys To Building Your Dream Home

Home is where the heart is… but if your heart just isn’t in it anymore, your home is just a  property. If you’ve lived in your home for some time now, your lifestyle and circumstances may be radically different to how they were when you first moved in. Perhaps you now have a larger family, maybe you have a new job or work from home. Maybe you’ve just outgrown and fallen out of love with your old place. The fact remains that when a house has stopped feeling like a home, it’s time to consider taking the next step in your life and moving on. But if you’re ready to move from your starter home to the home of your dreams, the home where you’ll put down roots and live out your days, it can be extremely frustrating when the right house never comes along. You do what you can to raise the value of your existing property, you even generate a lot of interest, but the perfect home still eludes you.

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If you can’t buy the home of your dreams, why not build it? By sticking to these tips, you’ll hold the keys to building your dream home in your hands…


Establish a wish list and a “must have” list


When the prospect of building your home is first broached your mind is likely flooded with a wealth of possibilities. You will fantasize about a futuristic kitchen, gleaming with quartz and chrome and filled with the latest mod cons, or perhaps your thoughts will turn to a state of the art home cinema chock full of the latest tech and Audio Video Services. Maybe you dream of a bathroom with a freestanding clawfoot bathtub. While blue sky thinking is great, it’s important to differentiate between your wishlist and your “must haves”. Work out your budget for the essentials and treat everything from your wish list as an optional extra.


Work out a realistic budget


Here’s where a lot of projects fall apart. Many budgets are either not fully comprehensive or are unrealistic in your projections. Remember that you’ll have to factor in everything from land costs, local fees and taxes, design and engineering charges and the cost of the materials themselves. A comprehensive budget includes everything from landscaping to the fixtures and fittings. It’s also a good idea to add a 10% contingency. You may not find that you need it, but it will ensure liquidity for the project and prevent any wasted labor costs.


Be realistic about what you can do yourself


In your zeal to create your dream home without going over your budget, you may be tempted to take on a lot of the work yourself. But this is extremely foodlardy. After all, you wouldn’t represent yourself in court. You wouldn’t perform surgery on yourself. This may well be the single largest and most important investment you ever make, so it behoves you to build a team of professionals who will be able to help you achieve your dreams. By all means do what you can by yourself, just be realistic about what you can expect to achieve alone.


When you work to these 3 principles, anything is possible.

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Homes Through The Ages: Which Type Is Right For You?

As you age, the home you live in should change. This is important for personal, financial and even physical needs. The wrong home at a certain age will impact your health while choosing the wrong type of property at another age could cripple you financially. So, let’s look at where you should be living at age stage in your life and why this is the best and brightest decision.


Twenty To Thirty: Living A Friends Kind Of Life

It Won’t Look Quite Like This


Ideally, you should be looking to live in an apartment between twenty and thirty. There are various reasons for this but let’s start with the financial benefits. Living in an apartment will ensure that you have a better chance to afford it. It’s far easier to pay off a fifty thousand apartment compared with a 200K home. This means that you are less likely to end up in a debt trap because you bought that three bedroom house far too early when your paycheck simply couldn’t cover the cost.


Don’t forget that tax and energy bills are also incredibly expensive for a house, at least in comparison to an apartment. For instance, you buy an apartment on a middle floor, you won’t need the heating on in your flat as much because heat will be rising from the properties below you.


There’s another financial benefit too. With this type of property, you can avoid issues with repairs, particularly if you are renting. Once you buy a home, you will have to pay for any repairs that you complete. The beauty of buying an apartment is that the building owner will be responsible for at least some of the repairs and need to pay a certain amount of the cost. Particularly, if the issue was caused by a fault in the building.


As well as this, you can consider renting and dodge repair costs completely. There’s another reason why renting an apartment is a smart choice at this age though and that brings us to personal benefits.


When you rent an apartment, you’re not tied down at all. You’ll be able to move on whenever you want which is great because job security at this age is rare. You need to be able to move for a job without having to worry about selling your property first.


On top of that, there are other personal perks. Young people won’t often be living in houses because they can’t afford them. Instead, you’ll find them in apartments. So, if you want to live close to people in your age group an apartment really is the best possibility. And hey, if the elevator breaks down, at least you’ll squeeze your morning work out in for the day.


Thirty To Sixty: A Comfortable Middle Age

Welcome To Suburbia


As you get older, you’ll be looking for a place to settle down. This is when you want to think about purchasing your first home. You can move to a larger place after a couple of years because hopefully during this time, your income will be rising so you’ll be able to afford it. You’ll also be building up your savings making that deposit more manageable and you should be keeping a check on your credit score. Buying now is the right time because it gives you the stability that you need and you will probably be in the position where you can afford it. This is also the time where you’ll have settled with a partner typically, once again making the cost more manageable.


You won’t be moving around anymore either. Once you reach this age, it’s likely that you’ll be fairly set on where you want to be and what you want to do for a career. This won’t be true for everyone but for the majority, at this point you will have chosen your path so it makes sense to put down roots.


You might also be thinking about having kids. If that’s the case, you need to make sure that you have enough space for them to grow and play comfortably in an area that you feel comfortable they’ll be safe. New build plans in fresh developments are perfect for this with the large gardens that new couples and small families will love.


The other benefit of buying a home is that it gives you finance power to upsize when you want to. You’ll be able to buy a bigger home with even more space, potentially for a growing family. You should probably start looking at this around forty or forty-five and that’s the place where you’ll spend most of your life. This will be your final family home and it will probably be in the suburbs or even a rural area.


Sixty Onwards: An Easy Retirement

Give Your Aching Knees A Rest


Finally, when you hit sixty, you’ll be reaching the stage where, if you had kids, they’ll be moving out and onto their life. If you didn’t have kids, it’s still time to make another move. This time, you should be looking for a bungalow and this can be a move after retirement or before it. The key factor to consider is that you need to be in good enough health to handle the move.


Don’t forget, moving home can be quite stressful and you don’t want to put this off until too late. Anytime around sixty is the right point for this type of change. The main reason for a bungalow is health purposes. It’s about making sure that you don’t risk slipping or falling down the stairs. Once you get to this age the body takes longer to heal and you are more at risk of complications.


As well as this, your income will be more limited so it makes sense to downsize to somewhere a little smaller that is more affordable and comfortable. You might even consider returning to an apartment, particularly if your keen to get an extra level of security that a shared building provides. Moving back to the city can also ensure that you remain sociable even as you age.


We hope these stages of homes help you choose the right type for you, regardless of your current point in life.

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Is That Your Final Offer? Deciding How Low You Should Go When Offering On A House

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When we’re buying a house, we all want to get the best deal possible. After all, this is likely the most considerable expense you’ll ever pay out in one go. The more you can knock off that final price, the better, right? As such, very few potential buyers actually jump in with a full asking price offer. In fact, it isn’t unusual to knock as much as $10,000 from your initial offer. In any other walk of life, that may be an insane amount of money. But, when it comes to house buying, it often seems like small change.

But, if you’re new to this home buying thing, you may be reluctant to offer a lower price. After all, this isn’t a Sunday market. This is a property that you can already picture yourself in. Why risk someone else beating you to the punch?

These concerns are fair and relevant. But, they won’t serve you in the long run. In truth, a buyer will be surprised to receive a full offer. Obviously, there’s every chance they’ll accept. But, you’ll then be out of pocket, and moving into a property with no money behind you. And, that’s about the biggest mistake you can make.

Instead, bear in mind that house prices are generally nothing more than a guideline. Bartering is just part of this business, and there’s every chance you’ll save a substantial amount of money by offering lower. This is especially the case if the house has been on the market for a while. But, if you still feel embarrassed or uncertain about how low you should go, consider the house itself. As well as increasing your chances of a deal, considering how much you’d need to spend to get the property up to standard could be your best bet. This way, you’ll have a definite price guideline, and will ensure you can cover costs once you move. And, to help you do that, we’re going to consider a few of the things you need to look out for.

Are there external issues?

Before you even enter the property, consider whether there are any external issues. More often than not, homeowners neglect outside appearances. As such, there’s every chance you would need to do work here. You may face crumbling bricks and fallen roof tiles. Or, it may be a case of blocked gutters and drains. These jobs may sound small enough, but each one could set you back a substantial amount once you move in. Most worryingly, fallen roof tiles could need extensive repair work with a hefty price tag. So, make a note of anything like this, and be sure to consider it before making an offer.

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Would you need to embark on maintenance?


Before buying a house, you should ALWAYS ask yourself whether there’s any maintenance work inside, too. For the most part, this is likely where most of your money will go. While some homeowners get everything together before selling, others leave odd jobs and expect lower offers because of it. Make sure you aren’t the idiot who offers full price regardless. Look out for issues such as damp or even infestation. Again, these could set you back a fair amount when the time comes, especially if they’ve gone unchecked until now. If there’s extreme maintenance to consider, get quotes from professionals to help you gain an idea of how much expense you’re looking at. Then, use those figures to settle upon a realistic offer. If it helps to put your mind at ease, you could even send quotes to the homeowners or estate agents. This will go a fair way to increase the chance that your offer is accepted.

What about the windows?

Too often, we gloss over things like windows when we’re viewing houses. In fact, many of us are guilty of not considering them at all. Yet, this is an area which costs a fortune for many new homeowners. Why? Well, for one; single paned windows can increase the costs of central heating in a significant way. Not to mention the fact that you’d likely fork out on double glazing down the line. Even if double glazing is already in place, issues such as cracks, or condensation between the panes are signs that you’ll need to pay for replacement windows, or at least repair work. And, the worries don’t stop at the window panes themselves. Wooden frames are also at risk of rotting, and you should make a point of checking these before buying. Again, failure to notice this could set you back a surprising amount. If the issue has gone far enough, you may end up having to pay for complete replacements. And, that’s a price you surely won’t want to face if you’ve paid full price for the property.

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Is there redecoration/renovation to consider?

Last, ask yourself how much work you’d need to do to get the interior up to standard. This issue is slightly more tricky to traverse. After all, you can’t reduce your offer on the basis that you want to change an already acceptable interior. Most homeowners out there embark on redecoration when they move. But, if the decor is outdated or in disrepair, you’d be justified to take this into account. Again, you could estimate costs of redecoration in each room, and use those to settle on a final offer.

Pay attention, too, to whether you’d need to embark on major renovation works. Again, this may not help your cause if it’s a mere case of taste. But, if there are valid reasons for the need to renovate, you could knock substantial amounts from that final price. In fact, the need for renovations can save you money more than any of the other steps mentioned here. If you’re uncertain about costs, hire a builder to give you a quote, then feed that back. There’s every chance the seller already know jobs like these need doing. Thus, there’s every chance they’ll accept your reduced offer on that basis.

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The Old Houses… Not Necessarily The Best



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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Selling Your Home? Prep It Ready!

Selling your home is a long process, one that’s going to take a lot of energy from you, and one that will definitely take a lot of your finances. The whole process is going to be long and drawn out, whether you like it or not. The one thing you can do to try and make the whole process easier is to make sure you’re prepping your home ready for the sale. The more you prep, the more time you’re going to save, and the more money you could potentially make. There’s a few things that we’re going to walk you through today that’ll mean you have the best sale that you possibly can. Have a read on to find out more.


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Sort The Faults


If you’re coming up to the stage of needing to sell your home, you need to make sure you’re getting rid of any faults that you might have. Your home is going to be filled with more than you’re going to want to believe, so make sure you do your checking. The main fault that people seem to have is a problem with their plumbing, and you can bet your bottom dollar that the week before your viewing starts you’ll have something go majorly wrong with your plumbing. If this happens, just deal with the problem as and when. The more you stress, the more things will go wrong. The quicker you sort, the quicker you can make money. Even the little things that you might have problems with, such as a sink that refuses to drain, they all need be sorted. If by any chance at all the people viewing your house try something like that and it doesn’t work, it could only put them off your home. If you have problems such as mold, they definitely need to be sorted rather than covered up. The people viewing the house can bring people in to make sure there are no signs of things like mold, so you don’t want them finding that!


Add Some Value


Add some value to your home by adding space. Space is the best way to do it, even if it means you’re going to be spending a fortune doing a little bit of renovation work. For example, you could look at adding a conservatory. These are a great little addition that everyone loves. It gives potential buyers that extra bit of space to turn into whatever they want, or just as a little chill out room.


Viewing Ready


To be viewing ready, you just need to make sure everywhere is clean and presentable. The more time you put in to make sure the house is spotless, the more buyers you’re going to attract. Clean every nook and cranny and find all of the bits you might usually miss, that potential buyers wouldn’t. Another good selling point is to make sure the house smells nice when you have people around. Light a candle, spray a bit of air freshener, and make sure you get rid of any unwanted smells.

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