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Five Tips For Giving Your Car A Spring Refresh

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Spring is always a good time to refresh your home, garden and car. This year, there’s an extra reason to give your car some love. You should, hopefully, be able to get out and about in it more. That means you’ll want it to look and feel good and run well. You’ll probably also want it to run as affordably as possible. Here are some tips.

Clean out your boot

Even if you ignore every other tip in this article, do this. Boots filled with needless stuff aren’t just untidy and smelly. They literally weigh down your car. That means your car needs more fuel to work. In other words, it costs you more to run. It might only be a little more each trip, but those pennies add up into pounds.

Take care of your bodywork

Leaving dirt on your car damages the exterior. Give it a thorough clean and take care of even minor scratches. They might not look like much but they can let rust take a hold. If you’re up for some fun, you could add a car decal or two. These are much more affordable (and much less commitment) than a paint respray.

Check your tyres

Spring is guaranteed to bring showers and that can make road surfaces slippery. This means that it’s still important to ensure your tyres have reliable grip. It’s also important to check the pressure regularly.  

This is because tyre pressure is affected by air temperature. In spring, temperatures are highly variable so you may have to inflate/deflate your tyres to compensate. Digital tyre pressure gauges are very affordable and make it really easy to monitor your tyres.

Get that “new car” smell back

If you’ve ever been to a quality car dealership like Jaguar Basingstoke, you’ll have noticed that all the cars have a gorgeous smell. Getting your car smelling great can really make a difference to how you feel about driving it. It’ll also impress your passengers.

Getting your car smelling great starts by getting it really clean. At the very least, give it a good hoover and remove any stains, even small ones. If you can give it a proper wash inside (or clean the leather with leather cleaner).

That should get rid of any lingering smells. If, however, you want to level up from good to great, then you need to invest in a proper car air freshener. You can still get “old-school” sprays, cardboard “pine trees” and gel packs. These days, however, you can also get proper car diffusers. You can also buy fragrances you’d be happy to use on yourself.

Sort out your organisation

Ideally, you should use your glove compartment for standard essentials like a first aid kit. Avoid stuffing it totally full because this makes the contents harder to access in an emergency. After this, think about how you use your car and what you need to make your driving experience more seamless.

For example, you might want to think about investing in a mobile phone mount with wireless charging capabilities. Even if your phone doesn’t support wireless charging, most of these mounts will let you use a regular USB cable to charge your phone on the go.

Renting Out Your Old Home: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Landlord

Investing in real estate is a great way of building wealth. To start building your real estate portfolio, one smart strategy is to hold onto your starter home after you build or buy your second home. In a healthy real estate market, you will quickly build equity and use the rent to cover your mortgage. However, while becoming a landlord and making money may seem easy, there’s more to succeeding as a landlord. Therefore, before you take the plunge, you may want to read the following guide on how to rent out your first home.

Understand your responsibility as a landlord

First, you should determine whether you can handle the obligations of a landlord. There are several benefits of renting your property, like generating income, deterring vandalism that often happens in empty homes and the ease of tax breaks. However, as a landlord, you have the responsibility to repair and maintain the property, pay your homeowners insurance, collect rent, and screen tenants.

Prepare your home

In the competitive real estate market, you won’t be able to rent out your home as-is. Tenants are choosy and have high expectations. Therefore, you will need to make your home more appealing by deep cleaning your home and ensuring that all appliances are in good working condition. Get electrical installation condition reports to ensure that all electrical appliances, fuse boxes, and wires are working properly.

Decide how much rent you will receive

You can’t just decide how much rent you will charge. Rent is controlled by the market, and the only way to come up with a fair market rent is to do some research. Ideally, you should rent your house for the same amount as other properties in a similar location, condition, and size.

Conduct a background check

There are several ways to run a background check on a potential tenant. Additionally, most property management applications have screening tools that can help you. However, before you even start screening your rental tenants, you should first decide what background and credit information you will allow. Generally, some of the things you should look closely include:

  • Prior evictions

  • Felonies

  • Bankruptcy

  • Criminal record

  • Bad financial history

After you identify the right tenant, inspect the property and take photos of the house before move-in. Remember to also ask for a reasonable security deposit and agree on the appropriate payment schedule.

Consider hiring a property manager

Do you want to receive calls at 3 a.m about a clogged toilet? If not, you may want to use a property manager.  Your property manager will handle everything from collecting rent to scheduling maintenance and repairs. Although you will have to part with a small fee, you won’t go through the hassles of screening tenants, advertising your property, keeping track of financials, issuing legal notices to tenants, filing evictions, or enforcing rental policies.

Bottom Line

There are several reasons why you should rent out your first home after you buy a new one. Although there’s no format to succeeding as a landlord, taking the time to understand your responsibility as a landlord, preparing your home, deciding how much you should rent, screening tenants, decorating your house, and hiring a property manager will increase your odds.

Top Tips for a Home Gym

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Setting up a gym at home can be a great idea to keep your fitness goals on track. After the initial investment to set it up, it can work out cheaper in the long run than paying for a gym membership. Having the gym at home can also help you to stay committed to an exercise routine and take better care of yourself... If you don’t have to leave the house to hit the gym, it’s much harder to find an excuse not to go.

Invest In Quality Equipment

You want to be sure that the equipment that you buy for your home gym is safe. A lot of equipment like rowing machines, weight racks, and treadmills turn up frequently on local selling sites or auction sites like eBay. This can save you money, but make sure you go and look at any equipment before you buy it. Give anything you buy a thorough check to make sure it’s in suitable condition before you decide. If you buy new, make sure you know how to use everything safely. At home, you won’t have a gym trainer to show how something works, so ask the salesman and get them to show you. Book gym flooring installers to make sure the floor is even and able to support equipment, especially if you’re converting the garage. 

Start Small

Gym equipment is usually not cheap, so make sure you’re going to use it before spending a fortune. Start small with some free weights, a yoga mat, and an exercise ball. If you find you’re keeping up the habit well, then you can slowly add in more pieces of equipment. 

Personalise The Space
Make your home gym a room that you actually like being in. Adding something personal like posters or pictures can help with this. Put in a TV or some speakers to entertain yourself while you work out. 

Get Multipurpose Equipment
Most home gyms are relatively small rooms, so hardworking pieces that have more than use or can be adapted as your fitness levels change are a good option. Choose things like adjustable dumbbells, so you’re set up for different exercises with one piece of equipment. 

Keep It Warm
Lots of people convert their garages into home gyms. This is a great use of space but can mean that the gym gets cold. Don’t give yourself the excuse to dodge a workout because it’s cold, and put in some space heaters to keep it warm. Even with heaters, the bar of your barbell can get very cold, which isn’t pleasant on your hands. Keep equipment like this in the house, and move them to the gym when you’re ready to work out. 

Start Sociable
You might miss the social side of the gym. Sometimes the atmosphere of the gym can help to push you through a challenging workout. If you find your home gym is a bit lonely, why not invite some of your friends to use it too? They can save on their gym memberships, and you’ll have some company while you’re working out. Of course, while there are still national restrictions you won't be able to do that but you could try a Zoom workout together!

Getting Your Garden Ready For Spring And Summer: It's Not as Difficult as You Think

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Spring is bursting into view, and with the arrival of the vaccine for Covid-19 here, it’s an excellent time to get your garden ready for days of celebrating with family and friends, however, that may look.

So, here are a few helpful ideas to help to get your garden ready in 2021:

7 Tips To Get Your Garden Ready For Spring

You may be wondering where to start, especially if you haven’t focused on garden maintenance over the Winter months. Hopefully, the following tips and tricks will help set you on the right track and give you a garden to with a feel-good factor. 

De-Clutter Your Green Space

It’s time to roll up your sleeves and give your garden a pre-spring clean, you’ll need to scoop up the dead leaves, trim back overhanging hedges, remove any winter debris and prevent bacteria that could kill off new plants in your garden. 

Give Your Lawn Some Love

Spring is a great time to feed your garden and rake your lawn to eliminate all of the debris and dead grass. This will help the garden to breathe, ensuring there is less chance of it becoming waterlogged, should there be a sudden downpour.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The spring is an ideal time to turn your compost over; the material accumulated at the bottom of your compost bin will be an excellent source of nutrients for your new plants, and help keep your garden healthy and beautiful.

Create A Kitchen Garden

If you want to create an organic vegetable and fruit garden, now is the right time to start planting seeds and prepare your containers for propagation. You can clean up your old pots or be inventive and create new containers from a newspaper, yoghurt pots or empty food containers. 

Remove Unwanted Pests

Check all of your well-established shrubs, rose bushes and plants for bugs and pests, especially if you are re-stocking and adding new flowers and plants to your garden. This will prevent any disease or nasty unwanted garden pests from moving in, or taking root to destroy all of your garden work.

Rejuvenate Garden Furniture

If your garden furniture is looking a little sad and tired, you could be a little indulgent and buy something new, or you could spruce up plastic, wicker or wooden garden furniture. You can quickly revive plastic furniture with some TLC, some warm soapy water and a sponge. Wooden furniture may need a little more love, with some wood oil or a repaint. 

Create A Garden Haven

To create the perfect haven in your garden, you could add bird boxes, insect boxes, bee boxes and hang bird food around your garden.

Cover delicate fruit plants with netting to protect them from birds and garden visitors. 

Add a little colour and a lot of sunshine by adding fairy lights or garden lighting, invest in some garden textiles such as throws, blankets, cushions, anything that will make you and your visitors smile or could be a natural talking point.