How to Make Downsizing your Home an Easy Process

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Whatever the reason for downsizing, it's not easy deciding what to move on with and what to leave behind but first, get a suitable home. Do you want to cut the home maintenance fees, energy cost, or you no longer need ample space? Are your children all grown up and independent?


Once you clearly understand the reasons for downsizing, talk to estate agents and check the different options in your preferred location. If you want to lower your overall maintenance fees and mortgage rates, look at the entire cost of the new home.

Make sure that the house is energy-efficient, easily accessible and in a secure environment. Most importantly, it helps you achieve your primary goal, which is to cut costs. Once you have an ideal home, the next step is to relocate.

It's much easier to relocate to a bigger home than to a smaller one because you can carry all your belongings with you. When moving to a smaller home, you have to go through the stress of deciding what to keep, give away or sell.   

Declutter and Check What You'll Need for the New Home

The first thing you need to do is to declutter. Account for everything that you have and whatever you don't use or don't need, give it away or sell. This includes old furniture, clothes, broken appliances and toys.

After decluttering, analyze your new home's size and design, then determine what will fit there. For instance, your furniture might be too large for the new space, which means that you might sell and buy smaller ones that fit in better.

Also, check the size of your appliances because they might not adequately fit in the new space. As much as disposing of your possessions might be an emotional experience, it's the right thing to do. You'll not be too attached to valuables, and you will only keep what is necessary. As you will realize, it will also reduce impulse buying.

Get a Reliable Moving Company

Decluttering and getting rid of stuff you don't need makes a move manageable. It will also be cheaper. Working with an experienced moving service provider protects your possessions and takes the burden off your shoulders.

If you are not moving very far away and have a truck, you can consider moving the delicate items first and then let the service provider handle the rest.

Keep Your New Home Organized and Clutter-Free

You'd probably wish that all your possessions fit into the new space, but that's not possible. Even after decluttering, selling and giving away some valuables, you might still have more left that will not fit in the new home.

If you can, give them away to people you value. If you have grown up kids, you can give them some items or donate to a worthy cause.

As your new home helps you achieve your downsizing goals, you'll live a happier and relaxed life. You'll save more and live a simpler life that will not be controlled by how much you own.

Making Money From Your Home (Without Selling It)

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If you are looking to sell your home because you need to make money quickly, you might be going about it the wrong way. If you need a sufficient cash injection, you might think that selling your home is the best way. However, there are ways for you to make money from your home without selling it. If you need some spare cash or a regular source of income, you can use your home to make money. Let’s show you some approaches. 



Selling Land

If you are living on or near to land that you aren't using, is it possible for you to sell part of it? When it comes to selling land, you can make a significant amount of money. There are a wide variety of things to consider, especially if you need permission. But there is an NFC Homes guide on selling land with and without permission that might be able to help you. Selling land is incredibly quick to do. But you also need to make sure you are selling to the right people. If you have a few acres at the back of your property going unused, check if it is classed as being your land. If this is the case, you might have a little gold mine on your hands! 


Rent Your Home as a Film Set 

If your property has unique and charming features, you can list your home through an online agency. The great thing about having a film crew is that they will pay hundreds of pounds for your home. While it is not a regular paying wage, if you end up using your home as a film location for a big-budget movie you could make a small fortune. If you have a quirky enough property, you can register your home on the Shoot Factory website.


Take in a Lodger 

Of course, you could always use your spare room for lodgers, however, if you don't want a permanent lodger, a university student may be the perfect option. Hosting a young person, either as an exchange or foreign language student can mean that you will get approximately £100 a week. If you like having people coming in and out of the property, this is a perfect way for you to start meeting new people and is a great way for you to learn about another culture. 


Rent Out Your Parking Space 

Some people have a car space outside the property going begging though this is not actually the case in a lot of places around the UK! You could rent out your website using one of the many websites out there, and you could potentially earn approximately £100 a month doing this. If you live near an airport, this might be the ideal way for you to earn good money off people who do not have the funds to pay for expensive airport parking.


As you can see, there's a lot of ways for you to make the most of your home without selling it. It's not easy to get by these days. And if you need to make money quickly, don’t forget, your home may also be hiding a treasure trove of items!

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. 

Renovating Your Whole Home? The Areas to Focus On

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Renovating your home is fast becoming a more popular choice than moving. I think the hassle of selling a property is beginning to put people off, and they are looking at alternatives. Sometimes making little improvements means you can stay in a house you love or an area you adore much longer. With that in mind, here are some of the essential jobs you could tackle first when it comes to renovating.


The garage

A garage is a real usable space. Some of us use it differently to others. However you decide to make use of this space, be it storage of your car or other items. Maybe even as a workshop. One of the things you may need to think about is the flooring, and using companies like Fusion Coatings could be an option. A good door is always going to be an essential to keeping things in check. Which is why the garage should be high on your renovation list. It could be the place that houses everything you need to complete your property renovations. 

The garden

A garden is a great place to consider renovating. This is because you can get so much use out of your outside space with a bit of tweaking here and there. You may want to add a lovely decked area that would be perfect for eating or relaxing in. You might want to consider maintaining your lawn a little better or adding some color in the flower beds. However you choose to landscape the garden, make sure you consider what you want out of it. To make sure you get as much value as possible. 

The loft space

The loft space is a workable area that could be used better. You could decide to do a loft conversion where you create a new room. This could be a study or a further bedroom if property deeds allow. Not only will this transform your home space, but it could add an immense bit of funds to your property value. 

Tackle the bathroom and kitchen

No home renovations would be complete without remodelling the kitchen and bathroom to your tastes and standards. They can be quite pricey jobs to take on, but the end result can add value as well. So it can be a worthy investment to make. Renovating the kitchen might   mean you start from scratch and completely rip out the old one. It means you may want to design the layout and where things are. It's a great opportunity to make it a space that works for you. The same could be said for the bathroom. You may want to rip it out and start again, or save a few key pieces if they can work well with your plans. All of which could save you a little money overall. 

Consider an extension

Finally, a big decision for renovations to your property could be to consider an extension. This could change your whole home completely. Giving you that extra bedroom you need or the extra living space you crave. They can again be a pricey thing to do, but in the end, could add considerable value to your home. 

Let’s hope these essential home renovations have inspired you to look at your home in a new light. 

5 Reasons to Renovate Your Bathroom Yourself

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There are some moments in life where you take a look around your space and decide that it's time for an upgrade. One room in the house that deserves a little TLC is the bathroom, and it's often the room that is looked after the least. Given that we use the bathroom all the time, you'd think it would be the first place to renovate, but because it's the smallest room and it's tucked away in the house, it's the last. However, every bathroom has its day, and if you're seeking the chance to spice up the bathroom, now is the time.


You may not have the budget right now to contact someone professional to do the bathroom for you, but that's just fine - you can buy construction products online and get the job done yourself. The only thing that you shouldn't touch is the plumbing unless you know exactly how to fix it! Doing your bathroom yourself is going to do so much for your wallet as much as it will for your creative skills. So, let's check out five great reasons you should renovate your bathroom yourself.


Saving Money. 


When you choose to renovate your bathroom yourself you don't have to spend money on a professional to design and do your bathroom for you. Taking the time to plan your own bathroom, source and choose your own materials and not spend money on anyone doing it for you is going to save you a ton of cash! DIY doesnt have to be expensive, not when you can spend time researching where to buy the best materials for yourself!


Adding Value.


DIY bathroom renovations will add some value to the space - even if all you're doing is swapping out the tiles or the flooring. It doesn't take much to upgrade a bathroom as any changes are pretty transformative, but this is an upgrade that will add value to the home. It's an ideal choice for the house, and you won't even spend too much time on the job. Bathroom renovations can add immense value to the space and you take the time to add home value as a result, too.


Fixing Issues. 


Knowing you are the one in charge of the fixes in your bathroom is pretty empowering, but even more so is the fact that you can  get the leaky faucet fixed and finally replace those broken cabinet doors.


Adding Storage. 


Your vision for your bathroom space may not be a huge one but that doesn't mean that you can't get the space set up and ready with new storage. You can turn your tiny room into a bright, bold space filled with storage space and adding function. It's going to add more space for what you need - more storage units.


A Little Change.


Sometimes, change is great. When that change is as a result of your ideas, your designs and your hard work, you can give your whole space a total makeover!

Cocktail Hour - Cocktails Delivered to your Door

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Weekends are quickly becoming same old, same old now aren't they? There's nothing to do, nowhere to go so I'm finding myself turning to food and drinks for pleasure because it's the only thing that can't be taken away from us (well, I guess they could but please don't!). Our Saturdays general revolve around deciding what takeaway sort of food we're going to have and to be honest I'm quite enjoying trying some of the places in the local area that wouldn't normally offer collection/delivery service. That's the thing with the pandemic, as horrible as it has been (and still is!) and it has presented challenges to businesses like no other, it's been amazing to see businesses adapting and new businesses popping up to meet the new demands of customers. 

Cocktail Hour are one such business who set up to offer premium quality cocktails delivered straight to your door. They offer a monthly cocktail subscription which is currently £49.95 at the time of posting. This includes 2 cocktails, snacks, a food and drink guide as well as a Spotify playlist for you to access which is perfect if you're looking to create a bit of a night out in your own house. 

They also offer one off cocktail delivery boxes like the one I received which are £19.95 and include 2 ready to pour cocktails and either a sweet or a savoury snack to go with them (because who doesn't love nibbles with cocktails?)

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Don't get me wrong, experience-wise it's not cocktails at the Alchemist but as far as cocktails at home go, Cocktail Hour have you covered at a reasonable price. In my box there was an espresso martini, which happens to be one of my favourites anyway and it was delicious! I added some ice to the class before pouring and it was perfect; of the same standard as what you'd get on a night out. The Joe and Seph's blue cheese and celery popcorn was a weird one; it will be a love it or hate it kind of snack. When I first started eating them I was really unsure because the texture is odd and being blue cheese, the smell isn't fantastic but they became one of those snacks that I just kept going back for more of!

With Valentine's just around the corner, a Cocktail Hour box would be the perfect gift idea, especially as you could both enjoy it together. Either one of their sweet or savoury tasting packs or you could go for their Ti Amo Valentines Delivery box. Alternatively, if your partner has a favourite cocktail you could opt for one of the specific cocktail delivery boxes (they have White Russian, Negroni, Old Fashioned and Espresso Martini) all served with a selection of snacks. 

Hopefully we're not going to be stuck at home for too much longer but in the meantime but I highly recommend something like a cocktail delivery box to spice up your Friday/Saturday evenings!

How To Make Adulting & Living Alone Easier

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Whether it’s your first time living alone or you’ve decided that you’re sick and tired of struggling to cope with all of the stress that comes with adult life and having your own place, you might be wondering what steps you can take to make things a little easier for yourself. Is there a way that you can have your own place but still enjoy living and not end up feeling exceedingly stressed out by all of the tasks that come with living alone? 

The good news is that there are plenty of steps that you can take to make adult life and having your own home easier, it’s just a case of getting a little creative, that’s all. There are plenty of ways that you can make adulting simpler and more enjoyable, it’s just a case of finding little hacks to make adult life that little bit easier. 

Wondering what these hacks are? Below is a guide to some simple hacks for making adult  life and living alone easier and more enjoyable, not to mention less stressful. 

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Be smart about where you live

If you want to make living alone as simple and easy for yourself as possible, your best bet is to get creative about where you are living. Don’t simply rent a flat, instead look at your options for renting a serviced apartment instead; these serviced apartments are a great option because you don’t need to worry about cleaning or maintenance, as this is all dealt with for you. In essence, you have a maid - someone to help keep your apartment in check and reduce the stress that you’re under. 

Utilise the right services 

Another useful hack is to make sure that you are utilising all of the right services to make adult life as simple and easy as possible. You can pretty much find a service to deal with everything that you need doing, from having your laundry collected, washed and delivered home again to having someone manage your household cleaning for you, there’s a service to deal with your every need. 

Have things delivered 

When it comes to making adult life easier to manage, you can also look at having essentials delivered. Say, for instance, you’re someone who finds preparing and cooking meals stressful and time-consuming, and ends up constantly ordering takeaways, perhaps instead you could opt to utilise a food delivery service that either deliver fully prepared meals or ready prepared ingredients with recipe cards, such as Hello Fresh and Gousto, for instance. You can have almost anything delivered, it’s just a case of thinking about what is most crucial for making your life simpler, easier and less stressful. Every location has different options available, so take the time to look into what’s available where you live. 

Adult life isn’t always easy, especially when you have a hectic schedule and busy life, but the truth is that there are plenty of ways to make things easier for yourself. You just need to be willing to get creative and think outside of the box. 

Should You Sell Your Home Or Put It Up For Rent?

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This is something that I've often wondered about as I'm currently looking at moving to a bigger home after 3 years of living in my first house. If you're reading this, you're possibly also in the process of moving home. You fancy a change - or perhaps a change has been forced upon you - and you're leaving your old home behind. Now, you're faced with a tricky conundrum - do you sell your old home or keep it? Why would you keep it? Well, you can put it up for rent and make some extra money on the side. After hearing that side of things, another question pops into your mind - why wouldn't you put your house up for rent?!

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It's a hard decision because so many factors come into play. To help you decide which path to take, here are a few key considerations:

Can you afford to buy a new house without selling the old one?

What's your current financial situation like? If you're in a position where you can take a mortgage out on a second home - and have no financial issues - then it can be well worth it. You'll use the rent from the other house to pay off that mortgage, and then it will help you pay off the new one. Sooner than you believe possible, you'll be the owner of two homes without a mortgage to your name! But, this is only possible if you're able to buy a new home without needing to sell the previous one. In some cases, you might have to sell your old property to have the funds to move into a new one. 

What are rental prices like in your area?

Secondly, is it even worth renting your house out? If the rental prices in your area are really poor, it might not be worth the hassle. As you can see on the Track Capital website, certain areas of the country have seen a dramatic increase in rental prices. If it's like this in your area, it's almost silly not to take advantage of it. Imagine you're able to rake in over £1,000 a month from your home?! By contrast, if the rent is too low, managing the extra property can become too expensive. You go through the effort of managing your old home, but don't reap the rewards through the rent. 

Can you sell it for a substantial profit?

Lastly, consider how much of a profit you'd get if you sold your home right now. In some cases, you may have bought a fixer-upper that's soared in value since you had it. Selling it now will land you a huge profit that gives you access to lots of money right away. You can then use that money to possibly buy more than one house, letting you put one up for rent anyway! If your house hasn't increased in value by a substantial amount, it might be better to hold onto it and play the long-haul game with a rental. 

See, it's a very hard decision to make as you could be taking a risk. Ultimately, the best approach is to weigh up your situation, look at your finances, and possibly consult an expert.


Managing A Rental Property With Your Tenants In Mind

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If you are in a position to let out a property, and you want to make sure that you make the most of it, there are many things you are going to need to consider along the way. One of the most vital considerations here is to ensure that you are managing the property in such a manner that your tenants are going to be happy with the place, and with your management of it. There are a lot of facets to this, and we are going to take a look at some of the most important of them in this post.

Find The Right Tenants

First things first, it is always going to be hugely helpful if you can make a point of finding the right tenants before you do anything else. What do we mean by the right tenants? Simply, those people who are likely to enjoy the home for what it is. If you can find people of this kind, you essentially have a kind of head start when it comes to keeping them happy. You can be sure of finding those people simply by making a point of advertising the property in the right kind of way. In other words, you need to have a specific target demographic in mind first and foremost.

If you are able to do that, you should find that you can keep them happier so much easier - but all of the following ideas are going to be important as a part of this, too.

Handle Complaints Swiftly

From time to time, your tenants are going to have complaints about the property. This is likely to happen regardless of the scenario, of whether or not you are doing your job, although you will of course receive many more complaints if you are not doing things in the right way in other respects. But the way in which you handle complaints is likely to make an enormous difference too, especially in terms of how quickly you respond, and in what manner.

The more swift you are with your response to complaints, the more your tenants will believe that you really do care about them and their situation. You should aim to send a quick reply saying you will look into the matter - and then make sure you do that swiftly too, getting them whatever help they might need. You can also make this all so much easier by simply using a realtor or estate agent to do that kind of work for you.

Provide Security & Privacy

As anyone else does, your tenants too deserve to have a good deal of privacy and security. If they do not have this, then you are going to be in a very troublesome position indeed, which could be something along the lines of actually leaving the property and leaving you without any tenants at all. There are some basic ways in which you can ensure you are doing your part to keep your tenants safe and secure, and to uphold their need for privacy.

One of the most important is to leave them to it, and not to come knocking at random times without warning. As well as being illegal, this is also rude, and could amount to your tenants feeling a little claustrophobic, or as though they do not have their own space. You should always remember that the property is theirs while they are renting it out, not yours, and you can’t just bombard them with your presence.

It’s also worth considering installing a number of security features and functions in the property - for the sake of your tenants’ wellbeing, and also so you can keep your property safe too. For instance, you might want to install deadbolts and other security features on windows and doors, or possibly even install CCTV and burglar alarms. Anything you can do to help your tenants feel safe is bound to help you out in keeping them happy.

Keep The Contract

You should always draw up a contract with your tenants at the start of each tenancy, and you should aim to revisit it once a year and ensure that everything is still as it should be. On top of that, you should of course ensure that you are keeping your end of the contract at all times too, which is essential if you are trying to expect the same from your tenants. The contract should cover all reasonable situations that might crop up, especially any of those which are going to be particularly common or thorny in how they play out.

Remember that breaching the contract could open up the way for your tenants to breach it too, so you don’t want to go down that route. You should abide by the contract at all times if you want to keep things simple and ensure that your tenants are doing the same.

Regular Maintenance Checks

It is best to be a proactive landlord, and not simply wait for something to go wrong and to get the phone call or email from your tenant saying this has happened. It is better for everyone if you carry out regular maintenance checks instead, whether you do them yourself or you get someone else in to do them. In either case, you are going to find this helps to keep the place in check, and will reduce the amount of problems that your tenants run into.

Show Respect and Be Human
Finally, remember that tenants are always going to appreciate it if you can show a lot of respect and remember your human side - as well as their human side. This is not something that is always going to come easy, but as long as you are happy to consider it from time to time, you should find that it is actually a relatively easy thing to do. And it will be a huge step towards keeping your tenants happy and satisfied within your property, which is the most important thing we are aiming for here.

3 Most Desired Changes for the Living Room

 collaborative post

When talking with people over 2020 as to what they don’t like about their surroundings within the home, there have been many areas fit for an improvement.

Among these pivotal areas for a relaxing home, the living room area tends to be the focal point for any changes to happen, with a sense that adding more set pieces and changing flooring tastes on top of the new year wish list.

Three areas are highlighted here as the top desires within a new living room space.

Centre Features

Amazingly popular now is a reintroduction of coffee tables to living room areas.

Having a centrepiece such as a coffee table gives the ability to provide extra cosiness as well as give extra dimension to the room. Having large spaces between seating sometimes feels so awkward, especially now that many of us have to work from home. Many choose a wood effect or stone styled centrepiece to match their flooring (or which we will cover shortly) to give a sense of connectivity throughout the room.

Plus, it’s always good to have somewhere to put that cup of java whilst spending some time in front of the news.

Plants

Whether real or artificial, people are loving their large planets in corners of their room.

It is a calming atmosphere and brightens up dull corners by giving it a bit of natural beauty. It could be because lockdown’s have prevented us from visiting a lot of natural beauty spots or even holidays recently that has caused a rise in popularity in plant decor, or maybe it’s down to everyone being confined in their houses for prolonged periods and growing tired of their decor, but plants are providing a calm and relaxing aura around the living room.

Close to natural sunlight is required for these to survive if selecting a real plant.

Floors

A lot of shift away from carpets and hardwood floors towards products like luxury wood effect vinyl flooring is in vogue currently.

This is down to its comparative ease in maintenance (requiring only a simple brush and mop to keep clean) as well as its reinforced durability. People who want hardwood or stone style floors are also turning to lowest price Amtico Spacia flooring due to its perfect replication of the real product, with it being a fraction of the cost also.

Whilst people are sourcing more environmentally friendly options for their home, vinyl flooring has been a premier friendly product through years of development, making even the cheapest Amtico flooring in the UK is a fantastic investment along with upto 25 years warranty.

So what do you feel about your living room space this year?

What to Look for when Buying a Fixer Upper Home

The easiest, and the preferred option, is to buy a house that needs hardly any renovation work doing. That way, you can focus on moving into your new home without the hassle and stress that is synonymous with moving houses. Unfortunately, the real world is never straightforward, and the chances are that you can only afford a building that requires lots of tender loving care.

There’s no reason to panic because purchasing a fixer upper property has plenty of advantages, such as helping you to save money and allowing you to imbibe the interior and exterior with your personality. Still, there’s no denying that pitfalls exist since you’re going to invest in a house with structural and cosmetic issues.

With that in mind, it’s vital to cover as many bases as possible to avoid nasty surprises in the future. When you view a property that’s a work in progress, it’s challenging to concentrate on the essentials as there are so many features that catch your eye. As a result, it’s not unheard of for buyers to miss elements that make a massive difference to the buying process.

To avoid falling into this category, you should take a look at the following. These are the things to do when purchasing a home to renovate.

Ask The Right Questions Before & After A Viewing

A fixer upper is the kind of property that makes the most knowledgeable real estate people shudder with anticipation. The truth is that it’s impossible to figure out what is going on behind the outdated wallpaper with a ten-minute viewing alone. And, it’s not as if you can trust the estate agent to “be on your side.”

What you require is a professional, such as an architect, engineer, or surveyor, to take a look at the foundations and give their honest opinion. Of course, you’d never get around to an offer if you did this from the beginning, which is why most buyers view properties first.

During the viewing, you can do yourself a favour by asking pertinent questions relating to the history of the building itself and the owners. For instance, first-time buyers should always enquire about planning permission disputes and how the property compares to other listings on the road.

Regardless of the answer, you can use the internet to raise red flags after the viewing. If you ask about how much value the property has lost or gained in the last few years, you can confirm the agent’s answer via Google or Zoopla.

Invest In A Building Survey

Anyone who has been through the process of getting a building survey done might object at the term “invest.” This is because the cost is much higher than a homebuyers report, and it’s hard to watch your budget disappear before any of the work has started. However, a survey reveals things you will never know until the ink is dry on the deeds.

Firstly, it highlights structural problems that escalate out of control if they aren’t solved quickly. You can fix them, yet you might decide it’s not worth the fuss, not if your budget is small and the resale value low. Subsidence is a prime example since it’s hard to tell what’s happening underneath the ground, but a builder can spot the warning signs a mile away.

Secondly, a survey helps you to create a list of the things you need to do and how much they will cost. Whether you need scaffolding services or something bigger, it’s essential to have a list of repairs so that you can estimate the final costs.

You have to ensure you understand how much a renovation will cost to make sure it’s a smart investment.

Find Out More About The Owners

Smart owners keep their cards close to their chests. Why? It’s because you can use the smallest pieces of information to your advantage during negotiations. For instance, you might try to haggle for a lower price if you find out they are desperate for money to fund their house move. Bargaining isn’t for the faint hearted!

However, just because they might not tell you anything doesn’t mean you can find out more about them. There are several options at your disposal, starting with the estate agent as they work with both parties. Therefore, a casual conversation could reveal something that helps you to reduce your exposure.

Alternatively, there is the internet. By putting the sellers’ full names into a search engine, you can reveal pretty much everything you need to know, if there is anything worth knowing, of course. People post things on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all the time, so it’s worth checking social media profiles too.

When you find out your position is stronger than the owners’, it puts the ball firmly in the opposition’s side of the court.

Can You Live In It?

One question you’ll have to ask at some point is whether you can live in the house while you’re renovating. Please don’t jump to conclusions right away and let your excitement get in the way of reality. Remember that hurdles appear out of the blue during a renovation, which is why you should expect to spend 10% more than your budget and add a couple of months to your deadline.

As a result, it might not be feasible to live in your new house, especially if you have to put up with a building site for six months to a year. Even if the work will be quick, you could have to do without essentials. For example, a kitchen remodel will make it challenging to cook food.

In this instance, you must find a way to provide for your needs, and your family’s, since you can’t exist without food! It’s about more than money - it should be a mix between cutting costs and dealing with stress. The latter is unhealthy, which is why you want as little of it as possible, or else your fixer upper home could harm your wellbeing.

There are many hidden problems to look out for, so hopefully this post helps to simplify the process.