Decorating Tips for Landlords

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If you’re planning to rent out a property to tenants, it’s probably a good idea to doa bit of decorating first. Doing so will make your property more attractive to the kind of tenants you’re trying to encourage and it will give you a chance to get to know the property better.

Whether you’re a seasoned property developer or someone who’s getting ready to let their first property, here are a few decorating tips that you may find useful:

Tiles are a great choice

When it comes to decorating areas like the kitchen and bathroom, it can be tempting to save money by using cheaper materials like laminate, paint and linoleum, but this could well be a false economy. Not only do they look much less attractive, but they are also less likely to stand the test of time, which means you’ll probably need to replace them very often. Tiles, on the other hand, can typically be refreshed by simply re-grouting them and giving them a quick scrub, which is obviously an advantage.

Keep it neutral

It probably doesn’t need stating, but when you’re decorating a property for other people, it’s smart to be cautious and stick to neutral colour schemes. Not only will bright, bold and garish decoration put some potential tenants off, but it will also age your property far more quickly than walls that have been simply decorated in shades of white, cream or maybe even grey. By sticking with the basics, your property will have more appeal, and refreshing your real estate will be a whole lot simpler. Not only that but if you choose light neutral colours, they will give your property the illusion of spaciousness, which is always a big selling point.

Avoid cheaper fixtures and fittings

From door handles and letterboxes to lamps and lights, buying the very cheapest you can buy will save you money in the short-term, but you’re more likely to be called up by your tenants when they inevitably rust, snap or break in some way. Choosing affordable, but good quality fixtures and fittings will be a far better choice in the long-term. Chrome is good as it’s durable and affordable, but see what’s out there before you make your final decision.

Prevent mould

Mould is very common and it can be a real pain in the backside to deal with. Since you can’t control how often your tenants will have the windows open or the heating on, it makes sense to do what you can to prevent any future mould, whether that means treating and removing existing spots or using anti-mould paint additives when decorating. Yes, it may cost you a little more, but you’ll be glad of it when you don’t have to deal with a spreading mould problem a year down the line.

Go for dark carpets

If you plan to carpet your property, it’s a good idea to go for darker shades of brown, which will disguise any dirt and debris much more easily than lighter colours, so you won’t have to clean them quite so often.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of carpet, the thicker the better. Again, thicker carpets may be more expensive, but they will stand up to wear and tear far better, which means they won’t need to be replaced as often. Using underlay is also a good idea for similar reasons.

Avoid wallpaper

Wallpaper is more likely to peel off and it’s almost impossible to remove stubborn marks and stains from it unless it happens to be a very high-quality washable style, which can be pretty expensive. That’s why it’s a good idea, as a landlord, to use paint throughout the home. If you really want to add some wallpaper, just put it on one feature wall so it’s a bit easier to remove and refresh as and when needed, but try to keep that as neutral as possible too lest it put your tenants off.

Keep it natural

If you need to install new skirting boards, doors, etc., it can be a good idea to simply stain them rather than painting them, Why? Because not only will they look great, but any knocks and scrapes won’t be quite as noticeable as they would if the wood was painted white, cream or some other light colour.

Decorating as a landlord doesn’t have to be stressful. The above tips will help you to get it right without spending a fortune or having to put a huge amount of ongoing time and effort into the process.

Why The Property Market Has Grown Since Lockdown

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The property market has seen an unexpected increase in growth since lockdown restrictions were lifted in May, as estate agents were allowed to return to work and could start to sell properties once again. The explanation for the sudden growth could be attributed to certain factors including Brexit and the global pandemic caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

With the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, many people chose to wait until the outcome of the December general election had been announced. This meant that those who were waiting to buy and sell properties after this had to postpone plans even further when the country went into lockdown in March.

Lockdown may have motivated more people to continue with their plans to move once restrictions started to ease up. People were no longer confined to their homes, which enabled them to start the process of moving into a new property. Estate agents reported being overwhelmed with people looking to put their homes on the market and with new potential buyers searching for properties.

Another factor that could have contributed to the growth was the Stamp Duty being reduced to 0% for first homes up to the value of £500,000. This was introduced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, as a way to get the property market up and running again which proved to be a success.

If you are interested in seeing the stats on how the property market shot up post-lockdown, take a look at the infographic from Mansell McTaggart below.

Infographic By MansellMcTaggart

Feeling Tired? Try These Tips

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Feeling tired sometimes isn't unusual, but when you're always tired, something has to change. Wanting to fall asleep all the time could indicate a bigger problem, and it definitely won't leave you at your best. You can find that you're forgetful or disorganised, and it could be dangerous if you're driving or even just walking around. Having energy and feeling alert is important, so you need to do something if you're feeling tired all the time. Some lifestyle changes could be what's needed. Here are some of the steps that you can take if you're tired and you want to change things.


Prioritise Sleep

To start with an obvious one, you could be feeling tired because you're not getting enough sleep. Even if you think that you're sleeping enough, you might not be getting as much sleep as you could. Seven or eight hours is usually the recommended amount. If you're not sure how much you're sleeping, try wearing a fitness tracker to bed to track your sleeping patterns. There are some steps you could take if you need help falling asleep, from meditation to crafting a good bedtime routine. You can also make sure your bedroom has the perfect conditions for sleep.

See Your Doctor

If you are sleeping enough, it can be a good idea to make an appointment with your GP. This is especially true if you have suddenly started to feel fatigued, and you can't think of any reason for it. Your doctor can ask you about your lifestyle and any other symptoms you might have. They can make some suggestions about how to have more energy or carry out some tests to find out if there might be something wrong. It's not always easy to get to the bottom of things when you're feeling tired, but there could be an underlying cause that can be addressed.

Get Your Vision Tested

Are your eyes feeling tired? If your eyes feel dry or you're struggling to focus, you could be having problems with your vision. Not being able to see properly can cause strain on your eyes, and the effort of trying to focus can make you feel tired too. You should have vision tests every two years or any time you think that you might have a problem with your vision. If you do need glasses, you'll have a selection of eyewear to choose from. Wearing glasses just gives you a new accessory that you can choose to wear. Or you can use contact lenses instead.

Move More

Being tired could actually be improved by moving more. Exercise might not be your first thought when you're feeling tired, but regular movement can help you to have more energy and stamina. If you don't get much exercise, consider building it into your routine. Start gently and slowly build up the level of activity that you do to get moving more.

If you're tired, don't just let things continue as they are. You can solve the problem by confronting it and working out what to change.

Date Night Ideas on a Budget

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You want to have some quality time with your other half, you don't want to spend a fortune but you also want to feel like you're treating yourselves a bit. My favourite date nights have actually been where we've specifically taken time out of whatever we'd normally do to actually spend some time at home together without the distraction of phones and, of course, it always seems to involve food. 

Jack's Supermarket recently got in touch with me to ask if I'd like to try some of their products to see how they'd fare in helping me create my date night of dreams. I'd not actually heard of Jack's before I received the email but they're actually the discount sibling of the Tesco family; offering outstanding value on everyday family essentials including fresh fruit and veg, meats and all the ingredients you need to make tasty meals. Having had a nosey in their Sheffield store I managed to pick up lots of goodies to make the perfect date night.

Here are some ideas of how Jack's can help you can organise date night on a limited budget:

Pizza and a film 
If this was a trip to the cinema finished off with a visit to Pizza Hut, you could pretty much wave goodbye to £50 but with Jacks I was able to get bread sticks and dips (for starter), pizza, ribs, cider and chocolate all for under £15!

I was so impressed with the pizza in particular and couldn't believe it was only £2.49; it was absolutely superb quality with the perfect amount of topping on it. The only trouble was, I wish I'd have got us one each because it was so tasty! Ribs can sometimes be a bit hit and miss I find but these from Jack's were beautifully meaty with just the right amount of BBQ sauce. The meal was finished off perfectly with a glass of Crofter's cider and at only 85p a bottle I certainly wasn't expecting it to be so nice; it was the perfect balance between sweet and dry cider!

Date night film suggestions:
Eurovision (Netflix) - the comedy
The Equalizer - the action
The Notebook - the romance

Steak and Pamper Evening
If you're looking for something a bit more 'luxurious' from a meal then Jack's also do some amazingly priced steaks which I picked up and had another night with some homemade chips (top tip: I find that red potatoes make the best homemade chips - just simply cut up, drizzle with oil, shake to coat and pop in the oven at 200 degrees for 30 mins). The pieces of rump steak are only £2.49 each, believe it or not! 

I always slice my steak up to eat it, which I know might make it look a bit weird (I think it's something to do with when I went to Flat Iron) but having cooked it medium rare, it was some of the best steak I've personally ever had at home. Kev's was a little on the fatty side but I strongly suspect that was his fault for picking out one that was a little more marbled. As you might have noticed on the packaging, it's British beef which leads me on to mention that Jack's are also passionate about supporting and working with local farmers and it's a really refreshing change to see quality British products at such reasonable prices!

Perfect pamper night suggestions:

To me, no pamper night is complete without a nice candle lit bath and because Jack's have got a 'When It's Gone It's Gone' middle aisle, I was able to grab some of the softest fluffiest towels to pop on the radiator and wrap myself in afterwards. New products are launched in the WIGIG aisle every Thursday so it's well worth popping in just to see the new offers!

After a candle lit bath I'd highly recommend popping on a relaxing face mask each and taking it in turns to give hand/foot massages (or maybe just hands if feet aren't your thing!). You could also take the opportunity, while you're both relaxed, to do some fun couples quizzes; you can find lots of couples questions on Pinterest and it can be both funny and interesting to hear each other's answers to them!

I'm hoping that Jack's open a store in Doncaster soon as I'd really like to make shopping there a regular thing, if you love the sound of a new discount store with a tempting middle aisle you just need to find your local store (which could be closer than you think!)