3 Cheap Ways To Upgrade Your Home Exterior

Over the years, the outside of your home might start to look a bit old and tired. It’s important that you keep on top of exterior maintenance if you want your home to look great, especially if you are trying to sell. In fact, a poorly maintained exterior is one of the most common reasons that your home is not selling because it gives people a bad impression of your home before they have even set foot inside. The problem is, a lot of home exterior upgrades can be quite expensive and you may not be able to afford it.

The good news is, you don’t have to stretch your budget if you want to improve the outside of your home because there are plenty of more affordable changes that you can make. These are some of the best cheap ways to upgrade your home exterior.

Pressure Washing

The paved areas around your home get dirty over time and they start to look dull, but there is a simple fix for this. If you call out a pressure washing company, they will be able to blast all of the dirt from the paved areas and even from the outside of the house itself. After a good wash, you may find that the exterior looks as good as new and there is no need to replace paving or paint the house again.

Landscaping

The garden has a huge impact on the overall look of your home exterior and if you don’t look after it properly, it will soon get overgrown and messy. Paying a landscaper to come in and completely overhaul the garden is going to be expensive, but you’d be surprised how much of a difference it makes if you spend an afternoon working on it yourself. Pick out all of the weeds and mow the lawn, and get a few nice flowers to plant. If you hate gardening, fill the garden with low maintenance plants that don’t require much care, so it still looks great out there but you don’t have to do much.

Painting

In some cases, you may be able to get away without painting. However, if the paint on the outside of your home is especially dirty and it’s starting to flake away, it looks awful and you need to do something about it. You may worry about the cost of calling somebody out to paint your home, but you can always do it yourself. As long as you take the time to scrape all of the old paint off the walls and give them a good clean, you will get a professional finish. Just make sure to buy good quality exterior paint because it is not just there for aesthetic purposes, it also forms a protective barrier. If you go with cheap paint, it will start to flake off after a few years and you will have to paint it again.

These are some of the best ways to upgrade your home exterior if you don’t want to stretch your budget.

Here are a Few of the Reasons Why Your Home Might Not be Selling

There really are so many stages that have to be fully completed before your house actually sells. Some naturally take longer than others and they may even be out of your control. If you are concerned that your property is not attracting interest after a few months on the market, then now is the time for you to ask yourself why.

Overvaluing

The most obvious reason why your property is not selling is because you have valued it far too high. It’s very natural for you to overestimate your property but one way for you to avoid this would be for you to try and look up other properties in the local area. If you are able to do this then you can find out why yours isn’t fetching a high price. It’s also wise to have multiple estate agents come round your property so that they can advise you on the best way for you to value your home. It also gives you the best chance to get an average price from various professionals too.

Source: Pexels (CC0 License)

Marketing that Isn’t Effective

It’s also very possible that you haven’t marketed your home properly. Making your property look as attractive as possible is crucial. You need to make sure that buyers are impressed when they come round and that they are also happy when they view your home online too. First impressions are everything too, so try and make sure that your home is tidy with very little clutter. If you want to help yourself here, then it may be worth hiring a mortgage broker. Check out https://altrua.ca/ to find out more.

Bad Timing

The housing market is very unpredictable. Prices are always fluctuating, and you have to deal with a huge range of external factors too. This can easily turn the tide on your investment, and if you move at the wrong time then you may find that you end up facing some huge consequences. If you know that there is a low demand for houses but there tend to be a lot of properties for sale, then this means that it is a buyer’s market. This is a term used to describe the market when there is more competition.

Your Estate Agent Just Isn’t Good

Sellers tend to place a lot of trust in estate agents when marketing their property. If you find that your home isn’t selling as fast as it could then it may be that your estate agent isn’t putting as much effort in as they could be. If you want to help yourself then talk to your agent after every viewing and ask them if there is anything that you can do to try and increase your chances of getting a sale. If you aren’t sure if this is an option then ask a friend or a potential family member to look around your home and ask them if there is anything, they could change about it, or if anything stands out to them. This is a great way for you to find out if you can make the right changes.

Stage Your Home Interior For Better

You may be familiar with the idea of staging your interior. If you follow influencers on Instagram, staging is part of their everyday lives. You’ve probably come across photos that not only show behind the scenes of the most popular shots. Staging is, ultimately, the art of creating an impression by using your decor strategically.It’s a popular approach for lifestyle bloggers, home and decor influencers, and visual artists. But it’s also a skill that can prove useful in everyday life. Who will need to stage their home?

The answer is simple — anybody who relies on first impressions to set a beneficial mood. You can find a variety of ways of profiting from the effect, whether you’re trying to make a monetary gain, to soothe your mind, or to impress your coworkers. Here are some staging ideas to help you understand the benefits of staging and how to do it right for your audience group.

Be strategic when selling is a priority

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, more and more real estate agencies are trying to maintain essential operations such as house sale or rental needs. However, as social distancing still applies as much as possible, staging your property is going to be helpful to keep visits safe and informative. As a homeowner who wants to sell, creating an appealing interior can boost the house value by up to 80%. In other words, you’d be mad not to do it! What can you do to make your property more attractive to potential buyers or tenants? The idea is to convey the best possible impression while maintaining social distancing. Keeping your windows clear from clutter and clean creates a light and bright interior in a matter of seconds. You can also add depth to your interior with reflective mirrors and minimalist interior style.

Stage your peaceful nest

Quarantine means you can’t leave your home, except for essential trips, such as going to the grocery shops. The longer you stay at home, the more confined and imprisoned you might get to feel. Think tiger in a cage. You’ve got nowhere to go, and while the home is safe, it also is stressful. You might find it hard to relax and rest at night. Letting go off your worries during a pandemic situation is not easy. Something as simple as investing in new bedsheets for the bedroom and a set of colourful towels can redirect your attention. If you are worried about costs, you can make the most of discounted offers, such as Bealls coupons, and mid-season sales. Staging your interior to create a space that lets you cool down will make a difference.

Stage your interior for viewers

Working from home means you’re going to spend a lot of time on video calls. While the Zoom etiquette is more relaxed these days, you can stage your home office to impress. The addition of stylish stationery, strategic lighting, and elegant houseplants can turn your office into a piece of art. Will it change your performance? Yes, it can support your productivity in the long term. But it will also enhance your credibility and professionalism on camera.

When you control the image others see, you control the impression. Staging your interior can boost your home value, your peaceful interior, and your professional appearance. There are plenty of few staging tricks you can learn from Instagram influencers too. So keep your eyes open and seek how to make the best impression at home.

Taking The Long View On How To Enhance Your Home’s Setting

Striking views and stunning landscapes are, in many ways, the golden ticket of housing. Forget looking out at parking lots and city streets; we’re talking ocean vistas, riverside settings, and even countryside as far as the eye can see.

It’s a reality that can make any home for sale more appealing, as is evidenced by the fact that fantastic views, particularly of water, can enhance value by 15-80%. And yet, as is often the case when we take things for granted, those of us who have access to such views often neglect them. It’s all too easy to shut the doors on the outside and entirely forget about location. Before you know, you may have gone months without even glancing up at those rolling hills or lapping waves.

As well as being a crying shame, this is a significant waste of money. Remember, you’re likely paying for that view, and you should get the most for your buck by taking the time to enjoy it in the following ways.

The more windows, the better

A view has the undeniable ability to take your house to the next level, but you first need to make sure that you can see it. Otherwise, there’s nothing giving your property an edge over any other on your street. Unsurprisingly, then, we’re starting this list with mention of windows.

Large bay windows that look directly out onto whatever view you have access to are guaranteed to make a massive difference to your property. As simple as that, you make it impossible to ignore the fact that you live in such a fantastic vista. Instead, those windows will act much like a feature wall in truly drawing the eye, and adding a touch of interest that you’d struggle to achieve any other way.

Even better, these windows in themselves will add a modernist and futuristic aspect to your home that’s guaranteed to go down well with any looking to improve interior and exterior style in one hit.

Reflections can enhance a space

As much as you want to open that view up, you also want to make sure that you’re bringing it into your home as much as possible. And, mirrors offer a fantastic opportunity to do that. According to Phillip Thomas of Phillip Thomas Inc, “Not only do they [mirrors] help to push natural light into a space, but they also help to amplify the landscape/view outside the house by allowing you to see straight ahead and from the sides.”

You don’t have to go mad with this, but incorporating mirrors on the opposite wall to your windows, for instance, is guaranteed to enhance the natural beauty outside. Even better, this addition means that you needn’t look directly at those new feature windows to get the most from this benefit.

Let your view inform your home style

Even if you’re keen to bring a view firmly to the forefront at home, you might not consider it in relation to decor. Yet, this can often be the best place to truly tie things together in a way that works. And, when you remember that a well-framed waterfront view, for instance, can add up to 80% value, that’s a quest well worth undertaking.

Something as simple as tying color schemes together with your outside vista could work wonders here. Or, you may want to go all out with a full-on sea theme for your waterside location. You could even use wallpaper or painting styles that mimic the landscape your view centers around. Or, you could simply highlight a countryside setting with natural wood furniture and accessories. The world is your oyster, so have fun playing around. Then, sit back and enjoy a room that’s guaranteed to enhance even the best view.

A shifting furniture focus

Often, we arrange furniture towards key features such as a fireplace or television. But, if you want to make your house great, then you could benefit from shifting that focus with your view in mind. After all, a lakeside setting is guaranteed to beat even the most elaborate fireplace or TV you could think of.

As such, you should focus your pieces towards those new, view-worthy windows instead. By merely turning seats to face this way, you can finally draw the eye here as soon as you enter the room. That’s going to make a huge difference, not only for adding a sense of space to the area but also for ensuring that your view gets the attention it deserves at last.

No, You Shouldn’t Sell Your Home During The Coronavirus Pandemic

With house prices falling due to the pandemic, it’s tempting to take advantage of the housing market. Selling now could be a smart way to recoup the value of your home while saving money. After all, the drop in house prices should let you snap one up pretty cheaply in theory. However enticing it sounds, it’s not a good idea. The truth is that there are too many variables to factor in because the COVID-19 crisis is so unpredictable. You’re better off investing in your current property and reassessing the market in the future.

Here are the reasons why.

Credit’s Harder To Secure

Yes, the housing market is nowhere near as valuable as before Christmas. Still, banks and lenders have reacted by making it harder to secure funding. Currently, Chase is saying that people who want a mortgage will need a credit score of 700 or more, which is very high. Plus, you’ll need a 20% deposit, too. On the face of it, these conditions are too stringent for the average homeowner and exclude you from obtaining a second loan. The last thing you want is to accept funding from a payday loan company or a loan shark to make a few bucks.

Fewer People Are Looking To Buy/Sell

Money is tight at the money, so it’s not as if the demand for property is high. If anything, it’s the opposite. Even if you could find a buyer, you’d need to search for a new home, or else you’d be homeless. Usually, this is the easiest part of the process, yet the Coronavirus has made it somewhat tricky. The percentage of houses for sale across the country are in the minus column, with only Detroit and Chicago showing room for growth. So, the odds of selling and buying a home right now are very low.

Supply Lines Are Disrupted

China is a hub for cheap materials. Of course, the virus has hit the nation harder than most places as it originated in China. As a result, exports are limited, and builders’ supply lines are reduced. This could delay constructions that add value to your property. Thankfully, North American windows and doors are still affordable and accessible. This means you can spruce up the interior of your home to add value and bide your time. When the market goes back to normal, you’ll be in an excellent position to sell for a profit.

Jobs Aren’t Guaranteed

The worst-case scenario is that you lose your job. While everybody assumes it won’t happen to them, the figures paint a different picture. The rate of unemployment is at a staggering 15%. To put this into perspective, it was as low as 3.6% in January. You could be fortunate enough to keep your job, but it isn’t a sure thing. Therefore, making a massive commitment is a stretch that could hit you hard.

The short, medium and long-term are unpredictable, which is why you shouldn’t sell your home.

Fun In The Sun: 3 Changes You Can Make To Your Home For Summer

Summer is many people’s favorite time of year, and it’s fast approaching! It’s time to get excited for those months of sun and figure out ways that you can make the most of the summer when it comes to your home. We’ve got a couple of ideas for you to consider, so keep reading down below to find out what they are!

Consider A Patio

The first thing that we are going to suggest is that you consider adding a patio to your backyard. Patios are a very stylish addition to the home, and they are something a lot of people desire. Even though this is the case, they are not as common as you think, despite being incredible for the summer months. Having a patio installed means that you have an area outdoors that you can entertain guests, or just lay back and enjoy the sun. Think about all the wonderful BBQs you could have out here with family and friends, soaking up the sun rays and getting a beautiful tan.

Perhaps one of the best parts of having a patio is that they are low maintenance. There isn’t much that you need to do in order to keep it looking fantastic, meaning that you don’t have to worry about it not being in good condition when you want to have guests over.

A Dip In The Pool

Of course, you can also think about adding a pool to your property. A lot of people think that adding a pool is going to be a massive expense. However, this is not always the case. On average, a typical pool built into the ground will probably cost somewhere around ten thousand. That might just fit into your budget and don’t forget a change like this is going to add a lot of value to your property which is always a big bonus. You can also choose a pool that suits the aesthetics and the needs of your family. If you speak to pool designers, you’ll be able to find more about the type of prices that you can expect and what you can achieve.

One thing to be aware of is that you will need to ensure that safety is a key part of your plan. It’s important to ensure that if you do have kids, there is no risk of them ending up in the pool when you are not around. You also need to think about the safety of animals too. As such, your pool should be off with fencing or you can install a pool cover.

Install A Skylight

Finally, if you want to make the most of the sun inside your home, then we suggest that you install a skylight. These look incredible and provide your home with that extra warmth directly from the sun. It’s something that would look fantastic in your living room, kitchen, or really in any room that you can think of.

Hopefully, now, you have a few ideas of things that you can change to make your home more summer-ready!

Adding a Futuristic Touch to Your Home

Whether an apartment, house, or mansion, taking pride in your home is something that many people enjoy. Everyone has their idea of what they want their property to look like, and while some prefer a more traditional and rustic style, others think towards the future.

If this sounds like you, then you may be wondering how you can transform your home from what it is now into a house that makes you think of the 31st century and beyond. We may have been born just slightly too early to explore the universe, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still feel like you amongst the stars. Here’s how.

Look Back

If the likes of the Fallout franchise has taught us anything, it’s that there’s something marvellously futuristic about retro gear. Art Deco stylings are not something that you see every day, but as trends and fashions are cyclical, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them come back around.

There is a fine line between being retro-futuristic and choosing classic or traditional stylings for your home, so finding that balance is essential. However, once you discover what works in your home and brings the next-generation flavour that you’ve been looking for, then you can enjoy a house for the future with ease.

An Intelligent House

Smart home technology feels like it’s been around for a long time. Still, every day innovations will connect every aspect of your home through IoT technology. If you are looking for a way to make your house one that’s ready for the future, then smart home gadgets and gizmos are the way to do it.

From smart meters that track your energy usage to a smart refrigerator that reminds you when you need to pick up the next time you head to the store, intelligent homes make your life easy and comfortable all at the tap of a screen.

Lighting the Way

Lights can have a massive impact on how your home feels. Soft lights provide a cosy atmosphere that makes you want to curl up with a book on the sofa and wrapped in blankets. If you’re looking for futurism, however, it’s all about LED lights and the variety they bring to the house.

A Lepro 120v LED strip light running across the ceiling or concealed under an awning could add something a little different compared to standard lighting fixtures. You can also mix it up by opting for different lights throughout the house. Whether it’s natural white light for your bedroom or a cool deep blue to mimic the bar in your games room, LED lights provide something unique, energy-efficient, but more importantly, futuristic.

Back to the Future

We don’t know what the future will look like, but when choosing how to decorate the house, this can be beneficial. It gives you a clean slate to take all the inspiration of the current world and consider how it will morph into something different over the coming years. You may never get to tend to a garden on Mars, but a futuristic home is undoubtedly the next best thing.

How The Coronavirus Has Impacted the Housing Market in Orlando, Florida

Back in 2008, the recession caused upheaval for housing markets across the U.S. Today, the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in economic challenges for nearly every industry. However, the housing market in cities such as Orlando, Florida, has actually shown growth. Home sales and sales volume have increased in Orlando as of March 2020, as shown in the featured infographic below. Although the stock market has dropped more dramatically in the past few months than it has since 1987, the median price for real estate in Orlando has increased by 8%.

Orlando is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. The housing market doesn’t show any signs of slowing despite the COVID-19 outbreak and the economic repercussions of the pandemic for other industries. There is still a lot of uncertainty about whether the worldwide coronavirus outbreak will impact the real estate market. Still, it’s important to remember that the 2008 recession started with the housing market crash. The coronavirus has certainly caused oil prices to sink drastically, and travel and leisure industries to almost disappear, but the local housing market seems to be steadily rising.

In Orlando, the pandemic may have delayed some homeowners from listing their houses, and the reduced inventory has stimulated an increase in housing prices and home values. Meanwhile, buyer demand is as strong as ever as more people move to the area. Last year, over 60,000 residents moved to the Orlando Metropolitan Area, and more are expected to relocate to the city in 2020.


Infographic designed by Authentic Real Estate Team

Steps To Planning A Self-Build

Building your own home is something that is growing and growing in popularity, as homeowners want to have their perfect home, designed with just them in mind. It can be a great way to get what you want, as well as save money on getting your ideal home. Creating a home that is tailored to your needs is often a better option than buying a home that is old and in need of a lot of work. You can choose the exact style and size of a custom home, and think about all of the other aspects of your property.

This is never a simple and straightforward process, though, as there is a lot to consider, as anyone like real estate developer Roger O’Steen would tell you. So in order to give you a guiding hand, here are some of the things that you can do to plan for a self-build, and to help you get into it, without the stress.

The Design

The design of the home that you want to build is going to be one aspect of the first steps in the process. It is worth having a professional help you out with the design, unless you have experience in this area, as there can be some ins and outs that won’t work (as well as ones that will). You have to think about the space that you’re working with, as well as the budget that you have to work with. There may be some planning permissions to apply for too, which is good to look at in this step of the process.

The Resources

A self-build is going to require a lot of materials in order to make the dreams and designs a reality. All of which will come with a price. It is a good idea to speak with professionals for quotes, or at least to get some guidance in the area of homebuilding. Using tools and quotes to help you, it will give you a clear indication of if your budget will work with what you have in mind.

The People

It is usually not very likely that you will be able to do the build yourself, unless you or family members have building experience. Which is why you will need to make sure that you choose the right people for the job, so that it can all run smoothly, and have the best job done possible. Reviews and personal recommendations are essential for this kind of thing, as you are putting a lot of responsibility in their hands. You want to get the results that you want, with a building team that can make it happen.

The Time

For many people, they will need to move out of where they are currently living, in order to afford to get the land and the build on its way. This isn’t likely to leave you with much space, but it can be important to get the build underway. Having a clear timeline from your construction team is important, so you can plan where you’ll need to be, and for how long.

Top Tips For Organizing An International House Move

There are few things in life more stressful than an international house move. Just moving house within the same country or state is challenging enough – the process of finding and securing your new home, the expenses and paperwork involved, and of course, the packing and moving. Throw in a plane trip and a whole new country, culture, and language, and it is little loans for people with ccjs wonder that many people are put off following their dreams and relocating to, say, a townhouse in Thailand. It can be overwhelming for even the calmest and organized of people, but here, we share a few tips to help to make the process a little easier for you and your family.

Create a command center

If you have looked at Pinterest, you will undoubtedly see a plethora of Instagrammable and beautiful command centers. However, they are not just aesthetically lovely – they do (or should, anyway!) have a use – to be the center of organization for the household. While it does not matter what your command center looks like, what does matter is the role it takes in helping you to organize your international move.

It does not have to be a physical center, either. In fact, in the increasingly digital age we are now living in, a digital command center may be more appropriate and useful (albeit it not so pretty!). Have a file set up on your computer – preferably easy to get to from your desktop, where all documents and information linked to your move is stored.

Google Drive is useful for this and is free to use. Also, you can sync it to your calendar, emails, and Google Keep on your cell phone. Because everything is stored on the cloud, you can access it from anywhere in the world and on any device as long as you are connected to the internet.

List, list, list

It sounds obvious – lists are one of the first things that most people make when they are moving. However, they are harder to do than you realize sometimes. You need to sit down and make lists of absolutely everything that is linked to your international house move. This is for two reasons: Firstly, it gives you a list of everything that needs to be done, and secondly, it clears your head. An international house move can really take over your head, and you may find that getting some of it out and down onto paper can be helpful for your mental health.

Some of the things that you may not have thought of putting on your list but are important include:

  • Making doctors appointments for health checkups
  • Booking any mandatory immunizations and vaccinations
  • Obtaining copies of medical files
  • Obtaining copies of school files
  • Birth and wedding certificates
  • Any other legal documents
  • Sort out clothing and donate any that are no longer needed
  • Sell vehicles
  • Reserve any self-storage units that are needed
  • Inform financial institutions of the impending move
  • Organize your new bank
  • Draft power of attorney for any home affairs
  • Pay off any outstanding debts
  • Purchase any adaptors for electronics
  • Cancel car, home, life, and health insurance
  • Organize insurance in your new country
  • Register a mail forwarding address
  • Print off travel documents

Keep note of what is where

The key to an organized move is knowing precisely where everything is at all times. As you pack boxes, label them with a number, and on one of your spreadsheets in your command center, note down the box’s number and what is in the box. Add as much detail to your list as possible – it could be a long time before you see your belongings again!

This may seem like a tedious job, but it serves more than one purpose. It helps you to keep track of where things are, which makes it easier at the other end. It also means that if something goes wrong with the movement of your possessions, you also have a detailed list of what is there to claim on insurance. We hope that you don’t need to do that, but being prepared for the event is always a good idea!

Organize your paperwork

Digital organization is always the best option, but some things are still in paper form, and it is imperative that you keep these together. Scan them all into your digital command center, but put all the hard copies in one file together and put them into your carry on, so if there are any issues, you have them to show the relevant authorities.

What Makes a Great House When Looking To Buy?

Looking for a new house to buy is always an exciting search. You are searching for the home of your dreams, the home that will house many future memories, and may mean a lot to you in the future. So, that is why it is super important to look at the houses and really research about them so you make sure you choose the right house. But, what makes the right house a great house to buy? Here are just some factors;

Location, Location, Location

The location is a given when it comes to buying your next home, or the first one. Does the location fit where you dreamed it would? Is it close to your work? Does it have schools in the area for the children? What is the crime rate? All of these things are the major deciding factors when looking for your new home.

Another thing to think about it connections, and the future. You may move to a neighbourhood with amazing views of mountains and fields and hills. But, there may be some plans in the works in which a major skyscraper could be built, right next to your house and obscuring the view forever. These are the factors and things that people do not consider as much when it comes to their next home. Always check the future of the location. Another example could be that a place may be poorly connected right now, but in a year or two time, a major new train depot and the station will be built connecting to major cities in a matter of minutes. This could one, double or really increase the value of your newly bought home if you were ever to sell again. But also, they would benefit you, so keep these things in mind.

Does it Cater to Your Needs?

This is an obvious one, but make sure it caters to your needs. You do not want to buy a house that doesn’t have a large kitchen when you have a family of four or five. You do not want to buy an apartment and then find that the building doesn’t allow animals or certain pets. These are all things you need to consider, and things that would determine a house a good one or a bad one for you.

Money Matters

In the world, money matters. The bigger the budget, the more options lay on the table for you. In some areas, you can get a house two times bigger than in another location, for half the price. This is why location matters. City houses cost more than out of the city houses and having a bigger budget can really go a long way if you invest it in the right home.

If you are looking for luxury homes, Holowesko Realty could be a good place to go for help. When it comes to buying a home, it is always helpful to have an agent help you all the way, and this is regardless of the budget. They can help you make a better-calculated choice when it comes to choosing the right house. But at the end of the day, the end decision ultimately comes down to you, so make the right one for you!

Giving A Home Buyer Absolute Confidence In Your Property

Selling a home has never been easier, regarding channels and options. You can go the private route, skipping over any real estate agent, choose to sell only to a foreign buyer only, sell to a real estate company, sell to the local government or go the traditional way of hiring a real estate agent. The avenues are very varied and each has its perks. However, convincing buyers your property is the best on the market is a totally different story. Now, you have to go above and beyond. If you don’t supply potential buyers with all the information they want, you will shake their confidence and lose them to another seller.

A case for potentiality

A surveyor doesn’t necessarily give you a price, they will give you a clear report on your property boundaries, measurements and potential options for future construction and the legal requirements you would need. Using this information, you can estimate the potential upscaling that your property is able to achieve if a buyer would like to extend, build a conservatory or increase a driveway, etc. Explain and show the potential of your property to a buyer, using the report the surveyor made.

Go cheap secured loans behind their back

Although real estate agents will price your property for you, it’s always a good idea to go behind their back and hire an appraiser. They will be working with you directly instead of with the real estate agent. This is important because a real estate agent might lower the price their appraiser gave them because they are trying to compete with other real estate companies operating in the same neighborhood. Your appraiser could give you a valuation that is a lot higher than what you were originally given. This could put your home in a higher quality bracket, which is crucial if you’re intent on attracting wealthy clients.

Everything above lenders on line board

The all-important home inspection is definitely something you should do by yourself, i.e. not involve your real estate agent. Hire a certified home inspection professional. In certain states and or provinces, the bar is set low. You want a home inspector that has a wealth of experience, such as 25 years. They should also bring their thermography equipment so they can see where hot and cold patches exist. They will also be able to see through walls, so any hidden leaks inside your home will be spotted quickly. They can also give appliance recall notifications, so your fittings that will remain in the home can be replaced or repaired accordingly. Show the stamp of approval from a home inspector, and an interested buyer will have a weight lifted off their shoulders.

Be a bit gutsy

Allow your potential buyers to walk around the home as they please. Instead of giving them a guided tour of the property, be a bit gutsy and allow them to do it on their own. This shows supreme confidence in your property; just make sure you have cleaned everything and feel proud to present every inch of your home.

If you want your buyers to be at ease the minute they walk into your home, give them a couple of valuations instead of one. Show them a seal of approval from a certified home inspector.

What Makes A Great Place To Live?

Finding the right place to live might be a lifelong quest – you can never be sure where you’ll find a home in the modern day and age, and only when you settle in and know it in your heart that you’re where you’re supposed to be will you be satisfied with the home you live in. You want a place that’s fun, that allows you to put down roots and expand a little, and you want to feel relaxed and safe.

But there’s some things that can help you out on this kind of quest. After all, if you’ve labored long and hard to get the money together, and now you want to know that the mortgage you apply for will be spent on the right four walls, surely there’ll be some tips out there! So, with this in mind, let’s go through some of the things that make a place great to live in.

Green Space and Quiet Places

One of the main things you want when moving to a new area is the promise that greena and open spaces are nearby, and that they’re as peaceful and secluded as you would need them to be. Even when living in a city, it shouldn’t be a hard push to find a park in the center or on the outskirts, where you can go for fresh air or to walk the dog.

Take London, Ontario as a good example here – London is an great place to live because of its emphasis on natural environments and the need for them in day to day life. It’s known as the ‘Forest City’ because of how green the whole place is, and that’s important for both your current and future happiness when trying to find a place to call home.

Facilities to Suit Your Family Situation

If you’re someone with a big family, you’re going to want plenty of child friendly places to take the kids on weekends and days off. Similarly, if you’re someone with elderly parents or a disabled sibling that you help to take care of, you’re going to want to move somewhere that has accessible facilities and a great local community support.

All in all, you need to move somewhere that’s suitable to your current living situation, and not just a place you think would be good for the future.

There’s an Eco-Friendly Plan in Place

And finally, make sure you’re moving somewhere that has a green plan all set and ready to go, and is taking steps to reduce the carbon footprint of the city as a whole. After all, you want to move somewhere sustainable, where you can do your bit for the planet, and that’s key to feeling happy and fulfilled in your home setting! Cities are growing quite rapidly, and the environment is struggling to keep up; move somewhere you can be sure you’re helping to offset the problem.

What makes a great place to live? Ultimately, it’s up to you!

Considerations For First Time Home Buyers

Getting on the property ladder can be both an exciting and tense journey. Your to-do list becomes endless, and it seems like finances are always on your mind. On the plus side, you get to experience the process of choosing a beautiful home that you can be proud of. There are plenty of considerations to be made before you embark upon this process. To help you get the ball rolling, consider these six-pointers.

1 . Pay back debts

When you’re looking to purchase a property for the first time, it’s vital to start paying off your debts. If you won’t realistically be able to pay them all off right now, at least start by paying them down. From here, check your credit score so that you’ll have a rough idea of what to expect when you start the buying process. Without a good credit score, you may struggle to get yourself a good interest rate. Potential buyers should bear this in mind; even if home buying is currently a distant future priority.

2. Save as much as possible

When you are approaching the home buying process, it’s a good plan to save as much as possible. It’s not just the down payment that you’ll need, but also money for moving costs, closing costs, potential maintenance and homeware. The bigger down payment that you can save up, the more financially comfortable you’ll feel when you start paying off the mortgage. To help you to save money, try a budgeting app, for example, ‘Mint’. Using the application, you can organize all of your debts, accounts and expenses in one place. Mint suggests viable budgets across different categories, from rent and bills to groceries. The app also offers a free credit check which is very handy for the first time buyer. Good Budget is another great app which is particularly handy for couples who are budgeting and saving together.

3. Pre-approved mortgage

With a mortgage pre-approval, you can gauge a fixed idea of your eligibility and how much you could manage to borrow. Gaining a pre-approved mortgage letter also helps communicate to sellers that you’re ready and in a good position to buy. When you are approaching this stage, it’s a good idea to have a solid budget in mind.  A fixed budget will help you to determine what you can comfortably afford. Remember that the max amount you are approved by a lender may still exceed your comfortable budget. It can be tempting to start looking based on the max amount, but remember that you’ll want to feel comfortable, plus be able to pay for other associated costs.

4. Mortgage length

Determine the duration of your mortgage based on your personal circumstances; there are options available to choose 15-year mortgages, 30-year mortgages, or something in between. Choosing a 15-year mortgage is advantageous because you’ll get a lower rate plus have your home paid off faster. Some buyers prefer a thirty-year mortgage because the monthly payments often end up being more affordable. It’s important to be completely sure that you won’t struggle with the repayments each month. Of course you’ll want the house of your dreams, but it’s not worth struggling and not being able to enjoy it.

5. It’s all about the location

Location is everything when it comes to choosing your first home. If you’re moving to a new and unfamiliar area, spend enough time exploring the neighbourhood. Check out the most desirable postcodes, eat in the restaurants and research the quality of the local schools. Remember, you are not just buying a house; you are essentially buying into a whole neighbourhood and lifestyle. Choosing an ‘up and coming’ location can mean that the value of your property increases as time goes by.

6. A reputable realtor 

Choosing yourself a reputable realtor is essential when you are looking to purchase a home. Invest in the services of an experienced company who can help you to ensure that the whole process runs smoothly. From your new buyer consultation to searching for properties and negotiating your offer, you need a company looking out for your best interests. For more information and plenty of luxury homes on sale, check out Camijoneshomes.com.

Before you start viewing houses, make a list of must-haves and nice-to haves. Your must-haves are your non-negotiables which you simply can’t do without. This might be a garden, a modern kitchen, or a nearby station. Your nice-to haves are those things that you desire but can live without if the budget won’t stretch!

Decorating Your Child’s Bedroom In Your New Home

If you are moving into a new home, one task you will need to tackle is decorating your children’s bedroom. Here are some tips for doing so…

Choosing children’s chairs

No playroom or children’s bedroom is complete without a place for your little one to sit, whether it is a beanbag for relaxing or a set of wooden chairs and a table for drawing. If you look online, you will see there is an extensive selection of children’s chairs for you choose from, ensuring you find the perfect chair for your requirements, the age of your child and your budget.

Look for a range of chairs that meet the perfect balance between being practical and playful. They are constructed to the highest levels of quality and they feature fun and exciting designs, which your children are guaranteed to love. This is important for your children when moving into a new home. With so many options to choose from, we know it can be difficult to narrow down your search.  Because of this, we have put together a step-by-step guide to give you a helping hand.

Step One: Choose a style of chair

There is a whole host of different styles of chairs for you to select from. This includes all of the following – armchairs, beanbags, wooden chairs, rocking chairs, tub chairs, wing chairs and much, much more. Think about your main purpose for purchasing the chair and that should help you to pick the best style.

Step Two: Make sure the chair is the right size for your child

Some companies make this step really easy, as they separate their chairs via age, which should make it much simpler when it comes to finding the right sized chair for your child.

Step Three: Determine a price range

It is always a good idea to determine a budget before you begin to shop. You can then narrow down your search in relation to the price range you have decided upon!

Step Four: Consider the design of the chair

Last but not least, you will want to take design aspects into consideration. What colour chair do you wish to purchase? Do you want something relatively simple in terms of design? Or do you want a chair that features a backrest that’s designed to look like a particular animal? Or what about an armchair with a fun fabric used?

Benefits of buying a divan bed

When buying a bed it is absolutely crucial that the person buying it goes for the right one. There are a lot of elements that go into the perfect bed, such as comfort, size and design. Unlike other furniture pieces, not one of these factors can be downplayed. After all, people spend approximately one-third of every single day sleeping, thus everyone must feel comfortable, snug, at ease and happy in the bed they have.

One of the key factors in picking the right bed is to go for a credible, well known and high-quality brand. This is something which is overlooked by a lot of individuals. However, when buying anything, not just a bed, the person buying should always do a bit of background research to discover whether previous customers have been left satisfied and consequently whether the company has a credible reputation or not.

At present, there has been a massive boom in the popularity of divan beds. The first reason why a lot of people tend to prefer divan beds is that they offer a much better support system. This is highly important because a lot of people suffer from a sore or stiff back when they sleep.  Unlike its competitors, such as wood beds, divan beds do not rely on a few slabs of material; they offer full support across the entire bed.

This point needs on to the next advantage – storage. Because the bed frame covers the entire base of the bed most divan beds come with draws fitted underneath. Not only is this great because it saves space and is cost-effective, but it also looks extremely sleek and stylish as well. You will have plenty of space to store your child’s toys!

A final reason why this type of bed is so popular is because of its versatility. It has a look which would be well suited in absolutely any bedroom. Thus no one should worry about not being able to find the right bed for them.

Adding some fun to the room

Pretend play shops are extremely popular with children and they present a whole host of benefits as well. Not only will your children have a lot of fun, but also they will learn about the concept of money, where food comes from, how much things cost and such like. Role-play also encourages interaction between children and thus helps them to develop their social skills and friendships.

From market stalls to theatres, there is a great selection of play shops for sale online. But, how do you choose the best?

Step One: Choose a shop type

The first thing you need to do is determine what type of shop to buy. This will largely be dependent on what you think your child will enjoy the most. Nonetheless, you can also think about what type of play shop is going to have the most educational value. From mobile markets to shops and theatres, you won’t be short of choice.

Step Two: Think about the size

You need to think about the size of the play shop for various reasons. Firstly, you need to be sure that you have enough space to accommodate it in your home or nursery. Secondly, you must determine how many kids you think are likely to play with the shop in question. If you have two young children, you will want to be sure they can both play with the shop with ease.

Step Three: Consider the age of your child

Last but not least, it is vital to make sure the play shop you purchase is the right age for your child specifically. Play shops have generally been designed for anyone between the age of three and six years old. However, you can find play shops for other ages.

Five Clear Reasons Your Roof Is Leaking

When you are a homeowner, you are in charge of fixing any cracked foundations in the home, any broken gutters and any missing roof tiles. When you start finding puddles of water in the attic that definitely do not below, you will be instantly concerned that your roof is leaking, and for a good reason!

The smallest leak in your roof that is left alone to keep leaking is one that will put your home in trouble. There are plenty of reasons your roof could be leaking rainwater into your home and not doing its job of protecting you. Below, we’ve put together five very clear reasons your roof is leaking, giving you plenty of time to check it out and see whether these match your situation.

  • The Roof Is Old

If you have an old home and your roof was built a long time ago, it stands to reason that the gutters will also be old. With old gutters and shingles, it’s more likely that your roof is leaking because of these things. You should be getting your roof checked yearly for its wear and tear, and if you’re not, then you need to start now! Roof materials do not last forever, and you’ll find that out pretty fast this way!

  • The Sealant Has Worn

Most roofs are built with peaks and valleys to keep them consistent. If the base of your valleys is joined by a sealant that has worn down over time, then leaks are going to be a guarantee. This is something that you need a professional roofer for as they will be able to replace the sealant for you and get your roof back to its peak condition.

  • The Gutters Are Blocked

There is a lot of things that can clog and block up your gutters, from leaves and sticks in the tubing to water that has built up, frozen and cracked the guttering. Clogged drains can lead to backwater going back to your roof, and if you have dealt with broken guttering, you’re going to find that you may need to replace the whole thing.

  • The Winter Got Your Roof

If you have enjoyed a lot of snow this winter, then you may find that the snow and ice have caused a dam on your roof, melting and then pushing water into the roof itself. Look at the way the roof holds the snow, and you’ll likely see where the leak is immediately.

  • The Attic Insulation Has Worn

The attic should have insulation in it to stop any issues from occurring with your roof. If there is a leak, however, you’ll find the insulation to be ineffective and not worth the money you paid for it. Why? Well, the insulation is keeping your home warm. If it’s been destroyed, then it won’t matter as how much your roof has leaked: you need new insulation anyway!

The roof is so precious to your home. Look after it, and you can ensure that you don’t have to handle any leaks that occur at all.

Ten Tips For Choosing Your Next Home

Everyone knows that moving house is a stressful experience. Whether you are moving abroad to live in a new country, or you’re moving around the corner and want to find a new street, there is a lot to get done. It’s exciting to get a new house – even if you’re old hat with the property ladder and you know the ropes with buying a new house, you need to think about your next plan. If you have a plan ready to go, you’re going to save yourself a lot of trouble and you can get a better headstart when you know what’s next.

With that in mind, we’ve got a plan for you below. You need the best tips for choosing your next house, and we’ve got ten of them for you to use to get started. Let’s take a look.

Tip 1: Know Your Budget

Everyone wants the perfect four-bedroom home with two bathrooms and an extra living space. However, not everyone has the budget for a home of this size and you need to know what your budget is before you get started. You may not be able to afford the mansion, but you can have a look at something smaller. This page has a number of cottages for sale which may suit your budget and you could fall right in love with them. Once you know your budget, only then should you even start looking for a house. There’s no use in scouting out houses that are beyond your reach and upsetting yourself when you cannot afford one!

Tip 2: Have Some Focus

You are allowed to have boundaries when you are searching for properties. You need to have them in place before you start to search because otherwise you’ll be presented with hundreds of options and no way of choosing the right one for you. Use as many filters as is necessary: if you’re spending money on a house, you want it to be right. Do you want a garden? Do you need to be close to the city? Look for the boundaries you can put in place and search for those boundaries.

Tip 3: Know What You Want

You may have a general idea of what you want from a location, but you won’t always know much until you research each area. Choose the location in which you hope to live and start doing your research. Think about school districts and local shops, the local crime statistics and what is going on in the area. If your area is nearby to the road, how loud is it going to be in your house of choice? Knowing what you want will help you to narrow down your search massively.

Tip 4: Can You Get Around?

Not everyone wants to drive everywhere all the time, so you need to see whether the area in which you want to move has good access to public transport. The last thing that you want to do is limit your ability to get around. A big part of the research that you do in a  new area has to surround the public transport system. There’s no use in moving somewhere you are completely isolated if your car breaks down.

Tip 5: Visit The Area

You can go to open houses and home inspections, but the actual area itself needs your attention. While you could visit during the day when the world is quiet, you need to go at different times of the day to know when it’s noisiest and busiest. Head there in the evening during rush hour and take a walk on the weekend, too. It will help you to get to know the area and also whether you want to buy a home there.

Tip 6: Never Skip A Viewing

You can get very tied up in the details when it comes to viewing a house, but you need to do these viewings and not skip out on them. First impressions really do count and when it comes to buying a house, you want to get this right. Always see a house a second time, too, so you can get a good second impression and be more practical about the house. You should do this whether you are viewing cottages or apartments, as you really need for this to be the right decision.

Tip 7: Test The Bathroom!

Whenever you view a house, you need to test out the bathroom. You don’t necessarily need to use the bathroom – you know – but you should flush the toilet and test out the taps. Plumbing is a big deal and you need to ensure that it’s working correctly before you spend money. If there are any issues, you can then bring them up to the buyer to be fixed before you purchase.

Tip 8: Never Be Afraid To Ask

There will be a lot of questions on your list, and you should never be afraid to put all of them to the buyer or to the agent showing you around the property. If you’re paying for a house, you want to ensure that it’s the right purchase for you.

Tip 9: Know Your Budget, Part 2

You need to check out the houses in the area and know what they are being advertised on the market for. This will help you to choose whether you are making the right decision with your particular property. You do not want to pay over market value for the house if you don’t have to, and it will help you to know whether it’s being advertised beyond the market price for a reason.

Tip 10: Take Your Time

It’s easy to get carried away and lose your head when you are buying a house. It’s an awesome thing to do and it’s a big purchase. The last thing that you want is for the whole thing to go wrong. Planned to precision, this should be a good buy for you if you choose the right type of house and the right type of finance. There will always be room to keep looking if you’re unhappy.

Steps To Finding The Best Moving Company

Finding the best moving company can turn a nightmare move into a pleasant dream. The problem is knowing how to choose the right company for your move. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the options, there are some steps you can try to narrow down your options and find the best company.

1. Licensing And Insurance

One of the first things you need to check when looking for a moving company is their license and insurance. Working with a company that is not properly licensed and insured will put your belongings at risk. Fortunately, reputable companies will have information about their license and insurance on their website.

If you cannot find this information on the home page of their website, it will often be listed in the about section. This is particularly important if you are looking for a long distance movers or interstate moving company. To operate legally, these companies must have a DoT license number. If you have any suspicions, but still want to consider the company, you should ask them for proof of their insurance or license number.

2. Consider The Services Offered

The moving company that works for one person may not work for another because everyone has different moving needs. Someone else might want to do most of the moving work themselves while you do not have the time for it. This is why you have to consider the moving services on offer.

The services of the company should match your needs. If you do not have time to pack everything in your home, you should look for a full-service moving company. These companies will take care of everything from packing your items, loading them, transporting them, and unpacking them.

While this is an excellent service, it is not right for everyone. If you feel more comfortable packing everything yourself, you need to look for a moving company that offers transportation only. These companies will pick up your boxes and drop them off at your new home.

If you have a gap between the date you move out and the date you can move into your new home, you should look for movers that offer storage services as well. These movers will pick up your boxes and other items on the date you need to move out and store them for you until they can be delivered to your new home.

When looking at services, you also need to consider if you have any special items that need to be moved. This includes pool tables, hot tubs, and pianos. These items may need special equipment to transport them, or you might need to hire specialist movers.

3. Check The Service Area

Another unsecured cash loan point to consider and look into is the moving company’s service area. There is no point in choosing a company that has good reviews and the service you need if you fall outside their service area. Fortunately, most moving companies will state their service area on their website.

This is particularly important if you are looking for local movers. Larger national moving companies will have larger service areas, and you might not have any issues obtaining their service. Local movers are more restricted, and you need to consider this.

4. Get An Estimate

Cost is something that you need to consider, but it should not be the only factor you look at. Before you consider any moving companies, you need to figure out what your moving budget is. This is the amount you can comfortably pay for the move, and it will affect the moving company you choose.

If you have a small budget, you may not be able to get a full-service company. In these cases, you will be able to get the normal moving service without the perks of someone else handling the packing. Full-service movers will cost a lot more than basic movers.

Once you have your budget and narrowed down your options, you have to get an estimate from at least three moving companies. This gives you a good range for comparison. If you are moving long distance, the company should conduct an in-home estimate. You may want to reconsider working with any long distance moving company that does not do this.

For local moves, an online estimate or phone estimate will work. However, it would help if you got this in writing as pro barclays loan online of of the costs. Never accept a verbal estimate because this can easily be changed, and you will have no recourse should this happen.

After getting the estimates, you need to compare them and choose the best company. You should not choose the cheapest if they are a lot cheaper than the others. This is a red flag and could be a sign that they are not as legitimate as they appear.

Finding the best moving company can be hard, but there are some steps you can take to make this easier. You need to understand the services you want and check their license and moving insurance. You also need to get an estimate from at least three companies before you make a decision.