Browsing Category: "House and Home"

Shocking Secret Costs Of Home Buying

You might have quite a romantic notion of buying your first home. To be honest, it is a beautiful concept. You’re buying a little plot of land and a home that is yours and that you own. But you shouldn’t let that idea hide the very real costs that you’re going to face when you start to think about buying a property. There are a lot of hidden costs that you need to be prepared for otherwise, they can come back to bite you in a few years. Here’s an example of one of those nasty costs, the removal team. We know what you’re thinking. A removal team can’t be that expensive, can they? Be careful with this assumption though because different companies charge different prices. As well as this, prices will fluctuate depending on when you’re moving and where you’re moving too. If you’re traveling to a new home halfway across the country, removal costs are going to be a large chunk of the bill.

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The best way to handle this is by looking at different companies online and finding the cheapest possibility. But you also want to check out reviews to make sure that the company you choose isn’t going to deliver a shoddy service. Here are a few other hidden costs that you need to think about.

Legal Fees

Lawyers are notorious for charging heavy costs for their services, and we often forget that buying a home is a legal transaction. It’s such a massive purchase that you need legal representation to make sure that everything is above board. That’s not even the only professional you’ll need to hire either. You will also need to think about getting an inspector as well as a surveyor, and the list just keeps growing. When you buy a home, you may need to hire as many as three different professionals to ensure that your purchase happens without a hitch.

Interest

Don’t forget that when you buy a home, you will almost always be taking out a loan to pay for it or a mortgage. A mortgage that, unfortunately, is like any other loan. What this means is that you can start paying back the cost of your home at a reasonable amount. But eventually, after a few years, you could end up paying a lot more than what your home was originally worth. That’s why you need to calculate mortgage payment before you actually buy a home. This will ensure that you know exactly what you’re getting into and can avoid the nasty situation of repayments becoming unmanageable.

Home

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Bills, Bills, Bills,

Last but not least, it’s worth thinking about home bills. They are probably going to be considerably larger than you’re used to and could be a shock to your finances. Luckily, there are ways to reduce this cost. You just need to think about going greener, conserving energy as much as you possibly can.

Good luck with these costs when buying a home. If you take this advice, you’ll be able to avoid the surprise and plan your finances accordingly.

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Throwing Shade: Go Low-Tech But Stay Cool

If you know all too well how unbearable it can be once summer hits you’ll already be looking at ways to keep your bills down and your air supply up! Depending on where you live, temperatures can quickly reach 90 Degrees Fahrenheit and it’s much harder to concentrate, sleep and eat when the sun’s at its zenith. One of the best ways to keep cool during the summer months is to stay hydrated. You should also always make sure you carry sunglasses, as even on cloudy days the sun can be powerful, and our eyes are incredibly sensitive.

It may also be worth keeping your curtains open at night, that way the cold air will alleviate the stuffiness in your house once the sun’s gone down. Try to get as much fresh air blowing through your home as possible by opening windows, doors, using fans to circulate and blasting the AC for a few hours so the filters to trap any dirt and debris that may be floating around. You may also have noticed a greater abundance of insects appearing, summer is often where you see the most wasps, bees, flies and beetles. Take precautions by putting up fly screens even if you don’t live in a rural area and check food is never allowed to sit out in the heat, not only will this spoil the flavor and texture but it could make you quite ill. While bees and wasps may look pretty buzzing around your flowerbeds, they have a nasty sting so always know where your tweezers, antiseptic insect bite cream and plasters are!

Brown Woven Umbrella

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Take Cover

Parasols are great but if you want to make a real difference to the temperature in your home why not buy yourself an awning? The Department of Energy has stated awnings, or shaded covers can reduce heat by 30% simply because the sun rises and the linen cover takes the brunt of the heat while rays bounce off. While awnings aren’t as fashionable as they used to be; they do add a certain charm to your property as well as allowing you to sit outside comfortably. Before buying an awning always check to see if your property is suitable, maintain both the mechanism and fabric to stop cracks or holes appearing and never let children pull or raise awnings themselves as they could get their fingers trapped. Avoid any accidents by using an awning pole, a device similar to a loft pole which attaches to the hook on the underside and lets you pull down the striped sail from a safe distance.

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Get Planting!

If you’re very lucky, you’ll live somewhere with lots of trees which isn’t just good for your health because trees take in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen, but they also act as a natural barrier and so quite often the temperature in the shade is at least ten degrees cooler than out in the open! However, lots of us believe that as long as there are trees somewhere nearby, we’ll automatically stay much cooler! Sadly, that’s not always the case as depending on where those trees are placed, that’ll decide how much shade you get. If you have no trees close to the house, it may be worth thinking about planting some young saplings now. Choose trees that grow quite quickly like poplars, maples, birches, and willows as well as those that are famed for their leafy, green appearance, so they’ll give you plenty of shade.

To save a significant amount of energy, or at least figure that’ll be noticeable on your next bill plant trees on the south and west-facing sides of your property. Everyone knows that south facing gardens tend to get the most sun, so by creating a tree line there you’ll reduce the heat dramatically. Remember, trees are a natural way to cool down your entire home as well as encouraging wildlife into the neighborhood. When planting always check the property boundaries before you start digging and as long as you don’t cross over onto your neighbor’s land you’re fine.

However, we do suggest being courteous as not only do you not want to start a turf war but it means if you block their beautiful view now they could do the same thing to you later on.

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Have A Ceiling Fan

It may seem a bit old-fashioned, almost colonial, but high ceiling fans do a fantastic job of keeping the air moving while cooling down rooms you spend the most time in. In fact, the more people you put somewhere small the hotter the overall room temperature gets. This is because we each have our own perfect temperature! Some people feel much colder than others but in a big group heat becomes the dominant force and as it rises things then get fairly uncomfortable quite quickly as people begin to sweat.

Ceiling fans aren’t as ugly as they used to be and now come in a variety of shapes and sizes they’re also quieter than you’d expect. Remember, these fans are designed to keep you from melting so if you’re going out turn the fan off! If you really need your AC on, and let’s face it in mid-summer plenty of us see it as a lifesaver try to look for one that’s as silent as possible. There are also some great quiet ac units out there that won’t make you feel like you’re standing in the middle of an airfield instead of your living room every time you turn on the remote control!

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White Out!

Do you recall your eighth-grade science lessons and how your teacher told you how snow reflects the heat instead of absorbing it due to it’s lighter color? The same principal applies to our roofs so if you want to lower the temperature below you should mix it up above! It’s often why you’ll find buildings and roofs painted white or yellow in hotter countries so that the encroaching heat doesn’t seep inside. Believe it or not, a report by Climate Change Research suggested that if all buildings and roads in the US were painted white the energy saved could run into millIons of dollars.

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The Three Things To Do When Your Heating Fails You

There are a lot of things in our homes that we simply take for granted. This could be the access to clean, fresh water, or even the fact that we have a stable roof over our heads. But one thing that nearly every household doesn’t ever appreciate until it’s gone is the heating system. Most homes have some kind of central heating system, and usually it is gas-powered by a furnace or boiler. This type of system only became widespread across the world in the 1960s, as prior to that many residential properties had to find other ways of heating their homes. But now, we are all used to having a reliable heating system available to us at the flick of a switch. So, what do we do when it fails us?

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Don’t panic

If your heating fails you at a particularly desperate time – such as in the middle of winter or when you are expecting guests to come round – it can be pretty annoying. When it happens, many of us tend to go into panic mode and take any measure we can to get it sorted as soon as possible. But before you do anything drastic, stop and think for a second. You may want to try your hand at fixing the issue yourself, but remember it is always better to wait for a professional to deal with it if there is any aspect of the system you are not sure of. Some things – such as re-pressurizing your boiler – are fairly straightforward, but for anything else, always call an expert.

Find a replacement

Just like any other household appliance, boilers have a shelf life. When you move into a new property (whether you are a renter or whether you have bought it) always ask to see a copy of the home’s gas certificates, as this will include all information about the current heating system. Typically, any boiler that is more than 20 years old probably isn’t going to be all that energy-efficient any longer. Therefore, you should consider replacing it with a newer model, and getting an engineer to fit it for you. You can find a whole range of different heaters to suit your needs online at Harsterheating.com/services/residential/heating-systems/, or on similar professional sites.

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Keep warm in the meantime

It may take a few days for your heating system to get fixed, or for a new one to be installed. During this time you may just have to put up with being cold – but there are things you can do to make this time a little bit easier for both you and your family. Bring down lots of blankets from bedrooms and any that are hiding in draws and all snuggle up on the couch together. Body heat is severely underrated when it comes to keeping yourself warm! If you can, get hold of an electric heater too to spread some warm air around until your system is back on. Not having any heating in your home can be a pain, but it doesn’t mean you need to suffer without it.

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Ward Off Unwanted Attention From Your House With These Ideas

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Your home will be your castle, so there is no wonder that you just want to retreat into it at the end of a busy day at work or with the kids. The last thing you will want is any unwanted attention aimed at your house or yourself! So, how do you deal with people trying to get to you when you are supposed to be relaxing in your own home? Well, here are my top tips for warding off all that unwanted attention from your home.

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Burglars And Intruders

One of the main forms of unwanted attention will come from potential burglars and intruders. Under no circumstance will you want these people anywhere near your home! Thankfully, there is plenty that you can do to deter intruders and burglars from your property. One of the best things is equipping your home with either a burglar alarm or a CCTV camera system. Once a burglar spots either of these on the exterior of your home, they will instantly be put off from attempting to enter your house as there is just too much risk. The alarm could go off, which would bring attention to the property, or their faces could be caught on the CCTV. One mistake that many homeowners make is that they leave their spare set of house keys somewhere outside in case they ever accidentally lock themselves out. That spare set of keys is basically an invitation to intruders to let themselves in! One way to make sure your keys don’t fall into the wrong hands is to switch from a traditional lock to a key fob style lock, such as the ones from Keycard Ninja. These types of locks can’t be picked like traditional ones, and rather than leaving the key fob outside in a hiding place, you can simply give it to your neighbor for safekeeping.

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Pests And Vermin

Not all unwanted intruders in your home are going to try and steal your expensive tech and valuables. Some may try and make their own home in your house! Of course, I’m no longer talking about burglars anymore – I mean pests and vermin! These little creatures will try and make their way into your home no matter what. Thankfully, there are plenty of things that you can do to keep them well away from your property. One of the most obvious ways is to keep a very clean and tidy home. Most pests and vermin will make their way into your home to try and find food and water. So any leftovers or fresh ingredients that are left out on worktops in your kitchen are going to attract all these little critters into your home. So make sure that you clean up well after any cooking and baking. You should also regularly check the frames around your windows and doors. Small gaps can develop in these, which can provide entryways for small insects, rats, and mice. If you notice any new gaps, you should repair them as soon as possible.

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Teenagers

Do you have some troubles with your neighbors’ teenage children? Or maybe you live in an area where teenagers regularly congregate and hang out. Even if these children aren’t targeting your house directly, their presence can still be very annoying and, in some cases, even intimidating. If your main issue with these kids is that they are hanging out in your area and demonstrating unsociable behavior, then you should speak to your local police about it. They will be able to disperse any gangs who meet up and move them on. If things get particularly bad and the teenagers get exceptionally rowdy, then the police can always escort them home. Unfortunately, sometimes teenagers can be extremely unruly and target certain properties for no reason. They might cover part of your home in graffiti or, even worse, cause damage to your house or garden. If this happens, you should contact the police who can then work at catching the culprit. If they are caught, they can then be forced to pay for any repairs and cleaning that is required. Depending on the severity of their crimes, they may even be convicted and forced to pay a fine. To make sure that you don’t become the target of any local teenagers, though, you should endeavor to speak to their parents at the first sign of any bad behavior. This should nip things in the bud before things escalate.

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Spam Callers

There are some forms of attention that could even affect you inside your own home. And one of these types of annoying attention comes from spam callers. These days, many sales companies employ telesale employees who call random households to try and sell their products and services. This can be extremely annoying for people on the receiving end, and many homeowners feel that it is a breach of their privacy. Especially since the sales company has somehow got hold of their home phone number without their knowledge! But thankfully, you don’t need to deal with these annoying spam calls for too long. There is plenty that you can do to stop them calling. One of the best ways is to add your phone number to a do not call registry. The companies are not allowed to contact any of the numbers in these registries. Another way for dealing with these calls is to not hand out your phone number so freely. When you are filling out forms, leave the contact number section blank whenever possible.

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Door To Door Salesmen

Back in the fifties and sixties, door to door salesmen were very common. However, over the past few decades, they have started to be seen as a nuisance, and fewer companies send them out. However, there are still ones which do. If you don’t want to be bothered by these salesmen, you can place a sticker in your home saying that they aren’t welcome. Otherwise, see if there is an online registry to which you can add your address to which will blacklist it for sales companies.

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