Making Home Dreams Come True

So the time has come to own your own home.  You have had enough of renting and the thought of being able to call a place your own fills you with excitement.  If you are about to embark on the path towards homeownership here are some things you are definitely going to need to know to make sure your first home is a good one.

  1. Know your budget – let’s start with the basics.  How much can you afford to spend on your home?  We all dream of the big beach front property but for most of us this just isn’t a reality.  Be honest with yourself about how much you can afford to borrow based on your earnings and savings and stick to the budget.  Remember your budget needs to include the price of the house, any renovations if you are going for a project buy and of course all the legal fees. Do the math before you even start the search and it will avoid a lot of heartache when the perfect house is outside of your means.
  2. Be needy – really consider what you need from a property. This isn’t just the size but also how your lifestyle will work within the properties you are looking at.  Do you need a spare room for when the family comes to stay? Do you spend more time in the kitchen or living room? Do you need a bath or will just a shower work.  Is a garden a must or can you live with a balcony? All of these and more are valid questions to ask yourself so that you can steer your realtor towards those homes that are going to best suit your needs.
  3. Clean up your act – there are lots of poor credit home loans on the market so don’t let a poor credit history stand in your way of home-ownership.  However if you can clean up your credit score you have more options when it comes to the type of mortgage deal that suits you.  You can dramatically improve your score by paying your bills on time and dealing with bad debt history.  For more information and advice check out Equifax.
  4. Bargain hunt – if you want a bigger house on a budget why not consider a project buy as a way of getting more for your money. Project buys are houses that need a little or a lot of work to them but because of that are sold off at much less than they are worth.  If you have time, patience and some good DIY skills you could save a fortune and add value to your home just by fixing it up.
  5. Plan ahead – unless you have a really good income or family money a mortgage is normally taken over a very long period of time, which means you need to consider your future earnings as well as your cash flow today.  Plan ahead as best you can for a financially sound future.

Home ownership dreams – image from sheknows.com

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Home Is Where The Heart Is- So Choose a Good One

There are so many things to think about when you’re buying a house. The size, location, budget and a million other things will all come into play. We all have a wishlist of the kinds of things we want in a home, here are some of the things you could add to yours when you’re going to viewings.

[Photo courtesy of /pexels.com]

A Good State of Repair

While properties which show signs of disrepair will hugely lower the price, don’t be too tempted by this unless you’re planning on doing a full renovation. Keep an eye on signs of pests, structural damage or other issues that will be very expensive to put right. Even if things look ok, it’s worth having a survey or home inspection done. Companies like Solex Group professional home inspection offer this, it can give you peace of mind and make sure you know you’ve made the right decision about a property. The last thing you want is to be stung with pricey repairs a few months down the line where you overlooked something.

The Area

You’re not just moving into a home, but an area or community. Make sure you do plenty of research on this before buying a home to make sure it matches up with what you want. You could look into things like crime rates and unemployment levels. You could see what parks and amenities are nearby, whether there are good transport links and what the schools are like. It’s easy to be bamboozled with a gorgeous property especially if you’ve found what you think is ‘the one’. But you can never change the area you’ve moved into, so make sure this is as good as the house.

The Garden

While you can landscape and change the garden itself, the size is something you’re stuck with. In fact, if you want to extend the home later down the line this will take space from the garden and make it even smaller. Therefore you need to make sure the size is something you’re going to be happy with. If you have kids and pets, is there enough space for them to run around and play? If you have a big family and like to host garden parties, will there be enough room for everyone?

Eco-Friendly Features

We all know how important it is to reduce our carbon footprint, and making changes at home is one of the biggest ways we can go about this. Therefore properties which have eco-friendly features are certainly worth considering over those that don’t. Solar panels, cavity wall and loft insulation and energy efficient windows and doors for example will reduce the amounts of fossil fuels we use. And as a bonus, your energy bills will be cheaper too. It’s something to ask when you view properties, that way if you’re tied between two and aren’t sure what to pick the eco-friendly home has an advantage.

What kinds of things are on your checklist when you’re looking for your next home?

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A New Bathroom For Under £1,000

Most homeowners spend around $7,000 to $10,000 on each big renovation project. Over half of them will have to increase their budget to take account of issues related to poor planning. In short, we are a nation of renovators, and we love to improve the house. As a result, it is easy to define which are the first rooms to be renovated inside a home. Homeowners focus their attention on the first rooms that show signs of use, being the bathroom and the kitchen. Kitchen renovation projects are often expensive because they require to buy new appliances. There is no way around the expense, unfortunately. However, when it comes to the bathroom, while most projects remain expensive, the costs could be easily cut down with some savvy DIY craft and a lot of smart recycling thinking. Here’s how:   

Learning To Renovate

When you are looking at renovating your bathroom, it’s important to set a budget for your time and your expenses before you start. To keep your renovation low cost, you will need to invest time and efforts in it. So, make sure that you start with the right DIY gear! If you bought an old house, it’s likely that your original bathroom floor has been covered with layers of plywood and linoleum. If you want to refloor the room, you will need to go through layers of old flooring. It’s a hard manual work, but this will increase the value of your home dramatically. Besides painting the walls, with a bathroom suitable paint that is designed to resist stains and moisture, the other main area of improvement is the tiled wall around the shower or the tub. It will give your bathroom a fresh and clean look. Finally, instead of changing your bathtub or shower, you can refresh them with a refinishing kit, to find the original shine.

Image result for Installing tiles on a wall

[Installing tiles on a wall/Photo courtesy of HowToSpecialist.com]

Don’t Waste Anything

When you start diving into long renovation projects, you will rapidly find that you have a lot of items that can’t be reused in their original form. For example, if you start working on the plumbing system, you may find yourself with plenty of unusable scrap copper. Don’t just throw it away; if you can’t repurpose it, others can, and they will give you a fair copper per pound price. Additionally, other larger items, such as a bathroom cabinet can be repurposed into an elegant kitchen cupboard or a craft chest of drawers. Similarly, if you have an old chest of drawers, you can also repurpose it into a bathroom vanity, following the previous step-by-step tutorial.

[Photo courtesy of miserv.net]

Be Your Own Plumber

Finally, if you have ever hired a plumber, you are probably aware of the cost of a professional repair/renovation work. In most cases, with the right tools, you can tackle most bathroom projects by yourself, at a lower cost, and without much efforts. Additionally, plumbing essentials such as installing a sink or adding new water lines are a lot easier than you might think. As a rule of the thumb, you can do most of your plumbing work within an afternoon and at no cost at all if you have the appropriate tool.

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Planning for Baby: Nursery Room Tips

A new arrival is on the way and there is so much to do – decorating the nursery, choosing baby blankets and bedding along with a baby changing table, glider rocker and more. No matter how much you do before the bundle of joy arrives there’s inevitably something you will overlook, especially if this is your first child.

New parents may not realize how much the home décor will need to change throughout the entire house. The glass top coffee table that was once so stylish now represents a potential safety hazard while the sleek bathroom knobs and hardware that was so easy to use now poses a safety problem.

Crib, Nursery, Baby, Bedroom, Childhood, Interior

[Photo courtesy of ErikaWittlieb/pixabay.com]

Each room of your home will need to be childproofed and the bathroom is a good place to start. Any cabinets including the medicine chest should be secured with a childproof lock. The wastebasket should have a lid; a foot operated model is a good idea as kids will have a difficult time opening it. The toilet seat should be secured with a lid lock and all electrical outlets should be secured with protectors.

The bathtub should be made as child-friendly as possible – look for a bathtub faucet guard to protect baby’s head and be sure to invest in a bathtub temperature gauge to reduce the chance of scalding baby. A shampoo rinse cup will help to stop the tears when shampooing children’s hair.

If you do not already have a handheld showerhead you will find this to be one of the most useful modifications you can make in a bathroom. With a handheld shower head it’s easy to bathe children, shampoo hair and direct the water spray exactly where you want it; it also makes cleaning the tub and shower much easier.

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