We have lived in our current home for over ten years and in that time we have done a lot of upgrading including replacing the carpet upstairs, putting in a new kitchen and most recently a new bathroom. The next think on our list is a hall makeover with laminate flooring. The hall is the one area in our home that has been completely neglected but I want to transform in into a bright welcoming space that instantly makes us feel at home.
Being a home buyer should only be a temporary state. You’re moving home, and you’re currently in the process of searching for a new house. Viewing homes can be a nightmare, or it can be a great experience. Sometimes the seller will try to avoid answering certain questions and other times you’ll see that what they have said previously on the phone isn’t true. Very rarely will a home that looks too good to be true turn out to be that way. Viewing a home and getting an accurate picture of the home in just a few minutes takes skill. Most of all it takes a sharp eye to see behind the curtain and figure out what kind of home it really is. On the surface it could look strong and sturdy, but during the winter the floorboards might creak and crack underneath the pressure. So what do you need to do to get the most amount of information from a viewing in the quickest time?
Never trust face value
It might sound harsh, but the main thing you must not do is believe every word the seller or the real estate agent is telling you. When you enter the home, keep a sharp intellect about you and focus on what you see and what you don’t see. The agent will be giving you a tour but no doubt, they and the seller worked out a deal or a plan to only show the best bits of the home. For example, they will take their time showing you a great garden. However, they will rush through a room that has mould and mildew on the walls, signs of a leaking water pipe as the wallpaper has bubbled and risen off the surface. So, just for good practice, never trust what the person giving you the tour says at face value.
Venture further in
When viewing a home, it’s your right to inspect every available part that’s open to you. Go into each corner of the living room, look at the skirting boards, the floor colour in the corner compared to the rest of the room. You should be checking the corner of the ceiling too, and look for cracks and signs of structural fatigue. When you’re shown a window on the 1st floor or any floor for that matter and the focus of the agent is the view, go further in to have a look at the window sill. Sometimes an issue can be right in front of you but the job of the agent is to momentarily distract you away from it. Can you see signs of rainwater leaking in?
Check the logistics
If a home has passed your eye inspection, then call in a professional team that will give you the low down on the logistics of the home. Check out homebuyer surveys and costs to see what will happen when you do. They’ll check the quality of the roof, the strength of the walls, make sure the electric, gas and oil are costed accurately, and also check the quality of the drainage and insulation.
Be on your guard to sweet talk when you’re home viewing. The agent is working for the seller, and they both want to get paid. By polite but be sceptical also. Call in the experts when you think you have a winner and venture further in to inspect every nook and cranny.
This is a collaborative post.
For those of us who aren’t blessed with the largest property or the most expansive rooms in our humble abode, we need to think outside of the box when we are decorating. While we may not feel like we have enough room to swing a cat, we may be able to utilise some nifty space saving techniques that can also save a bob or two. Our living rooms are our sanctuaries. These are the spaces that you kick back, relax and spend most of your time in, whether it’s catching up with your favourite soap on the box, reading a book with a glass of wine, or having a good old catch up with pals. Take a look at how you can transform your living room into a giving room.
Your living room may be a one trick pony at the moment, especially if you are struggling in terms of space. However, your lounge interior doesn’t have to just be that area where you sit on the sofa watching mind numbing TV every night. Consider creating a couple of zones within the room. Choose one corner to situate your TV rather than having it mounted onto a wall. This way, you are cordoning off your gogglebox capabilities. In another corner, invest in a comfortable chair. You might want to opt for a mid-century style vintage egg chair or a Scandinavian rocking chair. These are perfect for relaxing in with a cuppa or reading. A bankers lamp to the side or a floor lamp can make a pleasant change from being forced to read with the main light on.
If you have kids and you don’t have enough square footage for a playroom, an extra large rug will fill the space within your living room and give them enough of a play area for their toys in the centre of your room. While not ideal, trying to make your living room fit your lifestyle is the perfect solution for those more cramped pads.
No matter what size your property is, you will inevitably struggle with storage, and the dreaded clutter can always begin to encroach on your environment. The type of furniture and storage solutions that you try to incorporate into your living space can transform your lounge from a simple one dimensional space into a multi-functional room that can make your life easier. Footstools can come Ottoman style with storage under the stool. You might want to look at period pieces that merge drawers storage with a coffee table. These Danish inspired sleek designs utilise every iota of functionality and can ensure that your knick-knacks don’t clutter up your space.
If your kids are of an age where they have a ridiculous amount of lego and bricks and other toy paraphernalia, you will be keen to ensure that your living room doesn’t morph into a playpen. Get hold of a toy box that doubles up as a window seat or hide all of that kid clutter under the stairs. Storage solutions don’t have to look like filing cabinets or exposed shelves. Instead, you can find those nifty storage ideas within pieces that offer up both form and functionality.
Your living room is the most heavily utilised and enjoyed room within your home. Give it a new lease of life and turn it from a living room to a giving room.
This is a collaborative post.
Have you been looking for the ideal new house for a long time and none of them feel just right? How do you know when you have finally found the right one? There is always the doubt that you will make a mistake and end up living somewhere you are not happy with, so just sit back relax and let’s talk about how you will know you have found your ideal home.
You Want To See More
If when you see the outside of a property it makes you want to see more that is a good start. Kerb appeal is an important factor in searching for the right home, and it is very probable that there have been a few that you have not liked the look of at all from the outside.
Of course, what the outside is like is no guarantee that the inside will be just as good. But it is an indicator that if the present owners have taken trouble with the outside, they will have looked after the inside as well. You will only find out if you enter the house.
It Feels Right As Soon As You Enter
You usually know as soon as you walk into a house whether it feels like home or not. If it feels warm and welcoming, almost as though it is embracing you, there stands a good chance that this is the house for you.
Some houses have a bad feeling about them, and often that is just relating to the viewer because it is not really what they are after. This can be particularly the case if it is the type of house you would not normally consider, but the agent has persuaded you that you really must view.
Check Out The Bathrooms
Research has shown that the room most people feel uncomfortable viewing is the bathroom, and that many do nothing more than put their head around the door and scan it briefly. It is said that it appears that people do not like to let their feet touch the floor of a bathroom they do not know. This does seem a bit strange unless they are looking at the house in bare feet, but it appears that even in their shoes, some people have an aversion to going into other people bathrooms.
If you are happy to stroll into the bathroom and take a proper look, you should take this as a sign that this could be the house for you.
Ignoring The Minor Defects
You will always find minor defects in a property and if you find any of them are a problem, then you should not be buying this house. When you see things that need a small repair and that does not put you off, then it is more likely you have found your home. You may even get defensive about them, for instance, if the agent tries to point out that a new tap is needed on the kitchen sink, or that there is a crack in an internal doors glazing.
When you want to tell them that none of these minor things matter that definitely means you should be considering buying this house.
You Start Imagining How You Will Make It Look
Are you starting to see your furniture in the house and how you would like it arranged, the walls painted the colours you want and imagining the house with any other changes that would put your stamp on it are all a sure sign that this is the house for you.
Can you see exactly where your bed will go in the master bedroom? Have you already decided on a new colour scheme? Do you know where you will put your Christmas tree, or how you will accommodate visitors over the holiday season? If so, you can stop looking at other houses right now.
Do not waste your time viewing other properties, as you have probably found the right one for you and looking at more will just become a bit of a chore.
The House Covers All Your Needs
Before you go any further ask yourself if the house fits your needs? Does it have the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms, for instance, and has it got an extra room that could be used as a home office or playroom? Does it have a garage, or at least the space to have one erected? Is the garden secure enough for your dog, or will you need to put up some new fencing?
It might not have everything exactly as you want, but if it fits your basic needs, you can alter it to provide some of the other things once it has become yours. Some of the things, such as painting, are far easier to do in an empty house. As desperate as you might be to actually move in, a couple of days delay could mean that you have the painting done beforehand. That will make the whole move easier to handle, and there will be less messing once you are in.
You Want To Tell Everyone
Have you found that you want to tell everyone about this wonderful house you have found? Have you taken a few photos to put on your social media page? Has that few photos for your social media pages turned into hundreds? Are you feeling excited at the prospect of moving into this house? All of these things make it even more likely that you have found the home of your dreams.
Sleep On It
Before you make that final step of offering to buy the house of your dreams, you should sleep on it and see if you still feel the same the next day. If you have a troublesome night because of all your plans for your new home or, you sleep soundly knowing you have found it, then the next day you can deal with the next phase of ensuring it belongs to you.
Good luck, I hope you find the home of your dreams and spend many happy years living there. There are so many amazing properties to choose from that it can be difficult. But if all of the signs are there, you will know when to act.
*This is a collaborative post.
One thing that we all want, is to feel safe in the comfort of our own home. Our home is the place that we should feel safest of all – it’s where we sleep, eat, bathe, and have fun – it’s the place we always resort back to after a long day at work, so if you’re not comfortable there and don’t feel protected, then how are you ever going to truly be able to relax? It’s your environment, and it’s down to you to create a good one for you and your family, especially if you have kids – it’s their safe haven too.
There are many threats out there in the outside world – unfortunately, there always will be, regardless of how careful you are of staying away from it. Having said that, there are many ways to keep all of the bad things away, and that all boils down to the preventatives you put in place.
Here are a few ideas to get you on the right track.
Securing your windows
Burglars tend to focus a lot on windows because they are often left open a little, even during the night, especially now the days and nights are so much hotter. Try and always make sure the bottom windows are closed properly with a lock. You should also make sure that they are working as they should, and if not, call in a double glazing repairs person to fix the issue immediately. If you do have blinds or curtains, it would be a good idea to close them once the sun goes down so that people can’t look inside and get any ideas, even more so when you have potential valuables on show.
Securing your doors
While your front door usually has a more secure lock, it can always be better. The same goes for your back door, if not more because burglars tend to sneak around the back to break in as they know the lock is normally a lot weaker – so make sure it isn’t. Call in a locksmith and get more secure locks fitted that aren’t as easy to pick or break altogether. If the doors are very old, you may want to get a whole new door as the wood might have started rotting from the inside making it a lot weaker.
Securing your items
You may not have things outside the front of your house, but it’s normal to have things outside the back as that is where your garden is. You may have tools left out, ladders, and maybe even a bike or two, but these are the things that all burglars look out for because they can either be used as a way of breaking in, or be stolen and then sold for a fair bit of money. So any items that are normally left out, make sure you secure them in a shed or garage that is safely secured with a padlock and even an extra deadbolt lock for that added touch.
This is a collaborative post.