Tag Archives: neighborhood

House Buying Considerations: Is Bigger Always Better?

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House Buying Considerations: Is Bigger Always Better?

When it comes to choosing a home, most of us want one thing arguably above all other considerations: space. There’s an inherent association between a property being nice and a property being large; an association so strong that many of us struggle to see smaller homes as particularly attractive at all. However, it’s worth considering whether large homes are actually all that we imagine them to be. So let’s try and settle this once and for all: when it comes to homes, is size always important?

YES: Large houses are more aesthetically pleasing

As discussed above, for some people, size is everything when it comes to aesthetics. If you want a good looking home, then bigger most definitely is better in most people’s eyes. If you are of the same opinion, then it’s worth remembering that you will have to live with, and make the most of, the property you choose. You have to love it, so if you don’t think you could truly love a smaller house, then this alone may be a significant enough factor to justify choosing a larger property.

NO: The larger a house is, the more there is to clean and maintain

As attractive as a large home may be, there’s no denying that the larger the space, the more time you’re going to have to spend caring for it. More rooms means more cleaning; large yards means more gardening chores – if you’re not a fan of these and other maintenance tasks as listed on https://www.nytimes.com/, then bigger might be rather unpleasant for you.

YES: Big houses can be downsized if required, so they’re more flexible

Some would argue that big houses have a huge amount of flexibility. If you find that you don’t need a large house, then you can always follow the guide to downsizing on https://wrenrealtyinc.com and sell your property. You can then use the proceeds of the sale to buy a smaller house; potentially even outright.

In contrast, if you opt to buy a smaller home and then realize you need more space, you’re not going to have the same level of flexibility. While you could use your smaller house as equity towards a larger purchase in the future, you’re still going to need to obtain a much larger mortgage to meet the cost difference.

Few of us think far in the future when buying a home; we think about satisfying our needs and requirements for the immediate future. However, thinking a few decades down the line is an important aspect of securing your financial future, so the downsize/upsize issue is one that you will want to consider.

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 Wikimedia Image

NO: Large houses are more expensive in every regard

If you want to keep your finances under control, then a larger house is not going to help you towards the goal. Larger houses have higher purchase prices, expenses, tax requirements, maintenance costs… the list goes on and on. If you’re budget-conscious to the point where the costs are your only consideration when purchasing a home, it’s safe to say that bigger is most definitely not better.

YES: Large houses are more valuable

This point almost goes without saying, but it is worth noting if you’re intending to purchase your next home as part of an investment in your future. The more square footage a house has, the more potential value it is able to offer. This may be enough of a factor for it to make it worth living with higher maintenance costs, as the potential investment return is more substantial in the future.

NO: Large houses are often targeted by burglars

It’s obvious why this would be the case; it’s a simple assumption that the level of affluence that allows someone to buy a large house should also mean that they have more possessions worth stealing. Of course, there are ways of protecting your home, and modern home security innovations make this easier than ever. However, it is nevertheless worth considering the potential for enhanced risk of burglary before buying a large house.

Final Thoughts:

As you can see from the above, there are arguments both for and against large houses – so how can you know which is the right decision for you?

  • Which of the facts about is the most compelling to you personally? If you are especially concerned with aesthetics, then a larger house might be the best choice. If you’re more focused on saving money, then a smaller house is more suitable. Focusing on the aspect that is most important to you should help you make the correct decision.
  • Apply subjectivity to your personal situation. For example, if you plan to have children soon, buying a house with more bedrooms than you need right now is justifiable.
  • Ensure that you consider your needs for the current period in your life, but try to keep one eye on the future, as well. Property is an important purchase, so you have to try and think many years into the future. While it’s impossible to predict how things will pan out for you entirely, having some inclination of how you would like your life to progress can be extremely beneficial when making the size decision.

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Which size of house is right for you?

By combining your personal experience with the inherent truths listed above, you should be able to come to a house size conclusion that is well-informed and tailored specifically to your needs. Good luck!

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Looking For A House? Savvy Tips For Your Search

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Looking For A House? Savvy Tips For Your Search

House hunting is probably one of the most exciting and important things that you will ever do. You are looking for a place that you will be investing lots of time and money in, as well as living in, so you are definitely going to want it to be one hundred percent right. That means you have to be savvy and up to speed when looking for your new property. With that in mind, read on to find out all you need to know about being a smart home hunter and finding the place of your dreams:

Be ready to move financially:

One thing that savvy house hunters do to speed the process up and make it less stressful is to make sure that they are ready to move financially before they start looking. That means that they have their deposit saved, they have their mortgage approved provisionally, or they have their previous house sold. This also means no going to open houses unless you are truly in a position to make a move if you like it. Otherwise, you risk finding your perfect home and not being able to do anything about it. Then, you will experience the heart break of having to watch as someone else waltzes in and takes it out from under your nose.

Having your finances in order is essential, because as soon as you see a home that you like, you can swoop in and make an offer. This makes the process a lot quicker for you, and it also stops other people from getting there first.

Know your budget and what you can get for it:

Next, savvy home hunters are well aware of their budget before they start looking and they are able to adhere to it. Sure, it can be fun to look at places that stretch the budget, especially if they have everything on your wish list, but the fun will stop once you realize that there is no way that you can move forward with the purchase.

Having said this, some folks do anyways and then get stuck with a property that they cannot comfortably afford. This means that they risk a reduction in the quality of their life and possibly foreclosure if they get too far behind. Obviously, neither of these situations are ideal.

The key question that you need to ask yourself is whether what you want and what you can afford actually tally up. It’s easy to get into a situation where we think that we should have a huge home with all sorts of amazing additions, especially since we see them on TV all of the time. However, back in the real world, your budget may just not stretch to that, so as a smart home hunter, you need to have a serious reality check before you even start to actively look for homes.

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#ballinonabudget

Consider all of the options:

Savvy home hunters are particularly clever when it comes to exploring all of the options available to them. That means that they look at houses, apartments, and bungalows before making their final decision. It also means that they consider better value options such as resale hdb instead of new builds, micro houses, or even houseboats. Remember for a smart house hunter, the main goal is for the property to meet their needs and be within budget, and if a more alternative option does this, then it shouldn’t be ruled out as a contender.

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A big house may seem appealing, but remember the cost!

Decide on a location:

The importance of location when buying a property is well known, and another strategy that savvy home hunters use is to know exactly which locations they want and then stick to it.

To be able to do this yourself you will need to do your research first. A good way to go about this is to write down a list of attributes that you want the area to have. These may include being picturesque, modern, city central, near to good schools, and the like. Then, use this list as a guide when looking at possible locations. However, while using the list, you must always remember to cross-reference this with whether the types of properties available there fit in with what you need and your budget.

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Keys, please!

With the tips above in mind, you will be a savvy home hunter in no time! Make your list, check your budget, and hit the market for your dream home!

Featured Image By: Flickr

Keeping Your Landlord Happy: A Lowdown

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Keeping Your Landlord Happy: A Lowdown

When you live in a rented apartment, you can’t just think about your own wants and needs. You also need to consider how you can keep your landlord happy, too. If you start to get into disputes with them and end up in their bad books, you will find that they might start to make your life a nightmare! Even worse, they could end up throwing you out, and then you will have to start a house search, which no one ever wants to be forced to do. Wondering how you can keep your landlord as nice as pie (And pie is really nice!)? Here’s the lowdown!

Pay Your Rent And Deposit On Time: Before you move in, you will need to pay a deposit to your landlord. It’s important that you pay this on time, as many landlords withhold the keys until it is paid. Once you move in, you should also ensure that all of your rent payments are made on time. If you don’t pay on time, you might not be meeting your half of the contractual agreement. As a result, you could be evicted. But don’t let it get to that point – mark your calendars for the day the rent is due, cough up the cash, and that will keep a big smile on your landlord’s face!

Keep Things Neat And Tidy: You need to keep your apartment clean and well-kept. Even though your landlord doesn’t have to live with you, they won’t want to see any long-term dirt accumulate as this can be very difficult to get rid of. Plus, it may encourage mold or damp developing. It is also necessary to clean the property thoroughly when you are preparing to move out. Whizz tenancy cleaning service can keep your apartment looking spick and span if you don’t have much time to do all of the cleaning. They will also give it a very deep clean when you are moving out, as well!

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Cleanliness is godliness!!!

Talk To Your Landlord About Problems: If you do find a problem with your apartment, you need to let your landlord know as soon as possible. That way, they can get to work on solving it before it becomes a huge problem. You shouldn’t try and fix something yourself – in fact, it may say in your contract that you are not allowed to. Just leave all of the DIY and renovations to the landlord as they are responsible for them. And it will save you a lot of money, too! It’s an obvious win/win.

Keep Your Neighbors Happy: As well as your landlord, you also need to keep your neighbors on Team You, too. When you are friendly and pleasant towards your neighbors, you will find that you are a lot less likely to get involved in any disputes and arguments. And happy neighbors with no complaints about the loud tenant below them makes for a very happy landlord!

Apartment living means getting along with all types of people in the building. Be kind and courteous and everyone, landlord included, will benefit from it!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Cool Ways To Bring Your Neighborhood Together

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Cool Ways To Bring Your Neighborhood Together

We all want to live in a better neighborhood; it is one of those inherent wants we are all born with. Of course, what makes a better neighborhood is entirely subjective. Some may want a neighborhood that feels safe like they used to feel, where kids can play outside until the sun goes down. Others may say that they want somewhere that does its part for the earth. Everyone is different. Whatever the case, though, creating a better neighborhood is all about coming together as a team to strengthen your community. Awwww. How lovely would that be? :*)

To help you achieve your ambitions of living in a little slice of utopia, we have come up with a list of ways in which you can make your neighborhood a better place to live:

Sharing Is Caring: Sometimes it’s the old cliches that ring truest, and that is certainly the case when it comes to sharing is caring. Why not set up a community that is more geared towards helping one another out. Start up a tool library and a toy library, and, yeah, a book library too. Start a neighborhood vegetable patch where you all chip in and reap the rewards. Not only will these ideas bring you closer with your neighbors, but they’re all fun and helpful!

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So. Many. Tools!!!

Eco-Awesomeness: We all wish that we could be a little greener in our community, but buying solar panels isn’t exactly cheap, although they are getting cheaper. Anyways, to avoid the big overheads, why not pool together and buy solar panels collectively to enjoy a big bulk buy discount. As you can see at oregonlive.com this is a trend that was started by communities in Portland with amazing results.

Emergency Excellence: If you can be prepared for an emergency as a community, you are going to thrive as a community. It could be that you all chip in to buy a couple of automated external defibrillators from foremostequipment.com, or it could go even further and have a full blown emergency network in place. What better way is there to strengthen your community than to have members take on various roles, have certain supplies ready, and be prepared for the worst as a neighborhood.

Nice Nights: Building your community starts with doing things together. It could be getting together for a block party, holding storytelling evenings, serving different street foods, getting together for fireworks displays, having the children put on a theater event, and whatever else takes your fancy as a community. Whatever your summer bucket list is made up of, do it as a neighborhood. Have a calendar event that you all do once a month, where everyone knows that the second Saturday is neighborhood night.

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Partayyy

Front Yards: You are never going to bump into your neighbors if you only ever use your backyard. So, instead of this, why not move your normal backyard activities to the front and make yourself more visible and friendly to your neighbors. Sit out on the porch and say hi to everyone that goes past. Make a big jug of lemonade and invite them in. It’s only a slight tweak to your life but it can make a huge difference when it comes to getting to know your neighbors and building a better community.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Reclaim Your Home Privacy

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Reclaim Your Home Privacy

Don’t you just hate it when your home doesn’t feel private? Perhaps, you’re overlooked by a home behind yours or maybe you just constantly find people staring into your windows. It’s annoying, intrusive, and it can feel quite unpleasant. As such, you might be interested in ways to make your home a little more private. If so, here are some of the best possibilities to help achieve that:

Screener Trees: Screener trees are great because they can be planted around the edge of the property and are perfectly designed to stop people from looking in. It’s particularly useful if you have a garden that is, unfortunately, completely overlooked, as is often the case in modern home developments. The other advantages of these trees is that they grow fast and thick. They’re often evergreen, too, and this means that you won’t lose your privacy once Autumn rolls around.

Garden Fence: You might have property at the front of your home that isn’t completely closed off. It might be completely open and perhaps even on the other side of the road. This could be the case if you have bought land to extend your property. The problem here, is that onlookers might have no idea that the land is privately owned. As such, they could decide to sit on it, play on it, or just walk all over it. This can be particularly annoying for homeowners who spend a lot of time and put considerable effort into making their garden attractive.

The solution here would be a wire fence. When you own a property, you really want to make sure that only people who have your permission are using it. A fence is the best way to do this, and unfortunately, it might be the only option if you have an open lawn.

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Maybe not a white picket fence, but still.

Electronic Blinds: It’s possible that the thing you hate the most is people staring into your home. Like it or lump it, the windows of your home are exactly that. They aren’t just a way to look out. But they could be, and if you want to make sure you can see out without other people seeing in, one-way glass is the answer. Incredibly, you can buy this for your home windows, and you can certainly see the appeal of adding this to rooms like the bathroom.

Of course, if that seems too expensive and over the top, you can also consider getting electronic blinds. That way, you can block the view that other people have of your home whenever you feel like they are getting a little too up close and personal with your living room window.

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Bye bye Peeping Toms!

Automated Gates: Finally, if you want to make sure that people stay away from your home altogether, an automated gate might be the best option. Responding only when you open it, this gate will stay firmly shut to intruders, ensuring that you have complete privacy. Some people will deem this to be overkill, but it might be exactly what you want if you’re tired of people walking all over your property. It could also make a burglar think twice about breaking in.

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Pixabay Image

Chez Vous is where you should feel most comfortable, so if not having enough privacy in your neighborhood is an issue, then maybe some of these solutions will be for you!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

How to Add Value to your House Without Having to Remortgage

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How to Add Value to your House Without Having to Remortgage

We all know the importance of taking pride in our homes. We work hard to keep our dwellings spick and span and looking its best. We constantly strive to make sure they are cozy, comfortable, and a happy place for our families. But, sometimes we need to really up our game and whip our houses into shape with some serious elbow grease. However, that can be easier said than done as it can be tough to know where to start.

So whether you’re looking to add value to your house because you’re wanting to sell or whether you’re just looking for the best ways to really make the most out of your home, here are our simple tips on how to do just that:

Start From the Top: Looking at our attics as a potential area for extending our living space is one of the top ways to add significant value to our homes. If you think your property would benefit from an extra bedroom or if you think that your home needs an amazing game room, your attic could be just the ticket. Get a builder to take a look at your attic and see what possibilities are open to you. Although attic conversions take money and time, the return on the investment is usually really high. A £15,000 attic conversion, can add an extra £30,000 to the value of your house, so it’s well worth considering. Or if you’re staying put and just looking for extra room for your family, this really is the best part of your house to consider opening up.

Extend Into Your Garden: Extending your property into your garden is another great way that you can expand your living space and subsequently add value to your home. Be cautious when taking on conservatory projects, however, as sometimes they can look like an afterthought. An extra unit just bolted onto the side of your home doesn’t look so attractive. Work closely with an experienced builder to see how your conservatory can create a natural flow from your internal home and out into your outdoor world.

Make sure that the style fits well with the existing decor of your house and consider putting the same flooring down from the connecting room so that you give off that natural flow. A conservatory can cost as little as £4,000 and can add as much as 9% to the value of your home so, again, this option is well worth looking into.

A Lick of Paint Works Wonders: There’s nothing that drags down the overall appearance of a home more than dull, tired, and old paint work. Look at the paint both internally and externally on your house and get to work. This is a job that you can take on yourself, but to make it as easy as possible for you, you should consider investing in a paint spray machine. It will quarter the amount of time that you spend painting and provides really even coverage. Try shopping around for the best paint spray machines at Tool Nerds.

Before rolling those sleeves up and going in, all paint guns blazing, take some time to consider the most attractive colors for your home. Think of how to cleverly mix neutral with statement colors and plan each individual room and living space accordingly.

When considering the outside of your home, you will need to look at the bigger picture. Look at the houses on either side of you and along your street. Look at the general color palette on the street and think about a color for your house that would not only make it look fantastic, but will also compliment the colors of your neighbors’ home. This will not only give your home an instant facelift, but it will also help make your street look more desirable in general.

Windows are the Soul to Your Home: Windows can be so easily overlooked when sprucing up and renovating homes. Whatever plans you may have for your windows, make sure that they are cohesive with the age and style of your house. Replacing old, tatty, and even moldy or rotting windows will instantly lift the look of your home and provide some much needed sunlight and fresh air into your quarters.

First Impression: The smaller details are just as important as the big when it comes to adding value to our homes. Dingy, faded, and old front doors are certainly not the first impression that you want to give off to any potential buyers or guests coming to your home for the first time. Make sure that you get your new paint spray machine out on your front door, too. Once you’ve painted your front door and it’s looking shiny and new, think about elements such as doorknobs and the sign to your house (if you have one) or your house number.

Look into solid, decadent looking doorknobs and stainless steel house numbers to really have your front door looking in tip top condition. These little extras are incredibly affordable and can make all of the difference to visitors getting excited about stepping inside of your much-loved home.

The Hall: The hall is your second opportunity to make a lasting first impression. Keeping the kids’ shoes stored away and all coats and scarves neatly hidden out of site is the first thing that must be done. Then, take a look around the space. How can you improve the overall feel and style of your hallway so that people instantly feel warm, welcome, and inspired by your home? It all starts with mirrors and lighting.

Hanging mirrors on the wall will open up small hallways and give the impression that they are larger than they are. Natural light will also give off a feeling of spaciousness. For evening lighting think of low, mood lighting that will create a soothing and calming ambience to the entrance of your home. Avoid harsh overhead lighting and invest in interesting lamps or low-lit floor lights for a warm and inviting atmosphere that beckons visitors into the heart of your home.

Ready, get set, and get to work on making your home look brand new and beautiful!

Featured Image By: Flickr

Securing Your Home On A Tight Budget

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Securing Your Home On A Tight Budget

Home safety is always going to be an issue among homeowners. Sadly, it’s even more pressing when you consider living conditions, local community and, of course, our budget. Securing your home is easy if you have money to pour into fancy surveillance systems and smart devices, but what can you do if you’re on a tight budget? It’s hard trying to balance the costs we need to spend on our home, but with a couple of these home safety tips, you’ll be able to secure your home for less and still have peace of mind when you’re out and about:

Know Your Community: One of the best ways to secure your home is to actually get to know your neighbors. Whether you live in an apartment complex or a small community of houses, neighbors will naturally look out for burglars and criminals. You might even be able to join a neighborhood watch if there’s one available. This is great if you plan to be away for an extended period of time. You could simply leave your keys with a trusted friend or family member that lives close by and they can watch over your house and notify you if there’s anything suspicious or troubling happening.

Getting to know your community also means getting to know your enemy. If your area is notorious for burglaries and vandalism, then it might be worth considering a move in the future so that you can live in a safer environment. However, if that’s not an option for you, then you need to learn what the most common method of crime is in your area. Perhaps it’s people that smash into your home and break the windows and doors just to steal your belongings. Or maybe it’s someone more devious that sneaks in and picks the locks of your door. Whoever you’re up against, ensure that you have proper countermeasures to combat against it.

Changing Your Locks: The only way burglars are going to get into your house is either by smashing their way in or picking your doors. The smarter and more sophisticated your locks are, the more likely you’ll deter them. If you’re up against burglars that destroy everything in their path and loot your home, then a new lock isn’t going to make a huge difference and you should probably invest in something like a heavy-duty door and window shutters.

However, if you’re more concerned about lock-pickers, then a sturdy modern lock will be your answer. If you look at https://www.bradleyssafeandlockworks.com/, you’ll find plenty of information regarding expert locksmiths, the types of locks that will really protect you from burglars, and even some information on safes to protect your most prized possessions.

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Sock it, lock it, put it in your pocket.

Remove Hiding Spots: Even if your locks are secure and your neighbors are looking out for you, you need to ensure that the burglars have nowhere to hide. Motion lights are one of the most common things to install to protect your home from burglars. If a motion light detects them, they will be illuminated for cameras, neighbors, and even you to see.

Try to park cars inside of your garage instead of outside of your home because it gives the thief less space to hide. Trim hedges and cut down trees or plants so that they have fewer places to hide and maneuver in the dark. If you do have cameras, make sure that there are no walls or fences near them because thieves will sometimes block off cameras so that you can’t record any evidence. Also, make sure that those cameras have a clear view and that their vision isn’t obstructed.

Deterring Them Is The Best Defense: If burglars really want to steal your belongings, then they will do so without hesitation. For instance, they’ll smash your doors, break your windows, and grab as much as they can before making a run for it. They’ll create so much noise that it’s hardly subtle and they will just run off, leaving very little time for the authorities to react. This is why deterrence is the best form of defense. Most burglars are going to be sneaky and pick your locks, disable your alarms, and steal your belongings without you even knowing. The less that they have to worry about, the more likely it is that they will steal from your home.

Let’s say you install a fake alarm. The burglars might see it and instantly be turned off from the idea of stealing from you because they don’t want to risk being caught. However, if an experienced burglar sees it, then they have two options. Either they try to steal from you anyways, knowing that the alarm is fake. Or they avoid you in case the alarm isn’t actually fake. This plays with the thieves psychologically. They see that your house isn’t very well defended, but at the same time, they don’t want to risk being caught.

Another good way to deter thieves is to simply leave your lights on. If you’re worried about savings, then you can install smart lights that automatically turn on at set intervals, and they can even be controlled with smartphone apps across the internet if you get high-end models. They’re quite expensive, but turning on the lights normally can also work. This alerts the thieves because they might assume that someone is at home, meaning there’s a higher chance that they will be caught.

To summarize, visual deterrents are a fantastic way to keep burglars away from your premises. It could be something as simple as stickers to let thieves know that you have an alarm or just making your alarm visible by keeping it at an easy to see location. This article at https://www.safety.com/ will give you even more ideas to help you deter burglars if you’re still looking for inspiration.

Featured Image By: Pixabay