Sure Fire Ways To Find Your Perfect Home

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If you are in the throes of house hunting, the chances are that you are becoming a little disillusioned with the whole process. Sometimes houses are described euphemistically meaning bijou is poky. Often, we head to a home thinking that this might be the one only to discover that the photos in the listing are three years old. And occasionally we might find the perfect house, but the location isn’t right. Trying to stumble across your perfect pad is difficult. However, by following these simple steps, you can hone your requirements and locate your dream home.

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Don’t Expect Perfection… Straight Away

Your perfect home might not be perfect immediately. And it shouldn’t be. You need to consider your wants and needs, and think about how you can outperform the market and make money on your home. The easiest way to do this is to do some renovations and put your own stamp on a pad. With your interior design flair and skills with a paintbrush, you can change a property so that it morphs into your home.

Try to visualise the homes you are viewing with a more objective attitude. You may have passed on many properties because of the tiniest of flaws. Having a non-negotiables list is fine, but be realistic. Nobody purchases their perfect home to do absolutely nothing to it. A house is what you make it so see it through a designer’s eyes.

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Budget

If you have a strict budget make sure that you stick to it. There’s nothing worse than going to view a pad knowing that it is over your budget, only to fall in love with it and be tempted to stretch yourself financially. Don’t put yourself in this position in the first place. Instead, check out a guide on conveyancing fees at The Advisory, look into solicitors fees and mortgage requirements, and then set yourself a ceiling purchase price never to go over it. This way, you will be viewing dwellings that are well within your reach.

If you aren’t sure where to look, place your emphasis on the location first. Forget the gorgeous looking house you spotted going for a bargain in a crime ridden area. This house won’t increase in value, and your experience living in that location will not be pleasant or safe. Instead, opt for the more well established areas that are always sought after. Property forecasts should be positive and the location should have sound transport links, good schools, and a variety of amenities.

Location is by far the most important aspect of a house purchase. Buying the worst house on the best street can often pay off as you are sure to outperform the market with your renovations and you will end up living in a salubrious area to boot. Keep an eye on future proofing your property market outlook and concentrate on creating an asset full of equity for your future.

Being a property hunter isn’t the easiest position to be in even in a buyers market. Follow this guide and use these ideas to inspire your hunt for your ideal home.

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The ABC Of Home Security

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It seems safe to say that the vast majority of people reading this post will know that they need to ensure that their home is secure. While general ‘good practice’ – such as always locking the doors and windows before leaving your property – definitely have a role to play in achieving the desired security level, for most people, the need for dedicated security measures is well-understood.

Unfortunately, when it comes to choosing “dedicated security measures”, there are seemingly countless options to choose from – which can be more than a little confusing. Below, we’ve sought to go back to basics by highlighting the fundamental, must-have requirements of home security – and you should have no issue recalling these measures in future, given that they are as simple as ABC…

A is for… Alarm

Investing in a reliable alarm system – and ensuring you activate it every time you leave the house – is one of the best home security measures you can take for your home. If you already have an alarm, then it’s worth having it professionally serviced to ensure it’s working as it should – expert advice suggests that annual servicing is usually sufficient. Alternatively, if there is no alarm system currently installed on your property, opting for a new installation is a huge home security boost, so it’s worth considering such a step in future.

B is for… Barriers

In the digital age, many homeowners focus primarily on technological home security measures – and these, as demonstrated by our “A” and “C” choices, are undoubtedly worthwhile. However, there is definitely something to be said for pairing technological security measures with good, old-fashioned barriers; bushes and plants close to entry points and beneath windows, perimeter fences, locked gates, thick trees, and – of course – standard concrete walls all have a role to play in ensuring your home is secure. Essentially, the goal is to ensure that your home looks unfriendly; as if it would be far too much hassle for a prospective burglar to even think about trying to gain access. By combining this “old school” measure with more modern innovations, you can enjoy the peace of mind of a complete, well-rounded home security setup.

C is for… CCTV

Closed-circuit television (or simply “CCTV” as it is more commonly known) is often associated primarily with commercial and industrial buildings, but CCTV can also be enjoyed in domestic properties in order to provide a comprehensive home security solution. By opting for a CCTV installation at your home, you can look forward to enjoying a dedicated security measure that both allows you to monitor your property as and when you please and acts as a reliable deterrent – a home security win/win.

In conclusion

The world of home security can be more than a little tough to decipher, with a vast number of products and innovations available on the market. Above, we’ve sought to focus on the core basics; the essential elements that – combined with sensible, conventional measures such as setting internal lights on a timer and always using door and window locks – can help to ensure your home is as robustly secure as possible.

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Creating my Dream Gallery Wall with Wilko – AD

Creating my Dream Gallery Wall with Wilko – AD

*This post contains items purchased with a gift card that was gifted from Wilko.

Years before I owned my own house, I dreamed of the day I could have a gallery wall. Yes, my dreams are that sad but it makes me happy. And for the last three years that we’ve lived here, I’ve been collecting art, cards and prints ready for this day. We had a few frames and canvas’s up in the living room but there were a lot of gaps.

gallery wall - living room

So last month when Wilko offered to help me finish my gallery wall, I couldn’t say no. It’s impressive to think that with a £30 gift card I managed to get 9 of the 18 items on the wall from Wilko. Part of the reason why I’ve delayed finishing my gallery wall is trouble finding frames that are nice but not going to break the bank. Why didn’t I think of Wilko?

gallery wall - pickles not amused

There are even different ranges so you could have everything matching to one colour. But of course I didn’t go for that (sorry mum) and decided to have a mix of three. To be fair I did choose black, white and oak which is quite minimal. I wanted the art inside the frames to take centre stage.

gallery wall - closeup right

I love how inexpensive Wilko’s photo range is and yet it doesn’t look that way at all. The range I picked from was their middle one I would say. There was an even cheaper range which would be perfect for students and also a more expensive range that would be great for ladies and gents into their bling.

gallery wall - bottom close up

A lot of the frames I picked up were box frames which means you could actually fit some smaller 3D items inside. I took advantage of this for one of the frames in particular and displayed one of the badges Topher and I got on our honeymoon in Disneyland.

gallery wall - length

I love my gallery wall so much. I just can’t stop looking at it. I’ll tell you a secret – the night I finished it and went to bed, I actually got out of bed one more time and snuck downstairs just to look at it one last time.

gallery wall - landscape

Considering the last time I showed you my living room it looked like this, I might be pretty close to showing you the rest of the room! Watch this space. And a big thank you to Wilko for giving me the nudge I needed to get this room looking awesome.

Do you have a gallery wall?

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How to Spend Money on Improving Your Home the Sensible Way

If the time has come for you to improve your home and take it to that next level, you should start to think about what those improvements should be and how they should be approached. Many people simply rush in and then make big mistakes. It’s instead much wiser to spend money the sensible way and make sure that the home improvements you carry out really are the right ones. Here’s how you can do that.

Don’t Take on Too Much at Once

Taking on too much at once is the number one sin when it comes to carrying out home improvements. It can lead to half a dozen half-finished jobs and nothing much more to show for it. To make sure you get things done and follow them through to their conclusions, you should try to only take on one project at a time. It’ll be much more sustainable in the long-term.

Choose Upgrades That Add Value

When choosing which upgrades you should carry out in your home, you should focus on the ones that you really and truly believe will add some value to your home. If they don’t add that value, they aren’t worth your time or energy. You should think about what improves the home in an objective way, not just in your personal and subjective view of things.

If You’re Unsure, Hire Help

If you’re not sure of which route to take forward or how to carry out a particular home improvement task, you shouldn’t hesitate to seek help and get a professional to do some of the work for you. This is always the way it should be when you’re unsure of anything that might involve making mistakes that will impact your home. It’s not worth taking risks when it comes to the safety and integrity of your home.

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Read Reviews and Compare the Options

Carrying out home improvements should always involve comparing all the options and making sure you choosing the right one before pushing ahead. If you want a new water heater, for example, you should take time to find the best electric tankless water heater on the market. Read reviews and compare all the details so you know you’re choosing the right one.

Keep Functionality in Mind

The functionality of the home is something that you should always keep in mind because nothing matters more than the way you use the home and how you get the most out of it. If you can make the kinds of upgrades that make the home more functional, it’s definitely worth pushing forward with them. In the end, it’ll change how you use the home and allow you to get more out of it.

There are right ways and wrong ways to go about improving your home. If you take the wrong approach, not only will you end up throwing money away, but you won’t get the benefits of the home improvements that are truly right for you and your home. So keep in mind the points discussed here.

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Turning a House into a Happy Home

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If you’ve just purchased a house, are in the process of moving, or have recently moved then it’s understandable that you might be feeling a little unsettled in yourself.  Our environment affects our emotions much more than we realise, and a lot of times people buy a new house with the expectation they’ll feel ‘at home’ straight away, but this doesn’t tend to happen instantly, as home is not a place – it’s a feeling, and this feeling can take some time to develop.

In many ways, home is a sense of belonging that brings comfort and stability to our lives; whilst it can help to undertake essential maintenance tasks such as double glazing repairs it’s important to understand that home is a feeling, not a place, and that feeling isn’t something that can be purchased… it’s something that will develop over time.

So, if you’re feeling a little unsettled and perhaps even homesick, know this is natural, but that it will pass in time.

When you think about it a house is basically a physical commodity in that it consists of bricks and mortar… whereas a “home” is something you must nurture and create… it’s not something that comes with the set of keys your estate agent gives you.

One of the best tips with regard to turning your new house into a happy home is to take immediate action with regard to unpacking and setting things up.  The best time to get started, of course, is right now… as the longer you leave your belongings in boxes, the longer you will feel unsettled and the more overwhelmed you will become.

Indeed, moving home can feel very overwhelming, particularly when unpacking and the best way to approach this is to chunk it into more manageable segments. For instance, rather than having twenty boxes to get through in one room; separate them out into four piles of five boxes.  This way, things will start to feel more manageable and you can then use the power of momentum to help you get more done in less time.

The other factor, is that you want to make your home feel like “yours” as soon as possible.  There’s a good chance your new house will have remnants of the previous owners tastes and stylistic preferences.  There’s often a feeling of the house belonging to someone else, when you first move in, and therefore it’s important to cleanse and connect with the space.  Now, this might sound very “new age” as a concept, but it can be as simple as cleaning the house, yourself, in order to feel like it is yours.

In a similar vein, everyone has certain items they feel a strong emotional connection with and these items hold emotional energy that can make you feel more at home. It’s important to fill your home with the energy of “you” so that you can start to associate your new house with being your new home.  

In summary, home is not a place it’s a feeling and if you’ve just moved into somewhere new it’s going to take a little while for it to feel like home, but by unpacking, cleansing your environment, and putting out belongings that have your energy – you’ll catalyse this process.

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