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How to Ensure Your Home Sale Doesn’t Fall Through

There are plenty of guides out there about maximising your house price before you put it on the market, but achieving a higher sale price only makes it that much more frustrating when the sale falls through.

Three in ten property purchases end up collapsing after an offer has been agreed. Not only is this extremely disappointing, it can be financially damaging too, as fees relating to valuations, surveying and other administrative duties cannot be recovered. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of selling the same house more than once, then the following tips should prove helpful.

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Be sure about your decision

One surprisingly common reason for house sales falling through is simply that people change their minds. So, although it may sound obvious, make sure you actually want to sell your home, before you put it on the market.

Also, make sure you have a clear idea of how much you would like to sell it for (as well as the lowest offer you will accept). If you don’t have some firm figures in your mind then you are much more likely to back out of a deal after you’ve accepted it.

Exchange contracts early

Selling a house can be a long, drawn out process, with lots of different stages on the way to completion. There’s getting the house valued, putting it on the market, arranging viewings, having it surveyed, and a whole host of other duties to be performed.

One of the ways to improve your chances of completing a sale to is exchange contracts as soon as possible in the buying/selling process. Once you’ve exchanged, the purchase or sale of a house is legally binding and a date for completion is set. Pulling out of a purchase after contracts have been exchanged is extremely rare as there would be large penalties involved.

Cut out the middleman

A less common way of preventing your sale from collapsing is to cut out estate agents altogether. Rather than going through the traditional process of selling a house, there are alternative options that result in quicker sales and are less likely to fall through.

There are a number of organisations, for example, that boast “we buy any house,” with many of them guaranteeing you a cash offer so you can finalise the sale quickly, sometimes in less than a week. This is ideal if you need money fast, are having trouble selling a property through traditional methods or simply can’t bear for another sale to fall through.

Avoid chains if you can

One of the most common reasons for property sales falling through is due to a break in the sales chain. A chain occurs when a sale is dependent on another transaction happening first. If possible, it is good to try to avoid property chains but if you cannot, make sure you are upfront and honest at all stages to reduce the likelihood of the chain breaking.

A property sale or purchase is a major transaction – perhaps the biggest that you will ever experience. Watching one fall through can be extremely disheartening, but there are steps you can take that will bring your sale closer to completion.


Buying Your First Home: Why Your Job Matters

Buying Your First Home: Why Your Job Matters

There’s a lot to grasp when you’re anticipating the purchase of your first home. And, in no time, you’ll surely find that it’s a lot harder than you might have hoped. Stumbling blocks will be placed in your way, and you’ll need to navigate them successfully. We could do an entire article on the potential pitfalls, but we’d be here all day. Instead, we’re going to focus on a chosen topic: employment.

Yes, your employment status and the details surrounding it are crucial when it comes to buying a home. We’re going to talk about why this is, and the factors that go into it.

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So, why is your job so important? It’s very simple. A mortgage lender will calculate your average income based on the amount of pay you have received over the last 24 months. If they don’t think that you’re going to be trustworthy, you’re not going to get approved. In general, you’ll be fine if nothing has changed over the past two years. However, if you’ve bounced between jobs or you’re anticipating changes in the near future, it might be a little harder.

That doesn’t mean that you’re out of luck, though. If you seek help with a private home loan, you’ll often find that lenders are willing to compromise. You’ll still need as much proof as possible about your current circumstances. They’ll require this information in order to provide you with a quote that works for both you and them. It’s important to be honest, no matter what.

But, what’s the best career choice for you at this time? Is it right to switch jobs now, or should you wait until your home buying aspirations are put into practice? It all depends on the type of work you’re doing, the salary you’re getting, and the hours you work. Importantly, it’s not always a good idea to switch between part-time jobs with varying hours. Ideally, the lender wants to see a steady pattern. If you’re moving from a 40-hour per week job to a 40-hour per week job in another company, it shouldn’t be as concerning.

Also, lenders ideally prefer a salaried job to that of a self-employed freelancer, for example. It’s always beneficial to have a steady income that rarely fluctuates. This shows that you’re trustworthy to repay on time without issues, so keep this in mind.

Ultimately, it isn’t always possible to meet the demands of a lender. That’s why honesty and compromise are important if you want to succeed, whether it’s through a bank or private means. Interest rates might go up if your risk is higher, and you need to carefully think the decision through. If you aren’t willing to abide by those requirements, make it known. It’s much better to back out now than find yourself in a devastating financial position later on.

If you’re in the market for a home, it’s important to remember how important your job is to the decision. Before you go making any rash decisions, keep in mind that stability is a valuable asset.

Image Credit – Pixabay


Thinking Of Selling Your Home? Here’s How To Get Your Home In Saleable Condition

Selling your home can be just as overwhelming and daunting as buying one. They do say that house purchases are one of the most stressful things you can do. Unless you are a first time buyer, your house buying process begins the minute you place a for sale sign outside your existing home. This is where you wait patiently, hoping that someone will love your place as much as you did. Once the sale is agreed, you enter the next stage of finding your next home, and the whole process from start to finish can take quite some time. A time where you may feel anxious, nervous, excitement and fear.

While it’s never easy to visualise how much your home will sell for. Or indeed, if the whole process will go smoothly, there are steps you can take to make things more simple. A lot of the buying and selling process is in your hands. You just need to have the initiative to take control of the situation. So I thought the best place to start would be right at the beginning. Getting your home in a saleable condition will ensure a quick and profitable sale, allowing you to move on to the next step. With that in mind, here are a few ways you can get your home ready for sale.

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Look at your home through buyer’s eyes

Your home has served it’s purpose for you. Whatever the reason for sale the house no longer works for you in size, location, or cost. However, what will have happened is you will have grown accustomed to your home. It will be lived in and be decorated to your tastes. Which is totally fine when you are living in it, but not necessarily your best move for selling it. Take a moment to walk through your home and imagine yourself in a buyer’s shoes. How would you feel when you entered a particular room? Does the house feel like a workable home? Does it show function and promise? These are all questions someone will be saying as they walk through your home. Check out websites like http://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-buying/top-tips-clever-questions-to-ask-the-estate-agent/ for a better insight. Doing this will indicate to you some of the work that needs to take place before you put it up for sale. It may be all cosmetic, or you may have to spend some time or money on getting it right. But it will all be worthwhile in the long run.

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Appoint an estate agent you have confidence in

When it comes to appointing an estate agent who will market your home, it’s important to feel confident in their ability. It would be best advised to see a few different agents so you can gauge reactions and see how you feel towards them. You want someone who is enthusiastic about your house, is confident in selling it. At the end of the day, they are the ones that will be speaking to your potential buyer directly. So are they likeable? Considering agents like TaylorEstateAgents.co.uk/forsaleoffice/st-albans/1341/ or other local ones would be a good idea. They will know your property and area inside out.

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De-clutter your home

As mentioned earlier when it comes to our houses they are pretty much lived in with our things and belongings. But when it comes to selling your home a great approach would be to try and minimise some of the chaos of daily life. This will mean decluttering the rooms and getting rid of things you don’t need. You could even consider packing some stuff up ready for the move and making the room feel much more functional. When a buyer enters your home, they want to be able to visualise their furniture and belongings in your house. It would be difficult to do that if they are distracted by newspapers or bills lying around.

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Consider redecorating

Most people will decorate their homes to their tastes. This might mean bright feature walls or crazy patterned wallpaper. It is after all your home. But sometimes those cosmetic things can put someone off if the colour or decor doesn’t match their tastes. While it may seem pointless to decorate your whole home, especially as you are leaving, it might be worth making some changes here and there. You could repaint some of the walls in the home to a more neutral colour. This will make your home appear clean, tidy and ready to move into. All things a potential buyer would want to see in their new house.

Most buyers will want something they don’t have to mess with straight away. Having gone through a particularly stressful process of buying a house many people just want to enjoy their new home. This could be a big plus point for you if you take that issue away. A neutral decor will always appeal to the masses. Opening up your home to more potential buyers than it would initially. The first look someone has of a potential house is the pictures they see online or in the brochure. If something doesn’t appeal to them from that picture, they may likely never go and view that property. So put your best foot forward from the start.

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Think about your home’s exterior look

Once someone has made an initial appointment to view your home their first physical impression of your house is the exterior. An unkempt front lawn, a messy driveway, a shabby door, can all be quite off putting. However, these are all easy fixes with just a little time and effort. Make sure your first impression is a lasting one. So tidy up your gardens and get those lawns cut and trimmed. Brush away any debris or fallen leaves from a driveway or path. By foxing a doorway and even making sure the windows and door panes are cleaned you are making your home look it’s best. It may not cost much more money, and it may cost a lot of time. But it could be the difference between a sale being made and not be doing.

Make any necessary repairs

Sometimes when we live in our house, general maintenance can get put to the bottom of the list. But when you are selling your home you won’t want to have any reason for a sale not to be made. So take care of those odd jobs and repairs. It might be as simple as fixing a fence or replacing something in your garden. It might mean plastering a wall or fixing a door frame in the home. Whatever that job is, just get it fixed. It can sometimes be the simplest of things that can let a house down when it comes to selling. Again it’s all about imagining what a buyer would see and making the changes to make it more appealing. All of these things may cost a little money for materials or labour for some of the big jobs, but in the long term, it could add more to the value of your home.

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Think about the rooms that sell a house

It’s common knowledge that a good kitchen and bathroom can sell a home. They tend to be the two major jobs that cost a considerable amount to replace or renew. While no one is expecting you to put a new kitchen or bathroom into a home you are selling, you could spend extra time making the best of them. A clean and concise kitchen showing storage and space will be appealing. As will a clean and tidy bathroom with no clutter on the sides. Take a look at this website http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-corbett/these-are-the-2-rooms-tha_b_5456275.html for a better idea.

If you want to make the big profit

Understandably you are moving for a reason. Whatever that reason may be. But you also want a decent return on your initial investment. If you have the time and some funds behind you, then there are a few things you can do to your home to make a bigger profit. If you have an outdated kitchen or bathroom could replace them, making them much more appealing. If you have the space to create any extra rooms in the house like a loft conversion, this could add quite a bit on to the resale value for the extra bedroom. If you have the time, you could consider adding a conservatory on to the house or extending further. All of which will add considerable value. The only downside is that some people would want to do those things yourself. So you may have to pick and choose what you do to make that extra profit. Money well spent will always be on the initial decor and functionality of a home.

I hope this guide will help you in the future when it comes to selling your home. It can be quite a daunting prospect, and it can get the emotions running high. But if you can take a clinical approach and plan the process then you should be able to get a quick and profitable sale. Allowing you to move forward with the next steps of the process.


7 Things to Improve Your Home Buying Experience

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In 2015, months after the military coup in Thailand, the country—or at least its property market—seems to be getting back on its feet. Despite the political unrest that rocked the nation, the price for single detached homes in the Thai property market surged by about 4.9 percent for the 4th quarter of 2014, the Global Property Guide reported. This came in the heels of an annual house price increase of 4.19 percent in the 3rd quarter. The figure was 4.81 percent in the 2nd quarter and about 5.71 percent in the 1st quarter.

Better Option than Its Neighbors

One of the reasons for the surging popularity of Thailand’s real estate seems to be rooted in the fact that Singapore and Hong Kong’s real estate are deterring buyers instead of encouraging them, FT says. Singapore’s higher stamp duty and the harder to fulfill down payment requirements in Hong Kong are doing their best to kill buyer interest. That makes the housing market in Thailand an affordable option.

Infrastructure Progress

Another reason for the rise in foreign investors is the much-improved local infrastructure. It’s mass transit routes make it easy to go around the capital. And with plans to build a railway that goes from China to Thailand and back, for a stretch of 8867 km, interest from these sectors aren’t going to go away any time soon.

Home Buying Tips

So if you’re in the market for property in Thailand, then here are a few tips to help make the search easier for you:

Know what you’re buying

What kind of home fits you need the most? If living in a building with all other tenants appeals to you, then getting a condo might be a good option. You can have access to the building’s facilities such as a pool for your morning swim or a gym for your workouts. If you don’t like the idea of condo living, you could go for a townhouse instead. This could offer you more ground as well as allows you to get away from that cramped and crowded feeling that some condo units tend to give.

Close to your work

It’s ideal to choose a location that’s near your workplace. That or look for dwelling places that’s just a stone’s throw away from major roads or highways as well as transportation hubs. Thailand is well known for its mass transit routes so getting a home that’s near one of these should be easy enough.

Use online listings

You could also use online listing portals. With sites like DDProperty, a detached house is simple enough to find. That way, you won’t have too much trouble commuting to and from work. If you spend too many hours traveling to and from work, you might need to move somewhere closer to consider renting.

Consider renting

If there aren’t good residential prospects right now, then don’t try to rush or force yourself to like a property. Unless it clicks with you, unless it gives you what you want and need, then put off spending on a house. Consider renting instead. It’s a good option for you while you wait out the market. If you’re under a deadline—your lease is ending and you need to move—don’t try to convince yourself that buying property is the better option for you. You might find yourself in too much of a rush that you might not give the thought the time it and clarity it needs.

Check out photos and information

Photos improve buyer reception. Shots that really present the house in the best light are all well and good. But know enough to look beyond the trappings of the photos posted on the listing site. Look past the staged furniture and lightning to the architectural details and bones of the space. Examine the home carefully, from its size to the location and type, before you decide if it’s the right one for you. That means seeing it face to face.

Pay a visit

There’s only one way to find out if it’s the right one for you. That means paying a visit to the property. Be on the lookout for any signs of infestations, any unpleasant smells or broken or damaged parts of the home. Leaky roof? Noted. Shaky footsteps in the back porch? Noted. Windows that won’t open or budge? Noted. Pay attention to these things. You’ll need the details when you ask for new stipulations or conditions to be added to the contract.

Hire a lawyer

Lawyers have great negotiating skills and that will come in handy for you if you want to renegotiate certain conditions or terms of the contract. With the help of someone who knows how the legal side works and how to make it work for you, you have a much better chance of getting the right home at the right price.


Secrets Of Real Estate: How To Sell Your Home

Come find out about just about all the ideas and techniques which the real estate moguls do not really want anyone to find out. This particular advice will certainly assist you to receive the best from your own real estate selling. Do not get suddenly lost in the quantity regarding your real estate selling. Continue to be on top of issues with all these excellent recommendations.

  1. If you are attempting to put up for sale your property, always keep personal things minimally noticeable. Possible purchasers who visit your property are wishing to visualize themselves residing there. Possessing private picture and souvenirs all over the place only assists to emphasize them that it is somebody property. You may bring out as well as with pride exhibit every little thing as soon as you are in your brand new house.images
  1. In order to assist you produce interest in your house, you ought to make certain your residence and backyard appear good coming from the street. It need to look well-kept as well as beautiful. This will certainly create curiosity from prospective home purchasers. Several purchasers believe that abandoned yards indicate that the inside of the house was neglected as well. You ought to mow the yard, repair the fence, plant flowers or no matter what else might have been overlooked. It will certainly be well definitely worth it.
  1. Regardless of whether you plan to sell your property or merely remortgage it, while having its value evaluated ought to be carried out very soon in the procedure. A good assessor’s valuation regarding your property will certainly determine exactly how it is handled by possible customers, real estate brokers as well as loan representatives. If you try to make your own estimate regarding the value of your own property before to a good professional appraises it, you are usually keeping track of your chickens very long ahead of they hatch.
  1. Any time you really are trying to put on the market real estate, one of the most essential aspects to take into account is definitely the timing. Imagine you have little ones, you might not want these to have to change schools halfway through, and this may possibly never be the very best moment to sell. If it is actually achievable to postpone till the school calendar year is over, this will certainly give you your most effective opportunity for effectively selling.
  1. Start the door to great technological solutions any time promoting real estate. One of the most recent strategies of promoting real estate is actually by means of setting up a low price FM transmitter. Just set it in place as a result that it performs fascinating details regarding your residence. Put a signal in your front backyard that points out exactly how they can easily tune in order to listen to a lot more.
  1. Any time figuring out the requesting cost for a home you are promoting, carry out all of the related investigation. You require to understand not just the marketed price of comparable properties in the identical area, however also the cost of other properties presently on the marketplace as well as exactly how long those properties currently have been waiting. This may provide you a much better concept of exactly how to value your property to market.
  1. Any time planning a property to market, take into account a few simple landscaping. Lush natural green garden and blooming garden plants can easily be place in at low price and will significantly add to the curb attractiveness of the property. The improved curb attractiveness of your residence may convert into much more curiosity and also a greater selling cost.
  1. One thing that the majority of sellers neglect are the light buttons. This might not really appear essential, but aged or unclean light buttons can send an unfavorable atmosphere. People normally look at light buttons, and most probably you’ll make use of them while displaying the residence. Therefore put out a small additional cash and change all the aged light switches in the residence and help to make them look great.

These suggestions will certainly help you find your residence out of the marketplace as fast as possible. If you stick to all these tips, your real estate sale will move quickly and a lot more efficiently. Implement these suggestions to your own real estate sale technique, therefore you can easily get the ball moving today.


7 Free Ways To Burglar Proof Your Home

Keeping your home safe from burglars doesn’t always require expensive products and time consuming tasks. The following 7 simple tips will help burglar proof your home and keep you, your family and your items safe from the hands of criminals without breaking your budget.

  1. Keep at least one light on
    Keeping one light on that can be seen from the outside gives the illusion that someone is home and awake, which can deter burglars from entering your home. Furthermore, consider using curtains or blinds to block the view inside your home. Burglars like to “case” the house to make sure the items in the home are worth the risk. If they don’t know what you have in your home, they are more than likely to move on to a more vulnerable house.
  2. Place a beware of dog sign in your yard even if you don’t have a pooch
    Most criminals would rather get in and out of homes without dealing with a protective dog. Simply placing one of these inexpensive signs in your yard can help keep burglars at bay.
  3. Refrain from leaving a spare house key outside
    Even if you think the key is well-hidden, most experience criminals know where to look for spare keys. They know all the tricks such as hiding the key under a mat or potted plant, and they even look for the fake rocks designed to hide keys in. Instead, ask a trusted neighbor or friend to keep a spare key at their house.
  4. Keep your yard tidy and neat
    Burglars often look for houses that are hidden by overgrown trees and bushes, which help hide their sneaky actions from the eyes of neighbors and passerbyers. Keeping your bushes no higher than 3 feet and tree limbs pruned to no lower than 6 feet will help deter burglars. For those without pets and small children, consider planting short yet thorny bushes around the foundation of your home for extra protection.
  5. Always lock doors and windows
    Many times robbers will strike when you forget to lock your doors and windows. This simple step is easy to overlook especially if you are just making a quick run to the grocery store or forget to shut a cracked window before bed. Even if you feel completely safe in your neighbor, you should still always lock all doors and windows. Criminals are looking for a quick, easy target where they can get in and out in a matter of minutes. Merely locking up every time you leave or go to bed can help prevent you from becoming a victim of theft.images
  6. Remove your name from your mailbox
    Some criminals will use the name on your mailbox to locate your phone number. From there, they will call your house to see whether you are home or not. Furthermore, avoid placing boxes for high-end items — such as expensive televisions or computers — outside for the garbage men to pick up. Experienced criminals look for signs like this, which inform them that you have recently purchased new and expensive items just waiting for the picking.
  7. Consider installing an alarm system
    Alarm systems provide complete protection against burglars and are available in a wide array of price ranges. Simple do-it-yourself alarm systems can be purchased at department stores and home improvement centers, while higher end systems with all the bells and whistles can be professionally installed by security companies.

Angel Pena writes for Home Security Concepts, a home security alarm company based in Florida.


Common Factors That Increase Property Taxes

last minute taxing filing tipsWhile homeowners can expect to pay property taxes each and every year, they don’t always notice how much they are paying. Unlike a sales tax, property taxes are very complicated and often differ from town to town. Each local government has its own set of codes and rates that determine how much the local taxpayers will pay, and homeowners have seen a gradual increase in the amount that they must pay each year. Despite the fact that property taxes are determined using the local tax rate and the property’s value, there are still several factors that can cause taxes to go up.

Increase in Benefits for Public Employees

Most government employees enjoy benefits that are 45 percent higher than those earned by employees in the public sector. Unions and other organizations are constantly working to increase the amount of wages, healthcare benefits and pensions that employees are entitled to receive, and the national government cannot provide all of these benefits in the current economy. This causes local governments to make up the difference by raising property taxes for homeowners in the region.

Budget Cuts

If the state or local government has implemented budget cuts, homeowners are often required to cover the loss by paying more in property taxes. Since these taxes are used to pay for public schools, hospitals, fire departments, libraries and other public services, property taxes often rise even when the economy is suffering.

Renovations

When property owners renovate their homes, it can cause their property tax rates to increase. Since renovations are improvements, they raise the value of the home, which then causes the homeowner’s property values to go up. A tax assessor may look through building permits to determine what renovations have been done, or he may walk through the home to evaluate the building’s condition. Homeowners will also pay more if they have added on to the home or have converted the garage into a living space.

Outdoor Enhancements

If a homeowner has recently added a patio, deck, shed or garden to the property, then he can expect to pay more in property taxes. Many local governments consider these to be improvements to the property, which increases the overall value of the home.

Location

The location of a home is a large factor in determining its worth. If the property is near a popular lake or close to the city, then it will be assessed at a higher value. New businesses, such as a golf course, may also increase the value, which will mean that homeowners will pay higher taxes.

Homeowners do not have much control over what they pay in property taxes, but they can make sure that they are actively involved in the public process. If you are interested in learning more about your property taxes, attend meetings and hearings about the local tax rate. When you vote for local government officials, be knowledgeable about their position on taxes. You should also carefully examine your tax statement to identify any enhancements or errors in the value of your property. If you think a mistake has been made, you can file for an appeal. This will help you make sure that you are paying the lowest possible taxes on your home despite increasing property tax rates.

Jayson works for Republic Property Tax in Houston, TX. He enjoys studying personal finance and loves advising people on how to save money on their property taxes.


How To Improve Home Energy Efficiency

It’s true to say that we are living in times of economic crisis. The current financial climate has resulted in the everyday person looking at ways to scrimp, save and cut costs in their day-to-day lives. Improving the energy efficiency of your household is a fantastic way to reduce your outgoings; best of all it can be achieved for next to nothing.

Ideally, once you have saved up enough money to leave the rain behind, you can escape to a hot sunny beach somewhere with a cocktail in your hand, but more importantly using less energy reduces your carbon footprint so that you can take pride in making a difference. So, here is your guide to the best ways to improve your household’s energy efficiency at various levels.

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Level 1-Ways of Staying Warm

One of the basic things to remember is do not leave your heating on constant. Leaving the heating on all day long is truly insane unless the country that you are in is experiencing Antarctic conditions. The heating is generally the most expensive bill for most households, so making any kind of difference will go a long way. Think about:

• Using thermostats – Use your household’s thermostats to your benefit. The majority of the time, all you need is the heating on for a couple of hours before you get up in the morning and a couple of hours for when you get home from work. From time to time you should check your meter to see how much you are saving. Adjust accordingly in winter and summer months.

• Wrapping up – If it is especially cold in your house, instead of hitting the ‘boost’ button on your heating, why not invest in a heated throw to wrap around you. Remember that hot water bottles or classic favourite and can also be your cheap friend on these occasions but there are some trendy gadgets you can buy that will do the trick, why not invest in USB foot warmers or go hi-tech with a Dyson Air Multiplier. The Dyson Air Multiplier is suitable for winter and summer as technology allows the air heat to change hot or cold, so with change of seasonal weather this fits in perfectly to the home.

Level 2- Preventing Draughts

Most of a household’s heat escapes through cracks in walls, windows and even through doors. Keeping the cold out whilst maintaining the heat is possible. Prevent draughts by investing in some heavy hanging curtains for your front and back doors. Also, be a detective in your own house by investigating where other draughts are coming from; keyhole covers and draught excluders are a good way to reduce the amount of cold weather coming in.

Level 3- Loft Insulation

One of the best ways to prevent heat from escaping is to invest in thick loft insulation. Remember, you can always top up your loft insulation if you are running low. Ideally, you want around 270mm of insulation covering your loft. In addition, know where the best places to insulate are, for example insulating between the joists will actually keep your house warmer.

Level 4- Double Glazing

Did you know that you can save around two hundred pounds a year by investing in double glazed windows when compared to single glazed? Generally a swift and pain free process, getting double glazed windows fitted in your property is one of the first things when making your household more energy efficient.

Level 5- Cut Down on Water

Saving energy isn’t all cutting down on heating bills; it’s your water bill too. Look at ways of reducing the amount of water you get through in your home. If you have young children look at sharing baths, or for adults there are shower gadgets you can buy to help try and reduce the level of water you use. Try and use your dishwasher and washing machine as little as possible by making sure it is completely full when you put it on and always turn it off from the mains, every little cost helps. Then do think about your boiler choice, there are eco-friendly boilers that will save you money. >/p>

Level 6- Alternative Energy Sources

If it is feasible for your household, why not look into going green with your energy? There are plenty of avenues you could go down, including solar, water and wind energy or even using an eco-stove to heat your house.

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Now that you have your guide, follow these top tips and you will be well on your way to saving a nice amount of money to put towards that beach holiday in Saint Tropez!

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Author: Many thanks to Jen Beswick and the Staunch and Flow Boiler repair team who created this article for you. We look forward to hearing if you have saved costs!


Moving to a New Apartment

Moving to a new apartment is always stressful. It’s best to just accept that the process is going to stress you out and do what you can to make the transition as smooth as possible. Here are some tips to help you with that:

1. Pare Down

Moving to a new propertyEven if you are moving to an apartment of comparable size to where you’re living now, it’s best to pare down your belongings. Go through everything. If it’s broken, toss it out. If you haven’t used it or even touched it in the last twelve months, get rid of it. If you own four of the same thing, keep the one that is in the best condition and get rid of the rest.

Paring down helps you save space in the new place. It also makes moving day a lot easier to deal with. The fewer things you have to pack up, move and unpack, the better for everybody’s stress level.

Hint: Sell the things you’re getting rid of in a yard sale to earn extra money to help finance your move. Donate whatever doesn’t sell (if you donate to a charity, the donation can be written off on your taxes).

2. Store Stuff Off Site

Renting local storage can help make the transition from one space to another much simpler. A storage space is a great place to put the things that you know you aren’t going to use every day but that you want to keep. Holiday decorations, luggage, off season clothing, files, etc—they can all be kept in a storage unit (preferably one with climate control).

Storage units also make it easier for you to move into a smaller (and therefore cheaper) space than you are currently occupying.

3. Get Your Utilities Set Up Ahead of Time

You want to give at least a week’s advance notice to your electric company and gas company that you will be moving in and will need the power to be turned on. You might need to give at least two weeks’ notice to your cable/internet provider.

Make sure you check with your apartment manager before you do this. The complex/building might have a specific provider that they require all residents to use.

4. Get a Post Office Box

One of the realities of apartment living is just how nomadic it can be. If you’ve got a short lease or are only living in an apartment while you hunt for a house, getting a Post Office Box can be a lifesaver. You can have your mail forwarded there and then, no matter where you live within that city; you can keep the same address. It saves quite a lot of hassle.

5. Pack for Weight Not Space

Remember that your boxes are going to be moved by humans—possibly you and a few friends. Make them easy to carry. You can always make extra trips. You cannot always get your arms or back replaced.

Moving is never fun. Even if you’re looking forward to the new space, the process of getting there is going to stress you out. Using these tips can help alleviate a little bit of that.


Understanding Home Insurance

Whether you are a homeowner or a tenant, taking out home insurance can give you peace of mind. However, with so many home insurance policies on the market, it’s important to make sure you understand what they cover, so that you can find a policy that will suit your needs.

Types of Home Insurance

UK home insurance policies fall into two main categories – buildings insurance and contents insurance.

home_insuranceBuildings insurance provides cover for structural damage to your property from fire, storms, vandalism, floods and other events. The circumstances in which your property is covered and the extent of the cover provided will depend on the terms of the policy you take out. If you’re taking out a mortgage, your provider will usually insist that you take out buildings insurance. Structural damage can also be expensive to repair, so taking out buildings insurance is a sensible move for almost all homeowners.

Contents insurance provides cover for the possessions you keep in your home if they get damaged in a fire or flood, for example, or if they are vandalised or stolen. As with buildings insurance, the amount of cover provided and the circumstances in which you can claim vary between different insurers and different policies. Some contents insurance policies also include cover for things like accidental damage to TVs and computers, or lost food in the event of freezer failure. Contents insurance is suitable for people renting a property, as well as for homeowners.

You can buy separate buildings insurance and contents insurance policies from a wide range of providers, but many insurers also offer combined buildings and contents insurance plans. This is another detail that a prospective buyer should look into.

Specialist home insurance policies

Some insurers provide specialist home insurance policies. These include policies specifically designed for people with homes that may be difficult to insure under the terms of standard policies, such as houses with thatched roofs and listed buildings.

How to choose a home insurance policy

It’s important to shop around when you are looking for home insurance packages available in the market and compare the benefits offered by different plans, as well as comparing the costs. Look for a policy that provides all the cover you think you could need, but don’t pay for extra benefits that you’re never going to use.

Once you’ve chosen the most suitable plan for your needs, you may be able to reduce the cost by a range of methods. You may be able to lower your premiums by taking out a voluntary excess, meaning that you agree to pay a set amount of the costs involved when you claim, or by increasing your home security.

When taking out home insurance, it’s also important to assess the value of your home and your possessions accurately – over-insuring your home will mean paying more than you need to, whilst under-insuring it could mean paying out more than you expected to in the event of anything happening to your property or possessions.


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