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12 Mar 2019

Big House Buying Blunders You Need To Avoid


Buying a new home is quite an exciting process, especially when it’s your first time. Between choosing a great area and looking through beautiful properties, it’s easy to get caught up in the fun and thrill of home-ownership. However, this task is also one that can be very confusing, so much so, in fact, that many home buyers make mistakes that cost them time and money. For a less stressful experience, here are six blunders you should avoid when buying a house

Big House Buying Blunders You Need To Avoid


Buying Rather Than Renting


As frustrating as it can be to write rent checks every month knowing you’ll receive no physical asset in return, you shouldn’t rush into purchasing a property. Owning a house is more expensive and permanent than renting. For this reason, you should consider your circumstances carefully before making a decision. If you plan to move any time soon, then buying may not be for you.

Choosing The Wrong Loan


Before you can start looking for properties, you need to know exactly what you can afford. This means getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Rather than apply for the first one you see, you should compare many different home loans and choose the best one for you. Make sure that your financial situation stays the same or your loan application could be denied when it counts. 

Going Beyond Your Budget


When you know what your budget is, you need to stick to it. Don’t even look at more expensive properties or you could find yourself falling in love with a home that you just can’t afford. Buying a house like this could derail your future finances and harm your credit score. It’s human nature to want more and more, but you can’t let yourself get tempted by unrealistic properties. 

Not Researching The Location



The location of a property is just as important as the house itself. After all, you’re not going to spend the rest of your life trapped within the four walls of your new home. Because of this, you should take the time to research the neighbourhood and get to know a few of your potential new neighbours. This can give you an idea of whether or not this is somewhere you want to live.

Big House Buying Blunders You Need To Avoid

Letting Yourself Become Desperate


House hunting is a process that can go on for months or even years. In this time, you could face any number of setbacks and issues, which can cause major frustration and eventually desperation. This may drive you to buy a house that you don’t really want, just to get the process over with. Instead of doing this, you should give yourself a short break to recharge. 

Hunting Without An Agent


With online listings so easily accessible these days, it’s no wonder that many home buyers pass up the help of a professional. However, a real estate agent can offer a lot of help and support, saving you unnecessary stress, as well as time and money. This help is usually also free, as sellers pay their fees, so there’s no real reason not to have an agent by your side. 

As exciting as it can be, buying a house can be a complicated process. To avoid making it any harder, steer clear of the mistakes listed above. 


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4 Mar 2019

Moving House? Here Is A Handy Checklist For You!


If you want your house move to go smoothly, you are likely to need a checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything important. There is nothing worse than figuring out that you still pay your bills at your old house, or you forgot to report the water meter reading, as well as the electricity and gas balance. If you are currently busy moving or planning to sell your house and get your hands on your dream home, you need to have a detailed plan and timeline so you can avoid last minute surprises. Check out the below list of how to cover everything and make your house moving smoother.


Boxes and Labels


The first thing you will need to get you going is boxes and labels. You want to be able to find your kitchen essentials and your important paperwork at ease, without having to search every single box. Get your boxes and labels ordered online and make sure they arrive on time, so you can start packing as soon as you get the good news from your estate agent. Set a target every night for how many boxes you want to complete so you can keep the deadline

Declutter


You don’t want to take a lot of unwanted and unused stuff with you, so as soon as you know when you are moving, sort out a skip or budget bin hire and get rid of anything that you no longer want or need. You won’t be using valuable space in the removal lorry and it is one less load of things to pack and unpack.

Ready to Eat Food


Unless you want to live on takeaways for a week, you will need to get some food that requires no preparation. Get some easy to prepare meals or leave your microwave out and get some frozen dishes. However, for the day of moving, you will need a lot of drinks and sandwiches, as well as biscuits and chocolate to keep you and your family members going.

Reliable Removal Company



You need to find a removal company that will not let you down. Ask your friends and your estate agent for recommendations, to make sure you are not left hanging when everything is ready to go. Search review sites to make sure the company has a good feedback score, and they are not known for dropping valuable items or breaking windows while moving large items. Most importantly, you need to make sure that they have adequate insurance, and they are registered with local authorities.


Closing Household Accounts


It is easy to forget about closing your electricity, internet, and TV accounts, and this means that you will be billed months after you move. Most importantly, if your buyers move in and they want to open a new gas and electricity account, they cannot do it, as there is already a provider at the address. Make their life and yours easier by taking care of the bills and asking for a final statement from all your providers.

Getting Copies of Keys or Changing the Locks


Once you have moved into your new home and got your key, you need to start organizing your life. Make a copy for each family member, including the kids, in case they have to come home from school when you are not in. If you want to be extremely thorough, you might change the locks, to make sure that nobody unauthorized can get in the house. The previous owner might have lost their keys before, and you don’t want people just walking in.


Notifying Insurance Companies


When you move house, you will need to know your home insurance provider straight away. However, if you have car insurance, as well as health and life insurance, where you live and store your car will make a difference. If you fail to notify insurance companies about your move, any future claim might be invalid. 

School Registration


If you have kids, it is important that as soon as you bought your house, you register your kids at the best local school possible. You will need to show your address, therefore, have your mortgage documents handy. Arrange a meeting with schools and check out their OFSTED rating online. Make sure that the school is close enough for your kids to walk to, or on the way for you to work.

Redirecting Your Post


The most important thing about moving into a new house is making sure you get all your official documents and letters, and you do not want to have to go back and forth between your old and new home. Your buyers would possibly not appreciate looking after your post and holding it for you until you turn up, and you may miss important information and appointments.

Leaving Your New Address with Neighbours


Many people have forgotten this step before. When moving house, you might be too busy to say goodbye and leave your new address. It is possible that one of your friends will turn up looking for you, or you have a late delivery that is not yet redirected. No matter what the problem is, leaving your new address with a neighbour can solve it.


There are so many things to take care of when moving house. You need to get your accounts and bills in order, sign up for a redirection service, and put the kids in the best local schools. Plan ahead and make sure you give yourself plenty of time to complete each step of the move. Try to get help from relatives and friends, if you have kids and want them to have a great time without seeing you stressed out. Find the right removal service, and you can start planning your life in your new home without any surprises. 





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3 Mar 2019

Bling Blunders: 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Wearing Jewellery


5 Mistakes To Avoid When Wearing Jewellery

Jewellery is the ultimate accessory for making your outfit stand out. However, use it inappropriately and you could stand out for all the wrong reasons. Here are just five common mistakes to avoid when wearing jewellery.


Wearing more than one statement piece


It’s best not to wear too many blingy or wild items of jewellery at once. In fact, you're best sticking to one statement piece and keeping everything else minimal. People won’t know where to look first if you're wearing lots of blingy items together – it can reduce the visual impact of each item of jewellery and will make you come across gaudy and tacky. Statement pieces tend to be chunkier or more colourful. The rest of your jewellery meanwhile should follow a theme.


Choosing the wrong shaped earrings


Depending on the shape of your face, certain earring shapes can help to frame your face in the right way. If you’ve got a very round face, drop earrings and long earring pendants can help to elongate it – anything too round could emphasise the roundness of your face. Meanwhile, if you feel you have a very square or angular face, rounder shapes such as hoop earrings can help to soften it.

Choosing metals that don’t suit your skin tone


Certain metals go better with certain skin tones. For instance, if you’ve got cooler skin, you could find that metals like rose gold and copper don’t look right – to help bring out the coolness of your complexion you could be better off using white metals such as white gold, platinum, and silver. Similarly, those with warmer skin tones suit rose gold and copper better.

Ignoring metal allergies


Some people have allergies to certain metals. This can cause unsightly rashes and - in the case of piercings - sometimes infections. On top of doing nothing for your looks, this allergic reaction can be incredibly itchy. As a result, you should try to stick to metals that don’t react with your skin. For instance, if nickel belly bars are causing reactions you could be better off switching to titanium belly bars. Some metals are hypoallergenic which means that they are suitable for all skin allergies.

Not thinking practically



Practicality is very important when choosing jewellery to wear. In the workplace, certain jewellery could be a health and safety hazard - a dangling necklace could get caught in machinery whilst a ring could contain bacteria that could contaminate food in a kitchen. Other jewellery may simply be annoying or distracting such as jangly bangles if you spend most of your day typing on a keyboard. Such jewellery is also worth considering when doing household chores or any other manual labour task.



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20 Feb 2019

Ta-ra, UK! Where Should You Live?


Is the grass really greener elsewhere? For the millions of Brits who have chosen to leave the UK to build a life in a foreign country, it makes no doubt that the grass is indeed greener and the sun warmer abroad. The reasons to embrace the lifestyle of an expat are varied and complex. However, more and more Brits mention the political and economic situation of the country as a reason for leaving. Some of them found themselves on a gap year and unexpectedly fell in love with a foreign culture. Others choose to take a chance and seize a new professional opportunity on the other side of the planet. Some, finally, need a change of horizon after a traumatic event, and what better way of doing it than moving abroad? 

Whatever the reason behind your decision to wave goodbye to the UK and move home, there are many, many, many places you could explore. If you’re unsure where to go next, here are some of the favourite locations for British expats. 


woman moving abroad
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I Want Sunshine, Beaches, and Chill


Australia is the top destinations for expats. While the language is often mentioned as a reason, it would be unfair to reduce Australia to its language. Most people consider relocating to the sunny island, falling in love with the warm winter temperatures rarely get below 7 degrees in the southern part of Australia. The natural relaxed and accepting attitude is also a positive improvement for anyone who wants a fresh start in life. However, Australia is far away. Organising travel to see your family and friends throughout the year can be challenging. Additionally, you'll need professional removalists to help you reach the Australia coast safely with your belongings. Also, the Australian system works on a point list based on your documents. Consequently, important documents such as ID, birth certificate, etc. should be packed separately in your carry-on bag!


No, I Love EU too Much


The Brexit referendum has driven a Brexodus movement from the UK to Ireland. Indeed, the Good Friday Agreement ensures that any British citizen and Irish citizen are free to move, work and live in Ireland and in the UK. Consequently, the move towards Ireland is not motivated by a desired to leave the UK. But instead, it is a way for Britons to remain in the EU. Aside from moving abroad, the applications for Irish passports have increased dramatically too. Ireland is advantageous as it combines both a high quality of life and an affordable lifestyle. Dublin is a favourite destination for young and dynamic Millennials. 

Where should you live? San Franciso
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Ready to Seize the American Dream?

Last, but not least, the United States has not lost its popularity. For Britons moving abroad, the decision is based on career opportunities. In a country where everything is bigger, many hope to make their money there too. San Francisco is an attractive spot for professionals who seek financial security and high income. You tend to move to San Francisco to take up a position in Silicon Valley. 

Moving abroad is never an easy decision. However, it’s an exciting adventure that can transform your life for the better. If you’re worried about facing the obstacles of your expat life alone, try to aim for popular destinations such as Australia, Ireland and the USA where you can meet other expats for support. 





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29 Jan 2019

Taking The Long-Term Approach To Cutting Home Costs


Taking The Long-Term Approach To Cutting Home Costs


Any household can benefit from cutting costs, but cost-cutting is often the most profound when taken with a long-term mindset. Long-term savings can sometimes be implemented in such a way that allows you to both save money while noticing little deficiency in your quality of life at that property. In fact, with some wise planning, it may even increase it. Cost-cutting is not good cost-cutting if it impedes with your general flow of life, is an absolute chore to implement, or means you have to go without the essentials.

It’s also not imperative to cut costs only if you’re struggling for money. Even properties that are more than affordable to run for you can benefit from this mindset, because sometimes, with the right investments, you may enjoy a much smaller impact on the environment, or can teach you to stay within your means in terms of your consuming life. While every household is different, and all properties have their needs, sometimes cutting home costs can allow you to live more intelligently, and you will be able to come to a custom solution for you and those you trust.

With the following advice, you’re sure to experience this:

Water Tanks


If you have any form of land whatsoever, management of said land requires long-form solutions, both for convenience and the pressing needs of modern legislation. If you run a smallholding, need to hydrate the land, or perhaps wish to water your crops effectively, poly water tanks can sometimes be the absolute best option in these circumstances. With a little care and purposeful placement, a solution like this, especially one that’s self-cleaning, could potentially save you plenty of money in the long-term.

Solar


Solar is essential to consider because now it’s becoming more and more cost-effective to invest in. If you have any form of roofing real estate, perhaps even more than one building on your property, you could potentially cut much of your energy bill here. While this may require a larger investment than you could originally expect, taking the long-term approach could mean you save enough money each year to warrant that. After a number of years, the installation will have paid for itself, and as most panels have a lifespan of at least twenty years depending on the weather in your location, you may benefit for some time to come. Inspecting the space you have free and calculating the installation vs. funding saved could potentially be a good exercise as the Spring starts to roll in, bringing with it the promise of more sun.

Repairs


It’s quite a shame how in the modern day, consumer culture has led us to throw things out only to replace them time and time again. Less than fifty years ago, the common norm was to repair, reuse, and only replace when necessary. This was helped along by how most products were often built to last. We could see that in the cars that they had, the thick television stands made of wood, and the prime leather used in shoes. Taking this mindset and applying it to what you can potentially help you take advantage of the reparative mindset. A little shoe-working or sole repair here could completely eviscerate the need to purchase a pair once more, saving you a decent investment for the weekend. A little patch on a pair of jeans could give them a little more character, and cover up a hole created through the rough-and-tumble play of your children.

Reusing items is nothing new, but some households do not engage in it whatsoever. If this sounds like your household there’s no need to be ashamed of that, provided you at least understand the opportunities afforded to you if you were willing to try.

Hand-Me-Downs


'Hand-me-downs' has become something of an unhappy term. For some reason, we think it denotes frugality to the max when it needn’t be there, or a lack of care in purchasing things for a younger child. Of course, if sending your child to school in beaten school trousers with only a few holes sewn, you might interpret it that way. But sometimes, a perfectly good school bag or lunch box is a perfectly good school bag or lunch box. It all depends on the quality and build of the item, how faded or damaged it might be, or how you might be able to restore it to look brand new.

The same could go for items in your house. Sure you might have inherited a rather beaten-up looking sofa from your grandparent, but five hours in an upholstery workshop might bring it back to life, on top of the sentimental value you might gain from its use. Hand-me-downs can sometimes be atrocious and a replacement must be considered before anything else, but sometimes, with a little care and the right observant mindset, you can save plenty of costs you would have otherwise spent on a wasted item.

Wholesale


If you aren’t a member of a wholesale retailer, it can be very inexpensive to do so. Investing in large freezer spaces, two if you have room for them, can help you purchase all of your canned and frozen goods for months and simply bring them to your home to enjoy. This not only saves you a massive amount of money in the long-term but can truly help your home remain filled with all the essentials, perfect for if an ice blast freezes the roads and prevents you from going shopping during a particular week. Wholesale clubs are forever selling promotions or giving out coupons for foods you might not have tried yet. Some people feel that wholesale clubs do little to actually provide good quality food, but this isn’t the case. Try looking for those that have been butcher-accredited.

Support Small Businesses


Developing great relationships with your grocer and butcher can help you save plenty of money, and gain a higher quality product. People often think this is too good to be true, and to those, we suggest heading around your local town and seeing just what local businesses might be the most beautiful for you to interface with. You never know just what treats you could uncover. Sure, the inconvenience of visiting multiple stores can feel like a hassle, as can grouping all your vegetables yourself or pointing to the meats you want for wrapping, but not only are those comfortable social exchanges that make the shopping trip much more enjoyable, but you’ll be supporting your local community well.

In the long-term, making relationships like this can benefit you to no small extent. You’ll often find your butcher offering you beautiful cuts that might have a few days left for very cheap, giving you a beautiful stew that evening for next to nothing. This is the kind of collaborative and friendly understanding that grows between people in a community, and not only is it thoroughly nourishing, but can help you save plenty of money.

Grow Your Own


It’s quite amazing to see just how growing your own vegetable garden can sustain you and your family with vegetables for a good few weeks or even months. It can be profoundly worthwhile to see just how many free eggs you may get from a few chickens in your backyard, provided they have ample space to wander. If you take on even more smallholding animals to provide them a nice life but ultimately to slaughter, it’s amazing to see just how much meat you will receive and be able to freeze. With the association of a good butcher, you could potentially be eating fantastic, wholesome, farm-to-table foods you have had the good nature to provide for yourself. Of course, none of these methods are completely free of cost, but they are absolutely wonderful in just how cost-effective they can be compared to purchasing your meat from the butcher or the dreaded supermarket. 

Of course, these developments can also prove to be a wonderful hobby in their own right, helping you assign yourself to small-holding or small farm living, one of the most natural, rustic, and profoundly nourishing things you could decide to do.

Cut The Subscriptions


Households are now falling victim to subscription overload, depending on how many services they use. As businesses seek to lessen the apparent investment of their services in order to gain more customer supporters, we might find ourselves signing up for too many free trials with a billing notice at the end, or perhaps we may find ourselves connected to way too much variety. There’s no way you can fully experience a full premium ebook subscription, a Netflix or Amazon subscription, a cable subscription, the top internet plan, a range of insurances for your devices just to name a few. Choosing what you’d most like out of the myriads can help the entertainment you enjoy become more focused and personal, but also saves you plenty of outgoing funding a month you can spend on the things that truly matter.


With these tips, taking the long-term approach to cutting home costs will surely be worthwhile.







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