When should I plan my move?

When should I plan my move?

No matter what day, week or month you decide to make your move, relocating is a stressful experience for all those who are involved. If you’re currently in the midst of a transition into your very first home, you might feel lost, so in order to allow yourself the best possible transition, timing is a key factor to consider in your plans. In order to help you with your move, we’ve put together a few tips, to help ensure you experience as smooth a transition as possible into your very first home.

Time of The Day

Moving house can be a very time-enduring process, particularly if you’re moving a considerable distance. Therefore, when it comes to the best time of day for you to begin your move, the earlier the better. By moving at the crack of dawn, you allow yourself more time to complete your move, unpack and settle into your new home.

Mid-Week

The majority of people moving house tend to do so on weekends. Whilst weekends are more conveniently suited for your working hours, it also means that moving companies are at their busiest time of the week. Therefore, in order to allow yourself the most available resources with the most available amount of time, it’s advised to make your move between Monday – Thursday. This allows you to relax and not feel any pressure from outside influences.

Seasons

Moving house in the cold winter months may not appear to be the most appealing time of year. However, this also means that very few people decide to make their move during the colder seasons. Therefore, this allows you to have full focus of your moving companies to suit your needs and still be settled into your home for the New Year.

Holidays

Statistics show that it’s best not to move house around busy periods of the year, such as Christmas and New Years. Moving house around the holiday period is often more expensive and rushed. Due to the harsh weather conditions there is also a higher likelihood of damages. Therefore, in order to make your move more beneficial to you, you will find that it is best to move during late spring to early summer.

Children

Timing is not the only factor to consider when moving house. Moving is a stressful experience, perhaps even more so when children are involved. However, in order to move at the most convenient time to suit your children as well as yourself, early summer appears to be the best. With six weeks of school holidays, your children are given the time they need in order to settle into their new home and neighbourhood with little distractions or interruptions.

Read more
Invigorating spring and summer colour schemes for your home

Invigorating spring and summer colour schemes for your home

It’s your home, and everyone loves the personal touch that decorating brings to your room. This summer, it’s all about the style statement, so don’t whimper out and opt for bland colours, take one of these striking colour palates and incorporate it into your home.

Black and White

It might seem like a simple and classic combination, however done right, the black and white palette adds real depth to a room, especially when utilised with a modern and contemporary twist. From incorporating the style into the wall decoration with a striped design, to adding furniture and decorations that complement the style perfectly, you have a whole heap of options when it comes to this colour palette. Here are some of our favourite room additions with this colour scheme.

Black and White Chevron Rug – Urban Outfitters, £69.

Chevron Lampshade In Black – Not On The High Street, £30

Bossenden Wall Clock – House Of Fraser, £40

Coastal Cool

With the sun baking down, and the mild breeze providing a refreshing cool as it calmly blows over the garden and into your home, you can be forgiven for allowing your mind to wander with daydreams of a beached coastline, with radiant heat beaming down and the cool ocean waves whipping at your toes as you stroll over the perfect white sands. It sounds idyllic, but for most of us, the majority of our summer will be spent at home, so now is the perfect time to implement those elements of coastal cool into your house. It gives your rooms a light, breezy feel and with cool vibrant colours, it provides plenty of energy. Colours to incorporate are vast, but mainly focus on aquatic blues and greens, sandy yellows and natural browns.

MissPrint Home Dashes Cushion – John Lewis, £28

Wooden Frame Tealight Holder – Laura Ashley, £22

The Ascot Rug – The Rug Seller, £75-£359

European Clean

In the summer, there’s not colour that emphasises the warmth quite like a clean crisp white. We see it time and time again in the world of sashion, expecially in the summer. Be it in a light and airy linen shirt for a man, or a striking dress or jeans on a woman, white is a colour that really comes into its own in the warmer months. Although it might not be the most practical of solutions, the colour will provide a refreshing and fresh feel. Use white as a neutral backdrop, and then accessorize with statement complimentary pieces in your favourite colors, or create a monochromatic design by enveloping the room in an all-white palette. Mix and match with tones from the coastal cool selection, to add a real touch of summer to your rooms.

Knitted Pouffe – Etsy, £65

Baby Betty Vases – Brissi, £24

 

This article was provided exclusively to First Home News by Kate Hobbs, who has a passion for home interiors and trends.

Read more
The Pursuit of Happiness: Searching for the perfect first home.
,

The Pursuit of Happiness: Searching for the perfect first home.

House hunting is a tough game. House after house, viewing after viewing and offer after offer – it can easily become a mind numbing cycle.

As a first time buyer, the pursuit of your perfect home can be daunting. There are tonnes of ‘how to’s’ and ‘top tip’s’ flooding the internet, but not to worry, we can lead you through the maze!

The first thing that needs to be said is try not to get too bogged down on looks. ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’, ‘looks are deceiving’, ‘beauty is only skin deep’, we’ve all heard the sayings, but it’s true. Houses can be hiding secrets behind those perfectly painted walls; mould, damp… the list goes on. Falling in love with a home too soon can be a bad idea too; not only could the estate agent get a whiff and make you pay for it, but you could be setting yourself on the path for heartbreak. Ultimately, they do say location is everything. It’s always worth really grilling the estate agent to make sure you’re in the safe zone.

Speaking about the safe zone, have you really researched the area fully? Are crime rates low? A great website for this is crime-statistics.co.uk, it only takes a few moments to pop in the postcode and find out exactly what the surrounding areas are like. Asking neighbours or visiting at a different time of day is always a good idea to get a true feel for the area. Have you thought about what’s nearby? Trekking a mile for a pint of milk isn’t exactly ideal. Go for a look around to get a feel for the area, you might just find the perfect reason to stay!

So what if it’s a bit of a ‘fixer-upper’? No problem, just make sure don’t get yourself in too deep. If you’re a dab hand at DIY and have some cash left in your budget, turning that house into a home yourself is a great idea. But if you’re no good at this, a new build could be right up your street! This is where buying a newly built property can be a good idea.

So whether this is your first buy or not, just enjoy the hunt. It’s about the pursuit of a happy home after all.

Read more
Top tips to finding your perfect home
,

Top tips to finding your perfect home

Buying your first home is a hectic, but exciting time in your life. On one hand, there is nothing like finally taking that prized ownership of your own personal space. On the other hand, it is stressful because in many respects, as buying a home can leave you in a financially tight situation, and provide you with a lot of work. While it isn’t uncommon for homebuyers to make  negotiation errors during the process of buying a home, these mistakes are easily avoidable. If you’re on the hunt for your dream first home, here are out top mistakes that you should avoid.

 

Get it checked

One of the biggest and most serious mistakes that homebuyers can make during the buying process is to opt out of getting a professional to provide a thorough property inspection. When purchasing a home, you’re likely to allocate funds towards remodelling rooms and new furniture. However, without a pre-purchase home inspection, you could find yourself unaware of any number of  structural issues  or deficiencies in the home. You can avoid this issue by hiring a professional to conduct a pre-purchasing home inspection.

 

Pricing

Another common mistake that homebuyers make, especially when purchasing without an estate agent, is that they will easily overpay for a home. While not doing a pre-purchasing home inspection leads to overpaying, so does not reviewing the pricing of homes in the area. Therefore, to make sure you aren’t being overcharged, do some research and review the prices of homes in the area. It will give you an idea of range you should be paying in and give you negotiating power when talking with the seller.

 

Don’t get carried away

Don’t fall into the trap of growing too fond of a property before having a full research and view of properties. Try to stay relatively neutral throughout viewings,  whilst you want to make it clear you have an interest in the home, showing over exuberant enthusiasm for a property during a viewing or the negotiation process can spell trouble. Usually, the seller will notice your feelings and gain the upper hand, which will result in you paying more.

 

Why is it for sale?

One trap that many homebuyers fall into is to not question why the seller has put their home in the market. While in some cases, the seller wants to move elsewhere, it can also be the case that there are other issues. Therefore, in order to protect your investment and add to your negotiating power it is a smart move to ask why the seller has their home on the market.

 

Keep Your Options Open

Sometimes, home sellers notice when a homebuyer is desperate to buy a house. This scenario immediately increases the seller’s power, and reduces your negotiating chances. Also, you do not want to put all your hopes into one home. Thus, when searching through homes, it is best to keep your options open. Look through a number or properties and make a list of your favourites. This will help you keep calm when facing negotiations with a homebuyer and increase the chance that you’ll get the property that you want for a fair price.

Read more
Moving home the smart way

Moving home the smart way

You’ve found the perfect new property for you and your family and have taken the plunge and made your purchase, however don’t be fooled that the hardest part is over. While it’s definitely true that you have done a lot, the truth is that you still have a job on your hands, which often turns out to be one of the most stressful events involved in a move- the day of relocation itself.

We aren’t looking to put you off, but be prepared; there are a number of things that can go wrong if you haven’t made thorough plans. There are so many hidden dangers that could flare up over the coming weeks of your move, so with that in mind, here are some ways to get your move heading in the right direction.

Put everything down on paper

You may be impressively organized, and able to juggle copious amounts of information in your head; but don’t run the risk of forgetting something. When moving, you simply must put everything down on paper.

Make sure you’re scrupulously organised, as you’ll need to figure out details such as how much time you have, how many days you will need to move and when your new furniture is being delivered. You need to measure everything in your new place, checking what you can and cannot move.

Hire movers

Many people believe that hiring movers is a simple waste of money. How difficult can it be to move a fridge, a few chairs, a table and a sofa? When it comes to actually carrying out the moving process, you’ll find it incredibly hectic, and hiring removal assistance could prove to be a god send.

When you hire professional movers, you may be paying them but they’ll be doing a great service to and for you. Before you see those guys in action, you’ll have no idea how incredibly  efficient and quick they are. Of course, you’ll want to hire a reputable moving firm who boast a reasonable amount of experience, along with the highest quality packaging supplies.

Decorate before you move

One of the best things about the empty space that you’ll be moving into (unless you rented something that was already furnished) is that you can do pretty much everything you’d like in your new space. The smart thing to do is to decorate before you move in. There is nothing clumsier and less comfortable than decorating around the boxes that you have already brought in and odd pieces of furniture lying around our new place.

Decorating your new place when it is empty will also give you a much clearer picture of what you will be able to do with the choice of colours, the details and the new furnishings that you will most probably need and want to buy.

Above everything else, it is absolutely essential that you keep your cool and that you absorb all the problems that will inevitably crop up at some point. Make sure you don’t lose your head and remember that this is, after all, a positive and exciting time in your life.

If you’ve recently moved and can impart some top tips and handy knowledge on your fellow readers, we’d love for you to get in touch. Just drop us a comment below.

 

 

Photo Credit: CC image sourced via en.wikipedia.org

Read more
Sorting your council tax ahead of moving house
,

Sorting your council tax ahead of moving house

When moving home, as we’ve mentioned previously, you’ll have a lot on your plate, particularly when it comes to informing your local authorities and utility suppliers. However what many people struggle to understand is the way in which you’ll need to organise your council tax when moving.

If you’re well prepared, and plan plenty in advance, then the process of paying your existing council tax requirements and closing the account associated with your old home is a reasonably simple process.

Getting in touch

If you’re moving locally and your new home is within the same local constituency, then it might be as simple as switching your old address for your new one. If your new home isn’t located within the same district, setting up your new account simply requires you to make a quick and easy call to your new council and make sure they’re well aware of your new address.

Online

You can even notify them of your change of address online. All you need to do is search for your local authority’s website and find the change of address form in the section of the website that is focused on Residential matters. Obviously, it’s crucial to know that your old council will continue charging you until they’re notified that you’ve left the area. Avoid paying more council tax than you need to by informing them of your moving date ahead of time.

Timescale

This is the reason you don’t want to leave this task until the last minute, as it can take several weeks for your old council tax account to be closed. It depends entirely on the processing queue at your local council, however it makes sense to ‘get your house in order’ ahead of your move. Avoid paying any bills you receive for at least four weeks following your account closure to make sure you don’t overpay. If you’ve overpaid your council tax account, your local council can transfer the credit to the account for your new home. Alternatively, your balance can be refunded and used to pay the council tax at your new property.

What information do I need to provide?

It’s important to make sure you have all relevant details when carrying out this process. You’ll need to provide detailed information on your account and living situation in order to close your council tax account. In order to close your existing council tax account, you may need to provide the following information.

What will my new council tax be?

Council tax is divided into eight bands, from the cheapest A band, to the most expensive homes, which fall into the H band. Similarly to stamp duty, it all relates to the size of your home, so it’s worth bearing in mind that, should you move from a smaller premises to a larger dwelling, your council tax bill will probably increase.

Photo credit: CC image via Gary & Anna Sattler

Read more
5 ways to sell your home quickly
, ,

5 ways to sell your home quickly

Whether you’re selling a compact inner city apartment or a detached suburban home, you’re going to want to do it fast. While there is something to be said for real estate agents with glowing reputations and lighting fast turnover times, some of the most effective ways to slap a sold sign onto your home are up to you.

 

Let’s take a look at the top five ways that you can seal a deal, fast.

 

De-clutter and keep it neutral

It’s likely that you’ve built up a lot of household clutter and personal bits and pieces over the years. While you may consider this sentimental, you want to help potential buyers imagine themselves living in your home. This means it’s time to get rid of any personalised ornaments, photos, posters and other decorative trinkets.

 

If there are any large pieces of furniture you can live without, put them into storage as this will immediately make rooms seem bigger. Small areas such as the hallway are a great place to start while bathroom and bedroom surfaces should be cleared of all personal products. The kitchen should also be liberated of bulky appliances to make it seem as sleek and spacious as possible.

 

Consider a bathroom makeover

According to recent research from Remodelling Magazine, a bathroom renovation can add significant value to a house as well as slash the sale time. One of the best ways to give your bathroom a facelift is to upgrade the shower system. Electric showers are a fantastic choice as they are modern, practical and cost effective. For high quality at a great price, the Mira Advance ATL Flex is quite possibly the best electric shower by Mira.

 

A lick of fresh paint, replacement chrome fittings, new tiling or even re-grouting can also work wonders.

 

Analyse the market

If you want to be really smart about getting your home sold, take the time to analyse the local market and tailor your space accordingly. For example, if your area is popular with young couples, turn the second bedroom into a study. If families are more prevalent, advertise the spare room as a second bedroom or future nursery.

 

Enhance garden and curb appeal

If you’ve got a garden or even a communal outdoor courtyard or private balcony, spend a little time making it as appealing as possible. Things as simple as mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges, planting a few flower beds or pot plants and sweeping up leaves can instantly transform the entire feel of the outdoor space. This will make your home far more appealing to potential buyers who will immediately view the outdoor area as extra living space. Sprucing up your home’s curb appeal will also pave the way for positive first impressions that can have a huge impact on the rest of the viewing.

 

Get the Word Out

Once you’ve prepared your home for viewing, it’s time to get the word out there! Your estate agent should have their own marketing techniques in place however you can help the process along by putting up flyers and posters as well as creating a buzz on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. You never know who could be in the market for a new home!

 

If you’re looking to move out and are searching for the perfect next place to move your family, check out the range of homes on offer from Keepmoat. If you’re after something small, and perfect as a newcomer to the property ladder, their range of first time homes are perfect options for you to consider. If you’ve simply outgrown your current place, and want something bigger, then why not look into grabbing one of Keepmoat’s brand new homes.

 

Have you recently made the move into a new Keepmoat home? If you have, and needed to sell your old place before taking on the exciting new move, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop us a comment below and inform your fellow readers of any helpful hints and tips you learned along the way…

Photo Credit: liquidnight via Compfight cc

Read more
Avoiding mistakes as a new home owner
, ,

Avoiding mistakes as a new home owner

First-time homebuyers may not have the burden of a house to sell in difficult times, but they can still make a lot of mistakes during the buying process.

Leaving Financial Planning for Later

There are a lot of online calculators and tools to help you determine how much you can truly afford before you start the buying process. Here’s a great mortgage calculator by The Nest. However, when you start getting serious about buying a home, you need to know exactly how much you can put into a house and hopefully, get pre-approved for a mortgage.

DIY Home Buying

With all the classified listings out there, along with websites like Craigslist and apps like Zillow, you may start looking at homes ages before you ever contact an agent. But wait, do you even need an agent? Can’t you just figure this out on your own? Well, maybe, but buying a home is an incredibly complicated process, and it helps to have a real estate agent to coach you through the ins and outs of financing, scheduling inspections and making an offer.

Falling in Love Too Soon

Many first-time buyers become enamored with one particular property and suddenly it seems like they’ve just got to have it. But, this is a bad idea where home buying is concerned. Not only can falling in love with a home make a difference with the real estate agent — they’ll make you pay for it — but you can be setting yourself up for heartbreak if it isn’t in your budget or another buyer makes a better offer.

Renovating Too Soon

Even if you don’t let yourself fall in love before you can afford it, you may come into the home with a very specific work-in-progress vision for your home. Maybe you want to remodel the kitchen right away to make it the airy, open-plan cooking space you’ve always dreamed of. Maybe you want to add a conservatory or tack on an orangery.

The increase in value to the home will practically make these renovations pay for themselves, right? Well, it may not have the effect you were hoping for. In this unpredictable market, you never know if making upgrades will reap the rewards you’ve been hoping for or be a thousand pound mistake in the making.

Forgetting That There’s More Than the Mortgage Payment

First-time homebuyers may know what they’re getting into as far as the monthly mortgage payment is concerned, but there is so much more to homeownership than your mortgage. Suddenly, you’ve got additional taxes, home insurance, higher utility bills and maintenance to contend with. These things can overwhelm those used to renting.

Be sure to estimate the cost of living, as well as the mortgage payment before you close on the deal. There are a lot of ins and outs to buying your first house and you’ll always run into things you didn’t expect or plan for. Fortunately, if you avoid making these five common mistakes, you are well on your way to finding the home of your dreams at a price you can afford.

Photo Credit: MarkMoz12 via Compfight cc

Read more
7 DIY mistakes to avoid when renovating your home

7 DIY mistakes to avoid when renovating your home

For first time home buyers, money can be tight, meaning that it’s often the case DIY is a necessity, as opposed to calling in the expert. As touch as it might seem, DIY work can be exciting, rejuvenating and satisfying. It unearths and builds your capability and creativity, offers a sense of fulfilment and perhaps most importantly, it saves money as you typically bypass specialists.

However, if you are planning to take on a DIY and renovate your home, you need to take several factors into consideration. Renovating your home demands discipline, dedication and a definite approach which is sure to test your creative, mental and physical stamina. DIY isn’t always easy and without the right preparations, things can go awry.  To make sure your DIY project goes smoothly, check out our insights into the DIY mistakes to avoid.

1. Planning

This will include scheduling of tasks, budgeting, measuring and calculating various sections, tools and raw materials required, and the time it will take to finish individual chores as well the entire project. If you skip any of these, the chances are you will either abandon the renovation midway through or simply hand over the rest of the work to a professional. Either way it will result in loss of money, time and lead to a real sense of dissatisfaction.

2. Using inappropriate tools and opting for shortcuts

This point fits in well with the above point on planning, as you should do an initial check to make sure you have all the required tools to complete the job to a high level. Using a hammer and a hand held bit to drill a hole will most probably chip the surrounding area and won’t offer a solid grip. If you find yourself in this situation, the best option is to use an electric drill, an appropriate bit and a right size anchor. Whether it is painting, carpentry or masonry work that you’re undertaking, using the wrong tools will result in a poor finish, may take you extra time to finish the chore and will definitely put your work and home at risk of damage.

3. Cheap materials

Cheap materials can seriously hamper the quality of your work. Compromising on the number of steel/wood girders, or using alternate materials for erecting a structure can jeopardize the end result of your labours. Cheap materials don’t last long and it may cost you more to replace them with a more expensive product at a later date. It therefore makes sense to employ the best available resources. The same rule applies to flooring, furniture and paint work.

4. Leave specialist tasks to a professional

DIY doesn’t mean you have to screw every piece of furniture, wire every switch or paint each wall yourself. There will be jobs and errands that fall outside of your area of capability, and in that case, you need to pass it on to the specialists. When considering jobs, be honest with yourself and truly weigh up if you’re capable of completing the task.

5. Going overboard

Keep a check on your financial resources after each task is completed. This will allow you keep a leash on how much you’re spending. It’s all well and good planning a DIY job to save cash, but if you don’t keep to a budget, you can easily exceed the amount you’d pay a professional.

6. Avoid customization

Design and renovate your home in such a way that it won’t go out of fashion as the seasonal styles alter and change. This is easy enough to do, and simply means staying away from customized items. Choose fittings and colours which are evergreen and do not require special attention.

7. Stay sensible

Undertaking DIY work can be exciting, however don’t get ahead of yourself and begin to get carried away. Make sure you don’t tear down the entire house in your excitement to get started. Carry out work section by section, as this will help you shift and store items easily, have somewhere to retreat to every night after a hard day of work in another part of the house, and mean you aren’t living indefinitely in a building site. It also means once a particular job is completed you can take a breather before initiating the next round of renovation. This will ensure sure you don’t feel stressed and aren’t left in a constant state of juggling tasks and jobs.

Bernard Naylor is a Passionate Blogger and Writer. He likes blogging about Home & Garden, Health & Fitness, Online strategies that are related to SEO, Content, PPC & Lead generation.

PhotoCredit: CC courtesy of

Read more
5 mistakes to avoid when buying a new home

5 mistakes to avoid when buying a new home

Buying a home can be both exciting and stressful. On one hand, there is nothing like achieving ownership of your own personal space. It is the area that you will create dozens of memories and maybe even build or grow your family. On the other hand, it is stressful because in many respects, buying a home can leave you in an unpromising financial situation. However, this does not need to be the case. While most homebuyers make serious negotiation errors during the process of buying a home, these mistakes can be avoided. Below you’ll find the top 6 mistakes that you should avoid. This way, you can be sure that you are getting the best deal for your dollar.

 

Pre-Purchasing Home Inspection

One of the biggest and most serious mistakes that homebuyers make before signing on the dotted line is opting out of getting a professional to do a thorough home inspection. Naturally, when purchasing a home, homebuyers will also allocate funds towards remodelling rooms and new furniture. However, without a pre-purchasing home inspection, the new homeowner ends up finding that there are dozens of structural issues with the home. You can avoid this issue by hiring a professional to conduct a pre-purchasing home inspection.

 

Pricing

Another common mistake that homebuyers make, especially when purchasing without a real estate agent, is that they will easily overpay for a home. While not doing a pre-purchasing home inspection leads to overpaying, so does not reviewing the pricing of homes in the area. Therefore, to make sure you aren’t being overcharged, do some research and review the prices of homes in the area. It will give you an idea of range you should be paying in and give you negotiating power when talking with the seller.

 

Feelings

For some people, masking their feelings can be especially difficult. However, keep in mind that it is crucial that you remain neutral when viewing a home. Showing enthusiasm and love for a home during a viewing or through the negotiation process can spell trouble. Usually, the seller will notice your feelings and gain the upper hand, which will result in you paying more.

 

Seller Motivation

One trap that many homebuyers fall into is to not question why the seller has put their home in the market. While in some cases, the seller wants to move elsewhere, it can also be the case that there are other issues. Therefore, in order to protect your investment and add to your negotiating power it is a smart move to ask why the seller has their home on the market.

 

Keep Your Options Open

Sometimes, home sellers notice when a homebuyer is desperate to buy a house. This scenario immediately increases the seller’s power, and reduces your negotiating chances. Also, you do not want to put all your hopes into one home. Thus, when searching through homes, it is best to keep your options open. Look through a number or properties and make a list of your favourites. This will help you keep calm when facing negotiations with a homebuyer and increase the chance that you’ll get the property that you want for a fair price.

 

Author Bio

Brad Porteus is the Managing Director of BSP Construction Consultants, investment property inspection specialists in Perth, Western Australia.

Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc

Read more
© Copyright 2013 Keepmoat