, , , , ,

Five top tips on how to update your living room

 

After years of enduring magnolia and off-white walls in your rented properties, you may find yourself overwhelmed with choice whilst deciding how to update your new living room.  It may seem like a daunting task, but we have compiled some simple yet effective tips that can help:

Discover new lighting
table lamp ikea

Different types of lighting can have a huge impact on the mood of the room.  Light that is too harsh and bright could make the room feel clinical and cold, whereas softer lighting will create a warm and inviting atmosphere perfect for cosy nights in.  A well lit room can be achieved easily by using lower watt bulbs, installing a dimmer, or strategically placing lamps to benefit the levels of light your room receives throughout the day.

You can find a wide range of affordable yet stylish lamps perfect for any modern living room in high street retailers such as Next, or John Lewis.

Paint in wonderful white

Choosing whitwhite walls e paint to redecorate with may not seem like a drastic change to your living room, but this classic look will never go out of style.   To  avoid a sterile feel to the room, make sure you use different textures in your room to give it a more homely feel, such as cushions or t  throws.

You could also choose a colour pallet to accent your room with, making future changes to the room more practical to deal with over the years.

 Writing on the wall

Personalising your living space has never been easier with a range of decorative wall quotes, words and letters to choose from.  Add words and  images to your wall using artistic vinyl graphics, or frame an inspirational or humorous quote to hang as a centre piece.  Online retailers such as Not  on the High Street or Etsy have some fabulous designs which can instantly transform your surroundings.

Change the dynamics

Change the dynamics of your room by moving around your furniture to create more space and making the most of the changing light conditions throughout the year.  You can also do this by changing the position of your radiator or removing a door to create more options whilst deciding where to place your furniture.

Go green plant

Add a splash of colour to your living room whilst also improving your mind and health, by introducing house plants and flowers.  This will create a fresh and natural feel to your room, instantly changing the atmosphere and bringing life to your home.

 

 

 

 

Image Credits: FlickrIkea

Read more
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
An easy breakdown of the home buying process
,

An easy breakdown of the home buying process

The house buying process can be a complicated and hugely time consuming process. If you’re juggling it with your full time jobs and family commitments, it’s not hard to see why people begin to feel the stress. Whilst we can’t lighten the workload for you, we can give you a helping hand when it comes to understanding the whole process. If the strain of starting the home moving process is starting to feel like a burden, here is our simplification of the home buying process.

Get prepared

House buying is a big life decision, so it’s important that you don’t head into the process without doing a reasonable amount of research. Getting an understanding and background knowledge will be a big aid, and make the process of home buying much more straight forward. As with most things, having a greater understanding will allow you to make a more informed decision further down the line.

Find your mortgage

A crucial factor when buying a home is to ensure you get a mortgage that is well suited to your financial situation. Again, this will involve copious amounts of research and homework. If you’re unsure what types of mortgage are out there, it’s worth looking into, and getting the facts straight in your head before going out into the market.

Place your offer

Once you’ve got your mortgage lined up, viewed homes and are now ready to proceed, it’s time to put in an offer on what you want to be your new home. If you’re a first time buyer, you’ll have less constraints, as you won’t have an existing home up for sale slowing you down. Usually, you’ll put your offer in through your estate agent, as they will help your deal go through as smoothly as possible.

Source your solicitor

Now for the legal aspects, you’ll need to get yourself sorted with a solicitor, in order to handle the paperwork surrounding your impending move. It’s important that the finer details of your move are scrutinised ahead of signing your papers, so having a trusted solicitor on your side is an important addition.

Get it surveyed

Another crucial step is to ensure that you arrange for a survey of your new property to be carried out, to make sure that your new home has been thoroughly checked over and is valued at the price you’re paying. There are a number of different surveys and reports which can be carried out, from the cheaper condition report to the most comprehensive option of a structural survey.

Exchange contracts

Once your solicitor and surveyor are happy, it’s time to sign the contract and move ahead with the purchase. It’s at this point you’ll have to start the expenditure, as you’ll usually have to lay down 10% of the total price as a deposit. It’s important to know that once you put down the deposit, you’re committed to the sale, meaning that if circumstances change any you need to pull out of the deal, you’ll likely lose your deposit.

Finalise it

Upon completion, the property finally becomes yours. It’s time for you to get your keys and the deed to your first home. The completion of your purchase means you’ll now have bills to pay; the 90% of your home which you’re yet to pay for is transferred from your mortgage lender to your legal representative, and then on to the seller’s representative.

Read more
The home buying process explained
,

The home buying process explained

If you’re looking to purchase your first home, it’s a daunting time. The home buying process can be complicated, so heading into it with no prior knowledge is scary. In order to relieve the worry, we’re here to provide a definite guide to the process, perfect for those taking the plunge for the first time.

Prepare yourself

Buying your first home is a huge life decision, so it’s important that you don’t head into the process without having done plenty of research for yourself. Getting yourself that background knowledge will really help, and make the process of home buying much more straight forward. As with most things, having a greater understanding will allow you to make a more informed decision further down the line.

Get the right mortgage

One of the most important factors when buying a home is to ensure you get a mortgage that suits your financial and living situation. Again, this will involve copious amounts of research and homework. If you’re unsure what types of mortgage are out there, it’s worth looking into, and getting the facts straight in your head before going out into the market.

Make your offer

Once you’ve got your mortgage lined up, viewed homes and are now ready to proceed, it’s time to put in an offer on what you want to be your new home. If you’re a first time buyer, you’ll have less constraints, as you won’t have an existing home up for sale slowing you down. Usually, you’ll put your offer in through your estate agent, as they will help your deal go through as smoothly as possible

Sort your paperwork

Next up, you’ll need to get your solicitor to handle the paperwork surrounding your impending move. It’s important that the finer details of your move are scrutinised ahead of signing your papers, so having a trusted solicitor on your side is an important addition.

Carry out a survey

Another crucial step is to ensure that you arrange for a survey of your new property to be carried out, to make sure that your new home has been thoroughly checked over and is valued at the price you’re paying. There are a number of different surveys and reports which can be carried out, from the cheaper condition report to the most comprehensive option of a structural survey.

Exchange contracts

Once your solicitor and surveyor are happy, it’s time to sign the contract and move ahead with the purchase. It’s at this point you’ll have to start the expenditure, as you’ll usually have to lay down 10% of the total price as a deposit. It’s important to know that once you put down the deposit, you’re committed to the sale, meaning that if circumstances change any you need to pull out of the deal, you’ll likely lose your deposit.

Complete the deal

Upon completion, the property finally becomes yours. It’s time for you to get your keys and the deed to your first home. The completion of your purchase means you’ll now have bills to pay; the 90% of your home which you’re yet to pay for is transferred from your mortgage lender to your legal representative, and then on to the seller’s representative.

Read more
Key contacts for an impending home move
,

Key contacts for an impending home move

The home moving period is a hectic and busy time, and for many, there will be things which are forgotten or cast aside in the hectic preceding months. In this article, we will examine the key contacts required when moving home, looking into contacting utility suppliers, phone and broadband suppliers, and even local government establishments.

Services
Prior to your move, it’s important to make sure that all your service providers are informed that you’ll no longer be living at your current address. You don’t want to continue being billed for services you’re no longer utilising after having moved, so make sure companies such as your gas, electricity and water providers are all informed of your impending move. Also, your telephone, broadband and satellite TV provider may be able to transfer your information to your new home, given a reasonable amount of notice. If you have a satellite provider, such as Sky, make sure you take all your equipment to your new home (with the exception of your satellite dish) to make sure your programmes and channels move with you.

Finance
Financial security is something which plays an important role throughout life, so at a time of mass upheaval in your life, it’s important to ensure your finances are well in hand.  Everyone has worries about financial security, so it is hugely important that all your bank and credit card companies are kept in the loop regarding your move. The last thing you want upon arriving at your new address is for key information and correspondence falling into the wrong hands. To make sure that all information sensitive post reaches you, the Post Office offer an easy to set up service for the redirection of all mail addressed to your old residence.

Also falling under the finance category, insurance companies will all require to know your change of address. Home insurance is crucial and will need to be transferred to your new address, so be sure to get in touch with your providers in plenty of time.

Authorities
It’s important to contact all authorities, such as the DVLA, who need to be informed of your move for any issues that may crop up concerning your driving licence. Other possible authorities you’ll need to get in touch with could be HM Revenue and Customs, the local authorities

Healthcare
Moving house also means a change in where you go for your healthcare. Your dentist and doctor will need to be contacted, and then once you settle in to your new home, you’ll need to find your new local doctors and dentist. Make sure you don’t forget, because the last thing you need the next time you fall ill is to have no local GP to visit.

Do you have some top tips for informing key contacts of your recent move? If so, drop your top pieces of advice into the comments section below.

 

CC image used courtesy of Lauren.

Read more
Top considerations when moving to a new area
,

Top considerations when moving to a new area

Buying your first house is a big deal, and if you’re planning on relocating to a completely different neighbourhood, you’ll have a lot to think about. Here are five of the major issues you should consider before you commit to buying in a particular location.

 

1) Crime

If not right at the top of your checklist, crime rates should at least feature very high up on it. After all, you don’t want to end up living in fear and feeling vulnerable because of local miscreants. There are various ways in which you can find out about criminal activity. For example, you can visit websites such as www.police.uk or www.ukcrimestats.com. These resources will provide you with a general impression of crime rates and they can help you to compare different areas.

Often, it makes sense to work alongside the leading housing organisations when searching out a new area. It’s often the case that the national home organisations strive to provide homes in good, livable areas.  If you’re searching for a deterrent, or would rather have peace of mind within a property, then firms such as Big Brother Systems offer a range of CCTV solutions and should have versions that meet all of your requirements.

 

2) Transport

It’s also important to consider transport. For example, how well served is the area by buses and trains and how accessible are major roads and the motorway network? Meanwhile, if you will be commuting to and from work on a regular basis, check your route online to see how long the trip will take you.

 

3) Amenities

Local amenities are another important aspect when considering the area of your new home. If you don’t want to travel miles to reach good shops, bars, parks, medical facilities and so on, you’ll need to make sure you select an area that’s well served by these resources. A simple search on Google Maps should give you an idea, but it’s worth visiting the amenities yourself to see if they’re up to scratch.

 

4) Schools

Even if you don’t have kids or your children are past school age, it’s a good idea to research local education facilities. After all, properties that fall within the catchment areas of schools with good reputations tend to be in much higher demand, raising their value. If you ever want to sell your home in the future, this could be a big help.

 

5) Development projects

It’s worth researching any ongoing or planned development projects within neighbourhoods too. Depending on the nature of these schemes, they have the potential to significantly raise or lower property values in the surrounding area. You should be able to get this information from the relevant local council.

 

By examining these five issues before you commit to buying a property in a particular location, you can help ensure you will make the right choice, and you can avoid some potentially nasty surprises further down the line. Have you recently moved into your great new home? What areas were top of your list when it came to finding your perfect home area.

This article was kindly contributed by Laura Cavanagh.

CC image sourced from commons.wikimedia.org

Read more
Redirecting mail from your old home
,

Redirecting mail from your old home

Moving house can be a hectic time, but receiving your mail at a new address can be sorted easily. With a bit of forward thinking and a few early enquires, redirecting your mail to a new address can be one of the easiest tasks of your big move.

First Home

If you’re a first time buyer on the verge of making the move to your first home, ensuring your mail eventually gets delivered to your new address is important, however isn’t an urgent matter. If you are moving into your first home, it’s highly likely that your previous home will be somewhere with your family. The fact you have someone trustworthy still inhabiting your previous address means it isn’t a disaster if old post continues to be delivered to your old home, as it can be forwarded on manually or collected for times you visit. If this is the case, we’d still advise you contact relevant institutions and inform them of your address change, but you probably don’t need to set up an auto forward with the post office.

Set up a redirect

If you previously owned a home and, as part of your move, have now sold it on, then you’ll need to set up a redirect for your mail. For a permanent move, the Royal Mail offers a number of approaches. Be prepared, and ensure you make your application at least three weeks before your expected moving date -leave it any later and you may be post-less for your first few days at the new address. Next up, you need to complete your application, which can be done either online, by mail or at your local Post Office. The application is simple and can be downloaded from the Royal Mail.  Once you have the application sorted and sent, you’re all set. Any mail addressed for your old home will arrive at your old local office, and then be re-routed first class to your new address – meaning you won’t miss out on any exciting bills that you just couldn’t do without!

If you aren’t satisfied that all your mail is being sent to your new address at the end of your redirection agreement, just extend the process for as long as you need for up to two years, it’s that simple.  Starting at just £21 for the shortest term redirection, the service is not only easy to sort but reasonably priced too, giving you the ultimate peace of mind that you’re getting all your mail.

 

Image used under CC licence courtesy of EDDIE

 

Make sure you plan ahead

Forward planning is crucial with any home move, as you’ll need to get in touch with a number of services and institutions and inform them of your address change. Get in touch with the likes of your bank, the DVLA and your telephone/internet suppliers prior to your move and ensure all future correspondence from them heads to your new address. Getting sorted with these early means you’ll then have chance to set up the Royal Mail redirect mentioned above, for any lingering mail that heads to your old home.

With the madness that can surround moving house, this redirection process should give you one less thing to worry about. Remember that you need to get started early when planning to move house, otherwise your move will quickly become a horror show.

If you’ve recently made the transition into a new home and have any tips and advice for your fellow readers, we’d love to hear them. Make sure you leave a comment below!

Read more
© Copyright 2013 Keepmoat