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Finding new places to live and create human-friendly environments is a constant subject of search in the last years. Most specialist find in Mars the most fitted place to create these environments and studies have intensified lately.

For example, to study the forms of life that adapted to the type of environment found on Mars, astrobiologist Armando Azua-Bustos went to the most Martian place on Earth – the Atacama Desert in Chile. Here’s what he found:

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Photo source: ThisOldHouse http://bit.ly/2dgveSH

We already gave you a few tips on how to make this autumn more special for your home. However, some early preparations for the winter can also be done this time of the year.

We searched for a useful guide on how to make your house safer for the cold season and we came across this article on This Old House:

Button Up Your House For Fall

There are six essential tasks that you can complete in the fall:

1. Weatherproof Windows and Doors

2. Check Your Gutters

3. Find and Fix Cracked Concrete

4. Clean Cooling Devices

5. Check for Holes in The Attic

6. Check Your Insulation

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Photo source: Property Reporter http://bit.ly/2wICfB5

Taken individually, these moves we hear about on the property market seem to be weird and with no rational basis: ‘biggest fall since…’, ‘highest raise’, etc. But if you judged them in the context of the market as a whole they make perfect sense.

For example, home buyers have been increasingly attracted by discounted luxury property. They now count for 45% of all purchases in prime central London. As an effect, the number of investors in buy to let (BTL) has seen a significant decrease, falling by 1/3.

Since luxury homes are the main target for the demand, the natural outcome is that the number of flat sales to fall easily. And this is exactly what has happened since the beginning of this year: flat sales went down 11% and prices have increased by 2.6%.

If you want to understand all the effects and, more important, the causes of the effects happening on the property market in the UK read the full analysis on Property Reporter:

Who is buying up Central London?

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Photo source: Goldie Cleaning http://bit.ly/2wGJdpW

Changing seasons always comes with some extra jobs when it comes to cleaning the house. Most people think of a all-around-the-house cleaning session when the weather changes… and it is not exactly wrong.

Taking good care of your house, though, implies cleaning it constantly. Even with the weekly cleaning routine, there are still corners or things inside the house that might need more attention. Even more, there are a lot of tricks when it comes to easy cleaning.

For example, mirrors are more shiny when cleaned with a black tea infusion. Lemon works perfectly on water stains on fixtures.

You will find more helpful advice in the following video from HouseHold Hackers:

7 Genius Cleaning Tricks For Your Bathroom

In addition to these every-day cleaning tips, there are some ‘can’t believe it until I try it’ tricks that we came across.

What are your magic tricks when it comes to cleaning? Share some with us!

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Photo source: Wikimedia http://bit.ly/1MRE303

The Hotel Ryugyong is a hotel like no other. Located in Pyongyang, North Korea, the building has a prominent feature. It can be seen from afar due the towering height of 1,080 ft structure and is shaped like a pyramid, and is the tallest building in North Korea.

 

Work was due to be complete by 1989. Had this been achieved, the hotel would have been the tallest hotel in the world at that time. The Hotel Ryugyong was surpassed in height in 2009, by the Rose Tower in Dubai.

In total, there are 105 storeys, with the top eight intending to rotate. The building was originally intended to house five revolving restaurants and either 3,000 or 7,665 guest rooms, depending who you talk to.

Built as a “mixed-use” development, the building was meant to house a hotel, apartments and business facilities.

 

It was hoped that the building would attract foreign investors to the sum of $230 million.

The hotel was scheduled to open in June 1989, but building methods and building materials delayed completion. Had the building opened on time, then it would have been the seventh tallest building in the world.

 

In 1992, work again halted the project due to the economic crisis in North Korea.

Japanese newspapers estimated the cost of construction a massive £750 million. In the late 1990’s, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Korea concluded that the structure was irreparable, and questions were raised about the buildings concrete and the alignment of the lift shafts, which some sources claimed were “crooked”.

 

In 2008, a Korean government official told the Los Angeles Times that Korea halted work on the project due to a lack of money.

 

In April 2008, work again resumed. In March 2013, plans to open the hotel were suspended.

In 2017 the building lies empty. There are no fixtures and fittings in the building and the only signs of life are the Korean conscripts working on the site.

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Photo source: Property Division http://bit.ly/2xLzYtA

How many of you wanted to choose a house with a beautiful concrete floor but thought of the high level of maintenance needed for this type of flooring? However, taking good care of a concrete floor should not be harder to do in a normal house than with any other type of flooring.

You should first get advice for cleaning and ‘pampering’ your flooring from the contractors. After cleaning, a polish and a sealer should be used in most cases. Small problems like cracks should be deal with carefully – and immediately, making sure they do not extend.

We came across a helpful article on Property Division upon maintaining decorative floors which we recommend.

How to Maintain Decorative Concrete Floors

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You wish you had more space in your apartment or house, but, unfortunately, space is limited. Luckily, ideas to maximize it are not!

You might not know it now, but there are hidden spaces and corners of your house that can be fully used for storing extra stuff. Here are some ways to find those places, or even create them from scratch.

  1. The storage bed. You can hide anything unused of not used very frequently under the bed, or

    Photo source: This Old House http://bit.ly/2f3sJSG

    you can make some extra shelves right on the exterior of the bed.

  2. Use storage containers. These are usually specially designed for types of things, so make sure you buy adequate boxes for the items you are going to hide away in them.
  3. Benches. In the garden, or even inside the house – maybe in the hallway, wood benches can have depositing spaces under the seat.
  4. Build-up. Stack things up vertically. Extra storage space can be found on top of cabinets or wardrobes. Just make sure you do not deposit anything too heavy above your head, and if you use boxes it can actually look very neat.
  5. Drawers inside the walls. Cabinets with drawers for example can be placed inside walls (as long as it is not a resistance wall of the house).

Share with us your examples of maximizing space inside your home or find more ideas in the following articles:

37 Easy Ways to Add Storage to Every Room

How to Create More Storage Space

 

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Photo source: Pinterest http://bit.ly/2y6rvNP

Keeping up with the trends this September! Shaded Spruce is the color of the month!

Inspired from a forest of conifers, this shade surely matches some corner of your house, if not an entire room!

If you choose it for as highlighting wall shade keep in mind to use contrasting and warm light shades for the furniture you place on it. It matches white windows or light beige armchairs.

If you only plan to use it as an accentuating color for a room already painted, you can go for Shaded Spruce accessories like pillows for the couch or blankets.

More ideas on how to use the September color in your house in the following links:

Color of the Month, September 2017: Shaded Spruce

Pinterest: Pantone Shaded Spruce

Concepts and Colorways: Shaded Spruce

 

 

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Photo source: Fixflo http://bit.ly/2fon22j

Section 21 notices can get tricky for those who do not know all the laws and amendments.

You have to know:

  • when a Section 21 Notice can be served
  • when a Section 21 Notice becomes invalid
  • the paperwork you need to provide
  • when the courts might become involved

Fixflo created this useful fact-sheet for those searching to have a clearer image of section 21 and it can be downloaded from their website.

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Photo source: Wikipedia http://bit.ly/2ws9LeN

The Tower of London dates back as far as 1066, although the White Tower was not built by William The Conqueror until 1078. The Tower was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted by the ruling elite. The castle was used as a prison from 1100 until 1952, which was to hold the last prisoners, The Kray’s. Although a prison was not the primary purpose.

 

Early in the Towers history, it served as a grand palace as a royal residence. The Tower is made up of a complex design of two centric rings, a ring, within a ring of defensive walls and a moat. There have been several expansion phases, under Kings Richard The Lionheart, Henry III, and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries.

 

The Tower has played many roles from an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, The Royal Mint, a public record office and the home of the Crown Jewels of England.

 

In the late 15th century, the castle was the prison of the Princes in the Tower.

Many figures were held within the great walls such as Elizabeth I before she became queen and Sir Walter. Only seven people were executed within the tower before the world wars of the 20th century. Executions were more commonly held on Tower Hill, with 112 occurring there over a 400 years period. In the first and second world wars, the Tower was again used as a prison and witnessed the executions of 12 men for espionage.

 

Anne Boleyn was beheaded in 1536 for treason against Henry VIII. Her ghost is said to haunt the chapel of St Peter and Vincula, where she is buried and it is said that she walks around the White Tower carrying her head under her arm.

 

In 1999, evidence that lions were held at the Tower became evident when cages were uncovered. One caged measured 6.5ft x 10ft. Very small for a lion that can grow to 8ft in length. In 2008, the skulls of two male Barbary lions, now extinct, from Northwest Africa were found in the moat area of the tower. Radiocarbon tests dated them from 1280-1385 and 1420-1480.

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