Lifestyle

Planning to move to London? Relocating is hard, and London is not the easiest city to adapt to.

Photo source: https://bit.ly/2wRqHAy

Getting yourself mentally prepared is the first step and we found a good article about things to consider before moving to London on Property Division. We dived them into ‘pluses’ vs. ‘minuses’ so you can do the math:

– higher rents

+ more available jobs and different types of careers to choose from

+/ – housemates (it’s a + or a – considering the type of person you are)

+ meeting interesting people

– high costs for transportation

– pricey pubs

+ lots of new things to see

+++ everything’s open late!

Things Northerners Should Consider When Relocating to London

Now what do you choose? Being a tourist or a Londoner?

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Unlike most other student based cities London is the exception in the fact that students are not locked into their contracts early. Take the University of Southampton for example, Southampton being the student-dominated city it is; the search for a property for the next academic year starts in November and most of the good properties go by February. This forces students and Fresher’s especially, to seek a property and housemates right as the start of the academic year, whilst Fresher’s are establishing who their friends are. Also, it forces students to pay full summer rent although they are not in the property during the break due to the high demand for properties.  But London being the bustling city it is this problem doesn’t occur.

Below are our 5 top tips for students at London universities seeking tenancies.

Photo source: https://bit.ly/2wxRiTd

  1. Do not rush to enquire.

Our policy, like most other agencies, is not to advertise properties until a month before the current tenancy is about to end. If you want to move in September, start enquiring in August. This ensures you do not waste your own time or the time of the agency. It also ensures that you aren’t made to pay rent over the summer unnecessarily if you are not staying in London during the holidays; this will save you untold amounts of money.

 

  1. Know your requirements.

How long do you want the property for? When are you looking to move? What is your preferred location? What is your maximum budget per calendar month? Are you willing to share facilities with other tenants? Make sure you know your requirements before you enquire so that the agent is best able to help you.

 

  1. Know what the agency requires.

For full time students, except those completing a PHD, agency and landlords require you to have a guarantor. A guarantor is someone, often a family member or loved one, who is willing to agree to pay your rent if you default payment and your rent becomes in arrears. Your guarantor can be international, though some countries are harder to reference.

 

  1. Be prompt with your referencing.

Referencing students for the property is a little more complicated as we have to verify your guarantor too. Make sure you promptly fill out your referencing forms, send over all necessary documentation and that of your Guarantors, especially if you have a holiday planned just before you move-in.

 

  1. What to know when you move-in. 

 

An inventory check-in is often mandatory on the day of your move-in. You are required to attend and the inventory clerk will go through and note any damages to the property left by the previous tenant, this is for your benefit so you are not unfairly charged at the end of your tenancy. We would advise you to take your own pictures as evidence and store this one a backed up memory drive.

 

Your Deposit. All landlords and estate agents are legally required to register your deposits 30 days after receiving it. Make sure you are provided with evidence of its registration. If your landlord fails to register your deposit he may be liable to pay you 3 times the deposit amount and is prohibited to issuing a section 21, an eviction notice.

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7 Feng Shui steps to a harmonious home

Getting started with feng shui for your house and home can be easy when you start with the house basics and gradually move on to the more complex feng shui levels. To help you get started with good feng shui in your home, here are some helpful feng shui house steps for beginners.

Clear your clutter for good Feng Shui

Get rid of everything you do not love in your house. Clutter clearing is a time-and-energy-consuming process that will feel like therapy, but it will help you “lighten up the load,” so to speak. Do not skip this step, as it is an essential one in creating harmonious house feng shui energy.

 

Get good quality air and light

These two elements are essential for good feng shui energy (called Chi) in your home. Open the windows often, introduce feng shui air-purifying plants or use an air purifier. Allow as much natural light as possible into your home and consider using full-spectrum lights.

 

Define your energy map

Define the Bagua, or the feng shui energy map of your house, by using one of the two main feng shui methods: the classical school Bagua or the BTB grid. Once you define the Bagua, you will know which areas of your home are connected to specific areas of your life. For example, in traditional feng shui, the Southeast feng shui area of your home is connected to the flow of money energy in your life.

 

Get the basics of 5 Feng Shui elements

Get the basics of five feng shui elements in order to create balance and vibrant energy in all areas of your home. For example, if you are working on attracting more prosperity, you will introduce the feng shui elements of Wood and Water in the Southeast area of your house. If you need to improve your health, you will place lush plants representing the Wood feng shui element or pieces of wood furniture in the East area of your home.

 

Always be mindful of the quality of energy in your home

Always be mindful of the energy in your home and how its energy influences your well-being. Make a habit of paying close attention to the so-called feng shui “trinity” that is deeply connected to your health: your bedroom, your bathroom, and your kitchen. Nothing is static in the world of energy, so be wise and keep your home healthy and happy.

 

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The Government is set to take a closer look to the regulations concerning carbon monoxide alarms.

Main topics to be reviewed are:

-> if the alarms should be mandatory for all types of heating installations (including gas and oil).

-> if the installation rates for these alarms are raised by the cost of the alarm itself.

The campaign to review the regulations for carbon monoxide alarms was launched by Eddie Hughes MP and was agreed by Housing Minister Dominic Raab.

Reviewing the regulations will start from the number of carbon monoxide poisonings because, as Dominic Raab said:

“Carbon monoxide can be a silent killer and my top priority is to ensure people remain safe and protected in their own homes.”

Main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Dull headache.
  • Weakness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Confusion.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Loss of consciousness.

There are around 8 million alarms for carbon monoxide all across the UK, many being installed after 2010 when they became mandatory for appliances based on solid fuel. Moreover, in 2015 private rented sector landlords have been obliged to install these alarms wherever they offer accommodation that has a solid fuel installation.

Source: Press release

Government to launch review into carbon monoxide alarms

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Animal lovers change habits on the lettings market. Since this is a growing characteristic of tenants that choose long-term solutions, landlords are starting to be more flexible.

Latest study suggest that ‘Lets with Pets are the Homes of the Future’, how Property Reporter puts it.

And it’s easy to see why people are more considerate and loving towards animals. Any animal lover/ owner knows the first-hand benefit of pets: lowering the stress level. Dogs, cats, or fish – name your animal friend, have the power to make us feel more relaxed after work. Knowing we’ll find them at home when we arrive, practically makes the home more welcoming.

If your landlord doesn’t want to be as flexible as the new-age landlords you have two solutions:

  1. Choose one that allows pets.
  2. Try to make him change his mind.

You can start with the argument above, and find more inspiration to be persuasive in the following article:

How to Convince Your Landlord to Allow Pets

Are you an animal owner? How did you convince your landlords to rent their houses?

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Spring is a good moment for renewal. Your home might need an entire new look, maybe a bit of modernizing. Before you start to make a seriously out-of-your-budget renovation plan, we advise you to start with the details.

Classy and modern are concepts that start with the little things. For example, windows. You might have not known what are the trends for windows this year.

Photo source: Builder Online https://bit.ly/2BEIaLA

We searched for inspiration and we really liked these top 7 window trends for 2018 in this article on Builder Online:

  • Black hues. Because nothing says ‘minimalism’ better that a clean white-black combo.
  • Clean lines.
  • Squares over arches. Unless you’re living in a castle.
  • Expansive glass. More light and outdoor inside your living space improves the quality of the time spent inside.
  • Pass-through windows.
  • Energy efficient windows.
  • High-end woods.

We agree with high-end woods even more since we found this DIY trick to make your windows look high-end. It doesn’t seem too much of a hustle and is guaranteed to make your windows be trendy this year.

How To Fake Expensive Windows

This trick will give your windows a high-end look, without the huge price tag!

Posted by DIY with Hometalk on Monday, 23 April 2018

The basic rule for 2018’s windows is simple: the more light… the lighter! Sorry… the modern-er. 🙂

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Renting will cut your monthly income by a almost a quarter. Taking that into consideration, it is only natural to choose wisely when it comes to places to rent. However, a recent study found that there are some common interests between London renters.

Major concerns and interests for renters:

-> saving money: discounts and offers that help saving money daily.

-> the rising cost of living.

-> saving money on transport costs.

Despite all the eagerness to save money, 74% of renters questioned would pay a higher rent if this means saving money on daily necessities (groceries, household bills, and transport).

For more insights, read the entire article on Property Reporter.

Where do you find yourself? A big spender or a cautious cost planner?

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Photo source: Flickr https://bit.ly/2HaW8uD

What is remortgaging?

Remortgaging is the act of moving your loan from one lender to another or negotiating a new rate with your existing lender. You might be able to find a cheaper deal elsewhere, letting you save a bit more each month and pay it off faster. Or you could extend the length of your mortgage, allowing you to pay less each month (but taking longer to pay off completely and paying more interest over the length of your mortgage).

So if you’re looking to pay off other debts*, shorten the length of your mortgage or simply reduce how much you’re paying, you may want to consider remortgaging your home.

The process of remortgaging is fairly simple, but figuring out whether it’s the right financial decision isn’t. We do recommend speaking to a financial adviser further before making a final decision.

Why you may consider remortgaging:

  • The value of your property has increased (significantly) since you took out your mortgage, putting you in a lower ‘loan-to-value’ band that opens you up to lower rates.
  • Your existing lender won’t allow you to pay more towards your mortgage, even when you can afford it.
  • Your existing deal is coming to an end and your lender will place you on an SVR (standard variable rate).
  • The Bank of England rate is going to increase, as this can affect your mortgage.

Why you may consider staying with your current lender:

  • You’ve suffered credit issues or failed to pay debts (since starting your mortgage).
  • If an early repayment charge payable on an existing product exceeds the cost of any savings that could be made by remortgaging.
  • You’ve only got a small amount left to pay; switching lenders so late on in the process means you may not save that much.
  • Your work situation has changed; perhaps you’re now self-employed or no longer working. This could affect a lender’s decision either way.

What to do when deciding to remortgage

Do your research

Comparison sites are handy for finding current deals, but they don’t always explain in certain terms what’s right for you and your particular circumstances. If you are unsure, we suggest consulting with a mortgage adviser who can make the process as easy as possible and find the right rate for you.

THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.

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Photo source: Tradesmenjobs.co.uk https://bit.ly/2EPWf8T

Whether you’re planning a whole new refurbishment or just simply looking to fix an electrical problem, you’ll always be in need of a quality tradesman. But due to the increasing number of review websites, how do you know which to trust?

There are many UK websites out there that can assist you in finding the right person to help you carry out the work you need doing. Here are the three main websites to keep an eye out for:

 

Mybuilder.com

All you must do is simply post the details and requirements of the job you need to be carried out then sit back and wait for a response from a qualified tradesman. Once you have received a quote you get to choose yourself based on the tradesmen profiles and previous reviews which can come as extremely handy as you can see for yourself how previous clients rated their performance on the jobs they had carried out previously. All reviews are confirmed by the website as true and bad reviews are never removed.

 

Plentific

Plentific allows you to complete searches for tradesmen based on your postcode and job details. You can then either make contact with the tradesmen or instead post the job and wait for them to come to you. If you choose to post the job, the website’s concierges handle the process personally, obtaining quotes and assisting you in finding the right tradesman.

 

Ratedpeople.com

Ratedpeople.com is incredibly similar to Mybuilder.com, again all you need to do is post details of the job you’d like to be carried out and wait for a qualified tradesman to respond.  These tradesmen pay the website for the opportunity to provide a quote to you; the website will then provide you with a shortlist of tradesmen where you can choose your preferred tradesman based on their quotes and reviews.

The website completes checks on tradesmen’s ID, credit status, accounts, public liability insurance and qualifications. However, do note that they surrender responsibility of what the tradesmen say and do advise authenticating their credentials before enlisting them to work.

 

Generally, you are able to trust these online tradesmen review sites. Tradesmen with lots of reviews provide you with a better idea of what they are like and the level of service they can provide. Just remember that these websites are funded by the tradesmen they are featuring. We advise doing your best in getting everything out of your tradesmen, including as accurate as a quote as you can get and what they can offer to the job you need completing.

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Are you looking forward to investing more in your future home? Extra budget should mean you have to be more careful at the property you are prospecting.

We found a useful guide when searching for a luxury property on Property Division.

-> Location is key. Check out the neighborhoods’ houses!

-> Carefully analyze space layout, design and architecture.

-> Extra-large kitchen should equal luxury.

-> High-end finishes must be genuine!

What do people look for when buying a luxury home?

Check out our recommendations for a great luxury home! You’ll know they’re exactly what you are looking for!

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