Love my house

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

Taking good care of your house means fixing all that needs to be fixed in time, before the problems overgrow.

However, sometimes the bad road is also paved with good intentions and we tend to exceed. Results may vary upon your house, depending on what you are trying to fix.

We found a very good article on ThisOldHouse about how very good ideas can end up being wrongly implemented and causing more damage than good.

For example:

  • brighter light bulbs can over-heat and cause fires;
  • repainting can make even more cracks in the paint;
  • trees planted too close to the pavement can cause cracks when they grow;

Consult the full list in the article and suggest some more ideas of small reparations that need, in time, some more repairing!

 

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

Window blinds are a must for some homes. And somebody has to make the decision and choose the most adequate and fit all around the house.

The main types of blinds are: Roman, roller , Venetian, vertical, and panel. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages so analyse them throughout before choosing one.

The Various Types of Blinds That Are Best Meant for A Homeowner

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Photo source: Pixabay http://bit.ly/2yP5kiA

Flooring in a property can make a massive impact on first impressions, so it pays to get it right. Here’s our top tips on choosing the right flooring for your rental property…

Consider the property’s use

The first step in choosing the right flooring for your rental property is to consider who will be living there. If your target tenant type will be families, for example, you’d want to avoid flooring types that can’t be easily refinished or could be ruined by a loose crayon or dirty paws. We’d recommend vinyl or laminate flooring for high-traffic areas of the property, as these flooring types can withstand heavy foot traffic better than most others.

You could also opt for non-slip wood-effect tiles, which are easily maintained, stylish and affordable. In properties with fewer tenants, you have more choices with flooring, so you could consider more stylish choices of tile, as they’re less likely to be damaged and can improve the property’s appearance even more.

 

Think on a room-by-room basis

Certain flooring types are best matched to particular rooms in the house, so when changing flooring for an entire property, you should think on a room-by-room basis. When it comes to kitchens, keep in mind the type of material that will be easiest to clean and won’t need to be replaced every time you get a new tenant.

Natural stone floor tiles look great in kitchens. There are also a range of designs and colours to choose from, which gives you the chance to build up the room’s style from the ground up. Tiles are also the obvious choice for bathrooms, as they are waterproof, durable and easy to maintain.

If you’re steering clear of carpets in an effort to avoid having to replace flooring too regularly, bedrooms will benefit from engineered or hardwood flooring for extra warmth and homely comfort. Living rooms are very much dependant on tenant type, as properties with more people will require more durable flooring, so we’d suggest hardwood flooring so that you won’t have to update your flooring every time your property is up for let.

 

Avoid obvious pitfalls

Certain flooring types are a definite no-no, with 14% of tenants saying carpet in the bathroom would completely put them off a property. Other pitfalls you should avoid include installing wooden flooring in wet rooms, light-coloured carpet in hallways or installing your flooring yourself, without experience or guidance. All of these mistakes can cost you tenants, time and money – so make sure you consider all potential pitfalls before rushing into buying your flooring.

 

With flooring playing such an integral role when it comes to securing tenants, it pays to make sure the flooring types you choose are well suited to your property. To make sure you choose the right flooring for your rental property, follow these top tips and build your property appeal from the ground up.

 

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Photo source: Independent http://bit.ly/2AeQVhX

New home, new bed, new mattress? Well, if you had some troubles with the last one, you will find this is a great opportunity to improve… your sleep! Ah, and what a relief that is on some hard, hard days!

In order to make the right decision when choosing a new mattress, read this helpful article on Independent and keep this in mind when searching for it:

  • What type of mattress makes you most comfortable? Open spring mattress, pocket spring mattress, memory foam mattress, or latex mattress.
  • What size does it match your bed? The UK standard sizes for mattresses are: small single, single, small duble, double, kingsize, super kingsize.
  • Firmness: soft, medium soft, medium firm, or firm.

Of course the decision is important enough to read thoroughly some more articles. We also recommend:

How To Choose The Right Mattress for your New Home

What type of firmness do you prefer for a resting night sleep?

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Not all old house, but many of them have a fireplace. Exposed, or marginalized, thought of as the center of the house, or just as an utility, if you have a fireplace in your home you can consider yourself lucky.

Usually they blend in the decor quite well without redecorating, but when they do not, you can refresh them to match exactly your interior design concept.

To illustrate what we mean, take a look at this example:

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

An Outmoded Fireplace Gets an Upgrade

If this gets you thinking about what you can do with the one in your house, here a couple of more examples and ideas:

15 Ways to Refresh Your Fireplace on Any Budget

We would really like to know if you have a fireplace and what it looks like. Leave a photo in a comment and maybe we can suggest some easy DIY ideas for a new look!

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Photo source: Property Division http://bit.ly/2i8jBNX

Being eco-friendly most of the times implies more than just keeping your negative impact on the environment as low as possible. When you apply it to your home it usually means smaller expences, too. This means you have (at least) two reasons to try our top 5 measures for being eco-friendly at home:

  1. Lower your thermostat. Not enough to make you cold, but only two degrees lower will make you save money!
  2. Change the incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
  3. Unplug all devices when you are not using them.
  4. Use less water and the more cold water the use instead of hot one, the better.
  5. Filter the water, instead of buying bottled water.

Read the full article about easy measures that will turn you into an eco-friendly inhabitant for our planet on PropertyDivision.

Become More Eco-Friendly At Home: Tips For Success

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Would you spend just 20 minutes viewing a property that is going to be your home for many years? Some buyers do and live to regret it. Don’t remember the things you should have looked for after you have left, write a checklist of things to look at.

 

  1. Is there damp?

The main giveaway signs are a mouldy smell, flaky plaster, and watermarked walls or ceilings. It sounds obvious, but make sure you look closely near the ceiling and around the skirting boards. Another clue might be if the room has just been repainted – possibly hiding any damp.

 

  1. Is the building structurally safe?

If the house looks and feels solid and structurally sound you may not need a surveyor at all. Big cracks are what you are looking for, you should expect some hairline cracks. Look especially around where extensions join, end-of-terrace walls, and bay windows, all of which can start to fall or bow away from the rest of the house. If you see major cracks or have any doubts it might be worth getting a surveyor if only for peace of mind. If any walls look like they are seriously bowing, consider engaging a structural engineer.

 

  1. Is there enough storage?

Storage space is a valuable but often overlooked asset. Where will you keep your vacuum cleaner, towels, spare linen, and boxes of junk? Is there room for cupboards or shelves to be built in? Especially in newly built houses, storage space can be limited.

 

  1. Which way does the house face?

In winter, during a cloudy day or at night, it is difficult to tell the difference between a north and south facing house or garden, but in summer it can make the difference between a home that is full of light and warmth, and one that is frustratingly dark. Don’t be shy about taking a compass with you to the viewing, you might have one on your smart phone.

 

  1. Are the rooms big enough for your needs?

It has been known for sellers to put smaller furniture in the room and place it strategically to make the rooms look bigger.

 

  1. Have you been fooled by staging?

Cleverly placed mirrors, strategic lighting, delicious smells, cosy fires, and fresh licks of paint are all tricks sellers use to make their home more appealing. Make sure you don’t get fooled.

 

  1. Do the window frames have cracking paint? Is the double-glazing intact?

The state of the external window frames is a great indicator of the state of the house – if people look after those, they are likely to have taken great care of the rest. If you can easily push your finger into wooden window frame, they are usually rotten. If there is condensation between double-glazed window-panes it means that they are usually faulty.

 

  1. How old is the roof?

Replacing roofs is an expensive business, and newer roofs have a life expectancy of only 15-20 years, depending on the materials

Also, if the property has a flat or nearly flat roof, check out the material with which it sealed. Nowadays a membrane is used and is better than asphalt and gravel, which can leave seams and edges unsealed.

 

  1. Are there enough power points and what condition are they in?

Dodgy wiring can be dangerous, and rewiring your new home can be an expensive business. Also check out the fuse board, often an indication of the state of the wiring. Does it look old and outdated?

 

  1. Is the plumbing up to scratch?

Run the taps to check the water pressure. Ask if the pipes are insulated, and ensure they are not lead which would have to be replaced. Do the radiators actually work? How old is the boiler? If the hot water tank is situated in the roof it is probably an old one, and may have to be replaced soon.

 

  1. Is the property adequately sound-proofed?

If the sellers have the radio or television on ask for it to be turned down to ensure that you can’t hear your neighbours’ every word.

 

  1. What’s the loft like?

People often ignore the loft, but it is an important part of the house. How easy is it to access? Is there much storage space? Could it be converted into extra rooms? Is there insulation?

 

  1. What’s the area like?

Are you near a pub, bar or kebab shop that becomes rowdy in the evening?

Can you walk to shops to get a pint of milk, or do you have to drive?

Is it easy to get to public transport?

Are there noisy roads or train tracks nearby?

Are you underneath a flight path?

 

  1. Is there sufficient drainage in the area?

Check the whereabouts and levels of external drains. Are the drains accessible and are they fully functional? Keen gardeners may use lots of extra water which can cause severe structural problems for potential home improvements such as conservatories or patios. If you are concerned about insufficient drainage for a property you wish to buy, then get a structural survey.

 

And most importantly, does it feel like you could make it your home?

 

If you do like a property, arrange another viewing for a different time of day, and scout out the local area a bit more. If you can, take somebody with you who might be able to notice things you don’t.

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Photo source: Ktchn Mag http://bit.ly/2n5fTde

Kitchens might seem like the least customizable space in your house, but with a little bit of perspective… a kitchen can be a work of art.

We found some of the most impressive kitchen designs in an article on ktchnmag.com. They made a collection with stunning design they came across in 2017 for this common place inside a home.

Stunning Kitchens of 2017 [GALLERY]

Now, we know we cannot read an article without having some great ideas at the end for our house… What would you change and what idea would you borrow from the 2017 kitchen collection?!

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Photo source: Property Division http://bit.ly/2Bb6Euj

Home improvements can surely raise the value of a home. However, knocking down a wall or putting one up is a lot of work and can change the entire appearance of a house. Plan your steps carefully and think in perspective:

  • Am I going to like it next year too?
  • Will a potential buyer like it?
  • Is this project cost efficient and raising the value of the property?

Answer these simple questions and then start planning things directly on a piece of paper.

We found some nice ideas in an article on Property Division. The experts there suggest some additions to a house that are both a good idea of the ones living there now, and for potential buyers:

  • a conservatory
  • a balcony
  • an open plan kitchen
  • a loft conversion

Which would you choose for your home?

 

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When you buy a house or flat that’s going to be your main home, you will pay stamp duty on everything above £125,000. If it’s a buy-to-let or second home, you pay stamp duty on any property costing more than £40,000.

 

What is Stamp Duty?

In England, Northern Ireland and Wales you’re liable to pay Stamp Duty when you buy a residential property, or a piece of land, that costs more than £125,000 (£40,000 for second homes).

 

This tax applies to both freehold and leasehold properties – whether you’re buying outright or with a mortgage.

 

In Scotland, when you buy a property or land you will pay a Land and Buildings Transaction Tax instead of Stamp Duty.

 

How much is Stamp Duty?

When you buy a property you’re planning to live in, you won’t pay any Stamp Duty on the first £125,000. You’ll then pay 2% on the portion up to £250,000 and 5% on the portion up to £925,000. Between that point and £1.5m, it’s 10% – then 12% on anything over £1.5m.

 

There are several rate bands for Stamp Duty.

 

For example, if you buy a house for £275,000, the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) you owe is calculated as follows:

 

0% on the first £125,000 = £0

2% on the next £125,000 = £2,500

5% on the final £25,000 = £1,250

Total SDLT = £3,750

 

Stamp duty for residential leasehold properties are charged differently.

 

Stamp Duty on second homes:

Buyers of additional residential properties, such as second homes and buy-to-let properties, will have to pay an extra 3% in Stamp Duty on top of current rates for each band.

 

This increased rate applies to properties bought for £40,000 or more.

It doesn’t apply to caravans, mobile homes or houseboats.

 

If you buy a new main residence but there is a delay in selling your previous main property, you’ll have to pay the higher Stamp Duty rates as you’ll now own two properties.

 

When is Stamp Duty not payable?

You’ll automatically avoid Stamp Duty if you buy a property below £125,000.

But for many homebuyers this isn’t possible.

 

There are other circumstances in which Stamp Duty is either not payable or can be reduced:

 

Slightly over rate band. If the price is only just within a higher band, ask the seller or estate agent if they would accept a slightly lower price.

Transfer of property in separation or divorce. If you’re divorcing or separating from your spouse or partner, there’s no Stamp Duty to pay if you transfer a proportion of your home value to them.

 

Transfer of deeds. If you transfer the deeds of your home to someone else either as a gift or in your will they won’t have to pay Stamp Duty on the market value of the property.

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