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Source: Flickr, labeled for re-use

There are numerous reasons why a house is not selling. It could be the fault of the estate agent, a lack of market activity, or an unattractive property presentation.

Divorce cases. These are very off putting to buyers. Even if the agent has not been informed or has been asked not to say anything, somehow, the buyer picks up on the atmosphere. If a divorce is the reason for selling, then try to vacate the property before the agent starts to do viewings.

If you are trying to sell your home but for some reason it’s just not happening, then it may be time to ask yourself a couple of questions. And be honest…

Could I be more flexible for viewing times and days?

Am I assisting or hindering the viewing?

Am I presenting my property to the best possible standard?

Should I consider a price reduction?

Am I being given viewing feedback from my agent?

Some useful tips seem obvious but are regularly overlooked by many. The simplest of things can make or break a sale. What is parking like in the street? If you have a drive, keep it car free. Allow the prospective purchaser to use the driveway.

What day are the bins collected in your street? If your street is a victim of looking untidy in the run-up to bin collection day, then try to find a day when the street looks presentable.

If you live in a street that has a school, then do DO NOT have any viewings around the time that parents are parked in your street when collecting their children from school, as parking will be hard to find. Likewise, if the neighbours’ children are a nightmare, then they will also be at school.

If you have a great feature in your home, i.e. the rear garden, then try to book viewings when the sun is up and upon the garden.

Calm background music is always a nice touch, as this can set a mood in the property.

A sure-fire tip is to think ‘Show Home’. If you have collected a lifetime of memories over the years, start to box it all away and store it under the stairs. You have already made up your mind to move, so start the process and start to pack away.

Make sure that the house smells nice, free from pet odour and smoke.

Make sure that pets are out of the house… You may love them, but not everyone will.

 

Finally, we will live in a home on average for 10 years. Statistically speaking, you will probably only have to sell a home 5 times… So choose an agent wisely and allow them to take the stress out of the selling process for you.

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Small re-decorations might prove to change the entire look of a room if you choose your ‘target’ carefully. For example, a wood counter-top for your kitchen is going to make it look better and raise the value of your home in case you are thinking about selling it at one point.

Source: Flickr, Labeled for re-use

If you are just analyzing the idea of placing a wood counter-top we recommend you to read all the pros in this article on This Old House. Such an element can be budget-friendly, easy to maintain and refurbish from time to time, and it is strong and soft at the same time.

If you are handy enough to start a DIY project, we found some videos that you should look at before starting.

Both projects seem easy to do and the result is amazing!

Tell us or show us how you built your kitchen counter-top or, at least, what type of a counter-top you chose!

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Do you have some extra time this summer and you want to spend it on doing something nice for your living room? We suggest re-modelling the bookshelves and maybe keeping only the books you would recommend in your library.

Source: https://ro.pinterest.com/pin/70228075422308647/

Cleaning the bookshelves can give you the sensation that you have been using your entire holiday time smartly.

First step would be to choose from your library the books you would never recommend to somebody else. Pile them up and take them to the closest books re-seller or antiquarian. You could end up with some extra money.

Use the extra money to buy a new bookshelf or maybe try to build one yourself. Here is a great video on how to build an original bookshelf in your living room or open space.

We found some more interesting ideas that you could find interesting on Pinterest.

Photo source: Pinterest post
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How close are you to the point of reaching that much dreamed moment of buying your own place? If you’re already at the point of searching for a property, it’s time to wake up!

Source: Wikipedia, labeled for reuse

Deciding that you need a home of your own and getting to the point of eventually searching for the right place for you can be quite a long road to walk. You know exactly how your house looks in your dreams, but finding it on the market is a real challenge.

Not necessarily wanting to shatter your dreams, here are some advice you might want to follow when searching for a property.

Stay on the budget. Assuming you already know your limits – how much a financial institution or the bank of ‘Mum and Dad’ can offer you, it is very important to not cross these limits in any way. The temptation is huge when you see those pictures of the perfect house just a little above your price range, but the extra cost will just lead to new extra costs. Remember that it can be just as frustrating to live in an empty house because you might not be able to buy any furniture for it.

Keep it real. Make a plan of exactly what your needs are. You might want to ask yourself from time to time:

Do I really need that enormous kitchen?

Is an extra bedroom going to be of any other use that to deposit things in it?

Will I really use the two bathrooms in this apartment?

Location, location, location. You might search for places around your working place or near your friends. Keep in mind that jobs change and people move so pick a place that has good connections and nice surroundings. Because that is exactly what you are going to be using/ seeing every day.

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“Your home is your castle” or “Your castle is your home”? In some very fortunate cases, the later is also true for real castles and their inhabitants. 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle Labeled for reuse.

All across Europe, castles have been built as a sign of fortune and fame. Queens, kings and their children – princes and princesses, lived once in the most fortified and beautiful buildings in their land.

In those times, only royalty could live the fairy-tale of having a home that included: a dance hall, at least one dining room with an enormous table, bedrooms for themselves and the servants, more than one bathroom, a library, dressing rooms, and stables. Well, this is the kind of house you want to play hide-and-seek in as a child.

Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f7/Krakow_Wawel_20070804_0930.jpg Labeled for reuse.

However, those fortunate (and we mean this in the most literal way, as in owning a fortune) enough can still live in a castle today. Europe has castles that can be lived in today in countries like Italy, Germany, France, and UK. The largest inhabited castle is the Windsor Castle in Berkshire, for example. One can also sleep in the Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire, and maybe feel like the Sleeping Beauty waiting to be awakened by a prince.

These type of properties usually have prices that exceed 2,000,000 GBP. Just like in the case of a normal property, the price depends on the number of bedrooms. An indoor garden the size of a park or a football field rises the value of the property, just like a big balcony might raise the value of an apartment.

If you are one of the potential buyers of a castle, to get a clear picture of what your life will be like, please read this article. It will give you a sense of the burdens, not only the advantages of living in a castle. Like the “agonizing five (5) minute walk to the home from the car” or the “We forgot the butter” problem.

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  • Researchers found that journeys over half an hour were damaging for the mental health.
  • Commuters with a one hour journey in either direction fare the worse.
  • 33% more likely to suffer depression in a pole of 34,000 adults.

These facts and figures are frightening, especially as most of us endure commuting day-in day-out, year-in year-out. Either by train, bus or behind the wheel of a car… This journey has to be endured.

A study of more than 34,000 working British adults found journeys upwards of half-an-hour are damaging the nations health and productivity.

People most at risk of depression are those who have the longest commute times: more than an an hour in each direction. They were 33% more likely to suffer from depression and 12 % more likely to report work-related stress.

Results following the research showed that they have a 46% greater risk of getting less than seven hours sleep each per night, as recommended.

This is a real eye opener and something to seriously think about if you are thinking of relocating to the country and intend to commute each day.

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If you’re one of those countryside folks trapped inside an apartment for living purposes only, we have an idea on how to ‘cultivate’ your farmer side. Create a garden on your balcony and start growing your favourite plants this summer.

Balcony gardening became a trend a couple of years ago. It started as a hobby for some, but it was rapidly adopted by those who wanted more control over what they put on the table.

What can you grow on your balcony?

Culinary herbs like basil, chervil, chives, coriander, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme.

You can also grow small vegetables – actually any kind of vegetable if you do not want to mass-product it. Some suggestions are: cherry tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, green onions, radishes, beans, carrots

What do you need to create the garden on the balcony?

Enough light, to start with. It’s not merely as precious as space, since space can be maximized by rational use.

Pots of all types and sizes. Containers and a good soil create a good basis for your garden apartment.

Don’t forget the seeds. Choose plants that grow fast enough. It can be a bit frustrating just looking at an empty pot for a couple of days, but keep in mind that the seed what planted! It takes time and water to grow.

And one more advice: make full use of your vertical space. Climb anything that can climb on the walls of the balcony.

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I am 22 years of age and would love to buy my own property. 

copyright: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cc/Captain_Bligh_House_London.jpgBeing a first-time buyer usually means forking out rent, saving for a deposit and playing catch-up with ever-rising house prices all at the same time! 

London is the ideal place to buy a house or an apartment for me. It is a great place to live in, but it can be expensive if you are a first time buyer.

Not only are properties expensive to buy (average price in the borough of Redbridge is £446,581) but I will also need at least 20% deposit + stamp duty costs + legal fees on top of that.

Based on my salary, it would be impossible to apply for a mortgage based on the average property prices in London. My own research shows that there are two solutions for purchasing a property.

– Buy a property out of London as it is a lot cheaper, therefore, affordable for me.

– ‘Help to Buy Scheme’ 

The scheme requires a minimum 5% deposit of the property value with the Government offering an interest-free loan of a further 20%. The remaining 75% is covered by a standard mortgage.

As an example, if you want to buy a £200,000 property under the Equity Loan scheme, you would need a minimum deposit of £10,000 and to qualify for a £150,000 mortgage. The Government then provides an equity loan of £40,000.

Another option would be to buy jointly, either with friends or family.  I think this is my preferred option, so far. 🙂

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