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Photo source: https://bit.ly/2vSw3eD

There’s no point crying over spilt milk, or spilt wine, or anything you have spilt in fact. When you have spent a long time decorating your home, and choosing the perfect materials for curtains, carpets, furniture, and more, the last thing you want is for it to become stained.

If you’re battling a tough stain, then don’t panic. Here are some home remedies that will help get even the most stubborn marks out of soft furnishings and walls:

Baby Powder

If you have any oil based stains, then baby powder can work wonders in getting them out. Sprinkle some powder over the stain as soon as you see it, and wait for the powder to soak up the oil. Once the stain is less oily and has risen to the surface it should be much easier to wash out.

Lemon Juice

With its acidic nature, lemon juice can make a good bleaching agent and can help get stains out of any bright white materials. Simply squeeze lemon juice on the stained white fabric and leave it out in the sun for a couple of hours. Wash the item as usual, and the stain should be gone.

Vinegar

If you need your fabrics to brighten up or have tough stains that need soaking, then vinegar can come in really handy. Either put some white vinegar in with your wash, or soak tough stains caused by perfumes or deodorants before popping in your usual wash. Don’t use vinegar on delicate fabrics though, as it is quite strong.

Ironing

Wax can be quite hard to get out of fabrics, and often your tablecloth becomes the victim of a wax stain when one too many candles melt down the side of their holders. Simply place a couple of paper towels over the stain, then iron across the top of them. This will help the wax to melt and transfer onto the paper towels, leaving your tablecloth looking as good as new.

Body Lotion

Surprisingly, body lotion and moisturiser can be very good at getting stains off walls. If you have a child who loves to draw on every wall of the house with crayons, then try using body lotion to remove their artwork. Put some on a soft cloth and rub gently over the marks until they disappear. Don’t rub too hard though, as you don’t want to remove a layer of paint too.

Baking Soda

The great thing about baking soda is that is has so many uses. It can keep your fridge smelling nice, be used to whiten your grout, help remove crayon marks on the wall, and get rid of those tough tea and coffee stains in mugs. It can be made into a paste with a splash of water, or mixed into vinegar to create a cleaning spray.

WD-40

Most famous for fixing squeaky hinges, WD-40 is also a great grease busting stain remover, and can be good for getting out stains like permanent marker pen. Simply spray a small amount of WD-40 onto a cloth, then wipe over the stain. It’s best used on tiles, laminate and hardwood, and should be wiped straight off afterwards using warm water.

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Photo source: https://bit.ly/2HBT7iT

Moving house can be a long and tedious process, but the day that you finally wake up and realise you’re moving into a new property can be incredibly exciting. A new house comes with new adventures, new possibilities and a new place to put down roots, but depending on your situation it can be weeks or months after buying a property before you finally get to move in.

 

Moving day can be quite complicated, and there is a lot to get done. Delays can only add to any potential stress, so it is important to make sure your move goes as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips to avoid any moving house delays:

 

Communication

 

You will speak to many different people while moving house, including estate agents, solicitors. surveyors, removal companies, and more. Filling out any paperwork quickly and replying to any enquiries can really speed up the process of moving.

 

Make sure you have copies of your ID, bank statements and any planning permission needed throughout the process, so you can be ready to hand anything over when needed. Keeping everyone updated throughout your move means any problems or concerns should be quickly fixed and the whole move should go smoothly.

 

Book in Advance

 

Ideally you should start arranging a removals van around four weeks before your moving day. Contact three or four companies and get a consultation with each. They will all provide you with quotes and you can decide which one works best for you.

 

Once you have that booked you can make any other arrangements you need, such as parking. If you are moving to a house that only has road-side parking, you will have to give notice to anyone it may affect, and let them know a removals van will be parking up for a few hours.

 

Avoid Exchanging and Completing on the Same Day

 

Although it may seem like an obvious option and a good thing to do, exchanging and completing on the same day can actually cause problems if you are part of a chain – it only takes one person to be unable to complete for the whole chain to break.

 

Try and leave a week or two between exchanging and completing, as this should give you enough time to resolve any potential complications that could come up. It’s good to have a bit of breathing space when moving house, as you never know what might happen.

 

Packing Preparation

 

One of the key things that will prevent delays on moving day is to have everything packed up and organised. The last thing you want is to be rushing around packing up some last minute items when you have a hundred other things to think about.

 

Start a month or so before you move, and keep everything as orderly as possible. Chuck out any clutter or take it to a charity shop, and pack a few boxes each night, carefully labelling them and wrapping anything delicate in bubble wrap. Having everything packed and ready to go will be a huge time saver when you get round to moving.

 

Arrange Child/Pet Care

 

Even though they are moving with you, children and pets can be quite distracting on moving day, and it can be quite an unsafe environment for them to be in with heavy boxes being carried back and forth to your new home.

Try and arrange for someone to look after them while you move, as this will allow you to concentrate fully on the task at hand and allow them to move into a new house afterwards with all their belongings in place. If you have older children you can find age appropriate tasks to enable them to help out with the move.

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Photo source: https://bit.ly/2I0RNqW

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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Awards for the Victor Michael team at the 2018 ESTAS

Last night was a very important night for Victor Michael. The team at Victor Michael was awarded two gold awards at the Estate Agent of the Year Awards (ESTAS) 2018.

The two gold prizes received by Victor Michael were for:

  • Best Estate Agents Group in London
  • Best Agent in London East

The ESTAS awards 2018 happened under the tagline “Because Service Matters” and it highlighted regional and nationally services like real estate agents, brokers, conveyancers, home-builders for the excellent standard of customer service they deliver throughout the year.

You can watch the moment of the announcement of the Gold Winner on our Facebook page.

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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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Saving up to buy your first home is a challenge that can at times, feel impossible. If you’re a future first time buyer looking for tips on saving for your first home, read some of our advice below:

Correct preparation

It’s important to think about what you need to do before you even start looking at properties, such as saving for a deposit. The general rule of thumb is to save at least 5-20% of the value of the property you want to buy.

So if you’re looking to purchase a home that costs £200,000, you’ll need to save at least £10,000 (5%). But saving more than that will grant you access to a larger range of more affordable mortgages.

But keep in mind that deposits and monthly mortgage payments won’t be your only outgoings, you’ll also need to invest in surveys, removal costs, building insurance, stamp duties, and solicitor fees.

It might go without saying, considering what we outlined above, but saving a little extra per month goes a long way in speeding up the process. Perhaps give up a gym membership and exercise at home, or skip your daily coffee; it’s not easy, but in the end it will certainly be worth it.

Taking care of your money also helps you build a better credit rating, which will open you up to a wider range of mortgages later down the line.

Explore your options

The government has several schemes that assist first time buyers onto the property ladder, including:

Shared Ownership – this is where you purchase a share of your property from the landlord (usually a housing association or the council) and rent the remaining share.

Help to Buy – this is where the government makes a 25% contribution to what you have saved. If you save money into a Help to Buy: ISA, for every £200 you save, you will receive a government bonus of £50. However keep in mind that this scheme is only applicable for New Build properties.

Rent to Buy – this is a government scheme which aims to ease the transition from renting to buying, providing subsidized rent for a certain number of years in rent to buy homes. After the time has passed, you have the option to buy the property, or enter a part rent/part buy shared ownership scheme.

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