Redecorating on a Budget: Spending Your Money Wisely

It can be very frustrating when your home clearly needs redecorating but you really don’t have the money available to do everything you would like to do, as I know from personal experience. My own home was looking distinctly shabby up until a couple of months ago and I could not think of an affordable way to do anything about it. However, after spending a few days mulling over the problem and doing some research online, I realised that if I was selective about what exactly I spent my money on, it might be possible to solve my problem without taking drastic measures. How to Transform Your Home on a Small Budget The first thing you need to do when planning to redecorate on a small budget is decide what the essentials are. In other words, in which areas would it be unwise to economise?   Paint – While it is possible to find cut-price paint in stores all across the country, it really is not a good ideas to economise in this area. Low price paint is invariably low quality too and when it comes to applying it to the walls in your home, this becomes only too apparent. Even if, by some miracle, it looks OK going on, it will undoubtedly come off a lot more easily than you would like.   Labour – If you are a dab hand with a paint brush, you can save a significant sum of money by doing a lot of the work yourself. On the other hand, if you are not very confident in your painting skills, it is a...
The importance of an Annual Boiler Service

The importance of an Annual Boiler Service

Given the fact that your boiler could be the only thing standing between you and the icy cold temperatures outside during the winter months, it is difficult to overestimate the importance of ensuring it is in good working order before the cold weather sets in. There are several other reasons that you should have your central heating appliance serviced every year, which I have listed below for your convenience. One of them will only apply if you are renting out a property in which a gas-fired boiler is installed, as I am, but the others will apply in your own home too. The Benefits of a Professional Boiler Service Economy – A boiler that is operating at maximum efficiency will burn gases more effectively, thereby reducing the amount of fuel that you use to heat your home every year. This has the dual benefits of saving you money and helping you to do your bit for the environment. Most homeowners are interested in at least one of these benefits, if not both. Safety – Incomplete combustion of fossil fuels such as gas and oil can result in the production of carbon monoxide in the home. This colourless, odourless gas is known by many as the silent killer, for obvious reasons, and is a very good reason for you to make sure that your boiler is operating properly before winter sets in and you close all your windows while cranking the boiler up to maximum. Longevity – It is a simple fact of life that when small issues are neglected they have a tendency to become much bigger and boilers...
Renting in London 200% more than rest of Britain

Renting in London 200% more than rest of Britain

The average cost of renting a property in Britain increased by £7 in October, according to figures from Move With Us, with advertised rents in London rising but still £42 down on last year. However, the monthly increase of 1.47% in average rents means that the capital is still around 209% more expensive than the rest of the country. Robin King, Director of Move with Us, said: “The surprise for October has been the sudden growth of approximately £25 in the average rents in the East Midlands, North East and Wales. All three of these regions performed unimpressively over recent months and these unexpected peaks mean that the markets are expected to finish the year much closer to the advertised rents of October 2012, and in the case of the East Midlands, outperforming this level.” Meanwhile, LSL Property Services reports that tenant arrears are at their lowest since 2008. It estimates average rents across England and Wales rose to £758 per month in October while the number of new tenancies agreed across England and Wales increased by 7.4% compared to October 2012. David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, said: “At a time when a seasonal slowdown would usually be expected rents are up again. The lettings market appears to be experiencing an extended Indian summer. Normally we can expect the rush of early autumn to fade into a late autumn hibernation. Even as the nights draw in, demand for homes to rent seems unabated, and still well ahead of a year ago. While buying a home is certainly getting easier, it’s the private rental market which is taking...
Buyers typically spend 33 minutes on deciding on a property

Buyers typically spend 33 minutes on deciding on a property

Buyers typically spend just 33 minutes looking around a property before they make one of the most expensive decisions of their lives, it has been revealed. The competitive housing market means buyers are having to make ‘snap decisions’, according to the survey by insurers Aviva. It also found that one in four buyers make just one visit to a property before taking their decision. The hasty decisions means buyers are missing out on potentially costly maintenance issues, Aviva warned. The survey suggested 31 per cent of buyers did not make any specific checks for issues when viewing their future home. The least common checks performed by buyers are for blocked guttering, invasive plans such as Japanese knotweed and defective chimney stacks and pots. Heather Smith, of insurers Aviva, said: “Renewed competition and rising prices have combined to make many buyers more pressurized to snap up a property quickly. “Your future home could be showing symptoms of potential maintenance or structural issues that could cause you trouble down the line. Most of these are fixable, you just need to know the signs to look out for and you do need to prepare financially. “Defective chimneys and Japanese knotweed in particular can be really nasty, with costs to fix running into four or even five figures.” The findings also suggested that as many as 40,000 people a year buy a property without viewing it at all. The most common unanticipated problems found by buyers include plumbing issues, damp, and cracks in the walls or ceilings, the survey...
How can Pinterest help you around the home?

How can Pinterest help you around the home?

Everyone’s heard of Facebook and Twitter, but Pinterest is a little lesser known and, we think it’s the one which should be shouted about when it comes to the home. Pinterest is a fantastic interactive scrapbook – think back to when you would buy home magazines, cut out your favourite ideas and stick them on mood boards when you were decorating. In effect, this is an updated version! You can add images in three ways   Upload from your computer (this could be a picture of your room so you can plan ideas for décor whilst looking at what you’re working with Search the Pinterest site (more on that below) Scour the internet and purchasing websites and add in particular products   You can make both open and private boards – which is why it is classed as a social channel. Your open boards can be found by other people by your board theme or which hashtag you used on there. If you use a private board, however, the content in it will only be seen by you. The best functionality of this channel is the ability to link to products in images to their original websites. They will sit in your board as an image but you can click out to buy them whenever you’re ready, saving you the time and hassle of having to remember where you saw them first or having to run out into town! There is also a great search functionality in Pinterest. You can search for other people’s ideas by keyword, their personal or company page or themed boards – so if you...