Thursday, July 20, 2017

Quick Cleaning Tips For Rushed Homeowners




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Do you always feel under pressure when you start cleaning your home? What with everyone’s busy work schedules, there is no wonder that people feel that they have hardly any time to take care of all their cleaning chores.


However, this aspect of housework doesn’t have to always stress you out. In fact, there are plenty of ways you can speed up cleaning your home so that you don’t need to worry about it making you late for important appointments. Just follow these tips for some nifty ideas!



Declutter First


Rather than pulling on your wink scrubs straight away and getting to work on all the dirt and grime, you need to work on decluttering your home. First of all, you need to go through all of your belongings and see which ones you can do out. Generally speaking, if you haven’t used an item in the past six months, then it is probably safe to throw it out. Once you get rid of all your old clutter, you will find that you have a lot more space in your home and can get to more corners to clean!


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Go From Top To Bottom


You need to have a system in place so that you can go about all your cleaning in an efficient manner. The best process for cleaning is to go from top to bottom. So, for instance, start by dusting all the tops of your cupboards and closets. All of this dust will then get knocked down onto the floor, and you can quickly brush it up. If you do it the other way around and go from bottom to top, you will find that you make more work for yourself as you will knock lots of dust and dirt down onto clean floors!


Bicarbonate Of Soda Is Your Best Friend


If you aren't too keen on using lots of abrasive and harsh chemicals when you are cleaning, you should look for natural options such as bicarbonate of soda. Even though this is usually an ingredient in cakes and cookies, it can also work wonders for your cleaning. You can use it to remove grease from your oven and to tackle any stubborn stains on your carpet. All you need to do is mix it into a paste with some water, and then rub it into the targeted dirt.


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Invest In Proper Tools

Getting the right cleaning tools and equipment can really help you speed through all your housework as well. For example, if you rinse your windows with a squeegee, it won’t leave any smudge marks or smears so you won’t have to go back and clean them all again! Add all your cleaning products and equipment to a bucket and take it around with you while you clean. Then everything you might need will be within arm’s reach!


Cleaning doesn’t have to take forever. And now that you have all these tips under your sleeve, you can whizz through the spring clean whenever your home needs seeing to!




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Are You (Financially) Ready For The Future?



Regardless of your age, everyone will tell you that you need to prepare for the future because one day it will be too late and you will have made life difficult for yourself! Financial planning is always a very difficult skill to master, but even if you haven't been able to buy a home for your family, and before you know it, you are 65 and are still renting, you may wonder if it's harder to manage money in old age. Well, there are ways around the issue.

Property Investments


While it's much harder to get a mortgage after a certain age because you are considered a liability that's not to say that you can't find ways to invest in a property and renovate it for your own financial gain. You could purchase a property with someone and have it in their name (although it's your responsibility), so it's best to do this with someone you can trust. While many people try to escape the 30-year mortgage trap with wise investments it can prove difficult depending on your ability to invest wisely. If you have retired from a career in the public services, such as the police or the army, but for whatever reason, never ended up purchasing a property, there are certain entitlements that can help you get onto the property ladder.

Keeping Your Finances Simple


The temptation is always there to have as many fingers in as many financial pies as possible, but you might be a point where one bank account and investments need to be distilled in one easy to read the bank statement. Ultimately, as we age, we don't want to be piling on the stress, we need to keep reducing it! And as financial worries and financial decisions can be a lot more difficult to keep track of when you are older, so it may just be simpler to operate with one or two bank accounts.

Trust Is Important


As we get older we need to have a few people we can rely on to help us manage our finances, and this could be a friend or family member who can keep their eye out for suspicious activity. When it comes to finances it's difficult to keep track of as we get older, especially if we decide to get onto the property ladder so late in life. This means you need to have someone who you trust 110%. There are online financial services that also might be able to help with this such as companies like EverSafe where you can track your bank and credit card accounts, as well as your brokerage. They will notify you if there is anything suspicious about your files, such as excessive withdrawals alterations to spending patterns and other relevant unusual activity. If you don't have any close friends or family members who are able to help in this respect, you could hire a money manager to help with a financial admin like paying bills, organizing tax documents or dealing with creditors but these can cost a lot of money depending on where you live.




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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

House Hunting: How To Snare The Perfect Property




If you are looking for a new home, it’s vital that you find the perfect one. However, it is easier to say than it is to do because there is too much choice. Plus, the stress and the hassle that goes into the process is monumental. Quite simply, finding a dream house is not easy. Still, that doesn’t mean it is impossible. In fact, it is possible as long as you follow a couple of basic tips. What are they, you ask? Just continue reading to find out more.

This is how to find the perfect property the next time you start a search.

Build It From Scratch

Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s easier to make one than it is to find. The reason is simple: someone else has lived in the property. As a result, it is full of their belongings and their memories. Even when they move out and you in, it is hard to stamp your authority on the house. It is almost as if the ghost of the previous owners roams the halls. With help from Build Log Homes, this is never an issue. What you create from scratch is yours and yours alone. Even better, you connect with the house more because there is a sense of achievement.


Have Vision

Because most properties are functioning homes, the odds are low that you will walk into a ready-made one. Instead, you will need to look past the clutter and imagine what it may become. This takes vision, and not everyone has the creativity to project their mental image. The key is to make a checklist and tick off what it has and doesn’t have. Then, it becomes simpler to figure out whether all the features are in place or whether you need to add more.

Stick To A Budget

Far too many people concentrate on how the house feels when they are on the hunt. Although this is important, it isn’t as imperative as how much it costs. In basic terms, a dream home is one that you can afford. Otherwise, it will quickly turn from a dream into a nightmare. No one wants to leverage their future for a property, so it’s vital that you stick to the budget. If you don’t have one, draw one up as soon as possible and refer to it every time you see something you like. Paying over the odds is one way to end up in debt.


Think About Resale

The average person moves more than eight times in a lifetime. That means this house may not be your last one. For this reason, the resale value is very important. Let’s face it – you want to sell it for as much as possible when you leave. Otherwise, there is no point in flipping a property in the first place. What you have to do is focus on the initial price and getting the best possible deal. If you underpay, the odds are high that you will see a healthy ROI.

Also, think about expansion as this allows you to add features that buyers desire.



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Getting Your First Place? Here's Some Financial Advice!




It used to be that people who stayed at home with their parents for too long got a bad reputation. But millennials aren’t exactly staying at home with their parents en masse for longer because of laziness (although I’m sure there are many who are); it’s because of harsh financial realities that are making it harder and harder to find their own place!

Perhaps you think you’re ready to move out. Here are some things you should think about to help you figure out if it’s finally time to move away from home.


Is it really time?

Graduates are generally eager to move out of home ASAP. Many of them will have gotten used to independent living if they lived in college dorms! You may think that a college graduate is more prepared to leave home than someone of a similar age who didn’t go to college, both emotionally and financially. But college graduates aren’t much more likely to get gainful employment than a non-graduate; in fact, a non-graduate is more likely to have had a job for longer, making it more likely that they can afford to move out!

Don’t move out because you’re eager to do so as soon as you can. You must make sure your finances are secure. Your job should be stable and you should have a healthy amount of savings first.


Choosing a location

A young adult living with their parents away outside of the city may dream of heading to that city. Unfortunately, this can be unrealistic. City living can be very expensive, meaning it simply won’t be that practical for you to move there. Of course, it really depends on what city you’re looking at. Resources like STL CityWide may showcase affordable apartments in many cities. But students, or recent graduates, are unlikely to be able to afford a place in, say, New York City by themselves.

So should you avoid the city? Not necessarily. The problem with staying in the outskirts is that lucrative jobs aren’t usually in the city! Don’t jump to the conclusion that lucrative jobs can’t be found in areas outside the city - but don’t assume you won’t be able to afford a city apartment, either. If you get a lucrative job offer, the company may be willing to help you out with the relocation. In any case, research the job market of your desired location before you move!


To roomie or not to roomie?

Back in the nineties and the preceding decades, a young person getting a new apartment to themselves upon first moving out wasn’t all that rare. These days? It’s not that realistic. You should give some serious thought to getting a place with someone, even if you think that cramps your cool somewhat.

This doesn’t have to be a significant other, of course; it may be too soon for that. You probably have some good friends who want move out of the home. Consider looking at some apartments together! Apartments built for more than one person work out cheaper when you split the costs; bachelor pads can cost about two-thirds more.



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Visiting London on a Budget: The Savvy Traveler



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Image by: Pexels


The big cities of the world have a lot of good stuff to offer such as historical sites, haunted pubs, streets full of people and something fun to do for the whole family. London, in particular, offers all of this and more. The only downside to all of this is that the city tends to be expensive; not only with regards to the price of eating out or enjoying activities, but London will eat up your entire budget in one big bite - and you won’t even see it coming.

Traveling: The tube

If you’d like to stay in central London and do most of your activities here, there’s no better way to travel than the tube. Sure, there are better ways, and you’ll undoubtedly realize this as you’re squeezing your way out the doors, sweaty and warm - but it’s more cost-effective than anything else.

If you’ve never been to London before, you’re going to be a bit confused in the beginning - it’s like that with any new city, really, and its tube system is no more complicated than in other parts of the world. Ask for advice if you’re lost and have a look at this map to make it a bit easier on yourself.

Accommodation: Airbnb

Living in London is without a doubt what’s going to cost you the most. When you want to soak up everything the city has to offer and don’t want to sleep away all your money and time, consider staying at an Airbnb or find short term lets through londonservicedapartments.co.uk. It’s not new or unusual at all anymore, and people choose these affordable options over traditional hotel rooms like they choose an Uber over a black cab; it’s kind of common sense these days.

The sooner you start to plan, the better your chances are of finding a cozy room in the heart of London at a good price. Don’t despair if you’re not going to stay in the center as there are many comfortable homes you can stay in around the city as well. I spent a few nights with friends at a tiny home on the west side, owned by a gray old man who played piano for us all evening. It was lovely, cost-effective, and a lot more social than staying in a hotel room.

Things to do: for free

Large cities will always have a lot of free activities you can take advantage of - and you don’t have to spend money on overpriced touristy things. Most of their famous museums are for free, such as The Tate Modern, Museum of London and the National Gallery, so there is no reason to not soak up culture like a dried out sponge. Check out timeoutlondon.com for discounted events too, by the way, and purchasing tickets online will usually save you a bit of money as well.

You don’t have shy away from the money eating cities anymore in order to make it through the rest of the summer. Just make use of these brilliantly savvy tips to vacationing in the big city, so go out there and enjoy yourself.



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