4 Luxury Add-Ons That Ruin Your Home

4 Luxury Add-Ons That Ruin Your Home

The journey of a homeowner is filled with exciting home improvement projects that are designed to increase the value of your home. From remodeling the kitchen to enhancing the garden, most homeowners spend a lot of time considering the costs and benefits of their decisions. But it would be foolish to assume that all home improvement projects are equal. Aside from cost considerations, you need to evaluate the risks and long-term consequences of your design decisions. Indeed, some add-ons can affect your home negatively. These are the four most cost-wasting and dangerous trends in home enhancement. Be careful to avoid them at all cost!

Beware of INDOOR pools

 

#1. The expensive indoor pool

Around 16% of American homes have a swimming pool. And the trend is increasing as more and more families are considering applying for pool loans to build a pool in their garden. The reason why pools are so popular is that they are the perfect remedy against hot weather in summer. If you add a protective roof, you can enjoy swimming up to 9 months of the year – sometimes longer if you live in a warm area. However, don’t be tempted by the addition of an indoor pool. Indeed, an indoor construction is likely to increase the moisture in the air and lead to mold patches. Additionally, you will need to use a variety of allergen-heavy products to treat your pool in an attempt to reduce moisture and keep it clear. The presence of these cleaning particles can lead to allergies, which can be harmful to children. If you’re keen to keep your home allergen-free, an indoor pool is the worst thing you can do for your family.

 

#2. Forget the luxury waterbed if you want to sleep tight

Waterbeds are often described as the epitome of the luxury bedroom. But in reality, they bring more issues than advantages. For a start, they are heavy – a king-size waterbed can weigh around 1800 pounds – which can put your internal structure at risk. As a result of the potential danger they represent, you’d find that not all home insure covers cover waterbed damages.

 

#3. The impossible kitchen trends

So, you’ve spent a long time deciding on your kitchen design, and finally, you’ve opted for a thick marble work area and ornate cabinetry and a cute island in the middle. But the question you want to ask yourself is: Will it still look good in 10, 15, 20 years? Spoiler alert: It probably won’t. Dark colors, wooden accents, old-fashioned and heavy materials, excessive use of vintage-styled tiles and seasonal tones might rapidly feel outdated.


Will you use a bar island?

 

#4.  The energy-sucking hot tub

Is there anything that describes a luxury lifestyle better than a whirlpool or hot tub? But don’t be fooled by your imagination. In reality, hot tubs are a waste of money. They’re expensive to buy, install and use – your energy and water bills will go through the roof. And most homeowners end up not using them because it’s too time-demanding.  Besides, if installed indoors, you might struggle with increasing moisture and potential mold formation.

 

Hot tub

The bottom line is that not all home improvement projects are worth your money. Consider the risks at hand before tackling a new project!

 

4 Must-Read Tips For Selling Your Home

Are you trying to sell your home? If so, read on to discover four essential tips that can assist you…

 

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  1. Keeping your estate agent onside

Your estate agent plays a huge role when it comes to selling your property! It’s important to keep them onside if you want them to make a great effort to sell your home. You obviously want to make sure they are doing everything in their power to make a sale, but you need to approach it in the right way if you want success.

You should definitely communicate frequently with your estate agent for regular updates on your property – Has there been any inquiries? What feedback have you received from viewers? Nonetheless, you should never be accusing with your tone. Don’t give them the impression that you feel they are not doing their job correctly. This will only make them more reluctant to speak to you!

Instead, you should be friendly, optimistic, supportive and encouraging. By doing this, you will be one of the clients they want to speak to and they will approach selling your property with a greater level of enthusiasm and positivity. Of course, in an ideal world, every estate agent would take this approach to every property. But it just doesn’t happen like that.

It is also a good idea to ask for their advice and genuinely listen to what they have to say. They will feel more confident about suggesting other ideas in the future. Share your plans with them. Make it a bit more personal. If they know why you are moving they could feel more compelled to help.

 

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  1. Get the timing right

 

Timing is everything. Did you know that the time of year you put your property on the market can make a massive difference when it comes to selling? It is all about knowing when to strike! So, when is the right time?

 

Well, it all depends on your buyer! Is your home a family home? If so, you are likely to attract buyers when children are in school – either spring, early summer or autumn. Most families do not want to view a property whilst a screaming child follows them around!

 

What if your home appeals more to singles and younger couples? If this is the case, then you are best off putting your house on the market at the very beginning of the year. But don’t expect to secure the deal straight away. This type of buyer likes to take their time before making a decision. Who can blame them? It’s unlikely they will have purchased many properties before!

 

Last but not least, if you are selling a bungalow or a home that is suitable for a retired couple, you can expect a greater number of viewings during the summer months. The elderly do not want to endure freezing and icy weather to view a home.

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  1. Get rid of the Tesco value price tag

 

When you walk into a supermarket you will often see items priced at £1.99 instead of £2.00. This is done to make you think the item is a lot cheaper than it actually is. And, let’s face it, it works! So, a lot of people have applied the same strategy to pricing their home! Yet, can you really base the pricing of your property on the same strategy that’s used for an eight-pack of Cola?

Don’t set your asking price at £499,999 instead of £500,000 or £999,999 instead of £1,000,000. Why? This gives off the sense that you are desperate to sell. It doesn’t evoke confidence in your home and what you have to offer. Do you really want to take the ‘Tesco’ value approach to pricing your property?

Another disadvantage is when people search for your property on Rightmove or any other property portal or website. Most of these sites will have pricing at rounded numbers, i.e. people can look for homes between £400,000 and £500,000. If you set your house price at £399,999 you are pricing yourself out of this range. Yet, if you priced your home at £400,000 you would appear in searches for both £300,000 to £400,000 and £400,000 to £500,000. Therefore, you enhance your visibility and exposure.

 

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  1. Focus on upgrading the kitchen

 

Anyone involved in real estate, home staging, or that has sold a home before, will tell you that the kitchen is your gateway to sale success! A beautiful and functional kitchen can ensure your home sells quickly and for a higher value. But, not everyone can afford to splash the cash on new countertops, so here are some low-cost alternatives…

  • Add more lighting – One of the biggest downfalls you will discover in most kitchens is that there is not enough light! Light up the countertops for better visibility when preparing food. Why not consider installing a kitchen pendant light over the sink?
  • Invest in a clean water pump – Ensuring the water is pure and healthy to drink from is another way to upgrade your kitchen. If you have any issues with your current set-up, look towards the likes of Davey Pump repairs to ensure this is fixed before your house goes on the market.
  • Replace faucets – If your kitchen faucet is worn you should replace it.
  • Re-paint or stain kitchen cabinets – Instead of spending money on re-surfacing the kitchen cabinets, you should simply strip the finished and re-paint or re-stain them. Of course, this only applies to wooden cabinets!
  • Buy new pulls and knobs – You don’t need to buy new cabinets, as new hardware can transform the entire appearance of them at a minimal cost.
  • Re-grout kitchen counter tiles – You will be surprised by how cost effective this is! It is the ideal solution for those that cannot afford to purchase new granite.

 

So there you have it: the top four tips to help you sell your home!

 

Starting a Family: 3 Things to Do First

Starting a Family: 3 Things to Do First

 

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The decision to finally start a family together with your partner is a big step for most people. It means that everything is going to change – for the better, of course, but change can still be pretty terrifying.

Sometimes, we tend to rush into things just to get the ball rolling and find ourselves stressed out and overwhelmed when there are just a few months left before the baby is born. Make it a bit easier for yourself by preparing for the big day and giving yourself the state of mind that is able to handle these changes.

Here is a handful of the very best things you can do for yourself and your partner before you start a family. That way, you can make sure that you’re both prepared enough and eager to welcome the new chapter.

#1 Talk about your future

Planning and preparation mean that you have so many advantages that those who don’t get to plan these things miss out on. Where would you like to live when your kid is old enough to go to school, for example, and do you want to stay in the same city all these years?

Most children fall in love with their childhood home and you should give your kid the same opportunity. When you have time and room to prepare, you can talk about these kinds of things instead of just taking life as it comes. It will be a huge benefit for your kid, of course, who won’t have to move houses too much during their childhood.

You might want to discuss your career plans as well, by the way, to make sure that you’re both on the same page. Perhaps daddy wants to stay at home with the kids while mommy is working – or maybe you both want to stay home which, of course, raises a set of new questions you’re going to have to answer.

#2 Settle your finances

Having a child tends to be expensive, you know, and it might be one of the least financially wise decisions you can make. We don’t really have kids so that they can help out on the farm or with chopping wood when they come of age either anymore, so you can certainly expect this to be an investment that doesn’t pay off in terms of money.

Having children is, luckily, not just for our own sake, though, and you’d want to make sure that your finances are as healthy as possible before you start your new family. Look into personal debt consolidation loans, for example, if you’d like to start with a clean slate – and remember to set up a proper budget as well.

#3 Talk about parenting

This one is quite tough for most couples as you might find that your partner has a different parenting method than yourself. Many won’t find out about this until they end up always having to be the strict parent while their partner is the fun one and, needless to say, it’s usually not that much fun to be seen as strict. Try to talk about your views on parenting, and make use of this article to guide you a bit along the way.

Parenting is definitely difficult and the better prepared you are, the more you can enjoy the fun and exciting parts.

How To Keep Your Lawn Looking Luscious

How To Keep Your Lawn Looking Luscious

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One of the main features of your garden which is always going to grab some attention is your lawn. But making sure that this part of your outdoor space is glorious and luscious takes time and energy. Ultimately, everything comes back to the routine which you develop and the good habits which you get into. So, in this article, we will focus a little closer at some of the top advice involved in ensuring that your lawn retains its good looks.

Water the Right Way

Of course, your lawn needs the water of life on a regular basis to ensure that it stays healthy. But there is such a thing as overwatering, which can end up being damaging as well. To start off with, you need to choose the right time of day to water your lawn. This tends to be in the late evenings or early mornings when conditions are cool and humid, and evaporation is less likely to occur. Obviously, your lawn is going to need more water during the hotter summer months. Don’t wait until your lawn already becomes brown and dry-looking before you decide that it is time for another dousing. Check for signs of wilting or footprints which stay visible for more than an hour to give you an early warning sign of when you need to give more water.

Mowing

The next aspect of good lawn care is the mowing. Remember that tall grass tends to make for a much healthier lawn. If you have left the lawn to get too long, rather than attempting to hack it all back straight away, you should instead remove some, before waiting a few days to cut it down to your desired height. The ideal time to mow your lawn is when the grass conditions are both cool and dry. If you are planning to pattern your lawn in some way, now is the time to look into commercial landscaping. Leave the grass clippings behind on your lawn to decompose and provide it with some vital nutrients. You need to sharpen the blades of your mower on a regular basis to ensure that they are operating at full capacity. At the end of the growing season, cut your grass back so that it is especially short.

Fertilizing

The final step that we are going to discuss which is involved in proper lawn care is fertilizing. If possible, choose an organic product rather than an artificial one as these are less likely to damage your lawn than the others on the market. You need to set out a clear fertilizer plan which is dependent on how much time you have on your hands. You could go for one which only requires you to ferilize the lawn on an annual basis or a more intensive one which involves fertilizing every eight to 10 weeks.

Ultimately, the best way of keeping your lawn looking great is with regular care and attention.  

 

Why An Up And Coming Area Might Not Be Coming Up In Your Healthy Future

Why An Up And Coming Area Might Not Be Coming Up In Your Healthy Future

A load of factors contribute towards any decision to buy a house. The chances are that you have an extensive checklist of requirements before you even book a viewing. And, just going to look at a house by no means seals a deal. Far from it. Most potential buyers also have stringent requirements with what they like to see. In short; it takes a lot to make us part with such a significant amount of money.


And, so it should. This is probably the most valuable investment you’ll ever make. Besides, buying a house is a huge commitment, and you need to make sure you’re moving somewhere which suits your needs. After all, if things go well you hope to be there for a long time to come. Hence why we think about everything from layout, to parking, to location.

And, it’s the latter of these we’re going to look at here. Let’s be honest; location often comes high on the priority list for various reasons. For one, you need to be sure a location has things like good schools and low crime rates. Many advice articles also stress the importance of an area when it comes to value. For most buyers, the chance to invest in upcoming areas can seem like a dream come true. How better to double your money and live with all the amenities you need?

The trouble is, when it comes to living a healthy life, moving to an upcoming area may not be quite what you expect. Far from setting you on the right footing, an area like this could lead to problems for both your happiness and health. Admittedly, this shock will be less if you’re used to built-up areas. But, if you’re moving from a rural location, you could be in for some unpleasant realities.

So, it isn’t always wise to take this advice without question. In fact, in some cases, you would be better off avoiding areas on the rise altogether. Luckily, online listings like those offered by STProperty ensure you can browse off-the-grid properties with ease. If you aren’t sure why you should, read on to find out why upcoming areas might not be coming up in your future.

Green space won’t stick around

 

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We all like to see a little greenery when hunting for a property. Green parks and pretty views are always good for sealing a deal. This is especially the case for young families, who want plenty of safe spaces for their kids to play. But, this is the first area in which upcoming areas can let you down. The sad fact is, once development starts in a town, it often keeps going. While you can inquire about things like potential planning permission, nothing is ever set in stone. Even green areas without permission as it stands are unlikely to stay that way. If a new shop or school are on the horizon, you can bet more houses will follow. In fact, if you move into a house backing onto a field, you could have neighbors right at the end of your garden before you know. That could be real damage. After all, it’s a known fact that time in the open air can work wonders for our health. But, if building work is on the horizon, you could end up far from open expanses, thus eliminating your ability to walk in the countryside.

Increases in road traffic

As well as more houses, you can expect to see increased road traffic. After all, those new residents all need a way to get around. And, the chances are that your new town council won’t make adjustments to allow for that. As such, you can bet that roads will soon be chockablock with cars. This is terrible news from a pure convenience standpoint. But, it also spells trouble for your healthy lifestyle. As well as being harmful to our environment, air pollution can do real damage to our health. On an apparent level, excessive pollution can irritate both our eyes and lungs. On top of which, nitrogen dioxide is linked to both heart and lung disease. In fact, early mortality rates are much higher in areas with pollution problems. On top of which, those car fumes can impact everything from the appearance of your town to the quality of your food. Local produce is sure to suffer the ill effects of continual chemical exposure. And, that’s stuff you plan to put into your body! In short; increased traffic is bad news all around. Admittedly, it is possible for walking paths and improved public transport to ease this burden down the line. But, few councils consider these adjustments before they see the impact of their efforts. As such, you could well be in for a good few years before this happens. And, a few years of pollution is all it takes to do real damage. That’s especially worrying when you consider how susceptible young lungs are to issues like these. Some would argue it isn’t a risk worth taking.

 

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Bothersome building work

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that building work can be bothersome. But, you might not realize that it can also harm health over time. While we’re on the subject of pollution, it’s worth mentioning that first. Building work is rarely pollution free. Hence why building sites end up with a layer of dust over everything. More often than not, bricks and even wood can cause real dust issues in the air. Though less harmful perhaps than road pollution, this is still a real problem. Breathing in continual dust fumes can do real damage, and can even trigger issues like asthma. What’s more, most significant building projects take at least a few years to complete. So, if there’s a building site close to home, you can bet dust will cause you issues for a long time to come. As if that weren’t enough, most building sites involve the use of heavy machinery and even tractors and such. All of which release even more harmful chemicals than a standard car. On top of all that, building sites are also hotspots for noise pollution. On the surface, it would be safe to assume this isn’t harmful to health, but that isn’t the case. Continual noise can lead to issues such as lack of sleep, and ultimately stress. And, given stress is a leading cause of high blood pressure and heart disease, that sound could well come back to haunt you.

More people on the streets

We’ve already touched briefly on the impact more people can have on an area. But, that’s not all you need to consider. Cars and houses aside, there will also be a whole load more people on the streets. And, that in itself can cause trouble. Again, continually busy streets can cause issues like stress and anxiety. If you feel like it’s a challenge even to get out your front door, it’s sure to do some damage to both happiness and health. But, that’s what could happen if developments are successful. Aside from skyrocketing stress levels, an increased population could also lead to pollution issues of a whole other kind. The more people there are, for instance, the more chance of problems with littering all around your town. The trouble with this is that it can get into waterways and cause real problems. Besides, which, it can lead to the killing of wildlife on a vast scale. While some level of pollution is always inevitable, moving to a quiet area is sure to see much lower levels. And, that could be a better environment for your whole family.

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A final word

Of course, whether the above pointers dissuade you is a question of personal taste. For some people, the temporary risks of the above won’t be enough to overrule the positives. And, there’s no denying that there are also plenty of those. A few of the main reasons to move to an upcoming area include-

 

  • Increasing house prices
  • Proximity to amenities
  • Better job possibilities

 

All these benefits could be enough to convince you this is a good idea. And, if you’re single with no one else to worry about, there’s no denying that you can still make this work for you. You can even create a haven at home in the busiest city going. But, if you’re raising a young family and are worried about their health, it may be worth thinking again.

Admittedly, it is worth noting that even rural locations are prone to growth at times. As such, you can never be sure to get away from the above, even when you do move somewhere remote. Instead, you may find that you’re better off buying in an already established development. That way, you can rest easy that you won’t face more building work or growth anytime soon. And, this can also see you enjoying the benefit of convenience. All the better for ensuring you live as happy and healthy a life as possible!

 

 

 

Top Tips For Autumn And Winter Gardening

Top Tips For Autumn And Winter Gardening

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Now that the summer is starting to come to and end and we are beginning to see some darker and colder evenings once more, it is time to start really looking at the garden and deciding what you need to do with the space. During the colder months of the year the garden enters a dormant state. Everything goes into a hibernation period and you will start to see your once vibrant space become bare and boring. There are some things you can be doing during this period however to keep the space healthy and make sure it is happy for the winter.

 

  1. Hard work and maintenance


When the cold, harsh weather starts to creep in you will see a rapid decline in your plants and they will all begin to retreat back for the winter. This is usually the ideal time for you to get a tree service in to remove and prune trees, and it the ideal time for you to start thinking about cleaning out the beds in your garden ready for the spring. It will take work to make sure your plants stay safe during the winter, but they will be all the healthier for it once you have put the work in.

 

  1. Get planning

    Winter is the perfect time for you to start planning what you want to do with the garden next year. You can note down what plants used to be where and start to think about different ways you can change the layout and atmosphere in the space. As long as you don’t move plants around during the cold seasons you can start to create patio spaces and new beds ready to plant things in the spring.

 

  1. Leave it wild

    When it comes to maintains your garden during the winter it can be tempting to start raking leaves every day and making sure that everything is kept neat and tidy for the season, however this isn’t the best thing for you to do at all. During the winter wildlife become much more exposed to the elements, and they will use things like leaves and twigs in order to hibernate for the winter, if you start getting rid of all of your leaves they will have nothing to use for shelter and this can be dangerous for them.

 

  1. Improve your soil

 

Now that your plants are done growing for the year, it is the ideal time for you to use the empty soil beds as a chance to improve your soil quality. You can add things such as mulch, compost from your garden and even coffee grounds into the flower beds which will give your soil some amazing nutrients which will be well appreciated at the start of next year. By doing this little bit of work you will ensure the happiness and healthiness of your plants the next year.

  1. Bring in some colour

 

There are actually some plants which thrive in winter conditions and they will start to flower and fruit during the colder months. Trees such as the Prunus Autumnalis are beautiful and they flower with cherry blossom during the winter. You can also plant winter berries, holly and other Christmas inspired things in the garden to bring it a little bit of life for the colder season.