6 Ways To Prepare Your Home For Visitors This Christmas

6 Ways To Prepare Your Home For Visitors This Christmas

 

Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash

The festive season is almost here and with that the many family visits that will be taking place at your house. Whether it’s your first time hosting guests for Christmas or you’ve been doing it for years, preparing your house can take some serious time, effort and money.

With that in mind, here are 6 ways to prepare your home for lots of visitors this Christmas:

Make Sure You Have Lots Of Beautiful Decorations

One of the best things about hosting people for Christmas is that you get to be even more extravagant with your decorations. Having the whole family around is a great chance to show off your incredible decorations to everyone – so have fun making them the best they can be! For inspiration, you can visit sites like Pinterest or Instagram.

Fix Any Issues Before People Arrive

Throughout the year there may be small issues that need fixing, but you never get around to doing them. Whether it’s a broken cupboard door, a loose tile or something else – fixing them before your guests come to stay is the best time to get these smaller tasks out of the way. Not only does it make your house feel like it’s in order, but it’s much safer for your guests too.

Redecorate Any Rooms That Need A Little TLC

If you’re hosting guests for a few days, you may find that your guest rooms need a little bit of TLC before they can stay in them. As they often become the forgotten room that’s only used to store things, they’ll probably need more than a tidy before your guests arrive. If you’re on a budget you can change the look and feel of a whole room with some wallpaper and a coat of paint. It’s surprising what you can do!

Update Any Old Furniture

Christmas is a great excuse to buy new furniture to replace the bits you’ve been dying to replace for months! Whether it’s a new sofa bed for the guest room or a bigger dining room table – treat yourself to something new before everyone arrives. For inspiration, you can visit Wayfair reviews here.

Get Rid Of Any Junk To Make Extra Space

If you’ve got lots of visitors coming round you’re going to need all the space you can get. Getting rid of any junk that you no longer need (or storing it in the loft) is a great way to free up some space in your house. If you’re really struggling, invest in some extra storage that will allow you to store things in a much smarter way.

Buy Extra Bedding And Towels Just In Case

If your guests are coming to stay then it’s always handy to have extra bedding and towels on hand. If they’re not planning on staying it’ doesn’t hurt to buy extras just in case – you never know what may happen!

Are having lots of visitors this Christmas? How will you be preparing your home? Let me know in the comment section below.

Three Great Reasons To Get Outside More This Winter

Three Great Reasons To Get Outside More This Winter

From Pexels

 

We’re known as the ‘indoor generation’. Most of us work inside, socialise inside and generally spend most of our days cooped up indoors, and as you can probably guess, this isn’t great for our health. Not only does spending more time inside correlate with less physical activity, but we’re also constantly breathing indoor air which comes with its own set of issues. Toxins from cooking, woodburning stoves, cleaning chemicals and more can all fill the air, and if you’re spending most of your time in the house then you’re never going to get away from that. Even if you’re very careful and only use organic and homemade cleaning products, common materials around the home can break down, and other sources of indoor pollution can all impact your health. When the weather is cold and wet it’s tempting to want to hibernate, but fresh air is so good for our wellbeing and the extra activity will benefit us physically. Here are some great reasons to get outside more this winter!

 

Raise some animals

If you have a large garden or land surrounding your property, have you considered raising animals? You could keep chickens and enjoy their fresh eggs. You could adopt rabbits, alpacas or even abandoned horses. Companies like Vale Stables field shelters can ensure your enclosures stay up to scratch all year round. Getting out there and taking care of your animals is a wonderful motivator to get your wellies on, and get up and outside! If it’s something you’ve always wanted to do then why not take the plunge now, animals can add so much to your life and as an added bonus you’ll be up and out of the house more too. Another option would be to adopt a dog, there are thousands in shelters in need of homes and so bringing one into your life could be hugely beneficial for you both. You won’t mind getting up and out in the rain if it means taking your doggy friend for his much loved walks!

 

Get gardening

It might seem like this time of year isn’t the best to get gardening, but actually there’s plenty you can do to get established for the spring. Buy some bulbs and seeds, put these into the ground now and they’ll be ready to pop up when the weather warms up next year. You could buy a greenhouse and plant all kinds of crops in here. Thanks to the fact that you can control the temperature, you can keep the growing season going all year around.

 

Exercise outside

When it comes to exercising, going to the gym is the preferred choice for most at this time of year, it’s indoor and out of the elements. But actually, braving the cold can really add to your workouts. It’s always going to be better running outdoors and enjoying the scenery and fresh air compared with a stuffy gym- even if you do have to deal with a little drizzle! If you live by scenic surroundings, you could practice yoga in the country or on the beach on a dry morning or afternoon.

 

Make Money With Your Home Using These Wonderful Hacks

Make Money With Your Home Using These Wonderful Hacks

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There are a lot of things you can do that will help you to improve the home as much as possible. It is important that you are focused on helping and improving the property for the future, but you should also think about making money for the home as well. This is something you need to make a priority in your life, and there are a lot of things you might consider doing if you want to make money using your home in 2018.

 

By using the different ideas on this post, you should be well-equipped to start making money at home as soon as possible. Turning your property into a revenue stream adds an extra dimension to it, and helps to make it an even more precious family asset. This is why you need to look at the different things that play a role in helping your home generate more money for you moving forward. Use these hacks as a great way of bringing more money in for the family, and exploring other avenues of money making in 2018.

 

Solar Power

You need to consider the most important parts of the home, and how they can be utilised to make money now, and in the future. There are so many great choices to keep in mind, but the main one is to do with solar power. You should look at getting solar panels installed somewhere on your property, as this is going to be a great way of making your property more eco-friendly, as well as making you money in the process too. Click here to find out all about solar financing and the best way of realizing your solar dream! Investing in solar energy is so important because this is a great way of allowing you to make more money while keeping your home greener at the same time.

Rent Your Driveway

This is a bit more of a modern concept, but it is no less effective – try to make sure you rent your driveway out for a bit of extra cash. There are even apps these days that will allow you to do that as much as possible. Consider what it takes to make more money on a daily basis, especially with a family. Every little bit is going to be helpful, so if you have the space to rent out part of your driveway, this is definitely something you should do. It’s best for localised dealings, but it is a good way of enjoying a small cash injection moving forward.

Spare Room

One of the most effective ways of using the home to generate more revenue is to rent out the spare room in your home. This is something people have been doing for a long time, and taking on lodgers can’t be something of a mixed bag. It is definitely not for everyone, but, if you can find the right lodger, it is an excellent way of making more cash and helping the family home thrive. It also makes it a more sociable space and allows you to have a more vibrant home life. Just make sure you are careful when it comes to the screening process, and be sure you get references for your lodger before you accept them into the home.

Start a Business

These days the 9 to 5 job is starting to become a thing of the past, and more people are starting to gravitate toward starting their own businesses or freelancing. And this is another area where you can utilise your home to make money. It saves you having to rent office space, and provides you with a working environment to help get your new business off the ground. So, you need to make sure you use the home as your base of operations for a new startup. That way you can be making money from home even without having to change out of your pajamas! You should definitely do this though…

Sell Unwanted Items

While we’re on the topic, you should also take a look at some of the unwanted items in and around the home. These are literally cash lying around, and you need to sell them to help make some money. It might seem like a pain, but using sites like eBay or Facebook to shift your unwanted possessions is an excellent way of building up some cash, and having a much-needed clear out at home as well. Make sure you get rid of as much of your unwanted stuff as you can right now and take advantage of all the cash you can make as a result.

Improve the Home

There are plenty of things you can do that are going to help you make money from your home, and sometimes you need to think long-term. The fact of the matter is that the home itself is a huge asset, and you need to think about how you are going to make the property more valuable for the future. There are plenty of ways of achieving this, and considering things like extension and renovations are the best place to start. They can add significant value to the home in the future, and provide you with an excellent asset moving forward.

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Save Money to Make Money

Sometimes you can make money by saving money, and this is a mentality you need to embrace in and around the home. There are plenty of ways you can save money as a modern family, and things like couponing and smart devices are a great way of achieving this. So, you need to make sure you think carefully about what you can do to save as much money as possible. Get this right, and you will have more money left over to play with and improve things.

 

Coming up with plenty of ideas that are going to help you improve and enhance your home, and help you to generate more cash as well. This is something that is going to make family life more comfortable and will allow you to maximise the potential of the family home. Make sure you look at as many different ways as possible of making money with your home, and you will find that this is actually more achievable than you would think.

 

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.