Friday, 1 December 2017

3 Reasons You Should Invest in an Outbuilding

Image Credit: Pixabay

An outbuilding might sound like a daft idea but actually, for a lot of people, choosing to add another building at the end of their yard is preferable to building an extension. For one thing, you won’t have to move out of several rooms in your house while the work goes on (and on and on) but the extra advantage is that you can give yourself a little more separation.

For many people who work at home, going outside to their workspace provides the illusion of going to work they need to get their head in gear ready to hit the day running. Though you might assume that outbuildings are ugly and disconnected, if you go with a company like Armstrong Steel, you will have the opportunity to specify exactly what you want from the thickness of the insulation to the color it’s painted.

But you get to decide what happens inside and there could be a few opportunities to make a little side income.

Work From Home

A home office is ideal for working apart from the chaos of your home life. When you work in the kitchen, it can be all too tempting to prevaricate from what you are doing or get pulled into housework instead. When you have this separation between you and the house it means that you can’t be disturbed.

Artists can also use this extra space in a similar way as any outbuilding can be customized to have big windows and skylights to introduce as much natural light as possible. As you have complete control of how the building is laid out and which way it faces, you can ensure that you have the best light all day long.

The Home Gym

The garage has long been a popular space to convert into a home gym but building specifically will mean that you can max out on equipment and space. If you like exercises like dance and yoga, having that extra floor area will give you the space you need to do your thing.

As many of the machines can be quite noisy, moving them out will ensure that no one in the house is disturbed. And you can play you favourite music much louder to motivate you to move faster! If you are business minded, you could also consider opening this space up to your neighbors for a monthly fee.

A Unique Entertaining Space

If you are an entertainer at heart, you could go all out and create an amazing space to have friends over and host networking parties. This is a great idea for business owners for whom entertaining is the best way to get extra income.

Make the space feel luxurious with a high ceiling, plenty of large windows and think about the style of furnishing you like. There’s no reason you can’t add in a bar or small kitchen to really make the most of your opportunities. Again, with a space like this available, you could use it to make a bit of extra income by renting it out for small events.

Monday, 13 November 2017

New Home, New Start!


Moving home can be a truly rejuvenating experience. You have a completely new start! While this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should toss all of your old belongings behind you, it does allow you a brilliant opportunity to begin afresh with your interior design, exterior design and general tastes. Here are a few different ways to make your new property a brand new page in your life story.


Packing to move home is a brilliant opportunity to get rid of all of the junk that you may have amassed over the years. After all, why bother packing up needless belongings and transporting them from one place to another? Settle to only take much-loved belongings with you to your new home. To do this effectively, start packing as early as possible. Examine each item you own and contemplate whether you really like it and whether it serves a purpose in your routine. Start with your wardrobe. Remove any items that no longer fit you, that are irreparably damaged, that you haven’t worn in over a year, or you simply don’t like that much anymore. Don’t throw them away. Instead, donate them to a charity store or put them in a clothing bank. Someone out there will love them! Next, sift through any old letters, files or documents. If you no longer need any, stick them in the recycling bin. Just remember to shred any documents with personal details on first. Do this with all of your belongings. Before you know it, you’ll only have things that you love, and that is worth transporting the distance. This will also reduce your removal costs, even if you’re already using an affordable removalist. There will be fewer trips, as your items will take up less room.



A new home is a blank canvas, ready for you to add your personal touch to it. So get adventurous and craft the perfect space for you to live in. It’s generally best to do as much decorating as possible before unpacking, so try to have a good idea of what you’re going to do with your new space before moving. Start mood boarding with different colour palettes, choose the types of paint that you prefer and whether you want wooden flooring, tiles, or carpeting in each given room. This can then be laid down before your belongings even arrive. Once the walls, ceilings, and floors are dealt with, you can start unboxing. Smaller details like curtains, light fittings, and bedding can be chosen later down the line, as they are easier to fit around your furniture once it’s already in place. Don’t forget that you can often add personal touches to the exterior of your new property too! Paint the front door your favourite colour, add some hanging baskets or window boxes and consider climber plants with beautiful blooms. The place will be yours in no time!

Embrace the experience of moving your home. It’s a period where you can truly whittle down your belongings and make your new space your own.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Avoid These First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes

If you are in the process of looking for your first home, you will no doubt be excited. This is a huge step in anyone’s life. Getting on the property ladder isn’t always easy in today’s day and age, but it is certainly worth it. To make the whole process a lot easier and to ensure you don’t run into any massive hurdles along the way, make sure you avoid the common mistakes mentioned below.

  1. Being shy – Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is going to be one of the biggest investments you ever make. You shouldn’t feel bad about asking question after question. After all, it’s a massive commitment you are making.
  2. Skipping the home inspection – A lot of people skip the home inspection in an attempt to save money. They simply decide to inspect the home themselves. However, it takes a trained eye to see any issues that exist within a home. The inspection is so important, as it will ensure you don’t end up with a nightmare scenario on your hands when you move in. Moreover, you can often use the findings of the survey to negotiate a lower price, so a survey may actually save you money in the end.
  3. Not double-checking the fees – It is important to check the fees with a magnifying glass. Mistakes are easily made, and the last thing you want to do is end up paying even more money for your new home.
  4. Not thinking about the future – Of course, you cannot predict the future, but it is important to think about it now so you can avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road. Ask questions like; have property values in the area been declining? If there is a lot of undeveloped land, ask what is going to be built there.
  5. Underestimating the total cost – This is one of the biggest mistakes first-time homebuyers make. You find an affordable new property, you save the money for the deposit and you have enough for the monthly mortgage payments, and you assume that everything is fine. However, there are many more costs you need to think about. This includes costs during the buying process like legal fees and the cost of a home inspection. You then have ongoing expenses such as insurance and property maintenance. They always say that you should set aside 10% of the home’s value for all of these added costs.
  6. Choosing the wrong mortgage – Nowadays, there are so many different mortgage options, which can make it difficult to know where to start. The last thing you should do is rush into choosing a mortgage without thoroughly understanding it. A lot of mortgages seem great in the beginning because the prices are lower, but these rates can easily rise if the mortgage is a variable one. It may be worth going for a fixed mortgage. Yes, you may pay slightly more, but you will have greater control of your money, as you will know exactly what you are paying every month. This means that there will be no nasty surprises later down the line.
  7. Making home insurance an afterthought – One condition of your lender’s agreement will usually be to get buildings insurance. This is an insurance policy that will cover the bricks and mortar of your new property. You should not have to purchase this from the lender directly, though, so do keep this in mind. It is also important to get contents cover included as well. This will cover your belongings to make sure you are protected from any damage or loss that occurs while your goods are in transit, so long as you use a professional removal company.
  8. Ending up with nowhere to live – This nightmare scenario happens more often than you would think. The solicitor tells you that the contracts will be exchanged very soon, so you give your landlord the month’s notice. You then discover that there is a hold-up and the contracts aren’t going to be ready as quickly as you imagined. This results in a few months of sleeping on your parent’s sofa. Not ideal!
  9. End up paying both rent and a mortgage – The opposite from the former point is when you leave it too late to hand in your notice. Make sure you are aware of how much notice you need to give to your landlord. You may find that your contract asks for two or three months notice rather than the typical one-month notice period.
  10. Telling everyone that you are buying a new home – While it can be very tempting to shout it from the rooftops and tell everyone that you come into contact with, it is usually better to only tell your close family and friends. This is because most deals usually experience delays at some point, and it can be very frustrating when everyone keeps asking you about your new property.
  11. Compromising on the important things – When you start out on your home buying journey, it is likely that you will have made a list of all of the things you are not going to compromise on. If you have not done this yet, you should. Make sure you never compromise on the things you have written down. There may reach a point in your journey where you are tempted to. You could, for example, fall in love with a stunning two-bedroom house. But if you are planning on starting a family in the near future and want three bedrooms, you are going to have to let this property go.
  12. Skipping mortgage qualification – It is important to get pre-approved for a loan before you make an offer on a home. A lot of people assume that they will be given a loan of ‘x’ amount once they work out what they can afford. But what the bank is willing to offer you may be completely different. This is why it is important to get the loan pre-approved first to make sure you don’t waste everyone’s time.
  13. Not knowing what you can afford – Another mistake is simply not knowing what you can afford. Don’t dive into the buying process headfirst because you are excited. You need to sit down and work out your finances. Make sure your calculations are realistic. If you deduct your expenses from your income, and believe the leftover amount is what you can afford to pay every month, you will be in for a big surprise. You need to cover living expenses and make sure you have some cash leftover for the nasty surprises life likes to throw our way from time-to-time.
  14. Mistaking the lender valuation for a survey – As mentioned earlier, the importance of getting a home inspection survey cannot be overlooked. It is vital to stress that this is not the same as the lender’s valuation. When the mortgage lender carries out a valuation, they are only checking to determine if the property is adequate value for the loan in question. You need to pay for your own survey to find out if anything is wrong with the property.
Overlooking your credit report – Last but not least, it is critical to keep an eye on your credit report before you start searching for your home. If your credit score is bad, there is no point in applying for a mortgage now. You should improve your credit rating first. There are a number of ways you can do this, from ensuring all personal information is correct to paying off your credit cards.