Friday, June 08, 2018

Are you planning to relocate to a new place?
Whether you have a big family or a small one, preparing in advance is vital. Moving out to a new home can be an exciting thing. It may involve making new friends, meeting new neighbors and starting to adjust leaving in a new environment.
Since moving to a new place involves many things, you might want to check out some stuff before the day of moving in. Below are things that you may want to check on before moving out. 
1. Research about local school districts in your new home
Do you have kids who are attending school?
Unless they are in boarding schools, you need to check the available educational districts near your new home. What is the quality of those institutions? Make a point of visiting some nearby educational institutions to check whether you would be happy to take your kids there. 
2. Consider the amount of space you need
What is the size of your new home? Does it correspond to the size of your family regarding some rooms, size of the kitchen among other things?
If it is the rental home, you might want to look for a house that fits your needs. If you know that your family is growing, you can choose a bigger house to accommodate additional members in future. 
3. The cost of moving out
What is your relocation budget?
You might want to check the distance between your old home and the new home. The longer the distance, the more it may cost. Another issue that may affect the cost of moving out is the number of things you are going to carry to your new place.
You might opt to take a few things to your new site if it is going to be very far. You can sell some furniture and donate some if you are going to a far place. You might want to ask a nearby home removal company to help you move out and calculate the costs. From there, you can start saving for that. 
4. Weather conditions of the new area
If you are moving to a new city, you need to check on the weather conditions. In some areas, summer starts earlier than other areas. In case you are approaching the summer, you might want to prepare early. Ensure that your new home has air conditioners to keep your family comfortable during that season. The same applies to winter. Prepare for any change of climate depending on where you are moving to. Consider a roof and chimney inspection from a company like Sweep Smart. Get rid of any biomass, bird nests or other pests that the previous owners or renters might have left unattended. 
5. Available time to prepare
How much time do you have to prepare to move out to another place?
If you work, you might want to create a schedule of how you will organize your stuff. Remember that even if you get two days off from your work, they may not be enough to prepare. You need to start preparing to pack as early as possible.
You should prepare a moving out checklist so that you can mark what you have packed. You will still use that checklist when arranging stuff in your new home to ensure that you haven’t lost or misplaced anything. During your available time to prepare, you might also want to sort out your stuff and get rid of clutter. 
6. Your kids
If you have children, you also need to let them know that in the next few days you will be moving out. Keep in mind that kids react to changes in different ways. To others, it may be a super exciting thing that is about to take place. Others may be affected negatively, and this can affect even their performance in school. So what should you do yet you need to move out?
Involving your kids in your plans is essential. Prepare them psychologically and let them know that as early as possible. It will help them to be ready for the new transition. Most of them will be sad because they are going to miss their friends in school, a neighbor’s dog or cat among others things. Take time and let them know that they will meet new friends and it doesn’t mean that they will never see their old friends again. 
7. Proximity to healthcare
Your well being and that of your family is important. No one knows when they are going to get sick. Sometimes unexpected emergencies happen. You need to check on the availability of healthcare services in that area. They should not be too far. 
8. Availability of furniture in your new house

Whether you just bought a newly constructed house or a used one, you need to check if it has everything that you need. Does it have enough cabinets in the kitchen? What about the wardrobe.
Did the seller leave some stuff behind, e.g., seats and cupboards? If it has some furniture, you don’t have to move in with your furniture. That will save you on the cost of moving in. 
9. Recreational activities in your new location
If you have moved to a new city, recreational activities might be different from what you were used to. Take time and tour the area before relocating. Find out family activities in that area and figure out if they might be things that your family would love. 
10. The cost of living
If your new house is in a different city, you need to check on the cost of living in that area.
“Some areas have a reasonable cost of living while others have a high cost of living. Find out if it is something you can manage or prepare for that if it seems beyond your means.” says Tom Davies from Accelerate Home Buyers.
It is crucial to prepare to relocate to a new home. You might also want to explore the neighborhoods of your new location and other developments. Try to familiarize yourself with the new area before moving in with your family. By doing that, you will realize that everything else flows smoothly.

Things to consider before relocating to your new home

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Damp problems are every homeowner’s worst nightmare; in this article I will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about damp.

What is a damp proof course?

A damp proof course is a layer of material in the wall of a building to prevent rising damp. The layer of material is usually a slate strip or a horizontal plastic.

How are damp proof courses installed?

Most damp proofing companies use the silicone injection method. They will be able to determine the optimum height for the installation of the damp proof course, taking into consideration both the internal and external ground levels. They then drill into the brickwork and inject the silicone fluid, and then re-point the mortar joint using cement and sand.

How much does a damp proof cost?

Because different properties have different problems, the damp proofing company would need to carry out an individual survey of your property to gain a better idea of the problem and provide you with an accurate quote.

I have a damp proof course, but there are signs of damp at the base of the walls?

This can be caused a number of problems. Either the damp proof course is failing to do its job, or the wrong type of plaster may have been used.  The damp proof course may even have been bridged by internal plastering or external rending which has been carried to ground level.

What is condensation?

Condensation is more often than not, a result of poor ventilation! Condensation is caused when warm moisture meets a cold surface. The key factors that contribute to causing condensation are the amount of water vapor within your property, the amount of air circulation, and the air temperature both inside and out. Basically, the warmer the air is, the larger its capacity for retaining water vapor.  As the air reaches a lower temperature it gets to the dew point where it can no longer hold water vapor, the result of this is condensation!

How can I prevent condensation?

To prevent condensation, you must have a combination of good ventilation, sufficient heating and insulation.  Low level heating will cause the temperature of internal surfaces to rise. This will then reduce the cooling of any moisture and as a result, reduce the amount of condensation. Using extractor fans in your kitchen and bathroom are a very effective way to reduce condensation. It’s also recommended that you open your windows when you take a bath or shower, this will allow damp air to leave your home.

What is rising damp?

Rising damp is caused by ground water transferring up through a wall via capillary action. The majority of walls will allow some water in, but it’s usually prevented from causing damage by a damp proof course. If the damp proof course is missing, the chances of you suffering from rising damp will be significantly higher! Rising damp can also occur when the level of the ground outside your property is higher than your damp proof course. Symptoms of rising damp include damaged floorboards, salt stained plaster and peeling wallpaper.

How can I prevent rising damp?

To prevent rising damp, you should check moisture levels at least twice a year. Any soil that is resting against your property should be dug away to leave a sufficient gap. If your damp proof course is working as it should be, this should be enough to prevent rising damp!

What is penetrating damp?

Penetrating damp is caused by the leakage of water through walls. Penetrating damp can move around a property, but the movement is horizontal rather than vertical (as is the case with rising damp). Penetrating is usually a result of structural problems such as faulty roofing or guttering. Common symptoms of penetrating damp include damp patches on ceilings, walls and floors. Penetrating damp is more likely to occur if you live in an older property.

How can I prevent penetrating damp?

To prevent penetrating damp problems, examine gutters, flashing, rendering and window frames to check for cracks. If you’re guttering is on its last legs, consider replacing it with a new plastic alternative. You should also re-seal any gaps around window frames. If the drip groove under your window sill is blocked, take the time to clear it thoroughly.

Call a trusted professional like 247 Drainage who is available 24hrs a day if you do face any major problems. Yet, in the meantime see there website for DIY Advice in order to help you be as self sufficient as possible

Author: This article was contributed by David at Protectahome Damp Proofing

10 frequently asked questions about damp

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Every landlord has the same dream of attracting only the most prominent long-term tenants who will not only care for the property during their stay, but also spread the word about the amazing accommodation to their friends and family. While bringing this dream to fruition is not impossible, it does require careful consideration and planning along with meticulous execution in order for the project to pay off in the long run. With that in mind, here are the key steps to transforming your rental into a magnet for amazing tenants.

It all starts with curb appeal

The first impression is formed before the prospective tenant even ventures inside. Your future tenants are going to form a strong opinion the moment your property enters their line of sight, so you want to make sure everything is spotless, from the fence and the front lawn, to the paintjob on the facade and the design of the front porch.

Keep it simple, welcoming, and timeless

Venturing into the interior, there is a simple premise that needs to seamlessly permeate the setting, a premise that will imbue the space with peace and positivity: simplicity. Don’t mistake this notion for “barren” or “devoid of character”, but rather embrace it as something that will allow you future tenants too envision their future here, to envision themselves building their ideal living environment themselves.

Pay special attention to kitchen design

The kitchen is arguably the most important room in any home, and going above and beyond to create a functional and aesthetic environment will go a long way in attracting the best tenants out there. You want to make sure your kitchen has everything from modern appliances to culinary amenities, as well as healthy additions.
Your future tenants will greatly appreciate a “healthy” kitchen, one that not only has proper ventilation, but also uses a modern reverse osmosis water filter to provide the flow of clean water. This will help portray a truly modern interior that, in addition to looking great,  supports a healthy lifestyle to boot.

But don’t forget about the bathroom

The bathroom is another essential part of a truly amazing rental, and prospective tenants will look for a bathroom design that not only meets their needs, but radiates peace, positivity, and well-being. The key is to create a spa-like setting by combining natural, earthy hues with plenty of natural light and strategic decor accents such as a grand mirror over the vanity, potted plants on the windowsills, and comfortable furniture overlooking the bathtub.

Evoke the feeling of intimacy in the bedroom

Likewise, the bedroom will play a vital role in creating a marketable rental property. Instead of doing what every other landlord does and not give the design of the bedroom much consideration other than it’s the place where people sleep, you want to make some small but striking changes that will immediately appeal to the tenant. Think about neutral hues on the walls complemented with accent wall art, and make sure you install programmable lighting to set the mood for every occasion.

Put it all online for the world to see

Everyone is searching for the ideal rental online and you want your listing to truly grab the attention of prospective tenants. This is why you want to put time and effort into creating a compelling listing emphasising all the benefits, complemented with professional photos that will make it impossible for aspiring tenants to skip making a visit to your property.

Stick to regular and meticulous maintenance

Finally, regular upkeep of the home’s interior and exterior will not only ensure your property is in perpetual tip-top shape, ready to welcome interested viewers, but it will also portray your professionalism and devotion to making your tenants happy in their new home. This will go a long way in boosting the success of your rental business for year to come.
Creating a truly amazing rental property is not exactly a walk in the park, as it requires some planning and careful execution in order for the project to generate positive, long-term ROI. Try introducing these solutions in order to easily transform your rental into a truly wonderful living environment your tenants will love.

How to Transform Your Rental into a Tenant Magnet

Sunday, May 06, 2018

If you have decided to rent out your property, make sure you set the standard by cleaning it from top to bottom to attract more renters.
Is there a cleaning guide to making your property as clean as a new toothbrush? Take a look at this article where we explain all the steps in detail.

Fix problems when they occur

The sooner you fix a problem, the better. Don't wait for later. If you cannot cope with all the stuff by yourself, call in a technician. If there is any damage in the property, arrange repair services as soon as possible to keep the problem from getting worse.

Take care of your mattresses

Many landlords underestimate mattresses. Most of them aren't even aware of how many dust mites and bacteria these items attract on a daily basis. It is a good idea to sanitise them after every tenant. Some people have allergies so using UV light will eliminate all allergens.

Take care of your bathroom

Your bathroom can be the most repulsive place in your property if you don't keep it clean and disinfected. Pay attention to the most common parts of the bathroom such as tubs, sinks, toilet and shower. But don't forget to have a look at the other parts as well. Bathrooms are susceptible to mould and mildew. It's always a good idea to take measures on this part. Provide good ventillation. It will keep mould and mildew away.
Apart from cleaning you should also fix any leaks, make some improvements where possible and replace worn or old grouting and fixtures. This will change the appearance of your bathroom, making it more appealing and good-looking.
Your bathroom is one of the most essential rooms in your property. If it is not properly maintained, it can break a deal. Here is why you ought to take care of it.

Clean your upholstery and carpets

Carpets and upholstery have some things in common. First off, they both attract tons of dirt that is not visible to you. Second, they have to be cleaned at least twice a year. Third, the same cleaning method can be used to eliminate all bacteria. If you are unsure of how to clean your upholstery get in touch with an independent end of tenancy cleaning company.

Always make sure you keep curtains, sofas, carpets, mattresses and other furnishings spotless clean. They can only improve the appearance of your property. Besides, if properly maintained, they will last longer.
You can also protect our belongings with appropriate solutions.

Hire a maid

If you are not able to clean regularly the place while no one has rented it, hire a maid. Once a week sessions will ensure that the property is in shipshape, free of dirt and dust mites. It will also look great if you want to show it to potential tenants who called in the last minute.
Professional maids usually offer good prices. You just have to look around and find the one that's more appropriate and fits perfectly your criteria.

Hire a window cleaner

Unless you live on the ground floor, you may also find it appropriate to hire a professional window cleaner that will take care of the most neglected parts of the house/apartment – its windows. By having your windows cleaned you will allow more light in the place. A well-lit property always looks better. It's cosier and more inviting.

So, these are our tips to making your property an amazing place that tenants would love to live in. Be sure to follow them and you'll see how quickly you attract more renters.

Cleaning Service Tips for Landlords

Monday, November 13, 2017

The recent study conducted by the BBC found that nearly half of today's UK-based internet users browse via a mobile device. Since Apple released its first iPhone in 2007, mobile phones with internet access have become de rigueur and this has, in turn, resulted in increased internet browsing on the move, with all the business possibilities that implies. Potential customers are now accessing social media sites and platforms regularly throughout a day, whether or not they are on the move or using a fixed internet source. Proper use of these platforms by a business can generate increased traffic, lead generation and conversion rates.

Social media can now be used as a form of marketing in which competing businesses advertise their services, giving customers a variety from which to choose without leaving their preferred social media websites.

It is the combination of PR - the drive to choose one business over another - and marketing that generates exposure for a brand. Social media is a new tool to entice customers to your brand over those of your competitors.

Using Twitter to advertise and market properties is not profitable. In general, Tweeters are resistant to being sold to through the medium. Instead, use the platform to offer free hints and tips of advice on home-buying, finding a mortgage and mortgage advisor, what to look for in a property etc. This will encourage people to trust in your brand, and they are then more likely to become your customers.

A Tweet containing a property name and price will not attract a customer. You are providing marketing information better directed at potential buyers than at the mass Twitter universe. Home buyers will not search for properties through a medium such as Twitter. Information other than price may serve to attract them to your website, however, such as properties in specific regions.

You are trying to attract Landlords or Vendors, those who may be interested in buying, selling or renting property, and you need to advertise the elements that make you different from other brands. You need to illustrate your reputation and achievements, perhaps Tweet testimonials from your clients and list the bigger clients on your books.

Encourage happy customers to Tweet their experiences with your brand. This form of positive PR feedback is vital to brand enhancement and lead generation.

The key to successful marketing and successful business is using each property deal as a case study. Did you fulfil your client's requirements and negotiate a satisfactory sale or let price? Was your client pleased with your overall performance? These are two crucial questions and it is important to view your client's entire experience with you and learn from it.

If you are growing your brand in the local area or working closely with local businesses, this is the information with which to market yourself on social media. Make it local; make it relevant. Name local businesses, recommend schools. This is the essence of effective social media marketing.

The best way to make sure that your business continually rank with Google and keep good number of visitors for chosen geographic and industry related phrases, for example estate agents in central London is to undertake a monthly Social Media and online marketing campaign. Our social media for the property market can help you reach your goals. Visit Property Division for more info.

Using Social Media to increase Estate Agents' profiles

Thursday, October 26, 2017

If buying the house is still something to fight for, you already know everything about all benefits and difficulties a renter can experience. Living in a rented apartment or a house can be good since it’s affordable, and all major repairs are done by landlord. On the other hand, you as a renter don’t have the total freedom once you decide to remodel your temporary home. Of course, if you’re lucky enough and your landlord is a flexible person, you’ll get a pretty good chance to negotiate certain changes. Talk to the landlord, get permission, and start working on refreshing your rental home.

Refresh furniture

Majority of rental homes are stuffed with old pieces of furniture, and their look and arrangement can be very depressing. Start replacing the oldest pieces with some new ones, but always keep in mind your budget.
If you want to save some cash, you may consider visiting antique markets, charity shops or car boots. These places are hiding some treasures, but you need to be patient and persistent. Another way is to ask the landlord to invest in furniture upgrades. There’s a chance they say "Yes" and save you a lot of time and money. 
If you're looking for hand made furniture, visit Iris Furnishing.

Think outside of the box

If your budget is thin and your landlord is not in a position to improve your home’s interior, you’ll need to start getting creative. Go online, explore some interior blogs and websites, and learn how to easily improve the appeal of outdated furniture. Start making your own customized curtains and fluffy pillows which can be scattered all over the house. Use materials you like the most, and design every single detail. That way, you’ll get something both personal and useful.

Paint everything

Your rental home can get much prettier with a simple coat of paint, so don’t miss the opportunity. Paint those garish walls and chipped cabinets, and give your home a new fresh face. Make sure to think about the perfect combination of colors, so they affect your mood in a positive way. You can’t miss with neutral earth colors which calming effect will help you to relax after a long day. If you have the backyard and a deck, go ahead and refresh woodwork, so you can enjoy with your loved ones during the weekend.

Improve the backyard

If you have some spare time on your hands, and your landlord is ok with that, go ahead and set up an organic garden, so you can produce your own healthy food. In addition, install a barbeque and start organizing amazing backyard parties with your friends. In order to protect your guests from excessive sun, or a sudden summer rain, consider investing in the bestretractable roof systems and awnings. At the end, decorate your deck and furniture with some antique ornaments and soft cushions.

Beautify the walls

There are plenty of ways to liven up the old walls in your rental, so get creative once again. Think about using tall wooden boards as a background for your completely hand-made and unique wallpapers, and place them behind sofas and tables. Mix it up with some temporary wall decals which will provide you with plenty customizing options. The market is stacked with different „stick-on-peel-off“ decals which will beautify your home while keeping the state of walls undamaged.  

Tell the story

Rearrange the furniture the way it meets all your aesthetic and needs for space. Once you’re done, continue personalizing the house by displaying your favorite photos or pieces of art. Create a beautiful mosaic from your happiest memories, and hang it on the bedroom wall so you can fall asleep relaxed and happy. If you’re into crafting, feel free to assemble your own bookshelf and fill it with your favorite books. The books you place there will tell a story about you and will keep changing as you change.

Declutter on regular basis

Before you start working on your home’s facelifting, make sure to clean everything. If you do this right, you’ll get some space you didn’t know you had, and the house interior will look much more appealing. Pull up your sleeves, get some big black bags and start getting rid of everything you don’t need including old magazines, mail, documents and random papers that stacked on flat surfaces. Once you thoroughly cleaned your rental, give your best to keep it that way, so you won't lose much time on decluttering. 

Final thoughts

As you can see, if planned and performed well, the changes you make in your temporary home can really make the place look fresh and cozy. Consider all mentioned tips and don’t forget to explain your plan to the landlord. Be responsible and accept responsibility for any damage you make during the remodeling. If your landlord is a decent person, they’ll be happy to help you, and maybe invest some money in your rental home.

7 Changes You Can Make to a Rental Home

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

As a property owner/landlord, you must be aware, having good tenants that take care of the property, pay their rent on time, and well mannered are hard to find these days. To add to this, if you lose your current tenant, the property will lie vacant and your money, effort and time will go into advertising for new and good tenants. Hence, you will have to spend more on screening potential tenants, advertising for new tenants and this can take so much time! It all makes sense to just retain the good tenants you have or work with estate agents in Dulwich to find suitable ones for the future.
As a landlord, it is normal that you find yourself pondering over the same question, how can you retain your tenants? With most leases lasting for over a year, what could you do to help convince our tenants to stay in your property once the lease expires? Well, there are a number of important changes and steps you can implement in order to retain tenants for years to come.

Look After Your Tenants and Your Property

Once you rent out your home and hand out the rental keys, things just don’t end there. To attract a good tenant and ensure they stay for years to come, you have to maintain a well looking and clean property that clearly demonstrates your intentions as the property owner. It is your duty to make sure that the tenant you have feels proud and happy that they live in your property. If your house has a swimming pool, a filthy and overgrown landscape with poor lighting will all affect the way tenants make the final decision on whether to move out or renew the lease. It is also important that when you talk to your estate agents such as those at Fish Need Water, you should list down all the duties you have as the landlord in order to prevent further complications in the future.
However, a landlord who ensures that the property remains neat, from the sidewalks, walkways to the front area remains clear from dirt and snow, responds to complaints and requests efficiently and promptly, shows concerns for the well-being and comfort of their tenants, and attends to all their needs will also remain on top preference.

Be Proactive and Responsive

It is always simpler to get the tenant to renew the lease if they like to and happy to deal with you. If you are the sort who answers their calls and attend to them for important things, you should not be surprised that they would like to stay with you for another year. You should always respond to your tenant’s complaints and requests efficiently. If you need more time to resolve any issues, it is advisable that you communicate with your tenants and clear all their doubts before things get out of control. Most importantly, do not ignore their requests, even if you feel the problem is beyond your control. Instead, you should discuss the issue with your tenants and offer them resources and support them to solve the problems on their own.

You Should Create an Open Dialogue

Being a landlord, you should try to be as approachable and act fast in case an issue arises in your rental property. This means that you should stay on top of general maintenance issues and deal with them on time. You can also consider instructing your property management company to act on behalf of you if you prefer to stay in the background.

Imagine Yourself as the Tenant

It is easy for landlords to be focused on their tasks, but consider having to look for some competition and think about what your tenants may see when they look elsewhere. To keep good tenants happy, it is advisable that you also consider fittings and fixtures. These days, cheap fittings are not hard to spot and if your tenant is searching for a long-term rent, you can expect certain standards and look elsewhere.

Respect Their Privacy

Once you rent out your home, you should know that you have to follow some rules and law. You have to learn to respect the privacy of your tenants and ask for their permission before making visits. Although the property is yours, you have to respect some things such as privacy. Only visit your tenants when they invite you into their home. If you are on friendly terms, you can ask them for permission over the call.

Having good tenants is a blessing today, if you have one in your property right now, it is best that you try your best to keep them happy at all times. Attend to all their needs; ask them for the things or changes they want for their home and work accordingly to maintain a good relationship.

Tips to Retaining Good Tenants in London

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The lower value of the pound, growing demand in the UK for rental homes and a changing rental sector are all reasons why a wave of new investors from Russia, the Middle East, the EU and South Africa are now starting to spend big on British off-plan rented properties. However, for the many new investors thinking about joining them, it can be a daunting prospect filled with the potential for risks and loss. 

It doesn't need to be this way, however. While nerves are understandable for newcomers to the investment market, there are ways to mitigate against risks and give yourself the best chance of success. Here, UK property specialist ExperienceInvest reviews some investment hacks that are designed to lower risk and maximise your income. 

Hit the right markets 

The number one rule of property investment is to make sure you are hitting the right markets. As a new investor, this can be a tricky thing to get right without experience, but there are essentially two things you are looking to combine; business growth and demand. Think of it this way; if there are businesses investing big in a city and more start-ups, and this is fuelling demand from skilled people moving into the area, there will be a need for growing numbers of rental properties. When this is the case, investors can maximise their income and lower the risk of void periods. 

Diversify your portfolio 

Variety is the spice of life, and nowhere is this truer than in the world of property investment. For newcomers who want a safer investment, diverse portfolios are probably the safest way to put money into the market. When you, for example, put money into both residential and student accommodationinvestment, you allow yourself to make the most of growth in both markets, while also protecting your portfolio as a whole if one of your asset classes starts going into sudden decline. By hedging your bets, you give yourself a much better chance of a solid income. 

Make it passive 

Without a doubt, one of the hardest things for a new investor in the property market to do is to manage their properties, deal with tenants and attempt to keep track of all incoming and outgoing funds. With this in mind, why not make your investment far more passive than active? Investing with a company like Experience Invest allows you the chance to have a much less involved role in the success of your portfolio, which lowers the stress and gives you peace of mind that your investment is being looked after. All you do is put your money in and wait for your income to start.

Secure your returns 

Another benefit of investing with a company like Experience Invest is that it allows you to further lower your level of risk in the initial stages of being an investor. Many newcomers to the market will be concerned about how a new development will perform in its first few months and years. But working with Experience Invest can take that worry and risk away by allowing you to spend off plan and secure a set, assured return over a specified period, so you don't have to worry about your returns.  

Property investment hacks designed to maximise your income potential