RSS Feed

‘Home’ Category

  1. 14 Things You Absolutely Need to Consider Before Buying a New Home

    November 10, 2017 by barbara

    If you are thinking about buying a new property, it can be very tempting to dive straight in and rush the entire process. After all, it’s exciting, and it’s very easy to get carried away when all you want to do is be inside your new home. However, it’s important to take a step back and take the time to assess your options properly. Read on to discover some of the things you absolutely must consider when buying a new house.

    • Find out if you are eligible for any government assistance – Before you start your home search, do some research to find out if you are eligible for any government assistance. Depending on where in the world you are based, you may be entitled to financial assistance. In some places, you will lock in better deposit offers if you go for a house that is available as part of a new property launch. You may also be entitled to assistance if you are a first-time buyer.   
    • Can you afford to buy a property right now? This is undoubtedly the most important question you need to ask yourself. Simply having the money for the deposit and the monthly mortgage payments is not enough. You need to make sure you can cover all of the costs, including everything from legal fees to on-going property maintenance. If you don’t have the money for this at present, it may be a good idea to rent a property for a year or two until you have the money you need. After all, the worst thing you can do is buy a new property and not have the money to afford it.
    • Check out the area – When you buy a home, you aren’t merely purchasing the bricks and mortar; you are investing in the area. It is important to find out what the neighborhood is like. Can you walk to the shops to get your basic groceries or do you need to drive? Are you near a bar or pub? Is it easy to get to public transport? What are crime rates like in the area? How about the local schools?
    • Get to know your potential new neighbors – It is a good idea to get to know your new neighbors before you purchase the house you are considering. They will know the area better than anyone else. They will be able to alert you to the benefits and pitfalls of the area. Plus, you will be able to find if there are any nightmare tenants nearby, which could make you want to reconsider. After all, do you really want to live on a street where the police are called around every weekend?
    • Make sure the plumbing is up to scratch – When you are viewing the property, you should run the taps to check the water pressure. How old is the boiler? Do the radiators actually work? You also need to ensure that any insulated pipes are made from lead, as this would need to be replaced. Where is the hot water tank located? If it is situated in the roof, this is a good indication that it is old, which means it will probably need to be replaced soon.
    • How old is the roof? – This is one question a lot of homeowners overlook. However, replacing a roof is expensive business. Depending on the materials used, most roofs only have a life expectancy of between 15 and 20 years, so it’s important to find out how long the current roof has been in place. Moreover, if the property has a roof that is flat or nearly flat, take a look at the material that has been used to seal it. Gravel and asphalt can both leave edges and seams unsealed, which again may need to be replaced.
    • Don’t let the staging fool you – Fresh licks of paint, cosy fires, delicious smells, strategic lighting, and cleverly placed mirrors are all tricks that sellers use to make their property more appealing. Don’t let these staging tactics fool you – look beneath them.
    • Find out what is happening to prices in your chosen neighborhood – When entering the fraught house-buying process, you need to research carefully to stay calm. One important step is to assess as many properties in your particular price bracket as you can. This will help you to understand the prices that have been achieved for comparable properties. You can be sure you are paying a fair price, and you can also ensure you are not entering into an area whereby house prices are rapidly falling.
    • Get the sizing right –Some sellers place smaller furniture in their home to make it look bigger. It is important that the sizing is right for your needs. Get room measurements if necessary.
    • Which way does the house face? – At night, during a cloudy day, or in winter, it can be tough to tell the difference between a house that is facing south or north. However, in the summer, it can be the difference between a home that is frustratingly dark and one that is full of warmth and light. This is a lot more important than you may realise – you will really notice the difference once you move in. Don’t be afraid to take a compass with you to the house viewing. You may even have one on your smartphone.
    • Assess the storage space – Storage space is one asset that is often overlooked, but it is very important. Where are you going to keep your boxes of junk, spare linen, towels, and vacuum cleaner? Is there room for shelves and cupboards to be built in? Storage space can be scarce in new builds especially.
    • Consider your future plans – One of the biggest mistakes new homeowners make is buying a property that fulfills their needs now, rather than considering their future plans. There is no point in buying a studio apartment if you think you are going to start trying for children within the next few years. Also, if your job is on uncertain grounds at the moment, ask yourself whether now really is the right time to be making such a huge financial commitment. You can always buy a property at a later date, but you cannot get out of your mortgage if things start to turn sour.
    • Is the building structurally sound? – You should anticipate some hairline cracks, but there should not be any big cracks. Places where you need to pay careful attention to include bay windows, end-of-terrace walls, and where extensions join. If you have any doubts or you see any major cracks, it could be a good idea to get a surveyor to check it out.
    • Check for damp – The giveaway signs of damp are watermarked ceilings or walls, flaky plaster, and a moldy smell. It may sound obvious, but make sure you look around the skirting boards and closely near the ceiling. If a room has recently been repainted, don’t simply assume that the homeowner has done this to freshen up the property. Could it be that they are attempting to cover up damp?

    As you can see, there is a lot that needs to be considered when buying a property. Nevertheless, if you consider the factors mentioned above, you will have a much greater chance of finding a property that is right for you. From checking for damp to assessing the storage place, don’t overlook any of the crucial steps. No matter how significant they may seem right now, they can turn out to be very important later down the line.


  2. Space Saving Shoe Storage Solution

    October 24, 2017 by barbara

    For someone who loves buying shoes, I am running out of space to store them.  There are 2 shoe closets at home and they are full.  While browsing the internet, I found this amazing and convenient Overdoor 12 Pair Shoe Rack with Hooks from Organize.com.  Simply hang it over any doors at home and enjoy instant storage space. I love its easy access to the shoes and there are hooks to hang the handbags too. I like the sturdy steel frame too.   Suitable for kitchen, storage, bathrooms and closets.  If I get a few of these, I can free up the space in my shoe closet.  Yippee!

    storage

    i


  3. Renting vs buying. What is right for you

    October 1, 2017 by barbara

    propertyguru

    Property in Singapore is expensive and property price in Singapore has been falling for the past few years. Therefore you are stuck in between whether to buy a property in Singapore or opt for house rental in Singapore as you do not know which is a wise decision – to buy or to rent a house.

    However, this is still a big decision to make in your life as there will be different milestones that you achieve in life. Although most Singaporeans already have a house on their own, there will still be reasons that they have to move out from the current house as they reach another milestone in life:

    1. Child attending school the following year and you prefer staying nearer to school
    2. Just changed a job and do not wish to spend hours communting to work
    3. An upgrade from your current HDB flat to a condominium unit and need a place to stay for transition period
    4. Prefer staying nearer to parents

    Either way, there still comes a question – to buy or to rent? Before deciding, take some time to ask yourself these 5 questions to find out the best option for you.

    1. Affordability

    Private properties are overpriced in Singapore. Not only it takes all your money out from your Cash savings and CPF, you are also creating a long term commitment for yourself too. Furthermore, buying a property for your own stay is a liability instead of an asset because there is no cash flow from it as you are not renting it out. If buying a house will cause you financial burden or even falling into a debt, you might want to ask yourself again if buying a house is a wise choice or not and whether you can afford it or not is another crucial question to ask yourself.

    1. Commitment

    The momentyou buy a house, you are commiting into a new commitment in life. Bear in mind that this commitment does not stop and it is an ongoing commitment. Think about:

    1. the repairing costs that you will be spending on whenever there is any problem with the house such as, wall cracking, water leaking or even painting.
    2. the replacement of furniture when they become old after a decade
    3. the maintenance fees if you are buying a condominium unit
    4. property taxes that you have to pay

    If you think you can afford all these and can commit to all these expenses, then purchasing a property is alright. However, if  you are already struggling with your finances, or loathe the hassle when it comes to taking care your own home, or prefer having someone or the landlord to be in charge of the upkeep, then you should definitely consider renting a house instead. In addition, you will only need to pay approximately $200 for minor repairing cost on your own and the rest will be borne by the landlord.

    1. Living arrangement

    Aree you the kind of person who wants to be in charge of everything at your home? From the interior design to the choice of furniture used.  If you are, then buying a house is suitable for you. You are allowed to do anything even when it comes to knocking down the walls to create a new face lift for your house. However, if you just need the convenience of staying near to your workplace or your child’s school, and all you need is a place for you to stay, then renting is a great choice for you.

    1. Location

    Wanting to buy a property but you are not sure if you will like this neighbourhood. You can always choose to rent a place in that particular area first before deciding to buy a property so you do not regret in the future. Think of the possible scenario where you could not fit in to the community in that area but have no choice because you just bought a property there. You definitely do not want this to happen. Therefore, you can choose to rent a place first and decide if you like the estate before making such big ddecision of buying a property in that neighbourhood. After all, if you do not like it, you can always end the lease contract and search for another new neighbourhood. Make sure you like the location before you buy a property there.

    1. Financial goals

    Do you have any life goals or financial goals that you would like to achieve, such as:

    1. Traveling around the world
    2. Spending some time with your children before they grow up therefore you might want to stop working
    3. Chasing your personal passion
    4. Early retirement

    Be clear with what your life goals or financial goals. As buying a house is going to be a huge liability, you might need to postpone your life goals especially if it involves money.

    In conclusion, buying or renting a house in Singapore is a big decision that requires a lot of considerations. Consider the above factors thoroughly. Do not rush into any decision to prevent getting yourself into a financial debt.


  4. Making The Attic Inviting

    September 7, 2017 by barbara

    When you begin remodeling areas of the home, you need to think about the function that you need in the home as well as the design that you want to see. If you’re remodeling an area like the attic, you need to plan for the attic remodel cost as it might be higher than other areas of the home. Some of the things that might make the cost of the remodeling project for this area of the home increase would be adding plumbing or adding lights to the room. There are a few ideas that you can consider that will make the most use of the attic space for the family.

    Turn a small attic space into a sleeping nook. Paint the room white with a bright floor, such as blue or green. This color combination will make the rooms seem larger. You might want to consider installing another window or two in the room to allow fresh air inside and natural light. You could put one bed with a bookcase in the room or two twin beds in the attic with a nightstand between them. This is an idea if you have people spend the night with your kids or if you plan to have visitors who don’t want to stay at a hotel.

    A fun idea would be to turn the attic into a playroom. Your kids can have an area to themselves where they can run, watch television, read and play games. This is a benefit when it’s raining outside and they need something to do instead of playing video games all day. Paint the wall white, hanging fun pictures on the walls for accents. Place carpet on the floor that is in two or three shades of the same color, such as purple or blue. A sectional with colorful covers or bright pillows make the atmosphere fun and inviting. Another idea would be to make a retreat so that you can escape when you need a break after a long day. When you’re designing the attic, think of ways that you can make it comfortable and welcoming instead of a space that is dark and empty.


  5. Practical Father’s Day Gift Ideas

    June 5, 2017 by barbara

    Fathers’ Day is just around the corner.  This day is celebrated all over the world to honor dads for their love for their children and their contributions to their lives.  It is a day to tell him that he is the best dad in the whole wide world.  If you are stumped on what to get your favourite guy for Father’s Day, do remember that showing appreciation does not have to have to break the bank. It is the thought that counts. Whether your dad is into music, sports, gardening, gaming and etc, here is an affordable and practical gift that would certainly make him feel loved – An Armrest Cushion.

    This Memory Foam Armrest Cushion contours to the elbow and forearms while reducing pressure point of discomfort.  They offer extra support to the shoulders and arms, allowing the users to rest their arms comfortably on their favourite chair.

     

    4

    armrest

     

    The plush cushion is ideal for protecting sensitive skin from the hard metal/plastic chair arms

    armrest2

    The armrest cushions features 3 STRETCHABLE VELCRO STRAPS for a better and secure fit. Ideal for most types of chairs in the market.

    Make this Father’s day one of the unforgettable days in your dad’s life. This Armrest Cushion also makes a great birthday gift for husbands, grandfathers and friends.   Hurry and order one from Amazon today.


  6. Best High Chair For Grandparents House

    December 8, 2016 by barbara

    Whether your children visit their grandparents weekly or occasionally,  having a few baby products handy can certainly help prevent you from having to lug the baby gears back and forth from your house to theirs.  This can also ensure that the visits or overnight stays run as smoothly as possible. If you are looking for a high chair to be used at the grandparent’s house, why not take a look at this versatile high chair that does not take up space?

    The Smart n Comfy 3-in-1 Portable High Chair / Travel High Chair can turn any dining chair into a high chair (not for stools or chairs without backs). All you need to do is fasten the velcro strap and loop the strap around the back of the chair and adjust as necessary to secure the child to the chair.

    Made from breathable fabric, it is lightweight and great to be used all year round.    Light spills can be wiped away easily or machine wash in a delicate bag for tougher stains.


    3-in1-listing-with-dark-background-from-largemedia

    Not only can it be used at the dinner table, you can also turn it into a walking harness to keep your grandkids close by while allowing him or her to explore.  It can also be used as a Grocery Cart Safety Strap to ensure that the child stays secure.  The Smart n Comfy Portable High Chair / Travel High Chair, Cart Safety Strap and Walking Harness is available in 2 colour options – Black and Red.  Hurry and check out this affordable high chair now.


  7. Building The Perfect Bathroom For You

    November 22, 2016 by barbara

    Your bathroom is one of the key rooms in your house so you need to treat it like it is. By giving it a magnificent makeover, you will get that perfect shine that modern bathrooms have in abundance.

    bath

    Image by

    With 2017 just around the corner, what better way to see in the year with a new improved bathroom? One that follows the current fashion trends and makes your neighbours go green with envy. Let’s start with the decor. Your dull white walls are stuck in the past. Why not cover your walls with stone and get that amazing relaxing haven vibe? It will not only look cool but also give you that modern touch which has been missing for a while. You could also do the same effect with the sink and with the mirrors. Your lighting also needs to be changed. Your bathroom is going to be beautiful so why not highlight this fact with a spotlight in each corner? Those days of a one light system are definitely over. Make the most of your bathroom and flaunt it outrageously.

    You don’t want to be standing up in the bath tub and slipping around all the time do you? Well, if you purchase one of these en vogue shower pods, then you won’t be for much longer. Your bathroom is so big that you can keep the bathtub too; as a relaxing alternative for those chilled out Sundays. With a shower pod, wet floors are firmly in the past and you are in the present with these new designs. Acquire a heated towel rack. This should be a high priority item. Not only are they reasonable to purchase but also they provide you with an amazing warm sensation coming out of the hot shower. Nobody wants to dry themselves whilst shivering! You could also look into getting a bidet to wash those areas we sometimes forget about. Although extremely common in Europe, it’s never really caught on here. But why don’t you start a new trend and see where there’s space in your newly designed area of paradise.

    Why not treat yourself to a smooth marble floor instead of your rough and ready carpet? It will add elegance and style to your bathroom and add to the cave and beach effect that your now beautiful bathroom is undertaking. Wood is also coming back into trend and you could celebrate this fact by adding a wooden cabinet or two. Where else are you going to store your vast collection of perfumes and aftershaves? Finally, get rid of all the unnecessary clutter. Your bathroom should be minimalist and only contain the essentials, so say goodbye to that old chest of drawers and that rocking chair you randomly put in there one day.

    Your bathroom is meant to be a haven and should create a relaxing, stress free break from modern life. With all these new amazing features, you’ll never want to leave.


  8. Don’t Leave Your Carbon Footprints On The Carpet! Making A Home Interior Environmentally Sustainable

    October 26, 2016 by barbara

    Have you recently moved into a property for the first time?  Or have you been one of the lucky ones that have managed to buy a property?  Buying a property in the 21st Century is incredibly difficult, so count yourself fortunate. As we look to building a more sustainable environment for future generations, how can we put this ethic into our homes? At the same time making them a comfortable and welcoming environment?  Take a look at these few points and get some inspiration if you want to make an eco-friendly habitat out of your habitat!

    Step One: Be Practical

    h1

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/oskay/377247724

    Being environmentally conscious doesn’t mean scrimping on style! With the focus firmly on upcycling and reusing old products, you can afford to get really creative. You could make 3D wallcoverings from something as simple as a recycled card.

    Make sure you put everything you have to new use. That is one simple way of being green.

    To be practical, you could do something as simple as sourcing everything you need from the same area, town or city. That way, you are not having items made or shipped, which will increase your carbon footprint.

    If you live in an area that is thriving, you may have thrift stores or charity shops in the vicinity. The great thing about these stores is that they are likely to have hidden gems. The other great thing about these shops is that you are always likely to find a bargain. It is also an excellent way to find inspiration for a new way to decorate your home. These shops are usually full to the brim with vintage tea cups, decanters, glasses, coffee tables, and so on.

    Step Two: Create A Unified Look

    h2

    Pixabay

    When it comes to really communicating an individual style to your home, making things match is one of the most obvious approaches. While it can cost a lot of money to really get the style that you want, why don’t you try and purchase everything you can from one supplier?

    So if you need to make changes to your staircase and your doors, for example, if you get your building supplies from one place, such as George Hill Building merchants or Whitchurch Builders, it will save you on additional costs like shipping.

    Step Three: Feng Shui It!

    h3

    Photo from Pixabay.com

    If you are into more leftfield approaches, you could use feng shui is a way to give your space a more ethereal feel. Feng shui focuses on arranging your space so that it brings harmony to your home. Even if you are not into this, it’s still a great way to get inspiration for new color and a way to bring some harmony and style into your home.

    In Feng Shui, colors are used in relation to their elements, and certain rooms can be painted in different colors to change its ambiance. For example, yellow, the color of sunlight and is, in Feng Shui, a fire or earth element. So it can be used to create a more blissful and happier working environment.

    Interior design is a myriad of ideas. It is difficult to be sustainable when making your dream home. However, it can be achieved!


  9. Turn Your Home Into Fort Knox With These Simple DIY Security Hacks Anyone Can Do!

    October 18, 2016 by barbara

    We all want to make sure our homes are secure and prevent unauthorized people from entering them. The trouble is, some folks aren’t aware of what they can do to achieve that goal. Don’t worry because there are simple home security hacks you can do yourself! DIYers, here is what you can do today:

    Upgrade your door locks

    The sad truth is that many homes get fitted with door locks that can easily get breached with little effort. If you’ve got such locks, it’s quite easy to replace them with stronger ones. Plus, it’s a job you can carry out yourself with just a set of screwdrivers!

    Install some window locks

    Does your home have sash windows? Perhaps it’s got some newer energy-efficient ones? In any event, if your windows don’t have locks on them, you can fit some yourself. The advantage of doing so is they are hard to open without a key!

    Install a security camera by your front door

    Did you know that most burglars will enter and exit a home through the front door? A security camera is a good visual deterrent. Plus, it’s a useful way of seeing who is knocking at your front door. For covert surveillance, you can fit cameras hidden inside door bells, believe it or not.

    Fit an alarm system

    Last, but not least, a fully-featured alarm system will protect your entire house. It’s also a practical way to alert nearby householders and the police of a break-in if you’re not there.


    Infographic By Choosing a home alarm system simplified


  10. An Old House At Home – Giving Your Property Some Character

    October 15, 2016 by barbara

    One of the biggest selling point that a property sells on at the moment is its character. They are even constructing new builds in the old Victorian style with high windows and iron railings. But no all of us are blessed with a characterful home from the get go. Luckily there are a few things we can do to inject a bit of personality into an otherwise blank canvas. Read on for some tips.

    Range Cooker

    Something that estate agents are always hearing is that people want a farmhouse style kitchen. A big part of that is having a massive enamelled range cooker.

    Some people prefer the more traditional wood burners, while others are happy to have one that runs on conventional power but looks the part. In combination with a rustic style kitchen, a range cooker like an Aga can go a long way in bringing some character to your home. This even works if the property is brand new.

    Attic Reading Nook

    People also seem to respond well to homes that have small, comfortable spaces in which to cosy up and relax. A perfect way of creating a space like this is to install a reading nook in the attic or loft.

    home

    Picture

    Before you start the conversion, you will need to get planning permission and make sure that the roof is in good condition. Depending on what your roof is made out of you may need to speak to a company that works with shingle repair. They can help you prevent nasty leaks in your new library.

    Once you have the basics completed, you can choose to install a skylight, bookshelves or some covered seating. Add a lamp and a seriously comfy chair to allow you to have the most comfortable and relaxing experience.

    Sunken bath

    A relatively new trend in home design is the gorgeous sunken bath. The idea is that by sinking the tub into the floor, it becomes more of a bathing pool, than a traditional bath. Some ground floors bathrooms can house dug in cobwork baths, which are full of character and luxury at the same time.

    If a cob bathing pool is a bit much for your home, then why not invest in a freestanding roll top bath. Popular in the Victorian period these are still around today and can help even the smallest room in the house be full of life and character.

    Indoor Cottage Finishes  

    It is entirely possible now to make even the newest and plainest of houses look like a country cottage from the inside. One way to do this is to have exposed brick walls. These are very popular with the industrial look as well as the country look that we see so much of at the moment.  If you cannot uncover the bricks, then you can buy brick tiles which will give you the same effect.

    You can also install fake beams on the ceilings, These give the impression of the property being a traditional oak beamed house. Perfect for hanging swag from come Christmas!