Home Improvements On A Budget

Home improvements are something everyone gets to in their lifetime when they own their own house. We don’t own our own house just yet but this should hopefully be a different matter next year and we should hopefully have our own home by then. I’ve spoken plenty of times on my other blog about what we are looking for in a house of our very own. We are so keen to move as this house is just too small and we know exactly what we need.

But we have also been discussing home improvements we would make once we own our property. Most of the properties around here work for us size wise and have a brilliant sized garden but are lacking something we are keen to have – a conservatory.

I want a conservatory so the kids have somewhere to play, out of the way of me and not getting under my feet. I want to be able to use it to work during the day whilst they are at school or nursery. I want it to be absolutely perfect but I also know I want to do it on a budget.

I’ve been looking at these trade roof lanterns as they would be a subtle and stylish addition to a conservatory, bringing in light. They’re beautifully designed too. But how can I make sure I can have what I want on a budget? Research. I’ve been looking around and Direct Bifold Doors are definitely the best company for me when it comes to affordability.

We’re saving up the money for our deposit – although we know that may eventually be covered when Steve’s inheritance comes through – and we are trying to save up for the home improvements we want to do once we own a property. We may be saving the money but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to get the best value for our money.

That’s just one home improvement we’d like to make though – there’s a few others we’d like to make that suit a budget too.

Consider the decor

The walls, the furniture, the homeware – all these can help make a house look better. Choosing the right colours and items can really do the difference.

Refurbing

Reuse items – recover an old sofa, use up other items making something else.

Buy Things Built To Last

Home appliances may be expensive at the outset however if you buy the appliances that are built to last, they will repay you over and over again. Buying the more prestigious brands and their latest appliances cause a dent in the bank balance to begin with but they are less likely to break down and need replacing like less reputable brands. It may not seem very budget friendly to start with but it definitely helps your budget out over the long run. Why wouldn’t you want to do it? Buy extremely cheap, buy twice – or even more!

Whilst this is all still a pipe dream at the moment until we buy our house, a girl can still dream whilst she waits for her life to fall into place, right?

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Budget Friendly House Decoration Options When You Have A Child

Having children can be an expensive task. Not only do you have to feed them, clothe them, buy them nappies when they’re young and other stuff when they’re older but they can also cost you a ton of money by deciding to wreck your things. I should know, Olivia headbutted me the other day and cracked my glasses – I’ve now got some strong black tape round them until I can get to the opticians!

They can also be very expensive when it comes to renting a property. We have it in our contract that after five years, certain things can’t be charged out of our deposit. The carpet where we live is horrible. It was horrible before we moved in and then they rented to a couple with a newborn and knew we planned to be here for a good few years – hence why our letting agent ensure our contract covered us for certain things. After all, we’ve weaned two babies in this house and have currently potty trained one with another potentially starting in a few months time. It got me to thinking though – if we owned this house, what decoration options would we go for that are budget friendly in both cost and lasting?

I wouldn’t bother with wallpaper when it comes to children – children like to draw on walls and even though you may tell them not to, its still going to happen. At least with just a painted wall, you can paint over it if needs be. I would choose hardwood flooring – it is generally more affordable than carpet when buying it for your house and is certainly more child friendly when it comes to mishaps and accidents!

I’d also opt for leather furnishings – we have a leather sofa as it is so much easier to clean. We made the mistake of having a fabric sofa when Jack was little and when it finally broke and went to the dump, it was stained and disgusting. Leather is easy to wipe clean and ages well.

Lastly – and it may sound silly – but limit the amount of breakable decor you have in the house as it will cost you to go out and replace. If you have to have breakable items on show in the house, keep them out of reach of your child to reduce the risk of accidents. I have some beautiful crockery that I collected with my Dad – as I have nowhere to store it here without it being on my children’s level, I’m keeping it at my Mum’s house until we move somewhere bigger because I don’t want them getting broken.

Do you have any tips for budget friendly decor ideas when you have children in the house? I’d love to know your thoughts.

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Using an Online Letting Agent

If you’re letting out a property for the first time there is so much to consider. You have to ensure that it meets fire and safety requirements, is properly insured and fulfils all the other obligations required by the market and the law. And that’s before you even find any tenants. With this in mind, we will look at online letting agents and how they can make your life as a landlord much easier.

What is an Online Letting Agent?

These are services which can handle everything from advertising for tenants to the signing of contracts and even the collection of rent. The benefits are clear in terms of ease of use, but we’re going to through some of the other advantages so that you can decide for yourself is you need to use one.

Save Money and Time

We mentioned that online letting agents can make your life easier. In addition to this, they will also save you money and time if you consider how much work you would have to do when it comes to advertising your property. A good online lettings service will do all of the marketing for you so that you can concentrate on the other aspects of being a landlord or even on your life and career.

Advertising Experience

Good online letting agents will not only advertise your rental property on the leading property portals, but can include items like floorplans, EPCs and even 3D virtual tours. All of this adds up to a professional marketing package that should draw in prospective tenants.

Enquiry Handling

One great advantage of choosing an online letting agent is that all of your enquiries for the property can be handled by their team. This will give you the reassurance of knowing that potential tenants will be dealt with professionally. What’s more, it will free up more of your time.

Viewings Assistance

If you are unable to handle viewings yourself, a good online agent should have a network of local experts in place to do this. So, you will know that your future tenants are going to be dealing with agents who possess knowledge of the industry and local market.

Open 24/7

One of the biggest draws of using an online agent is that applications, payments and contracts can potentially be processed 24 hours a day. This could be convenient for both you and your future tenants.  

So, if you are renting out a property for the first time it might be well worth investigating an online letting agent. But what do you think? Is it better to market your property yourself? Or do you believe it’s best to rely on the professionals? Feel free to let us know using the comments section below.

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