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.


Why January is the Best Time to House Hunt

The boundless joy of the festive season is over and all that’s left is darkness and misery, right? Wrong! I’ve been doing a bit of research lately and have discovered an interesting fact about what many of us consider to be the dreariest month: January is a great time to go house hunting. In fact, January may just be the best time of year for this task. Why? Well, there are a number of reasons for that. Let’s explore them.

Unappreciated Properties

During the heady days of December, a time when most of us take a break from work, not many people actually go house hunting. This is because there are so many meals to be prepared, presents to be carefully chosen, cards to be written and family gatherings to attend.

What does this mean to house hunters? Well, if you look on a good property site like Andrews Online you might find some brilliant properties that haven’t been given the attention they deserve. These might be properties which were listed at the start of winter and are still available. They may have even been listen in autumn and been unlucky enough to miss the summer house hunting season. So, you could find yourself a beautiful home that at any other time would have been snapped up. The owners may even have reduced the asking price or be willing to accept a lower offer than they originally anticipated.

Less Competition

January is when we tuck ourselves into bed or curl up in front of the telly with a warm cup of cocoa. We might even spend our time upgrading our existing properties. It isn’t traditionally when people brave the bracing cold and view homes which are for sale. But if you’re prepared to get out there and do a bit of legwork you might discover that your competition is somewhat thinned, because most people tend to hunt for homes in the warmer seasons.

With fewer people viewing a property you could be given preferential treatment by agents and owners. In other words, your viewing of a property could be longer or you could be given a more complete tour. You could even spend so long with the owner or estate agent that you strike up a rapport. And a friendly relationship may work wonders when it comes to bargaining.

Beat the Blues

For many of us January is a time of giving up bad habits, and sometimes this can create tension. House hunting could be the perfect way to brighten your mood, because it will give you something positive to do. If you’re looking at property websites and going out to view homes for sale, you won’t have time to feel sorry for yourself. And while you’re out there you might just grab yourself a January bargain. So, it’s a win-win situation.

Do you have a particular season which you think is best for house hunting? Or do you have any general house hunting advice? Feel free to share your thoughts below.