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How to Prepare Your Home for a Sale

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Buying and selling a home can be incredibly stressful, but with a little preparation, it is possible to reduce your stress levels and make the process a much smoother experience. There are a few ways to make the sale of your home faster and more profitable, with some preparation and awareness of the key issues that will affect both the viability of the sale and the price that you can expect to get for your property. If you’re in the process of starting the sales process, or your home has been on the market for a while, and you want to increase the likelihood of making that important deal, then here are the best ways to prepare your home and allow you to move forward into your new life.

Look at your front door

It seems like such a small thing, but your front door is a lot more important than you think. The majority of house-buying decisions are made before the potential buyer has even seen inside the property, which is why curb appeal is so important. If your frontage is unappealing, then that negativity will extend throughout the tour, so start things off right with a fresh splash of paint on your front door, or ever a full-on replacement if necessary. Never underestimate the need to make the best first impression.

Remove most of the evidence

When people are looking at a property with the intention of buying, they are trying to picture themselves living there. That’s why it’s important that you remove the majority of evidence that you live there. Of course, you’ve tidied up and done the washing-up, but you’re going to need to look at removing more in the way of evidence than that. Family photos are an unpleasant reminder then this is someone else’s living space, and they are a reminder to the potential buyers that they don’t yet live there. Remove excessive pictures, and create more of a blank canvas that the buyers will fill with their own personalities and hopes for the future.

For the garden

Like curb appeal, don’t underestimate the importance of well-tended garden. Whether you have price-boosting features in your garden or not, an untended and too wild garden is a distraction, and you’re going to want to show it off as best you can. If time is a concern, then make use of a professional lawn care service that can take over the hard work for you and make the most of your outdoor space. A garden has huge potential and is one of the key wish-list areas for new homeowners, so make the most of what you have and don’t neglect the acre that your garden deserves.

Minor repairs

They’re easy to dismiss when you see them every day, and eventually, those imperfections in your home can even become part of the charm. Home-buyers will not see them the same way. So if you’re hoping to speed up the sale of your home, then you’re going to need to make repairs to those minor issues and give your home a makeover. Repair or replace the cracked tiles on the walls of the bathroom, do touch-ups on the paint that has started to crack or the wallpaper that has begun to peel, and you may soon be presenting a different home than you would have been. Fix those leaking taps and replace the missing tiles on the roof, and you’ll find that even the smallest of fixes can make the difference between a sale and not.

Get rid of the pets

As much as we love our family pets, they are not something that you need to highlight when it comes to house viewings. You’re going to want to remove all evidence of them before you open your doors, so when you’re showing people around, make sure that your furry family members are not in attendance. Let friends and family look after them for the time that you need, and do a thorough clean. Remove cat hair and the smell of litter trays, repair the scratched floor in the kitchen from the dog’s claws, and give your home a good airing.

Even though the housing market fluctuates, following this basic advice will make it much more likely that you will make a sale and be able to begin your moving preparations. Never forget the importance of first impressions and always use the tools at our disposal to make the most out of your home. That way you could be packing and handing over the keys to the new owners much sooner than you expected.

Hey all! Big thanks to Katy Blevins for handing over the reins to me at the end of 2017 to fulfill my new years resolution to write...often! Based in Miami, you can find me blogging about family life as a mother of two young kids. But i'll also continue the Chaos and Kiddos theme of business, fashion, parenting, product reviews, and...well, I could go on and on.

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Financial

Ten Ways to Save Money Running Your Home

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Nowadays, with wages struggling to keep up with inflation, the cost of living feels like it’s always on the rise. Running a home involves so many different expenses that every penny counts. Here are some easy ways to save money when you’re running a household. 

Stick to your shopping list

Whenever you go shopping, do you stick to your list or do you pick up a few things on sale that you don’t really need? Is that packet of Twinkies really necessary? Next time, only buy the things that you set out to buy unless you remember something that you genuinely need like toilet paper. 

Try generic brands

Another way to save money is to try the generic version of name brand items. Why not try and see if the store brand cereal is as good (or even better) than the big name brand you normally buy? 

Get appliance insurance

One of the biggest expenses that can hit you when running a home is sudden appliance breakdown. Your fridge breaking down can cost you several hundred dollars in repairs or replacement. Read this blog post to see how appliance insurance could save you money. 

Sign up for free customer reward programs

There are retailers of all kinds that offer free customer rewards programs. You often only need an email address to sign up, and you’ll soon be drowning in freebies.

Cook in large batches

Chili is a great meal to cook in bulk. You’ll actually also be saving time, as you can cook multiple meals at once that can then be frozen and eaten later.

The 30-day rule

This is a really powerful way to save money based on the incredible concept of not spending it. Basically, whenever you get an urge to buy something, wait 30 days and then see if you still want to buy it. If you still have the urge, then it’s clear that you really want it. However, if you no longer have the urge, then you just saved yourself the money you would have spent on an item you didn’t really want.

Turn off the lights

Make sure to take advantage of sunlight when you can by opening your curtains. Turn off lights when no one is in the room or you don’t need them on.

Drink more water

Water is the best thing you can drink, both in terms of health benefits and in terms of cost. Stop stocking up on cans of sugary soda and expensive juice drinks and just have a glass of water instead. Drinking water throughout the day can also help you feel less hungry, so you’ll also snack less.

Stay away from fast food and takeaway

The cheapest way of eating is always cooking at home. Fast food may have a reputation for being cheap and easy, but it really isn’t that cheap when you have it frequently. 

Go to free events

Instead of going out to expensive movies or spending loads at bars, try finding out if there are any free events going on nearby. You might find something great that won’t cost you a penny.

Managing a household can be expensive, so finding the small areas where you can save a little here and a little there can lead to savings that really add up.

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Three Tips to Make Your Home Safer for Kids

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A child’s education doesn’t start at school; it begins at home. For children to grow up right, they need to be nurtured and cared for, guided and taught properly by their parents and relatives.

However, a home needs to be safe in order for that to happen. Ask yourself this: “Is my home safe for my kids to grow up in?”

Even if you’re certain that it is, you can still add a few more security measures to your house. Here are a few examples.

Test the Security of Your Doors

Your doors need to be sturdy enough to keep unwanted elements outside your home. If the integrity of your exterior doors isn’t strong enough or their locks are easily bypassed, criminals may break into your home, steal your belongings, and maybe even kidnap your kids. That can traumatize your child.

Thus, check if your locks are secure. Get a set of lockpicks, and try picking your own locks. If it’s easy for you, then it’ll be twice as simple for professional thieves. Even locks like those with sliding chains can be bypassed with a rubber band, so don’t settle for just one simple lock.

Install several of them so your door will really hold the line against those who’d potentially harm your family.

Get a Big Guard Dog

If doors aren’t enough to deter never-do-wells, then dogs will. Thieves tend to break into houses quietly, but when they scout out your neighborhood for potential marks, one glance at your pet will likely dissuade them from targeting your home.

Besides, pets are good for children. Pets can help keep watch over your kids and will cheer them up with their presence. Kids will also develop animal empathy just by caring for these loyal companions.

If you’re looking for a specific breed, choose either a labrador, a golden retriever, a Spanish mastiff, or a boxer. They’re big or capable enough to defend their masters. Smaller breeds, no matter how aggressive they are, won’t scare off thugs, and some of the other big breeds may be too aggressive to be around a child.

Keep Your House Clean

Criminals aren’t the only things you need to keep your kids safe from. You also need to contend with sickness and disease.

Children are vulnerable to illnesses. Their immune system isn’t that developed yet compared to that of adults. Plus, they’ll play with anything regardless if it’s dirty or not—often biting and putting strange things in their mouths. That’s why you need to keep your house clean. By doing so, you’ll eliminate contagions before they can infect your kids.

Focus your efforts where your children play the most—the kitchen, the living room, their bedroom, and most importantly, the bathroom. Germs flourish in wet environment; thus, your bathroom/s should be cleaned at least twice a week.

If you can, you may want to do some home improvement projects in your house that can help you maintain its cleanliness. For example, having a macerating upflush toilet means you’ll no longer have any problems with clogs that can eventually cause leaks or overflow that will cause children to slip or fall.

Conclusion

While “it takes a village to raise a child” as the African proverb goes, a child’s family is still their direct caretakers, and besides, the family is the basic unit of society.

Thus, never neglect the state of your home. It’s where your family lives. It’s where your child plays. Keep your home safe so your kid can grow up in peace.

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4 Great Nursery Ideas That You And Your Little One Will Love

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Whether you are expecting your bundle of joy in the next few months or you are just planning ahead, it is important to start thinking about your little one’s nursery sooner rather than later. From brightly coloured paint to gender-neutral furniture, there are endless ways to transform your babies room into a space you and your little one will both love.

Choose adaptable furniture

Although you may want to fill your little one’s nursery full of baby-friendly designs, realistically you will need to consider what designs and style you like first. For example, a rocking chair may seem like the more conventional option but is it really the most comfortable of places to be sitting with a crying baby? Try to experiment with statement pieces such as a Chesterfield Sofa or Snuggle chair that will compliment your child-friendly design while adding a practical element. As well as taking your style into consideration, you should start looking into the versatility of furniture. For example, a chest of drawers can easily be transformed into a changing table/

Wallpaper and Wall Art

Wallpaper is a great way to add some pattern or texture to your nursery. Not only is it a fantastic way to liven up your little one’s room, it can be as versatile as you choose. Whether you’re looking to create a statement/accent wall or choose to wallpaper the entire room, there’s plenty of patterns, styles and colours that will fit perfectly in your nursery design. If wallpaper seems too much of a commitment, why not play around with some fun wall murals or wall stickers instead? Wall stickers can be as bold or as subtle as you choose with designs ranging from baby animals to life-size cars.

Rugs/Flooring

Rugs are an amazing way to add some personality and texture to your little one’s nursery. Choosing the right rug for your nursery depends on you your choice of flooring. For example, if you have a thick plush carpet you may want to opt for a thin or wicker style rug that adds texture or pattern to your floor without adding the thickness. On the other hand, if you have hardwood flooring or vinyl flooring you may want to add a larger thicker rug to create some comfort for both yours and your baby’s little toes.

Storage

Although you spend the most of your pregnancy buying copious amounts of toys and clothes, you will always find yourself asking how much space does such a little person need? In order to battle this problem head on you will need to start thinking of not just storage but smart storage. Using shelves for less baby friendly products such as talc or baby lotion is a great way to keep them out the reach of wandering hands. For clothing storage, you can always upcycle an old set of chests of drawers. If having nappies and beddings on show doesn’t fit in your design, you could transform your unwanted wardrobe into a trendy and versatile storage unit.

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