Thursday, August 30, 2018

Money Saving DIY Plumbing Tips

~ This is a featured post. ~

Household bills can so easily accumulate when we aren’t paying attention. There is nothing worse than the sinking feeling that comes with realising how much energy we have wasted over the last billing period. In some cases, there isn’t a whole lot we can do about the size of our bills. However, when it comes to our home plumbing, there are a number of simple tricks you can use to reduce the size of your overall bill.

When a plumbing emergency does strike, and you need someone to get there quickly, go for a local plumber such as emergency plumbers Glasgow.

Fix Your Leaky Taps!

This is the most important tips because it is one that we often don’t think about. When you have a tap that is constantly dripping, it might not be high on your list of priorities as far as repairs are concerned. However, every drop of water is costing you money! Given how simple it is to fix the issue of a leaking tap in the majority of cases, there really is no reason not to do it.

All you need to do is to turn off the water supply to the tap, locate the appropriate screw, and tighten it. You can find more specific instructions for your particular model of sink easily online. This is a great task to take on to begin to understand how your home plumbing, and DIY in general (we all have to start somewhere), actually work.

Change Your Showerheads

Showers are much better than baths in terms of water usage. Many shower units today, especially electric ones, offer an eco-friendly mode that is designed to use even less water than usual. However, if your shower lacks that feature, you can still get better mileage out of your water quite easily by simply replacing the showerhead with a water-saving model.

And Your Toilet

If you are feeling ready to take on a more difficult DIY project, try installing your first toilet. The type of toilet you have in your home can actually make a huge difference to your water bill. Not only does the exact mechanism by which the toilet operates play a big role, but a toilet that is old and worn out is more likely to need multiple flushes, each of which increases water usage.

Water Reclamation

An effective way of reducing your water usage and, therefore, the size of your water bill, is to reclaim as much water as you can. If you have a large garden, you will know just how thirsty plants are! But you don’t need high-quality tap water to keep plants happy. You can instead set up a water reclamation system to capture rainwater so it can be redistributed over the garden later.

Our water bill is one of life’s unavoidable costs, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t bring it down quite significantly. Your first priority should be to ensure that there are now leaking taps in your home. Wherever these are found, they should be fixed instantly. New toilets and shower heads can pay for themselves in many cases!

Why Kitchen Is The Heart of The Home

~ This is a featured post. ~

Home is where the heart is, as the old saying goes, but if that’s the case, then the kitchen is certainly the heart of the home itself. Think of the time spent there – chatting with friends, creating delicious meals, pouring drinks, enjoying time with your family, and even giving yourself some peaceful, quiet time when you do the dishes, or stack the dishwasher. No matter what you like to do in the kitchen, there is no denying that it is a massively important space within your home. Here are some of the reasons why your kitchen needs to be cared for, and why it is just so important.

Everyone’s Space
The kitchen is the center of a home, and it is a space that everyone uses every day. Breakfast and coffee or tea are made there to start the day, and the day often ends there too with dinner, or even snacks before bed. Perhaps a mug of hot milk, or a similar soothing drink is made before heading off to sleep. No matter who is in your home or what they are doing there, they are sure to end up in the kitchen at some point. Making it look wonderful, comfortable, and perhaps even functional too (ideally you will want all of these things!) is all-important. It’s why so many people choose Garden Soap Soapstone for their countertops and spend a long time designing their dream kitchen.

Of course, the main function of the kitchen is food preparation. Everyone has great memories to do with food, and it can evoke fond times in the past, as well as bringing everyone together in the present. When the food is being cooked in the kitchen, those smells will float around the house, letting everyone know that something delicious is on its way.

Food is hugely important to humankind. Not only is it for sustenance and to keep up alive, but it is a social thing too, causing people to stop what they are doing just for a little while and come together to eat. They might even all prepare the food together too, prolonging that essential closeness and comfort. Imagine if a home had no comfortable kitchen to use; takeouts every night just aren’t the same (plus, that would be bad for your health).

When you first move out of your parents’ place and have your own, you need to fend for yourself. That means providing and creating your own food. Learning how to cook is a rite of passage that everyone has to achieve – some just manage it better than others. Learning these skills in your own kitchen in your own home is special, and it is where you can really learn what it means to be a responsible adult.

Of course, learning how to cook before you leave home is even better, and again, this all comes down to the kitchen. If a parent lets a child help to cook their food, this is teaching them responsibility too, but it is also giving them life skills that will certainly come in useful at a later date.

Even if they are too young to safely cook, they can watch you. This will help them to learn where everything goes in the kitchen, and what each utensil is for. Younger kids can lay the table and do the dishes, so there is always something for them to help out with.

Bonding with your family is hugely important, but in our busy lives that bonding time seems to become less and less. Finally, at the kitchen table, or when meals are being prepared, or even if people are just wandering in and out for a snack or to grab themselves a drink, there is the opportunity to talk with anyone else who happens to be there. Getting to know more about the day that people have just had, or their plans for the next week or so, or simply just asking them how they are going is a great tool when it comes to bonding. You will immediately feel closer, and you will have learned something about one another.

This can, of course, happen in places other than the kitchen, but it is the kitchen where you are most likely to ‘bump into’ another family member because, as mentioned above, everyone will use the kitchen multiple times each day.

Hone Your Skill
Some people love cooking, others are less keen – and it is usually a matter of confidence rather than a true dislike of cooking. When you have a wonderful kitchen to enjoy and work in, it can almost become like your own laboratory where you can experiment with flavors and really take your time over creating something amazing. Even those who are less confident or don’t think they like to cook very much will start to have a little more fun with their creations when they have a great space to do it in.

Not only will this result in some tasty new ideas when it comes to food, but it will also increase your confidence in other areas of life. Once you know you can cook, you’ll be more willing to try other things and feel positive about them.

Increase The Value
If you are hoping to sell your home and you want to make as much money as possible on that sale, then make sure your kitchen is well looked after. Investing in good work surfaces, new cabinet doors, integrated appliances, a good, durable floor, and more will pay you back when you come to sell. Something that almost everyone who is looking to buy a property will want to see is the kitchen. Even if they don’t do much cooking themselves, they will instinctively gravitate to the kitchen as being the heart of the home, and they will want to envisage themselves there.

Making sure that the kitchen is in the best condition and that it is practical as well as homely will certainly help to sell your home more quickly, and ideally for more money too.

How To Turn An Attic Into A Bedroom

~ This is a featured post. ~ 

If you need more space in your home, but you don’t have the finances or the inclination to move, then extending the property you already have is one way to give yourself more room. Creating an additional bedroom (or playroom, master suite, media room, bathroom, or anything else that you need) in your attic space can be the ideal way to utilize space that isn’t used for anything other than storage, and to ensure you get the home of your dreams without needing to give anything up to get there. If this sounds like a good idea, here are some ways to make it happen.

Make Sure It Will Work
Before you do anything and before you spend any money, you need to make sure that your idea can become a reality. Check out the zoning laws in your state or county because it may be that there are restrictions you need to adhere to. It is also a good idea to have the structure of your property checked out before you begin any work, especially the roof. A professional company such as Concord Roofing & Construction will be able to make sure that the roof is safe, and if anything needs to be done, they can carry out the work too. A good roof will help to make the room you want underneath it more comfortable, better able to regulate temperature, and safer too.

Plan Everything
Making a new room in your home is a big job to undertake, so it is essential that you make a plan. Doing so will give you an idea of costs, which is important to know from the start so that you can determine whether or not you can carry out your building work.

However, it isn’t just a budget that you need to plan for. The design of your room is all important, and should be determined before any work begins. You need to think carefully about the layout of the room when it is done, as this could help you to decide where windows and possibly even doors can go. If you already know how large the furniture is that will go in the room, then that is a definite advantage, but you also need to know how it is going to get into the attic space, and what kind of entrance are you going to provide? Outlets and light switches will be an important addition. Placing them anywhere there is space may not be the most sensible of options since they may become unusable with the addition of furniture.

The attic was never originally designed to be a living space, so it is unlikely that it will have adequate insulation in it. There will be some, but it might not be thick enough to keep anyone warm in the winter or cool in the summer. In other words, without the right insulation, the room could be unusable at certain points of the year, which defeats the object of having it in the first place.

Insulation for the comfort of those living in the attic room is important, but so is insulation for the comfort of those living underneath. You won’t want to be able to hear every movement from above because that will get annoying pretty fast! Therefore, you could consider carpeting the attic space to dull the sounds, or if you want to keep the wooden boards which often do look great, you can install acoustic insulation underneath them.

Make It Match
An attic room is a hugely useful addition to any home, and it can add many thousands of dollars to the value if and when you decide to sell. What will truly make it a much more enjoyable space is making sure that it matches with the rest of your house. This is especially important if you have enjoyed (and spent time on) the interior design of your property. The last thing you want is to walk up to the attic room and see something entirely different. Of course, the person who is planning to use the room may have their own design ideas, but if you can match the basics, then their stamp of personality won’t look so out of place.

It means having the same plaster, moldings, and trims as elsewhere in the house. Perhaps the same flooring, and the same color on the walls. It’s a nice idea to try to match the style of any interior design with the style of the property, and when it was built, so you should take that into consideration too. A super modern interior in an old house can work, but it will need to be done extremely well, for example. A more vintage interior will blend in much more easily and could cost a lot less too.

Add A Bathroom
If you have a lot of space and you want to do something a little more adventurous with your attic room, why not add a bathroom too? Making the area into a master suite, or a self-contained apartment (ideal for older teenagers, overnight guests, or elderly relatives) will make it so much more special. Adding a bathroom is yet another way to add more value to your home as well. It is also the ideal excuse for more interior design fun! A bathroom has many elements that can be added to make it look just right, including mirrors, accessories, and the tub itself.

Final Details
Whether you are doing the work yourself or you are employing a professional contractor to do it, there will be some little details that need to be designed and in place before everything is finished. These could be anything that you like the sound of and that you have room for including a window seat (which could double as storage, so it is a good idea to install one if you can), or additional windows for extra light. You might even portion off part of the original attic for additional storage.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Home Extensions

~ This is a featured post. ~ 

If you have a budget to make improvements to your house, then there are quite a lot of different things that you can do. However, if you are looking for the kind of improvements that will offer the most benefits in terms of your quality of life while you are living in your home, new ways to take advantage of your home as a family, and improvements in the value and saleability of your home, then an extension is definitely the best option.

Here we look at what kind of extensions you could consider, and just why this is such a great choice when it comes to spending your home improvement money.
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Different Types of Home Extensions

Home extensions come in various types. They can be things that are built upwards vertically on top of parts of your house to form other new rooms, they can be things like conservatories, there are extensions such as granny flats, or they can even be external buildings that exist on your property such as outdoor rooms. In every case, an extension expands the usable space inside your home.

Not everybody has space on their land to build a new room coming out of the property. However, there may still be ways that you can add new space by building upwards, or by building in a separate location on your land.

So, if you do have the option to build more on to your home, why is this a better choice than other renovations or home improvements that you could make?

Adding New Ways to Make the Best Out of Your Home

While you are still living in your home, these changes usually offer you a better quality of life. They give you a new space that you can use for whatever purpose you want. Whether it is a new bedroom for a growing child, a studio for your favorite hobbies, a guest space, or something that you just use for entertaining or relaxing such as a conservatory, you will get more out of your home by adding a new room.

They are other ways you can achieve this in some properties, such as a loft or basement conversion that can create a new usable room. However, by extending the property and creating larger space within it, you are giving yourself plenty more options for how to use the spaces that you have already have, and you still enjoy the benefits of an extension.

Adding Value to Your Property

Adding a new room on to your house automatically increases the value, plus makes (in most cases) a stronger contribution to the overall value of your house than the cost of the project to build it.

Whether you plan to eventually sell your home or you just want to make it nicer to live in, adding value to it is always a good thing - and a good use of your investment in home improvement. This is because you never know what will happen in the future and whether or not you will want to eventually move on from this property. Also, because even if you stay in it for life, when you pass the property down to your family, they may want the option to sell it in future and so the greater its worth, the greater the legacy you can leave behind.

Appealing Features for Potential Buyers

If selling the property is something that you already planned to do in future years or something that you just want to keep open as an option, adding an extension not only adds value to the property but also makes it more appealing to buyers.

This is because it offers them more flexibility in terms of the rooms they would have to use if they took on the house. It may also open up your property to a market of potential buyers who would not have been interested in it in its previous state, for example, people who wanted a four-bedroom house, if yours previously only had three rooms that could be used as bedrooms.

In terms of buyer appeal, your house could also have something unique to offer if you have an extension, such as being a house that has an art studio built into it, or a gym, or whatever else you choose to use the room for. While the new buyers could choose to use it for something else, it can be an interesting feature that might encourage them to take a look at it.

Projects Can Be Easier Than You Might Think

So, if you are now seeing the benefits of considering an extension as your next home improvement project, you may be wondering how difficult it is to actually start one. In general, depending on where you are and the status of the land that you have, you will need to get planning permission. This can be one of the more difficult aspects of starting this kind of project. However, once the bureaucracy is dealt with, actually planning and developing your extension may not be as hard as you think.

You can use companies such as custom new home builders who also work with extension design and construction to realize the vision that you want on paper, work on a budget with you, and begin planning to actually create the structure.

The alternative is, of course, to develop the extension yourself. If you have good skills in this area, this may be a more cost-effective solution. However, it is advisable to put more contingency into your budget if you are managing the project yourself than if you are using an external company who are experts in doing this and have good relationships with suppliers.

As you can see, there are a lot of good reasons why it is worth considering building an extension on your home if you have a budget for home improvement that you want to spend and to get the best return on investment from.

Friday, August 24, 2018

7 Steps To A Better Office Space

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The look and feel of your office matter a great deal because it’s how you’ll attract and keep talent and impress clients when they visit. As a business owner, it’s your job to create a better office space that’s welcoming, inviting and inspires creativity.

Be glad to know there are a few ways in particular for how you can go about accomplishing this goal. Keep in mind that it’s a process and the transformation will take some time before you get it just how you want it to look. Do your homework and research first to get a better idea of what you want to make sure you include.

New Paint
Paint not only affects your mood but it can also cause employees to be more or less productive too. Investigate which hues are best for an office space and then invest in applying a fresh coat of paint to the walls. It is also your opportunity to add a little bit of colour, brighten up the space and make small rooms appear larger. If you’re feeling crafty and ambitious, it’s a job you can tackle yourself over the weekend, but if it’s not your specialty, then hire a contractor to come in and help you with the project, so it’s done right the first time. Paint is a budget-friendly upgrade and has the ability to instantly improve your office space and make it look brand new.

Take Time to Decorate
Offices that are plain and boring aren’t fun to come to work to each day and won’t help to motivate your employees much. Show that you care about and take pride in your space by taking the time to decorate it. Hang artwork on the walls, place plants around the area and include a few personal touches such as a team photo. Your office space will be that much better when it’s decorated and looks like people actually spend time in it. By including these sorts of elements in the space, you’ll be proud to show it off to clients and guests when they’re in town as well.

Make Sure it’s up to Code
When you own a building, it’s your job to confirm it’s up to code and you’re following the state and federal rules and regulations. There are a few things to know in particular about common code violations and how to correct them. The last situation you want is putting your staff and yourself if the way of any harm or danger. In the case of a fire or emergency, you want to make sure everyone knows what to do and that all of the alarms are working properly and no exit doors are being blocked. Violations are dangerous and costly, so it’s worth you investigating the matter further and fixing any issues promptly.

Comfortable & Attractive Furniture
It’s important you invest in furnishing your office space if you want to improve the look of it. This is your opportunity to add a splash of colour and make your area look a little funkier if you choose. Also, be sure you to test it out ahead of time so that it’s not too uncomfortable to sit in since your workers are putting in long days. Come up with a theme for the office and then purchase furniture that complements the overall appearance you’re aiming to achieve. Make sure the pieces match and mesh well together, so it looks like you tried and aren’t just trying to fill the space with random objects.

Conference Rooms
It’s important you incorporate enough conference rooms and private spaces in your office, especially if you have an open concept configuration for staff. You’ll have an even better office space when you confirm there are enough areas for people to go to host meetings and have conversations without having to deal with a variety of distractions. Decorate these rooms as well and also be sure to include the latest technology such as video conferencing options and high-tech televisions and phones. You may also want to hang a few different whiteboards in these spaces for when you hold brainstorming sessions.

Improved Lighting
A dark and dreary office is not only unexciting to be in, but will likely drain all the energy and zest out of your employees. Work on improving your lighting by adding more options for illuminating the space and making sure they’re energy efficient to help you save money. Consider installing lights that turn off automatically when people leave the room, so everyone doesn’t have to remember to always hit a light switch. Confirm there are not only enough lights around the office, but that they’re at the right level of brightness for people to be the most productive.

Game Room
Another idea worth considering if you want to create an even better office space is to add a game room. It’s a great way for employees to relax when they want to take a break from their daily responsibilities. Include options such as ping pong, darts, and basketball toss to keep your staff happy and entertained. Your job will be to make sure people are using it responsibly and not spending all day in there messing around. It’s a great selling point when you’re trying to attract top talent to come and join your team. Many people also enjoy this type of activity when they’re struggling to think of ideas and need a way to spark their creativity.

If you have to be in the office each day, you may as well make it an interesting and attractive place to work! Use these suggestions as a starting point for helping you to determine what in your space could use some updating. Not only will you enjoy coming into the office, but you’ll likely all be more productive and satisfied when you have a pleasant environment to work in each day. Have fun with this project and be sure to sit back and admire your hard work once it’s complete.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Our Cottage on Houzz Tour

I was beyond excited when Becky Harris, writer for Houzz, contacted me to do a Houzz Tour feature of our cottage. I couldn't tell you how amazing it made me feel to have our whole journey documented by such a prestigious site, from picking a wooded lot and having our cottage built from ground up, to designing and decorating it from top to bottom! 

I don't know if I ever shared this part about me before, but I love to work with and be surrounded by people with positive attitude. I can't and won't stand disgruntled people who always have something to whine about. Becky was this positive ray of sunshine you wanted to be close to at all times. It was a true pleasure working with someone like her who is so smart and positive and "gets it" whenever my brain drew a blank. You can read the full article here: 

We've been pretty busy enjoying our summer so we haven't done much decor-wise at the cottage. The only thing we did last week was to add a gate to our loft. As we continued to have friends and their little ones visit us at our cottage, a loft gate became a necessity. Our contractor Super Ian made this gate for us from scratch using Acacia and Maple wood. 

I painted it two-toned to match the rest of the railings, added hinges and a gate latch in matte black.

Our loft is officially ready for kiddie business! Here's a sneak peek at the space - I will be back to do a full reveal of our loft shortly. 

P.S. how many HM Home pieces can you spot from this #shelfie? :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Important Considerations Before Home Updates

~ This is a featured post. ~

It’s exciting to think about updating your home, but there are also a lot of moving parts that come with these types of projects. The look of your home is a big deal for not only you but also potential future buyers. 

There are a few important considerations, in particular, you should address before moving forward with your home updates. This way you’ll feel more comfortable spending the money and follow through with your desired renovations. You’ll experience less regret and will be able to simply enjoy all of your improvements without having to worry about if you made the right choices or not.

What’s in Your Budget
One of the most important factors you need to consider before you make any home updates is your budget. It’s a wise idea to sit down and document exactly how much money you have to spend before you begin your shopping. Going above and beyond your set amount puts you at risk for running into money troubles down the road. While you may want a particularly expensive feature, do your homework and see if there’s a cheaper option out there that fits your budget to help you stay within your means.

The Benefits You’ll Reap
Another consideration to think about before proceeding with any home projects is what benefits doing so will deliver to you and your family. For example, it could be that you’re choosing to go with vinyl replacement windows because you know they’re energy efficient and you’ll save money on your energy bill. The point is that it’s worth taking the time to read and research which home projects will provide a return on your investment and help you sell your home in the future.

Selecting A Contractor
Unless you’re a pro at DIY or have the skills and knowledge to make complicated home upgrades, it’s likely you’re going to need to hire a contractor to help you out. What’s most important is that you get estimates from multiple people and businesses and don’t simply rely on or go with the first person you meet. Compare prices, ideas, and personalities before you fully commit to a contractor and trust this person with making major changes to your home.

Choosing the Right Timing
Timing matters when it comes to you making home updates because it may affect your personal life. For example, a complete kitchen remodel means you’ll unlikely be able to cook for yourself for weeks at a time, if not a month or more. You need to plan ahead for major renovations and make sure you have someplace to go while the workforce are fixing up your home. It could also mean you should pay attention to the different seasons and get your roof fixed before winter, for instance.

The reality is that making home upgrades is necessary at some point, but there’s a lot that goes into the decision-making process. Take these important considerations into account as you work on your own improvements. You’ll thank yourself for the time you spent planning and preparing now to make sure all goes smoothly in the end. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Cottage Life in Prince Edward County

We've been really lucky to have a long and gorgeous summer this year. Being the first full year at our new cottage, we've been enjoying our summer life to the fullest. As interior projects are winding down, we've been spending more time outdoors exploring all the fun things the cottage country has to offer. 

Picture below: my favourite perspective of our cottage living room, overlooking the dining room. 

In this post, I will summarize a few fun activities you can do in the Prince Edward County during summer months. 

Early June: plein-air photos, random strolls and antiquing. 

Summer arrived early this year. The June fresh air and lush grass invited cows out of their barns, creating a perfect scene for plein air photos. 

We stumbled upon a few small poppy flower fields along County Road 10. 

Cooler temperature and fresher air also made June a perfect month for random strolls. I really enjoyed house watching in the old town Bloomfield. This colonial beauty surely stopped me on my tracks. 

No cottage country experience would be complete without some antiquing and thrifting. 

We also managed to get our landscaping done by the end of June. 

We added a much needed walkway, wrapped around the house. I tried to keep the landscaping to a minimum to keep our natural surroundings as undisturbed as possible. 

July-August: lavender field, sunflower field, water activities. 

I don't have to tell you how amazing it felt canoeing or kayaking into sunset. It's the ultimate state of happiness. 

Lavender Festival in PEC was held around Canada Day, when I was still in Switzerland. I was kicking myself for having to miss the Festival again this year. In mid July I decided to make a stop at the PEC Lavendar Farm on our way back to the cottage, and I am so glad I did. Pictures below were taken on July 14th, when lavender seemed to have just reached its peak. We were able to freely explore the field, sans the crowd during the Festival! The bushes continued to bloom into early August. 

On the way out of the lavender farm, be sure to make a quick stop at the SHED Chetwyn Farms, where you could pet the cutest animal on this planet - Alpaca. 

Sunflower fields in Ontario started to bloom in mid July. Pictures below were taken at a smaller sunflower field not five minutes from our cottage. They reached peak bloom around July 28th. 

I lied earlier about nothing better than canoeing into sunset. Well, taking a dip in our infinity pool on a scorcher was pretty heavenly too. We usually sipped a few glasses of our favourite late harvest, while watching the sun slowly disappearing into the lake. 

September-October: winery visits.

I am saving all the wineries tours for cooler months. There are over 20 wineries within 20 minutes from our cottage, so it's going to be a blast. 

Do you have a favourite spot/fun thing to do in PEC? Do share! 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

How To Prepare For A Household Move

~ This is a featured post. ~

Moving to a new house can be an extremely stressful undertaking. It requires you to pick up your life and take it to an entirely new location. Rather than staying safely within your comfort zone, you will be forced to compromise, experiment, and explore. If you are worried about the challenges ahead, it is important that you make your plans as soon as possible. This will help you to see the light at the end of the tunnel and will save you from making costly mistakes. Simply work your way through the following seven steps, and before you know it, you will be the proud owner of a new home.

Clean and tidy your current property
Before you do anything else, you will need to clean and tidy your property. You might be surprised by just how much difference this can make to your home. If you are going to secure an impressive price, it is important that you are showing off your property in the best light. That is why you should set yourself the challenge of completing a deep clean before the week is out. Have no fear, this step shouldn’t take you too long. It will be especially fast if you call in your friends and family for help. However, even if you go it alone, you should be able to complete your chores in a short period of time. Then, the only challenge will be to keep your standards high until the sale goes through.

Secure a good price for your home
The next step is to secure a good price for your home. Just remember: the more money you make, the more money you will have to spend on your new property. If you are struggling to secure a buyer, it is vital that you don’t give up. Taking your home on and off the market can be an expensive business. Furthermore, if you eventually end up putting your home back on the market, you may appear desperate to potential buyers. In order to avoid this predicament, you should sell your house to an investor. This is a fantastic way for you to speed up the process of selling your property. It is also a great opportunity for you to achieve your ambitious financial goals.

Widen your search area
During the process of searching for your new home, it is essential that you keep an open mind. Otherwise, you are at risk of missing out on incredible properties with tons of potential. Although it is understandable that you would have your favorite areas, there is no harm in exploring a wide range of locations. Perhaps you could visit a different town or city every weekend. You could enjoy a drink at a small café, explore the local parks, or simply walk up and down a selection of streets. You might not always like the areas that you are visiting, but every now and then you should stumble across a location that ticks the right boxes. You might even find a more affordable location than the ones you were previously considering.  

Take on a renovation project
Another excellent way to save money is by taking on a renovation project. Not only will this allow you to reduce your initial expenses, but it will also provide you with more opportunities further down the line. Instead of making do with a property that fails to meet all of your needs, you should look out for a property with the potential to be turned into your perfect home. It might be that there is enough space for a large extension. Or, it could be that the loft space is primed and ready for an attic conversion. Whatever the case, it is important that you are using your imagination. Yes, you will be required to compromise on a short-term basis, but eventually you will be able to enjoy an incredible home that you have designed yourself.  

Schedule in a comprehensive survey
If you do decide to take on a renovation project, you will need to schedule in a comprehensive survey before you part with your hard-earned money. This is also an essential step to take if you are buying a new build, as not all property problems are obvious. If you are lucky, your survey will come back free from any major issues. This will help you to achieve peace of mind and will also come in handy when you are trying to secure an affordable insurance policy. However, if your survey uncovers a serious problem, this doesn’t have to be a complete disaster. You could always use this information to knock down the home owner’s asking price. This will be easier to do once you have a quote for the necessary repairs.  

Prepare your possessions for packing and moving
The moment that you have sold your home and selected your dream property, you should begin the process of preparing your possessions for packing and moving. Firstly, you will need to get rid of any unnecessary items that do nothing but clutter up your home. Next, you will need to invest in large boxes and rolls of bubble wrap. If you are hoping to cut your costs, you could always visit your local grocery store and ask for their old storage boxes. Then, you will need to organize your items into different categories. While it might be tempting to randomly throw your possessions into boxes, it is a much better idea to plan ahead. This will help you to unpack when you finally arrive at your new home.

Work with an interior designer
Last but not least, you should think about working with an interior designer. If you struggle to think creatively, this is a wonderful way for you to get the most out of your new space. A trained professional will help you to transform an empty house into an attractive, enjoyable, and functional home. Why not hire your interior designer before you make your move? This will give you the chance to add the finishing touches to your property well in advance of your moving date.
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