Archive for the ‘home’ Category

Home survey: Money well spent

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

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Home survey wordle

Despite the fact that real estate in Sydney is a significant long-term investment that could impact a buyer’s finances for decades, many prospective home-owners baulk at shelling out for a professional surveyor to examine the property before the sale is completed. This is an unnecessary risk at best and a disastrous error in judgement at worst, as home damage that may be invisible to the untrained eye can cause unforeseen calamity long after you’re left holding the deed.

An expert eye

Surveyors are trained to spot existing as well as potential issues with an uncommon level of detail. Once the 2-3 hour examination of the interior and exterior of the property is complete, the surveyor will provide a thorough report on the various aspects of the home, including structure, plumbing, electrical equipment, and other amenities.

During a surveyor’s report, minor defects, major defects and safety issues will be categorised and detailed to you. You will also find out which items need repair and replacement as well as those that should be monitored for future wear. Home surveyors can even inform you of routine maintenance that should be performed based on the amenities in the home, which is information not even the seller may possess.

Survey contingency

One of the most useful discretions that having a home surveyed before buying affords you is the ability to back out of an offer if significant issues are discovered during the assessment, even after an otherwise enforceable deal is reached in principle.

The survey contingency is a vital resource after an offer has been accepted. Without this protection you may be legally bound to pay the seller a penalty fee or even the full purchase price of a home once an agreement is reached regardless of what issues may later arise.

Your options

If issues are discovered during a home survey, you can choose to ask the seller to fix them at their expense, to reduce the purchase price, or to provide a cash credit at closing to be applied to the cost of repairs. This is where surveyors truly earn their keep, as without the survey your options would be extremely limited and you would likely be responsible for the cost of any repairs necessary before you can live in the home.

It is advisable for all home-buyers to have a survey conducted prior to exchanging. A survey is an investment of time and money, but one that could pay for itself many times over if significant issues are discovered.

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The hidden costs of moving house

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

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Moving houseimage credit: Tammy Strobel

When it comes to moving house, there is an abundance of things we all have to consider in order to make the move go as smoothly as possible.

Even before you sell your house or tell your landlord it’s time to bring in new tenants, the journey has already begun. Having people over for viewings? That’s a good few hours cleaning, at least! Make sure you hide anything you wouldn’t want your mum to see, and ensure there’s nothing to cause you embarrassment on the day. If you’re not exactly OCD prone, perhaps you should hire in an expert. There you go, the costs are adding up already…

When you’ve found somewhere else to go, the stress really starts. Finding a company to move your stuff, taking time off work and buying furniture to fit the new place really takes its toll. If you’re downsizing, you may be looking to sell furniture in which case, you’ll need to consider how to do it. Car boot sales may be easy but, these days, people are looking for something for nothing, as they say. They’re great for getting rid of large amounts of stuff in bulk, but if you’re after the money, meticulous pre-planning using eBay and other selling sites is what you need to be doing.

Of course, if you’re moving somewhere bigger, you’ll need more stuff to fill more rooms. Spare beds, kitchen table – all those luxuries you might never have had the space to hold in the past. Remember, when you buy a house, you buy a home. You want to fill it with things that give it personality, but these things invariably cost, whether or not you’ve snagged yourself a bargain.

There are so many costs to account for when moving, that it’s almost impossible to predict. There are a lot of costs associated with the actual move itself though, that tend to be similar across the board. Deposits are a huge consideration (which are out-pricing so many first time buyers, especially), and then you have to think about things like agency fees, removal vans and everything else.

In all honesty, it’s quite the headache, so you’re probably best just working it all out with this calculator, instead. At the very least it’ll give you a starting point, so why not take the plunge and see just how prepared you really are?

Moving cost calculator on the Everyday Loans website

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What makes a space a home?

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

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pair of vintage leather club chair in front of a woodburner

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a one-room bedsit or a Downton Abbey-sized mansion – everyone deserves to have a place they can call home.

However, there is something indefinable about the term as it could just as easily apply to new build homes in Harlow or period properties in Penzance.

One thing is for sure; a home definitely means more than having a collection of personal possessions or a few carefully chosen items of furniture. In fact, sometimes a residence that is full of brand new items can feel soulless and lacking in character.

So what is it exactly that makes a space a home?

bookeshelves, armchair and chest of drawers in our bedroom

Roots

One of the most important things about a home is having ‘roots’ there. Knowing you are going to be happy there for a long period of time is a lot more comforting than simply being aware you will only be passing through.

The whole idea of settling in somewhere and putting down roots lies at the heart of the place we call home.

It’s also somewhere that we can feel safe, protected and retreat from the stresses and strains of everyday life and therefore, relax. For some, this can mean being surrounded by family or house-mates, for others the ideal might be to have somewhere totally to themselves.

shelves with books and collectables in our sitting room 

History

Another part of a home is the history that comes with it. Sometimes this can mean living in a building that you or your family have occupied for a long time and other times it can simply mean creating an environment that reflects your personality.

This sense of personality within your home can be created by making use of vintage items and styles which can be a great way to invent your own feeling of connection with the past.

 Adelle's vintage handbag collection on a wall in our bedroom

Style

By having your own sense of style means that using vintage items can be applied into your home in many different ways.

Whether it’s a specialist personal interest or hobby, or a more general sense of adopting an interior design theme or decoration, creating your own mix can be one of the most satisfying ways to have a home that is truly your own.

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Star buy!

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

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vintage Seth Thomas starburst clock

This wonderful vintage starburst clock was our ‘star buy’ at yesterday’s auction.

Also referred to as sunburst clocks, this one has a brushed metal face with a radial pattern of wooden star/sun rays.

vintage Seth Thomas starburst clock

Produced by the very good maker Seth Thomas in the 1960s, it wasn’t cheap – but it’s a great example. The condition is superb and it’s keeping perfect time.

vintage Seth Thomas starburst clock on our bedroom wall

The clock seems very happy in our bedroom. We know we shouldn’t be keeping shop stock, but it won’t do any harm to look at it for a while.

The modern, stylised shape and brushed metal is softened by the warm wood, providing a great link between old & new when going for that eclectic look.

vintage Metamec starburst clock

We already have an example of this type of clock in our top floor lounge/bedroom.

detail of vintage Metamec starburst clock

It dates from the same period, but this one is made by Metamec.

vintage Metamec starburst clock on our upstairs lounge stone wall

This one was also bought as shop stock – two years ago!!

Take a seat!

Friday, August 13th, 2010

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vintage leatherette Art Deco 3-piece suite

We’re super-pleased with this purchase we made on Thursday. We’ve been on the hunt for a club chair for some time…

vintage leatherette Art Deco 3-piece suite

…then not only did we get a club chair, we got two club chairs… and a matching 2-seater sofa!!

It’s an original 1930s Art Deco suite, re-upholstered in the 1960s in a tan leatherette. Fantastic shape, comfortable with lovely stud detailing.

And a little extra… the lady who sold it says it was re-covered in the same leatherette as was used for Concorde. We’re trying to track down some old photos from the plane or Concorde airport lounge interior.

vintage leatherette Art Deco 3-piece suite

Fudge approves – and has made himself very much at home!

vintage leatherette Art Deco 3-piece suite

It’s found a home in our top floor bedroom/lounge. We spent the entire day re-arranging everything to accommodate it.

vintage leatherette Art Deco 3-piece suite

It was worth it though… there’ll be many books read in these chairs…  cups of tea /glasses of wine drunk, crackling fires watched.  We love it already!

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