Get their look: Dramatic rental property

Dramatic rental propertycredit

This striking rental property is the home of Northumberland-based stylist and blogger, Kerry Lockwood and her family. If you were of the impression that being a renter meant forgoing a beautiful home, then this fabulous place can certainly change that. We know that it’s not always easy (or even possible) to convince landlords to allow changes, but if it is, then the before and after photos of Kerry’s home should provide real inspiration.

This living room is filled with natural light from a large bay window. The dark walls provide a real sense of drama both day and night – and are a perfect backdrop for her collection of artwork. Furniture, accessories and textiles layer natural tones and there’s a shimmer of metallic here and there. It looks like a comfortable, relaxed home – and very lovely indeed.

  1. Bellenger ‘simple pratique élégant favor’ reproduction poster
  2. Kate Moss ‘Life is a Joke’ photographic print
  3. ‘On air’ light box
  4. Nadadora glicée print by Blanca Gomez
  5. Farrow & Ball ‘Stiffly Blue’
  6. Dark grey Egg chair by Arne Jacobsen
  7. Original 1227 giant floor lamp by Anglepoise
  8. John Lewis Ikon large 3-seater sofa
  9. STOCKHOLM handmade/striped black/off-white mat

Click here to see more of our ‘Get their look‘ features.

Get their look: Dramatic rental property | H is for Home

5 Tips for adding an extension on to your home

5 Tips for adding an extension on to your home

As a home-owner, you often consider ways in which to improve your house. A growing family might mean that your house is no longer able to accommodate you all comfortably. Improvements to consider include adding an extension or embarking on some renovation/remodelling jobs. People’s homes are usually their largest single financial outlay in life, so you want to get things right. Major updating work can mean a big investment of money and time. However, if the additions to your house are done properly, it will not only improve your quality of life, but also add value to your house. These simple tips will help you achieve those goals.

Circular saw and ear defenders

  1. Determine what type of addition are you planning

Some forward thinking is the first and most important step. You should establish what improvements will have the greatest benefit – and if it’s possible to do it both in terms of budget and building regulations. Jot down thoughts, draw rough sketches or create mood boards. Most house additions aim to improve flow or add extra internal rooms, conservatories, terraces or verandas. Once you’ve determined the kind of additions that would be of most benefit, you can start contacting the professionals – architects, planners, builders and other tradesmen.

Building professional

  1. Consult the professionals

Always consult the professionals – they have years of training and experience upon which to draw. Architects or engineers will give you expert insight on your planned extension. They can also give safety suggestions and will advise you at an early stage as to whether your plans are attainable or not. You can’t just set about work just because it seems like a good idea on the surface… it might cause catastrophic problems to the structure of your home making it unsafe or unsellable in the future. Architects can give you designs that will compliment the rest of the house enhancing its value. They’ll also probably throw ideas into the mix that you hadn’t even considered. Engineers can make sure that your plans are safe. It’s essential to consult the professionals to assure the quality and safety of your additions.

Installing a new roof with a crane

  1. Work out your budget

After all your consultation and planning, options available ultimately come down to the budget. It’s better to determine your budget first and how high are you willing to go. The larger your extension is, the more expensive it tends to be. When you’re coming up with the budget, you should consider the other expenses such as the consultation fees to the engineers and architects, the contractor team and the materials. Remember to include a contingency fund for those unforeseen complications or problems. Researching suppliers at the start of the process might actually contribute to formulating a realistic budget.

Building materials

  1. Cost your materials

Once you have your budget sorted, it’s crucial to start sourcing and purchasing materials wisely. Ordering early could avoid the increasing costs of materials over time or paying premium prices for urgently required products or parts. If you’ve already made a deal with the construction supply company regarding prices, hopefully they wont increase the price for additional orders of the same products. And getting materials ordered and delivered early in the process is important so as not delay the start of building work. It will also prepare you for any unexpected shortages on the materials.

Large pile of building debris

  1. Hire a dumpster for the debris

After you’ve finished your extension or remodel, the only task left is to remove the inevitable debris created during the process. The best way to deal with this is to hire a dumpster / skip to take it all away. A disposal company can take care of those unwanted wood off cuts and piles of broken wall. They’ll have all the relevant licences for legal disposal. There’s nothing worse than doing the bulk of a job, then not clearing the area properly – or doing it painfully slowly. Weeks pass by, the work is finished, yet your house still looks like a building site. Remove the rubbish quickly and efficiently – then all that’s left to do is enjoy your new look home.

If you want to search for the best deals, you can visit http://eagledumpsterrental.com for further information.

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Lone Star State house prices experiencing strong gains

House with Stars & Stripes flag down the front

According to the second quarter reports for 2016 that have been released by the Texas Association of Realtors, the state’s house prices have been experiencing very strong gains. The report, entitled the Texas Quarterly Housing Report, states that the last few months in particular, have been one of the biggest beginnings to the summer selling season for Texas real estate. Homes of all price classes and all types are now in really high demand, and this is especially the case for houses that are priced beneath $200,000. Continue reading to learn more about this great news for sellers, investors, and realtors.

Houston city skyline

Increases in homes

Real estate experts have noted increases in the prices of homes across the state, from rural Austin suburbs like Dripping Springs, to houses in big cities like Dallas, and every residential area in between. The report specifically stated that a total of 91,418 Texas houses were sold in just the second quarter of this year. This is an incredible 4.4% boost from the second quarter of 2015, and it is also the biggest volume of home sales in the state’s history.

On top of that, over 45% of the houses that were sold within the second quarter of 2016 were priced below $200,000, but almost 47% of the houses were priced anywhere from $200,000 to $500,000. This means that first-time home-buyers, as well as those with higher budgets, have been able to take advantage of the many homes found throughout the state in some of the country’s most beautiful cities and towns.

Austin waterfront and skyline

Expectations for continued growth

It is expected that home prices will continue to rise. After all, they did continue to climb, thanks to a surge in population numbers and a lower inventory of homes throughout the state. This high demand has made the current average price for a home in Texas $215,000. The reason for this increase in the median home price is partly due to the fact that the inventory of available homes for sale remained pretty much unchanged from the first quarter of 2016, so it is a seller’s market.

Arial view of a Texas suburb

Not all markets are benefiting

There are some housing markets throughout the state of Texas where these gains have not been seen, however. This is because there are many areas that are still impacted by the recent declines within the energy industry.

Despite this, on the whole, the housing market in Texas is continuing to do very well. Active listings increased by about 4.1%, and the second quarter of 2016 shows more than 98,000 listings that were active. Homes also spent less time for sale, with an average of 54 days on the market before being sold.

Because Texas homes are in such high demand and because prices are set to continue climbing, if you’ve been hoping to invest in real estate there, whether you want to raise your family in the state or retire there for a more affordable way of life, it is best to make your move sooner rather than later.

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Easy ways to make money from your spare space

'Space to let' sign in a green window

If money’s tight, it can be very worrying. Fortunately, it’s possible for you to use spare space in your home to make a bit of extra cash. As you’ll see if you read on, doing so is not hard. In most cases, you can do it quickly without having to spend too much money to get things up and running.

Audi with headlights on in a garage

Rent out your garage space

Perhaps the fastest way to make a little cash is to let people store stuff in your garage. If yours is currently full of junk, why not clean it out and swap it for someone else’s unwanted items. You can potentially make some money by selling your unwanted gear, and get some rent from somebody else.

If you do decide to do this, vet your clients well and draw up some sort of written contract. Include what happens to the person’s stuff if they don’t pay the bill. Always take a deposit that covers at least a month’s rent in advance, and don’t accept anything that will be difficult to dispose of should the owner not pay the rent.

Looking up a driveway through a

Rent out a parking space

If you have a driveway, consider renting it out as parking spaces. You can find out more about doing this here. It is a very quick and easy way to make some extra cash, and there’s huge demand for this service. You can do this even if you don’t live within walking distance of an airport, railway station or shopping centre. Some people own classic cars or sports cars that they need to park up somewhere safe.

Single bedroom

Rent out a room

For those who don’t mind sharing their home, renting out a room is a good option. Of course, you may need to redecorate your room to bring it up to a standard that will allow you to get a good rent.

Paint doesn’t cost much and you can easily pick up cheap soft furnishings. This approach, combined with using laminate flooring, makes it easy to spruce up your spare room. All you need now is some good quality furniture. There are several ways to get your hands on what you need. You can renovate what you already have, pick some up from your local re-cycling network, or buy some second-hand items.

All of these approaches work, but if you want the best finish possible, it is well worth using a service like like rent furniture UK. Doing so will allow you to lease what you need. The furniture will be new, so will look great, and be sure to be a draw for prospective tenants.

A few things of which to be aware

If you like the sound of any of these ideas, we suggest that you do a bit more research online. You’ll need to understand what your legal responsibilities are and understand how much of what you earn will be liable for tax. It’s important to go into this with your eyes open, and do the maths to make sure that it’s going to be profitable for you.

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The most popular new home amenities in 2016

New build houses on a cul-de-saccredit

Being an architect in the housing industry can present quite a few challenges, the biggest of which is probably being able to predict what home buyers are going to be looking for in the upcoming year. It’s difficult to design a new home unless you know what consumers want, but once you have a handle on the market, your job is as good as done. It’s then only a matter of working the wants of home buyers into blueprints for homes being developed by the builder. Here are a few of the home amenities house buyers are looking for in new homes this year.

Arial view of a suburban neighbourhoodcredit

Amenities by neighbourhood

One of the things which developers look at when constructing a new development is the area surrounding the new sub development. Over-improvements aren’t limited to home repairs and home remodelling jobs so it’s important that they don’t get carried away with amenities that won’t add value to the home. There are, however, some élite developments such as the Texas neighbourhood of Belterra in Dripping Springs. These are trendy homes in an upper middle class neighbourhood with amenities suitable for this lifestyle.

Blue detached house with double integral garagecredit

Popular amenities currently trending

Developers looking to draw up plans for homes in a new development would be wise to see what amenities are currently trending first. According to realtors around the country, some amenities are popular no matter in which region of the country the home buyers were polled. The top amenities in 2016 include:

  • Great rooms – These are like a family room, living room and kitchen all rolled into one
  • Central island in the kitchen – This is where much prep work is done and to take this up one level, a central island with butcher’s block tops is in even higher demand
  • High ceilings on ground floors
  • Windows rated as Low-E (Energy Star)
  • Integral 2-car garage
  • Granite or marble counter tops in the kitchen
  • Smart gadgets – programmable climate control, lighting etc
  • Large front porch
  • Walk in wardrobes
  • Linen cupboards in all bathrooms – especially in the master bathroom

Knowing that these are high on the list of amenities, builders can now request their architects to design as many of these into their blueprints as possible. Oddly, bonus rooms, pools and spas are no longer trending as strongly as they had been in the previous decade.

Whether you’re an estate agent looking to match a buyer with a seller or a developer looking to keep up with trends, being able to match these amenities with a prospective buyer’s needs can make your job a whole lot easier. With the economy on a steady incline and jobs more readily available, the property market is beginning to boom. Since this is the beginning of a seller’s market, it’s vital to give buyers something in order to close the deal – that would be the above-mentioned trending amenities. You can sweeten the deal by offering exactly what they want, making it easier and quicker to close. Now that is sweet!

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Simple ways to add value to your home

Australian cottage exterior 'Simple ways to add value to your home'credit

Do you want to add value to your home and make it a more comfortable place in which to live? This is the wish of many home owners around the country, but many of these people are not willing to take the necessary steps to achieve this goal. It’s not as difficult as it may seem to add value to your home and the following tips are some of the easiest ways in which to do this.

New doors and windows on a renovated propertycredit

Replace old windows and doors

A large number of older homes still have the same windows and doors that were fitted when the house was originally built. The technologies used to manufacture modern windows and doors have come a long way in recent years. Energy efficient windows and doors ensure that homes are warmer and look more stylish. Attractive and secure garage doors also add value to a home and are provided by suppliers like the Garage Door Company Ltd. You can check out their site to find a solution to suit your type of property.

Woman laying insulation in a loft spacecredit

Install insulation and a new heating system

Every home owner wants to live in a warm, cosy home. However, older heating systems were often not as efficient as modern heating systems. If you feel the cold in your home during the winter, you have a heating problem that needs to be fixed.

In most cases, installing a new boiler, radiators or other types of heating systems will make a huge difference to the temperature inside your home. To ensure that this heat does not escape, it’s important to check how well insulated your property is as well. If it’s not up to the necessary standard, it’s wise to install additional insulation in the wall cavities and in the attic space.

Patio with horizontal cladding wood panelscredit

Landscaping

When you’re attempting to add value to your home, not all changes take place inside the property. Most people enjoy spending time outside in a well-kept garden. However, many gardens leave a lot to be desired and are not inviting places to in which to spend time.

Hiring a professional landscaper to inject some life into your garden has the potential to add thousands of pounds to the value of your home and make it an attractive area for family and friends to relax, especially during the summer.

Dining room with wooden floorboardscredit

Flooring

The floors in a home suffer the most from wear and tear. This is particularly true in high traffic areas of the home such as corridors and entrance ways. Replacing existing flooring products with high quality carpets or wooden flooring will instantly transform each of the rooms in your home.

Painter/decorator carrying tins of paint and paintbrushcredit

Clean and paint

It’s amazing how fresh a home can look by simply cleaning it and giving it a coat or two of paint. Once a home owner sees the difference this can make, it often inspires them to make other changes that will greatly increase the value of their home.

Some people make changes to their home so that it becomes more comfortable to live in, while other home owners want to increase the value of their property so that they can sell it profitably in the future. Either way, making the changes above will ensure that both of these objectives are achieved.

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