The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) are again in the news today regarding their long-running campaign to highlight the lack of space in new homes being built in the UK. The RIBA/IPSOS Mori report entitled “The Way We Live Now: What People Need and Expect from their Homes” found that many new homes in the UK simply do not have enough storage space for the basic essentials of life, including food and household appliances. […]
I have been surprised that almost all the people wishing to view my house have wanted to come on a Saturday and that estate agents around here are not even open on Sundays; maybe that’s a sign of the economic downturn as I’m sure they used to open on Sundays. But the visits have been planned to my advantage and the estate agents have actually encouraged appointments at times when the next viewer is likely to meet the previous viewer coming down the garden path. Actually we haven’t got a garden path but you know what I mean.
I started off with 3 estate agents coming to value my house because surely I’d be able to make a decision based on 3 valuations. But actually what I found was that estate agents try, on the one-hand not to offend you about a home you have loved and lived in for nearly 20 years but on the other to manage your expectations on price. I wanted really honest feedback because I wanted to move quickly and I had seen other houses in the area languish on the market for well over a year because they just seemed too expensive. What I found was that it wasn’t until the third estate agent came round that I realised how hard I had to push and how insistent I had to be before they gave me some really honest advice.
I’m in the process of trying to move house – not easy in the current economic climate but I seem to remember the last time I moved was in a recession when some people I knew were in negative equity so the experience is nothing new for me just a bit of a distant memory.
Living in London is expensive and lots of people find they struggle to even afford a visit to enjoy a long weekend, let alone live and work there. But living in London needn’t be super expensive, here’s how:
Share your space
If you’re going to move to London and you’re not absolutely flush with funds, you’re going to have to start getting used to sharing your space. Flat shares are by far the cheapest way to live in London and you’d be surprised at how small a space people are actually willing to rent out to you. Expect flatmate interviews (yes really!) and flat sharing meet up parties where people looking for flat shares or offering flat shares are looking to hook up with potential living buddies…
With space at a premium in many family homes, finding room to store all your belongings and still have room to breathe can be a tough task. Expanding families, ever increasing piles of ‘stuff’ and the decreasing sizes of new homes means many families are looking to make home improvements to expand the available space in their house.
If you are keen to make some minor modifications to free up useful space, read the full post for three clever tricks you can consider.
Moving house can be a fairly resource intensive activity. Apart from all the clutter that frequently ends up in landfill during a move, there are also transportation emissions, packing materials and other waste to think about if you want to make your move less damaging to the environment. Read the full post for some handy tips to help you pack and move house with less impact on the planet.
If you are planning to move in the near future, you might already be wondering how to move your items. Moving by yourself, also known as a DIY move, might seem like a great way to save money, but in reality can actually cost you more. Read the full post for some things to think about when deciding whether to use a professional removal company or do it on your own.
If you’re getting ready to move into your new home, now is a great time to make some small changes that will get you on a greener footing straight away. There are some easy things you can do as soon as you get there to make your home a more eco-friendly place to be…
There’s so much to do if you’re planning a move; some of the things you should definitely not forget to do before the big day include: Redirecting your post, informing your bank and insuring your new home, both the building and the contents.
Here are some clever little tricks from the experts for packing more efficiently, perfect to help you with your next house move.
First, don’t empty out your drawers; empty drawers are a waste of space. Instead leave some lightweight items in them, or even pack some clean clothes inside, so you know where they are for the first day in your new home.
In the current economic climate it is becoming harder and harder to know how much your home is worth, which, of course, shouldn’t matter unless you are trying to move house. And in these economic times only those who really have to move are doing so – maybe because of a new job, a relationship breakdown or family reasons. If you are one of the unlucky few who needs to move right now one of the hardest problems is getting a good valuation of your home – one that will actually enable it to sell but at the same time achieve a fair price for you the seller.
There are numerous houses on the market that seem to be priced fairly but are still not shifting and yet those houses with that extra something special – whether it is period charm, a highly desirable location or the rarity factor – seem to be commanding and achieving rising prices. So there can seem to be a price disparity between similar houses in similar areas. Estate agents are very keen to point out the differences that make an average 1950’s family home worth 20% less than a period home with the same number of rooms and square footage in a neighbouring road.
Moving house can be incredibly stressful, and even more so if you are unprepared. By taking the time to plan for the move thoroughly, you can reduce the stress you are feeling and make for an easier moving experience. Here are out 10 top tips for getting ready to move to help you plan and prepare.
Book a removal company: Moving companies get booked up quickly, especially on weekends, so book early to secure your date.
Order boxes: Order some sturdy moving boxes either through your removals company or independently, as well as packing materials.
Declutter: There is no sense in moving things you don’t need, so have a thorough clear out before you start packing.
The majority of people are trying to live more sustainable lifestyles today, and if you’ve made the effort to reduce, reuse and recycle, why should moving home be any different? Here are a few top tips for making your move greener this time.
1. Use recycled packing materials
Using recycled boxes, as long as they are still robust and in good condition, is a great way to save on waste. As well as this, you can use recycled materials to pack it out instead of opting for environmentally unfriendly bubble wrap.
2. Use clothes to pack out boxes
Rather than filling empty spaces in boxes with newspaper, packing nuts or bubble wrap, use your own clothes, pillows and blankets to fill them up. You were planning to move these things anyway, so why not make use of them!
3. Work with eco-friendly movers
Look to book a removals company that has good green credentials. Ask them about their environmental policies, and look for companies using modern, efficient vehicles or who offer carbon offsetting for your job.
At last I have just got the last of my belongings out of the self-storage unit where at least half of my possessions have been living for the past eighteen months while I have been selling my house, and, more importantly, trying to find a new one. I had never planned to have my stuff in storage for so long but attempting to move house in a recession was harder than I had expected – not least because I had a very particular list of requirements.
Of course those requirements changed over time as the reality of the housing market became clear and I ended up moving to a different town rather than staying in the town I had lived in for the last 25 years and to the sort of busy location I had not anticipated. But the advantage of moving house in a recession is that there are certain people who cannot sit it out until the economic situation improves so in the end I managed to buy a house that exceeded my expectations because the owners had to relocate for work. And a new town has all the advantages of new shops, restaurants and pubs to discover and my central location might be on a busy road but that means I can walk to all of the town’s attractions so maybe I might even get a bit fitter.
When you’ve moved house, arriving at your new home and turning the key for the first time is a moment of pure excitement. As you step over the threshold, your first instinct will undoubtedly be to run round the house, checking out all the rooms and generally revelling in your new family abode. But before you get too over excited, there are a few things you really should do to make sure you and your family are safe, protected and ready to start off on the right foot.