Category Archives: Home Tips

10 Tips for Buying an Apartment

tips in buying an apartmentIf you’ve decided to buy an apartment, you’re probably aware that it will be one of the major investments of your life. Really, why throw your money away on rent when you can buy your own property for the same price? Still, having a roof over your head will make your life easier and stressless only if you buy a home you can afford and, of course, a home that will meet your needs. In this article you will find ten basic tips that will help you choose and buy a perfect apartment.

  1. Before you even start looking for the place to buy – think, calculate and think again. Have you got enough money for a decent deposit? How much can you borrow? How will monthly repayments affect your budget? There are many simple tools on the internet that can help you deal with these questions – online budget planners, mortgage and deposit calculators, and so on. Use them. As for the deposit size, you will probably have to pay between 15 and 25 per cent of the purchase price, so make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew. And don’t forget about taxes, fees, removal van, repairs, and furniture. They also cost money.
  2. Decide what you are looking for – which area do you prefer, how many bedrooms do you need, do you want a garage, are shopping malls, schools, kindergartens in the vicinity important to you? When you’ve figured this out, you can focus your search on desired location.
  3. Check sales in the area, research the market and compare the prices. Be in touch with the local real estate agents because many flats sell before they appear in the ads.
  4. When you’ve found the property that suits you, go and see it. Note down all the important information about the apartment – when it was built, how long and why do the owners sell, were there any problems in the neighborhood or with neighbors, when were electrical and gas installations inspected, what’s included in the sale, and so on. And of course, ask your solicitor to do a research on the apartment.
  5. Take pictures of the apartment so that you could compare it with the others you take into consideration.
  6. Make sure to view at different parts of the day. It might look nice and calm during the day, but you wouldn’t like a bunch of junkies shooting stuff in their veins under your balcony.
  7. Check for the mold, wet corners, rust pipes and leaking radiators. Test if all the doors and windows are working well.
  8. Think how much to offer. You can get a lot of help on the internet forums of the property search websites for people there have tons of experience.
  9. Consider auctions. Apartments selling in the auctions can be much cheaper than the ones on the market. However, you will probably need to invest some money and time in renovation.
  10. If you are satisfied with the apartment and your offer is accepted, exchange the contracts with the vendors and book the moving van.
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How To Furnish Your Home or Office On a Budget

furnishing your homeFurnishing your home or office can be pretty expensive – new couch, office chairs, desks, carpets – you can end up flat broke. Fortunately, there are some tricks that can save you thousands of dollars. If you want to achieve the best value for money when it comes to refurbishing and decorating your premises, you don’t need much – just some time, a lot of creativity and relatively small amount of money. And here is how:

Before you buy anything, try asking around a little bit to find out whether your friends or their neighbors have some stuff they want to get rid of. Maybe you can use a couch or a table that is lying around your cousin’s house, change the fabric or repaint it for a fresh look. Furthermore, it is possible that you already have some pieces of furniture hiding unnoticed somewhere in your house or garage so you could use them and avoid spending additional money for furnishing your house or office.

Now that you’ve exhausted all possibilities of friends and relatives, it is time to get organized. Before you start spending any money, decide how much you can or want to spend and make a list of all the things you need. By doing this you will avoid buying items which are too expensive or unnecessary.

The next logical step is browsing the internet. There are numerous websites where people sell, or even give away used and unwanted things, especially furniture, home appliances, and clothes. The truth is that it may take you some time and nerves to find what you need, but you can shop at prices that are up to 80 percent lower than the market price. The other good idea is to buy wholesale or look for the liquidation sales. Stores that are going out of business sometimes sell items at only 20 or 30 percent of their retail value.  Also, look for the factory outlets where they sell products much cheaper than the shops due to the fact that there’s no middle-man.

The next thing you can do is to paint the walls. Paint is pretty inexpensive way to change the look of your house or an office and the best thing is that you can do it by yourself. If you’ve never done wall decoration before, the abundance of tutorials and step-by-step instructions you can find on the internet can be of great help.  There are also websites where you can ask professionals for a piece of advice or download home and interior design software for free.  This way you can visualize your ideas, experiment with colors, and remodel your home or office online before you start with the real work.

Also, pay attention to lights. Take full advantage of the natural light and get some cheap lamps that will enrich the space. Just keep in mind that you should avoid cold fluorescent and over-bright light because it can cause eye strain and fatigue.

In the end, add some details – cushions, nicely framed pictures, paintings prints, flowers or other plants which will make the space look warmer and give it a personal touch.

 

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