Struggling To Sell? These Simple Problems Could Be Putting Off Homebuyers

There’s nothing more frustrating than being ready to move house, but being stuck with your property where it won’t sell. Some homeowners are stuck with their houses on the market for months, even years in some cases and it simply won’t budge. Here are some things to consider if you’re struggling to sell, spending the money here will pay off when you sell your home quicker and for a better price.

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No Off- Road Parking

Many homes were built at a time when people didn’t own as many cars. These days it’s not uncommon for houses to have one or more cars so it’s frustrating when the home doesn’t accommodate this. Off road parking is a major thing homebuyers will be looking for, but if yours doesn’t have it there are a few things you can do. You could have a garage built at the side if space and planning permission allow it. Alternatively you could turn your front garden into a drive or even a double drive. If you plant some flowerbeds along each side you still make the home look pretty but get the functional aspect of having somewhere off the street to park your car too.

Only One Bathroom

Another feature that many buyers will be looking for is two or more bathrooms. Family life can be busy and no one wants to spend time waiting around to use the bathroom in the morning. If yours just has the one, how about transforming a downstairs cupboard into a small toilet with a sink, or another easy option is to add an ensuite onto the master bathroom. If you’re renovating an additional room such as an attic, basement or an outbuilding then these are places you could think about adding bathrooms too. In small areas you could add a stand-up shower cubicle instead of a bath, but even a just an extra WC is something homebuyers will appreciate.

Ugly Exterior

The way your property looks on the outside is just as important as the inside. This is the first thing buyers will see when they come to view your house, so you don’t want to put people off before they’ve looked around. Consider soda blasting walls, pavements, driveways and patios so they look extra clean. Pull up weeds, clean the windows and put out some hanging baskets. Your property should look clean, tidy and welcoming to give the best impression.

Lots of Unfinished Odd Jobs

Finally, all of those little odd jobs around the house can make a huge difference. They might have sat incomplete for so long that you don’t even notice them any more, but your buyers will. Even things like small cracks that are nothing sinister might look like a big underlying problem to a buyer. This can result in them asking for a lower price or even not wanting to buy the house altogether. The aim is to make your home look ready to move in, the average buyer will want something that won’t be expensive or difficult to put right.

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Smart Home Products Are Changing The Way We Live

Although it wasn’t always the case, our homes are gradually becoming repositories for modern technology. Here are some of the ways that smart home products are changing the way we live.

Improving The Air We Breathe

Unfortunately, our homes are filled with particles which can potentially damage our health. Dirt from outside gets dragged into our carpets, exposing us to toxins and making us more susceptible to allergic reactions. But now a company called Airdog has come up with a home filtration system that you can use when you suspect air quality issues.

Essentially, it’s a gas-mask type product which slips over the nose and mouth and has an additional unit, connected to via a pipe, which connects to the arm.

Air dog hope that people can use their filter in their homes while they’re doing things that throw up dust, like the vacuuming, or when the windows are open in the summer, and allergenic particles are flowing in through the open windows.

Improving Our Home Security

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Home security systems have come a long way in the last few years. The majority are now properly integrated with private security providers through the cloud who can monitor practically everything that’s happening in your home. Now though, drones are being refitted for the purposes of home surveillance. Powered by Qualcomm, it’s hoped that these new drones will give homeowners the ability to safely monitor criminal activity on their property without putting themselves in direct physical danger.

Giving Us Cheap Sous Vide Immersion Circulators

Sous vide is a cooking method usually reserved for swanky Michelin star restaurants. But it could be coming to a smart home near you, thanks to a combination of smartphone apps and mini sous vide cookers which look a little bit like blenders from a company called Anova Nano. The company says that its new sous vide machine, which is about the size of a toaster, can sit on your kitchen side, poaching food to perfection, with the help of the companion app.

Improving Dimmer Switches

Dimmer switches have been around for decades. But now the components company Belkin has decided that it wants to take the experience of dimming the lights up a notch. It’s invented a dimmer which it claims is the “second generation” of dimmer light switches for smart homes.

Doing The Vacuuming For Us

Will smart vacuums ever take over the world? Probably not. Until now they haven’t been able to successfully take over our homes. At this year’s CES, Black and Decker unveiled their first ever smart vacuum product. The company claims that its better than the offerings from other businesses in the market so far and that it’ll suck up dust from your floors for less cash.

Giving Us App-Controlled Lighting

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Despite its obvious benefits and simplicity, app-controlled lighting is still a rarity. Having said that, some companies, like GE are trying to offer customers smart lamps. GE’s smart lamp can be controlled by its own app and looks like something right out of the film Tron. This is futuristic stuff!

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Creating The Perfect Home Office In 3 Easy Steps

A home office should ideally be a place within your humble abode that is away from the distractions of modern life. You don’t want to be busy beavering away looking through important documentation within earshot of the kids playing Xbox in the living room. At the same time, you don’t want your office to be totally devoid of human interaction otherwise you may as well be working on site. Working from home has given us the freedom to enjoy our comforts while, at the same time, allowing us to strive to be as productive as possible. Take a look at these tips to help you create the perfect home office.


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Space

Ensure that you have enough room to set up a desk, chair and any equipment that you might need. If all you need is a laptop and a desk lamp, the space you require will be considerably smaller than if you need to set up lots of photography equipment for your business. Make sure your designated space is light and airy, and conducive to working. A dark, dank space will not motivate you in any way and will see you retreating to the comfort of the couch. It would be ideal if you had a view and plenty of sunlight to inspire your productivity.

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Alone Time

It’s important that your home office remains solely for working purposes and doesn’t take on other uses such as a laundry room or a place to store the latest junk you’ve acquired. When the usage becomes blurred, you are less inclined to want to work in the space. Your mind will be preoccupied with cleaning up mess or organizing the room.

It’s vital that the space is private. A small area inside your living room is ok as a final resort, but if the rest of the family is chilling out watching a good movie, you’ll inevitably find yourself getting distracted. It might be a good idea to invest in a small extension to create the privacy you need. You could take a look at personalloan.co and investigate the different types of loan that are available to you to cover the costs of the renovation. Then, you’ll have the privacy you crave, and you may have added value to your home.

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Be Organized

There’s nothing worse than an untidy desk or an overflowing waste paper bin. There won’t be a magical cleaning fairy who’ll dispose of the rubbish in your bin overnight, so you must ensure that you keep on top of cleanliness. Use stationery holders and binders like the ones seen on lifehack.org to organize your equipment and documents. Every time you switch your laptop off or put your pen down to retreat back into your home, ensure you leave your office tidy ready for the next day.

Creating an office space within your home can create a great working environment. As you become more productive, you can take advantage of the emergence of agile working and utilize your home office space to its full potential.

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7 Places To Invest Your Money

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Got some money stowed away that you’d like to make a return on? Investing can seem like risky business to many people, but as long as you take the time to do some thorough research you can usually maximise your chance of a profit. There are countless places to invest your money. Here are seven investment ideas that could be worth considering.

Property

Most first-time investors will try their hand at property. There are many ways to make money out of real estate. You could buy a property and then rent it out to people to live in for a profit. Alternatively, you could buy a property, up its value by renovating it and then sell it to make money. There’s a lot that could go wrong with property investment from dodgy tenants that don’t pay their rent to expensive repairs that you didn’t see coming. It’s important to prepare for all this by having some form of backup fund. Hiring property managers to handle rent and handymen to do renovations can take away a lot of the stressful hands-on work of property investment and make the reward more worthwhile.

Local business

Investing in a local business idea could be a great way of making a profit. This could be a shop or a restaurant that you’re sure will make a profit, or some kind of local service that your community needs. Just make sure the company that you’re investing in has a solid business plan and that there’s a lot of local interest – you don’t want to invest in a company that’s doomed to fail.

Gold

Whilst the value of gold fluctuates, it’s unlikely it will ever become worthless. Buying some gold from a company such as Bullion Vault and letting it rise in value before selling it could be a way of making a return. Just make sure to do your research as the gold industry can be complex.

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Renewable Energy

People are no longer investing in oil and are instead putting their money into the energy sources of the future. Wind farms and solar panel companies are already seeing huge profits. Investing in such a project could be great for making a return in the future.

Health insurance

Insurance companies are built on risk, however the likes of Health Insurance Innovations are proving to make a steady profit making them attractive ventures for investors. Your money could be helping to fund lifesaving medical treatment for people, making this one of the more ethical insurance investments that you could choose.

Peer-to-peer lending

Peer-to-peer lending sites such as Zopa allow you to offer loans to people. Just as a loan company would charge interest, you get your money back in interest charges. Peer-to-peer lending allows you to contribute any amount, no matter how small. Choose trusted sites that will moderate your lending to ensure you get your payments back.

Pay off your debts

Paying off debt may not seem like an investment, but it can be. Many lenders charge higher interest the longer you take to pay off a loan. By paying off your debts quickly, you’ll pay less interest and technically save money.

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Legal Things You Need To Be Aware Of At Work

Whether you’re running a business from home, from an office or you’re an employee – your job is (hopefully) something you enjoy doing. When talking about the law, many people’s faces glaze over – it’s not the most fun subject. However, it’s one of the most vital things that you have to be aware of whether you work for yourself or others.

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Employees

This is more concerning if you’re the one doing the hiring. There are two main things that people can, and do, lie about on their resumes; the first is eligibility to work in the country. Reference check every prospective employee, request a copy of their ID and ask to see the original, the same goes for a visa – get familiar with the different types of visas. This may seem invasive, but it’s your neck on the line if you don’t.

The second thing to be aware of is qualifications – so many people lie about any grades they achieved, or whether they have the experience at all. As the owner or manager, you have to be aware that this can happen. The simplest way to check these is to quiz them in the interview. If it’s a high school or college that you think they may be lying about, call the school and ask for a reference – they have records of past alumni, and you’ll be able to find out pretty quickly if they achieved what they say they did.

Office Legality

Legal practices within the office come in different shapes and sizes, from health and safety to individual practices. It is your responsibility as an employer to ensure the safety of your staff and to make sure those practices are being followed by everyone. As an employee, you have the right to speak up if you think that any legal practices that supposed to be followed, aren’t.

This also applies to any fraud that goes on within the company. Computer fraud is a federal offense and has to be taken seriously by everyone. As an employer, by utilizing computer security and having regular database checks seen out, you can prevent fraud.

Contracts

As an employer, you have had these contracts created and signed by yourself and your employee. And you have to ensure that they are being carried out to the letter. If you have specifies that an employee is entitled to four weeks of holiday, for example, then you have to give it to them. If you have stated a deadline to a client – you are legally bound to meet it.

All employees should be aware of their entitlements; by reading the contract fully, and keeping a copy for reference, you know what you are allowed, and what you have to achieve. If the contract says that you have to meet a certain amount in profit to gain a bonus, then you can’t complain if you don’t meet the target and miss out.

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