Jump On The Property Ladder With My Homebuying Tips

Getting on the property ladder and buying your first home can be quite difficult. Many people just avoid the problem altogether by continuing to rent well into middle age. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to ignore the benefits you get from owning a home. First, it’s a great investment, and if you put some work in, you can build up its value. Even if you don’t put any work in at all, you might still see it soar in value naturally on the property market. It all depends on the changes to the infrastructure when you buy. Once you buy a home, you will also be leaving a nice investment for your kids after you pass on. You can guarantee you’ll be leaving something behind. Owning your home is great security too. If you are ever made redundant, you’ll know you have somewhere to live.

With these benefits in mind, let’s look at some of the best ways to get on the property ladder.

Be A Great Little Saver

I recently worked out that I could save quite a lot each month without even trying. Okay, it does take some work because you have to cut back on certain things. However, once you plan a budget, you’ll learn you can live without these little things in your life and save a lot of money. Think about something that you know costs a lot each month. That might be alcohol or chocolate, maybe going to the movies? Anything like this, you should cut out for six months and then aim for a year. You’ll be amazed how much you save.

If you’re serious about buying a house, you might also be able to open a special saving account. These are funded by the government for potential homebuyers. You put in so much each month and they’ll add twenty-five percent to whatever you save at the end of the year.

Talk To A Financial Planner

One of the biggest issues with saving for a home is finding a goal and sticking to the plan to achieve it. This is where a financial planner could help a great deal. They’ll draw up a plan with you and then they will help you get there. Financial planners will look at where you need to save and cut back. They might also recommend some of the best loans on the market to buy your home. Essentially, they are a great source of information you can use to get insider knowledge on the market.

Buy A Fixer Upper

Finally, I don’t recommend you look for your dream home when you’re buying your first house. I know, if you’re pouring all that money in, you want it to be perfect and worth it. I get that, I do, but it’s probably not going to be. The house that you will be able to afford won’t be a dream come true. It’s going to have issues. That’s why you should buy a cheaper home you know has issues that are easy to fix. You’re looking for a house that has enough cosmetic issues to mean it’s selling for less than it’s worth. If you buy one of these, you’ll get on the property market fast and have money left over to fix it up.

5 Home Improvements To Help Protect Your Vehicle

One vehicle is stolen every 44 seconds, which shows you just how vulnerable they are. Whether you own a van, car, bike or even boat, it’s important that you take the necessary steps to protect it.

You might not think it’s at risk of being stolen, but everyone who’s ever had a stolen vehicle thought that too. Even if your car isn’t stolen, it can be damaged by the weather at any hour of the day. There are plenty of things that could go wrong, and it’s up to you to prevent them.

So, here are five simple ways to help defend your vehicle from theft, and the elements, by improving your home. Don’t hesitate!

1. Exterior lighting

It’s no secret that well-lit areas are a turn-off for thieves, so make sure your car is as well-lit as possible. If your road is unadopted, it may not include street lighting, which makes it easier for thieves to sneak about.

To rectify this, look to install some exterior, motion-sensing light fixtures. They’re easy to buy, available from all good hardware stores. They’re harder to install, but someone from the store would be happy to help you out.

You can buy lights like this that only activate at night time, between hours set by you. This way, if anyone comes near your ride, they’ll be lit up like a Christmas tree.

2. Build a garage and carport

A lot of modern homes have a garage, but for those that don’t, this is the most secure way to protect your vehicle. A garage with added carports is even better, providing an extra layer of protection from the elements, and a more tucked away spot for your car.


As an added bonus, a garage can also add some serious resale value to your home.

3. Construct a driveway


You may need planning permission, but it’s possible to convert your front/back yard into a driveway. This allows you to park closer to your home, and combined with the exterior lighting, is sure to deter even the most efficient of thieves.

Alternatively, you could ‘extend’ your home, with planning permission, to build a parking space. This means you’ll have to get approval from your neighbors, among other things.

4. Add high metal gates


Not every property is set up for such an improvement, but if you’re detached or semi-detached you have a good chance. Metal gates are installed at the bottom of your garden, and stop people from being unable to simply walk up to your property.

5. Security systems

Basic security features like CCTV systems can give you full home coverage, of every inch. You’ll be able to scan the interior and exterior of your home for any intruders, so you can prevent a theft before it gets off the ground.


These cameras can also be attached to the aforementioned carport and even the interior of your garage. Nowhere will be free from your gaze!


There isn’t one single major home improvement that comes cheaply, but all of them add lots of value. This value comes in the form of added protection, as well as more resale value for when you move on. If vehicle safety is your concern (perhaps you have a rough neighborhood) then these 5 fixes will put you at ease.

Morning Sickness - OMG why

Morning sickness or all day sickness that sucks the life from you and drains every ounce of fun loving , want to get dressed and apply makeup woman. Yep the later is the kind I get, the all day kind, the kind that drains your brain ability and want to function as a human. The last few months have been really tough, this time around I couldn't curl up in bed all day because toddlers don't stop for anyone.

Needless to say I have barely swapped my pjs pr trackies for #everydaystyle and Ill even admit to wearing my trackies to the shops because I seriously could not be arsed getting changed. Its been really tough and while I feel truly blessed to be pregnant this sickness, bloating and lack of energy can bugger off.

This last few weeks have seen the fog lift and I'm finally feeling ok, I have been struck down with a cold and throat infection but hell I'm not vomiting and can stay up past 8pm.

I've no advice really except if your going through it there is an end, it wont go on forever and for goodness sake talk to your Dr and get some medication!! Give into cravings and treat yo self and that helps, take each day as it comes. xx

Looking To Sell Up & Move On? Here’s How To Land The Perfect Family Home!

I’ve spoken before about how while I love our home, I know that if my family was to increase it may no longer be a suitable place for us to live. I’m not alone, a lot of my friends are in the same boat. Their houses are fine for now, but if another little one comes along, that may no longer be the case.
Today, I’m not going to focus on selling up. Instead, I thought I would share some tips and advice for finding your perfect family home. It’s not easy to find a home that you love, as there always seems to be something that you have to compromise on. However, that doesn’t have to be the case, at least not necessarily.
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To help you land the home of your dreams, I thought I would share a few useful tips. Hopefully, these will make the process of finding a home that you love, that much easier and less stressful.
Find a good realtor
First and foremost, it’s essential to find a good realtor. If you want to make finding a new home as easy for yourself as possible, it’s essential that you have an expert that you can rely on. You want someone who understands how important finding your dream home is and will do all that they can to help you.
Know what you want
A mistake that many of us make when house hunting is not knowing what we want. If you want to make house hunting as easy for yourself as possible, it’s essential that you know what you want. Or, I should say, what you need. Write a list of your wants and needs for your next property - remember that the ‘needs’ are a priority and the ‘wants’ are an added bonus. The ‘needs’ should be things like the amount of bedrooms that you must have, and area that the property is located in. While the ‘wants’ can be things you’d love, such as ensuite bathrooms, but aren’t essential. Knowing what you want and need from a house will make your search much easier and less stressful. Go around each property ticking things off of your list.
Consider building instead of buying
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If you can’t find anywhere you love, then it might be worth considering going another way, like building a house instead of buying one. While this would most likely take longer, it would give you the option of designing the perfect place. It may even work out cheaper than buying a property. Plus, it would come with the added bonus of being under warranty. Meaning that any problems would be covered and you wouldn’t need to pay for them to be dealt with. If this idea is of interest to you, consider getting in touch with a company like Derbyshire to see what would be involved in building your own home.
Be open-minded
Most importantly, whatever option you go for - buy or build, remember to be open-minded. The key to success when it comes to achieving your dream home is seeing the potential. If for example, you find a property in a prime location but it’s not well maintained inside, think of the potential it has to be beautiful. Or, if you’ve found a plot of land for sale that’s in your dream home location, see the potential you have to build a home there. It may take longer than buying, but it could be the best move you’ve ever made.
Finding the perfect family home can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. It’s just a case of being open-minded and looking at the potential that every option has.

Dress Your Home For A Successful Sale With These Amazing Tips

Are you ready to sell your house? You’ve probably already gone through weeks of emotion about leaving the place you’ve called home. But now it’s time to prepare your property for sale. This can take a fair bit of work and time and effort. You may also need to consider packing up and moving out some of your things. This will free up space in those rooms you’ve used for storage that need to be dressed for their real purpose.

Start by throwing out, gifting, or recycling everything you no longer use. This is important for decluttering, but will save you from moving large quantities of stuff that is of no use to you. It only takes an afternoon and a strong will to reduce your possessions down to the bare minimum. It can feel pretty good too when you strip your life of the excess baggage accumulated over the years.

Now you can start to dress each room. Bedrooms should all have beds in them, even if the spare one is currently an office. And the dining room will need a good dining set, dressed and ready for a fancy meal! This means the beds should have pillows and bedding sets in place, neatly made. A bedside table, lamp, and a rug are nice touches to help complete the room. Your dining table will need a runner, plates, glasses, cutlery and centrepiece to finish the effect.

If any of your woodwork or walls look a little scuffed up, try wiping the down gently to reveal a fresher finish. If you have to paint, it’s best to start early so you can get rid of the fumes and stickiness. Rather than replacing worn flooring, try carefully placed rugs or rearranging the furniture. This can help hide any problems that you can’t clean away. Vacuuming and deep washing the carpets often bring them back up to a nearly new condition.

Cleaning up a well-used kitchen can be quite a big and mucky job. You might prefer to hire a professional to tackle it. They often have industrial strength potions to bring back the shine, plus a lot of handy equipment. If you have the time to take this on yourself, make sure the windows are wide open for ventilation. Don’t forget your gloves! And make sure all the gardens are trimmed and tidy too.

On the day of any viewings, it is important to ensure the whole house smells fresh and enticing. Try using a 200mL essential oil diffuser to bring a gorgeous scent into each room. Make sure there is plenty of light available too. You may need to switch on some carefully situated lamps to brighten things up. Finally, keep windows closed in any rooms that face the main road. Noise can be quite off-putting for potential buyers.

Selling your home for the top market price can take a lot of work and effort to achieve. But it could make a difference of thousands of dollars for any offer you may receive. At the end of the day, you need to make a sale. Good luck.

Bump Style - The first trimester

The first trimester of pregnancy is an awkward one for many woman, you may or may not be showing and you may or may not be wanting to hide that from those around you. I show early, I did with my first pregnancy and I am again in my second. I think its good old genetics and my shorter torso that equal not so much room, that and tummy troubles. I like to stay comfortable and I dont mind showing my instant bump.

Here are my top tips for staying comfy in the awkward first trimester.

Don't be afraid of stretch - Invite stretch into your wardrobe, stretch clothing will last the distance in pregnancy. If you buy maternity wear or simply size up in clothing it should last you throughout your pregnancy.

Invest in a maternity bra or two - As your body changes and your breasts grow they will change shape, size and can become sore, swollen and tender so its best to wear a buy that will accommodate these changes without compressing those sore boosies. Through my first pregnancy I thought maternity bras were just for nursing. I had no idea you could and should wear them through your pregnancy also so I suffered sore breasts and back ache. Get fitted and get comfortable

Plan - Plan what you might need and what your budget is for a pregnancy wardrobe. If you are on a budget I would absolutely suggest purchasing pieces that you can wear throughout your pregnancy, after while breast (or not) and that will fit into your post baby wardrobe. Swing style tops and dresses, tunic dresses, lycra pieces  will all fit back into your everyday wardrobe.

What are your first trimester style tips?? xxx

Power Cut? Follow This 3-Step Plan

While they are commonly only temporary issues, power cuts can leave you feeling vulnerable in your own home. They can be caused in a number of ways from adverse weather to electrical surges. This can stop your appliances from working correctly and can leave you with no lights in your home. This is extremely inconvenient and can also be scary if you have young children. Power cuts are something that every homeowner experiences at some point in their lives. So it’s beneficial to know what to do in this situation. So if the power has just gone in your home, here is what you need to do next.

Check your neighbour's houses

The first thing you need to establish is whether the power cut has affected your entire street or whether it’s just your home. If the power cut occurs at night, look out of the window to see if your neighbour’s homes have lights on. If they do, you know quickly that only your home is being effected. Whereas if they don’t you know you are not alone. If it happens during the day, it will be harder to tell if your neighbours have power or not. So go to their houses directly to ask them to check their lights and appliances. Wait for a little while to see if the power returns. If it doesn’t move onto the next step.

Call an electrician

Next, you need to call an emergency electrical contractor service to assist you. They can help you establish the cause of the power outage and work to repair and fix the problem. If you are unable to use the internet on your phone, look for a number in the phonebook or newspaper. When you contact them, stay calm and be clear about what has happened. Listen to their instructions carefully as they might ask you to turn off or disconnect your home’s appliances. Once you hang up, start looking for torches you can use to light your home. Candles are not recommended as they can be a fire hazard and can also cause burns.

Dress for the weather

When you have a power cut in your home, it can alter the temperature making it too hot or too cold. So it’s crucial that you make sure your family is dressed appropriately while the electrician is fixing the problem. If it’s hot outside, light weight and light colours are ideal for cooling you down. You should also drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. It’s it’s cold, wear plenty of layers and never use your oven to heat up your home. You may also want to consider taking your family to another location while the issues are being fixed. Call your friends and relatives or ask your neighbours if you can come round. This will keep your family safe and at a more suitable temperature.

Now you know what you have to do; you can deal with your current power cut quickly and safely. Take what you have learned from this guide and use it to help you prepare for any other power cuts you have in future.

Why It's Time To Get Your Dancing Shoes On

Not all of us enjoy sweating it out in the gym. If you’re looking for an alternative way to get fit, dancing is a fantastic option. Here are just some of the reasons why it’s time to get those dancing shoes on.

Health benefits
You may think that dancing is something you do on a Friday night after a drink or two. But there are hundreds of different forms of dance and most give you a really good workout. You can take dance classes for different types of dance, or sign up for sessions, which involve a mixture of styles. If you really want to notice an improvement quickly, arrange some private lessons.

Dancing isn’t just a great cardio workout. It also helps to increase your flexibility and agility. You’ll also find that you improve your strength and stamina with every session.

Exercising on a regular basis also has incredible benefits for your mental health. A dance class at the end of the day could help to relieve tension and stress. Exercise also helps to release endorphins and increase serotonin levels. This helps to lift your mood.

Social benefits
Dancing is a sociable activity, which enables you to meet new people and get out and about. If you join a Latin or ballroom class, you’ll soon get to know the regulars.

Increased confidence
Taking up hobbies and expanding your social circle is a fantastic way to build confidence and increase self-esteem. As you improve, your confidence will grow. Dancing is particularly good for those who shy away from being in the spotlight normally. If you feel confident in your abilities, this will help you to open up and feel more comfortable in social situations.

Fun and enjoyment
The reason most people dance is enjoyment. To begin with, you may find that you struggle with the steps. But you’ll learn quickly, and this is an activity, which can be great fun. You get to learn new skills, meet new people and challenge yourself.

Dancing isn’t just about putting on some ballet shoes and perfecting a pirouette. There are so many different forms of dance out there. You’re bound to find something that suits your personality and individual tastes. Learn to salsa or samba like the carnival dancers. Embrace the elegance of the waltz or foxtrot. Get your pulse racing with a street class or learn to breakdance. Imagine you’re on the streets of South America and learn the Argentine tango. Or channel your inner romantic and hone your rumba skills.

If you’re looking for a new hobby, or you’re eager to shape up without going to the gym, dancing could be the way forward. There are so many different types of dance you can try and so many benefits to enjoy. Sign up for some classes or arrange some one to one tuition. You’ll find that you progress rapidly, and your health and fitness will improve. Dance classes are also an excellent way to make new friends and improve your social life. If you’re looking to try something new, why not give dancing a go?

6 Ways To Revamp Your Garden Without Gardening

Gardens are an important part of your property, whether you’re happily settled or looking to sell. They form the first impression of your home and set the tone for your living space. In the warmer months, they transform into an outdoor room. They provide more space to eat, relax, and entertain our friends. For some people, they have a function such as growing food. And for our children, gardens become playgrounds and magic kingdoms.

We put a lot of thought and work into our outdoor spaces. The process, for many people, is what it’s all about. As such, we read a lot about gardening and gardening tips. But there are several ways to transform our gardens which don’t involve gardening.

1. What Do You Use Your Garden For?

When starting any home project, you need to be clear about what you’re trying to achieve. Ask yourself what you use your garden for. It could be somewhere to sit and eat during the summer. Or maybe, the main focus is to create a safe play area for kids. Keep your purpose in mind as you make your changes.

2. Hire A Skip

If you have lots of clutter in your garden and outhouses, a skip may be useful. Over the course of a weekend, sort out anything that no longer wanted or useful. Recycle wherever possible or give items to friends or charity. But for all those broken tools and old toys, get rid of them.

The same is true for garden waste. If you have accumulated old branches and leaves, etc. rake them up and get rid of them.

3. Sort Out Your Driveways

Driveways and walkways with cracks and holes look unsightly. They may also be dangerous and cause tripping hazards. Larger potholes may be a problem for vehicles. If your driveways are in need of some care and attention, consider hiring professional concreters. A professional company will transform the exterior of your home with creative paving solutions. Work out what will suit the rest of your home.

4. Create A Patio Or Decking

If you eat outside a lot, consider creating a dedicated spot. Decide whether to use a concrete area or decking. If the area is raised, you will need to consider adding fencing for safety. Depending on your location and climate, would an outdoor cooking area be of benefit? Many people create bricked areas for outdoor stoves and BBQs.

5. Jet Wash

It’s surprising what a difference jet washing can make. It will make your paving look as good as new and will remove any moss and build-up. If you don’t have a jet washer, swill the area and sweep it with a sturdy yard brush.

6. Paint Exteriors

When visitors arrive at your home, it is likely they will enter through the front door. Make sure your entrance is looking smart with a lick of paint. Extend this to any other woodwork such as window frames and fascias.

By applying a few small changes you can transform the outside appearance of your home. This creates a smart and welcoming facade. It also creates curb appeal if you’re looking to sell.