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How to increase the value of your home through renovation

How to increase the value of your home through renovation

Are you considering renovation of your home? Prepare for a long and hard work, which will, fortunately, be followed by enjoying time with family in a lovely, neat home. There are steps to renovating the house which you should have in mind and shouldn’t skip. Because if you try to do renovation quickly and without good planning renovation might turn into a nightmare instead of being a pleasant experience.

Excellent and detailed planning is essential for good renovation. You need to know what your end goal is, whether you are renovating to improve the resale value of your home or you will be living in it for years to come. Having a plan for your future will help you decide how deep to go with your project. Also, consider the condition of your neighbourhood before you begin, and know which renovations are return on investment, and which will be over-upgrade for the area. At this moment it is good to check permits for the renovation and make one because there might be a time when you will need it.

Even if you are planning cosmetic remodelling, there is an opportunity to enhance the function or money-saving capability of your home. When renovating an entire room, for example, this may be the perfect time to upgrade your electrical panel, add insulation to the walls or add additional light or electrical fixtures. Thinking ahead is the key to successful upgrade structure of your home.

Will you do renovation yourself or hire professionals?

This decision might be difficult, but it affects not only the budget but also time spent in the remodelling. Professionals will do the job in much shorter time. Also, there is a possibility of errors or incidents which you could not see coming if you do a job yourself. Do proper research with friends and family who did renovation recently because it might help you make this decision, or even alter your end plan. Whatever you chose to do, make sure to have insurance in case of any unexpected event.

So you decided to hire professionals for renovating? You need to make sure that the contractor is right for you because he’s going to be in your home! When you talk to contractors, ask for references and do a proper interview. And put all the things you talked about in the contract!

Perhaps you have decided to do renovation yourself? It is a great way to save money, involve the entire family and have a sense of accomplishment. But be cautious:  if you don’t know what you’re doing the whole project can turn disastrous. Know which tasks you can safely handle, and which should be managed by professionals, as a complete renovation of the home will need professional builders at some point.

Next step is making a budget

Knowing your budget and sticking to it is one of the crucial parts of renovation planning. Your budget will differ in case of renovation of whole house from scratch compared to aesthetic improvement. Don’t forget to add in a fund for unexpected costs and incidental costs like taking a hotel for a night or two if needed. Be realistic about your budget!

Make plans to stretch your budget as far as it can go, by thinking outside of the box. Did you know you can find building materials online like plastic drainage, and guttering? Often you’ll find them to be a quarter of the price they would be in a builders merchant, with next day free delivery!

Now, you have the plan, the budget, the contractor or instruction how to do it yourself, and you can start renovation! It would be useful to have children and pets cared for at a different location if possible at familiar family and friends during remodelling, for their safety.

If you are doing partial reconstruction, move all the items from the working area. But if you are remodelling the whole house, you will need a secure place to store furniture and other items. The right idea is to rent affordable self-storage and hire removals company to transport all your items to another location.

What construction work needs to be done?

Heavy work will be done first, and that means demolishing walls if needed, changing windows and doors, renovating electrical system, changing floors. Perhaps you will change driveway, or the whole yard together with the house. Priority in this phase is making the site safe and secure, and this includes hazardous waste removal. At this moment you will also change doors and windows if needed. Choose wisely, because this is the time to make your house lighter by adding large sliding glass doors or French doors and also larger windows.

Remodelling bathroom could include complete changing from replacing tiles, or you can change only sanitary ware and taps. The same goes for a kitchen: you can remodel it from scratch, but changing appliances, tap, sink and cooker might be as effective. When choosing the style for the kitchen and bathroom, have in mind that picking the latest, hottest, coolest things is nice, but trends mean that it’s short-term and you want something that’s going to stand the test of time, and last for years and years.

After rough and heavy work is finished, it is time for painting home. When choosing paint colour, keep in mind that neutrals are more attractive, and make your home more appealing. This is the job you can do yourself, but you can also hire professionals for house painting. They can give you advice about the different quality of paint and help you in choosing the right colour for each room.

Choosing right furniture, rugs, carpets, curtains and shades is next vital thing to be done. Perhaps you will keep old furniture and change upholstery, or completely change the style of your home. If you do a complete change, make sure that all materials fit the same style and are of a similar colour with wall paint and curtains.

Shades are quite popular lately, as proper shades can be enough to change looks of windows and give your home a new style. Additionally, shades can complement any room decor, and they give you complete control of the amount of light that enters a room. Top down bottom up shade is a new type of shades that is becoming increasingly popular because they are the only style that can allow sunlight within a room while still giving the privacy that people want. That is why you can find discounts on top down bottom up shades in colour that best suits your room.

As the end of renovation is getting closer, there are only details left to be done. Add lovely cushions, vase, mirror and other decoration to make your home cosy and enjoy time with friends and family in a new ambient and relax because renovation is over!

Insurance Watch: Bring it home to first-time buyers

Insurance Watch: Bring it home to first-time buyers

First-time buyers are less likely than others to see the need to protect their mortgage payments — so advisers must focus on the facts.

The difficulties facing first-time buyers are well known. That said, brokers have done a great job of helping this group get onto the housing ladder in recent years and we are seeing more first-timers take out mortgages than ever before.

In fact, recent figures from Halifax show that nearly half (46 per cent) of house purchases financed by a mortgage last year were made by first-time buyers.

However, while this is positive, the fact remains that many of these buyers fail to take out the insurance needed to protect themselves.

Unfortunately, many still seem to think that life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection are an unnecessary expense. In part, this may be because many first-timers are single and do not have any dependents, so it can be difficult for them to envisage who would be financially affected if the worst were to happen.

Accord adds 95% mortgage range for FTBs

Accord adds 95% mortgage range for FTBs

Accord Mortgages has launched a range of 95 per cent LTV mortgages specifically for first-time buyers.

The deals are available at two and five-year fixed rates and come with £1,000 cashback on completion and free standard valuation.

Certain deals are available fee-free, including a two-year fix at 3.94 per cent, or a five-year fix at 4.40 per cent.
The lender has also reduced rates on selected high LTV options by up to 0.05 per cent for home buyers with small deposits.

This includes a 3.63 per cent two year fix at 95 per cent LTV with £495 product fee.

Accord mortgage manager Jemma Anderson says: “Spring is a popular time for people taking that first step onto the property ladder, so is the ideal time for us to enhance our product range with specific options aimed to help brokers support their customers with the biggest financial decision of their lives.

House prices creep up in April: Nationwide

House prices creep up in April: Nationwide

House prices rose by 0.2 per cent month-on-month in April, according to the latest Nationwide house price index.

The year-on-year change is 2.6 per cent, and the lender says the average house price is now £213,000.
Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner says: “There was a slight pickup in UK annual house growth in April to 2.6 per cent, from 2.1 per cent in March. House prices rose by 0.2 per cent over the month, after taking account of seasonal
factors.”

Mortgage Advice Bureau head of lending Brian Murphy says: “Whilst growth is, at best, incremental, it does at least point to a market which remained robust in the first four months of this year, and one that is performing within the parameters expected by analysts who predicted that annual house price growth would be at around this level in 2018.”

The Nationwide figures are not seasonally adjusted.

Foundation Home Loans director of marketing Jeff Knight says: “Cities in the North of England are experiencing sustained price growth, adding to the already substantial challenge facing those looking to get one foot on the property ladder and pinning their hopes on a home outside the capital.

“Even with stamp duty cuts and low mortgage rates alleviating some of the pain points experienced by renters and buyers alike, affordability continues to remain a concern for the majority of those looking for their first or second home.”

Bischoff to replace Oldfield as Castle Trust CEO

Bischoff to replace Oldfield as Castle Trust CEO

Founder and chief executive of Castle Trust Sean Oldfield is to step down from his role at the lender after seven years at the helm.

Subject to regulatory approval, Oldfield will be replaced as chief executive by Martin Bischoff, who was managing director of retail distribution at Santander for five years to 2017 and recently worked as an executive business adviser at Virgin Money.

Oldfield is the second senior figure to step down from Castle Trust this year, following the departure of mortgage division manager Matthew Wyles in February who left to join Hampshire Trust as chief executive.