Planning a House Extension? Here are Some Things to Think About

A few years ago I had a decision to make regarding where I was living, I loved the home that I was in but found the need for some more space after my second child came along. I flirted with the idea of moving home but the property market was not in a good state and I begrudged the idea of moving away from my family, social circle and the last thing I wanted was to take my child to a new school to start again. I opted instead to renovate my existing home and add an extra floor as well as some more space on the side of the house. I always knew that the process wouldn’t be easy but I definitely underestimated just how hard it would be. If you are planning something similar then here is my advice to you.

Get Prices For Everything

I massively underestimated how much the raw materials would cost and didn’t look into this until quite far throughout the process. My advice would be that once you have a solid plan from the architect, start getting prices. For example, the quote which I received from David Montoya Stonemakers was very reasonable for the brick work and I got a little carried away, it turned out to be the only quote that I received which was anywhere near my expectation. This caused a lot of to and fro between myself an the architect and forced me to up my budget. Stick to your budget and make that plans around it rather than the other way around.

Move Out

I would wholeheartedly recommend that, if possible, you move out of the property whilst the work is being undertaken. The level of noise, mess and interruption is not helpful when you are trying to run a family home and if you stay, the work will also take a longer amount of time. Start planning as soon as possible to move out of your home for a while and even if you need to stay in a hotel, the money which you will save on the faster building work will more than pay of your time in the hotel.

Legality

Th most important advice that I can offer you is to check out all of the legality surrounding your proposed extension before you sign any contracts. We had great difficulty in getting planning permission for the extension and I had assumed that it would not be a problem. Thankfully we had great neighbors and an open dialogue with them about what we wanted to do and without them, we would not have been able to get permission. If you want to extend your home then make sure that you have all of the legal issues in place before you even consider signing up to the project or hiring contractors. Make sure also that you have a strong relationship with your neighbors or at the very least that you have informed them of your plans.

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Can You Repair Drywall Yourself, or Do You Need a Professional?

If you have an old property, and it was built using shoddy workmanship, it is likely that water damage, holes, and cracks have started to affect your drywall. Luckily, you can repair most drywall problems yourself so long as you have some DIY experience and the right tools. However, there are cases where the issue is more extensive, and you will need a professional like Lloyd Claycomb to come in. Deciding whether you need a professional is down to issues such as your budget, your experience, and the size of your project.

DIY Repairs

If you spot some nail holes or small cracks, you can easily fix it yourself, so long as it isn’t indicative of a larger problem. You need a drywall knife, some drywall tape, and drywall compound, with which you can simply patch the issue up. Generally speaking, apply a few layers of drywall, letting each layer dry before sanding it smooth. Do make sure that you have filled in the cracks first. All necessary materials are available through local DIY stores.

Professional Repairs

If you spot a bulging area or a large crack that creeps upwards, it is likely that you have a more significant problem with your drywall. It may have been installed poorly, or it may have shifted because of moisture in your walls. It is also possible that, upon original installation, the drywall wasn’t properly screwed in. There are many other reasons as to why you could have a major problem with your drywall and, while you can patch it over, this will only postpone the inevitable. Furthermore, once you do get to the point that it has to be repaired, the problem is likely to be far bigger, and therefore also far more expensive to fix. If you spot a hole in your drywall, a new uneven bulge, a discolored patch, or a crack that keeps progressing downwards, you need to phone in a professional. They will come in and determine what is going on, diagnosing the problem and coming up with solutions.

Health Considerations

If you do decide to go for a DIY repair job, you have to be aware of the health implications. Sanding down drywall releases a breathing irritant, so you should not do any of the work without wearing a mask. Make sure you leave the mask on when you have finished sanding for quite some time. Do also cover all your furniture, because the dust particles can linger for quite some time. Leave the room and make sure you properly vacuum everything before you allow the room to be used again. Also, be aware of the weight of drywall panels, so make sure you do not allow your children or pets to come near it, in case a piece falls and injures them. Safety has to come first at all times, and you should never cut corners on that. Hence, if you are not sure about what you are doing, phone in a professional.

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How to Have a Stress-free House Clearance

Have a stress-free house clearance by following our tips below...
Photo by CC user Nicolas Huk on Flickr

A house clearance can be very stressful – not only may it be occasioned by the passing of a loved one, but it can also be taxing in terms of time, energy and logistics. Here’s how to get through it as smoothly as possible.

Plan ahead

In general, you’ll need around half a day per room with a little bit extra. You’d be surprised how long it can take to sort through belongings, especially paperwork and keepsakes, so give yourself plenty of time. You’ll also need to take regular breaks and you’ll almost certainly want to reminisce over some items. Give yourselves enough time to do all this without having to rush.

Use a traffic light colour code for things

When you’re sorting through the items and belongings, it’s best to use a colour system to denote the things you want to keep within the family, the things you want to sell or give to charity and the things that can be recycled or disposed of.

Get lots of red, yellow and green stickers and label everything you can see. Red is for keeping, yellow is for selling or donating and green is for disposal or recycling.

This is one of the hardest parts, in reality, but you have to be tough. Does the family really need another casserole dish? Of course, if that dish holds really special memories, then it stays, but this is one of the decisions that makes it hard.

How much of each category is there?

Now the hard part is over, you need to work out how much there is to be moved. Using a regular-sized skip as a yardstick (as it were), estimate how much of one of these skips the red, yellow and green items will fill each. You may not want a skip for the red or yellow category, of course, but the green category items will probably need one.

Call a removal company

For red items, you’ll need a careful removal company so everything gets to the family in one piece.

For yellow items, you have several choices. The more valuable and/or large items can go to specialist auction houses. House clearance auctions in Belfast attract a lot of attention and you can be sure that your items will be treated professionally and with respect. For smaller and less valuable items, eBay, Freecycle and charity shops are good destinations.

The green items are a bit easier, as you can either hire a skip or make several trips to the dump or recycling plant. Your local council may help with unwanted electrical appliances – fridge, freezer and so on. If the white goods are fairly new, you may want to offer them to a housing charity, though.

Safety and security

A house clearance is no mean feat – there’s a surprising amount of lifting and shifting, as well as clouds of dust, so make sure you lift properly and think about a dust mask, especially if you’re the allergic type.

You also need to remember identity theft – if you need to throw out old bank statements and similar documents, then invest in a shredder.

When you are done clearing your home, you certainly deserve a rest and a cup of tea.

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7 Best Dog Breeds for Apartments and Allergies

AFFENPINSCHER

Kids: not the best choice for kids

Allergy: hypoallergenic breed (here and after means that the dog rarely causes allergies)

Apartment: suitable for small apartments

These sweeties with rich bushy eyebrows, protruding lower lip, beard and a pride intact suit people with a good sense of humor. Lap dog is the oldest small breed fancied. Initially, it was created to hunt rodents. You should not keep it together with cats, but for those who lack company, it is the perfect variant.

YORKSHIRE TERRIER

Kids: perfect, especially for girls

Allergy: hypoallergenic breed (rarely causes allergies)

Apartment: suitable for a small apartment (the dog tolerates travel, hotels, flights)

York has been the most popular breed for the past few years. They are living toys, allowing you to dress them up and carry them under your arm. They will give their masters the ocean of ​​tenderness and love. And, despite its diminutive size, York is a clever dog.

POMERANIAN SPITZ

Kids: fluffy dogs; are very fond of children

Allergy: the breed is not suitable for those who suffer from allergies

Apartment: the best breed of dog for an apartment (lap dog, easily tolerates traveling).

It is a perfect dog for keeping it in the apartment. The dog is unpretentious, easily adapts to all the changes and does not require constant training ( the dog will understand basic commands at the age of 5 months). This is an obedient and one of the smartest dog breeds. Besides, with a special haircut, they look like a teddy bear.

BICHON FRISE

Kids: gets on with children

Allergy: hypoallergenic dog (almost does not fade and does not smell)

Apartment: suitable for small apartments

It looks like a white snowball. A cheerful and playful breed. Bichons are smart, flexible and fearless. They do not tolerate rudeness and penalties; you need to be patient with them. They are not aggressive, but very affectionate and gentle. Bichons enjoy haircuts and photos; they even know how to smile!

CHIHUAHUA

Kids: it loves children

Allergy: does not cause allergy to hairs

Apartment: suitable for a small apartment

This is the most miniature dog in the world. It is devoted to his master and sometimes is jealous of him to others. However, the Chihuahua is not aggressive or intrusive. They love their home, including children, and are willing to endure them, whatever. But they do not trust strangers. Chihuahuas are smart and careful and have a wonderful memory. They get on well with cats and other dog breeds.

Related: Your dog smells you – better than you think

BASENJI

Kids: not recommended for small children

Allergies: leading the list of dogs that do not cause allergies

Apartment: suitable for the conditions of a small apartment, but requires frequent walks

The breed is energetic, independent and intelligent by nature. A close emotional bond appears between the dog and the owner rather quickly, so the dog is likely to become your best friend. But they are suspicious and unfriendly to strangers, as well as to other pets. The dog is very interesting and unusual. In fact, the Basenji is not able to bark but only to make a gurgling sound, if something unpleasant happens. Some dogs can sing!

JACK RUSSELL TERRIER

Kids: not suitable for children, but likes to play with teens, therefore, appropriate for boys

Allergy: not suitable for people with allergies

Apartment: suitable for small apartments

This dog is a battery that will never let you get bored. They are always ready to play and run around but behave quietly at home. They are careful and clever, cunning and inquisitive. Jack Russell does not like strangers. It will protect you during the walk, and in the apartment. However, they are not aggressive but are very active. Jack is a good watchdog, despite its small size. And, of course, the most charming feature of the breed – is the ability to stand on their hind legs, begging for treats, or apologizing for tricks.

This article was written with the help of our friends from date ladies from Russia

You might also enjoy: Water Treatment: Staying Hydrated

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Wealthy locals support the economy of prime central London

The economy of prime central London is run by its wealthy residents
Photo by CC user Arriva436 on Wikimedia Commons

It is a widespread misunderstanding that the residents of prime central London do not contribute anything of value to the local economy. However, premier estate agents, Wetherell, have released a new report which shows that residents do in fact represent a significant support division in the prime central London economy and local neighbourhoods support the leisure, employment, and shopping sectors considerably.

There are currently 2,000 millionaires calling Mayfair home, of which 20 are billionaires, and 200 earn a nine-figure salary. Supporting data in the report provided by Westminster City Council, Dataloft, and EGI reveals that these wealthy residents contribute a generous £2.5 billion to the UK and local economy each year. Findings illustrate that the most supported areas in the local economy by people of the prime neighbourhood are luxury shopping, consultants, and employment. The annual spending review exposes spending of £2,700,000 on Interior Design and Artwork, £644,000 on Clothing, and £325,000 on Staff, at super prime households worth over £15 million, in Mayfair.

NUMBER ONE ADDRESS IN PRIME CENTRAL LONDON

Mayfair has always graced prime central London’s premium addresses and global destination wishlists with its presence. Despite this consistency, the exclusive neighbourhood has appealed to a changing profile of people over the years, with residents of the area getting younger each year. 43 percent of households in Mayfair are currently home to prosperous young couples and singles, with a high level of education. The property market in the district offers a rising number of flats designed specifically for this residential profile, making Mayfair younger by the day.

In addition to younger residents, Mayfair also attracts a broad range of people from around the world, with over 42 nationalities calling the neighbourhood home and over 60 percent of current residents having been born overseas. This ever-changing mix of people attracted to Mayfair is likely to continue changing as time goes on due to the shift in global economy and fortunes cropping up in other locations. Currently, 540 billionaires reside in the US, while 251 are in China and 120 in Germany, according to the Forbes Rich List. There are fewer Russian-speaking billionaires of late, and the Middle East has seen a fall as oil prices decline.

THE EXPANDING PROPERTY MARKET

Mayfair is set to undergo a major transformation this year, with further developments spanning the next five years. W1K has historically been the most expensive address in Mayfair, but with a long list of luxury developments in the pipeline, prices will begin to spread, and sales prices will increase, expanding the most expensive postcode across W1S and W1J.

The current property account in Mayfair consists of 4,348 homes, of which wealthy tenants privately rent 2,173 with an average weekly rental amount of £1,387, homeowners maintain 1,305, and the final 870 are social houses. Of the 1,305 owned properties, five percent are estimated to be worth under £1 million, while 45 are worth over £10 million. The remaining 50 percent are valued between £2 million and £10 million.

If the current property values were not enough evidence of Mayfair’s affluence and exclusivity, the average cost of a flat or house entering the current market is over £1 million and £4.8 million respectively. Despite the Global Financial Crisis, the prime central London property market remained stable, with current house prices higher than before the crisis began in 2007. Mayfair property prices have been growing at a slightly lower rate than the 45 percent last year, at 42 percent, but higher than the latest decade average of 30 percent.

The most recent decade has seen house prices in Mayfair grow by 188 percent, which is a substantial difference to the growth in wider prime central London. The Mayfair property market even outperformed the equity markets, making it the perfect place for investment.

Moving forward, the luxurious district will continue to allure affluent residents, with the ability to provide new properties offering everything that the modern dweller desires. With the demand for luxury living growing and Mayfair in a position to provide advanced technology and exclusive design in its properties, these new homes can reach new price levels, with the most premium developments driving a 100 percent price tag over the current average house price in Mayfair. With that in tow, Mayfair will continue to grow and remain healthy with the local economy supported by its residents.

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Switching homes in 2017? Move your stuff the smart way…

Switching homes in 2017? Make this move much better than others in the past
Photo by CC user Nicolas Huk on Flickr

New year, new home. After spending several years in your starter place, you have finally managed to upgrade to the house of your dreams.

Congratulations!

As you are aware from previous experiences, however, moving is often about as pleasant as taking a trip to the dentist. Sorting through your things, getting them on a truck, and ensuring that no fragile items break is tough enough.

However, the toughest part of this process involves combing through various removal companies in an effort to find one that is worthy of your trust.

This was a hit-or-miss effort as recently as several years ago, but thanks to the debut of a service known as Shiply (http://www.shiply.com), this chore has now been made much simpler.

How have they made one of modern life’s most stressful experiences easier to stomach? Below, we will take you through the steps of using this service.

1) Get a quote

Before one of Shiply’s 102,000 registered providers can help you move all of your possessions to your new pad, start by supplying the details of your task via their simple job order form.

Once these companies know exactly what they are dealing with, they will be able to provide you with a quote.

2) Review the results

Shortly after submitting your information to Shiply’s servers, you will be sent a quote from every removal company that is willing to compete for your business.

You won’t have to make inferences based on the price they charge you, as each contending company will have a list of customer reviews that you will be able to peruse.

Based on this evidence, you can then contrast it against the quotes provided in order to pick the company that is right for your needs.

3) Await their arrival

After accepting the quote that you liked the best, all you have to do is ensure that you are prepared for their arrival.

After they have moved your stuff to your new abode, submit your review to Shiply, and the system will be further improved for those that use this service after you.

Eight years, 3.1 million successful deliveries

The information revolution has transformed so many aspects of our lives. With moving being such a difficult task to execute, why not let the internet make this process simpler for you?

With savings of up to 75% off standard rates being reported by past users, and a rigorous vetting process that screens out fraudulent operators, you owe it to yourself to make this next move much less stressful than others have been in the past.

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6 Quick Checks for Water Leaks Before They Cause More Damage

water-leaks

A water leak at home is not something that anyone wants, but if the worst happens, it is imperative to get it repaired as soon as possible. That might not be as easy as it sounds, with most water leaks having no visible clues as to their location, and if this is something you know little about, here are some important things you can do to localise the damage caused by leaking pipes.

  1. A Visual Inspection – Check along ceiling and floor lines for damp patches, as this is a sign of a water leak behind the wall. Other places to look are under kitchen and bathroom sinks, which are usually housed in a small compartment. Aside from the visual inspection, you might want to find out if you have any leaks, and if you are in Western Australia, there will be a plumber in Perth offering leak detection services, and with a round the clock emergency service, they can quickly evaluate your plumbing system.
  1. Damp Areas Outside – If you have puddles in the garden, this could be a sign of a water leak. Rather than digging holes where you think it might be, there are modern leak detection services that can source any leak without causing damage.
  1. Check All Faucets – Leaking taps can cause damage to ceramic and stainless steel links, not to mention the water that is being wasted. Corrosion is a major factor and if any surface is constantly wet, there will be some discolouration at the very least.
  1. Guttering – Although this is not technically part of the plumbing, it does channel away excess rainwater, and if the guttering is blocked for any reason, whenever it rains heavily, lots of water will be running down your walls, and this can cause a lot of damage.
  1. Check the Water Meter – This is a very accurate way to know if you have a water leak, and the process is as follows. First make sure all of the taps are off, and any appliances that draw water are turned off, then take meter reading, and wait for one hour, and read the meter one more time. If the reading is different, you have a leak somewhere.
  1. Call in a Plumber – Whether you can find the source of the leak or not, you should call a plumber, who would have the latest technology in leak detection, and once the leak has been sourced, they can quickly repair it. Leaking water can cause a lot more damage if the problem is not immediately addressed, and by using the services of a reliable local tradesperson, your plumbing problems will be a thing of the past.

Leaking pipes cause damage, and if you are vigilant and know what to look for, you can reduce the chances of having to make an emergency call to a plumber. In the event this cannot be avoided, make sure it is a reputable company that is local.

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Decorating with the Pantone 2017 Color Predictions

pantone-color

Whether you’re decorating a new home for the first time or reinventing the familiar spaces you’ve come to know well, you’ve no doubt discovered the importance of color when it comes to starting proceedings. The colors we choose to surround ourselves with can have a profound effect on our lives and the emotions we experience while we’re at home, as well as adding value to properties soon to go on the market, and refreshing spaces we may have become tired of. Inspiration for such big changes can be found everywhere, including magazines, social platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, and via mood boards created online. However, there’s only one authority when it comes to the colors you should be using next year, and that’s Pantone…

Introducing Pantone’s 2017 color predictions

Pantone is the world number one authority when it comes to color. An organization that effortlessly speaks the language of color, and advises and inspires those hoping to use color to communicate a particular message or promote a brand, Pantone is also a hugely popular source of inspiration for designers, interior designers and artists, and for anyone looking to inject the latest trends into their home or wardrobe. Decorating your home will become an adventure under the guidance of Pantone – particularly when you see 2017’s predictions.

Pantone’s color predictions for 2017 include an array of shades inspired by nature, a collection of colors that will evoke happy memories of warm, spring days, and a hotpot of hues that are bold and dramatic. Sunshine Primrose Yellow, pale blue Island Paradise and tangy Greenery will inspire homeowners and interior designers to play around with colors and accessories, while creating spaces that are warm, inviting, and fun. The earthier tones of Kale green, Niagara blue, Pale Dogwood and Hazelnut, meanwhile, will calm and soothe, instantly transporting the outside in, and inspiring us to head back to nature. Finally, Pantone introduces the bold and seductive colors of Flame, Lapis blue and Pink Yarrow, which will create a statement, anchor any room you choose, and allow your personality to shine.

Exploring color in your home’s decor

There are numerous ways to include a little color in your home, and not all of them will involve an all-out war on the senses. Subtlety is often key when it comes to using color to your home’s advantage, although spreading a little cheer via shades and hues can also be fun.

Light and bright

The light and bright colors predicted by Pantone include Primrose Yellow, Island Paradise and Greenery; three shades set to welcome you home next year. Whether used on your walls, throughout your furniture or as accessories that adorn each room, naturally happy colors such as these will introduce feelings of fun and friendship into your home. One thing that many interior predictions seem to agree on is that 2017 will be the year of escapism; a time where we seek out the corners of our homes that will serve as reading nooks or retreats from technology and work. Primrose and Island Paradise would make excellent choices for such a space, and Greenery will instantly transport exhausted workers into a more refreshing headspace.

Bold and mysterious

These bold and mysterious colors are destined to introduce drama into your home – a little theatricality that will speak to you each and every day. Such colors are often best presented by way of a feature wall, although the brave among you will no doubt enjoy creating a statement with lashings of Flame Orange or Pink Yarrow – or perhaps a little of each. Pantone’s predictions for such dominating colors prove that homeowners and interior designers are still looking for ways to anchor spaces and draw themes together, and you’ll no doubt enjoy exploring the different ways that such tones can be used together. It’s time to play with accessories; decorative shutters in shades of orange or Lapis Blue will look fantastic against next year’s trend for terracotta and exposed brickwork, while upholstered bedheads and soft furnishings allow the faint of heart to introduce colors gradually, and with gathering confidence.

Down to earth

Bringing the outdoors in, and described by Pantone’s Executive Director, Leatrice Eiseman, as “oxygenating”, colors such as Kale, Niagara Blue, Pale Dogwood and Hazelnut will encourage homeowners to breathe a little more deeply and to take stock of the things that are important. Shades of Hazelnut and Pale Dogwood will work well on your walls, evoking feelings of quiet contemplation and calm. The darker hues of Niagara Blue and Kale, meanwhile, are designed to make more of a statement. Used in your furniture, accessories and artwork, Kale in particular conjures a passion for the great outdoors, and would look fantastic when used for a feature wall. These colors are immersed in nature, centering and grounding us. Why not introduce earthy accessories, soft furnishings or artwork into your bedroom to create a soothing space you’ll long to retreat to?

When it comes to interior design and refreshing the rooms of your home, there are no right or wrong answers. Choosing colors for your walls, furniture, soft furnishings and accessories should be a personal choice based on the shades you’re passionate about, the theme you’d like to evoke, and the way you want to feel upon entering that space. Pantone is an organization that really knows its stuff when it comes to color, and we hope you’ve been inspired to create the home of your dreams during 2017.

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Mixed Feelings on Living in Mixed-use Developments

In the traditional sense, a house is a shelter that provides a roof above your head. However, as time passes, what once existed and accepted is now being changed for the better. The increase in population and lack of land area for living have pushed engineers to think beyond the box – vertically, in fact. Instead of the traditional patterns of houses arranged neatly in rows, modern buildings are being developed to new heights – literally. Apart from the residential feature, homeowners can now enjoy retail and commercial aspects with just a few floors in between.

We’ve become accustomed to single-use developments, but with an increasingly urbanized population living in a fast-paced society, a new kind of development has taken reins in big cities.

The introduction of mixed-use developments is inevitable. As new generations surge forth, standards of living have also leveled up.

condo


Is that such a bad thing?

Living in mixed-use developments has many benefits. It’s all about the context. In an urban setting, a mixed-use structure can offer both convenience and leisure under the same roof. The upsides of living in a mixed-use development are many and varied.

Firstly, the convenience makes it easier for homeowners to get things done, like shopping for groceries or joining a yoga class. A mixed-use development means that amenities are just around the corner, rather than half an hour away. Handy when you’re missing that vital ingredient when making dinner. This convenience can extend to reduced costs for fuel and more free time instead of being stuck in traffic.

If you are into the idea of close community ties, then mixed-use developments will surely tickle your fancy, especially the ones in Philippine real estate. It will be a far cry from the suburbs atmosphere, though, because even if you see the same faces regularly, you won’t be pushed to do small talk just to past time. There will be a lot to do with anyone, like grilling barbecues in the outdoor balcony or taking a dip in the pool, making the living experience better.


It can’t all be upside

There are some aspects of it that you may want to consider before opting for a home in a mixed-use structure. These are, of necessity, areas of high population density. If you’re not a people person, it can all be a bit too much.

The knock-on effect of this is that they’re lively places to live, which isn’t to everyone’s taste. With so much happening, noise can be an issue. If you’re looking for a quiet life, a mixed use development may not be the best option for you.

Finally, a unit in a structure of high demand can be expensive. As these properties are desirable to a higher-earning workforce, the effect of that is to drive up prices. However, online marketplaces can help you sort through properties for the best real estate deal. Zipmatch has great property selection of condos for sale or for rent that won’t break the bank.

Ultimately it comes down to what you value most in life. It could well be that what you’re looking for could be found in a mixed-use development.

 

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10 Things You Ought to Know Before Getting Yourself a Mortgage

home
home
Photo by CC user Deovolenti on Flickr.

Before you start to approach local banks and other financial institutions with the aim of obtaining a mortgage to buy a new home, there are a few facts that you need to know. Borrowing such a large sum of money without doing some research first is not a good idea as you will be entering into a binding contract that lasts for many years. With this in mind, below is a list of 10 things you really ought to know before you apply for your first mortgage, which should stand you in good stead when you get in touch with local lenders.

10 Things You Should Know Before Applying for a Home Loan

Make a note of the following ten points, or bookmark this page so that you can refer to it whenever you want.

1. Your Credit Score – Your credit score and history will dictate the rate of interest you are likely to be charged on a mortgage so the first thing you need it know is what kind of score you currently have.

2. Your Budget – What a bank or mortgage broker thinks you can afford and what you can really afford are often two completely different things. Go through your budget carefully to make sure you do not overextend yourself.

3. Your Partner – This may sound like an odd one but if you are getting a joint mortgage, you need to be absolutely sure that your partner is 100% reliable.

4. Your Building Company – If you are paying a Perth builder to create a beautiful new home for you, take the time to get to know how they work before you sign on the dotted line. If you click here, you can get a good idea of what reputable firms have to offer.

5. Possible Benefits – Depending on where you are in the country and the current regulations, there may well be certain government schemes for which you are eligible, which could help to defray the cost of your new home.

6. Your Location – The location of your new home will have a major influence on its future value so research this particular factor very thoroughly.

7. Your Future Plans – Given the long-term nature of mortgages and the fact it may take some time before you can sell your new home for a profit, you need to consider your future plans carefully.

8. Your Lender – Although it is tempting to make all the arrangements online, you should visit the bank from which you are going to borrow, to make sure you are happy with their terms and conditions.

9. The Fees – Virtually all Mortgage Providers charge application fees, and there may be other costs involved in dealing with them too. Make sure you are aware of them all up front.

10. The Real Value – Pay for an independent valuation of the house you wish to buy.

There are other things you should know but the list above will get you off to a great start when applying for home loans in Western Australia and elsewhere.

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