If only you could see clouds of £20 notes floating out of your walls, windows, doors and roofs, you would waste no time in plugging the gaps through which they’re escaping. As energy bills have rocketed in recent years coupled with climate change awareness which has been attributed to extreme flood, amazon fire and heat wave, there are compelling reasons why investing time and money insulating your home is worthwhile for everyone.
For one thing, properties are increasingly rated and valued on the basis of their energy performance. There’s also the comforting though that with your carbon footprint reduced to the size of a pea, you’re doing your bit to beat climate change.
The benefits of insulating
A warmer home in the colder seasons.
Reduced fuel bills (over 60% of domestic energy consumed is for space heating).
Reduced condensation, damp and mould.
Greater comfort with fewer draughts.
A cooler home in hotter summer months.
Improved EPC rating to qualify for grants and add value.
A more eco-friendly building
Thinking of buying a property?
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There are different processes that must be followed to successfully buy a house in the UK. Below are the major steps that are required to buy a property in the UK;
Do your Research: Start researching the type of property in your choice location within your budget. Your local estate agent and online property portal such as Rightmove or Zoopla is a good starting point.
Stick to your Budget: Look at your finance and budget efficiently including all the expenses involved in buying a property. In the UK apart from the cost of the property you will need to budget for the lenders fee, mortgage broker fee, Conveyance solicitor fee, Stamp duty, Surveyor fee, refurbishment, decoration etc.
Mortgage: If you don’t have the cash to buy your house, you will need a mortgage to finance the purchase. Looking for the best mortgage is very important as this can save or cost you a lot of money in the short or long term. The answer is simple; get an independent mortgage broker that can search the whole of the mortgage market and advice you on the best mortgage type and deals available for you.
Solicitor: A conveyance solicitor is required to do the legal and administrative work required to process and complete the house purchase.
Make an Offer: This is not easy as it sounds because if not done properly it might delay or cost you more than necessary. Again you will need to do your research on the price the house is worth in its present condition compare to similar houses in the area and decide on how much you are willing to pay. Negotiation skills are very important here to put in a good offer and you might need the help of a property professional.
Survey: The lender normally carries out a basic valuation and its left or optional for the buyer to carry out a building survey to look at the condition of the house before buying.
Exchange and Completion: Contract are exchange. You hand over deposit which are non-refundable if you pull out of the sale. Once you and your solicitor is satisfied everything is in order the contract can be exchanged. You(buyer) and the seller have to sign the contract and are legally bound to follow through to completion.
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There are many ways to add value to your property. Here are some tips on how to add value and get the best return on your biggest investment.
Kerb Appeal –Sometimes you only get one change to make a good first impression. Keep the front of your house clean and clutter-free. This will be the first impression of your home. Keep your lawn mowed and weed-free, hedges neat and add some potted plants. Make sure your windows are clean and the front of your house is freshly painted or clean.
Visibility – Where possible spend money on what can be seen. Visibility adds value. Make the most noticeable improvement on furniture and fittings. Paint all rooms in neutral colours, such as cream or white. Matching your blinds or curtains to the colour of the room will also give the feel of extra space.
Light up – Light creates the illusion of extra space and will make your home more attractive. Consider increasing the amount of natural light by adding skylights around your home where possible particularly in hallways, landings and kitchens. Raising ceiling and changing colour schemes will also help.
Flooring – Flooring has the biggest impact on the house as a whole. Today carpets are no longer desirable in certain areas of the house. Current trends and suitability should dictate what flooring to use where; generally hard flooring (tiles and wood) downstairs and in bathrooms, and carpets in bedrooms for added comfort.
Kitchen dinner – The trend towards using the kitchen as a family and entertaining space, instead of somewhere to simply cook dinner, means your kitchen can add greatly to the overall value of your property. Kitchen is usually one of the main selling points in a property and it is also one of the most expensive to completely redecorate. It is not advisable to rip out your kitchen and start from scratch if it is not affordable for you to do so. Changing fixtures and fittings, replacing cabinet doors and adding a worktop will greatly enhance the look of your kitchen.
Bathroom – Bathrooms can really benefit from little improvement and decoration which can add value to your property. Trends has moved towards neural colours, large tiles and mosaic tiles for bathroom walls and floors. Keep your bathroom clean, re-grout tiles and add nice towels, new mirrors, chrome fixtures, a heated towel rail and matching accessories. If possible and affordable add sought after extra touches like a power shower, a Jacuzzi bath and double sinks to give you a great return on your investment.
Eco Living – Eco living in now the trend. Making your home energy efficient will not only add value to your property, but will also increase the overall comfort and reduce the cost of energy bills. Installing double glazed windows, energy efficient heating and cooling systems, wall and loft insulation, energy efficient lighting and solar powered systems are great ways to increase the value of your property. Due to new Building Regulations the required standard of energy efficiency in property is now very high and will only get higher as technology develops.
Open Plan Living – Open plan living has become popular with kitchens, living rooms and dinning areas being used as one large family and entertaining space. Knocking down walls to create a better flow can be an inexpensive option when trying to add value to your property. If the walls are not load-bearing it is a quick process and less expensive. If they are, it will be more complex, expensive and you will need planning permission.
Garden – if you have a garden or courtyard, make use of it. It can be an excellent selling point and a well-groomed garden or courtyard will definitely add value to your property. No matter the time of the year, buyers and guest will be imagining areas for entertaining, barbecues and space for children to play.
Extension – Extension can add value to your property especially if you are extending the kitchen area or adding extra bedroom. Beware; it will mean a smaller garden, so ensure the interior and exterior of the house are proportionate. Seek professional advice and use processional trades men. You may need planning permission, it is advisable to contact your local planning authority before going ahead.
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