December 30, 2015

Tips and ideas on designing a dressing room

The dressing room is one of the compartments of the house which is increasingly gaining more importance in the latest home trends. These trends are all about taking full advantage of maximizing the space. It is important to provide an adequate return to our storage needs and keep in mind, always, whether a dressing room is for ladies, gentlemen or both, for the reason that items of clothing and accessories are different from each other and vary in their use for different occasions.
Different layouts for your wardrobe
Tips and ideas on designing a dressing roomThe dressing room should consist of cabinets with different dependencies that are organized by type of clothing and various accessories. Optimal dimensions of a good dresser are about two feet deep and three feet wide for perfect freedom to move smoothly into it, and around it. The usual locker distribution is U-shaped, but can also be straight or form an L shape. Doors thereof can be different, with usual sliding or folding doors, but one can also have a dressing room with no doors and/or with curtains, a resource that is increasingly used in the latest trends.
Space use
When designing a dressing room, one must know the space available for making the most of each section in order to store all the garments and accessories. We have to think about the clothes we have and do a project assignment to make it as comfortable as possible, without neglecting the more elegant appearance in design process.
Also, one has to consider the small details to complement everything in the dressing room and thereby achieve a more affable space, such as rugs, which can prove quite useful when you move and walk barefoot on the floor. Other details may be a seat, a rocking chair or a lazy bag, which, according to the space we have, can be easily moved.
The add-ons for your collection can be stored in boxes or baskets, thus being quite decorative and the most functional for a dressing room. It is also important not to leave out the most important addition to the dressing room, the mirror, which must always be as large as possible. 
Adequate distribution
When distributing the order of the items for good functionality, we must keep the garments that are more used at our reach, while at the top we can place the least used and the clothes that are off-season, creating priority in a storage space, using the appropriate number of bars. In recent trends, highland bars are often used, together with the bottom drawers and shelves, to maximize the use of space the most. Find an area for the shoe cabinet, which can be placed at the bottom of the dresser with different heights for shoes and boots. 
Brightness
Ideally, dressing rooms are places with plenty of light, and if you do not have natural light, it is recommended to use white light since it is the most similar to sunlight. You have to consider putting a ceiling lighting as well. Recently, LED downlights are getting more popular, especially in the area where one is going to change.
There are many current possibilities for dressing rooms, from the usual image of the furniture on one side of the room, to own and independent spaces that are rooms themselves, or even other proposals that are integrated into the bathroom. In all cases, we must know what is most suitable for our lifestyle and look of our homes. Before facing the interior layout it is essential to decide how many people will use the dressing room and analyze the type of clothes that will be stored.

December 22, 2015

5 Obstacles That Can Stand in Your Way of Getting a Mortgage

A deposit may seem like the largest hurdle to overcome when looking to buy a house, but in reality, there are numerous obstacles that can stand in a first time buyer’s way.
In this post, Gorvins conveyancing solicitors look at some of the primary reasons why someone may be turned down by a mortgage lender.

A lack of credit history

If you’ve never needed a credit card in the past, you may think that lenders will assume you’re sensible with your finances. However, never having a credit card can make it difficult for lenders to determine whether you’re good at paying back any money that you do borrow.

As a result, if you’re saving up to buy a home, it can be a good idea to take out a credit card so you can gradually boost your credit score. Don’t apply for several cards in a short space of time though, as this can actually do more harm than good as lenders will assume you’re desperate for money and not living within your means.


Your income is too low

Lenders will also take your income into account when assessing how much they’re willing to lend you. The more you earn, the more you’ll be able to borrow. Some lenders, for example, are willing to provide home buyers with a loan that is up to four times their annual salary, but this will vary between mortgage providers.

You’re self employed

Becoming self-employed can sometimes be a lucrative career move, but for those looking to secure a mortgage on their first home, it’s best to stay in full-time employment for as long as possible. Since self-employed workers often face income fluctuations, mortgage lenders often raise concerns that borrowers may struggle to repay the money they owe.

You’ve started a new job

Some lenders will only offer mortgages to those who have been in the same job for a certain period of time. The amount of time required will vary between lenders, but it can vary anywhere between three months to a year.

Your partner’s finances are poor

If you’re financially linked to someone else and they have a history of being bad with their money, this could make it harder for you to borrow money. This can be the case even if you’re in a strong financial position yourself.

Your ability to borrow the money you need to buy a home could also be affected if you and your partner have separated. You may be able to ‘delink’ yourself from this person by writing to credit reference agencies and asking for a notice of disassociation.

It’s important to be aware that if you apply for a mortgage and get rejected, this in itself could have an impact on your credit score. So if, after reading the obstacles above, you have any concerns about your worthiness to borrow such a large amount of money, it could be worth seeking the support of a mortgage broker. A broker will know the mortgage market inside out and will recommend you apply for mortgages only with those likely to accept your application.

Rent or Buy Your Apartment: Know Your Best Option!

There will always be a debate of which is better: rent an apartment, or buy. When a person has just finished university, they'll often want to get out into the world and experience everything that life has to offer. And most people think that buying a house as soon as possible is the smartest decision.
After all, a home is the biggest investment most people ever make.


There was a time when it made perfect sense to buy an apartment or home as soon as possible. But recent market conditions have caused a sharp change in the way that people live. More people are renting now than just 10 years ago. There are times when buying makes the most economic sense, and times when renting is the most economically-sound choice.

Let’s take a look at the many reasons why it's good to rent and buy respectively.


Why It’s Good to Rent

Renting may seem like you're throwing your money away, but there some good reasons to rent. Here are some of the many benefits you’ll experience as a renter:

You’ll save money because you don’t need to worry about maintenance.
Property managers take care of all issues outside and inside of the home.
Total monthly expenditures are normally lower.
Apartments are normally closer to city centers and offer better locations.
You don’t need to worry about the property when you go on vacation.
You can move once the lease is up if you don't like the location
It’s a great starting place if you don’t know the area and are interested in living there.

These are just a few of the reasons why it's good to rent. You’ll also be to save more money for a down payment on your home while renting if you choose an apartment that's affordable.

Why It's Good to Buy an Apartment or Home

There are definitely benefits to owning your own home or apartment. These benefits include:

You’ll be building equity in the home and will eventually own it after the mortgage has been satisfied.
You’ll experience more tax incentives and breaks as a homeowner.
You have the opportunity to rent the home and earn rental income if you wish.
You have more control over the home’s interior and exterior design and look.
You never have to worry about landlords raising your prices or evicting you from the home.

The only reason that owning a home is bad is that you’ll be responsible for more financial mishaps. If the home needs a new roof or something breaks inside of the apartment, you’ll be the one who is responsible for all of the payments. When you have a landlord that owns the property, they must remedy the situation as part of your lease agreement. This means that you will not have maintenance expenditures that are not within your budget.

Every person is different, and the right time to buy or rent will depend your own situation and preference. If you want the utmost in freedom, it may be smarter to rent and save your money to buy a home.

December 18, 2015

What’s the difference between a Home Buyers Report and a Building Survey?

Whether it is a first house purchase you are making or your latest, the process does not change that much and neither does the emotion and added stress. For most people a house is the single most expensive purchase they will ever make and it is important that every house bought is suitable for the purchaser. Every house from a 1 bedroomed studio flat through to a multi million-pound mansion can have faults either through natural degradation, misuse or as a consequence of poor building standards. Finding out about these issues after you have purchased a property is inconvenient at the least and can end up costing a large amount of money to correct.

The way to discover these types of issues before committing to buy a property is to instruct a survey to be completed on the house. These surveys will bring any of these issues to your attention and allow you to raise it with the seller before you complete on the sale. This generally will allow you to negotiate he price with the seller to take into account the contents of the survey and you will generally be able to either have the price of the repairs taken of the sale price, or have the work completed to a satisfactory standard before you complete.

Clearly having a survey is a highly important part of the property purchase process, however some people can become overwhelmed by the options available to them and are sometimes choosing a survey that goes way beyond their requirements. There are two major surveys that most people will choose, although the differences are not as clear as they can be. Normally there will either be a Home Buyers Report or a Building Survey completed and which one depends on the property that you are wanting surveyed. This article will explain the differences between the two and give you some assistance in understanding which is the best one for you.

Home Buyers Report

A Home Buyers Report is the less detailed of the two we are looking at, although it will still give details of defects and any issues that are concerning the surveyor. The Home Buyers Report is predominantly suited to newer properties and those that are built in a conventional manner and appear to be in a better condition than others. This is due to the nature of the survey and the fact that it is non-intrusive, meaning that the survey is undertaken by sight and without removing any items such as wallpaper.

The Home Buyers Report will give you detailed information about any work that is required, any aspects of the house that do not meet the current building regulations and they will also be able to point out any issues such as subsidence or damp. Generally, the survey will take between two and four hours to complete, depending on the size of the property and will give you a good idea of the overall condition of the property without delving deeper.

Building Survey

A full Building Survey is the most thorough you can get, therefore it is best suited to older buildings or ones that are evidently in a poor state of repair. This survey will provide the most comprehensive breakdown of the condition of the property and investigates the buildings condition further than a Home Buyers Report. With this survey the surveyor will move furniture and look behind items for further evidence of any structural damage. Upon completion you will receive a very detailed report that will detail all elements of disrepair or areas of concern, giving a very clear picture of the overall condition of the house. Due to the fact they inspect under the floorboards and in the walls, a building survey is a very reliable source with highly accurate estimates for the cost of repairs.

If you are in the process of buying a property you should begin to talk with your preferred surveyor, or at least find a surveyor that would be able to undertake the work. When you speak to a prospective surveyor they will be able to give you guidance as to the type of survey that would best suit your prospective property. Not having a survey leaves you at risk from large bills and repair work to your dream home further down the line, just because something is not immediately obvious does not mean that it is not there – this is where the experience of a qualified building surveyor can pay dividends.

Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the property industry – working together with a selection of companies including Chartered Surveyors Chiltern Associates, who were consulted over the information contained in this piece.

Easy Ways to Burglar Proof Your Home on the Cheap

Increasing security measures to make your home feel safer should not be something you have to dread. Nowadays, even with simple instalments of various things to fool robbers you can make your home more secured. However, you cannot rely on one method to be effective, and often it would be best to combine a number, and later on, when you get the chance to invest more, upgrade your security systems.
Get a Dog to Protect You
Dogs are good pets, as they will be kind and loveable, but they can be also vicious if they notice that their master is in danger. Getting a guard dog can be a really great investment, as it will be more than just a guard to protect your home, you will make a new friend as well. However, you must pay attention to how you are taking care of it, and whether or not you are pampering your dog, as it can influence them to become less protective over time. After all, their role first is to protect your home, and to be a pet second.
Get a Timer to Dupe Burglars
Wiring your lights and most of your electrical devices with a timer can be a good way to fool anyone who might think you home is left alone. Regulating when and how to turn on your lights and even your TV can be a hurdle for most burglars and it will be a clear sign for them to move on, as there might be someone at home. However, never program the same pattern, because some robbers could be more patient and they will quickly see through the ruse. Instead, try to turn things on and off randomly, as if someone were home.

Get Shades on Your Windows
By getting shades on your windows, you can make sure that nobody can look inside your home, which will be necessary if you are not home and if you do not want anyone looking around. Moreover, depending on what kind of shades you want to install, it can also keep the whereabouts of the homeowners a secret. Though, during night it will be best to cover up everything on the inside, because if the lights are off, it will be a dead giveaway that nobody is at home, and that a burglar can break in freely, browse and take away your stuff.
Change the Locks If the Neighbourhood Gets Disturbing
If you just moved in recently or if you have been around for a long time, chances are that someone has already taken measurements of your locks. It is always wise to change them over time, in order to avoid anyone making a copy of the keys so that they can enter your home freely. Even more so if the neighbourhood is getting restless, and if you notice crime is on the uprise. Luckily, 24hr locksmithsfrom Ryde are at your disposal to quickly and effortlessly change any lock. Keep in mind that even a simple lock upgrade can keep any burglar at bay and away from your home.
You do not have to look for the latest in security systems to make your home more secure, and sometimes, even the simplest of tricks can do the job. However, you should never rely on a single way to protect your home, and it would be best if you could have multiple levels because it will keep your home the safest. Nevertheless, make sure to be on the lookout for new updates you can get for little money, as it will help you out in the long run.


December 16, 2015

Thinking outside the box: Home Storage x 4

There are countless ways to store your stuff. Depending on the type of item you wish to put into some sort of order, certain storage solutions are more suitable than others. Practical considerations are key - think style over substance.

Thinking outside the box: Home Storage x 4

So, what should you be choosing and why? Here are four good places to start.

Wardrobe

No surprises here – the best storage solution for garments, accessories and footwear is the classic wardrobe. It allows your clothes to be hung up neatly and without creasing, meaning you can find everything easily.

A word about hinges. You want to be able to shut the wardrobe doors properly to protect your clothes from dust and clothes moths. If the hinges are too tight you may not be able to close the doors. If they’re too loose, they may leave a gap between the door and the wardrobe carcass. Either way, your garments are not stored securely.

Wardrobes are bulky items of furniture that are difficult to move around (or in and out of) your property. Do give some thought to having bespoke wardrobes fitted to your bedrooms. Yes, it’s an investment purchase, but the joy of having your whole wardrobe organised and stored to best effect is one that you will enjoy every single day.

Filing Solutions

For office papers and documents, a filing cabinet or shelving system is the most sensible solution. Filing cabinets can look a bit office-y – which may be fine for a home office but is perhaps not the most stylish look for a living room. 

Shelves work better in a domestic setting, but it is then up to you to organise your files in colour coded arch lever files, pretty box files or whatever other storage style takes your fancy. Just make sure you do organise everything, or your shelves will not only look messy but it will take you and age to find anything.

Chest of Drawers

Think storage, think chest of drawers - there can’t be a home in the land that doesn’t have one for storing anything from underwear to stationery. Not only is a chest of drawer a versatile piece of furniture, you can find one in almost every interior style you can think of. From dainty Queen Anne style with turned legs, to contemporary urban recycled chic, there’s bound to be a chest of drawers to fit your home.

Just a tiny word of advice. Be careful not to overfill the drawers as they can jam if an item gets stuck inside. This can damage both the drawers and the contents. Also, drawers themselves can become misshapen or get broken if you pull them about for too long.

Storage Box

If you’re running out of space and have lots of small items to store, a humble storage box is all you need. It’s the perfect way to store your kid’s toys (Lego and other construction systems in particular), your grandma’s button collection, your husband’s CDs, your jewellery… 

Boxes come in all sorts of sizes and designs, so you’re bound to find one to fit in with your décor. If you’re the creative type, why not take a plain box (or a shoe box) and get crafty? Pretty, customised boxes can personalise your living space to give it that unique edge.

Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the property industry working with a selection of companies, including Yorkshire-based furniture specialist Quality Ironmongery, who consulted over the information contained in this piece.

Security for your outdoor event

If you’re planning a big outdoor event with lots of people paying to be there, and maybe even special guests or performances, then you’ll definitely need to think about security for your event. A large number of guests can be hard to control or regulate without taking the right measures in place. This doesn’t just mean bouncers for checking tickets, although that would certainly help if you’re event is big enough. Security could be as simple as fencing or a barrier system, both of which are very helpful for helping to make your event secure and marking off where the event is taking place. Here are some options for security to consider and the advantages of each of them.

Security for your outdoor event 
 Bouncers

Having bouncers positioned at the entrance to your event is a great way of making sure only the people who paid to be there get in. This has the added benefit of deterring people who haven’t paid, as they’ll be quickly sussed out by the bouncers. It could also stop people from bringing in things that you don’t want at the event, such as outside food and drink, or perhaps alcohol depending on the event you’re hosting. Combining bouncers with additional security on patrol is also a great way of making sure nothing gets out of hand.
Metal Fencing
Having a metal fence around the perimeter of your outdoor venue is an excellent method of marking where the event will take place, with the added benefit of making it more secure. Smaller metal fences and barriers can also be used outside the main area to create an orderly queue at the entrance, preventing people from rushing in or your bouncers from being overwhelmed by crowds.
As well as marking off the main area, metal fences can also be used to keep guests away from places they shouldn’t be. For example, you might be using strong generators for power that would be very dangerous for guests to be near. Having a metal fence or barrier can provide a good method of keeping people away from these areas and out of harm’s way. This is also useful for providing a private space away from the crowd for staff or special guests.
While metal fences are useful, you might want to consider combining them with another form of security if you plan on using them as your main type of barrier. Although they are great for establishing a perimeter, metal fences are often quite easy to climb over. This is because of the metal grid like pattern, common in metal fencing, which is easy to grab hold of and use the space in between as footholds. Having security posted around the outside, or combining metal fencing with another type of barrier is a good idea in this case and will help to stop potential trespassers.
Concrete Barriers
Concrete barriers have all the advantages of metal fencing, with the extra added bonus of being hard to scale. This is because of their shape and design, which lacks the same kind of spacing common in metal fences. The smooth, solid surface of concrete barriers means there’s nothing to hold on to making it very difficult to clamber over. A large concrete barrier could however be more intrusive than a small metal fence if you’re simply making a diving line for a queue, but concrete barriers do often come in different sizes.
Whether you choose metal fencing, concrete barriers or a combination of each one, both are great for designating where your guests should be and deterring would be trespassers. A good security system, no matter what you choose is absolutely essential for planning a large event and maintaining safety for your guests.
This article was provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the property and construction industry – working alongside a selection of companies, including Maltaward (barriers) Ltd. – who were consulted over the information contained in this piece.

6 amazing world records that involve scaffolding

Scaffolding is one of those things that people encounter everyday but do not pay too much attention to. It seems like every church spire, building site or refurbishment project needs scaffolding and it looks like a large Meccano set made of aluminium poles. Over time scaffolding has become an important aspect of the construction trade, enabling workmen the ability to work at heights with the reassurance that they are on a solid platform.

Scaffolding has given the building trade a platform system that improves safety, especially on larger projects. The nature of how it is assembled by hand has also led to manufacturers and users of various scaffolding systems to push the boundaries of what is possible and try to set and break world records. For others scaffolding has enabled them to break other long standing world records through given them height and stability. Below are six of the best world records held because of scaffolding.
6. The world’s tallest sunflower
2015 saw one of the most coveted Guinness World Records fall, Hans-Peter Schiffer broke his own record by growing a sunflower to the impressive height of 9.17m. This could not have been achieved without his trusty scaffolding which provided him with the height to carefully maintain and support this mammoth sunflower. Hans-Peter had held the record on three separate occasions previously with sunflowers measuring 8.03m in 2009, 8.23m in 2012 and 8.75m in 2013. Scaffolding came in handy on each occasion and is a staple ingredient in growing extraordinary sunflowers.
5. The tallest scaffolding being balanced on a head
To one of the more bizarre world records. John Evans from Nottingham, England, has made a living out of balancing objects on his head. In July 2015 at Newport Pagnell Carnival, John balanced a 4 metre tall scaffolding platform on his head for a period of 13 seconds, setting a world record in the process. Having set or broken over 40 world records throughout his career, as well as being invited onto the Jay Leno show in America, this scaffolding feat was a new experience for John, who is more akin to balancing cars and tyres.
4. The most pistol squats on a scaffold pole
Another slightly abstract world record, this time coming from Italy. It is combining scaffolding with fitness and balance. Silvio Sabba is a serial World Record breaker with 247 titles to his name as of March 2015, although this one may be his most impressive. A pistol squat is a one legged squat with your other leg extended out in front, this exercise is challenging enough for most people and 10 reps is an achievement. Silvio added in a scaffold pole and aimed to complete the most pistol squats he could whilst balancing on the pole. He achieved 30 squats in a one minute period, therefore averaging one every two seconds – a hugely impressive achievement.
3. The quickest erection of 100m2 of scaffolding
Erecting 100m2 of scaffolding would ordinarily take in the region of 16 man hours, however in 1994 a two man crew from Turner Access set a world record by erecting this amount in an incredible 19 minutes and 59 seconds. This is not only a phenomenal achievement it has also pushed other scaffolding companies to improve the speed they can erect their structures. This record has recently come in for some criticism with some saying that it does not meet the current guidelines for scaffold structures and that any new record attempt has to meet these health and safety guidelines. The record for the erection of a structure that meets these guidelines currently stands at approximately 26 minutes.
2. The tallest scaffolding in the world
Whilst this is not strictly a world record that has been set or recorded, it is hugely impressive and worthy of inclusion in this list. In the Far-East most buildings are built with the assistance of scaffolding, the only difference being that the scaffolding is made of bamboo and tied with rope! These vast structures are often seen clambering onto buildings and reaching heights of more than 1600ft. I know that I would not want to be at the top hoping that my co-worker’s knot skills were up to scratch.
1.    The world’s biggest ski ramp
As part of the promotion of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics the Russian Government authorised the construction of the biggest ski ramp. The ramp was 150m long, 56m high and 37m wide, which allowed for two parallel downhill slaloms. The ramp was constructed directly outside of Moscow State University and due to the wind and amount of snow that was added on top, there was a fair amount of scaffolding required in order to keep the structure sturdy.
This article was provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the property industry – working alongside a selection of companies including Precipitous Scaffold Hire, who were consulted over the information contained in this piece.

Healthy Boiler – Happy Home

Your central heating boiler is the most important appliance in your home, and the prospect of it going wrong will understandably fill you with dread. Consider the inconvenience of a freezing cold home, the expense of having to call out a heating engineer, any water damage due to leaks, and it’s not hard to understand why it is so crucial to make sure your boiler runs smoothly.

Healthy Boiler – Happy Home
Regular maintenance and servicing is key to a keeping your boiler healthy, and this is not something you should ever attempt to do yourself. Regular servicing will also be a requirement of your boiler’s warranty, so always contact a Gas Safe accredited engineer to assist with this.
It makes sense to employ the services of a professional and qualified engineer to give your boiler an annual service and give you peace of mind. Many heating and plumbing companies will offer a service contract that renews every year, allowing you to pay on a monthly basis.
In between service visits, it’s up to you to ensure that your boiler operates as efficiently as it can. Here’s what you can do to help.
Do not obstruct the boiler
Blockages can occur when there’s a build-up of dirt or dust over time, which is why it is essential to keep any flues, vents and grilles clear of dust and debris.
If the boiler is in a cupboard, or if you are planning to box it in, perhaps as part of a kitchen makeover, make sure you are familiar with the manufacturer’s recommended clearances beforehand, so that the boiler is able to be accessed safely and efficiently for any maintenance or repair issues.
Keep it clean
As a householder, it is your responsibility to look after your boiler. It is also in your interest to get the best out of your boiler for as long as possible, so keep it clean. Wipe the exterior with a damp cloth now and again (but do not use abrasives) to keep everything spick and span, especially if your boiler is situated in a kitchen or in a dusty garage.
Leave the casing alone
The casing of your boiler is sacrosanct, so don’t be tempted to move it, fiddle with it or look inside. Gas central heating boilers can be dangerous – gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning… need we say more?
No matter whether you think there is a fault with the boiler, always contact a qualified engineer for assistance. For the avoidance of doubt, your Gas Safe registered heating and plumbing engineer is the only person qualified to remove your boiler’s casing.
This article was provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the property industry – working with a selection of companies including BSW Energy, who were consulted over the information contained in this piece.

Buy-to-Let for the Student Market

Student property investment is a huge business. Over the last 3 years, it has become a £2 billion industry in the UK. And with the government having recently lifted the cap on the maximum number of students a university can enroll, this figure is set to rise. In 2015, over 400,000 students were accepted by UCAS onto university degree courses in the UK.

There is also increasing demand for university places from foreign (non-European) students, who tend to be self-financing. This is all good news for buy-to-let property investors looking at the student market.
Do students make good tenants?
So, could students be the ideal tenant for your investment property or are they just too much trouble? We think there is every cause for confidence in letting to the university market.
Students, by definition, are there to study. They’ve come to live in a particular toiwn for a limited amount of time for the sole purpose of obtaining higher education. They are focused on what goes on at uni (although whether they all perform academically is a moot point!), which means they tend to just want a room and an easy life from the landlord. Translate that as ‘the rent gets paid every month without incident’ and you can see the attraction.
Nearly all students are dependent on finance. It is usually the parents who are prepared to step in as guarantors, and they will be very motivated to get their offspring off to a good start in life. The rent money, therefore, is not at risk. 
Students are youngsters – most are straight out of school, with limited life experience and a relatively sheltered upbringing. Are they really going to be hell-bent on petty arguments with an older, wiser person in authority, such as their landlord? Chances are, they will be polite, accommodating and pleasant to deal with.
Finally, one can assume that students must be intelligent people; otherwise they would not have made it to Uni in the first place. This should mean that they are able to articulate concerns with the property in a clear and reasonable way, making it much more straightforward to get things sorted to everyone’s satisfaction.
Where to invest?
Whether your investment is in student accommodation or other segments of the property sector, the same mantra applies: Location, location, location!
If you already live in a student town, you have the edge over other investors who may be new to the area, so use this to your advantage. Really take your time to investigate all possibilities and don’t underestimate the importance of building good contacts with local agents. You may just find a bit of gold.
If you’re not sure about the best location for your student let venture, here’s a list of the top 10 destinations for student accommodation investment opportunities to watch.
Coventry
Coventry University, University of Warwick, totalling 35,000 students
Leeds
University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Trinity University, University of Law, totalling 60,000 students
Glasgow
University of Glasgow, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of the West of Scotland, totalling 54,000 students
Nottingham
Nottingham Trent University and University of Nottingham, totalling 61,000 students
Oxford
University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University – totalling 44,000 students
Leicester
University of Leicester, De Montford University, totalling 37,000 students
Reading
University of Reading, University of West London – totalling 25,000 students
York
University of York, York St John University – totalling 21,000 students
London
University of London, Brunel University, City University London, Imperial College London, Kingston University, London Metropolitan University, Middlesex University, University of East London, University of West London, University of Westminster, London South Bank University, University of the Arts London, London School of Business & Finance and many others - totalling 120,000 students.

Manchester

University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University – totalling 70,000 students.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the property market working alongside a selection of companies, including London-based investment experts Prime Centrum, who were consulted over the information contained in this piece.

Top tips for keeping your home safe and secure

A burglary is one of the worst types of crime that you can be a victim of, not only because of the loss of valuable items but because of the emotional stress caused by someone violating your private life. There are in fact very few professional thieves that target homes, the vast majority of home burglaries are committed by amateurs who may be opportunist or looking to fund other habits. Having a good security system, that is well maintained, could be the difference between these thieves completing a burglary on your property or being thwarted in the act.

Top tips for keeping your home safe and secure
Simple Checks

Taking a few simple steps can make your home much securer and reduce your risk of being a victim of a household burglary significantly. You should make sure to follow these until they become second nature. It does not take much to deter a thief and these are all quick and easy methods to do just that.

-          Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the hose, even if it is only for a few minutes. This avoids having a thief just stroll into your home without any need to ‘break in’.
-          If you have just bought a new house make sure you change all the locks and keys, you can not be sure that there have not been any copies made and it is better to be safe than sorry.
-          Use timers at your power and light sockets. Having lights turn on at particular time of day means that the house looks like it is being occupied and will put of any prospective burglar – they do not want to see you face to face!

-          Don’t leave notes on the door. It is always tempting to leave one for a delivery driver to leave the parcel with a neighbour or in a safe place, all it does though is tell prospective burglars that you are not at home.

-          Install an alarm system or door entry system to greater control you home. These are both good ways to have a clear deterrent for burglars – after all they do not want to trigger anything that will draw attention to their actions.

Maintenance

If you have a security system, whether this is a door access or entry system, or an intruder alarm, it is really important to ensure that these are well maintained and kept up to date. If your alarm goes off periodically due to a fault or low battery, this must be sorted as early. An alarm system that is constantly going off becomes similar to the old story about the boy who called wolf, your neighbours will start to ignore the alarm. The same goes with any other security system, including door entry systems, although these systems may also benefit from some regular check ups from professionals.

Doors & Windows

Doors and windows are the two biggest vulnerabilities of any property and it is highly important to make sure that these are as secure as can be. Below are some handy hints on keeping your doors and windows safe.

-          Use deadbolts on exterior doors, this adds an extra level of protection on your exterior and makes it harder for anyone to break in. It also means that you need a key in order to open the door, so there is no way a burglar would be able to break the glass of a door/window and simply open it from the inside.

-          The use of a metal pipe or bar across the bottom track of your window or patio door stops them from sliding and anyone using that as an entry route.

-          When adding locks to windows, if you drip some solder on the screw heads it means that a thief will be unable to unscrew the lock after they cut a small hole in the window pane.

Common sense and keeping your security systems up to date will help you secure your property from opportunist house burglars. Try not to leave any trace of information alluding to you being away and keep a presence at the house at all times possible. Burglars don’t want to be caught; therefore they will target easier jobs, as these will be the quieter places with less chance of being caught.

This article was provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the technology & security sector – working with a selection of companies including door entry systems specialist Rentrifone, who were consulted over the information contained in this piece.

December 12, 2015

Smaller Rooms Lead To Tougher Buying Decisions

 Summary: The slowdown in the real estate industry is being combated by smart real estate developers who are churning out projects to ensure that prospective buyers get all the amenities from an apartment complex but at a more economical price by reducing the area of 2 BHK and 3 BHK flats.

Real estate marketers in Kolkata are building smarter homes and flats to ensure properties fit the budgets of prospective customers. Developers are shaving off anywhere between 100 to 400 sq ft from 2 and 3 bedroom flats, to ensure buyers get the same facilities of an apartment complex without feeling the price pinch.

Smaller rooms, better management

Reducing the size of a flat is not an easy task, especially when keeping the floor plan the same. 2 BHK and 3 BHK flats have now come down to a size range between 800 sq ft and 1200 sq ft from the previous range of 1000 sq ft to 1600 sq ft, by reducing the size of bedrooms. 

Bedroom sizes have fallen down to 110 – 120 sq ft from an earlier size of 140 sq ft. It isn’t just bedrooms which have had to be reduced, drawing rooms too have been downsized. Earlier drawing rooms, especially for 3 BHK flats, which would be in the range of 300-350 sq ft, have come down to 250-280 sq ft and 2 BHK flats have also faced this reduction of apartment size.

Another way developers have dealt with smaller areas is by reducing the size of balconies or even foregoing them in certain projects. 2 BHK and 3 BHK flats have seen the size of hallways reduced. The concept of open kitchens attached to the drawing area, is a smart way of reducing the overall size of the apartment while giving it a modern and compact look. A 3-bedroom flat in Kolkata or any other city, would normally have three bathrooms but the exclusion of the third bathroom is now quite commonplace.

The third bedroom has been trimmed down and transformed into a smaller room to be utilized as a study, a recreation room or a guest room to help in the area reduction. This is an excellent option for small families such as a couple with a single child, allowing them to use the smaller room as they please.  
The smaller area of flats also provide a challenge to the customers on the interior design realm. With the need to ensure the look and feel of a large flat, many residents take a minimalistic approach, choosing less furniture to give it a more spacious look.  

Smaller flats are leading to better sales results for realestate developers. Though there are challenges to residents in terms of utilizing the area in an ideal way, the option of living in a complex with many amenities is not missed.


Author Bio: One of the leading players in the real estate market, Ideal Group takes pride in its rich portfolio of world-class ongoing and upcoming residential projects in Kolkata. The Group has truly embodied their tagline "Pillars of Trust" and won the trust of countless customers.

Average price of UK property is on the increase

The Nationwide Building Society has released a report that shows that UK property prices are on the increase and a three bedroom semi-detached property is now worth an average of £197,000. This is an increase of 0.6% on September and an annual increase of 3.9%.

Many experts still talk down the property market in the UK but it looks as though there are a number of factors now playing a part and demand is still on the up. The growth in house prices in the UK is now at a 6 month high after a lull earlier this year.

In the UK, mortgage lending has increased by £3.6 billion in September which is up from £3.4 billion in August. There is an increase in demand for mortgages and this is against trend that many experts predicted but there are other factors to think about.

In recent months, there have been suggestions that the Bank of England could be increasing the UK base rates from 0.5% with many believing this would take place by the end of 2015 although this is unlikely. However, with the current Euro problems and economic instability these rises are unlikely with many predicting that no changes will be made over the next 12 months.

A large majority of the mortgages taken out over the last 12 months have been fixed rate. This is because homeowners are now looking for added protection from a possible increase in UK base rates. This is a wise move because the Bank of England do not know when the rate will increase. Opting for a fixed rate mortgage will help people to plan ahead even though any increases in the base rate will result in higher mortgages.

There have also been increases in wages throughout the UK and although they are not huge, when they are compared to low inflation it means that household incomes are slowly on the increase.

This helps to increase the power of those who are looking to acquire a mortgage and it also ensures that demand for property continues to increase. It is expected that property investment in the UK will begin to move from areas such as London and will look at other areas in the UK as these markets are better value for money.

Despite a number of experts being sceptical, the price of property in the UK is continuing to rise and mortgage lending is now reaching new highs and whilst inflation remains low and wages increase, demand for UK property should continue for some time. An important point to note is the number of new mortgages acquired over the past year being fixed rate which highlights the concerns that many have regarding the possible increase in the UK base rates.

It seems as though every time the Bank of England announces that an increase to the UK base rate could be imminent, another economic problem occurs throughout the world which means that further delays are added.

Author Bio
Hopwood House are property investment specialists, with a wide range of investment properties from luxury holiday homes overseas to residential buy-to-let properties in the UK.


December 7, 2015

Top 3 areas in Pune to buy affordable properties

Much like other cities, Pune’s outskirts have rapidly started developing in the wake of them being realised as investment destinations. The peripheral areas are now considered for both end use and investment. The price of 3 BHK flats in Pune are slated to double in the coming three years as home owners are willing to travel 15 to 20 kilometres if they find a unit that suits their lifestyle. Therefore, if you have a restricted budget, you can look for property options here. 

If you are looking for new construction in Pune to reap lots of benefits without investing much, then Urali Kanchan, Sanswad Road and Shirwal are top picks. They are located around 33 kilometres towards the southeast of the city. 

Uruli Kanchan

Uruli Kanchan is also popular among investors for its proximity to the Naturopathy Ashram. The area has several villa and multi-storeyed residential complex projects that have come up. However, the area’s civic infrastructure has to be bettered.  Those coming to the area, prefer flat for rent in Pune for a few days. 

The projects that are under construction shall be offered possession in the coming 6 months. The rest are slated to be delivered in the coming two years. The sizes of plots available here is 333 to 3000 sq yd. They are located within gated communities and cost around Rs 1 to 10 lakh. Therefore, you can get apartments within Rs 12 to 40 lakhs here.

Saswad Road

What drives the area’s real estate is its proximity to the Jejuri MIDC and Hadapsar IT Belt. Aside from this, the neighbourhood is also counted as a destination for second homes as it is close to tourist areas like Sarasbag, Katraj Zoo, Purandar and Narayanpur. Pune property rates for plots in the area range from Rs 4200 to 6500 per sq yd, which used to be Rs 3100 to 4600 per sq yd.
The area has residential plots measuring between 1500 and 3000 sq ft which cost between Rs 3 and 7 lakh whereas multi-storeyed apartments have been priced between Rs 30 and 35 lakh.  Because property prices of Hadapsar have gone beyond the budget of middle income buyers, properties here can be purchased without burning a hole through the pocket. 

Shirwal 

The area is known for the manufacturing plants belonging to appliance and automobiles brands. The area has large tracts that can be availed for development. Most of the lands available are agricultural ones which have to be converted to the R Zone for housing development. 

There are more than 15 new projects in Pune that are under construction here. These areas have flats available for Rs 10 to 20 lakh. Plots can be availed in the area as well which measure between 1000 and 3000 sq ft. They cost around Rs 6 to 15 lakh. Even though leading developers are yet to enter the market, local developers offer possession of housing units in the coming six months. They are available with a range of amenities that can be compared to branded projects. The values of plots available in the area range from Rs 4230 to Rs 6550 per sq yd. The values have gone up since the past year. Prior to that, plots were available for Rs 4700 to 5400 per sq yd in 2014. 

December 1, 2015

Investing in a Plot - Advantages & Disadvantages

If there is a common wish list shared by all Indians, owning a piece of land would be there right on top. With rapid economic development happening in the country, real estate has proven to be an excellent investment option, delivering tremendous returns more often than not. The finite supply of land and exponential growth of population is making land a priced possession. Plots are expected to appreciate very quickly and the return numbers shown by various real estate agencies echo the beliefs. But is it always so rosy? Investing in a plot has always had its advantages, but there are also a few demerits.
Investing in a Plot - Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages of investing in a plot

Unlike investing in debt or equity, land is a tangible asset and the economics of supply and demand always put an upwards price pressure on land. The Plot gives you an option to buy in different sizes according to your requirement. Since there is no construction on the plot, the taxes and the maintenance cost are usually lower. You have an option to build a home or any structure of your liking on the plot, giving you a platform to experiment with your design ideas, and, if you want to generate additional income, you can start renting your plot.Putting it up as a house for sale in Bangalore would promise profitable returns. Add-on space can be purchased based on your funds and availability and you can construct on a larger plot. 

Disadvantages of investing in a plot

A plot is not an immediately disposable asset. If you’re in need of urgent cash, you will be forced to look into other investment options.Since banks don’t usually provide loans for buying plots, you have limited financial options for buying empty land. Land usually generates very low regular income whenlet out for rent, compared to what the piece initially cost you.On the other hand, empty plots are prone to litigations and it’s a difficult situation to get out of, hence making it important to check with your legal advisor for any legal issues before buying a property. Keep in mind to also check if your property falls under different land use zones - you might not be allowed to construct a house in an industrial area or putting up flats for sale in Bangalore or any other major city is not allowed in some areas.It’s necessary to investigate if the plot has been earmarked under the government acquisition plan and to look for a plot which has convenient road services that are properly maintained by civic bodies.

To get the maximum returns from your plot investment, it is extremely crucial that you take care of the issues sighted above, visit the plot often and follow the formalities to secure it. There may be a few disadvantages in investing in a plot, but history has showed us that a plot can give us huge returns provided we are willing to invest money and time.

If you are looking for plots for sale in Bangalore, then visit Roofandfloor. RoofandFloor is a unique real estate marketplace powered by property from Hindu group of publications. With RoofandFloor’s unique platform, you can easily search for flats, house, plots and villas for sale in Bangalore.

What should you think about while buying a land/plot

Investing in commercial or residential property in India is a very profitable business. But before risking such a great sum of money buying something that looks attractive now or promises to be so in 5 years, consider the following important items not to suffer from heavy losses.

What should you think about while buying a land/plot
 Legal titles

It is necessary to check the history of the land you are purchasing. Find out whether the builder offers a pre-launch scheme, according to which the land is without a clear NA title, or there is some third person that has rights or interests in this land and you will have problems after acquiring such a land. Check the land papers' ownership. This will protect you from problems in future.

Rights for delays

If you do not want to face the problem that you made your investment 2 years ago but nothing has been done since then, you must worry about your rights on delay of construction until you make the final decision. Choose the projects with a given start date and finishing date of the construction. It would be a clever step of yours if you maintain a rapport with some other clients so that in emergency cases you will have a support to put pressure on the developer.

Reserved land

Make sure that the land you are buying is free from any government reservations if you do not want to be in situation when after building something on the land you purchased, you are asked to leave the place, because the house is located on the land reserved for a government project, e.g., a site of archeological research.

Developer's operating history

Do not rush to buy something only because you like the place where it is located. It is desirable to check the operating history of the developer. What projects have they finished successfully recently? Contact the clients who have already dealt with this developer. Has this developer tended to fulfill his promises of giving facilities?

Developer's documents

The developer has to file a lot of documents. The list of them includes 7/12 document (the most important one of Title and proof of rights to land revenue tax receipts), Stamp Duty document, Title Deed, Municipal Corporation approvals, Encumbrance certificate, Release Certificate from the bank, the development agreement, Allotment letter and a lot more. So, as you can see, it is better to apply for legal help on this matter. Pay attention to the fact that some of the documents are obligatory for you and some may not be necessary in your particular case, so the list should be verified in any case.
With so many controversies that have appeared in the real estate market recently, you should think about the means to protect your interests and your money first. Still there is a hope that certain regulations will be introduced in the real estate sphere with the RERA Bill, which is planned to be implemented for many years.