Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Five things to avoid doing before buying a house


Photo by Aubrey Odom on Unsplash

 
Buying a home can feel a lot like going into a well-decorated battlefield: but there are some issues that we often aren't warned about. For example, is it okay to buy the first house you see?  Should you aim for the top of your budget?  Be careful; these five things could make your first home-buying exercise a mistake.


Don't simply accept the asking price.


This rule applies in buying cars, going to car boot sales, and of course: buying houses.  If you see a home you adore, and the market is suitable for it: barter!  Try to get the price lower, and pay attention to details like repairs that are needed or past flooding to use it to your advantage. This is one of the most important steps to buy a house. If you’re unsure about being able to negotiate, work with an appointee or estate agent who has some practice in this skill.  Although they might not be able to get you the house for 90% off, these are trained negotiators who will do anything to get the sale so they can to earn their commission from you.



Don't wait to get approved for your loan.


The worst feeling you can have when house hunting is to find your dream home and then have someone swipe in at the last minute while you're waiting for your loan to be approved.  It's okay to window shop a little, but when you're ready to buy a house, make sure you start the loan application process.


Don't underestimate the size of a project.


The most significant mistake many first-time homebuyers make is thinking they can handle any project that comes their way. Taking out a wall might look easy and fun on HGTV, but if you don't know how to check if a wall is load-bearing or if it's got electrical or pipes in it: don't do it on your own!  Many home buyers get their homes and then procrastinate the projects long enough to become the next homeowner's projects.  Don't let that happen to you.  If you see a project you're unsure about hire a professional who can do the job properly and safely. 



Don't fall for the first house.


This happens a lot for younger first-time home buyers. They'll find a beautiful Victorian home or fall for a classic ranch-style, and just because it's the first house they've seen, they'll think it's the perfect place for them.  Although this can happen, and it's okay to buy that first house, it is equally important to check a few properties to compare. 


Don’t buy more than you can afford.


Although lenders are careful not to lend out more than they think someone can afford because it's a hassle to get that money back: they also don't know every part of your financial circumstances.  If you know that things are tight right now while you're paying 1500 a month on your apartment, don't try to make yourself think a 1450 a month house payment is much better. Check your finances well and make sure you have budgeted for bills, mortgage, repairs and have money to live on each month that include maintenance and groceries.

Carefully comb through your finances, and ensure that you don’t commit to more than you can  comfortably afford. That means avoiding going too big and considering moving further out from metropolitan areas to get the house of your dreams.

There are many things you need to consider when house hunting, do check out my other posts in the series Buying your own property:


Are there are tips you can share with me about purchasing your property. Please do share in the comments below.

*collaborative post

Monday, 17 May 2021

Giveaway Jute Selfie Bag


I am really excited to have been gifted The Jute Selfie Bag which is perfect for a travel blogger. You can read all about it in my recent blog post about Ruislip Lido.

The Selfie Bag is really useful and contains:

  • Bluetooth tripod selfie stick: get the perfect angle with a Bluetooth selfie stick to connect to your phone. This selfie stick is perfect for group photos, holiday snaps and for when you want to get your whole outfit in the pic.
  • Pocket for Selfie Stick: a handy pocket for that vital bit of kit….the selfie stick.
  • Zip top: the whole bag has a zip across the top for added security and so that you can be rest assured that nothing will come tumbling out.
  • Pop up reflector: to get the perfect lighting for your selfies we’ve included a pop-up reflector which comes tucked up in its own mini bag.
  • LED ring light: if the reflector doesn’t quite cut it, then give the LED ring light a go. This ring light handily attaches to the top of your phone, plus it comes with a lead to charge and has 3 settings so you’re sure to get just the perfect lighting.
  •  a selfie stick that has its own little pocket inside the bag, a mobile ring light and a set of miniature reflectors in a  zipped bag that clips inside the bag. 
I am really pleased to share that The Cotton Bag Company has agreed to giveaway two bags to two lucky winners. (I per winner)
 

How to Enter:

·         Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
·         Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
·         Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
·         Closing date – 3oth May 2021 12.00 am

How Rafflecopter works:
  1. You will need to complete the mandatory entry first usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box. Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.
  2. Login to Rafflecopter click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
  3. Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
  4. Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.
  5. For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 

      Rules:
  • This giveaway is open to all readers over 18 who live in the UK.
  • The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter (which uses random.org) and announced on this page.
  • Prize:  2 x Giveaway Jute Selfie Bag (1 per winner)
  • citrusspiceuk is hosting this giveaway in collaboration with Cotton bag Co . Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. They reserve the right to withdraw the competition at any time should any unforeseen circumstances arise, in case that the prize is not available a similar prize of same value will be substituted.  No monetary compensation will be given.
  • Cotton bag Co will be responsible for sending out the prize to the winner, by entering you are **consenting** to share your address for the prize to be sent and be contacted by email to notify you if you have won the prize. 
  •  Please note to be compliant with the new GDPR rules by entering the giveaway you are consenting to allow citrusspiceuk to contact you if you win the prize. Your data will NOT be used for any other marketing purposes.
  • All entries will be verified, failure to follow instructions correctly will result in participants being disqualified. Please do not cheat.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post is in collaboration with Cotton bag Co

Friday, 14 May 2021

Visit to Ruislip Lido


Times have been tough during the last year with the Covid situation. With so many lockdowns and restrictions taking care of your body and mind became even more important. Working from home, homeschooling and spending so many hours indoors can make us fatigued and depressed. 

During this time my family and I took to walking, exercising in an open space which was permitted within the covid restrictions. It meant that we could get some fresh air and also get our daily exercise whilst enjoying the beautiful scenery. 


Our regular visits to Ruislip Lido has kept us fit and healthy and helped us remain sane during the lockdown. Ruislip Lido is a reservoir and artificial beach in Ruislip, within the London Borough of Hillingdon, England. The Lido and woods span over 726 acres is is the perfect place for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. 


There is a play area set on the beach with climbing frames and a pirates ship, swings and slides. There's also a children's splash pad with water jets, masses of playground equipment and toilets with changing rooms. 

There is a area with gym equipment for adults and a small railway that goes around the 60 acre lake that is home to swans, ducks and geese.

The lake is surrounded by ruislip woods and there are many walking trails through the woods. The walk around the lake takes approximately 45 minutes if done leisurely and is really beautiful and picturesque. We really enjoy the walks around the lido and always take pictures as the scenery is always changing with the seasons.


On my walks, I always take my Selfie bag with me, which is really useful. The Jute Selfie Bag from Cotton Bag Co is large enough to carry my water bottle and a snack together with all the products it comes with.


The Selfie Bag contains:

  • Bluetooth tripod selfie stick: get the perfect angle with a Bluetooth selfie stick to connect to your phone. This selfie stick is perfect for group photos, holiday snaps and for when you want to get your whole outfit in the pic.
  • Pocket for Selfie Stick: a handy pocket for that vital bit of kit….the selfie stick.
  • Zip top: the whole bag has a zip across the top for added security and so that you can be rest assured that nothing will come tumbling out.
  • Pop up reflector: to get the perfect lighting for your selfies we’ve included a pop-up reflector which comes tucked up in its own mini bag.
  • LED ring light: if the reflector doesn’t quite cut it, then give the LED ring light a go. This ring light handily attaches to the top of your phone, plus it comes with a lead to charge and has 3 settings so you’re sure to get just the perfect lighting.
  •  a selfie stick that has its own little pocket inside the bag, a mobile ring light and a set of miniature reflectors in a  zipped bag that clips inside the bag. 



The handie selfie stick works using bluetooth and also has three foldaway legs in the handle that converts it to a tripod if needed.


I captured some lovely photos using my selfie stick and managed to get a couple of clicks by using it as a tripod too. The selfie bag is my favorite item to take on my days outs so that I always have everything I need to capture amazing photos and I can add extra in the bag saving me having to take multiple bags out.


The woods have lots of  are picnic benches dotted around so you can stop and have a rest, enjoy the birds, wildlife and recharge your mind with a cup of coffee and snack. There are many clearing in the woods,which are perfect place to take a yoga mat and practice some outdoor yoga too.



There are lovely wildflowers and bluebells dotted around and plenty of other flowers to enjoy.





There is a coffee shop with outside sitting where you can purchase food and drinks and refreshments. The trails in the woods are all signposted and of different lengths to suit every walker. A mini railway runs through the woods and is a nice ride especially for kids.


You can just pop to the Lido for your morning walk but can easily spend half a day at Ruislip Lido. There is also a restaurant at the lake called Waters Edge, which has both outdoor and indoor seating areas, where you can enjoy a lunch or dinner or just drinks whilst enjoying the beautiful views.


What have you been doing to keep fit and healthy during lockdown? Do share your experiences in the comments below.

#gifted I was sent the selfie bag to use, all views and opinions are my own.

Sunday, 25 April 2021

Polar Credit an easier money borrowing option.


Photo by Gabby K from Pexels

We all get that moment or time in life when we are strapped for cash. It might be due to an emergency, home repairs or an unexpected car expense. This is when we dive into our savings or an emergency pot. However we don’t all have that emergency pots or savings to dive into so what do we do? We might be lucky to have family that help out, but again we might not all be that fortunate. So what is our option?

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels


There are many borrowing options such as bank overdraft, using credit card, securing bank loans, taking out payday loans, using a pawn broker or other money lending vendors. All these types of borrowing incur lots of interest and it is important to check the interest rate and payment terms as they can build up to make the repayment very expensive and you could get in to debt very easily. You can also consider the option of option of Polar credit.

What is Polar Credit?

Polar credit is a new, simple way to get fast, accessible credit. They are a direct lender who makes their own lending decisions and you are not required to have a guarantor to borrow money. They also reward customer loyalty by reducing the interest after one year of opening the account, then again after another 6 months.

How does Polar credit work?

1. Apply online -You can do this using an online form which is easy to fill.

2. Choose a credit limit- You can apply for a credit limit that works for you and, if approved, use it as and when you need to. The good thing about polar credit is that you only pay for the amount you use not for the amount you ask to borrow.

 Photo by Cup of Couple from Pexels

3. Transfer- You can request to transfer money to your nominated bank account whenever you need the funds. You can transfer as much money from your agreed amount as you need, the minimum amount starting from £25

4. Repay- The repayments are flexible, you can pay the agreed minimum payment each month. However if you wish to and can afford it you can pay more than the minimum requirement whenever you want to. There are no early settlement fees and you can continue to make further transfers into your bank account at any time as long as you comply with the terms of your credit agreement.

We all get sudden emergencies or occasions when we need to borrow money. It is important to research and do this with caution and only borrow what you can payback to avoid getting into debt.

**collaborative post.

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Different types of allergies you can suffer from.

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Image Credit Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

10-30% of the world’s population suffers from some form of allergy. There are many types of allergies, some are seasonal and others are all year round. An allergy happens when the body’s immune system thinks a certain substance is harmful and reacts to it.   

A few types of allergies that people can suffer from are:

Image credit Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

Pollen allergy – this is commonly referred to as hay fever which presents with itching and running of the eyes or nose. It is particularly worse in the spring and summer months where more pollen is released from plants.


Mold and mildew – This can result from damp conditions in the home and surroundings.There is no easy way to avoid these, if your property has damp and mold it is better to fix and repair these to avoid ill health.


Latex allergiesMany items made from rubber such as balloons, shoes, clothing, bandages and toys have latex in them. If you are experiencing irritation when using these products, do check what they are made from so that you can avoid them.


Image credit Kote Puerto on Unsplash

Pets  allergies- Pet hairs and fur are what most people are allergic to. People who are allergic to pets react with sneezing, wheezing and breathing difficulties. If you experience from these type of allergies, it is best to vacuum the hairs and furs frequently are and sanitise them frequently.

 
Image Credit Tom Hermans on Unsplash

Food allergies – Examples of these foods are seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables. Some allergies are mild and others can be life threatening. Some ingredients such as gluten or lactose can also cause allergies in many people.


Drug allergies - Certain medications and drugs such as antibiotics and creams can cause harmful side effects and allergies. If you are allergic to any of these medications, it is important to keep note of these medications.

Image Credut Erik Karits on Unsplash

Insect allergies - Bees, wasps and certain insect bites can cause allergies in many people. Dust mites are very common and many asthma sufferers react to them badly.If you get an insert bite make sure you have an antidote for it and for mild allergies take antihistamines. Keep mattresses, furnishing and floors and carpets free from dust by vacuuming.

If you are interested to find out if you are allergic to anything, it is possible to take an allergy test.  Allergy tests can pinpoint  hundreds of allergies, so you can take advice from a specialist  on how to avoid these and tackle them with expert advice.

Image credit courtesy from klarify

Taking an allergy test could not be made simpler with the klarify.me home allergy test. Everything you need to carry out for the test is included in the box. Once you get the test, all that is required is a small blood sample which you send to the klarify lab. The next step is for klarify to analyse the sample for over 296 allergens and send you a detailed personalised report within two weeks. If you are interested in taking an allergy test you can order a klarify.me home allergy test from their website. It retails at £149.00