Thursday, 5 March 2020

To rent or to buy a property?

Image from Pixabay

To rent or to buy a property?

Property prices are constantly on the rise, and it's very difficult for young people to get their foot on the property ladder. My daughter recently graduated and secured a really good job. However, the drawback was that that the job was in another city and it would be impossible for her to commute from home. This meant that she would have to move to the new city.

We had to think about all the options and weigh up the pros and cons of buying a property or renting. If we choose to buy, we will have to help her out as parents for the deposit. Properties in the North of England are a lot cheaper than London and if you can put a deposit together it would make sense to buy but this is a long-term investment and needed some serious thought. However, it's her first job and to dive in and buy a place in an unknown place was something we were concerned about and decided to start off by opting for the renting option. Not having done this before it was difficulty to know where to start. Our journey for securing a rental property began, there were many things that we needed to research.

Checking out the location.

We went to the location where her job is and checked out the area. Some of the things to look for are the prices of the rental properties in the surrounding area. Other things we had to consider were the availability of the local transport and the safety of the area. Making a decision of where to move is a difficult one and you have to weigh up many factors,

Booking the viewings and securing the flat.

The next task was to register with local estate agents and booking some appointments for rental property viewings. We tried to fit in several appointments throughout the day. To keep costs to a minimum, our first choice was to go for a one bedroom unfurnished flat. After several viewing we finally decided on a flat within 20 minutes commute to her work and with fairly easy access to the city too. The property was unfurnished; however, it did come with a fitted kitchen with a washing machine and dryer. The property was fully carpeted and had window blinds. We negotiated with the estate agent a rental and also checked the property has CIA landlord insurance or equivalent so that any damage to the property is covered by the landlord. This is important as you don't want to be faced with a big repair bill if something happens to the property whilst you are renting from no fault of your own.

Picture from Pixabay

Checks to do before signing the contracts.

It is highly recommended that you check out the inventory, list any faults and damage and take photographs for reference. Once all the checks were complete and we were happy that the property was right, we made sure we read all the small print in the contract before signing it.  We also made an agreement with the estate agent that the landlord they will put everything right and the property will be in good order before the moving in date. A months deposit was required, so we made sure that we had adequate funds organised.

Basic essentials to buy for the move.

Once we had signed the contract, we made a list of basic essentials that were needed like a bed, desk, small table and chairs and some sort of storage for clothes. Charity shops and gum tree are a great place to source cheap furniture. We opted for Ikea that do an inexpensive basic range. We kept things to a minimum to start off with as you can make the place your own once you settle in.

Before the move we also searched and sorted out house hold and contents insurance, registered for amenities, council tax and TV licence. Once all the main and important things were sorted, the next task was to shop for bedding, kitchen essentials and sort out the WIFI.  We did not need to book removals, but you can get a man with a van and many removal companies offer small moves. You can see my post about packing and moving and basic kitchen essentials  for the kitchen and flat to see how we organised our move.

The flat was in pretty good condition but it did need some renovations such as checking the doors and the frame work. The landlord had promised to replace the front door which was an unusual size. However with the help of  architrave sets, the carpenter was able to fit the door in perfectly. Architraves are mainly used to make doors stand out and help to cover up any imperfections by the frame of the door. This is great for homeowners as the architraves will link up with the skirting boards to complete the look of the house and make it look it’s best.

It's a mammoth task relocating but if you do things in a methodical way it should not be too hard. We can't say that the move was easy, but it did go smoothly as we had planned as we were well prepared for the move. Why not read this post about financing a house move, a step by step guide. Have you relocated and are there any tips you can suggest? Please share them in the comments below.

Picture from Pixabay

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Wednesday, 4 March 2020

10 Things to do to De-stress Yourself.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Life these days has become a daily grind; there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done. Research shows that an average working day for most people which includes a commute is 10-12 hours. This is in addition to having to do housework, childcare, shopping and cooking the evening meal, leaving very little time for self-care and relaxation after a hard day at work.

So what can we do to ease our workload and de-stress?

1. If your job permits working from home, talk to your employer if you can do this at least once or twice a day a week, this will cut out the commute time so that you can use that time for self care.

2. Meal plan and batch cook at weekends so you are spending less time cooking the evening meal, share the task with family members and take turns to cook.

3. Eat healthy balanced meals and top up with multivitamins to replenish your body’s needs, especially if you are a vegetarian or vegan. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated

Image courtesy of Pixaby 

4. Get up half an hour early and spend the time to mediate, do yoga and calm your body and mind before you start the day.

5. Before bedtime take a warm bath, dim the lights, read or listen to soft music, meditate before bed. Avoid caffeine after dinner and stick to water or a milky drink.

Image courtesy of Pixaby 

6. Put your gadgets, phones, laptops away in another room after 10 pm. If you need to have your phone close by put it away from reach in the same room to avoid temptation to look at it, don’t keep it by the bedside table. Remember the phone is only there in case of emergency. You should start to unwind before bed. If you need to work late keep it to minimum, 1-2 nights a week only.

7. Go for a walk in the fresh air, even if it is for 30 mins. It’s good for the mind and body.

8. Join the gym, get some exercise or go for a swim or bike ride. All these things are great for the heart, body and mind.

9. Keep weekends free to relax, chill and recharge your body. Often a stay-cation break, a day trip is all you need to to break the work routine.

10. Take up a hobby; it’s good to have other interests to help you take a break from daily routine.

Remember having a good work, life balance will ensure your body and mind are relaxed and able to cope with the daily life stress, and work demands. Why not start to destress at the weekends so that you can kick start your Monday morning feeling rejuvenated. 
How do you cope with your daily stress, do you have any de-stress tips ? Please share them in the comments below.