Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tips to Sell Your House


Demand for houses always outstrips supply, however this doesn't mean properties will always be snapped up straight away. Watching other houses nearby put up their sold signs while your 'for sale' post languishes month after month can be extremely disheartening. A common mistake is to assume that it's easier to leave the house exactly as it currently is, rather than fix it up to attract a buyer. But with a few simple steps, any house can become more saleable.

Basic DIY and maintenance will work wonders: fixing leaky taps, repairing ripped wallpaper, and replacing spent light bulbs will all help ensure a better first impression. Your house might have beautiful Victorian high ceilings and an original marble feature fireplace, but if the general ambiance is scruffy all those lovely bonus features will be swiftly overlooked.

Ditto if the decoration is too distracting. Vibrant colors might suit your furniture but for potential buyers trying to picture their own furniture in your home, it can cause a real conflict. Painting the walls a pale, neutral color throughout will help make the property appear more spacious, and therefore appeal to more people. 

Clearing the clutter is another sensible idea to boost the spaciousness of a property. Remember, buyers might want to look in attics and built in cupboards so try to avoid stuffing them to the rafters. This won't only help to sell your house, it'll also make things easier when it's time for you to move! Getting all non-essentials boxed and labelled up, and throwing away all the unwanted rubbish, means one less job later on.

A neat and well-kept garden is also a huge draw for potential buyers. Often disregarded, outdoor space should be treated as another 'room', and a lovely garden will attract a healthy price premium. Replacing diminished topsoil and mulch gives a great first impression, and a good multipurpose compost dug in around any plants and trees means the garden will be at its healthiest during those all-important viewings. Visit Compost Direct to be certain you've got everything you need.

Finally, make the house welcoming. Fresh bunches of flowers, a gentle air freshener,  and everything thoroughly clean will invite people in. Think about how show homes are laid out – cosy but chic – and aim for similar. Sparkling windows and neat garden paths may sound trite but it's things like this that really matter: and then you can get that sold sign up.

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Hosting the Ultimate Baby Shower


Once seemingly solely the domain of over zealous Americans, baby showers have become increasingly popular and, like weddings and hen/stag parties, bigger and better! It's not usually a question of if there'll be a party, rather when the party is. Predominantly female only gatherings, they're the ideal opportunity to spoil the mum-to-be who'll soon to rush off her feet with her little one. 

Unlike the other female-centric ritual of the hen party, baby showers should be relaxing, comfortable, and fun. Bringing a touch of glamour will differentiate the event from just another day, and create something really memorable. Late nights are out of the question when the guest of honor will probably have ankles larger than their thighs by 8pm so something in the day such as afternoon tea is a safer bet. 

Most country houses will offer a discounted rate for baby showers booked in advance so shop around. Similarly, if something more contemporary is desired head to a hotel specializing in lunch spreads and arrange a menu comprising all of the mum's favourite foods (and avoiding those she can’t have – no liver, soft cooked omelettes, or delicious blue cheese fondues). 

Cakes and pastries are not optional – never try to get between a pregnant woman and a cupcake. Surprise guests by avoiding the predictable pink or blue choices and choose either neutral shades or go all out with a rainbow selection. If this is the baby shower to end all baby showers why not splash out on a silver cake stand and matching silver candlesticks,  which can be kept as gifts after the shower. This is a nice idea for mums who've already got other children and don't necessarily need so much baby 'stuff'. 

For more traditional silver baby gifts, a personalized silver rattle will always be treasured for years to come. The best thing about silver is that it'll become an heirloom piece, treasured for generations, much like silver wedding gifts – which the baby's gifts can be selected or personalized to match. 

Finally don't forget the bubbly. Hire a mixologist to invent a non-alcoholic cocktail especially for the event, meaning nobody will feel left out if Champagne corks start popping. It could even be worth sourcing a photographer for the day who specializes in baby showers to capture all of the special moments. The most important thing to remember however is to tailor the day to suit the woman who's celebrating – and if she likes nothing more in the world than a Sunday pub lunch then why not do that, make the day all about her.

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About Me

Work-At-Home Mom who quit years of corporate life to take care three kids full time. Fond of cooking, reading books and determined to master housekeeping. Created this blog to share about career, job, human resource, hobbies, sports and travel

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