Home Essentials for First-Time Buyers

Maybe you’ve just bought your first home. Or maybe you’re moving away to university. These are some home essentials for first-time buyers that will save your life.

We definitely take things for granted when we live with parents. They have all the fancy gadgets you’d ever need. Automated tin-openers so you don’t risk breaking a nail. An entire drawer of pans so you can cook that banquet meal you’ve been meaning to do. It’s only when we don’t have these things, we realise how much we need them.

The first 6 months I lived in my house, I didn’t have a garlic press. I was finely chopping garlic by hand all that time. I still don’t have a colander, or tongs for turning sausages or whatever you do with them.

So, I’ve compiled a handy list of home essentials for first-time buyers of things you need (not want).

 

A Mattress

Mattresses can be very pricey. It’s also the sort of item that you don’t want to hand over £600 for. It doesn’t look nice, it isn’t exactly a home statement. Not like buying a nice dining table would be. However, a good mattress is an absolute home necessity. Please note the word ‘good’, too.

Mine and Jay’s mattress was in the Dreams’ sale, so we managed to get £200 off. A fairly good saving, until we bought the memory foam, extra luxurious pillows at £80 each. BUT, my point is you can get some great mattresses if you shop around.

First work out what you do and don’t like: hard or soft, feather, memory foam, gel, sprung, etc. Second, work out your budget so you don’t overspend. Once you’ve figured these things out, find the best mattress deals on Groupon or a similar site to get a great mattress at a great price.

 

Furniture Basics

Furniture can be expensive, so saving money here is ideal. Me and Jay bought most of our furniture basics on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. We only bought solid wood items so we knew they were good quality and would last.

In the picture below, the only things we bought brand new were the armchair and sofa. Everything else is second-hand, even the dining table which we got free!

 

living room with sofa and lighting

 

This is how our house looked a week after we moved in. It looks empty, there’s nothing on the walls, and we’ve since got a new TV. This is what I mean about essentials. We knew we needed a sofa, coffee table, a TV stand and a dining table, so we sorted all of those. The shelving, lighting (please ignore the bare bulb hanging out of the ceiling), and soft furnishings come last.

Since, I’ve added a rug under the dining table, a mirror on the dining room wall, a light in the living room, coffee table books and other decor, an oak beam mantelpiece, etc. None of these are home essentials for first-time buyers, but a sofa absolutely is! You’ll have to forget about home accessories for the time being. They look nice, but they’re not necessities.

Don’t forget, if you’re worried about cost, you can spread things out as a monthly cost. Our carpets and sofas are still being paid for monthly, as they can be expensive items.

 

Gadgets

Gadgets are another thing that can be pricey. I wouldn’t advise buying second-hand either, unless you plan on replacing the item within a couple of months. Gadgets includes a hoover, an iron and ironing board, a washer/dryer, a dishwasher if you need one, even a TV and a computer or monitor. These things can cost. Maybe not so much an iron, but other white goods are expensive if you want to get trustworthy brands which will last.

A hoover is definitely something you should spend your money on. A good hoover will make a whole lot of difference when you’re living by yourself. There’s nothing worse than having one that doesn’t pick anything up, or even worse throws it all back onto the carpet. Me and Jay have a Miele, a brand that I love and a great hoover. Anything to make the housework easier so you can get it done quickly!

 

I hope this list of home essentials for first-time buyers can help you when it comes to knowing what to buy. Prioritise what you really need, and can afford, and go from there!

 

*In collaboration with Groupon. 

How to Care for your Home

Sometimes we can get so bogged down with how our home looks, but sometimes you forget that you have to care for your home too.

And I know, I’m an interiors blog, but a home needs to be practical and liveable in too.

We often take for granted that we can be welcomed by a warm home (because you’ve already put the heating on using your next). When things go wrong, we can feel isolated, stressed and uncomfortable in a place that’s ours. Nobody wants to be caught short, so make sure you’ve got the basics covered to keep your house ticking along smoothly.

 

Do Up Your Drainage

The buildup of debris in your drains and pipes can cause unsightly problems you certainly don’t want to come across. This build up will be worst in Autumn when all the leaves are falling. So arrange to get your drainpipes cleaned out around November in time for the winter.

If you have struggled to keep on top of your clear outs, find a company that can unblock and clean drains and pipes. Their specialists can safely dispose of the blockages that are clogging them up and you can then avoid potential disasters. Build-ups inside your drain can cause pungent and unpleasant smells and it can stop your water running smoothly. Avoid a drainage disaster and seek help from experts as soon as you can.

A warm bath or shower is something we all need in winter, so don’t risk losing out on those!

 

Care and Clean To Avoid Calamities

We are all guilty of giving our homes a quick once-over with the vacuum cleaner and a half-hearted swish of the duster. When was the last time you deep cleaned every room in your home?

You might not realise that your haphazard housework could be affecting your health. Mould, grime and dirt can build up in inconspicuous places in your homes and you wouldn’t even know about it. Mould and damp can be very damaging to you and your family’s health, so make sure you inspect walls and ceilings for any signs of this.

The next time you get a chance, turn your home upside down and finish off those cleaning jobs you’ve always pushed to the back of your mind. Move the sofa and bed to hoover underneath those, hoover behind the TV and clean all the cupboards in the kitchen (including the inside).

 

Freshen your Decor

 

Chairs with throws and a balcony

Have you ever just stopped noticing things? The things you see every day stop being seen and just become a part of the background. But have you ever actually spent time looking at the things you own? Are there loose threads all over your cushions, or holes where the lining starts? How chipped is the paint on your walls? Time passes so quickly, that suddenly you might have had your sofa for ten years.

 

There are obviously temporary measures you can take like getting your carpet professionally cleaned rather than replacing it. But sometimes everything just needs redoing. Spend time choosing new paint colours and it’ll change the look of a room as well as help to tidy up the paint. This kind of care for your home helps the look of it as well as just the hygiene problems.

 

Care for your home by following these small pieces of advice. You can avoid daily disasters by keeping the little things in check. Your house should be a place of peace and stability where you can switch off your brain and recuperate after a hard day’s work. A couple of small projects will take your home from unpredictable to unstoppable so strive to make your home clean, clear and coursing like clockwork! If you get these things covered you might even sell your home faster if you’re looking to move into a new abode in the near future.

 

*Collaborative post.

 

How to sell your home faster

Sell your home faster with these tips and tricks.

At some point in the future, you might want to put your current home on the market and relocate. The issue is that many families struggle to secure a fast sale, and that leaves the homeowners feeling a little disheartened.

However, in most instances, you just need to make improvements with the buyer’s desires in mind. There are lots of ways in which you can make your house attractive to other families, and there are some excellent ideas below to sell your home faster that should point you in the right direction.

Regardless of how much money you have to spend, you should see the expenditure as an investment. Indeed, these suggestions could even assist you in securing a better offer for your property.

 

Give the walls a fresh lick of paint

Before you do anything else, it makes sense to redecorate your house, so it looks clean and fresh. It’s best to use neutral colours because most buyers will want to paint again once they settle into the property. It will also make it easier for the buyer to visualise living there if the walls and colour schemes are neutral.

It’s much easier for them to add a splash of colour to their new home if you use light shades right now. Some of the best neutral tones include:

  • Whites
  • Beige
  • Light grays
  • Light blues

If you want to make easy work of the task, be sure to involve the entire family. Your kids are only going to become bored if you have to move all the items out of their bedrooms to paint. Get them involved in some of the easier DIY tasks.

 

Remove all your family photographs

The last thing buyers need to see when they enter your property is lots of family photographs.

During viewings, you’ll want people to imagine themselves living in the house. That is hard to achieve if there are lots of pictures of your family all over the walls. Still, you don’t want to leave the area looking bare.

For that reason, you should head down to your local home decor shop and pick up some cheap art prints. You can hang them on the walls and ensure the house doesn’t appear too sterile.

Sell your home faster by adding simple artwork. Black and white photos of mountains in frames.

Of course, you should avoid anything that doesn’t have mainstream appeal. You don’t want to put anyone off with strange or unusual artwork that will distract buyers from the crucial elements of your home.

 

Show that you have a functional garden

You have an outdoor space, and so it makes sense that you should alter it to ensure it’s as attractive as possible. The best way of doing that involves highlighting how functional your garden can become.

Consider keeping a barbecue outside or something similar. You might also want to invest in some furniture so you can show buyers they can have a seating area.

 Our wicker furniture actually makes our garden look bigger, so this is worth thinking about too. While you don’t want to spend a fortune, ensuring the garden appears useful and vibrant is a wise move. So, plant some flowers that are going to bloom at the right times too.

 

Garden patio with chairs and a parasol and bright flowers.

Replace your kitchen and bathroom suites

Again, you don’t want to break the bank just before you sell your home.

However, if you’ve had the same kitchen or bathroom suite for more than five years, it makes sense to install a replacement.

You’ll want to save as much money as possible during the process because kitchen and bathroom suites can become expensive. For that reason, you should check online auction websites like eBay because you can often find some fantastic deals. My second-hand kitchen is the best thing I’ve ever bought! 

New kitchen and bathroom suites should add value to the property. So, there is a decent chance you will secure a healthy return on your investment. Just don’t make the mistake of messing around with the plumbing. You’ll have to employ the services of a professional because you could end up causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

 

Declutter and put your possessions in storage

You don’t need to empty your home of all your family’s possessions. Still, you do need to ensure potential buyers have enough room to walk around the property.

So consider decluttering the rooms and hiring a storage unit somewhere. This is a fantastic idea because you’ll pack some of your belongings in advance, and you’ll save time when you decide to relocate.

Your children’s toys and similar items are going to get in the way when you shoq people around your property. For that reason, you might want to pack them away into boxes first. You should also remove any dining room tables and anything that takes up a lot of space.

 

Think about adding some curb appeal

Gorgeous cottage with plants and flowers everywhere.

Curb appeal is vital when you want to sell your home quickly.

Psychologists claim that human beings make their first impression of something within only a couple of seconds. Considering that, it’s essential that you work hard to improve the exterior aesthetic of your property. You can do that by repainting or replacing the front door, adding some flowers to the lawn, and ensuring your driveway looks clean and tidy.

Some families choose to replace the windows in their homes because that can also create the same outcomes. If you have a house that uses cladding, you might think about giving that a fresh coat of waterproof paint.

 

You should manage to make your home more attractive to buyers if you use some of the ideas mentioned in this article, thus being able to sell your home faster.

However, you know your house better than anyone else, and so you are the person best placed to make all the final decisions. Just use some common sense and always look for ways to make savings before you part with your hard-earned cash.

With a bit of luck, you will secure the asking price in a matter of weeks and start the ball rolling. You can then place an offer on a new home and prepare for the relocation. Whatever you decide to do, ensure you don’t leave things to chance because your home could sit on the market for many years, and nobody wants that to happen.

 

New Year, New House: 7 Tips For Settling In

Wanting a fresh start in the new year? Moving house is tough, but these tips for settling in should help you get back on your feet!

The end of a year always gets you thinking about the new one that’s approaching: what will your resolutions be, what will you do different, will it be ‘your year’?

Christmas is already nearly here, with only 11 days to go (where’s the time gone?!) But there’s nothing like getting yourself ready to take the next twelve months by storm. So much so, that some of us will already have plans in motion.

Most people plan on putting their home on the market in January. Some might have put theirs on the market in October hoping it would sell before Christmas. We bought ours over Christmas and the house had been on the market since June!

Moving at this time of year can feel quite chaotic. But there is something magical about moving when the new year begins, and the ‘New year, new start’ idea definitely comes into it.

It’s easy to say you won’t get too stressed with the process, but you will. It’s all part of moving house. You should not only brush up on some top tips to consider when moving house, but you’re going to want to work on your settling in plans too. To make sure that your move is a success, and that you don’t stress out too much, it’s the getting settled part that you need to nail. So if you are moving ahead of the new year, or over the next few weeks, here’s some tips for settling in to your new home. 

 

Do Your Cleaning First

The first thing you need to do, before anything else, is clean. So you’ve packed up everything you own and you’re ready to move it over to the new place. But don’t – not just yet. You need to ensure that everything is clean before you do. Cleaning will be difficult if you’re trying to clean around boxes and furniture. Do a full clean, and then move everything over. 

 

Decorate Ahead If You Can

Another trick to make yourself feel as settled as possible, is to decorate before you move in. Of course, this isn’t always going to be an option if there’s chains of people relying on you to move out so they can move in. But, if you do have a bit of a crossover between places, then it’s going to work in your favour. 

 

Have One Room Ready To Relax In

If you can’t quite manage to decorate before you do move in, or you have a lot more work to do than just a fresh lick of paint, you’re going to want to try this instead. You need one room that is ready and done, so that you have a space you can chill out in. The rest of the house could be a complete mess and need a lot doing to it, but if you have that one room you’re going to feel more settled.

 

Create Organised Chaos

It’s definitely a given that your house is going to be piled high with boxes for awhile. And it’s going to look a mess – there’s no way around that. But you can make things easier. By packing up your old house strategically, you’ll know where everything is, and you’ll be able to access what you need, when you need it. LABEL EVERYTHING. Label what is in each box, and pack up by room so you know what box belongs where. 

 

Unpack The Essentials Early

Or, don’t even pack the essentials in the first place. Maybe put them in a suitcase or bag that you can carry on you. This means it’s the first bag to arrive at the new place, and easy to find. It should include spare clothes, mugs and teabags, even clean bedding so you can make your bed and have somewhere to sleep that night. Put a handy takeout menu in there too so you can order in instead of cooking (we ordered curry our first night and ate it on the floor, but it was THE BEST idea). 

 

Stock Up On Supplies

A huge part of the settling in process is keeping some kind of normality, even though your life won’t be feeling all that normal right now. One of the best ways to do this is to ensure that you have all of the supplies you need, from make-ahead meals to drinks and snacks. You might not unpack your baking trays or casserole dishes for a few days so quick and easy microwaveable food is your best best. 

I actually did a food shop and ordered it to be delivered the day we moved in. This meant we didn’t have to stop what we were doing to spend two hours at the supermarket and an hour unpacking it all. It got delivered which saved me so much valuable box-unpacking time.

 

Finish Off The Basics First

You should also work hard to get some of the basics in place to begin with. From securing your home to getting your utilities switched on and even hooking up your WiFi, these are the obvious but essential things that will make you feel settled. When they’re in place, you’ll start to feel like your new home is quickly coming together.

We obviously renovated our house, but we had WiFi even when the place was a building site. It meant the days we were there stripping wallpaper or knocking walls down were so much easier.

 

3 Ways To Add Contemporary Styling Around The Home

Add contemporary styling to your home with these helpful tips!

When it comes to home decor, you’ll often find that you have a very distinct taste.

You’ll find yourself drawn to certain things for a reason. Sometimes, your home style will be very you. It’s something that your friends and family can instantly visualise when they picture what your home would look like.

This is generally something quite natural for a lot of people. But it’s not always the same for everyone. Because sometimes, you can be drawn to a style that’s completely different to your own sense of style or usual tastes. And when that style is contemporary, you may not necessarily know how to create the right look around your home.

When you’ve seen contemporary styling in homes elsewhere, and you’re desperate to go with the look, you’ve now come to the right place. I’m going to talk through the ways in which you can achieve the look in your own home.

 

Styling

One of the best ways to achieve a particular home style is with the styling itself.

When you want to create a certain look, you need to be able to work with the right pieces in the right way.

It’s not just enough to buy contemporary furniture and hope for the best. Because when it comes to contemporary interior design, it’s all about how you stage it. You need to make sure that you’re working with the right vision.

This is often going to be quite minimal and very fashion-forward. So really think about how you’re placing your furniture and slowly build up piece by piece.

 

Colour

Then, you’re going to want to turn to the colours that you’re using as well.

Of course, everyone is going to have their personal preference when it comes to colour schemes they want to use around the house and even in individual rooms. But using the right kind of colours will help you to add to your contemporary styling.

So be sure you browse through a range of contemporary colour palettes before you pick. Because it’s often about the colours that you choose to put together, and not the individual colours themselves.

 

Accessories

Next, it’s onto accessories.

Sometimes the styling isn’t in the bigger pieces alone. Two rooms can often look the same with identical pieces of furniture in.

But when you add in different accessories, they can take on personalities of their own. So whether it’s your kitchen or your living space, the bathroom or your bedroom, you’re going to want to choose your accessories wisely.

Abstract pieces and anything with an edge is always going to work quite well. You can often find that choosing a theme like Bohemia or art deco will help to bring your contemporary home styling to life too.

 

Just be sure to keep your contemporary vision in mind during the process. When you have a goal to work towards, you can often find that it’s much easier to make things happen and bring it all together.