Some Top Aspects to Check before You Choose the Neighbourhood for Your New Property

Some Top Aspects to Check before You Choose the Neighbourhood for Your New Property

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I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘good fences make good neighbours’ – Robert Frost certainly hit the nail on the head with that one. And whilst it may seem like an oxymoron, and whilst every situation is different in every case, it does highlight the need to look around carefully and examine the neighbourhood before you ever commit to a property. Checking out a neighbourhood is not always easy to do – and it takes some time – but by giving the process a little time and careful thought, a lot of hassle and headache can be avoided over time. Here are some top aspects to check before you choose the neighbourhood for your new property.

Checking the map

ImageThe map may seem like an old-fashioned way to check the neighbourhood, but it will give you much information if you know what to look for: immediately, you can figure out what the best way to and from work, schools, shops and the town centre is going to be. You can also get an idea of noise or smells caused by trains, motorways, traffic routes, rivers, and other landmarks.

Go there in person

Drive around the neighbourhood – more than once, at different times of the day and on different days in the week. This will give you first-hand information about traffic situations, events, and other occurrences. If you can, stay overnight, and observe how busy the nightlife is.

Check official records

Your city hall may be able to inform you of upcoming construction plans, and your local police precinct should be able to give you crime rate figures.

Talk to people who live there

The people who live there are your most valuable source of information – they have first-hand experience, after all. Don’t be afraid to ask about their possible complaints; a bottle of wine or basket of fruit usually loosens tongues easily. By talking to various people in the neighbourhood, you’ll also get a better sense of the local population and culture, and can gauge better if you’ll fit in.

In the end, trust your instincts, as advised by experienced estate agencies It’s all well and good to say that the neighbours are nice, or the ride is convenient, or the shop at the corner has all you need – but even if your brain says yes, you should always make sure your heart concurs. Choosing a neighbourhood for your future home, regardless if you are looking through flats to rent in Chelmsford, a three-bedroom home in Colchester, or more – does indeed depend a lot on measurable advantages and quantitative research, but many factors are subjective; your sense of beauty, comfort, and convenience is often personal and can’t be measured or judged logically. If your mind says yes, but you still have an uncomfortable feeling about it, then don’t do it. You should be completely comfortable with your decision.

Carpet Cleaning Hacks for Every Homeowner

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Every carpet owner should know that professional cleaning is required every year. But what do you do in between those visits? You have to keep your carpets clean yourself. So you’ll need to stock up on carpet cleaning supplies, and you should follow these tips so you can keep your carpet looking like new for a long time.

  1. Blot the stains. You should dab the stain with a cleaning solution and a sponge. Paper towels or a clean cloth will do just fine too. Blot from the outside going in so you don’t spread the stain.

What you don’t want to do is to rub the stain. This will just embed the stain particles into the carpet fibers. That will make the stain harder to remove, and the affected fibers may become damaged.

  1. For beer and wine stains, use club soda. Blot the stain with a cloth and club soda. If for some reason that doesn’t work,use a handheld spray bottle that contains a mix of equal parts white vinegar and water. Spray the solution and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then use a sponge to soak up the solution and the stain. You may have to repeat this process until the stain is totally gone.
  2. For general stains, shaving cream may work. Apply it to the stain and let it set for half an hour. Then blot the shaving cream with a dry white cloth. Then finish off by spraying with the water and vinegar mixture and wiping off the solution with a cloth.
  3. Freeze the gum.If you get gum stuck to your carpet, get some ice cubes and freeze the gum for about 30 seconds. Once the gum is frozen, use a spoon to lift the mess. You should also have some scissors so you can cut carpet strands as close to the gum as possible.
  4. For grease stains, use dishwasher detergent. The dishwasher detergent you use that fights grease off from dishes work well on carpets too. Just put in a couple of drops in a cup of water, and spray it on the stain. Then you can just blot up afterwards.
  5. Melted wax can be removed with heat. When your candles drip on your carpet, it can dry quickly as it embeds into the carpet. You can use your iron covered by a white cloth over the wax. When the wax wares, use a butter knife to scrape it off. Then put some paper towel over the stain and iron on the paper. The wax will melt and stick to the paper towel.
  6. Use hydrogen peroxide for blood stains. First loosen the blood stain with water and mild detergent. Then scrape as much of the blood as you can. Eliminate the stain remnants by applying some hydrogen peroxide then dab at it with towels.

17 Pest Prevention Methods You Need to Know

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Regardless of where you live, it’s a fairly safe bet that sooner or later you may have some problem with pests. The problem can grow serious enough that you may have to call in professionals offering extermination services. Once they’re done, you may want to talk to these experts about proper preventive measures so that you won’t need their services anytime soon.

Here are some preventive measures and easy solutions that you can try so that you won’t need an exterminator too frequently:

  1. Don’t leave food lying around your home. Put them in the fridge, and move the dry goods to sealed jars.
  2. Your kitchen countertops and dining tables may have some odors and food particles. Wipe these surfaces down with a solution containing equal parts of water and vinegar.
  3. Get your faucet leaks fixed. Insects need water to survive, and they’re attracted to the leaks.
  4. Use a trash can with a lid.
  5. Rinse the sauce jars and juice containers before you put them in the recycling bin.
  6. Drains should be kept clear from leftover food. Pour half a cup of baking soda and then half a cup of vinegar down the drain. Wait 5 minutes, and then pour boiling water.
  7. If you have a roach problem, sprinkle borax powder in your bathroom and kitchen cabinets. Just don’t use the borax where kids and pets stay. The borax is poison to insects.
  8. Use a mixture of 1 cup borax and 1 cup sugar for ants. Put the mixture in a jar, and then punch some holes in the lid. Sprinkle the mixture outside the foundation of your house and around the baseboards inside. The sugar will attract the ants, and the borax will kill them.
  9. If you don’t have borax, you can always just sprinkle coffee grounds around your doors and windows to keep them out.
  10. If you have fleas, vacuum the rigs and other affected items thoroughly before spraying them with some anti-flea spray. Then get rid of the dust mag immediately.
  11. Use insect spray directly for any flying insect including bees, wasps, and hornets. If you don’t have insect spray, your hair spray will do just fine.
  12. If you see piles of wood shavings under wooden items, you may have a problem with carpenter ants. These insects like damp wood so you have to check for leaks. You may have to call in a pro.
  13. Termites may also be a problem that only a pro can handle properly. These insects attack wood and books.
  14. If you have a birdbath, change the water every 3 days. That should keep the mosquito numbers down.
  15. Did you find a centipede in your house? These critters eat other insects, so that means you have an infestation.
  16. If you have mice and you bought a trap, use peanut butter or raw bacon as bait.
  17. Your best bet against rodents is to seal every opening they can squeeze through. Even 0.25-inch hole may be enough to let them in.


Overlooked Home Office Items You Can Purchase from Online Shopping Sites

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At first, it seems easy enough to figure out how to outfit your home office. You don’t need a professional interior designer. It’s a pretty basic DIY project that anyone can do. You need a desk that can accommodate your computer, along with some space where you can write or sort miscellaneous things. You can then buy all the desk supplies you need, a nice ergonomic chair, and another chair for guests. You can also purchase a filing cabinet for the documents, even if you deal mostly with soft copies. Get them all from the best online shopping sites out there and you’re almost done

You may continue to decorate your home office with your diplomas, a printer, and perhaps some books for the decorative bookcases. But there’s a very good chance that you may have overlooked a few office items.

Get a Couch

It may seem like a couch is superfluous when you’re using it for a home office. After all, you already have a couch in your living room nearby, and then you also have your bedroom if you want to really relax.

  • Still, a couch offers a more informal setting for your home office. The mere sight of it can help you relax, and that can make you more productive while you work.
  • It’s a great way to conduct a meeting with other people, as the extra seating can help make everyone feel at ease.
  • It’s even an effective way to talk one-on-one with a visitor, when you want the meeting to have a more collegial atmosphere. Sometimes the presence of a desk between you and another person can form some sort of barrier. It’s not quite as friendly.
  • The couch also offers you a quick way to rest your mind—while you still remain in the office. Skipping to your bedroom for a nap may instead tempt you to skip work altogether.

So make sure you get a nice cozy couch that you and your visitors will find comfortable to sit on.

Set Up a Whiteboard

A whiteboard has so many functions in a home office.

  • Here you can write your schedule or a reminder so you don’t forget. You can also write down ideas and concepts that can help you with your work, as sometimes creative thoughts may somehow be lost if you don’t write it down.
  • You can also use the whiteboard to visualize concepts that you can’t do as easily on a screen. It’s easy enough to draw diagrams and write equations on a whiteboard, compared to when you use a word processor.
  • A whiteboard is also handy when you have a team in your office collaborating on a single project. Here ideas can be shared more easily, and everyone is on the same page.

Get a Plant

Some plants are very easy to grow, and their presence can decorate an office while also subtly enhancing your mood.


Why DIY Decorators Should Consider Using Sheer Shade Blinds

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In the past, when we wanted to change the look of a window, we alternated between using sheer curtains and roller blinds. But then the idea of combining the best of both worlds came up, so now we use sheer shade blinds. We recently purchased sheer shades online and we’re delighted with the results. These window treatments are fantastic!

Here are some of the reasons why you should consider sheer shades:

  1. Sufficient natural lighting. Sometimes, the sunlight we get can be a bit too harsh and glaring, so it’s difficult to directly look at the window. But the sheer shade diffuses the light, so you let in just the right amount of light. It won’t bother your eyes, and you won’t need artificial lighting for the room. You can then set up a chair near the window so you can do some reading.
  2. A comfortable temperature. Since you don’t let as much sunlight in, you also limit the heat. That means you’re able to maintain a moderate temperature in the room. Since these shear shade blinds can be adjusted, you can let in more light if you choose.
  3. UV protection. UV rays from sunlight can damage your hardwood floors, wooden furniture, and your carpets. They can discolor these items, which is difficult to repair once damaged. At least with these shades, you can help maintain the look of your wooden furniture and floor along with your carpets. That means you won’t have to spend as much for the maintenance of these items.
  4. We all need privacy especially in our bedrooms and even in the living room too. We don’t really care much for that feeling of being watched, especially in the sanctity of our home. You can try out clothes to your heart’s content, pretend you’re Magic Mike, or read a scary book without feeling like someone’s watching you. It’s hard enough to read a book like Salem’s Lot by Stephen King while alone in the house, without having to feel like somehow—you’re not alone!
  5. Lots of décor options. Sheer shades can come in a variety of colors. You can get them in black or white, or something in between like gray. While they may come in preset widths, other manufacturers offer a custom service that lets you dictate the width of the panels.
  6. They look great. Of course, it depends on the sheer shades you buy. But when you pick the right one, they look subtly elegant and stylish. They just add to the overall beauty of the room in a way that’s not overbearing. If you’re selling your house, sheer shades can work well in attracting buyers.


The Best Renovation Ideas for Montreal Condos

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Some people buy Montreal condos because it’s a smart investment move. They can buy a new condo now, rent it out, and then after a few years they can sell it at a profit. But this means the condo should be built by a reputable builder, to the highest standards, and upgraded every few years or when needed.

If you’re looking to make certain upgrades to the condo itself, here are some of the more sensible solutions, which will only add value:

  1. Remove carpets. You may love your carpet, but potential buyers may not share the love. They’re like wallpaper—their beauty depends a lot on the personal taste of the beholder.

What’s more, carpets are especially vulnerable to wear and tear. They especially don’t look good in the bedroom where they tend to wear out around the dresser and bed area.

Many realtors say that when similar condos are put up for sale in the same building and only one has a carpet, then that condo with the carpet may be valuated lower. People see a carpet and usually want to know what’s underneath.Plus, potential problems like spills, constant vacuuming, and yearly professional cleaning deters many.

  1. Put hardwood floors instead. Hardwood flooring is the gold standard for condos, as they appeal to most homeowners. They look great and elegant, and maintenance is easier. They go with every type of furniture and interior design.

While high quality laminates may provide an alternative, for best resale opportunities you have to go with an engineered hardwood floor. This flooring comes with real hardwood planks at the top. The core layer below is usually particle board.

  1. Get a granite countertop. For countertops, the look and the durability are the top factors. It’s not always about the price, although this factor is somewhat related. Laminate countertops and those made of more affordable stone don’t have the same effect on buyers.

When you put up a granite countertop, you need to use high quality stone. It should have a timeless look that can match well with just about any decor.

  1. Storage shelves. There’s really no such thing as having too much storage space in a condo. Everyone has a little bit of “hoarder” in them and many condo buyers are aware that storage space is going to be an issue.

As the seller, your job is to give the impression of more space and order. So the closets should be organized, and it’s better to have lots of smaller cabinets and shelves than to have one big empty closet. Custom shelves are great, and even a generic shelving system can have a large impact on condo buyers.

The great thing about these upgrades is that they really won’t cost you a lot of money, compared to renovating an entire bathroom or kitchen. Although you never really make back the dollar amount you put in in renovations, these upgrades will definitely increase its value.

Switzerland: A mini heaven on the Earth

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Switzerland is a beautiful country where you can experience the full glory of Mother Nature. You have the snow-capped Alps on one side and the beautiful clean lakes on the other. The beauty of Switzerland is that you can have the view of the magnificent Alps from any corner of the country. This country should rank as the best place in the world to own a home. If you equate the word ‘home’ with comfort, then Switzerland certainly qualifies as the top place on the list.

Buying a home in Switzerland should no longer be a dream for you. You have the facility of the internet to browse the homes for sale in Switzerland. You can have access to great options such as mansions, apartments, farmhouses, etc. Every house in Switzerland would be an architectural delight.

Switzerland may be a small country. However, it has many cities such as Geneva, Basel, and Vaud etc. All these cities have luxurious villas and gorgeous homes for sale. Thus, finding the perfect homes for sale in Switzerland is not a difficult task at all now.

The Swiss types of chalets and mansions are unique in the world for their designs. Every mansion would have a garden, fountains, etc thus enhancing the beauty of the place manifold. You can find many wooden houses as well in Switzerland because of its cold climate. However, one thing would be common in each of the homes for sale in Switzerland. This is the comfort factor. As far as providing comfort and elegance, no country in the world can beat Switzerland.

Every Switzerland home would have spacious balconies to enable you to soak in the beauty of Mother Nature. The sight of the Alps in the early mornings would be great with the entire mountain range becoming golden. At the same time, watching the Alps at night is equally enchanting with the dark blue colored background.

Amenities wise, you can find the most modern amenities in every home. Even the most ordinary of homes would have the luxurious amenities. These amenities include fireplaces, car garages, sports facilities, marble kitchen tops, etc. You can find some mansions having their own private lakes as well. A spa or a hot tub is a common amenity in Switzerland. The chalets in Switzerland have exquisite hardwood flooring that adds to the comfort factor during the winter season. You can find virtually every kind of exquisite architecture in the homes for sale in Switzerland.

Top Patio Enhancements for Your Florida Patio

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With glorious winter weather heading our way, it’s time to look at some well designed outdoor living spaces in South Florida.  This list comes to us courtesy of Palmetto Park Realty in Boca, a new firm specializing in East and Central Boca at the moment, though they plan to expand out to the larger South Florida market soon.  They sent us over a list of some pretty cool listings with awesome back yards.  The first one they sent is located in the well regarded central Boca neighborhood of Millpond and is for sale for $750k.  Millpond is a tennis community (with two courts right at the front of the neighborhood) that also has over 2 miles of sidewalks and walking trails – most shaded – to relax on those cooler winter days.


Outdoor Patio: Screened or Unscreened? 

With Zika officially in South Florida, we think more people may be considering the pool screens like you see in much of Florida.  Those that don’t have it can benefit in two ways:  first off, there are definitely less bugs for obvious reasons.  Secondly, less debris get into your pool, meaning less strain on your pool filters and cleaner water.  Who doesn’t like a sparkling clean pool without bugs?  The only downside to these are the cost and the slightly less clean look compared to an open air pool area.

Outdoor Grills

A built-in outdoor grill can really complement a patio area.  In fact, some neighborhoods and builders like Toll Brothers offer a built in patio grill as an option on new builds.  There are several homes for sale with grills in Trieste in East Boca, for example.  The benefit of this is that you can get a permanent gas connection from the utility company so there’s less hassle with changing out propane tanks, for example!  Who wouldn’t want to center their outdoor kitchen around a grill on the patio?

Pool Water Slides and Diving Boards

If you already have a pool, and the water is deep enough, why not consider adding a diving board or water slide?  The biggest reason not to add these enhancements is safety.  Few  pools these days are deep enough for a diving board, and the risk to spinal cord injury makes it less than worth it.  A water slide offers similar risk but is more acceptable if you have at least eight feet of water, but consult with an expert first.  Few pools are actually eight feet deep in your typical Florida residential pool.  The bigger question is, if you don’t already have a pool, should you add one?  We cover that in this blog post on our site.

For West Boca and Wellington Residents: Horses

What is better than a large backyard?  A large backyard with horses.  Some communities like Grand Prix in Wellington are actually built with Equestrian life in mind, so you may want to consider buying something purpose built rather than actually adding on to an existing home patio area.  This is mainly in jest, for horses are an expensive hobby and really are not for everyone.  In Boca, you may consider the Equestrian community of Horseshoe Acres if you’re interested in larger lots and horses.

The Need to Consider Mortgage Advice Before Making the Final Decision

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Getting a mortgage advisor is essential if you wish to see positive results. Advisors know exactly what to do. They are people who have worked in the industry for several years and they know the ins and outs of the business. They can freely provide advice that is useful to their clients. It is important to remember though that even if they provide great tips, the final decision is still yours to make. You have the freedom to decide whether or not to accept the advice given to you.

Study the options

Mortgage advisors give advice and recommendations, but they don’t limit your choices. If anything, they ensure that you have as many options as possible. For instance, when recommending lenders, they will tell you why you should choose one over the other. However, they will also mention the advantages of preferring other choices. This means that you will still have the final say. You need to study the advice given and determine which of them you should follow.

You need to trust them

It is also important to make sure that you trust them to give you the right advice. They are people who understand the legalities surrounding mortgages and they have dealt with a lot of clients in the past. Those who have been in the industry for several years have seen people whose credit scores are bad, and were still able to buy a new house anyway. They have also seen how some people struggle just to buy a new house, and ultimately see them make their dreams a reality.

They won’t do everything

Even if you can get the best mortgage advice from expert advisors, the truth is that they won’t do everything for you. They will start the process, but they will simply refer you to the right lender who will more or less do everything for you. You will still be the one to make the final decision though even if you have already chosen a broker to partner with. It only means that you have to be actively involved in the process. You need to analyse the options and weigh them up carefully. Eventually, you will know if you are heading in the right direction or not.

There are a lot of mortgage advisors that you can find online. You just need to research them well and their credentials for you to know if you can get the right advice from them. You will be paying for their services, so it makes sense that you invest some time in finding the best option based on your individual circumstances.

Buying A Property For Sale in Mumbai? Start Thinking Like An Investor

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What would you do on winning a huge sum in a lottery? Get yourself a brand new car? Set up a business? Or, buy your home in Mumbai? Well, if you are too concerned about long-term benefits, you would want first to invest into a home in the city.

No doubt, almost every individual would want to own a dwelling place in Mumbai. Thanks to the level of comfort the city has to offer. However, with property prices constantly moving up the graph, buying a dream home in Mumbai may not be an easy task anymore. With that being said, it isn’t a difficult task either, but only if you start thinking about yourself as an investor by keeping in mind a few crucial factors.

So, here are a few things you need to consider before buying a property for sale in Mumbai:

Incentives aren’t a big deal

Keep in mind that an incentive won’t benefit you in the long run but your investment will. Sellers these days go to any extent sell out their properties. For instance, a few may willingly take care of all your necessary paperwork and even spend on your stamp duty.

And don’t be surprised if you find a seller offering a lucrative holiday package. These are mere incentives and do not guarantee a long-term benefit. Usually, builders come up with such incentive schemes when their property is located in less-preferred spots in the city. A logical investment, on the other hand, would guarantee you the most desirable returns.

Investigate about the on-going rates

No doubt, you would do this anyway, but the way you do it decides on what you will be paying for the home you intend to buy. Some individuals usually tend to rely on their hired real estate agent to make all the necessary research about the present property rates. Of course, this is highly justified as you may be less aware of the technicalities involved in the process of buying a home. However, it is still recommended that you do an additional research online to find out about the exact rates of the location you intend to buy a home at.

Keep in mind that some spots in Mumbai even cost more than Rs. 1,00,000. So you cannot afford to go wrong when it comes to making a huge investment. One of the best ways to find out about the on-going property rates is by referring to an online real-estate portal such as The website keeps you updated on all the latest real estate deals in Mumbai.

Location primary, Size Secondary

Obviously, we all want a ‘Big’ home, one that’s probably bigger than what our relatives own. But, that’s not the way to go. Here’s an example. Imagine you have two property options to choose from. 1. A big home located on the outskirts of the city, a location that is least preferred. 2. A decent sized home in the heart of the city. Now, if you bet your money on the first option, you are most likely far away from making a right choice. However, the second option ensures you a good return in the long run.


Although buying a home in Mumbai in the present times may seem quite difficult, is not an impossible task if you think and act like an investor. After all, a property investment is a huge investment, and it is recommended that you do the right amount of research to land up on a safer surface.