All posts in House and Home

6 Things Every Landlord Should Have

What does it take to be a good landlord? A lot of you might think it’s easy. There’s a stereotype attached to the landlord; a lot of people see them as making easy money and doing not a lot for it. But the reality couldn’t be more different. Here are 6 things every landlord should have.

1. The Ability to Multitask

As a landlord, you’re going to have a lot on your plate. You’ll be dealing with problems that your tenants have, trying to get that pesky handle fixed and sorting out your tax payments. There is rarely a quiet moment for landlords.

It’s not the job for you if you struggle to keep lots of plates spinning at the same time. It can be fun too though! The quiet, boring life isn’t for everyone.

2. A Good Lawyer

There are all kinds of problems that can arise from being a landlord. And, unfortunately, some them will require the help of a lawyer. If you’re thinking about becoming a landlord, find yourself an honest, reliable lawyer straight away.

Many landlords face disagreements with tenants, so you need a lawyer in your corner to fight any legal battles that arise.

3. A Nose for a Potential Bargain

The first thing a potential landlord needs to do is find the right property. The best place to start the search is at property auctions; you’ll find a lot of great bargains this way.

Make sure you do a lot of research beforehand if you are going to buy at auction though. Most auction properties have problems and faults, that’s why they’re on the market at low prices. So prepare yourself for a renovation job.

4. A Trusted Builder

You can undertake all that building work by yourself if you like, but it’ll be a lot quicker (and probably a lot better) if you use a professional builder. If you have a friend who is a builder, or you have a trusted builder you regularly use, get in contact with them.

You’ll need to use builders regularly and have them make checks to the house. Therefore, it’s best to build a long-term relationship with your builder, rather than use a different one each time.

5. The Right Insurance Policy

Fire damage, flood damage and malicious damage are just some of the ways in which catastrophe could hit your property. Think about it, you don’t know your tenants well. You hope that they’re responsible, but you can’t always be sure.

That’s why it’s so vital to have the right landlord insurance in place. There are websites that offer you the chance to compare landlord insurance, so take full advantage.

6. Patience

You can face so many problems as a landlord and losing your temper won’t make those situations any better. In fact, that’ll make a bad situation a lot worse. Patience is the key to keeping everyone happy and resolving conflicts.

So, if you’re no good at diplomacy, you might want to look elsewhere for a new career path. But if you know how to stay cool under pressure, why not take the plunge and go for it?

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The Vital Insurance You Need When Building Your Own Home

Building your own house comes with all manner of financial considerations. Hidden costs can hit at any time and knock you off budget. Building costs are astronomical, not to mention any loss of earning while overseeing the project. There are also insurance costs to consider. Building a house requires a little more than a simple home insurance policy. There is a lot of danger on a building site and plenty of eventualities to cover.

When building a house, you are responsible for everything that happens on site. You are responsible for the health and safety of builders and contractors. You’re responsible for any member of the public who wanders onto your property and injures themselves. A personal injury lawsuit is the last thing you want on top of your budget. This list covers some of the essential insurance you’ll need. It includes some you may not have considered.

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Site Insurance

This is the most important one. Depending on the policy, it should cover your building site and everything on it. It covers your new building against fire, damage and flooding. It also covers any temporary structures on the site. This could be a caravan you’re living in or a workman’s portacabin. They typically cover theft but take a note of how much the coverage extends to. In some cases you may need to consider separate equipment insurance.

Equipment Insurance

Site insurance will usually cover theft of equipment and tools up to a certain cost. However, the equipment stored on a building site can register well into the thousands. Theft of these vital tools and equipment can stop your build in its tracks. It will set you back time and money to replace them. A separate equipment insurance policy can help ease this difficulty. You will be required to prove the security of your building site. It is also good practice to mark all equipment with an identification pen.

Vacant Building Insurance

Once the shell of the building is up, home and building insurance doesn’t always cover any damage. If your structure is lying vacant during the build, you may need vacant building insurance. This will cover you against vandalism and the problems related to vacant buildings. This one is often overlooked and builders can come unstuck. It’s worth looking into.

Health Insurance

When building a house, many plan to get seriously involved. Helping out with the build itself can eliminate costs. You can cut down on private contractors and expensive outsourcing. However, it comes with its own difficulties. You are risking your health and safety by getting stuck in on the building site. This is particularly true if you aren’t experienced. Check your current health and life insurance policy and make sure you are covered for this work. If not, you should add extra provisions to your current policy.

Insurance is a vital part of building your own home. Before you even start building, you should shop around for quotes. Get the best possible deals and build them into your budget well ahead of time. As we are all aware, self builds rarely stay within budget, so overestimate. Making sure you are effectively covered will eliminate surprise costs down the line.

Home And Mortgage Protection Insurance For Dummies

It seems that we can’t do anything without insurance these days. I can see a time coming when ordinary members of the public will need to buy liability cover to protect them against law suits from other people who are trying to make a quick buck. Many people dislike it because it is an invisible service. You might have wished some mishap would have befallen you so you can take advantage of the product that cost so much money. You don’t mean it, of course, but paying out endlessly for a premium that you never use is frustrating, to say the least.

The day might come when a disaster befalls you. Then you realise why you had the foresight to pay for the cover that you now desperately need. Home ownership is one area where you cannot afford to neglect insurance. It is your security and the biggest investment you will ever make. If somebody is offering a fast house sale in Stapleford and you find it attractive, here are some things you should think about when you complete the purchase.

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Life Insurance

If you were to die while there is still a mortgage on the property, would your family be able to cope? Life insurance can be expensive, but it is necessary. It may come as a condition of the loan or could even be a part of it. Endowment mortgages are life insurance policies. During the term, you pay only towards the premium and the interest on the loan. The lender invests the money you pay them for the policy and uses the profits to clear the debt when the loan is due. If you die during that period, they will repay the mortgage and the house will belong to your beneficiaries.

Buildings Insurance

Buildings insurance will be a condition of the loan. The lender has to protect their investment in case the building develops structural problems or suffers damage from an accident. The cover should be enough to rebuild the house if the worst happens. Unwary people often don’t realise that the house will cost less to reconstruct than its market value, and they insure it for too much. Research the subject well, it could save you cash.

Mortgage Protection Insurance

Mortgage protection insurance will help you to maintain the payments for a year or two if you lose your job or cannot work through accident or illness. It gives you breathing space while you make alternative arrangements. This product is one of the culprits of the mis-selling scandal, so read the small print.

Contents Insurance

What would you do if everything in your home became a victim of fire or flood? It makes sense to protect your belongings with content insurance. You pay only a small monthly premium for peace of mind. You probably don’t realise how much all of your stuff is worth until you perform a survey. Take photographs of every room too, just in case you need to show them to the insurer in the event of a disaster.

You can never have too much cover in the modern world. Anything can happen and leave you penniless if you don’t arrange protection. It can be an expensive business, but you will be glad you paid for it if life takes a wrong turn. Sometimes you need help to rebuild your life and home.

How Paying Off Your Mortgage Early Can Change Your Life

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I advise you to research well and consider the type of mortgage you intend to take on carefully. If you commit to a full term endowment, for example, you can’t pay it off early. That means that you have limited options. A straightforward repayment mortgage, on the other hand, offers you some flexibility in the way you handle your finances. You must, of course, make sure that you can make extra payments on it before you take it out, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

In the early days, most of your payments go towards the interest on the loan and little comes off the balance. If you can reduce the balance quickly, they cannot charge as much interest on it. Then, more of your monthly payments will go towards reducing the balance further. It is easy to see why you can save tens of thousands of pounds that way. The guys at Hampton estate agents fees in Amersham reckon you can reduce the term of the loan significantly by paying a third again on top of your monthly repayments.

But what will you do with the money you save on the mortgage when you own the property? Here are some awesome ideas.

Holiday Home

Many people choose to splash out on a second home in the sun. Europe is open for business, and you can find property over there for a bargain price if you are wise. Even if you have to take on another mortgage to fund the purchase, you know what to do. In ten years or less, the place could belong to you. Renting it out when you are not there will bring in an extra income too. That sounds idyllic to me!

Home Improvements

You could invest some of your money back into the house by improving it. Think about adding extra bedrooms with an extension or loft conversion. An indoor swimming pool would make you the envy of your neighbours; there are some stunning pool enclosures on the market.

Holidays

You deserve a holiday of a lifetime where you can experience all of the places you ever wanted to see. Maybe a cruise around the Mediterranean is your style, or would you prefer an African safari? There are too many options to list here, but you get the picture.

Automobiles

Men and women alike have a passion for vintage cars. Now that you can afford one, which will it be? Ferrari have produced some incredible works of art over the years; there is sure to be one to suit your image.

Boarding School

My kids couldn’t wait for me to win the lottery. Little did they know that they would find themselves in private education if I did. If your horrors are making your life a misery, pack them off to boarding school so that you can enjoy peace and quiet once more. Seriously though, the threat may be all it takes to bring them in line.

When your home is free of debt, a world of possibilities opens up before you. What will you spend you cash on? It is a personal choice, but the suggestions above appeal to me; especially the last one. For now, pour a shot of whiskey and light a cigar with a banknote. Make the most of a mortgage-free life; you deserve it.

How to Prepare Your House for an Inspection

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DAUTING: Prepare for a house inspection – batten down the hatches?

 

House inspections can be very daunting. For the days leading up to it, you will surely be stressing and trying to clean the house as much as possible. Of course you are, it needs to be done. But there are other ways to go about it than frantically rushing around. Stop, take a deep breath, and systematically go through everything that needs to be done. It’s likely that you can get things clean a lot quicker and easier than you expected.

Tidy Up

First things first. Tidy up the house as much as you possibly can. Put your clothes away, do the dishes, put those books back in the bookshelf. A tidy house can look immediately cleaner and more respectable. Once you’ve done this, it will be easier for you to determine what nee4ds to be done next.

Clean the Floor

If you have tiles or linoleum floor, make sure that you mop from top to bottom. Once you’ve done this, sweep or vacuum to make sure that there are no marks, or pieces of things lying on the ground. For carpet, it’s best to use a steam cleaner. This is a quick and easy way of making your floor look brand new. However, if you can’t afford to get someone in, or don’t have the time to hire a cleaner, there are other ways to go about it too. They may take a little time, or have slightly less quality results, but they are still options you can choose. You may want to scrub the carpet with some floor cleaner. This can be effective if there are any noticeable stains. Grab a rag and rub out the stain.

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Wipe Surfaces

This is important. Make sure to wipe down every surface in the house. Over time, dust is sure to appear and clump together, and you don’t want any of this to be visible for your inspection. Bathroom cleaners can be great for wiping down bench tops and basins.

Windows and Mirrors

Once everything else is looking clean, you can start on windows and mirrors. Just a quick wipe down with a cloth will often do the tick, but have some cleaning liquid handy as well. This adds the finishing touches to your house and will make it sparkle with life.

Tend the Garden

Once the inside is done, don’t forget about the garden. You don’t need to do much, just mow the lawns and prune back any plants that are starting to look messy. You’re not expected to be an expert landscaper, just make sure it looks tidy.

Preparing for an inspection doesn’t need to be stressful. If you prioritize what needs to be done and take care to do it properly, you’re in the clear. Just make sure not to forget about smaller jobs. Look over your house thoroughly before you decide you are finished. For more information on keeping a tidy and de-cluttered house, have a look at Fort Knox Storage Australia to help you find the best storage options.