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5 Destructive Home Buyer Mistakes People Make and How to Avoid Them

The typical new home buyer spends much of their time fantasizing about moving into their perfect palace. But before you move in you have to find the right space. This can be a confusing and stressful process when it’s your first time. Don’t worry. Avoid these five mistakes, and you’ll have the right place in no time:

1. Forgetting Value

A lot of buying has to revolve around what you can afford. If you go above your budget home buying can hurt your financial future. But some first time home buyers forget about value. It’s no good to buy a home that isn’t right for you. If you move into a depressed neighborhood that costs you thousands on a commute or renovations, you may have lost out on value. A good realtor will help you calculate the overall value.

2. Fools Rush In

Don’t let excitement about the market, or your desire to move, influence your decision. That home you just saw isn’t the only option. Yes, you should be ready to act fast when the right value comes along. But feeling rushed or anxious can force bad decisions.  It’s common to also miscalculate your estimated expenses.  Purchasing the proper home insurance will protect you from the unknown.  And since your home purchase is one of the largest investments that you’ll ever make, it pays to exercise prudent judgment.

3. Going It Alone as A Home Buyer

One of the biggest mistakes first time home buyers make is trying to go it alone. With all of the advances in technology, they may try and forgo using a real estate agent to find the right property. This is a huge mistake. Real estate agents can save you time and money. Unless you have great experience in the real estate market, you can fall prey to many issues and misconceptions without someone representing you. A good agent will help you through more than just finding a property. They can help negotiate the pricing, timing, and conditions.

4. Waiting On The Mortgage

Waiting to learn more about a mortgage could hurt your entire process. Unless you have a good idea about your financing options, it is probably too early to do any serious searching. You may find the perfect property only to lose it due to waiting for financing. A seller will likely take an offer with strong financing attached. If you work on the mortgage first, you’ll know more about your target range as well. It’s often best to start with financing.

5. The Creeping Budget

The perfect home is not perfect for you if it isn’t in your price range. If you fall in love with the wrong house, you could be inviting headaches down the road. It’s useless even to consider homes that don’t fit in your budget. Eight states saw an increase in foreclosures in the first six months of last year. A new home can be an incredible asset. It can also destroy your financial future. Know your budget and stick to it.

Avoid The Mistakes

Once you know the pitfalls, the average new home buyer faces it is easy to avoid the mistakes. You can focus on the exciting and fun process of finding the perfect new home. You may even want to set your sites beyond the United States. Purchasing abroad is easier than you think. Here are some great tips for purchasing abroad.

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What is the True Cost of Building a House vs. Buying?

Everyone has a dream home. A place where they can come home at the end of a long, tough day, and hang their hat. But what if that dream home doesn’t yet exist? What if, instead, it’s up to you to build it? Is it worth it, or could you save more simply by buying? If you’re in the market for a new home and can’t decide between building and buying, read on as we break down the cost of building vs. buying a home.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a House?

There’s no way around it, building your own home can be an expensive endeavor. According to Home Advisor, the average price per square foot ranges between $100 and $400. When you take into consideration that the average home is 2,687 square feet, the cost to build a house can add up fast.

But the size of your home is only the start of the costs.

There are so many other factors would-be builders should consider, such as building materials. Take a glance at the room around you. Every window, door, wall, ceiling, and the floor has small, individual layers. From window and door frames to support beams and insulation, the cost of building materials alone is enough to deter most people from building a home.

Of course, you’ll need someone to build your dream home, too. It’s necessary to hire contractors and builders, as well as buy permits. With that said, building a home does have some key advantages. Though the upfront cost is higher than that of buying a home, building a home means owners don’t need to worry about repairs. This alone can save quite a bit of cash.

Building a home allows soon-to-be owners to customize their dream home with green appliances. From solar panels to heat-reflective roofing to Energy Star windows, green appliances will often save homeowners more money in the long run.

How Much Does It Cost to Buy a House?

The home buying process is notoriously long and arduous, but is it more cost-effective than building a home? It depends. Once you find a home you love and decide to settle down, you’ll need to pay closing costs. These fees often add up to between 2% and 5% of a home’s total value.

Buying a home comes with fewer upfront costs, sure, and can be far more convenient. But most homes need at least some tender loving care, meaning that you may need to spend thousands of dollars to get your brand new home up to snuff or to complete that kitchen remodel you’re dreaming of.

With that said, certain firms, like Project Homes Sydney, can assist with these fees or even help you reduce their overall costs. So while you may look at that beat-up old roof and feel your stomach drop, the right company can still help you save. And that’s not all — the cost of homeownership doesn’t end once you’ve reached a deal.

Monthly maintenance, including utilities, lawn care, and homeowners association fees, cost an average of $1,204. In conjunction with other monthly bills, home ownership can get quite expensive, quite fast.

Cost of Building a House vs Buying: Final Thoughts

Since the true cost of building a house vs. buying will depend upon location, the scope of vision, and more, it’s important that you take the time to carefully consider your options. Both can be expensive yet worthwhile endeavors. Whether you want to buy or build, learn more about us and let Sky Five Properties help you find the home of your dreams.

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5 Bathroom Renovation Ideas That Will Increase Your Home’s Value

People looking to add home value are turning to a simple, but important, area: the bathroom remodel. And it’s a smart move. A midrange bathroom remodel can pull in a 70 percent return on investment. Whether you’re working on a refurbishing project or bumping up the value of your family home, the bathroom is full of untapped potential.

But it’s not always easy to know where you can get the most bang for your buck. We’re here to help. Here are five simple bathroom renovation ideas to boost the value of your home or project.

Why Bathroom Renovation Investments Pay Off

First, why is the bathroom a smart investment? Simply put: it improves a home’s livability, which makes the value pop. In fact, some markets in the U.S. have handed out triple-digit returns for a bathroom remodel. Why? The bathroom is an area that is well-used. It’s a functional space, and improving efficiency and feel can warm up a whole house.

And as investors look to the bathroom, there are more and more experts around to help kickstart a project – read more now. For anyone interested in sprucing up the bathroom, there are some simple ways to make big improvements.

1) Brighten up the Space with Lighting

The bathroom is a room carved out for plucking, grooming, and applying makeup. That means a brighter space is a more efficient space. It also can lift the mood and feel of a home.

To illuminate your bathroom, consider updating these key pieces:

  • Light fixtures
  • Windows
  • Mirrors

Think about light fixtures that hang. Using them alongside mirrors is an easy bathroom remodel that can create a spacious look.

2) Warm the Room with a Shower

When it comes to bathroom remodeling, updating the shower is a simple – but powerful – addition. Knocking out small, outdated tubs and replacing them with a shower can widen out a whole bathroom.

It’s also a great idea to update the shower head on existing showers. It might seem like a small change, but it can add elegance or easily modernize the entire space.

3) Air It out with Ventilation

It’s definitely not the most romantic bathroom remodel, but enhancing ventilation can make a big difference. First of all, nobody wants to deal with a stinky bathroom. But opening up the space with ventilation can also improve the functionality of the whole room. It can cut down mold or residue, make the space more comfortable, and improve breathability.

4) Get the Most out of Sinks

A smart bathroom remodeling project is sink-centric. Like shower heads, sink and faucet updates can completely modernize a bathroom’s look. To free up space and functionality, consider putting in duel sinks. This is a great way to make the space more efficient by letting more than one person get ready at the same time.

5) Tie It All Together with Tile

By refreshing tile, you can brighten up the bathroom and make it look more spacious. Wider tiling can bring an appearance of space. And repairing outdated colors or broken existing tile is a quick way to clean up the look.

Bring out the Best in Your Whole Home

You don’t have to stop with a bathroom renovation. There are plenty of more ways to boost the value of your home or project. Check out our blog here for more tips on getting the most out of renovations.

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How to Choose a Good Plumbing Company for Your Home Renovations

Did you know the average homeowner will have to call a plumber once every three years? Lucky for you there are almost 500,000 plumbers in the United States. And if you’re a homeowner, you’ll need to find good plumbing that you can trust. Read on for our tips on how to find a reputable plumber near you!

1. Make Sure They Have a Good Plumbing License

Verify with potential plumbers that they have a valid and current license to do plumbing work. You can also verify the kind of insurance coverage they provide. Insurance will protect you financially in case of a problem. Plumbers that aren’t licensed or insured will likely offer less expensive services. But don’t be tempted to work with anyone based on price alone!

2. Read the Reviews

Did you know that a simple Google search for a specific company will not only provide you with a contact number and website but often a collection of Google reviews? On a scale from one (bad) to five (excellent) stars, clients can review the company’s website and leave insightful comments.

Once you’ve found a plumber you’re interested in using, do a Google search to determine what their past clients are saying about their work. However, keep in mind while reading reviews that people who had a negative experience are more likely to leave a review than those who had a positive one.

This means, generally speaking, there are more negative reviews than positive.

3. Get a Few Bids

Don’t hire the first plumber you talk to. Ask for a quote on the job you’re working, and then tell them you’ll be in contact within the next few days or the week. Ask another one or two companies to quote the job for you and then select the best option.

4. Do They Offer a Guarantee?

What’s the guarantee should parts malfunction or work not go as planned? Do they offer money back? Will they fix the problem free of charge? Reputable companies know that customer satisfaction is the priority, so choose a company that’s more interested in doing a quality job than a quick one.

5. Check Out Their Specialties

It’s important to make sure that your plumber specializes in the area you are considering working on. For kitchen remodels you’ll want someone experienced in the specific equipment and current trends. Ask potential plumbers how often they work on bathrooms, kitchens, laundry, etc.

You can even ask how many of those specific rooms they’ve done in the last year.I f the number they give you doesn’t breed confidence in their ability to do a good job, you can consider other options.

Remember This!

Now that you know how to find a good plumbing, you can make the right choice for you! Explore your options, do your research, and then make a selection. And visit our Home Improvement Feed for more tips on making your house a place to call home.

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Smooth Renovation: Keeping Your Kitchen Upgrade Successful

You might be planning a complete overhaul of your kitchen space, or just want to update some areas to modernize the look. It’s important to consider every step carefully, so there will be no expensive surprises along the way. The following are some helpful tips for those about to embark on a renovation project in their culinary space.

Keep It Functional

Your kitchen space is one of the most functional rooms within your home, apart from your bathroom. Therefore it’s of utmost importance that the way space is used is considered and that the layout is carefully planned out before any construction goes ahead. Try and think about how you move about the space when cooking, alongside what you will need and where it needs to go. If you’re not an industry expert, it’s always a smart idea to get professional advice from reputable contractors. Make sure that everything, from your ac Installation to your mosaic flooring, is carried out to a high standard so that the space keeps working for you.

Measure It Precisely

You might be dreaming of a huge stove and a gold chandelier; however, if they don’t fit properly it can be an expensive and long-winded process to return and repurchase items. It’s, therefore, important that every area of your kitchen is measured precisely so that you’re able to choose the best fridge or inbuilt oven for your kitchen accordingly. Even though something seems like an amazing deal at the time; impulse buying items for your new kitchen will cost you dearly, in the long run. So, save your cash until you’re sure it’s exactly what you need, and crucially; what will fit.

Light It Up

Lighting is another area of a kitchen that provides essential function; but don’t forget that lighting has a major impact on the ambiance and feel on an environment too. So, it’s worth investing some thought into what would best suit your space. Warm light gives a comforting feel, so these may be best around a dining area of the room and will ensure mealtimes are cozy affairs. Cool lighting is best for preparation areas. It’s important you’re able to see what you’re prepping as clearly as possible, especially in the kitchen where sharp objects and heat are often involved.

Give It Space

Planning your countertops may seem like an obvious part of remodeling your kitchen. However, it’s easy to forget to use the space as wisely as possibly. Aside from preparation areas next to the stove; you need to think about where you’re going to be regularly placing and storing items too. For example; either side of the sink is always a high traffic area when it comes to putting down dirty dishes, pots, and pans, so considering how much room you’ll need is essential. Try to make sure your counters overhang over your cupboards and drawers, as this will ensure anything that drips down will hit the floor first, rather than sliding all the way down the doors.

Remodeling and rebuilding your kitchen is a big task to take on for any household. So, make sure every part of the process has been planned thoroughly before any work begins. If you’re able to minimize mistakes of any kind, the whole process will be an enjoyable one, and the results will be a kitchen that will last for years to come.

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Purchasing Property Abroad – 5 Simple Steps To Secure Buying

When opting to purchase property abroad, for either personal or investing in a developing housing market, opportunity abounds. It’s likely this opportunity is the driving force for your interest abroad, or it may simply be your interest in that culture. Of course, purchasing property is a long-term investment, so it’s unlikely to be taken lightly. For this reason, it pays to know what you’re getting into. Not only are those firms you’re to interact with worthy of studying deeply, but it’s important to reflect into your reasons for choosing a particular market to invest in.

Like all investments, property can be risky. However, with a steadfast interest in gathering correct information and verifying the security of your trade, you’re going to sleep much better at night. There’s no reason why this decision won’t be successful, so long as you keep safety and sensibility in high regard.

Consider our five simple steps to secure buying abroad. This temperance of your own attitudes and a diligence in fact checking can help you make the best decisions possibly, hopefully leading you to a secure long-term return on investment:

Vet The Agency

When investing abroad, you’re likely going to encounter a holder of the property asset, perhaps a real estate firm, or even an investment firm or individual like you. Of course, there are a million different forms of collective that the property could belong to. You might be purchasing it from a static company, or even an individual who uses this as their home. What matters is that you choose to vet both the seller and the property agent through and through. Try to look online for information about past controversies perhaps, or basically anything that could influence the potential integrity of the investment.

Look through the contracts deeply, and ensure that every single asset stated within the bundle of the property sale is present and worthwhile. Of course, sending inspectors to both ensure the property is well maintained and represents the correct value suggested is imperative. Vetting the agency can potentially help you avoid a difficulty from cropping up.

Speaking To The Owner

It can be important to begin a social relationship of some kind with the person selling you this investment. This is most important if you’re purchasing a few properties, or a truly valuable asset. Having them show you around and conducting the lip services of standard business metering can help you enjoy the best and most confident level of purchasing. It can also lend you insight into the local area, a little into why they are selling, and potentially help you develop a relationship for future purchases. While property is stable and often a reliable investment, it’s always best to curate connections with a seller who may help you invest further in the future.

This can be especially useful when purchasing property abroad. The landscape can be a somewhat alien concept to you. With someone like this on your side, or at least someone to help you familiarize yourself with property law, you might enjoy an easier purchase. Although be sure to run all and any documents given to you through a local law firm you trust, as sometimes it can be easy to

Using Technology

Technology touches all manner of business these days, and investing in property is no different. When investing abroad, this can be a life saver, because verifying certain properties and deals can be done via blockchain. To get in-depth about why this is so useful, be sure to refer to this article about how blockchain is helping real estate investors make good on their investment, and minimize the risk. Put simply, blockchain can be utilized as a true means of securing the value of an investment, especially when investing or lending in quality mortgage-backed securities.

Familiarizing Yourself With The Market

It’s absolutely essential to familiarize yourself with the market before you invest in it, that much is obvious. But consider how the law works there in the complex variables you might consider relevant to your business function in future. For example, it might be that a tangled web of approval will need to take place if you’re to ever manage to expand on your properties through the art of renovation. This delay could cost you forecasted profits, or potentially nullify the renovation itself. Familiarizing yourself with the market is considered one of the most important considerations, because it can vary wildly from country to country. Sometimes, even council by council. Zoning laws may be very different, or have many different classifications. It might even be that the area you’re hoping to invest in has recently been declared an area of untouchable beauty, meaning that any work taking place there could be truly barred from taking place.

Do you hope to move to an office abroad, and this is the purchase hopefully precipitating your move? Have you checked to see if this space is even legally qualifiable as registering a place of business for? Of course, not every investment will be plagued with the issues we have brought up here. However, it is essential to consider how even one ill-researched or litigious web of error could prevent your plans from taking place.

Planning Projects

Before you even purchase the property, it might be worth dedicating the time to studying the floor plans, and figuring out what you hope to do with it. While heading abroad to research the property is essential, the costs involved with travel, planning, supplying and many other quirks of industry could take too long if you’re not prepared. Connect with suppliers in the area. Look for similar projects. Consider nearby developments and try to figure out what operational capacities they are working with. All of this can contribute to the planning of your project in the long term, giving you more room to grow.

With these tips, purchasing property abroad should always be secure and well-planned.  Check out this infographic where they go though buying a house for the first time, restrictive covenants and plumbing when living alone.

Lawsure-Infograpic-Final (1)

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Homeowner’s Guide: 5 Open House Tips That Will Get You More Offers

Open houses have a major impact on property sales. In fact, one recent survey revealed 67% of respondents said an open house had contributed to a sale, either directly or indirectly.

But if you want to have a flawless open house that leads to offers on your home, you need to get it looking top-notch. Here are 5 open house tips that will get you more offers without too much fuss.

1. Don’t Be Yourself!

This sounds like an odd one, but when it comes to a home, viewers want to see themselves in it — not the previous owners. Pack away any photographs and personal items, and clear away clutter to show your home off to its best.

Another option is to call in the experts and invest in home staging, so your home will look less like your castle, and more like the turnkey space buyers are looking for.

2. Leave it Spotless

Sure it’s a no-brainer, but when preparing for an open house your home has to be sparkling clean — no two ways about it. Clean it from top to bottom, looking out for cobwebs in hard-to-reach corners, and make sure your oven gleams.

You’ll also need to check for any signs of mold or mildew that could be lurking in unwanted places. Call a mold removal service to get your walls looking fresh and clean before your prospective buyers get a whiff.

3. Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space

The first thing buyers will see when they visit your home is your front yard and everything that goes with it. To that end, make sure you clear away any weeds, tidy your flower beds, and keep any parking areas clear and visible.

If your home is looking grubby or unkempt, consider jetwashing it, or investing in a repaint for maximum appeal.

4. Keep Pets Away

We love them and they’re part of the family, but our pets aren’t welcome at an open house. Buyers may be afraid or allergic, or simply want to focus on the pleasure of viewing your home.

To that end, one of our top open house tips for sellers is to see if you can find a friend or family member who’ll take your pets off your hands for a few hours. You’ll be glad you did once the offers start rolling in.

5. Zest Some Lemons or Bake a Key Lime Pie

No, we haven’t gone crazy! In a recent survey, researchers discovered that the subtle scent of citruses like oranges, lemons or limes could add thousands of dollars to the value of your home!

Sellers have long been using scents like coffee, freshly baked bread and brownies to persuade prospective buyers to take the plunge. But experimenters revealed that citrus wins the race by a country mile.

Open House Tips – the Takeaway

Open houses are a great marketing tool to get prospective buyers through the door, and your home off your hands. Use our open house tips to ensure you have the most successful open house possible.

Keep it spotless, remove all personal items, and make an excellent first impression with your outdoor space. And if you switch the odors of your furry friends for some fresh citrus scents, you’re sure to be signing on the dotted line in no time.

Are you ready to move to pastures new, but worried about how much it’ll cost you? Check out this article on 5 ways to save money when moving home.

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Rural Real Estate – Essential Considerations

There are lots of people out there who dream of living in the countryside. They believe that living out in a rural area brings a lot more benefits than living in towns or cities. For instance, there is a lot less air and noise pollution. The pace of life is a lot slower than in a busy city, and many people who live in rural areas suffer considerable less stress as a result. You will also be closer to many outdoor pursuits, such as hiking and mountain biking. Because of this, many families believe that a life in the country will be a big advantage to their kids.

But is the grass always greener out in the countryside? Well, this is what you need to weigh up when it comes to buying a house in a rural location. Here are a few pointers that can help you decide whether rural real estate really is the best option for you.

Why Are You Going Rural?

Of course, the first thing you need to do is consider why you want to move to the country in the first place. It’s worth writing down the pros and cons of doing so. This can then show you whether the move will have a positive or negative impact on your family. Remember that simply being tired of the busy city probably isn’t a good enough reason to move. You need to list your priorities along with all the pros and cons. All of this information in front of you should show you whether it’s a good decision or not.

Think About The Type Of Community You Want To Live In

There are a lot of different communities in rural regions. From farming towns to areas of mainly lake homes, there is certainly a good choice. So, you just need to narrow down all of these different options to figure out where you want to live. If you still want to be close to neighbors and be part of a community, then a village might be best. However, if you do want to get away from it all, then you might be happier in a remote location. But that could bring its own set of problems. After all, you might need to drive a long time to get to work and the closes amenities.

Hunt For Neighborhood Insight

Whenever you move to a new area, it is important to research the neighborhoods. This will then give you a good idea about which is the best one for your family. The research will also highlight any areas that have a high crime problem. You’ll then know not to look for any real estate in those, as it could put your family in danger. However, you might struggle to find any of this information when looking at a rural area or neighborhood. That’s because there is little information available online about them. The best way to find out about rural neighborhoods is to quiz real estate agents. The ones showing you around potential houses should have a good general knowledge of the area.

Consider Commute Times

Most people who buy country real estate will have it as a second home. Some will buy it to retire into. If you are planning on still working, though, you need to think how your new location will affect your job. If you are staying at your current company, you might face a long commute. If you want to find a new job, you need to remember that there are fewer open positions in the countryside. So, be sure to have a work plan in place before you decide to move out to the country.

New Builds May Be Hard To Find

If you would like to buy a new build, then perhaps moving to a rural location isn’t your best option. That is because there are very few new-build properties anywhere other than in cities and towns. There just isn’t a demand for them in the countryside. Plus, it can be difficult to get planning permission to build new homes in areas of natural beauty. So, if you are determined to move to the countryside, you might need to change your idea of the best property. Instead of going for a new build, you might have to stick with a period property. Don’t worry, though; period properties don’t always turn into investment nightmares. In fact, if you put in the time and effort to renovate the property, then you could get some big returns on your initial investment.

Check The Water System

Whenever you do look at a house in the country, you should ask the estate agent about the water system. That’s so you don’t end up with a nasty surprise when you move in! Some country homes still source their water from a natural spring or well. Obviously, if you move in without realizing this, it could become a big headache for you! That’s because the property will probably have a septic tank in place. This tank will require a lot of regular inspections. Over time, it will require a lot of effort to maintain it, and you will also be responsible to pay for any repairs to it. Generally speaking, it’s often easier to just buy a house that is connected to the mains water supply.

There Could Be A Tax Break

One of the biggest advantages of buying rural real estate is that you could receive a tax break. This largely depends on where exactly you want to move to. If you buy a property with lots of land, it will also depend on how you use it. If this sounds like the kind of real estate that you want, you should look for one with existing agriculture exemptions in place. This could then cut your tax bill by around $1000 dollars each year. That’s a huge saving that shouldn’t be sniffed at!

So, do you still think that you will still invest in some rural real estate?

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Top Trends in Kitchen Remodeling

In the past, people used to hide kitchens in the back because they considered them places for washing dirty dishes and cooking food. However, kitchens play a bigger role than that in 2018. The kitchen is a room that brings the whole family together at the start of the day or after a long day away from each other.

With advice from kitchen experts like the one who do full kitchen remodeling in Los Angeles for instance, here are the top trends in remodeling:

Streamlined Textures, Designs, and Materials

Although styles such as mid-century modern and farmhouse are still popular, people are opting for textures, designs, and materials that are more streamlined. Because homeowners like to come home to stress-free environments, they want simplicity to drown out the daily stresses of life.

You can make your kitchen look brighter and bigger by uninstalling the upper wall cabinets. Doing so allows you to use your countertop in a more productive manner. Moreover, most people are not able to reach the top cabinets, making them inconvenient.

When streamlining your kitchen, you should consider texture and material to make your space less boring. For instance, if you are installing open shelves, you can opt for materials such as metal tubing if you want an industrial feel or rough wood for a natural look. To create the perfect focal point, you should consider stacked, beveled, or sculpted natural stone tiles.

Smart Kitchen

Kitchen technology has come a long way – not just in the form of appliances and fancy gadgets. Nowadays, you can integrate technology into every aspect of the kitchen: from the lighting to the faucets. You can build a smart kitchen from the ground up or just integrate smart devices into your apartment for a smart look.

You can install motion-sensing faucets that will detect the presence of hands beneath and turn on automatically. You can also buy a smart fridge that will alert you when you are running low on groceries. There is a gadget that will monitor your eggs and let you know the ones that are almost going bad. Do not forget to update your lights if you want to be able to control them from your tablet or smartphone.

Hardwood Floors and Ceramic Tiles

Hardwood floors are still the most popular choice for kitchens. However, ceramic tiles are the second most popular choice for kitchens. Thanks to the advancement in technology, ceramic tiles now come in a variety of sizes and styles.

If you prefer hardwood floors, you can buy ceramic tiles that look just like hardwood flooring. This allows you to keep the hardwood look with a material that is easier to clean and maintain. You can also choose ceramic tiles that mimic stone depending on the look that you want. The surface texture of ceramic tiles can also mimic most flooring materials.

When it comes to size, you do not have to choose traditional sizes. You also have more choices thanks to the wide variety of large format tiles. For instance, you can opt for single plank tiles that will look just like hardwood floor planks.

White, Gray, and Dark-colored Cabinets

Although white is the clear frontrunner when it comes to cabinet colors, gray and dark are not far behind. People prefer the color white because it has a clean look that declutters any space. To break up the all-white cabinet look, you can choose wood stains and different colors for your island.

Gray is a great color for cabinets because it offers versatility. It also pairs well with natural elements as well as glamour accents. Emerald green, navy, black, and plum colors are slowly making their way into the kitchen. Dark kitchen cabinets can work well to enhance the luxurious feel of a kitchen because they represent full-on elegance.

Quartz is King

Quartz is still king when it comes to countertops. Whether you live in your own home or apartments such as The Urban Avenue, chances are that you have quartz countertops. When this material first came into the market, the main worry was lack of variety. However, thanks to technology, manufacturers are now making realistic stone patterns and offering more colors.

People are opting for neutral and softer colors such as cream, white, taupe, and gray. When it comes to pattern preferences, homeowners prefer veining to particulates.

Veining goes well with the clean, simple look that most homeowners like.

Composite sinks are also quite popular because they share the same material with the countertop. Such sinks allow for a uniform look that is much cleaner.


The biggest trend for 2018 is gray-colored appliances that come with a dark-brushed metal finish. Because stainless steel appliances have been dominating the market for a while, this different finish is a welcome change. You can also opt for different colors such as red and blue when choosing appliances.

Homeowners are more willing than ever to experiment with different tones in the kitchen. The must-have kitchen appliances are also changing with most people opting for induction stoves and separate wall ovens to save space. However, this trend can be more expensive compared to the typical standalone cooker that takes up more space.

In the oven world, there are some changes happening too. More homeowners are opting for steam ovens, which cook faster and retain the flavor of food better than normal ovens. Do you have space limitations? You can opt for French Door wall ovens that allow you to save on space, come with Bluetooth, and add style to your kitchen.

Bluetooth can help you to control the functions of your oven remotely from your tablet or smartphone.


These are the latest trends in kitchen remodeling. The above ideas will help you to combine aesthetics and functionality in your kitchen for the ultimate space. If you do not know where to begin with these renovations, you should start with the cheapest and simplest ones first. Once you do that, you will know the next step to take to make your kitchen look better than ever.

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Can You Make Money Refurbishing A Derelict Property?

Property investors are always looking for new ways to make money. New locations, styles of housing, and financing options all play a part. But sometimes it’s better to take the plunge and commit to refurbishing a derelict property because of the money-making potential.

Financing can be difficult, of course, but these days there are some options, including so-called refurbishment mortgages, bridging loans, and buy-to-let loans. Property investors have options – it’s just a question of whether they can execute on a plan and take home a profit.

Get A Survey Done

You might think that getting a survey is optional for a derelict property; after all, you already know that it’s in a state of disrepair. However, investors need to see the level of disrepair in order to offer a suitable price for the property. In some situations, a property appears to be derelict because the paint is falling off or there are a couple of loose tiles, but fundamentally the building is sound. These properties, if going cheap, can actually be a bit of a bargain.

Other times, you’ll need to do expensive things, like repair the foundation or replace a supporting wall. Surveys will reveal these problems ahead of time so that you can arrive at a sensible offer. Remember, houses with serious issues are not a definite no-no, they just need to be priced reasonably.

Look For Easy Renovations

Smart investors know that one of the best ways to add value to a derelict home is to knock through and create an open plan living space. You see this kind of thing all the time in barn conversions. Find the locations of supporting walls and then take a look at the floor plan to see whether there is any scope for merging kitchen, lounge and dining areas. Also, check the bedrooms to see whether you can work in a new bedroom set or any areas would allow for an ensuite bathroom.

Check All Hidden Costs

Once you’ve generated some initial ideas for how you want to renovate a property, the next step is to get in touch with an architect and negotiate an hourly rate. Remember, though, that when planning building modifications, there are additional costs, besides the cost of the architect. You’ll have to submit your plans to the local authority, which can cost a substantial amount of money. And you’ll need to get the planning office to sign off your idea, who will also charge a fee. All these costs can eat into your overall return, so you’ll need to consider them ahead of making any renovations.

Always Plan For Contingencies

If you’re a seasoned property investor, you’ll know that renovations usually cost more than anticipated. Much more. Try to set aside around 10 to 15 per cent of your overall budget in a rainy day fund. Almost always, you’ll encounter additional problems as you carry out work. A boiler may need relocating, or you might discover mold or damp not unearthed in the survey. All of these problems will increase costs substantially.

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