single storey house in Cambridge

Moving Home as an Elderly Person – What to Consider

Moving home at any age can be stressful as well as exciting but for elderly people there can be added complications and things to think about.

Many older people decide to move home mainly for practical reasons. Perhaps their current home is too big and becoming unmanageable if for instance the person is struggling with reduced mobility. Or maybe they need to move closer to family and friends in order to access care and support. Other reasons can be financial such as the need to raise funds for future care needs. Decisions could include what type of new home do you need and how much space?

One thing many elderly people worry about is having to go into residential care if they become too infirm to manage but research has shown that some 97% of people in the UK express a wish to remain in their own homes throughout their senior years. Let’s briefly take a look at on how you can achieve this and still access elderly care if needed.

De-clutter but keep the memories

One of the hardest things about moving home – and especially to a smaller home – is having to discard possessions and family mementos from your present home, which is probably full of memories . The prospect of throwing away precious belongings can for some people be a reason to put off a house move altogether. Even though moving would be beneficial to health and wellbeing. But decluttering and reducing the amount of possessions doesn’t mean discarding everything you hold dear. Instead it’s a chance to focus on keeping the truly meaningful possessions.

For this reason it is important to get family members and friends on board to help and support you throughout this process. After all it’s a stressful time in your life. Ask family and friends to help you sort through belongings and paperwork to decide what to keep. This can help to deal with the  emotional impact and stress of decluttering in preparation for moving.


Moving with one eye on the future

If you are downsizing then the chances are you will be able to manage a smaller home without any additional help (although  a gardener and/or cleaner can really help ease the maintenance burden). However, as everyone ages there is always the concern that there will come a time when you can’t manage to look after yourself and need more help in the home and maybe also personal care. Fortunately, there are some excellent home care companies that can provide home care services where a professional carer comes into your home on a regular basis in order to help you continue to live in your own homes.

But what about if your care needs could not be met by regular home care visits ?

As the vast majority of people want to stay in their own home in their later years a very important consideration when down-sizing is to consider whether you would still have room for a live-in carer should the need arise. A live-in carer provides 24/7 care in your own home so is a perfect alternative for so many of us who don’t want to move in to a care home. However, when you have live-in care it is essential that the new home has a good-sized spare room which could be the carer’s private space. They will need their own personal space in order to best carry out their tasks as professionally as possible.


Get Specialist Help

Moving someone from a home where they may have lived for many years can require the services of a company that specialises in helping elderly people relocate. If family and friends are unable to help then having someone who understands about the stresses and strains felt by older people leaving a much loved home can help the whole thing go as smoothly as possible. A specialist mover can understand and appreciate the memories and emotions tied up in precious belongings and furniture. Anything which offers support throughout the experience is important to help them feel they’re doing the right thing.

Top Home Improvements That Add Value

When it comes to home improvements, you might not be aware of how helpful even the simplest ones can be when it comes to increasing the value of your property. Even small things like superficial repairs and new windows can make a world of difference to the value you will be quoted when selling your home. Of course, it’s not always easy to undertake this kind of task, and so it is important to carefully consider it before you go ahead. However, before you make any decisions, make sure you read our list of the top home improvements that add value to your home. You might find a few that you can do easily.


Preparing to Sell Your House

Getting ready to sell your home is no easy task. There are solicitors to talk to, viewings to arrange, and a range of hoops that you need to jump through. However, these things can wait. The first thing you need to do before you go through the main phases of selling your home, is to ensure that it is in prime condition. After all, no one wants a house that is falling apart or looks a little run down. Make home improvements your priority, and you will see a sharp increase in the market value for your home.


Improvements You Should Make

#1 Structural Repairs

These are incredibly important, and they need to be dealt with. You can’t just cover these up either. It might fool the person who is viewing the home, but it won’t get past the surveyor. Structural damage can take a lot off your asking price, and lead to you getting a lot less than you bargained for. No one wants to move into a house that is suffering from structural damage, and it is only right to make sure this is fixed before it goes on the market. Here are some examples:

  • a sagging or leaking roof
  • rising damp
  • structural cracks to walls
  • bowing walls
  • rotten joists or roof timbers
  • insect infestation
  • missing or broken roof tiles
  • an unstable chimney stack
  • a collapsed floor/slab

While these tend to be some of the most expensive repairs you are likely to make, it is well worth it when you consider how much can be taken off the value of your home if they are left as they are. Of course, you can always consult a few builders and surveyors to ensure that it is structural work and not cosmetic.

This kind of repair work can take quite a lot of time to complete. As a result, it is important that you identify the issues early on and get them sorted right away. The faster the work is complete, the sooner you can have your house on the market.


#2 Superficial Defects

Superficial defects don’t really detract from the overall value of the home. However, before you dismiss them, there is an important point to make. While they don’t affect the value, they do affect the level of interest from buyers and, therefore, sales. People who are viewing your home will be less likely to buy if there see superficial defects. People want to imagine themselves living in a lovely and pristine home, not one that is falling apart. Here are some of the main defects, many of which you can fix yourself if you have the time:

  • squeaking or sticking doors and windows (tip: WD-40 or 3-in-1 oil will usually sort these problems out)
  • mouldy grout in tiled areas (tip: bleach and a small brush work wonders)
  • peeling paint (tip: try one of the economical, eco-friendly paints from Graphenstone to touch up paintwork)
  • bad smells (tip: mix 250g of soda crystals with 500 ml hot water and pour down sinks to clear blockages. Better still, soda crystals are environmentally friendly because they don’t contain enzymes or phosphates and are biodegradable. )
  • loose tiles (see this advice on how to repair tiles)
  • door latches that don’t work
  • mouldy sealants in kitchen and bathroom
  • dripping taps
  • broken or damaged windows
  • squeaky floors and stairs
  • cracks in ceilings and plasterwork
  • lifting flooring


loft room

#3 Loft Conversions

Loft conversions are incredibly popular. They add a lot more space, and that means additional value. You can create a whole new bedroom in the loft, or a home office. Of course, before you go ahead with this, you first need to make sure you have room for the staircase on the floor below. Without an ample staircase, there is little point in the project.

Next, you need to receive planning permission for certain aspects of the conversion of your loft. You must also ensure that the work carried out meets all building regulations and is built using the correct timbers. This is something you can discuss with the builders you talk to, as different roof timbers cost different amounts. Building regulations also mean that you need to ensure it is very well insulated, as well as meeting a range of other criteria.

Dormer windows and skylights are great for allowing natural light into the room. When it comes to planning permission for loft conversions, it tends to only be the dormer windows that require the permission. The rest is free of planning permission, unless of course, it is a listed building. That requires you to contact your local council for further information.


#4 New Windows

Replacing the windows can do a world of good for adding value to your property. Doubled glazed and PVCu are the things that will help to add value, especially on the lower end of the market where it is considered essential. They are a very secure form of window, are energy efficient, and they require very little maintenance – making them more than ideal.

However, higher value properties may not benefit from an increase in value with windows like these. For these properties, aesthetics is a bigger issue, and PVCu windows can really detract from this. As long as they are intact and in good condition, leave the original period windows. If you need to replace them, try to find a wooden framed window, or ones that are very similar to what you have currently installed.

Make sure all new windows are double glazed, unless a conservation area or listed building regulation declares otherwise. It is essential to check these things before you replace windows, as plastic windows are not acceptable for many conservation areas or listed buildings. Timber doesn’t always mean high maintenance either, so make sure potential buyers know that.


#5 Remodel the Space

Take a look at the existing space in your home. Can you remodel it? Are there alterations that can be made to improve it? This work doesn’t have to be expensive but make sure you always contact a structural engineer and a surveyor before you go ahead with any changes to your home.

Think about the potential of combining rooms, like the kitchen and dining room, or removing hallways that aren’t needed or aren’t practical. Fewer rooms with better natural lighting will sell better than more rooms with a lack of natural light. These are important aspects to consider, and should be taken into account.

Also remember, whatever work you decide to undertake, that it’s important to use breathable building materials (especially on period homes) that don’t trap moisture.  Environmentally friendly products are available that are airtight  but also control vapour making your home energy efficient but also healthier.

Finally, make sure you have any necessary permission to make these alterations before your start.


#6 New or Repaired Kitchen

The kitchen is often the heart of a house, and a kitchen that looks well-kept and maintained is one that will sell. It should appear hygienic, newly painted, and fresh out of the catalogue. If your kitchen cannot be saved by a lick of paint and some new cabinet handles, consider having the whole thing replaced.

If you go for the replacement option, it also opens up new possibilities. Having the kitchen ripped out gives you freedom for remodelling and restructuring the room, allowing you to move it around as you please. Play with the layout, think about what works best, and implement it into your home.

Before you decide to throw your kitchen out, make sure you check to see if any parts can be salvaged. If you are DIY savvy, you could save yourself a lot of extra cash by making repairs and improvements yourself. Of course, if you are purchasing new appliances, you may need a little professional guidance.

Make sure the room is well-lit as well. The lights should be central and bright, highlighting this room out of all the ones in your home. Make sure the floor looks clean and new, steam clean the grout if you need to, just as long as it looks fresh and hygienic. People want cleanliness, and you need to deliver that.


remodelled bathroom


#7 Remodel the Bathroom

Just like the kitchen, the bathroom also needs careful care and attention. It should look clean, new, and completely hygienic. It should be painted in a neutral shade, such as an off-white, to make the room brighter and more spacious to be in. Ensure that there is good lighting as well, highlighting the room.

At least one bathroom should have a shower, as this is a big selling point for most potential buyers. Electric showers are also rather popular if this is an option for you. If your bathroom is chipped and damaged, or an unfashionable colour (essentially anything except white), you should replace it.

If your bathroom is carpeted, you need to remove it and replace it with tile or a similar flooring. Carpet is not acceptable for a bathroom in a home you are trying to sell, and it should be replaced with something that is easy to clean, and that does not store bacteria.


#8 Extending the Home

An extension is also a fantastic option for increasing the overall value of your home. Of course, it can also depend on the location of the extension and its size. It is best to go through your options with a builder and an estate agent so that you understand how much extra your home would be worth.

An extension can add additional bedrooms and create new spaces that are larger and more accessible. You can knock down walls, create new ones, and generally recreate the layout of your home. This can be great for adding value to your property and can make your home more accessible to a wider range of buyers.

Of course, the important thing to do is ensure that you apply for planning permission first and receive it if you want to extend. You must also make sure you follow all building regulations, especially as it is not uncommon for the council to visit you during the project. Always make sure you maintain a good bathroom to bedroom ratio as well.


#9 Fix the Garden

No one likes a dying garden. Take some time to take care of your plants and lawn, make sure that they are green and full of life before you put your house on the market. If you have decking or a patio, these should be washed and scrubbed so that they look spotless.

Privacy is also a big selling factor. People like gardens that are secluded, with hedges and high fences to block the neighbours out. A garden should be a place for peace and tranquillity, and making it as private as possible will help to promote those feelings when people are viewing the house.

Areas should be created in the garden. A place for storage, such as a shed, a place for eating, and a place for cooking. Make these sections clear, without ruining the overall aesthetic of the garden. This helps the buyer to see what the garden could be for them, extending their overall perception.


kerb appeal


#10 Kerb Appeal

The one thing you don’t want from potential buyers is a negative first impression. The kerbside appeal of a house can make or break a sale before a viewing has even started. The front garden is, of course, essential, but there are a few other tips you can follow for a better exterior:

  • repointing brickwork
  • repainting doors and windows
  • replacing an old garage door
  • changing/repairing windows
  • repainting walls
  • repairing cracked or broken cladding such as render or timber
  • removing stone cladding
  • adding a porch
  • adding climbing plants/trellis
  • replacing/adding a house sign or number
  • or even renaming the property


#11 Build a Conservatory

You would be surprised by how much a conservatory can add to the value of a home, and also how sought after they tend to be. If it works well with the layout, you are looking at an excellent increase in value, whereas a poorly constructed one could backfire completely. As a result, always make sure they are professionally constructed to avoid disappointment.

Always ensure the conservatory faces south. That way, it will always have heat. A north facing conservatory will be a disaster and quite chilly in comparison. They will also help to devalue your home. So remember to always go south, and also to ensure that the materials used (glass and flooring) are energy efficient to make them even more desirable.

Most conservatories will not require planning permission, so check with your local council and planning office. However, they will need to stick to standard building regulations, and this is something you must make sure is enforced throughout.


#12 Renew the Lease

A property with a declining lease will start to lose its value once it reaches under 60 years. Once the lease on a property falls below 30 years, it can be very tricky to get a mortgage. If the landlord does not live on the premises, then it may be possible for you to purchase the freehold or share the freehold – granting yourself a new lease and restoring value to your property. Taking control also means that you are in better control of the ground rent and service charges, as well as management of repairs and common areas.


#13 Off Street Parking

Creating off-street parking can do a world of good for the value of your property, especially in urban areas where street parking is restricted. If you can’t create a garage, a driveway that takes one or two cars is more than acceptable. A well-designed and low maintenance drive are far more attractive to buyers than a front garden they will never use.

You don’t always need planning permission to create a driveway, but there are a number of rules and regulations that need to be followed if you want to create a drive. The best thing to do is consult your local council before you begin work, so you know that you are in complete compliance.

#14 Add Bathrooms

Additional bathrooms are actually a very valuable asset. An ensuite to the master bedroom is even more of a benefit if you are looking to install new bathrooms. People like the privacy that comes with an ensuite, especially in family homes. There should be a WC on each floor that contains bedrooms, and a general ratio of one bathroom to every three bedrooms, plus an ensuite.

Moving a bathroom upstairs from downstairs can also help to increase property value, but you should be warned that you may lose a bedroom in the process. Make sure there is a shower in at least one of the bathrooms, as this is a desirable feature. A bathroom upstairs and a WC downstairs is often a good way to go if possible.


#15 Update the Plumbing and Electricity

You should always make sure that your wiring and plumbing is up to date and completely modern. Old systems and wiring can take a good chunk off the value of your home, so it is worth ensuring that everything is up to date.

If it has been a long time since the house was rewired and you have an old fuse box, it might be time to consider some electrical work around the home. This is not always expensive, but it does help with the overall value. Adding extra sockets can also be very beneficial, as people need them and they allow for more electrical freedom around the home. The same goes for an extraction fan in the kitchen and a dehumidifier in the bathroom. Little things go a long way.

Old plumbing can lead to burst pipes and issues with clogging, as well as loud noises that disturb you in the night. A new and updated system will run better and create no noise, which is ideal for those who are moving into your home. If you consult a plumber, they can talk through the best systems and deals for you.


To Conclude

Hopefully, this guide has been able to guide you when it comes to the top home improvements for adding value to your home. There is a lot to consider, and many different paths you can take. A good idea before you get started on the first steps towards moving house is to consult a few local estate agents. Ask them what they think the current value of your home is, and what it would be with the improvements you are thinking of. This gives you a good idea as to whether or not it is worth it. Take some time to think and plan, then see how much more you home could be worth.

working from home

How to Start a Home-Based Business While Relocating

Starting a business is a challenge. Moving while starting a business makes it doubly challenging. However, with the right attitude and some planning, it can be done. You’ll need to decide what kind of business you’ll run and where you’ll have your headquarters. If it’s a home-based business, assess if you have the space you need or if you need some extra storage. If your current location doesn’t work, you need to buy and move into a new home. Here are some tips from Moving House to help make your move a success.

Make a Plan and Get Started

A journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step, and a successful business starts with a primary business plan. You’ll want to write a plan and make sure it covers some important details, including:

  • Type of business. Are you selling products or services?
  • The offering. What are you selling, and how does it set you apart from the competition?
  • Customers. Where will you get paying customers or clients?
  • Funding. Financing can come from loans from banks, savings, friends, and family.
  • Supplies. Where will you get materials and inventory?
  • Legalities. Consider the structure of your organisation, such as sole proprietorship or limited company, and licenc

If you have a product or service in mind, you can research how you’re going to get started in between house shopping.

Find and Purchase a Home in the Perfect Location

To start a home-based business, you’ll need to find a house that can be suitable as your dream home and in a good location for your business. That could mean a home with a larger home office, more storage, and a proper setting for meeting clients if necessary.

An estate agent can help you to find the right property. Once you find that perfect place, an agent can work with you to find a mortgage and compare different lenders and lending options.

A conventional mortgage may be the best option because:

  • It’s low cost. There may be fewer fees and smaller down payments compared to other loans.
  • It has multiple options for down payments. In some cases, houses can be purchased with a small down payment.
  • Rates can be adjustable or fixed. Options include fixed rate or variable rate, such as an ARM. Research what is the current interest rate of available mortgages to find a loan that works for you.
  • Mortgage insurance can be avoided. If you put down 20%, you won’t have to pay mortgage insurance.

Make an effort to set aside time every day for business, then work with your estate agent to finalise the home purchase.

Keeping track of the various documents for one’s business in addition to the paperwork for a move can be challenging. Fortunately, keeping digital records has never been easier—just follow these 4 steps to convert multiple pages into a single PDF. This means you can create PDFs that contain all relevant documents in a single file. Having a single reference point can be quite helpful when tracking various documents.

Set Up Your New Home Office

Once you’ve made the move, you’ll need a place to get work done. For that you’ll need:

As soon as you unpack your computer, you can get to work even if you’re not fully unpacked.

Finish the Move and Get Down to Business

As far as handling the logistics of the relocation itself, you’ll want to minimise the stress and hassle as much as you can, so you can concentrate on the important things, such as managing and growing your new business. For more information and resources to help you have a smooth and successful move, visit Moving House today!



sell your home fast

6 Secrets to Sell Your Home Fast

If you have finally decided it is time to sell your house, you are already ahead of the game. In London, timing the market and making the decision to sell a house is often one of the hardest decisions for people.

If you have sold a property before, you must be aware of how things work in the property market. When you decide you want to sell your house, it is time to start interviewing estate agents, staging your house to attract prospective buyers, and take listing photos.

However, with a new era of technology, a changing, and slightly uncertain property market, it is important for sellers to take note of the top tips or secrets to sell your home instantly.

1.   Hire the Right Estate Agents

When you consult the right estate agent, for example, experts at Fish Need Water, they should be able to guide you about the ins and outs of the property market, right down to your neighborhood, as well as your block. They should have the right amount of knowledge about the families buying near you and the present value of your home. A good agent might be able to recommend ways on how you can stage your home to attract buyers, where to look for London storage and more tips to highlight your home.

2.   Consider Latest Gadgets

Sellers are turning to all new ways of showing off their home’s best features. This means that hiring a professional photographer might not be enough for you. Experts in the estate market suggest homeowners should create 3D virtual reality tour to make their house stand out in the competitive market. An increasing trend this year is drone photography too.

3.   Emphasise Those Listing Photos

When it is time to advertise your home, you need to have it well represented in the listing photos. Many estate agents these days recommend that you should work on a few renovations to highlight the appearance of your home. Your home has to stand out, so you can work on tile enhancements, repaint or fix new lights along the front deck.

4.   Freshen Up Your Home Space

One of the most inexpensive ways to make your home smell and look newer is through a coat of fresh paint. When you go to an estate agency, usually the agents would guide you to work on a repainting project. Why is this so? The truth is that when a place shows really well, buyers try to visualize themselves in the home space. This way, you can also increase your chances to sell faster.

Another trick is to declutter your space – especially removing personal items like photos, artworks etc. If you have nospace tostore those things in your home then rent a cheap self storage unit for a month or two.

5.   Try To Go Social

When your home finally goes into the records of an estate agency, make sure that your agent highlights your home on places where buyers often search – online! These days, people turn to social media sites to search for recent updates and everything new and happening in their city or area. Ask your agent where your home’s listing would appear online and make sure they take advantage of marketing capabilities on social channels.

6.   List Your Home at the Right Price

You have to consult an estate agent and carry out research of your own to know the market value of your property. This will help you to price the property right up front and it will usually sell for more money. A concern for most property owners to avoid being a part of the price drop game. To sell your home faster and for more, you need to price it correctly.

Bonus Tip: Don’t Scoff at the First Offer

A small bit of uncertainty is clouding the predictions of the current market, and when uncertainty appears, it is a smart decision for sellers to take the first offer they get or end up taking the risk of losing big. Sellers can no longer dictate their terms as the market is shifting towards a buyer’s market. Do not scoff at the first offer; it is best to take it. After all, something is better than nothing at all.

Keeping these tips in mind when selling your home could help you to sell faster. Although it may seem like a difficult choice to make in the end, when you consult the right estate agent in any area in London, you can rest assured you will be able to sell your home at the right price and the right time. Just take your time to explore your options, interview a few estate agents, go through their portfolio, and the prospective buyers they have for you. Try to set a price quote that fits within the present property market, and when you finally feel that you have the right buyer in line, you can go ahead and sell your home.

extending your home

Extending Your Home: The Pros and Cons

At some point, you might at least consider the prospect of extending your home. It can be a great way to add some much-needed additional space, but it can also add value to your property if you do it right. As with anything, extensions come with a list of pros and cons that need to be carefully considered before you make the commitment and decide to extend. In this article, we look at some of the main advantages and disadvantages, helping you to decide whether or not an extension is the right path for you.


Sell or Extend?

The most common question people ask themselves before they even look into extensions is whether or not they should sell or extend. After all, moving house can provide a lot of adventure, but it can also wind up being a very expensive affair. Similarly, while extending your home tends to be a cheaper route for many and can add value to your home, the costs can add up to more than your expected.

The main thing you have to ask yourself is whether or not you need to move. Do you want more space? Will an extension provide you with that space? Is the reason you are looking to move due to no longer enjoying where you live? These are essential questions, and they need firm answers before you can make any decisions regarding extending your home or not.


Why Extend Your Home?

People like to extend their homes for a number of reasons. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Need additional space
  • Have family members coming to live with them eg. to help with live-in care
  • Want to add value to their property
  • Don’t want to move from their current neighbourhood
  • Don’t want the stress that comes with moving house
  • Like the neighbourhood they are in and don’t want to move

If you are still undecided with regards to whether or not you should extend your home, continue reading this guide. Below, we explore some of the biggest pros and cons when it comes to extensions – helping you to make a more informed choice.

modern extension

The Pros of Extending Your Home

#1 Can be Cheaper Than Buying a New Home

Purchasing a new home can end up being very expensive. Of course, you have the cost of the house itself, but you also have the additional fees that you need to pay in order to buy your next house. These are things like stamp duty and conveyancer/solicitor fees – all of which can add up to be a few thousand pounds by the time you are done. And, of course, you have to sell your existing home first, which isn’t always easy depending on economic conditions at the time.

An extension will usually cost a fraction of what you would end up spending purchasing a new home. Of course, the price of an extension can vary greatly, as it depends on the size, shape, and general layout of the additional space that you wish to have constructed. Prices can start as low as £1,500, and range far beyond the £50,000 mark.

So, if you are looking for a way to create new space in your home, but you also want to save money, an extension is an excellent option. Plus, it means you don’ have to leave your current neighbourhood – which is especially great if you have become a little attached to it.


#2 Certain Extensions Increase Home Value

It is true that some extension can increase the value of your home. The first of these is a conservatory. This is seen as a very desirable addition to any home, as it provides a place to relax with friends and family during the summer months, as well as the winter. For this reason, orangeries are also a popular choice. These are similar to conservatories, but are made with brick as well as glass.

If you are adding additional rooms to your home, it is important to make sure that you add bathrooms where necessary. For example, if you are adding new bedrooms upstairs, a family bathroom and an ensuite are very desirable. Similarly, having a bathroom upstairs and downstairs will certainly add a little more value to your home.


An office or study can also add some value, especially for those who are self-employed and work from home. Having it listed as an option when you go to sell your home can be very beneficial, and may also increase the amount of interest in your home.

Loft conversions are also a good choice to make if you are looking to increase the amount of space you have, but also add some value to your home. It allows the buyers to use it as a bedroom, study, or other room when they buy it, making it a versatile choice of extension. These are becoming increasingly popular, and so it is important to make sure that you have the conversion done professionally.


#3 Less Stress and Hassle Than Moving Home (Usually)

When you move house, it comes with a great deal of stress and hassle. After all, there is a lot to organise, a good deal to pay for, and the waiting period can be stressful at best. A solicitor and conveyancer will deal with the paperwork for you, yes, but you still have to pay them once this is done.

On top of that, you also need to pay stamp duty, and you must also higher someone to survey your new home to ensure that it is not damaged in any way. All of this together will end up costing thousands of pounds. Plus, you have to factor in the additional costs to repair damage to your home before you sell it – even the small cosmetic items.

Aside from the cost, you also have the stress of the sale. Until the contracts are signed, and the exchange finalised, the whole thing could fall through at any time – especially if you are part of a buying chain. If the chain collapses, your sale falls through, as does your purchase. If this happens, you still have to pay all of your legal fees, which will leave you out of pocket.

The moving process can also be stressful, as you need to move all of your possessions from one home to another, which requires hiring and using a moving van, and sometimes you need London storage. Plus, you need to make sure you have the manpower to lift all of your heavy items into the new house. Aside from hassle, this also adds additional costs.


#4 Allows You to Stay in an Area You Like

One of the top reasons people choose to extend their home is that it allows them to stay in an area that they know and love. When you move house, you never really know what kind of area you are going to end up in, nor do you know what your neighbours will be like. Even if you do a lot of research, you know nothing until you arrive.

If you like the town, city, or village that you live in, then you may not want to move away from it. Many people form close friendships with the local people, and not everyone wants to leave that kind of atmosphere or routine. As a result, extending your home can be the better option. It means that you can expand your living space and play around with the layout, all without the hassle of moving.


The Cons of Extending Your Home

#1 Garage Conversions Can Decrease the Value of Your Home

If you convert your garage, it can add a lot of extra space to your home. This may seem great, but it can actually cause the value of your house to decrease. If you convert the garage, but leave nowhere to park, people will often be dissuaded from putting an offer on your home. After all, many people prefer to leave their car in a locked garage, and some garage conversions mean that you have to park on the road.

You need to consider the balance in your home as well when you go to extend. An unbalanced layout will cause the value of your property to decrease. A lack of bathrooms can be a big minus, as can extending the living room instead of converting loft space. Similarly, a lack of bedrooms and a tiny kitchen are very unattractive to families who are looking to buy a home.

The best thing you can do is talk to your estate agent before you put your home on the market. Ask them what they think, and also which extensions are popular and which will add the most value to your home. Speaking with an expert in the field is your best bet.


#2 Limited Space

One of the biggest pitfalls when it comes to extending your home is the fact that you are, ultimately, limited by the amount of land that you possess. Of course, if you own many acres, this might not be an issue, but for many, the available land is small. This means that while you may be able to extend your home, you could end with little to no garden (which will devalue your home), or you might not be able to extend as much as you originally wanted.

If you extend your house to the point where it appears to be squeezed into its lot, this can leave many buyers feeling put off and disappointed with the appearance of your home. It can also be unsightly for neighbours, and ultimately leads to you running out of space outside of the house.


#3 Can be Limited by Planning Permission

Planning permission is the bane of many extensions. After all, it only takes a few complaints for the council to consider denying you the permission you are looking for. This can be a very stressful period, as the waiting time for planning can last a few months, and in that time your neighbours are free to state whether or not they agree (and accept) your choice of extension.

You may also live in an area (or a home) that has limits on the amount of planning permission that can be granted. This can massively impact your extension plans, and sometimes even thwart them completely. Getting planning permission can be a tricky, time consuming, and stressful process. Before you extend, make sure you think carefully about whether or not it’s worth it.


#4 Extensions Can be Messy and Time Consuming

One of the things you can never predict about an extension is how long it will take to build. You will be given an estimate, but the majority of the time you will find it takes several months more than planned. Delays happen, and sometimes you may need to demolish and reconstruct parts of the extension if the council inspector deems the current building work to be outside of the guidelines and rules.

Before you opt to extend your home, it is first important that you decide if you are comfortable with the process being completed at least six months after the expected date. Putting this extra time on gives you a good estimate and helps you to be prepared – emotionally and financially.

Having an extension built is also messy work a lot of the time. Your house will practically be a building site for the duration of the extension work. You can expect to find dust, debris, and muddy footprints throughout the main area of your home while it is being worked on, and there will likely be a few cold nights when new areas are being constructed. Before building work commences, you need to take this into consideration and ask yourself if it’s really worth it.


Other Things to Consider

Here are some of the other things you may want to consider if you are thinking of having building work done on your home. After all, there is more to think about than the pros and cons listed above.


Finding a Good Builder

If you have made a choice to go forward with your extension, you need to make sure that you employ a good builder, and that they have reliable workers. Of course, this is never a simple task, especially with the number of ‘cowboy’ companies that are out there. A lot of people feel quite tense when they go to choose a builder, but a lot of the time it will work out well.

Recommendations from family and friends are a good place to start, as they can tell you about their own experiences, as well as which companies they think are the best. Often, you will be steered towards online reviews on websites like Facebook. While this can be a good place to get a general idea, reviews on these sites are often left by friends and family to get the rating higher.

The council can also be a good place to look, as they will have a list of companies that they have used for work in the past. If you are struggling to find a company based on recommendations and reviews, this can be one of the best paths to take. Generally, the building companies used by the council are reliable and offer a fair quote, which is always beneficial.

Before you make your choice, make sure you get a quote off each of the builders you have spoken to. That way, you will have a list of prices so that you can choose one that suits your budget. However, it also gives you some space to negotiate a higher price with your chosen builder if they have a higher quote than your other options.

Most will be open to the prospect of negotiation as long as you are both polite and fair when you initiate the process. Asking for too much off is insulting, so make sure you are prepared to haggle and that you treat the builder with respect when negotiating.


Stay or Away?

When extensions are being built, and work is being done on the home, some families choose to move away from their houses while the job is being done storing furniture and belongings elsewhere, and others choose to stay. This is something you will need to consider should you decide to expand your current home.

For those that work nights, and for those that have children, staying away from the home can often mean a less disruptive schedule. Night workers are less likely to end up with disruption during the day when they are trying to sleep, and children are more likely to remain in their usual routines.

Staying away usually means that people take one of the following options:

  • Stay at a hotel or B&B
  • Stay with relatives
  • Stay with friends
  • Rent a flat or house

Some of the choices are more expensive than others, so make sure you consider the cost before you make a decision if you are staying away. Remaining in the home is often the cheapest and easiest option, and it also leaves you with the freedom that comes with having your own house. Just make sure that you won’t find yourself too disrupted by all the building work.


Who is the Extension for?

This is a question that you might not have thought too much about. When you go to extend your home, ask yourself who this extension is for. Are you building it for your parents or adult children? Is it to give you extra space to work? Do your young children need a larger place to sleep and play?

An increasing number of families are moving in together, with parents and adult children having separate houses on the same land. It is cheaper, easier, and it also means that everyone is close together just in case they need anything. However, it also offers everyone their own space that is completely private.

If this is your plan, you need to carefully consider the extension, but also the amount of land you have to play with. Is it worth moving house and finding somewhere that comes with more land so that you can build an additional house? Some people will convert the space over the garage for a parent that is moving back, but others will require additional space for a larger number of returning family members.

The reason for your extension should be something you put a lot of thought into. It’s good to ensure that you are extending for the right reasons, but also to make sure that it’s worth it and that it’s easier than moving house. Once you have confirmed the reason for your extension, as well as who it is for, you can then take a look at how to go about it.


To Conclude

Hopefully, this guide has given you some insight into the advantages and disadvantages of extending your home. It’s never an easy choice to make, nor is it a decision that should ever be taken lightly. As with anything, it also comes with a number of risks that could end up causing the project to cost a lot more money, but also take up a much larger amount of time than previously anticipated. However, once the job is done, you should be left with a wonderful extension that allows you to open up your home and use some much-needed extra space. Despite the risks, it can be a wonderful solution for those who need space but don’t want to leave their home (or their area).

cost of moving house

How to cut the cost of moving house

Smart savings on the cost of moving house for an expensive time of life.


Alongside divorce and the death of a loved one, moving house is said to be one of life’s biggest upheavals. Uprooting yourself – and your family, pets and possessions – to another location presents some pretty steep logistical challenges and costs can soon spiral out of control. However, if you’ve got to move house to a strict budget then there are ways to help cut the costs.


Estate agent fees


The new generation of online estate agents has caused buyers, sellers and renters to re-examine whether it’s even necessary to pay agent’s fees anymore. Many online sites offer fee free sales – “no commission” – and there’s no doubt that this can considerably cut the cost of your move. Estate agents usually charge 0.75% – 3.5% of the price of the property, which can end up being a substantial sum. The key is to work out whether a full service estate agent is likely to be worth their weight in gold if you don’t have time to manage any of the process yourself. Or whether cutting them out of the loop will provide a bigger saving.




If you want to absolutely slash the cost of your removals the cheapest ways to do it is to hire a van and manage the entire operation yourself, perhaps with the help of friends and family. Depending on your possessions and where you’re moving to this may not be possible. If you’re bringing in the professionals then shop around before agreeing to anything. The range of quotes you’ll receive is likely to be vast so it’s worth the effort to find the cheapest. Remember if your belongings need to be stored becasue you are moving a long distance or you can’t move into your new home straight away then use a cheap self-storage unit or if you are in the capital then some London self storage rather than other more expensive options from removals companies, Don’t be afraid to negotiate and if you find a cheaper quote elsewhere then ask other companies to match it.


The cost of your mortgage


According to Lloyds, mortgage fees have more than trebled over the last decade. This extra expense can add substantially to your moving costs and rarely feels like value for money. If you want to reduce your mortgage fee – or remove it altogether – you can opt for a fee free mortgage. The trade off is that your interest rate rises slightly. However, if you’d rather bear the cost of the mortgage via the monthly payments, rather than in a lump sum on moving day, it can be a more attractive choice.


Reduce stamp duty


Stamp duty is one of the most significant moving costs but things have changed in recent years with a system better designed to be less expensive. Although you can’t haggle stamp duty, you can haggle the price of the property down so that it sits within a cheaper stamp duty threshold. Some new build homes also offer stamp duty paid as part of the deal – and it’s a feature of negotiations that you can always request.


Buy the freehold


Although buying the freehold will add to your initial moving costs it’s something that could save you thousands further down the line. If you’re not the freeholder then you’ll have to pay ground rent and service charges each year to whoever is for as long as you own the property. If you’re the freeholder then there’s nothing to pay.

seniors covering furniture for house move

Senior Homeowners Will Want to Downsize After Reading These Benefits

Downsizing is a major decision and one that is often met with many questions. Senior homeowners may be concerned about covering the cost of a move, being able to fit all their belongings into a townhome, or finding a buyer for their current place, and while those are all valid concerns, the benefits tend to outweigh any potential cons. Not only does downsizing give you the opportunity to save money, but it can also help reduce the amount of housework and upkeep you have in your current home, leaving you more time to do the things you enjoy.


Here are some tips from House Removal to help you sell your home at a nice profit and find the perfect place for the next chapter in your life.


Fund your move, and then some


Selling your home is a big step, especially if you’ve lived there for a number of years, but if it’s in good shape you’ll be looking at a nice sale price that will allow you to fund your move with some left over. It’s a good idea to do any small upgrades you can to your old house before you sell. Some fresh paint and window repairs can add good value. Just be sure to save receipts and records.


Because there are always a few fees associated with selling, you’ll want to make sure you know exactly how much you can expect to take home when it’s all said and done, so get your finances in order and look for a handy home sale proceeds calculator that will tell you its value while subtracting taxes, fees, and commissions. Once you’re armed with a solid number, you’ll be able to plan more efficiently for the move.


Many seniors who downsize also make extra cash by selling items they won’t need in the new house. Try having a garage sale or posting on a resale app so you’ll have more space after the move.


Get ready to save


Not only does selling your home bring in some extra cash, but you’ll also be able to save each month with lower mortgage payments, smaller utility bills, and fewer maintenance costs. For many homeowners who choose to downsize and move into a townhome, this is the main attraction because it allows them to save for things like family vacations, retirement, or college funds for the kids. Once you have a new home in mind, add up what your monthly costs will be and compare it to what you spend now. You may be surprised at the difference. There are a number of ways seniors can save, including taking advantage of senior discounts or joining a discount club.




Saving money is a major perk of downsizing, but it’s not the only one. Once you have a smaller place to take care of, you’ll have fewer chores and maintenance—like yard work—to worry about, which means you can spend more time doing the things you love and focusing on your health or your family.


The process of moving will allow you to declutter, which Psychology Today notes can lower your stress levels and boost mental health in general. Reducing stress will have an effect on many parts of your lifestyle, from the way you sleep to your ability to handle responsibilities at work. You might even have more time to spend on a hobby that can be turned into a side-gig or create a home-based business!


Getting rid of a lot of stuff before a move can help you save money during it. One major savings is that you won’t require a large team to get your things moved effectively. You’ll likely be able to accomplish it with a man-and-a-van service. If you are attached to your posessions then consider putting them in storage.


Consider it an adventure


Whether you want to start a new career or prepare for retirement, downsizing will give you the opportunity to do so in a new town if you wish, which could turn out to be a major positive. When it’s time to search for a townhome, don’t be afraid to branch out in other cities or states. Do some research on the area to find out more about the local culture, school ratings, crime rate, and interesting landmarks and attractions, all of which will affect your lifestyle or job choice. If you’ve been thinking about making a fresh start, now is the perfect time.


Downsizing definitely comes with a lot to think about, but with so many benefits it would be a shame not to at least consider it. Do some research to find out how much you can expect to get for your home and how much you’ll save in the first year, which might convince you to take the plunge.

London house prices - postcode W2 3DP

A Guide To London House Prices By Area

Are you thinking of buying a property in London? Whereas a lot of people have flooded the coast in search of a better life, London remains a desirable choice for many people who want to be amongst the buzz of the capital. To help you get started on your search, here’s a guide to London house prices by area:


A Quick Note…


The housing market in the UK (2022) is volatile and changeable. Any amounts mentioned below should be taken as a rough guide, and any specific information should be sought from local estate agents. This is especially true in the case of a market crash or economical recession.


A Guide To London House Prices By Area


As of June 2022 the average house price in London is around £529,829 which includes the price of flats. This is over £200,000 pounds more than the average house price in the UK and has risen by nearly 8% over the last year, a little below the average of 11.9% in average property price growth across all of the UK.


A popular newspaper also suggested the following London average house prices for different areas of the capital:


Kensington And Chelsea – £1,736,077

Havering – £475,150

Westminster – £1,44,340

Sutton – £540,305

Merton – £716,574

Bromley – £615,304

Barking and Dagenham – £365, 907

Hillingdon – £550,386

Harrow – £621,808

Kingston – £692,018

Waltham Forest – £548,390

Redbridge – £510,191

Bexley – £466,015

Croydon – £488,310

Haringey – £663,498

Barnet – £700,085

Wandsworth – £830,747

Richmond – £922,614

Enfield – £503,096

Islington – £771,669

Greenwich – £484,228

Newham – £455,380

Southwark – £652,140

Ealing – £593,052

Hackney – £680,016

Lewisham – £509,431

Tower Hamlets – £580,978

Hounslow – £583,290

Camden – £1,000,952

Hammersmith and Fulham – £964,916

Brent – £614,062

Lambeth – £661,069



Trends are suggesting that most areas are seeing a rise in value, although with a potential global recession glooming, that may not last.


What’s The Next Step?


If you are hoping to move to London, remember that helpful services like budget self storage can help you to live in a smaller property without having to worry about where you put your stuff. Utilising affordable self storage can make owning or renting a property in London more achievable, because you don’t need as much storage space and London self storage is much more affordable than owning or renting in the capital.


To take the next step on your journey to buying a house in London speak to a local estate agent who can give you the latest lowdown on prices by area. You may also want to get a valuation on your own property too, so that you know exactly what you need to do to take the next step.




man and van hire services

Finding the Best Man and Van Hire Services

There are various Man and Van Hire service providers that are friendly, reliable, and affordable. They offer professional removal services to their private and business clients in and around London and right across the UK. They have many different sizes of mobile trucks and a fleet of many vans to choose from, you can choose between a van and a driver or up to three assistants to help with any heavy lifting. You can hire them by the hour or at a fixed price. They do not charge any additional fees as it is all-inclusive. They can transport individual items in full truckloads locally or nationally within the UK. This type of van is also insured as standard. They offer clean, fully equipped vans with experienced, CRB-approved drivers and carriers to ensure you and your belongings are in good hands.


They are your solution for any removal or delivery service from anywhere in London and also offer long-distance removals. An experienced Man and Van Hire service makes sure that everything goes according to your plan. They know that their clients have different relocation needs such as the size, budget, or times of access to their property.


Whatever your moving needs, they offer a full range of people and van services so they can customize any move to meet your needs. They also offer free advice and tips before you move.


Why are many people already using the Man and Van Hire service?

Whether they’re moving into a new family home or office, people look no further than an experienced  Man and Van Hire service to keep removal costs down. The goal is to make a house or business move as easy and stress-free as possible. A man-and-van is your best choice for hassle-free and affordable moving services anywhere, anytime.


Look out for these services:


  1. Professional, uniformed and friendly staff.
  2. Great personal insurance service.
  3. No hidden costs.
  4. Clean and fully equipped vans.
  5. Reliable service.


There are also service providers who act as agents for customers, all of whom are hard-working, well-trained, and highly experienced individuals with many years of knowledge and experience. Whether you need their services for a local move in and around London or an international courier with a package that needs to reach its destination safely, they have a man-and-van for you.

They combine level of knowledge with low prices and customer focus. They are ready and fully equipped to deliver your belongings to your desired location on time, seamlessly, and with a smile.


Other Considerations

A Moving Van Hire service should always be fully insured so that you can rest assured that your belongings are fully protected during the move. They should also be available 7 days a week so you don’t have to worry about fitting them into your busy schedule and moving at week-ends when you don’t need to be at work. Many people will also need the service to operate locally, nationally, and even internationally for moves across the country or overseas.



Reasons to avoid a DIY move

How to set up utilities when renting


Whether it’s your first rental property or your third, setting up gas and electricity should be one of your priorities. This is because you need your utilities to be turned on for a decent standard of living, such as being able to cook and access clean water. If you’re wondering how to set up your utilities while renting, you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s a standard step-by-step process to get you going. Before you begin, it’s recommended that you find out which utilities you’re responsible for as a tenant, as this varies depending on the rental. Generally, you’ll be expected to pay for your own gas and electricity but this isn’t always the case.

1. Gather the relevant information

Before you begin it’s useful to gather all of the information you need for setting up utilities for your rental. Again this varies depending on the provider you choose but a general rule of thumb is that you’ll need:

    • A recent meter reading
    • Your new address in full
    • Preferred start date

If you’re unsure, the preferred start date is usually the day that you intend to move in.

2. Research various utility providers

There are many different providers of gas and electricity in the UK. Some tenants like to shop around separately for their gas and electricity, but it’s often cheaper and more convenient to get a package deal if possible. If you want minimum hassle, you can simply stay with the providers set up by the previous tenant. However, check that their tariff rates are suitable for your budget before you do this.

While you’re researching gas and electricity providers, you may also want to consider other utilities such as water, as well as other essentials like broadband. Consider making notes on your research, including possible providers for each type of utility and what the average costs for those utilities are shaping up to be.

3. Get in touch for a quote and switch-on date

Once you’ve started to research providers and have made a shortlist of preferred companies, start getting in touch for personalised quotes, if you haven’t done so already. These quotes inform you how much you can expect to pay per month for utilities. There are many different packages available so take your time to research thoroughly.

Getting utilities set up is easier than before as many providers now have online portals that you can log in to. These portals allow you to sign up for a utility plan and arrange a start date – all without speaking to a single member of staff.

If everything goes accordingly, your rented property should have access to all of the necessary utilities on the agreed start date. Make sure your provider has agreed to this date or acknowledged it in some form, however.