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There’s a reason why nobody likes moving house - and it’s not because of the cleaning! Packing up a property is one of the most stressful, labour intensive and tough jobs involved in moving house, so when the big day rolls around, you need all the help you can get.
As a leading online agent putting sellers together with buyers, we’ve helped facilitate countless moves, and in that time we’ve picked up a raft of essential tips and tricks to help the whole process go as smoothly as possible. Let’s get started.
Before anything else
Get prepared. Moving house might be something you do on the last day, but packing shouldn’t be. Here’s some tips:
- Consider what you don’t need and recycle or sell it before you move, no need to shift useless furniture and trinkets to your new property, only to get rid of them once they’re there.
- Make a priority list for packing
- Calculate how many boxes you’re going to need well in advance. Get yourself boxes of all sizes and stock up on the packing tape, newspaper and bubble wrap – you’re going to need far more than you think.
- Check that your contents insurance covers damages and breakages during the move.
- Pack a box with just the “essentials” for comfort. We’re talking about essential bathroom and kitchen supplies so you can eat, drink and go to the toilet in comfort as you shuttle back and forth between your two properties.
- Organise messy spots in your home, like your attic or garage. You don’t want to be spending half your moving day getting this sorted out.
On the day
- Start early and start with a plan. Packing always takes longer than you think, so get to it as soon as possible.
- Just like washing a car, start at the top and make your way down through the house. A scattershot approach will only lead to wasted time.
- Pack your heaviest items in small boxes, that way they’ll be easier to carry and you won’t overload a large box with big, heavy items you can’t move.
- Label every box to its corresponding room and keep each set of boxes together, it’ll greatly simplify your move at the other end.
- Take care to wrap up fragile items before you move. The banging and rolling of a car might not seem like much to you, but one slip can mean the destruction of some prized possessions.
- Pack heavy items at the bottom of boxes and lighter items to the top.
When you’re unpacking
- Go in order of priority. If it’s late in the day, work out what you’re going to need to make dinner and get comfortable in your bedroom – the rest can wait until the morning.
- Get your boxes in their corresponding rooms. Carrying individual items up and down stairs is far from efficient.
- Take the time to work out where items are going to go in each room, if you can avoid moving them repeatedly you’ll save serious time.
Get in touch to find out how an online estate agent can make selling your property a lot easier for a fraction of the price.
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Thankfully, the UK is largely free from the high levels of pollutants and smog that are witnessed in several countries around the world, but that doesn’t mean our air quality is perfect. In fact, in some parts of the UK, air pollution is bordering on dangerous levels.
The World Health Organisation has warned that 80% of the cities around the world are currently failing to meet their guidelines on safe levels of air quality. The WHO say that as air quality declines, the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer and chronic and acute respiratory conditions rise, making air quality no laughing matter.
It is said that ambient air pollution, made up of high concentrations of particulate matter is the greatest environmental risk to health, causing more than 3 million deaths worldwide.
Now, the WHO have named and shamed towns and cities across Britain and Ireland for breaching safety levels for air pollution. Included in the list of worst offenders is predictable entries like Port Talbot and London, though surprising entrants like Eastbourne and Oxford are also considered to be amongst the worst. Here’s the full list of cities breaking the guidelines:
- Longford, Ireland
- Port Talbort
- Bray, Ireland
- Leamington Spa
- Galway, Ireland
- Dublin, Ireland
Naturally, this is a source of great frustration for the World Health Organisation, who have been battling to improve air quality worldwide for decades. Dr Flavia Bustreo, WHO’s assistant director general for family, women and children’s health, said: ‘When dirty air blankets our cities, the most vulnerable urban populations – the youngest, oldest and poorest – are the most impacted.’
However, even though urban air pollution is rising, awareness of the issue is rising too, with more cities monitoring their air quality and making changes.
Does air pollution affect house prices?
At present, the air quality of our towns and cities isn’t yet recognised enough to affect house prices, but it does have the chance to affect your life. If you suffer from conditions like asthma or lung infections, it could mean the difference between comfort and discomfort.
Should I try to buy outside of polluted areas?
So, should air pollution stop you buying property in one of these areas? The answer, of course, is no. Air pollution is an issue for towns and cities around the world, but it’s not one that we can avoid unless, of course, we’re comfortable living far out into the countryside. Instead, by living in these places, putting pressure on the local government and making changes of our own, we can contribute to improving the air quality for everyone else.
Equally, you shouldn’t worry about selling your home if it’s within an area with above average air pollution.
For more help with selling your property and finding the best place to move, get in touch with Agent Online.
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Selling your house has never seemed more complicated than it has today. A raft of so-called innovations in the estate agency world has meant that buying or selling a property has become something of an ordeal for a great many of us. However, one shift in the way that people interact with the housing market is poised to stick for the long haul – online only estate agencies.
Currently accounting for around 10% (but rising fast) of all home sales in the UK, online estate agents have come from nowhere to lodge themselves as a legitimate threat to the hegemony of traditional, high street agents.
But what are the differences between online and traditional estate agents? Read on to find out.
Starting out with the most obvious, both online and traditional estate agents are there to help you sell your property as quickly as possible and at the highest price.
Equally, both will value and market your property for you, alongside helping to arrange viewings. Many will also accept and negotiate offers on your behalf, liaise with a conveyancer, counterpart estate agent and buyer until the sale completes.
With that said, there are some significant and valuable differences between online and traditional, high street agents. They are:
- Fees: One of the major driving forces for the growth of online estate agents has come from the fact that fees are, broadly, much lower than that of a high street estate agent. With Agent Online, you pay a flat rate of £779 and we take care of marketing your property on major portals, taking professional photographs, arranging viewings, obtaining feedback, negotiating on your behalf and instructing legal advisors. It goes without saying, that’s drastically cheaper than a traditional agent, who typically charge around 1.3% on the sale of your house, which works out at £2,833 on the average property.
- Viewings: Unlike a traditional estate agent, who would send staff to your property to conduct viewings, online agents like us let you do the viewings instead. It’s part of the reason why online agents are able to offer such low fees, but it can also be a huge benefit. Nobody knows your property as well as you do, so with just a little confidence and a few pointers, you can help sell your home quickly and easily.
- Expertise: With more people than ever using the internet to browse for a home, it is now so important to have an estate agent that knows how to optimise your property's visibility online. As specialists, online estate agents understand the web market place better than anyone, which will be invaluable in finding you a buyer for your property.
So, what are you waiting for? With low risk and huge potential gain, you’ve got nothing to lose by listing your home through an online estate agent.
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There comes a time in all of our lives where we feel that it’s time to stop moving and to move somewhere for the longer term. Some call it settling down, others call it putting down roots, but whatever you call it, it’s about more than just staying in one place for a while.
Putting down roots involves hard work, but if you’re just taking your first steps, it’s not uncommon to be a little lost. That’s why we’ve put together this step by step guide for putting down roots, filled with ideas to help you settle into a community.
- Be prepared to stay in the area for a significant period of time – It’s perhaps an obvious point, but you’ll struggle to put down roots if you’re planning on only staying for a short time. Putting roots down is about patience.
- Go and speak to your neighbours – Community spirit is something most feel is lacking in their life, but it’s easy to put the foundations in. Simply by going to your neighbours and introducing yourself, you can help bring that feeling of community back into your life. Offer your help if they need anything and you’ll find that community spirit never disappeared, it simply needed a nudge.
- Check out the local papers – Local papers serve a number of valuable functions, but of primary interest for you will be the local adverts. There are always charities in need of help or community events listed, so lend a hand. You’ll find that by taking part in a community, you quickly become a recognisable face.
- If you’ve got kids, get involved in the school – Having kids is a fantastic excuse for involving yourself in the community. Your local school’s parent teacher association is a great place to meet new people in a town, as well as have a say on your child’s education.
- Make an effort to find new friends – Putting down roots is all about the relationships that we create in an area. We only ever truly feel at home in a place where we have friends as well as family, so getting out there and making new friends is an essential part of the experience. Of course, it’s never as easy as that, but given time and visibility, you’ll find yourself making the kinds of friends you can trust with your life.
- Be true to your promises – Reputation is something that you don’t get to announce, it’s something that’s earned. If you’re planning on putting down roots in an area, be mindful of the fact the promises you make (and those you break) will define you down the line.
With these tips in mind, you can start to build the relationships that will mean you become an essential part of the community, and the lives of those around you. Roots are about more than just living somewhere, it’s about becoming part of the area.
If you are thinking of selling up and settling in a new home, using a fixed-fee, online estate agent will save you thousands.
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Love, it was once said, makes the world go ‘round. However, for most of us, it feels like money is the grease which keeps that particular wheel turning. In our lives, the pursuit of gainful employment can take us all over the world. Sometimes, that means living out of a suitcase. Other times, it means moving house to an area where your talents are required.
But are there areas in the UK that are better for certain industries than others? The answer is yes, and we’re going to share with you five that you might not know.
Science, Medicine & Education – Oxford & Cambridge
Perhaps most famous for their universities, Oxford and Cambridge are home to some of the most qualified and best paid people in the UK. More than a third of the workplace in Oxford are employed in professions like science, health and education. In total, Oxford doubles the national average for people working in these professions.
Oxford also boasts a strong tourism sector (which should need no explaining), as well as manufacturing and publishing thanks to BMW and publishing companies like the Oxford University Press being set up in the area.
Meanwhile, Cambridge’s vital role in the pharmaceutical industry saw house prices soar almost 15% between 2013 and 2014.
Digital & Technology – Reading
You might imagine that when it comes to technology and digital, London would be the place to be, but in reality, Reading is the better bet. With superb links to the capital, a great many tech firms have taken up residence in the town.
Indeed, almost one-in-five businesses there are tech firms, with notable names like Cisco, Microsoft, Symantec, Oracle and many others. With an average salary of £621 a week and notably lower property prices than London, Reading makes an excellent location to purchase – provided you’re interested in working within the technology industry.
Other notable industries within Reading include accountancy, investment and finance.
Financial Services – Edinburgh
Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, is home to the UK’s second largest financial services sector, behind London. Thanks to the likes of The Royal Bank of Scotland, Scottish Widows, Tesco Bank, Virgin Money and Standard Life all setting up in the city, there are plentiful jobs available.
Additionally, the city has become the favoured location for financial services start-ups too, with cheaper property available than London and a readily available workforce. Put simply, Edinburgh makes for an excellent destination if you see your future within the financial services industry.
Energy – Aberdeen
Another one of Scotland’s major cities makes the list, but for an industry far removed from the sleek corporate nature of financial services – oil. Scotland’s plentiful oil reserves have meant that energy businesses have flocked to the city, bringing large numbers of jobs to the area too. During the last 10 years the city has seen an 8% increase in jobs and a 9% boost in population numbers.
It’s not just energy keeping this town going, either, because like Oxford it boasts a strong professional, scientific and technical sector.