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Cats! The internet loves them and so do we, but when it comes to moving house, they’re often more harm than help. Though their fussing might normally be cute, it’s not really ideal when you’re attempting to pack up and move your home.
There are an estimated 7.4 million domestic cats in the UK, making the issue of ensuring they feel safe and comfortable during the move a vital one. As a leading fixed-fee online estate agent, we’ve helped countless people move and picked up some vital tips along the way.
So, just how do you move house with a cat?
- Make space for your cat somewhere in your home. About a week before you move, take the things your cat needs (water, food, toys, bed) and move them to one room in your home. Don’t shut them in just yet, but get them used to the notion that this is where their things live. It’ll make them that much more comfortable when you need to keep them away from the move.
- Keep your cat away from the action. Cats are naturally inquisitive and will want to check out whatever’s going on in your home, but for their sake, do try to keep the away from the packing, moving and cleaning. It will cause them distress and slow you down as you attempt to move around your cat.
- Set up a room in your new property just for your cat. During the first few days of the move, leave them in that space to acclimatise. It’s also a nice idea to leave some of your unwashed clothes in there to give them a familiar scent.
- Rub your cats smell around your home. When you’re allowing your cat explore your new home for the first time, do it in stages and ensure that you’ve taken a favourite blanket or cushion and rub it around various points in the room. You won’t notice the scent, but your cat will, and that’ll ease any sense of uncertainty they have.
- Keep your cat inside for a couple of weeks. Your cat needs to know that this is its new home, so give your cat a couple of weeks to settle in and explore the property before you let it outside. After those two weeks, if your cat still isn’t ready to go outside, don’t force it. Just let your cat come and go as it pleases.
- Make an extra effort to treat your cat. Most of us don’t need any encouragement on this front, but it’s important that in the early stages of your move, your cat feels safe and loved. That means avoiding loud noises if possible, but it also means enjoying a few extra cuddles and dropping a few treats in their bowl every now and then.
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Are you looking to sell your home this summer? Well, you’re not the only one. Up and down the country (and, indeed, across the world), homeowners are looking to leave their current properties and move somewhere else. The reasons why that might be the case are too numerous to mention, but the end result is that we’re looking to offload our existing homes.
Doing so in summer though? Well, that’s not as easy as you might think. Somewhat counterintuitively, summer is actually one of the worst seasons in which to sell your property.
There are a number of reasons why that’s the case, from families leaving on holiday to the prospect of managing kids and employment throughout the season. However, that doesn’t mean that the task is impossible, simply that you’re going to have to make a little more effort to get the prices you want.
Here’s what we recommend:
- List your home with an online agent
Local estate agents can be fantastic if you’re trying to sell your home, but they do have some significant disadvantages. Those include their high cost, but also just how limited the exposure they offer your property is.
True, whilst they’re excellent at advertising your property to people in the local area, they don’t make use of the internet in the same way that online and fixed-fee estate agents. By using multiple property websites, professional listings, floor plans and photographs and negotiating on your behalf, they have all the benefits of a traditional estate agent without any of the downsides.
Put simply, if you’re trying to sell your home in summer, online estate agents are the way to go.
- Focus your efforts outside
Summer is the time when many of us like to spend time outside, so make a special effort to improve the outside of your property. That begins with basic things like ensuring that your grass is always freshly cut and your paths free from weeds, but it extends to tidying up the whole garden.
Invest in new plants, trim back any bushes, give your fences a new lick of paint and consider purchasing some new garden furniture. It doesn’t come free, but you’re selling more than a home – you’re selling a vision of what the buyers life could be like.
A boost to the curb appeal of your property is also recommended, so break out the pressure washer for those flagstones and paint any windowsills which aren’t looking as fresh as they once did.
- Make the most of summer inside
The outside of your property might be getting a lot of attention, but that doesn’t mean you should leave the inside alone. The summer months bring increased light, which in turn, can make the most of out of any home. As such, we’d recommend either taking down any heavy curtains you have or simply opening them as wide as you can.
Also take this time to declutter and tidy your home, introducing new, light fabrics to bring a bright and breezy feeling to your property. Leave doors and windows open if it’s a warm day to let fresh air in and keep the temperature down, too. It’s summer, after all!
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Taking out a mortgage is one of the most serious financial commitments you’ll make in your life. It’s a big decision, and one which will colour your financial future for (potentially) decades to come. That’s why it’s so important that you get a good deal, otherwise you’ll be reminded of it every time you take a look at your bank statements.
The good news is though that the mortgage market is just that – a market, so there’s plenty you can do to improve the rates you’re offered and increase the chances of having your application accepted. Here’s our top 6 tips.
- Speak to a reputable mortgage broker before you start looking at houses
A mortgage broker is often contacted once you’ve found a property you’re interested in, but we’d always recommend speaking to one beforehand. They’ll talk you through what the mortgage market looks like at the moment, how much you’ll likely be able to borrow and on what terms. With that information, you can make a smarter choice when you’re looking to buy.
- Get a copy of your credit score
Go online and get a copy of your credit report from an agency like Experian or Equifax and take a look at what mortgage lenders will see when they review your application. From there, you can make changes to improve your score and therefore, your offer.
- Don’t switch jobs just yet
If you’re unhappy in your job and are looking to buy a new house, we’d recommend keeping your current job. Lenders will look to see if you’ve been in the same job for a long time as a sign of your reliability.
- Reduce your existing debts
Any lender will be given cause for a pause if they look at your credit report and find that you’ve got outstanding debts. That’s why you should go back and make sure any creditors are paid off before you submit your application – yes, that means your credit cards too.
- Prepare as large a deposit as possible
Typically, the bigger the deposit you can put down on a property, the better the rate you’ll be offered will be. That means lower monthly payments and lower interest across the course of your mortgage – it’s always worth waiting another couple of months to prepare a better deposit offering.
- Bring your proof of income or accounts with you
Every mortgage lender is going to ask for proof of income before they can sign off on a mortgage offer. So, you’ll need to bring with you’re a P60 form from your employer, which shows a summary of your pay before and after tax. You’ll also likely be asked for three months of account statements to check your outgoings and to demonstrate how financially responsible you are. If you’re self-employed, bring the bank statements and your accounts for the last three years – without these, you’re unlikely to have a mortgage application accepted.
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An Englishman’s home is his castle, it was once remarked, but every now and then it comes time to move to a new castle. It might be that your current castle isn’t located conveniently for us, or maybe it’s just getting a little cramped within those walls. Whatever our reasons, the desire to sell our homes is a perfectly natural outcome of a life lived.
At Agent Online, we help countless people sell their homes quickly at a fixed fee every single year. Even though we’re an online estate agent, we still do things the tried and true way, by coming to your property and completing a free property valuation, taking professional photographs, acquiring accurate floorplans and building a compelling advert for your property.
However, clients often ask us what actually determines the value of their property? In this guide, we’ll share with you the five factors which help to determine your home’s value.
‘Location, location, location’. It’s a mantra that every estate agent and home buyer recognises, and that’s for good reason – the location of a property has a gigantic effect on its value and desirability for potential buyers.
There are countless aspects which go into making a location desirable for potential buyers, from its proximity to good schools to links to major motorways and cities. You’ll also notice that factors relating to crime, relative wealth, local job prospects and shopping all come to play a factor too.
In some cases, the location of your property is more important than the structures built atop it as buyers look to knock down and build new properties on the land.
- Size and layout
The size and layout of your property will have a huge impact on the eventual valuation it enjoys on the open market. Much of this is common sense, with larger homes with more bedrooms generally enjoying higher valuations on the open market, compared to smaller properties in the same area.
However, you’ll also find that certain types of buildings, bungalows especially, enjoy a specific type of demand which can raise the value of your property in certain areas.
The old notion of the ‘fixer upper’ might be appealing to some, but to many it’s nothing more than a pain in the backside. As such, the condition of your property is going to have an impact on its value.
Recently renovated and blessed with high end fixings? That’s going to bring higher sums than a property which hasn’t been touched over the last two decades. The age of your property will also likely play a role.
- Negative elements
There are a great deal of small, negative things which can drag the value of your property down. We’re talking about things like bad neighbours, illegal home improvements, location on or close to a flood plain, disputed lands or lease holdings, along with many other aspects.
- Opportunity for development, or lack thereof
Many buyers are on the lookout for property which they can adapt, develop and turn into their dream home. As such, the value of your property will be somewhat dependent on how forthcoming permission for development would be.
Take a good luck at the homes in your area, speak to your neighbours and discover what kind of changes are possible within your own home – it could help push the needle closer to a sale and bring your higher valuations.
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Moving house is, at the very best of times, stressful. For many of us, it’s an unavoidable consequence of our changing fates in life, as we move to a new property for work, to expand our families or simply because we have the financial freedom to do so. However, that doesn’t make it any less of a pain.
Between packing your things, organising your bills, alerting the council, completing the sales process and cleaning, there’s enough to keep you busy for weeks – and that’s without a baby to contend with.
If you do have a little one, however, moving house gets a whole lot tougher. Over the years, we’ve seen countless young families move houses and we’ve learned a handful of lessons which can significantly help remove the drama and distress of new surroundings for your young one. Let’s get started.
Try to keep your schedule
Anyone with a baby will tell you that keeping a schedule is crucial to helping you and your baby live relatively normal lives. Nap times, dinner times and play times all help break up the day and instil a sense of familiarity and comfort into your baby’s life.
They’ll also tell you that breaking that schedule can lead to a tough time for everyone involved.
Clearly then, maintaining that schedule as much as possible is of the utmost importance. If you don’t feel like it’s going to be possible with you, why not see if a family member of close friend can watch the baby for a day or so, maintaining the schedule and giving you the freedom to move.
Leave a room clear
Baby’s cry, and there’s not a lot we can do about it. What we can do, however, is make sure that the baby’s new room in your home is clear so you can get in and out of it without banging into boxes, falling over or suffering any other clutter based mishap. You’ll thank yourself later, we promise.
Take photos of their set-up before you take it down
When you move to a new property, so much of making a baby comfortable and settled is about keeping things as they were before. For very young children, the things they recognise most (aside from you parents, of course), is their cot and the things around it.
That might mean a specific teddy in the corner and a favourite mobile up above, or maybe it’s just your child’s favourite sheets, but it’s worth memorising or taking photos of these things and replicating them in your new property to ease the transition.
Make space and time for playtime
Moving might be a stressful time for you, but it doesn’t have to be for your baby. Invest in a play-pen and set it up in a quiet corner of your new house. Once filled with some choice toy selections and a space to take a nap and you’ll find that your little one is more than capable of entertaining themselves for a little while – giving you the time required to turn your new house into something resembling a home.
As we said, nobody said this is moving house business is going to be easy (literally that has never been said) but why not make your life that much easier by hiring an online estate agent. Get in touch with Agent Online today to find out more about our online, fixed fee service.