Home Renovation

How To Choose A Realtor For Buying A House?

Are you planning to buy a house but aren’t sure where to start?

Buying your dream house is always a special and sentimental experience. However, it can quickly turn stressful when not planned carefully.

Thus, the first and most crucial step before investing financially in a property is to hire a professional realtor. 

Experienced agents act as guides to help you find a perfect home within a preferred budget. Since they are familiar with the technicalities of the process, they ensure smooth and quick navigation for the clients. 

However, finding a realtor that fits your preferences can seem highly daunting. Therefore, seek the help of online services, ratings, and recommendations to hire a desirable agent.

Get Referrals 

Seeking referrals from a close network of family and friends is an old and proven method of hiring a realtor. 

Since there is a wide range of options available at our disposal, it is natural to feel lost when shortlisting an agent. Thus, it is recommended to get authentic references of potential candidates that fit your budget and requirements.

Furthermore, inquire about their skills, behavior, and client service before interviewing the agents.

Do Background Research

When finding a realtor, it is mandatory to do a preliminary check of their work and credentials. Thus, make sure you explore their website and social media accounts to track past performance.

Also, ensure to look at online reviews to further verify your facts. While an authentic realtor has a mixed set of opinions posted on their website, one-sided reviews are a huge red flag. 

A desirable realtor is a certified and licensed candidate with no record of disciplinary complaints. Therefore, do not forget to ask for license details and references before making a final decision.

Prioritize Local Market Experience

Knowledge of local market trends is an underestimated factor that must be considered when shortlisting a realtor for your home.

A realtor familiar with the nuances of the local real estate market can help you find your dream house in no time. 

Since experienced professionals stay up to date with the newly listed homes and average sale prices, they can further help you get better deals and impressive discounts.

Focus on Communication and Compatibility

Buying a house is a complicated process that can be highly strenuous especially for first-time buyers. 

Thus, it is advisable to opt for a compatible agent you can easily communicate your vision to.

Additionally, finding a realtor who can answer all your queries and ensure you don’t feel overwhelmed is an essential part of the home purchasing journey and shouldn’t be rushed.

Did you miss our previous article…
https://homefineliving.com/?p=808

Home Renovation

Weekend Reading 12.18.21

Less than a week to go until Christmas! I’m glad I’m done shopping and ready to relax! I’ll share some pictures of my decorated home later this week.

The last week of this year I’m focused on the final details in our flip remodel project, those spaces are getting close to completion. Unfortunately we’ve had a lot of delays with materials this year. Right now I’m waiting for a tile delivery so we can finish the installation in the kitchen, and I’m waiting on sconces for the master bathroom. You can look forward to seeing those remodeled spaces in January!

Favorite links from the week:

The paint colors in this Victorian are so lovely.

What a beautiful courtyard in this Spanish style home in Los Angeles.

A modern yet cozy mix of materials in this kitchen and family room.

Very cool: this DIY limestone bench.

Charming and easy: this DIY pom pom snowflake pillow.

Throwback: 101 dresses from the movies.

25 delicious recipe ideas for holiday dinners.

 This city in Europe is considered the Christmas capital.

Have you enjoyed any of the chocolates from the “best chocolatiers”?

Relationship tips: advice on how to leave respectfully.

The most stunning images of the northern lights from around the world.

Made me laugh: Ms. Brenda the “influencer choreographer”.

These words on gratitude v. wanting more.

Did you miss our previous article…
https://homefineliving.com/?p=792

Home Renovation

Eco-friendly flooring: Top 8 trends to watch out in 2022

The time has come! 2022 is almost here and it’s time to remodel your home with the hottest flooring solutions. However, if you are environment-savvy, just like me, then you may find it difficult to create the space you have always dreamed of. 

The good news is that you don’t have to worry anymore. This blog post is all about sustainable flooring solutions that are going to rule the flooring industry in 2022 and beyond. Let’s begin:

Eco-friendly is the new flooring trend 

Flooring is often a challenging thing to decide since it comes in different types, forms, shapes, materials and prices. When it comes to sustainable flooring, gone are the days when the options were limited. Thanks to the latest technological advancements, buyers have an array of choices, ranging from engineered wood to natural stone tiles

Sustainable flooring makes use of eco-friendly materials that look ultra-chic. This is an added bonus for environment-conscious people who believe in opting for sustainable solutions. However, it’s not easy to choose the right one from a plethora of eco-friendly options. To assist you in your journey, we have compiled a list of the hottest sustainable flooring solutions for 2022. Some are new, some are old and a few will blow your mind. Have a look: 

Sustainably harvested hardwood 

Hardwood is timeless, classic. It’s all-natural, durable, cosy and eye-pleasing, making it the most sought-after flooring material in the world. But if you want to make sure the flooring product you choose has a positive impact on the environment, then invest in certified hardwood products that are sourced from responsibly managed forests. Be sure to verify your hardwood floor is ethically and sustainably obtained.

Bamboo flooring 

Bamboo is the perfect example of sustainable flooring. Although it often resembles traditional plank wood flooring, bamboo is much harder than oak and maple. On top of that, it expands and contracts less than hardwood, making it extremely durable and tough. 

The best thing about bamboo is that it is a type of grass, not a tree. It is obtained from six to seven years old plants, generally available in a variety of colours, ranging from darker tones to natural light tones. Remember, carbonised bamboo isn’t as long-lasting as stained bamboo. So, try to invest in stained bamboo flooring. 

Cork flooring 

Cork comes from the bark of the Mediterranean oak tree, which regenerates itself in eight to twelve years, making cork flooring a sustainable solution. Some flooring experts even use recycled industrial materials, such as scraps from wine stoppers. 

Cork flooring is available in both tiles and planks and provides nice cushioning and insulation. Also, it’s a great option to reduce noise and maximise comfort in the busy areas of your house, such as bedrooms, dining halls and living rooms. Be sure to keep it away from moisture-prone areas. 

Natural linoleum 

People often think of vinyl when they hear the word linoleum. Yet, the two aren’t relevant to each other. Vinyl is a synthetic material, whereas linoleum is organic. Though natural linoleum isn’t new to the flooring industry, it was left behind after the introduction of vinyl. As manufacturers, engineers, architects and designers are asking for it again, it is going to re-emerge with a great force in 2022. 

Reclaimed hardwood 

If you love rustic and vintage flooring, reclaimed hardwood is your thing. It is a popular choice in all sorts of buildings and decor motifs. Why? Because hardwood isn’t the best choice for people like us, who are environmentally conscious. 

However, reclaimed wood is different. It is obtained from old wood, instead of a new one. It has the same aesthetic appeal as hardwood and can last for years when you take good care of it. In addition to being eco-friendly, reclaimed wood is pocket-friendly too.

Engineered hardwood 

It’s cost-effective, eco-friendly and beautiful; there’s nothing like engineered hardwood. In fact, it’s more sustainable than its hardwood counterpart because of the way it’s manufactured. Engineered wood is produced by attaching a hardwood veneer to a plywood core, leaving more area to use the tree. 

Natural stone tiles

This one is quite an obvious one – natural stone tiles. As the name implies, these floor tiles are totally natural. They are highly durable, extremely comfortable and easy to maintain. Plus, natural stone tiles won’t emit toxic gases, unlike white subway tiles. 

However, their place of origin might become a concern for you. This is because some natural stone materials are mined on a large scale, which can leave a negative impact on the environment. Thus, it’s better to ask your local flooring expert about how they obtained natural stone tiles in Melbourne.

Glass tiles 

Have you ever wondered what happens to the beer and wine bottles that are recycled?  They get converted into glass tiles. Yes, tiles! These bottles are a good renewable source for manufacturing floor tiles that are great for bathroom and kitchen walls. Glass tiles have eco-friendly characteristics and are non-absorptive, stain-resistant and easy to clean. Unlike terrazzo tiles, glass tiles reflect light, adding additional light to the room. Plus, they come in a wide range of colours, patterns and finishes. 

There you have it – a list of eco-friendly flooring solutions for 2020. Which one is your pick and why? Do let us know in the comments below. 

Did you miss our previous article…
https://homefineliving.com/?p=764

Home Renovation

How Do Tenancy Deposit Claims work?

Imagine this situation: you have just moved into your new rented home after giving your landlord your tenancy deposit. You’re confident that your money is safe with them because they promised to register it with a government-authorised protection scheme.

Fast forward to more than a month later and you have asked your landlord for an update on your deposit, but you have  not received any reply. Take heart though; according to UK laws, landlords are required to protect tenant deposits within 30 days of them receiving the money. Once they have done so, they are to send tenants details about the protection scheme where they registered the deposit. This is called prescribed information, and if this is not provided to you 30 days after you paid the deposit, you may be eligible to file for a dispute or tenancy deposit claim. 

Tenancy deposit protection schemes are intended to keep your money safe throughout the course of your tenancy. If you break any of the tenancy terms or damage part of the property, your landlord can use the money to offset repair costs. But if you have diligently followed all tenancy terms and paid your rent on time, your landlord is obligated to return the deposit to you after your tenancy ends.

Tenancy disputes

Millions of tenants in the UK claim that their profit is not protected. The estimated worth of unprotected deposits is around £515 million, or nearly 50% of tenants. Many renters often think that if their landlord is well-known or has been in business for years, or their letting agency is popular and big, they are automatically guaranteed deposit protection. Most of the time, the reality is the opposite: their deposits were not or have not been protected. 

So, even if it is specified in the agreement that your deposit will be protected, don’t rely too much on it. There are rogue landlords who often resort to illegal behaviour, such as denying their tenants deposit protection. 

When you can make tenancy deposit claims

There are three instances when you are eligible to file for tenancy deposit claims

When your landlord does not register your deposit in any of the government-authorised protection schemes: mydeposits, Deposit Protection Service, and Tenancy Deposit Scheme. When your landlord protects your deposit and then removes it without re-registering it even while you are still renting and living in the property. When your landlord puts your deposit into the tenancy deposit protection scheme late – after more than the 30 days that was given to them.

If your landlord is found to have breached the tenancy deposit laws, they will be ordered to return the original deposit to you and will be asked to pay between one to three times the deposit value for every breach.

How a tenancy claim works

Before filing a tenancy claim, you first need to verify if your deposit has been protected or not. Here’s what you need to do:

To check if you have a basis for making a claim, you can ask your landlord or letting agent for confirmation. If they did not provide you with the prescribed information, you should ask them for it  because they are required to do so by law. If your landlord or letting agent does not respond or provide you with accurate information, check the websites of the deposit scheme providers. You will have to enter the following details:Your surnameStart date of your tenancyYour postcode

These details are typically contained in your tenancy agreement.

If you are in a joint tenancy, you may have to enter the details of your joint tenants if the information is not available under your name. 

If you just renewed your tenancy, you should enter a different start date. 

If you cannot find the details you need, talk to a representative of the deposit protection scheme provider. Their contact number is usually displayed on their website.

Once you have verified that your landlord has not protected your deposit, you need to get in touch with a team of solicitors experienced in tenancy deposits. After verifying your proof of a right to claim, the team might have to go over your tenancy agreement to determine if your landlord provided you with the right clauses and documentation. 

This step will provide further confirmation if you have a valid claim. 

Your deposit protection compensation claim team might also verify with you if you are still willing to push through with legal action. 

Provide your solicitors with all the information needed for your claim to move forward. This includes evidence such as photos, videos, and documentation of landlord-tenant communication (via email, text, written letters, or personal meetings). 

The team will then prepare a letter of claim for you, which is sent to your landlord. Your landlord is given 14 days to respond to your letter. If they do not, your team of solicitors will prepare to take them to court.

No win, no fee

Choose the team of solicitors from Tenancy Deposit Claims if you want a no-win-no-fee guarantee from solicitors who are authorised and registered with The Solicitors Regulation Authority. Tenancy Deposit Claims’ solicitors are well-versed and experienced in tenancy deposits, so your chances of getting a successful claim are higher.

Did you miss our previous article…
https://homefineliving.com/?p=683

Home Renovation

What You Need To Know When You Look For a New Rental Home

Renting sometimes gets a bad name from people who think that buying a home is the ultimate goal, and even if it is your ultimate goal, renting can be a great stop-gap for single people or couples who don’t want to be tied down. One of the biggest benefits of renting is that you can move on fairly quickly. You just need to give the landlord notice and pack your things. 

This can be really good if you’re moving to a new city for work, or you just want to try out a new neighborhood.

What’s In A Home?

If you are considering renting, though, there are some things that you should know before you start looking at apartments. This is a list of things that everyone who rents needs to know before they sign on the dotted line.

1. Work with a real estate agent

It’s important to make sure that you are comfortable with your decision, or else it could cause problems later down the road. Look at reviews for local estate agents, search for estate agents in Erdington Birmingham, or wherever you are looking, and see what their reviews are by renters to ensure you’re going with a good agent. They will be able to help you find the ideal home for you. 

2. What kind of space do you need?

Are you bringing your whole family with you, or just yourself? How many bedrooms do you need? Do you want to live by yourself or with friends? All of these things can make a difference when it comes to choosing a rental home so think about them carefully. 

3. Think about what size storage space you will need

This is significant because, in some apartments, the storage space is in another unit or building. That could make moving in and out much more difficult if the landlord doesn’t offer help for this process. It’s important to find an apartment that makes moving in and out as easy as possible for the tenant. 

4. Consider neighborhoods

This is important for a lot of reasons. For instance, if you want to live in a neighborhood that is safe and has great schools, this could be beneficial when it comes to your child’s education. If you want to live near a park or restaurant, something like that can also make moving in easier and more convenient. 

5. How durable is the building?

One of the most common complaints about rental homes is the quality of construction and material quality. This can be very important for both tenants and landlords if they want to avoid costly repairs down the line, especially since this will happen regardless of whether you own your home or rent it.

6. Does the property owner have a reputation for managing repairs/maintenance?

The landlord’s reputation is important to know before signing an agreement, especially since these disputes can go on forever. It’s important to have a sense of whether or not the property owner is responsible over the long haul. 

7. Does the property have any history of complaints about pests?

There are some things that are just unavoidable, but some landlords will knowingly rent out properties that have pests. It’s important to ask around and see if the landlord has a reputation for being on top of this sort of thing or not. 

 

Did you miss our previous article…
https://homefineliving.com/?p=636

Home Renovation

Contemporary Electric Fireplaces

Yesterday as I was adding a touch of festive decor to my studio while the fireplace was on and I was reminded of how much I love the one in my small sitting space.

It will be my third winter with this one and it is so great for warming up this room on colder days. This electric fireplace I bought two years ago is still available but in a lighter color wood and also in white.

 

You can always build a frame and mantel to create a more built in style, there are a lot of tutorial online from people who’ve done it. But if you’re not feeling like all that extra work, these portable electric fireplaces may be just the thing to warm up your space too.

hollis fireplace (also in black)

marble look

portable electric (also in black or white)

 

off white veneer

 

shiplap

traditional white

antero black

antique silver

faux stacked stone

barnwood

black fluted

wall mounted contemporary

Did you miss our previous article…
https://homefineliving.com/?p=602

Home Renovation

How to Make Your New House Feel Like a Home

Moving is one of the most exciting yet nerve-wrecking things you can go through during your life. Whether you are moving out of your parent’s house for the first time or moving into your eighth new location, the feelings are still the same. Moving provides the chance for a fresh start as well as new opportunities. There are new neighbors to meet, a fresh town to get to learn, and a place to start the next chapter in your life. 

 

If you have ever moved house before, you likely know that weird feeling just after a move. Sometimes, it can be hard to come to terms with the fact that a new house is actually yours. It can often lead to you feeling like you are a guest in someone else’s home. However, this is only due to the fact that your home doesn’t have that homely feeling. But how do you attain that? You don’t have to wait years until you feel like you really belong in a living space. There are things that you can do immediately that can really make you feel settled in your new home. Here are some suggestions on how you can do that. 

Make the Most out of Your Sentimental Items 

Everyone is going to have that one box when they move that is full of items they are emotionally connected to. This could include the likes of stuffed animals, first clothing items, and medals and trophies. These are really important things to have in your home. They are all significant in terms of different stages of your life. Thanks to these items, you can be reminded of the good times in the past and where you came from. With this considered, you should try to make the most out of them when you are setting up your new home. Display them loud and proud to really make it clear that this is your home. 

Work on the Garden 

Part of having a home you feel like you belong is making it personal to you. This can often require a little bit of creativity. One of the best places in the home to get creative is the garden. There is so much room for unique designs that can make your garden special to you. For example, you can plant a variety of flowers that can really brighten up your garden. By finding gardening seeds sold in Australia from Happy Valley Seeds, you will be able to give your flower patch a unique combination of color and life. 

Don’t Follow Layouts or Pre-set Designs 

Many people will be afraid to get creative when moving into a new house. They follow the set designs and layouts, making their house look just like everyone else’s. However, there is no reason why you can’t get creative and do your own thing. Don’t follow any set of rules when setting up your home. Just do what feels right for you and your family to make it uniquely yours. 

Did you miss our previous article…
https://homefineliving.com/?p=596

Home Renovation

Weekend Reading 9.19.21

Hello friends, how is your September so far? I’m a bit sad having had to postpone my trip to Spain but I’ve been enjoying our California fall weather so no complaints! My birthday is next week and a group of my girlfriends are planning a special outing and I’m not allowed to know the details. 🙂

Today I’m prepping the walls to install the wallpaper in the bathroom at our flip property, it’s so close to being done.  I’ll be featuring that transformed space very soon!

Cozy textiles and the most beautiful paint colors fill this country cottage. (Before pictures here).

Tour the 2021 Real Simple home (loving that green painted home office).

Find calm coastal vibes in this family home on Seabrook Island.

Cool DIY project: how to make a concrete lookalike coffee table top.

Pretty interior plant styling ideas.

11 cities in danger from rising sea levels.

The creation behind the wrapped Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

22 grocery store marinara sauces ranked.

Vacation spot of the week: Es Bec D’Aguila in Menorca, Spain.

Reexamining the impact of our phones and who we follow.

Did you miss our previous article…
https://homefineliving.com/?p=554

Home Renovation

Weekend Reading 9.4.21

Happy holiday weekend! I’m headed to San Francisco for the weekend, the weather is always so good in September. I’ll be having dinner downtown to celebrate our wedding anniversary and taking a long hike through the Presidio tomorrow.

Things are progressing fast on our flip project. The kitchen cabinets are installed, now we’re waiting for countertops. The bathrooms are nearing completion too! I’m looking forward to sharing those transformed spaces very soon! Wishing you all a lovely weekend, I’m sure we could all benefit from a few relaxing days.

Favorite links found this week:

Modern meets farmhouse style in this family friendly country property.

So pretty: the sand dune tile in this bathroom reno.

Styling perfection using wood and natural textures.

So in love with this kitchen backsplash.

This budget kitchen makeover shows the power of paint and new countertops.

The interior of a crumbling Italian structure transformed into a contemporary retreat.

DIY crepe paper flowers with Halloween flair.

Low cal dinner recipes filled with fall flavors.

Venice is implementing new restrictions and fees to combat overtourism.

Vacation rental of the week: these boutique apartments on the Gold Coast.

Did you miss our previous article…
https://homefineliving.com/?p=501

Home Renovation

Fall Decorating: Preserved & Dried Botanicals

Welcome September! Summer is turning to fall, can you feel it? I love decorating with green plants all around, but I wanted to add some preserved botanicals for the season.

Some preserved ferns and floral buttons arrived yesterday so I arranged them and created a delicate fall display. These are dried botanicals, not artificial stems. My feathery ferns and friendly floral buttons feel wispy and boho and will last the entire season.

preserved fernsfloral buttonsset of vases

More preserved botanicals and dried flowers for fall decorating below!

coastal yarroworange floral buttons

bunny tailcraspedia bunch

seeded eucalyptusbird of paradise

pink billy buttonspink hydrangea

star grassfeather grass

natural lagurusasparagus

reed grassbraken fern

red eucalyptusreed pampas grass

eucalyptus bunchdune grass

weeping willowbanksia

Did you miss our previous article…
https://homefineliving.com/?p=463