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If you’ve just moved in, your house might not feel like a home just yet. Settling in takes time, but there are things you can do to make your home feel cosier and more inviting. Simple changes like adding a lamp to your living room or putting up shelves can make your home feel more snug and inviting to guests.
If you’re struggling with renovation ideas, here are six things you can do to make your home feel cosy.
One of the best ways to make your home feel cosy is to spruce it up with some accessories. Pick out some comfy cushions for your bedroom, add curtains to patio doors and hang your favourite photos up in the hallway. These finishing touches can make your space feel more personal and like a home.
2. Invest in a Rug
If you have hardwood flooring, investing in a rug is a great way of warming up the space. A large area can feel more intimate and cosy with either a patterned or solid colour rug. They work great in dining rooms, living areas, hallways or bedrooms and can make any large space feel more intimate.
3. Add a Lamp
On darker, colder evenings, sometimes there’s nothing worse than a harsh set of spotlights beaming down on you. To make evenings feel cosier, add a small lamp to your living room, hallway, or bedroom. Switching it on after dinner or before bed can help create a cosy and snug atmosphere in your home.
4. Drape Blankets in the Living Room
As the winter approaches, so does the cold weather. To make your home feel cosier, add a throw blanket to your living room. Opt for something soft and aesthetically pleasing that you can hang over the sofa or drape across a reading chair. It’ll be comforting to look at and can create a more inviting space for guests.
5. Put Slippers By the Front Door
A cosy home is one that you feel comfortable in. When you get home from work, sometimes all you want to do is kick off your shoes and relax. To feel instant comfort the minute you walk in, have your slippers there ready for you by the front door.
6. Put Up Shelves
Adding shelves are a great way of sprucing up your interior aesthetic. A few scattered shelves can create a more intimate feel to your home, without making the space feel cluttered. When it comes to filling the shelves, keep it simple but personal. A photo frame, hanging plant or set of books are perfect for creating a cosy, minimalist vibe.
Want More Home Styling Tips?
New homeowners often ask us what improvements can increase the value of their home. Here at Alex Jones, we know the answer!
If you’re renovating your home, we’d love to help. Get in touch today on 01612929223 for a chat about home improvements that can boost your resale-ability.
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Are you thinking of buying a smart home ?
Smart homes have many benefits. But should you buy one?
What Is a Smart Home?
A smart home is a house or apartment that’s fitted with smart devices. This usually includes things like fridges that order food when you run out, apps that control your lights and heating, security systems (like video doorbells), and voice control features.
Should You Buy a Smart Home?
Buying a smart home can have lots of benefits. They have so many extra features that can make life more convenient for you.
Plus, recent reports have stated that smart homes could be priced 5% higher than non-smart homes. They can even sell quicker!
If you’re considering buying a smart home, here are some of the top things you should know.
1. You Can Save Energy
Even though you may have more electronics to run, a smart home can save you energy. Typically, smart devices are more energy-efficient than most other household appliances.
Plus, you can automate everything to cut unnecessary costs. If you forget to turn off the heating, lights, tumble dryer or even the TV when you go out, you can easily switch them off using your phone.
2. They Make Life Simpler
Smart homes can automate almost anything. You can turn on the heating before you get home or set your fridge to order food when you get low on certain items.
Smart features are designed with your convenience in mind. One study even predicted that you could save eight whole days every year from having a smart home – which is basically a holiday!
3. Increased Security
Besides the doorbells that show you who’s at your door when you’re out, smart homes can have lots of other security benefits. If you’re away on holiday, it’s easy to make it look like you’re home.
You can automate the opening and closing of your blinds and have the lights turn on at night. Some smart homes even have cameras that will notify you if someone comes within the boundary of your home.
4. It’ll Be Easier To Sell
In a recent survey of UK homebuyers, more than 50% of people said they wanted a smart home and would be willing to pay more for one. Smart homes are also soaring to the top of property developer agendas.
If you own a smart home, you could expect a quicker sale and a 5% boost in resale value.
5. Smart Homes Are Fun!
Besides the convenience, smart homes can be great fun!
You can play around with the speakers, play pranks, or boil the kettle from upstairs to drop hints when someone’s in the kitchen!
Are You Convinced?
If a smart home is a priority for you when buying , let us know!
Here at Alex Jones, we can help find the perfect home for you.
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Are you asking yourself whether you should decorate your home when selling up?
If so, it’s a good question. Not all buyers will appreciate your décor, and it could lose you a sale. But selling your home at Christmas doesn’t mean you have to go bah ‘humbug for the entire season. There are some things you can do to spruce up the festivities the right way, as long as you keep it simple.
To help you sell your Ashton Under Lyne home, here are our top tips on decorating your home at Christmas that won’t impact your sale.
3 Things To Avoid
1. Decorating Before the Professional Photos
While it may be tempting to put up your decorations before the photographer has stopped by, don’t. Estate agents aim to sell your home as quickly as possible. But sometimes, a sale can take a few months before the right buyer shows up.
If this happens, people browsing your online listing in spring will spot the Christmas tree and could be put off. Don’t take the risk!
2. Outdoor Decorations
If you usually light up your exterior like a Christmas tree, give it a miss this year. The kerb appeal is the first impression a buyer will have of your home. If you have climbing Santa’s and flashing lights everywhere, this can be a huge turn-off.
Keep it simple, like a small, sophisticated wreath on the front door if you want something outside.
3. Window Displays
Natural light is a huge selling point. If you have swinging elves and sprayed-on snowflakes covering your windows, this could hinder the amount of natural light coming in. To keep things looking the way they usually do, keep the windows clear.
3 Things You Can Do to Decorate at Christmas
1. Keep it Subtle
When a buyer walks in, you want them to notice the space. Decorations can distract buyers from the important things. It can even put them off your home entirely. To keep things neutral, stick to a Christmas tree and a few festive items that are small or subtle.
2. Opt For Neutral Colours
We know that bright reds and greens are cheery at Christmas. But too many colours can damage the overall vibe of your home. If you’re going to decorate, keep the colours neutral. The same applies to any tree lights. Ditch the multi-coloured bulbs and opt for a warm or cool LED light instead.
3. Add Festive Smells
A fresh and inviting smell in your home can help it stand out to buyers. It can even make your home appear cleaner and more appealing. A great way of making your home feel festive when you’re selling up is to add pleasant smells, like cinnamon or sweet cookies. A scent that isn’t too overpowering can help you feel festive without putting buyers off.
Want More Home Staging Tips?
We’re Alex Jones, and we know everything there is to know about selling properties in Ashton Under Lyne – including how to stage your home for a sale.
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Autumn Jobs: How to prepare your home and garden for autumn
A rare warm breeze is a playful reminder that we are now into autumn, the summer months having passed us by.
Blue skies peppered with clouds will seemingly quickly turn to rain. Mornings start with wet ground underfoot, while the nights are already drawing in and the streetlights in and around Ashton Under Lyne will be glowing earlier. Children are collecting conkers, and while some of us relish the walks through the fallen golden leaves, others might be looking forward to snuggling down at home in the warmth.
It’s the perfect time to get our homes and gardens in order, ready for the rest of autumn, the slow onset of winter and the cold, snowy weather it often brings.
So, we’ve put together six things you should be doing right now to prepare your home and garden for the weeks ahead.
Store your garden furniture
You may already have been prepared and put all your summer items away, but some of us just haven’t got around to it yet, reluctant to say goodbye to the slim chance of just one more warm and sunny day! It’s a job that must be done though, so make sure that your patio furniture is stored away in a garage or a shed, or at least has a protective sheet over it. Chances are, you will have spent a few pounds on the furniture so you should look after it.
Top Tip: Give your garden furniture a good scrub before storing, as not only will it mean things are clean, it means you won’t have to spend time doing it when you bring your furniture out of hibernation in spring next year.
Don’t leaf it too late! (Sorry! We couldn’t resist!)
Many trees and plants have now shed their leaves, and you might love the look and sound of those crunchy piles as they mount up against a wall or fence, but it’s best to sweep all the fallen debris up before it begins to rot and leaves an unsightly mess in your garden. Similarly, ensure your gutters are free from mud, leaves and twigs.
Top Tip: Invest in a composter. That way, you have somewhere nearby to put garden clippings and leaves in, and, if managed carefully, you’ll have the beginnings of great compost.
Check your pipes and drains
As the days become colder, it makes perfect sense to make sure that you don’t get any headaches from broken pipes or blocked drains. With drains, ensure that they are not blocked by leaves or soil. With pipes, it’s best to ensure that they are well insulated. It’s also recommended that you keep your heating at set temperatures, even if you are away from home so that pipes don’t keep contracting and expanding, making them prone to damage.
Top Tip: Landlords who let out properties have a duty by law to have gas safety checks and boiler checks, but it’s easy for homeowners to skip an annual service. It makes sense to us here at Alex Jones for every homeowner to make sure their heating and boilers are in good working condition. It’s safer and more efficient, saving the pennies.
Ensure insurance is in place
No matter what you do, sometimes things go wrong, and it can prove costly. Through no fault of your own, harsh weather conditions in winter can mean leaks, breaks and cracks can happen. Check that your insurance is in place and that it covers you for everything you need.
Top Tip: As you’re checking your insurance cover, take the time to do an audit of other bits and bobs of paperwork too. Perhaps your car insurance needs looking at, or you need to renew policies or update your will. Seriously, spending time doing essential paperwork can save you money and heartache.
Sound the alarm
With the coming cold weather, chances are you’ll be spending more time indoors – the kettle is on, the fire is roaring, candles are lit, the heating’s on. While you’re indoors, you need to know you are safe, and that if anything should happen, you will be quite literally alarmed. Get a smoke alarm fitted, and a carbon monoxide alarm too. A few pounds spent could save your life.
Top Tip: If you’ve got your alarms sorted, do you have a plan of what happens if one sounds? Make sure you and your family know what they should do in the event of a fire or other emergency, including escape routes.
Seal up for winter
No matter how new your house may be, a little gap here and there can let in drafts – and allow heat to get out. Make sure your insulation is good and do any work to make sure doors close properly, or gaps in window frames are sealed. It’ll keep you warm and save you money.
Top Tip: A nice draft excluder by the front door can actually add to your decor. If you’ve got children, perhaps they would like to make a draught excluder out of old clothes and textiles as a fun project!
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Moving house is a pretty stressful event at the best of times, and that’s when everything runs like clockwork.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t always run so smoothly, and there are plenty of potential pitfalls and oversights that you’ll want to avoid if your move is to go as planned.
Here are 6 of the most common moving house horrors you might come across, and how to avoid them.
1. Not Packing An Essentials Box
As moving day horrors go, this isn’t too bad, but it can be extremely frustrating. Just imagine, you’re sitting in your new pad, feet up on the sofa after a long day and your phone battery is down to the final 2%. There’s a mountain of boxes in front of you, and you can’t remember for the life of you where you put that phone charger. Damn!
Substitute phone charger for kettle and tea bags in the above scenario and you’ve pretty much got the same situation.
Just remember when you’re packing up your old place – keep a box of essentials separate from everything else!
2. Furniture Doesn’t Fit
This is an awkward one, especially if it’s something valuable or sentimental to you. Equally, if it’s the sofa or a bulky bed, then you might not have somewhere to sit or sleep for a few weeks while you’re waiting on a new one to be delivered.
It’s always a good idea to measure up in advance, unless you have furniture that can be taken apart and easily reassembled, or if you’re lucky the new place might have double doors into the garden so you’ll breeze through the back door with that swanky sofa.
Again, as with most things, preparation is key. If you’ve measured up in advance and there’s just no practical way of getting your bulky furniture into the new place, then at least you’ll have time to donate or sell it and get something new ordered. And on the plus side, it’s one less thing to have to take with you on moving day!
3. Forgetting To Notify People Of Your New Address
If it’s the in-laws then maybe ‘accidentally forgetting’ isn’t such a bad thing! But on a serious note it’s important you inform a few essential people, such as your bank, employer, and utility providers. After all, you don’t want to be paying for someone else’s gas and electricity in your old place too!
A good way to avoid this is to make a list of all the companies and service providers you use a few weeks before you move, and tick them off as you notify them. It’s also worth getting in touch with Royal Mail and having your post redirected for a few months, as you’re bound to miss someone out.
4. Damaging Items
If you think your smartphone is fragile, just imagine what could happen to your 60 inch Plasma screen if you drop it! The best way to avoid damage is to package everything overly cautiously and don’t rush. Just remember, you can never have too much bubble wrap, and it’s better to take your time and get everything in the house in one piece than finish by lunchtime and have broken glass on your new living room carpet.
Of course, accidents can happen though, so make sure you’ve got your contents insurance in place ready for moving day. And, if you’re using a removal company, check they’re insured too before you hire them.
5. Running Out Of Time
If you’re a naturally laidback person then it’s time to focus and be organised. Just for a few weeks at least!
If you’ve never moved home before it can be easy to underestimate how long it takes to get everything packed up, especially if you’re wrapping your valuables well to protect them.
As much as you won’t want to live among boxes for a few weeks before your move, it’s often necessary in order to have a smooth moving day when the time comes.
So unlike your school exams that you didn’t revise for until the night before, don’t leave your packing until the last minute, or you’ll be running around like a headless chicken on the morning of your move!
6. Getting An Injury
Ok, so you’ll have to be really unlucky to trip over a box and break your leg, but it’s not completely impossible.
A more likely injury is a pulled muscle or a back spasm. Ouch! Just take your time with all the heavy items, make sure you’ve got plenty of pairs of hands to help out, and don’t overstretch yourself!
Talk To The Experts
Here at Alex Jones, we provide advice that can help you avoid these Halloween horrors!