5 Essential Questions for a Potential Property Buyer


If you are in the market for a new home, there is much to consider, and while most people are fully aware of what that entails, there are some important points to address, and this can best be done by answering the following questions.

Can I afford the Property? – One must be realistic with the answer to this question, and if the monthly payments are realistic, and you have the deposit, all you need is a little extra for the relocation cost. If the answer is no, then perhaps you should think about opting for a smaller property, or deferring the purchase for a while, which will give you time to save some more of your hard earned cash.

Can I Obtain a Mortgage? – If money is tight and you want to save money, you should use an independent mortgage broker, who can secure you an affordable home loan that is tailored to suit your needs. This step should be addressed at the very outset, as without mortgage approval, buying any property will remain firmly in the realm of a dream. If you live in NSW, and are looking for an established Sydney mortgage broker, there are online companies who specialise in sourcing home loans, especially for first time buyers.

Am I Happy with the Location? – If the answer is not an emphatic “yes”, then it might be an idea to keep looking. In the current market trend, it is a buyer’s market, and with a little patience, you might find an area that is preferable. There are, of course, online real estate agents who have a number of stunning homes on their books, and wherever you prefer to be based, you should focus your search on that area.

Is This a Long Term Investment? – If you are planning to move again in a few years’ time, then you shouldn’t be planning any major improvements, but if you are sure that you will stay indefinitely, then the investment is likely to pay dividends, and it is therefore a good idea to plan for the future. You might want to make a career out of property investments, and if so, read some interesting articles that discuss buying property with a view to long-term investment.

Is this the Right time to Buy? – If things are looking good career wise, and the mortgage is affordable, then there’s no reason not to go ahead, but if your job is not secure, or you can see other issues that might affect your finances, then it could be wiser to wait for a while.

If you can answer all of the above questions with a definitive “Yes”, then you have thought things through, and the purchase is likely to be one of your wisest investments that will provide you and your family with a secure home and also a solid investment.

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Getting Guest Ready: How To Prepare Your Home For A Horde Of House Guests

House guests

When you’ve got a large family, or lots of friends, it’s pretty much applied that you’re going to get a lot of guests throughout the year. So much so, that you probably choose a house that’s suitable for entertainment and the many hosting duties that you’re likely to have. But sometimes, even that’s not enough to ensure that you’re always ready to take on a horde of house guests at a moment’s notice. So, instead, you need to know what kind of preparation process to go through. This can be particularly handy for you if you’ve recently moved into your own home and it’s your first time hosting. So let’s take a look at what you’ll need to do to get ready.

Make A List

The first thing that you’re going to need to do to help yourself here, is to make a list. Because your mind is probably racing with all of the different things that you need to do, and if you don’t write them down, you may find that you forget them easily. So, start out with a list. You may find that you have to write down things that you need to do to feel prepared, like extra toiletries and food, as well as a list of different things that you can all do together. Because if you’ve got guests staying for a few days, you might need to keep them entertained too.

House guests

Prepare The Guest Rooms

Next, you’re then going to need to prepare the guest rooms. And it’s important to recognize that you may need to prepare more than one room if you have them, and if you have more than one set of guests coming. Perhaps you’ve got a group of friends coming to stay? Then it’s likely that you’ll need at least one room to house them, meaning you’ve got more than one set of bedding and toiletries to prepare.

And The Extra Beds

You may even find that you have more guests coming over then you can physically house in a bedroom. So, you’re going to have to get some extra beds from somewhere. If you entertain regularly, you might want to look into a solution like the Alstons sofas offer that are stylish but convert into sofa beds too. Then, they’ll look great on an everyday basis but convert into a sleeping solution at a moment’s notice.

Streamline Your Storage

Then, you’re also going to want to clear out some of the storage you have around the home too – particular in the guest bedroom. Because your guests are going to want to ensure that they have somewhere to keep their stuff while they’re staying with you.

And Get Ready To Greet Them

Finally, you should also be thinking about how you’re going to greet them when they arrive. Because you’re going to want to make a song and dance of it. Think about the nibbles and refreshments that you can pull together so that they can feel right at home as soon as they arrive.


Image credits
Image 1 – Photo by Kaboompics // Karolina from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-preparing-christmas-table-6270/

Image 2 – Photo by Mary Whitney from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-bed-comforter-during-daytimne-90317/

Image 3 – Photo by Kaboompics // Karolina from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/glasses-of-rose-wine-6290/



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What To Look For In A Day Care Centre

If the very thought of leaving your baby somewhere while you are at work every day makes you never want to leave home, rest assured you are not alone. But, there are plenty of excellent options for day care out there, especially when it comes to day care.

A Visit to the Pennino Day Care Center

The Benefits of Day Care

A good program will offer significant benefits for your baby:

  • Education
  • Continuous care
  • Reliability
  • Cost-effective
  • Licensed and trained staff
  • More than one caregiver

How to Choose a Day Care Facility

If you are going to send your child to day care, the best time to start looking is about two months before you go back to work. If you live in a bustling city, you may want to start checking out options before your baby is even born. Here’s how to choose day care centres in Brisbane or in your local area:

Do Your Homework

Get loads of recommendations from the paediatrician, other parents, and anyone else you talk to. Also head online for referrals and to check out reviews.

Conduct Interviews

Screen day care centres over the phone or visit them to ask questions.

Visit the Facility

Speaking of visiting the centre, head over in person so if your desired facility checks off the basics. Always trust your gut: if something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not going to be right for your baby.

Ask Questions

  • Once you have a few options, ask the facilities the following questions:What is your schedule and cost? The centre should be in line with your own schedule and budget.
  • Is there a waiting list to get in? Some facilities have long waiting lists, which is why it is better to start looking as early on as possible
  • What accreditation do you have? While a license may not guarantee loads of attention for your little one, it does boost the odds and means that there are strict health and safety standards for the centre to follow.
  • How many children do you look after at once? Toddlers and babies require a great deal of attention. Ideally, the centre should have a maximum of six babies or even eight toddlers per group and one member of staff for every three babies or every four toddlers.
  • What is your day care philosophy? You should be comfortable with the centre’s policies on discipline, feeding, soothing, and early education.
  • What experience and qualifications do staff have? Caregivers should have CPR training as well as First Aid experience at the very least. Ideally, the director will have a degree regarding early childhood education.
  • Do parents get involved? Will you be able to participate, and is there a parent board?
  • What is your policy on immunizations?
  • What are the health requirements for caregivers?
  • How do you handle sick kids?
  • What do you give kids to eat? Snacks and meals should be nutritious, safe, and age-appropriate.

Finally, when you visit the centre, look out for happy staff and children, a stimulating environment, and separation of age groups, as well as a clean and sanitary setting.


Image credits: Fairfax County – https://flic.kr/p/aBNGLj

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How Natural Disasters Affect the Real Estate Market

The government is still assessing the total damage of Hurricane Irma – although as CNN Money reports, both Irma and Harvey have already racked up billions in damages – and all of us know that it’s going to take a lot of time before Florida returns to normal.

Natural Disasters

When a disaster strikes, the first priority is naturally protecting lives – as it should be – but one has to wonder, what do all of these catastrophes mean from an economic point of view, especially when it comes to real estate…

What Is Exactly At Stake Here?

Most of us don’t think about natural disaster until they occur. With all of those recent disasters, you have to wonder, just how many homes are at risk of natural disasters?

According to a recent RealtyTrac report, staggering 43% of houses and condos in the United States are at very high risk of at least one type of disaster at any moment. This amounts to almost 36 million homes across the US with an estimated market value – get ready for this – of 6.6 trillion dollars.

Not surprisingly, California sits at the top of the list of states that are at risk. There, roughly 8.4 million homes are estimated to be at a high risk. Next up, again, not really all that surprising, Florida with more than 6.7 million homes at the same risk level.

How Natural Disasters Impact Real Estate

Unlike many other factors, like the state of economy for example, natural disasters are only a local phenomenon rather than a nationwide one. And while the rest of the country doesn’t really notice the effects of disasters, they are more than noticeable in that particular are – if only for a couple of months.

Most potential buyers lose the confidence in that location and mortgage operations become noticeably slow – and both factors hurt home sales in the area. As Market Watch reports, home sale prices increase at a much slower rates in these high risk areas than compared to the rest of the country.

As a matter of fact, according to data collected between 2005 and 2015, in low risk areas, the average price increases at a rate between 6.6% and 9.5%. On the other hand, in high risk areas prices have decreased by 2.5% and 6.4% during the same period.

But when it comes to the actual home value, disasters impact the real estate market in a completely different way. In a paradoxical turn of events, the average home prices in these high risk states seem to be higher than in the rest of the state. While they don’t grow as fast, they start at a much higher point.

Home Prices in High Risk States

For starters, an average home price in high risk states is around 170K dollars, while the price of very high risk state – located in aforementioned states like California – homes is more than 190K. When we compare this to very low risk areas that have an average property value of 150K dollars, we can clearly see that the difference is more than noticeable.

Moreover, this decade, home price appreciation has been much, much stronger in very high risk areas than in low risk ones. In the last few years, home prices in very high risk areas had a 20.4% increase compared to very low risk areas that saw a 10.1% increase.

This can be explained – partially at least – by the fact that the markets in high risk states change a lot faster than others. And as BuzzBuzz News reports, experts claim that the recovery from the recent housing crisis has been faster and stronger in very high risk areas around the country.

How Disasters Affect Home Buyers

Surprisingly, potential natural disasters don’t do much to influence a majority of potential home buyers.  In fact, factors such as weather and business opportunities have a much larger effect on the decision making process of modern buyers.

As history has shown, a natural disaster, while impacting the real estate market for a certain period of time, doesn’t actually have a long lasting effect. We can clearly see from the infamous Loma Prieta earthquake, which occurred 27 years ago.

The 6.9 magnitude disaster rocked Northern California, leaving 63 victims, destroying more than 11,000 houses and creating roughly 6 billion dollars in damages in the process. As you can expect, nervous home buyers started backing out of their real estate deals.

Since only a couple of older homes were destroyed beyond repair during the earthquake, most home buyers were ready to wait for some minor damages to be repaired – such as cracks in the driveway – to be prepared before continuing with their purchase.

According to researchers from the San Diego State University, only small decrease in real estate property values correspond with the earthquake, however, the economic conditions in the country of the last decade of the 20th century had a much larger impact on the market.

What about Buyers’ Awareness?

The impact natural disasters have on the market makes a lot of sense from the buyer’s perspective when you think about it. Since a ton of information is freely available online, these days, homeowners don’t have any excuses for being uninformed.

When it comes to both private and commercial real estate, buyers are now able to make a good decision on where and what type of property to buy, based on all of the information that’s out there. Nonetheless, future property owners should still consult a real estate agency before making any decisions.

A good real estate company will be able to explain specific insurance coverage the customer should look into before buying a property. And of course, if the buyer isn’t too familiar with the potential risks a good realtor should explain how natural disaster will impact the price of the property they’re looking at in the long haul.

Natural Disasters

The Bottom Line

Some of the more high risk areas in the country are located along the coastline, which has some of the US’s most beautiful and picturesque settings. So you can’t be all that surprised that people are still flocking into these beautiful regions.

Although natural disasters have a significant short term impact on the real estate market, as we said already, things like the economic climate have a far greater impact. But when like everything else, being aware of any possible risk is more than important when it comes to buying or selling a home.


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Tips On Choosing A Beautiful Eternity Ring

eternity ring

If it is coming up to a special anniversary or you have another celebration such as the birth of a child, an eternity ring is a perfect gift for the one that you love. There is a lot of choices to choose from with eternity rings coming in lots of shapes and sizes, as well as being made from different metals and containing different precious stones. You can see a selection of the various styles of eternity ring that are popular on the pinterest.co.uk website to give you an idea of your choices ahead. Before you go out and buy an eternity ring though, you will have various factors to consider first.

Work Out A Budget

It is a lot easier to go shopping for jewellery when you have a budget to work to, and you make sure that you stick to it. Decide on how much you want to spend on your ring and also take a look at the different styles and try to work out your preferences.

Choosing Your Diamond

The first place you should start when looking for an eternity ring for yourself or your partner is the diamond. The size and the cut of the diamond will have an overall effect on the shape and style of the ring, and of course, the size will also affect the price. It is always worth your time to do some research on the different qualities of diamonds such as the cut, and there is a wealth of free information available on the Gemological Institute of America website.

Choosing The Width Of Your Eternity Ring

Another important factor that you will need to consider is the width of the ring that you want. You usually find that the wider the ring, the bigger the diamond, so the width is also influenced by the budget that you have available. There are also other factors that you need to think about such as the setting that you want for the diamond, and when you have an idea of what it is that you want, it is time to start shopping.

Shopping For Your Dream Ring

There are many options available when shopping for eternity rings in the UK, and the best place to start looking is from the comfort of your home. There is no need to leave the house as you can surf the internet and take a look at all of the different eternity rings that are available. You will want to take a look at review websites such as Trust Pilot to help find reliable and trustworthy jewellers in your local area and make a shortlist of companies to contact. Contact each of the businesses and explain what it is that you want and see what they have to offer.

Take your time in deciding and compare each of the companies carefully, before making your choice. When you are ready and have decided on your perfect eternity ring, you can make your purchase and show your other half just how special they are to your life.

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