Trying to Buy a Heritage Property? Here are 5 Things to Remember

Heritage properties are unique, they have a lot of charm and character. This is especially true for Victorian homes that can easily be modernized to fit the 21st century and still emphasize their vintage characteristics.

However, as charming as they might be, heritage homes can come with some common issues. This is why it’s important to understand what it means to own a heritage property and what you should be paying attention to when buying one.

Here are five tips that will help you during the buying process.

Work with a Realtor

When buying a heritage property, a great idea would be to work with a realtor to help you find the perfect heritage home. Make sure you find a realtor that is experienced in selling heritage properties. The ideal realtor should have adequate knowledge and be able to offer you guidance during the process.

The realtor should also be able to answer any questions you might have about heritage homes. For example, you should ask about restrictions with renovations, costs of owning a heritage property, etc.

Inspect the Property

You need to be aware that heritage properties are old houses. This means that the wiring, plumbing or HVAC systems may need an upgrade.

So, before you decide on a certain heritage property you should, first, inspect it. The inspection will allow you to see if the home is in good condition.

Of course, you will need to hire a professional building inspector but when shopping around, you can do the basic inspection yourself to narrow down your choice.

Keep in mind that to make any renovations on a heritage property you might first need to get approval by a local heritage committee. The inspector you hire should know more about the restrictions for specific properties.

Know the Difference Between Listed and Designated Properties

Some people mistakenly think of listed and designated heritage as two different terms for the same type of property. In reality, there is a certain difference between the two. When looking for heritage homes, it’s important to know what kind of property you’re actually buying.

Properties that are designated as heritage have a legal status. This means that the City Council has legal authority to deny drastic renovation of the property.

On the other hand, properties that are listed as heritage don’t have the same legal status. However, the City Council can still decide to protect the property from demolition or drastic changes of its appearance, if it deems necessary.

Couple with real-estate agent signing home investment contract

Be Aware of All the Costs

Naturally, the first cost you will need to know is the price of the property itself. You can check property prices on websites with property listings to get an idea of what you can expect. Well-maintained heritage properties can be harder to find and for this reason, they might sell well over the listed prices.

Apart from the price of the property, there are other costs you will need to be aware of before buying a heritage home.

As mentioned before, heritage homes are old properties and some of them might need substantial renovation. You also might need to invest more in maintenance of your new home. The cost of insurance might also be a lot higher than for a regular house.

It’s important to know all of these costs upfront so you cut budget accordingly.

Think of the Resale Value

If you intend on selling your heritage home later on, you will need to think of its resale value. Houses that are well-maintained and keep their charm have a potential to grow in value. Also, the surrounding areas of these kind of properties are often protected and that can also add to the resale value.

Final Thoughts

When buying a heritage property there are certain things you should be aware of. Most importantly, you should thoroughly inspect the property and learn about the costs of potential renovation. During your search for the perfect heritage property, the above five tips will help you find your new home.

About the author:

Sienna Walker is an avid finance and career blogger, interested in helping people make smart financial decisions and multiplying their wealth. She is also a part of the team behind Brighter Finance, experts in the field of money management. Feel free to visit Sienna on @SiennaWalkerS.

 

How To Prepare Your Belongings For Temporary Storage

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An inevitable part of adult life is being in transition at least once at some point of it. It starts with moving away from our parents’ home, and many people experience transition periods numerous times later on – whether it’s accepting a temporary job in another city or country, moving to a new neighbourhood, or even just taking an extended holiday. There’s also another kind of transition – one where you stay in the same place, but your life and habits change completely, like having a baby or starting a business from your home, where all of a sudden you need to make more room.  All these changes result in temporarily storing your things away, and since that may seem like a dreary task, we’re here to break things down for you so you can get organized easily.

1.     Make a List

 

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Of course,  all big, messy ventures are taken on by first making a list. For the ultra-organized type of people, making lists is always the first step, because it takes the chaos away from any process, and sometimes they even turn to Excel spreadsheets for pure enjoyment. If you’re not the super-organized type, you will nevertheless feel the bliss of writing down a simple list of things you need to store away – and then checking each item off one by one as you get them packed. Feels good, right?

2.     Get Packaging Materials

Go down that neat list of everything you need to pack and write down which kind of materials you will need for packing – cardboard boxes and their approximate size, butchers paper and bubble wrap for fragile items, etc. It doesn’t have to be very precise, but jotting down some notes on the amount and kind of packaging you need will make it much easier for you.

 

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For storing items like books, clothing, and documents, it’s best to use plastic storage tubs, because, unlike cardboard, they will protect these items from moisture and mold. You can buy these materials from any self-storage business or ask some local businesses to give you the boxes they intended to recycle. Don’t forget to also buy tape, markers and labels.

3.     Get Packing!

Pack your stuff carefully so that it will not get damaged during transport or storage. Encase the fragile items in many layers of bubblewrap and butchers paper, and make sure to put in some „stuffing“ also, such as newspapers or packing peanuts. Remember that there will be a lot of extra weight once everything is stacked together. Or maybe, to stay on the safe side, you can even get help with that from the storage facility you choose. Here in Wollongong, we have the Wollongong branch of storage services that offer protective padding for free to secure items in place and ensure protection during transportation,  and there are similar options in bigger cities all over the world. Place heavier items in smaller boxes to avoid overloading and potential injury for whoever will be carrying them.

4.     Labeling

Label each box with the exact items that are in it to save yourself a lot of frustration for the time when you’re going to be unpacking again. Since these boxes are going to be placed all together somewhere, a good tip is to use colour-coded labels referencing rooms or types of items that are inside – for example, green labels for dinnerware, red ones for kitchen appliances, etc. Keeping a precise written log of all the labels is a good idea to ensure you know later what you have stored away and where exactly to find it.

5.     Choose a Storage Facility

Thankfully, most storage units are now secure, weatherproof and even monitored, so choose the right one and you won’t have to worry about damage or theft. Look for storage companies that offer advice and assistance with loading, because it doesn’t make a difference in pricing and it will be a huge help to you. Since you are essentially entrusting your possessions to somebody, be careful and make sure you are dealing with absolute professionals – see if they have a website and what it’s like, evaluate their communication with clients, and even go there to see the facility in person before you make your choice.

 

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Once everything is ready and set, get to loading, preferably with the help of professionals. With everything stacked nicely at the storage facility, take notes on where the different types of labels are. Finally, rest easy, knowing that you have accomplished quite a task. Someday further on, you will reunite with your things and give yourself a pat on the back when you realize you can find them all quite easily (yay for that written log).

Best Summer Packing Tips Ever

Packing when going away for the holidays is never an easy task. While the amount of luggage you need bring depends on many factors, keep in mind that you’re going away to have fun and relax, so pack only things you really need. Furthermore, the lighter you pack, the easier it will be to get around and enjoy yourself.

travel-164574_960_720Choose a Suitcase to Help You Pack

Make sure you only bring essentials by picking a smaller suitcase than you would normally use. This way, you will limit the available space and you will have to decide what’s really important for your holiday. When packing your things, try to plan out your stay, and put what you will use last at the bottom. That will keep your suitcase tightly packed.

Which Shoes Do You Really Need to Take?

A girl’s worst nightmare just might be being limited to a few pairs of shoes. Pick out a few of your favourites and make sure you know which pairs will be useful and which to leave home. You won’t need a pair for each occasion on your holiday; try to combine your outfit with only a few pairs. Take into account how many days you’ll stay and where you plan to go – that should help you pick out the shoes to take with you.

beach-455752_960_720You Need a Good Swimsuit or Two

You cannot leave for summer holiday without a swimsuit, but choosing only one or two can be problematic. It’s often a good idea to pick out at least two sets of swimwear, and clean one while you’re using the other. Think along the lines of comfort and bring only swimsuits you feel comfortable in. That way, you can have fun, relax and enjoy the beach to the fullest.

Wear Some Clothes More Than Once

If you’re going to think that one outfit can only be worn once, then you might as well prepare an extra suitcase. You need to get creative when it comes to clothes, otherwise, you might as well take your whole wardrobe. Floral tops, Sivana Spirit tunic dresses and harem-style pants are always a good choice. Plan an outfit for traveling to and from your destination, that should free-up some space in your luggage. If there’s a place where you can wash your clothes, you can make your suitcase even lighter, as you will be able to clean and reuse some of your clothing.

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Skincare Is Essential

Just because you’re going away on holiday, doesn’t mean you should neglect your skincare regimen. However, you will have to make some alterations to it and adjust your skincare products if you want to both take care of yourself and pack light. Make sure that you make a list of which products you will need, and choose only the ones you really need. Keep in mind that you’re on a holiday to have fun, not to spend it in front of a mirror.

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The summer holidays are all about having fun and enjoying yourself to the fullest. The best way to do so is to pack as lightly as possible. You definitely don’t want to drag a lot of your luggage around with you. The less you have in your suitcase, the more you can focus on having fun and creating wonderful memories of your amazing holiday getaway.

 

Things You Should Do Before Moving Into A New House By Diana Smith

image-2Buying a house is one of the biggest and most important steps in life. You’ll finally live in a home you’ve always dreamed about, and decorate it the way you like. However, you must take care of a few things before you can start arranging furniture and creating the perfect home for your family. This is what the pre-moving activities should look like.

Checking the Leaks

The home inspector should notify you if there are any plumbing damages in the house before you decide to buy the place. However, inspectors may overlook these things sometime, which will leave you in quite a predicament. A broken pipe or a damaged faucet could cause major problems, like flood, so it would be perfect to double-check all the plumbing before you move in. Additionally, check the fuse box for potential electricity malfunction as well.

Pest Control

Make sure you call the exterminator a day or two before you decide to move in, so that they can see if there is any pest problem. Setting a couple of bug bombs or having the exterminator simply spray the place would be enough. Do it before you move in, because it will be easier for you to catch rodents or insects in an unfurnished house than with all the sofas and end tables in the way.

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Change the Locks

Changing the locks on the exterior doors is imperative when moving into a new house. You never know if the previous owners gave their spare key to someone they know, but who is a complete stranger to you. Once you move in, start securing the home with security systems. Install an alarm, smoke detectors and have at least two fire extinguishers in the house.

Clean the House

The house that’s supposed to be sold will always look clean, but it’s definitely not clean enough for you to just move in without making it spotless. Start from scratch, get the buckets, brooms, mops, and a vacuum cleaner, and start cleaning from top to bottom. Mop the floors, wash the windows, sanitize the bathroom and the kitchen, and vacuum the entire place.

Paint the Walls

You might like the colour of the walls, but you should still paint all the walls and ceilings in the house. Not only will the house look fresh, but it will actually be fresh and bacteria free. On the other hand, if the walls are damaged and not in a good shape, you might need to call for professional help. If you decide to do it yourself, make sure to get proper workwear Sydney has to offer, and stay safe and clean during the work.

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New Switch Plates

If your new home has been renovated more than once, it’s possible that it has dirty and discoloured cover plates, mismatched outlets and rusted or damaged air vent covers. Therefore, make sure you change them after you have painted the walls. Once all the painting is done, you won’t have to worry about old and dirty spots in the house anymore.

Check for Breakage

The moving service usually delivers everything in one piece, but the damages are sometimes inevitable. Therefore, make sure to double-check all the fragile pieces of furniture that could have been broken or damaged during the move. Glass objects are especially sensitive, so be careful when unpacking. If they’ve cracked or broken, you could seriously hurt yourself.

Every new house needs a couple of fix-ups before the family moves in. Now that you have considered all of these suggestions, get to work and have the house in order. Once you have changed the locks, repainted, cleaned and secured the home, you’ll be able to start decorating and designing the beautiful interior.

 

 

Moving: Packing Lawn & Garage

How to Pack Lawn and Garage Items

  • Drain all gasoline and oil from lawn mowers, weed eaters, chain saws and other gas-powered equipment.
  • Bundle garden tools together for easy handling.
  • Pack heavy tools in small boxes and fill in the gaps with crushed packing paper.
  • Check the “Do Not Ship” list for items that cannot be shipped, such as poisonous or flammable items and corrosives.

 

SOURCE: http://www.upack.com/moving-resources/packing-tips.asp