Top Tips When Relocating to a New City or Country

Moving is always a stressful process. Add a new city or country to the mix and it can be utterly overwhelming. Not only do you have to deal with all the packing and deciding which belongings you will keep, there might be language barriers, cultural differences, different council rules, visa applications and international travel involved. I am here to tell you it doesn’t have to be very scary – read my top tips to make preparing to relocate to anywhere a bit easier.

Finding the Right Estate Agent

Even if you are moving within the UK, it can be so tricky to know which estate agents and companies you should actually trust and which ones you should avoid at all costs. A good start is always Google as it will help you determine which companies are out there. Don’t just search for estate agents but also research residential developments to ensure you don’t miss any opportunities. For example, the Lodha Group is a reputable property developer with various locations, including Lincoln Square in London. Once you have a list of companies, make sure to check reviews on channels like Facebook or Google. When people have had excellent or disastrous experiences, they have likely shared them somewhere. These reviews will provide a great start to narrowing down your list of agencies and companies. Alternatively, join a local Facebook group and ask for feedback on local estate agents.

Language Barriers

Moving to a completely new country is daunting; there is no other way to spin this. But it will always be a fantastic adventure. If you have to deal with language barriers, you can prepare yourself by following a language course ahead of the big move. Sounds simple, but plenty of people will find that making the time for this is actually a little harder than initially anticipated. Research local language courses if you do better with regular sessions and other like-minded students. Obviously, in this day and age, you will also be able to find an app that will help you pick up new vocabulary and grammar. Take your pick from apps like Duolingo, Babbel, TripLingo and many more. You will be spoiled with choices. Depending on your budget, you can try free or cheaper apps or jump straight in and pay a bit more for the Rosetta Stone app. You will have to schedule your own time though.

Visa Applications, Cultural Differences & Council Rules

Figuring out where to look when you want straight-forward information on visas, culture or local council rules can be very confusing, especially if you don’t speak the language. A great resource can be university websites if you are locating to a city with a major learning institution. Universities will often compile useful information on life in the city so new students will have less trouble adjusting to this new environment. This information is often not only useful for students but anyone looking to move. The resources will include details on council tax and other charges, estate agents, banks, insurances and other key information. Save yourself some time and browse these resources, which are often readily available on university websites in various languages.

Tips for letting out your home

If you are considering moving out of your home, but wish to let it out there are many factors that you should consider to make an informed decision and ensure that all your legal rights are in place. It could be that you need to move abroad for work and wish to keep your property here in the UK, or you are moving in with a partner. You may have inherited a property and don’t want to sell, instead using it as an investment opportunity. Letting out your home can seem daunting but it is also a great opportunity for raising some revenue as an additional income. Here are our top tips for letting out your home.

Changing your mortgage

You will need to change your mortgage (if you have one) to a buy to let arrangement with your mortgage provider. As a result, your repayments may increase and you may need to complete a new application which would tap into your credit rating. Look up your present agreement and read the small print to assess what, if any, fees you would occur from switching your mortgage policy. View online mortgage advisor for advice on switching to a buy to let mortgage.

Allocate a letting agent

You don’t want to be bombarded with calls from your new tenants of how to work the heating or stating that something has broken at 2 am. Worse still, you wouldn’t want your old neighbours complaining about house parties or rubbish in the stairwell. To alleviate some of the stress of being a landlord, its best to allocate a letting agent who can take over these things and keep your tenants in check. They will also conduct interviews prior to letting out the property to make sure you get the right type of tenant who will respect and care for your home. They will also keep you right in the way of all the paperwork and documentation you will need to arrange for letting out your home from landlord certification to electricity reports.

Paying landlord tax

The accounting process for Landlords can be confusing and time confusing and often puts people off from becoming landlords. You will need to keep details of rental income throughout the year as a registered Landlord, as well as evidence of expenses. It’s really important to ensure your records and accounts are kept up to date to make the process of returning your tax form easier and simple as HMRC require a declaration each year of income from property letting. However, you can also claim for expenses such letting agent’s fees and interest on property loans if you have a residential property. Ease the burden by appointing an accountant who specialises in landlord tax – they will keep everything right so you do not have any nasty bill to pay unexpectedly. Using an accountant for this purpose will ensure your records and tax administration will be kept up to date.

 

Introducing art to your home

Artwork can completely transform a space. A great print can be the spark a room needs. Here are a couple of tips to help decorate your house!

1. Space awareness

When you’re picking your art for the house bare in mind how much space you have and what room the piece is going in. Consider colours, the personality of the room and other decorations that are already there. As a rule, I hang pieces I love in my bedroom or personal space but put pieces I want to make a statement in other rooms.

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Cassandra Yap: Blown Away
2. Stay limited
Prints are another great way if an artwork is too expensive. Even then Prints can look great! However I wouldn’t buy a print that was mass produced, I love prints that haven’t been part of a huge run. If you get a print that hasn’t been printed in mass, the value of it will go up when they run out.
3. Mix it up
You can hang your prints in clusters of small pieces. This can really make a large blank wall look great. Play about with different heights, change the width between the pieces and toy around with the frames. Just keep your space between prints consistent!
4. Size
Before you go out and buy a massive piece you should think about where it’s going. A small and subtle piece will definitely be lost on a large wall! If you would like to place a small piece on a big wall go back to the cluster idea! Prints come in all shapes and sizes so it shouldn’t be too hard to find one that isn’t too expensive.
5. Paint it yourself
There’s nothing more personal than actually painting your piece yourself. It’s a great conversation starter too and you can really show your thoughts in a piece. It might even work out cheaper too! There’s plenty of guides and videos online that can help you too. Check out My Reeves and see what advice you can find there.
6. Go monochrome 
Monochrome themes let you play with different styles of art! A black and white theme allows your furniture and room accessories to be the bold colourful items in the room.
7. Pick a theme
The subject of your artwork is also really important. You should try to keep a theme going in each room. It wouldn’t make much sense to have a pop art piece about balloons and then a grey drawing of a cat. As an example, animal prints sit great beside pictures of maps.
8. Lean
A clever way to introduce artwork to your house is by leaning it against the walls rather than nailing it into them. So, for example, lean a piece on top of Chester drawers.

Introducing flowers to the home

There’s quite a few functional decorations we can put in the house. The house plant and flower are great for your house. Not only do they purify the air, their presence makes you mentally and physically healthier. They’re also helping in creating a relaxed environment and can highlight any room. There have been studies that show flowers and plants actually reduce peoples blood pressure, anxiety and encourage creativeness in people! 

Here are a bunch of beautiful plants and flowers you should consider adding to your home. 

1 – The Aloe plant

The aloe plant has a number of healing properties about it. The gel can soothe burns and cuts and it can help improve the air quality in your house. It clears pollutants found in chemical cleaning products that get into the air. When these pollutants become too much the plants leaves actually turn brown. 

2 – English Ivy

One of the best plants you can get to filter the air. It’s also one of the most effective when it comes to absorbing formaldehyde. It’s a really easy to grow the plant and can be hung or put in a plant pot. I personally prefer it being hung. 

3 – The Rubber Tree

The Rubber tree are great for cleansing the air too and is one of the easiest plants to grow. 

4 – Peace Lily Plant

This pretty little plant is low maintenance. It doesn’t need much help to grow and can survive in shade and cooler temperatures. They also help get rid of those toxins in the air. 

5 – The Garden Mum

Nasa’s plant of choice because of how good they are at removing toxins. The plant is really inexpensive and can remove ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde and xylene.

6 – Dracaena 

There are more than 40 different kinds of Dracaena plants. This makes it pretty easy to find one for your home or office. There really beautiful plants, great for decorating! However, they are toxic to cats and dogs. 

7- Ficus / Weeping Fig

This plant can grow to 10 feet tall and it loves bright indirect sunlight. It has some serious air cleaning abilities too! it removes benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. 

8 – The Boston Fern

These plants have to stay moist and prefer to live in humidity and indirect sunlight. They are easy to grow though and can remove formaldehyde and xylene. 

I personally think we should all introduce a couple of plants into our homes. Aside form them being great highlights to any room they provide so many health benefits that we’re missing. 

Why don’t you look at Bloom Magic and see what they have to offer!

Top Tips for Moving into a New Home

Moving into a new home may be an exciting time but can also be an extremely stressful event. With so much to do and organise some may wonder where do they even begin? Packing up a home, sorting out financial aspects of the move and ensuring everything runs smoothly can be daunting. Here we will list top tips to help your move be as hassle free as possible.

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How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Whether you are looking to save the earth or cut back on expenditure, saving energy is always a good thing. We at What Would You Do If think that it’s important to at least be cautious of how much energy that you waste through the different appliances and gas and heating products within your home. We’ve created a brief list of advice which we hope will save energy and hopefully, save you money on your bills.

Use a showerhead to save water use

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We used to be told that a shower was the energy saving option as an alternative to a bath being run. Although could it be with the amount of time people spend in the shower that this is isn’t true? If you enjoy being in a shower for 20 minutes at a time, you are for sure using too much energy. How you do make a change to cut back? Start by limiting the amount of time that you spend in the shower. You could also apply a showerhead which limits and saves the amount of water which gets through to you on the other side, whilst also allowing you to have ample water which is required to clean yourself.

 

Standby is not good enough

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One of the major ways that people waste energy is due to the sheer amount of unnoticed products which are sitting on standby when you think they have been turned off. Although products on standby only use around 20% of the energy it would on full power, if you culminate the amount of time against hours which you are wasting whilst you are in bed or out of the house, it really does add up. Make sure that you turn off the plugs at the wall to be sure that you aren’t needlessly wasting energy.

 

Wash your clothes at a lower temperature

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You might not be aware, but you can change the setting on most of your home appliances so that they can be used at a lower setting in order to save energy. In most washing machines this will be shown as clear as day as ‘energy efficient setting’ or ‘power saver mode’ on the settings reel. The truth is that these setting produce more than enough power and heat to wash your clothes without the damage which other more high energy setting would do. So you’ll save energy and keep your clothes looking good longer.

 

Replace your old radiators

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One thing which often impacts your heating is how much power to heat your radiator is actually generating. In most cases, if you have an old radiator which you still count on to keep your house warm, it will be wasting massive amounts of energy daily. Modern radiators are not only more effective for heating up your room faster, they also conduct around £0% of the amount of energy an old radiator uses, which saves a lot of energy in the winter months when you count on it. If you want our opinion, we’d say just invest in the best energy efficient radiator whilst you have the money because it’s an investment on savings. For example, vertical designer radiators from Trade Radiators are great on a budget and can save you up to 40% on your next heating bill.

5 Ways of Creating the Perfect Home Office

Working from home seems perfect right? For some, it’s been tried and tested and declared a failure – we at Whatwouldyoudoif think that is due to ill preparations prior to the completion of work.

What were the complaints of people who claimed they would never work from home again? It ranges from many issues such as: not being a great working environment, you get too easily distracted and that it costs more money than what you would think.

We are going to tell you 5 easy tips which will prove to make your home office venture a complete success!

Set out schedules

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When working from home, if you don’t prepare yourself correctly you can end up easily getting distracted from your tasks to find comfort in prostrating. By making out a detailed weekly schedule of the times you aim to have completed tasks for, what times you should be in the office and what time you take breaks at, you’ll find yourself getting better at holding down your work and responsibilities. Although, if you work better in sprints this is also something you’ll be able to achieve being your own boss. If you work for 2 hours, take a half hour break and continue this pattern, it could be suited to your style of work.

Buy used second hand office furniture

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One thing which is a constant complaint about trying to construct a home office is how much it costs for starting up. We believe this is a myth; it’s easy to get cheap and affordable used furniture. Nowadays you won’t even have to trek to a charity or second hand shop and hope for the best. There is UK companies out their such as Gazelle who buy second hand furniture and refurbish it before selling it on. Gazelle are extremely passionate about recycling and protecting the earth and that’s why they put in so much effort to re-purpose old furniture perfectly, so people can be convinced that it isn’t second rate. We highly suggest you purchase second hand used office furniture for your office as items such as chairs, cabinets, desks and storage can be bought extremely cheap.

Only work, not play

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Never use your office for anything other than doing work, when you aren’t working, spend time in your living room, kitchen or any other room. Why? If you spend too much time on recreational in your office, you’ll soon realise that you are spending the full day in the one room, which isn’t great for your mental health. Great it like you would a shared office- if you aren’t working go out and enjoy the outdoors or use another room for leisure.

Hang a clock

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Hanging a clock in your home office will prove great for your production, as it’ll keep you on track with all of your activities, whilst making you work for something. It’s easy to get carried away when you aren’t working with co-workers on one specific task, although if you have multiple tasks to complete on the same day, I’d say that you’d be best keeping track and having a system. It’ll also stop you from looking at your phone to find out the time- which can lead to major prostration.

Make sure you lighting is natural

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One thing you want to take advantage of is the amount of natural lighting you get into the room. Before choosing which room in your house would be best to transition into an office has a think to yourself, is it worth changing rooms around to work in one with a bigger window? Studies show that you’ll be more likely to suffer from headaches if you are using artificial light to power your room with lack of natural light.

5 Easy Ways To Start Improving Your House

Home improvement plans can be very time consuming and a frighteningly long process. Although we at Whatwouldyoudoif have constructed an easy list of one-off tasks which will help you improve on your house.
Our suggestion is that you make your way through the list one my one (preferably one task a week) improving your home as you go with medium to easy tasks.

Paint external woodwork

If you have wooden timber window frames and doors in your property, painting them regularly (every year) will help them last for years with the protection from the sun and rainwater that the paint provides.
In many modern houses you will have been provided more than likely with plastic frames and doors, as its thought that they require less maintenance. This isn’t exactly true, you should still look into gaining protection for your frames and doors regardless of the choice of materials it was made with.

Invest in a dehumidifier

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Every home no matter if you aren’t noticing any damp problems could benefit from a humidifier. Dampness problems will often be started by things such as showering, cooking, clothes-drying and anything else which involves water, yep, even sweating! Getting a dehumidifier is the perfect protection and insurance to helping prevent your house from becoming damp and it’s the best way to fight again any dampness in a house.

Get double glazing

Have you noticed that even though your windows are closed, when you stand close to it you still get a small draft coming through? There’s a good chance you don’t have double glazing. The amount of money that you can save on your heating bills if you make the switch to double glazing is outstanding. It is also great from minimising the external noises which you can hear at night. Great for people living in the city in particular.

Change your radiators

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Having bad radiators can be a nightmare for your health and your wallet. The longer that you have a bad radiator the more you are spending money on a bad radiator. We appreciate that not everyone has the finance to just go out and buy radiators, but we would highly recommend getting anthracite classic column radiators as you are great for heating the full room in a short amount of time, meaning, you won’t have to always have them on. Think of it this way, for the amount of time you spend heating an old radiator in 3 hours, you can achieve that in 30 minutes with a new column radiator- think of the price difference to your heating bills.

Paint everything

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If in doubt, paint! You could paint furniture using Gouache Acrylic paint! You can buy reeves paint knives online. Just make sure you sand and prime the furniture first to get the best results. 

Keeping your rooms can sometimes be unsatisfying if you aren’t getting the results which you are seeking. You want to know a tip? Paint those walls! Seriously though, when you paint a room a fresh colour everything else falls into place. We suggest always painting your walls a natural colour in order to keep that clean look.

A look at London’s most desired properties

London is England and the UK’s largest and most populated city, people come to the cultural hub for many varying reasons including: career prospects, education and considering it have many tools to help you, fun.

In this article, we will be breaking down some of London’s most luxurious, unique and downright mind-blowing properties for your pleasure. We’ve made it our aim to construct a list which is as diverse as possible to showcase London’s wide style range.

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Embracing the Minimalist Design trend around your house

Spring is around and it’s time to breathe some fresh air into your home? Why not embrace the Minimalist Design trend? Achievable easily with details, or adopted all around the house, the look will change the way you see and live your home. Simple, pared down and ultra-contemporary, Minimalist Design brings us back to the very essence of materials and functions for each object. An imperative that nonetheless comes with great delicacy and warm compositions, where naturality serves the well-being of its inhabitants. Here is how to embrace the trend, whether it be in a contemporary urban flat or an open countryside house. Continue Reading