Monthly Archives: January 2016

Difference between using an online estate agent against a traditional


Online estate agents are becoming increasingly popular nowadays, with many people choosing them over traditional estate agents. There are several reasons why this is so, and it is mostly down to the fact that you will get a much better deal, and a much quicker sale, if you opt for an online agent. We’re here to tell you why ditching the traditional route could very well be the right move for you.

The main reason why more and more people are flocking to online agents is because it allows them to save money. Selling with a traditional agent comes with numerous fees which many people simply don’t want to put up with. They would rather know straight off how much everything is going to cost. With traditional agents adding an average 1.6% of the total value of your property to their fee just for signing the deal, selling online is clearly the better option in this regard.

Opting for an online agent also allows you to take vantage of the fact that more and more people now search for a property to buy online, rather than going down in person to a local estate agent. The majority of these traditional agents are tied to a particular property website, meaning that they can’t get word of your property out to the majority of people. On the other hand, online agents are free to post information about your property on all the most popular sites, such as Rightmove and Zoopla, so you have a much better chance of a fast sale.

The property market is also changing in the way that people want to actually look at a property in person. Gone are the days when people’s preference was for an estate agent to show them around. Nowadays, research has show they would much prefer the owner to show them the property, so that they can get a quick and honest answer to any questions they might have. Any of these questions could easily be the thing that sways a buyer into choosing your property, so maximizing on your own local knowledge is another way in which selling with an online agent is the way to go.

Finally, the way that people want to buy is changing in the same way that the way their viewing habits have changed. Rather than engage in an old fashioned bidding war, buyers now want to get an honest answer to the question of how much they will have to spend. Online agents understand that honesty is the best policy, and therefore open your property up to the maximum number of buyers, without pricing anyone out. Selling online makes you an average of 99% of your asking price, whereas the traditional estate agent would only be able to get you an average of 3% less than that. When all the facts are taken into consideration, it’s clear that choosing an online agent really is the way to go.

Perks of playing online bingo as a mom


Being a mother is always a huge responsibility irrespective of whether you are working or not. You tend to be so busy that sometimes you just feel like taking some time off to offer a moment to your self. This doesn’t mean you are trying to run away from your responsibilities, it just means you are willing to take a break now and then, in order to cool off your mind.

You can achieve that through online bingo as it is a great way to unwind yourself and have some excitement without making an effort. There are various benefits of playing bingo as a mom but I will just list down the two valuable one’s:

A great way of relaxing:

It proves to be great outlet of fun as along with playing bingo you get to socialize and make new friends with the same mindset. You don’t have to step out of their comfort zone to experience a game of bingo. They can easily access all the games even while doing the daily chores.

Win rewards effortlessly:

Online bingo proves to be a great way of earning money. The wide variety of websites available online are offering tempting rewards to all their players in the form of cash prizes, gift voucher and bonuses. You can even play free bingo and get a detailed overview of the site before converting into a depositing player. All you have to do is sign in to enjoy these impressive offers.

So, whenever you want some time off just sign in at New Look Bingo to experience the best free bingo offer with an extensive collection of games.

The Dangers of Hiring Unqualified Contractors


It can be very tempting, when you have a reasonably simple job that needs doing at your home or business, to hire an unqualified builder, plumber or electrician. The ‘odd job’ person can be quite convincing, when they regale you with numerous examples of impressive work they’ve supposedly completed. You will probably assume they are much cheaper than their qualified counterpart but this is often far from the case, bearing in mind what it might cost to rectify their mistakes. By choosing someone without the proper qualifications and experience, you are putting your property and residents at risk. It’s particularly dangerous to hire anyone who just turns up at your door offering their services; you have no idea of who they are or their intensions. Faulty wiring can cause dangerous shocks and is a fire risk. Badly done building work can collapse or cause damage to adjoining properties. And of course no one but a Gas Safe registered heating engineer should touch your central heating.

Doing It Yourself

It’s quite satisfying carrying out your own repairs or improvements, however you should always check current building regulations to see if the job needs to be approved and inspected. The vast majority of electrical work needs to be done by a qualified electrician. Even if you are capable and the work is sound, you will lack the necessary paperwork which can cause real problems if you sell your property. In addition, you are responsible if anything goes wrong. It’s fine to replace a light fitting or electrical junction box yourself, provided you rigidly follow safety protocols, however for anything else you should hire a professional.

Finding the Best Contractor

One of the most popular ways to find the right person is through word of mouth. If you know someone who’s just had their bathroom replaced, ask for an honest review based on quality and value for money. You can also find a trader through the government-endorsed TrustMark scheme. Always get quotes from three different, qualified traders and ensure they have the necessary insurance. Ask for recent photographs of work undertaken and get the telephone numbers of several customers for references. Once you have chosen a firm or individual, get a written contract, itemising as many details of the job as possible, with costs. This can avoid misunderstandings and discrepancies. It’s important to have the contractors’ telephone numbers, so you can notify them if there is a problem. Once a problem arises, ask them to rectify it immediately and get it in writing how they will fix the issue and how long it will take.

It really makes sense to hire qualified traders to carry out work in your home of business, as although the initial outlay is higher, there should be fewer repercussions, which should afford greater peace of mind.

Money saving plans for a better home in 2016


Now that the festive season is fading into the distance, many of us will be looking ahead to the new year with plans for fun holidays and home renovation.

However, it’s a common habit for many of us to overspend during the Christmas period, and whether or not the third Monday in January really is the unhappiest day of the year is up for debate. The simple fact is that most of us feel a little financially vulnerable in January.

But with some of these money saving tips, we should all be able to make some great home improvements in 2016!

Regular savings

The simplest way to save money is to give yourself a realistic target. Whether it’s something as simple as putting aside £20 each week from your wages, the amounts can swiftly add up and can make the perfect fund for getting that exquisite piece of bedroom furniture.

Although it can be tempting to dip into these weekly savings, it’s a good idea to keep things separate from your current account which is why savings accounts are the way forward. Despite the bewildering array of options, there are numerous resources such as the Money Saving Expert’s savings account guide that aim to demystify this process and help you save up towards some serious home improvements.

Keeping costs down

As well as putting money aside on a regular basis, basic costs of living should be examined to see if there’s anything that could be done to limit expenditure. Whether it’s draught-proofing your home in a bid to keep the infamous winter fuel bills down, or even buying your non-perishable groceries in bulk, a little bit of forward-planning can go a long way in helping you keep your pennies in your pocket.

Of course, there are certain pieces of furniture that everyone will have to invest in every now and then. And whilst a four-poster super king-size bed might be attractive, for most of us it’s more beneficial to think more sensibly and invest in the likes of the reliable yet cheap bed frames that can be found at the Bedstar website that further illustrates the internet’s impressive ability to help us hunt for some handy home bargains.

Taking advantage of offers

January is also the time of year where many furniture retailers will seek to provide some serious money saving offers. And whilst trawling around the high street used to be the preferred method of finding a bargain, the best offers can now usually be found in the online domain.

Bargain hunting has also got a whole lot easier with the likes of the Google Honey extension that can easily be installed into your Chrome browser to help you hunt down some of those money-saving voucher codes that can be applied for a huge selection of goods, whether it be a bed frame, a hatstand, or even just a brand new pair of winter socks!

How to Deal With High Cholesterol in the Family


Have you or your partner been told by your doctor that you should watch your cholesterol levels? This can be a scary diagnosis, and you are probably worrying about all the potential health implications and how to adjust your cooking routine.

Luckily, most of the time, elevated cholesterol can easily be reversed through simple steps such as adopting a low cholesterol diet, improving your daily exercise, and making easy lifestyle changes.

Here are the most important things to keep in mind when cooking for someone with high cholesterol.

  • Don’t Believe the Rumours

The most important thing to keep in mind when preparing for a cholesterol diet is to do your research. Not all fats are bad, and eggs are not the enemy, no matter what some media outlets might have led you to believe.

By understanding what cholesterol really does to the body and why it’s not necessary to completely change your lifestyle but opt for small changes instead, you will be one step ahead of the game and feel in charge again.

  • The Devil is in the Method

This might come as a surprise, but most of the time, it’s not necessarily about what you cook, but how you cook it. Chicken, for example, is great if grilled or roasted in the oven with a dash olive oil and herbs – but if you’re pan-frying your chicken with lots of butter then you’ll be increasing your intake of saturated fats.

Likewise, steaming your vegetables is usually a better choice than cooking them in the pan. Learning how to efficiently use spices to, quite literally, spice up a meal means that you will get plenty of flavour the healthy way.

  • Find Healthier Substitutes

If you’re cooking for someone with high cholesterol, it’s all about finding healthier substitutes for common foods. Always choose lean meats and trim visible fats before cooking. Choose white meat over red and replace meat with fish whenever possible.

Low-fat dairy products are a good choice too and you should always opt for wholemeal options when it comes to bread, pasta, and rice. Ditch those unhealthy snacks, and stock up on plenty of nuts, cottage cheese, and dried fruit instead.

  • Meal Planning 101

While you can’t always plan your meals in advance – especially if you’ve got a weekend of events planned – it is a good idea to prepare your dishes when you can. You can pack nutritional lunches for the kids without much extra effort by cooking a little more than you need for dinner each night and popping the leftovers in their lunchbox.

And to take care of those nights when you’re short of time, why not cook meals in big batches and freeze individual portions that you can simply heat up? All the convenience of a microwave meal but you’ll be assured of its nutritional value and ingredients.

Toddler Troubles And How To Make Them Easier

The age of toddlerhood can be the best and worst of times for a parent. On the one hand, you have a cute little person saying and doing the most incredibly funny things. On the other hand, you have a little person who is willful, emotional, clumsy, and noisy. Life’s not easy for either of you at this stage. And to make it even more challenging, this is the time when your baby becomes a little boy or girl.

Growing up suddenly becomes something you can envision for your baby at this age. You might already be imagining what kind of career they could lead. Your baby is about to take an enormous leap into independence, and will suddenly be taking care of themselves more and more. This can be tough for Mothers as they realise they are needed less and less.

It might all start with walking. Those few tentative steps will become high speed running around the park in just a few short weeks. Then they’ll be climbing the slide, and daring to venture ever higher on a climbing frame. There will certainly be a few heart-in-mouth moments for any parent!

Then comes the final goodbye to babyhood. Potty training will be the first step to freeing you of diaper changes forever. It’s one of the biggest milestones of Motherhood! But not all of us are certain our little ones are ready. And figuring out how to get a toddler to sit still and not make a mess is another challenge we have to face. Fortunately, there are lots of helpful guides out there like Potty Training Solved to help.

While your little one may not be dry at night, training pants replace the diapers pretty quickly, and the transition has completed. It’s hard to believe all of this can happen in the space of just a few months. And it will certainly feel like a rollercoaster ride too! So how can you make all these changes happen more smoothly?


Iv22 provided the photography

Preparation for each of them is key. As soon as your little one is standing up, it’s time to encourage those little legs to step forward. Hand holding will soon reduce, and the first unaided steps will lead to thousands more in just a couple of weeks. Doing new tasks over and again makes it easier for your little one to master them. Find opportunities in their everyday activities to encourage a few steps across the room.

Walking as often as possible with a harness for safety will help. Their stamina will build quickly but be prepared to carry them some of the way at first. Eventually, you can say no when you know they can manage the distance.

Once walking is established, it’s time to get familiar with the potty. Talk about it often, especially at changing time. Eventually, your little one will be interested enough to have a go. Perhaps Teddy needs a try first? It may be a long process, but you’ll both get there when you are both ready.

Preparing for these important milestones helps you make the most of each opportunity as it arises. It helps you be ready for those moments when things are about to change forever. Exciting times!


Coping with disability: What are the key considerations for Parents when buying a car?


While the diverse nature of physical and mental disability in the UK is often misunderstood, there remain some facts that simply cannot be disputed. There are an estimated 11.9 million people in the UK who currently live with a disability, for example, which equates to a relatively surprising 19% of the entire population. This number includes a number of children and young adults who live with a disability, as numerous families in the UK create coping mechanisms that enable them to deliver the best care and quality of life to their loved ones.

Parenting with Disabled Children: The key considerations when buying a car

One of the key challenges facing parents and guardians with disabled children in their care is securing a viable mode of transportation, especially one that suits the physical needs and demands of their dependents. With this in mind, here are three considerations for parents when sourcing and buying a suitable family vehicle: –

What Mobility challenges does your Child’s disability cause?

There are numerous types of disability, varying both in terms of their nature and level of severity. Before entering the market for a new car, it is therefore important that you evaluate your child’s disability in detail and determine the main mobility challenges that they face on a daily basis. This will help you to determine the precise specification that your chosen vehicle needs, whether a standard car will suffice or you find yourself in need of a specialist, modified design.

The Extent of any Modifications that are required

If your child’s disability causes genuine mobility concerns, you may need to invest in a modified vehicle. Fortunately for today’s generation of parents, technological advancement has created a vast and diverse range of modified vehicles, each of which includes a number of purposeful specification changes that have been made without comprising the aesthetic design or performance of the model. While this is excellent news for parents, however, it is crucial that you enter the market with an in-depth understanding of your child’s needs and the extent of the modifications required to meet these.

What size of vehicle do you need?

Ultimately, it is impractical for many families to own any more than a single (or in some instances two) vehicles. This means that the majority of parents cannot buy a modified car to sit alongside their standard, family vehicle, so there may be a need to invest in a specialist model that can cater to the needs of all adults and children. So even though you may only have one children who lives with a disability, you will need to consider all financial and logistical demands and purchase a modified vehicle that is large enough to carry multiple passengers simultaneously.

The Benefits of a Minimalist Interior


It doesn’t take much to sell most homeowners on minimalism. Chic, practical, and timeless this is a style of interior design that has plenty going for it. Here are just a few reasons to embrace the less is more philosophy and go minimalist in your home.

Minimalism Puts Function First

As one of the more visually-arresting design styles, minimalism has a reputation as being quite impractical. In fact, this reputation is entirely unwarranted. Instead of packing too much furniture into one room, you will be making each object fit a certain purpose.

A table no longer doubles as a bookshelf and your office space no longer spills over into your relaxation area. Instead, everything has its own express purpose.

Minimalism Makes Cleaning Easy

The fact that your living space is uncluttered with any unnecessary items comes with an added bonus – everything is much easier to keep tidy. Even the room itself will look tidier since there is less inside it.

At the same time, the objects you choose will serve to make the room easy to clean. A minimalist design style focuses upon strong lines, solid surfaces, and plenty of light. Such sleek, smooth, and unbroken surfaces are naturally much easier to clean with a quick wipe down than more complex items that collect dust in various crevices.


When you only fill your home with items that meet an express purpose, you’re naturally going to have some extra space. This serves to make your home feel larger and more open, but the advantages go beyond that.

Having fewer items and more space means that you can easily rearrange the layout of each room, whether because you’re having guests over for the evening or simply to make a chance. You’ll also find that it’s much easier to decorate, whether that means changing the carpet or adding a new twist to a room.

Minimalist interiors are simply breath-taking, but that’s just the start of what one can bring to your home.