March 28, 2020
The age of technology is upon us; has your home kept pace? There are dozens of ways you can use tech to turn your house into a smart home. The security, convenience, and quality-of-life improvements are waiting for you — are you ready to get started?
Why Invest in Smart Home Tech?
There are several reasons people decide to put smart technology in their homes. Often people get started because, well, it’s fun! Having the ability to play music via voice command feels pretty cool and futuristic. After a while, however, the broader practical impacts of having smart tech in the home become clearer and clearer. Eventually, the endless possibilities of creating your smart home start to make themselves clear. With a bit of creativity, you can create a tailor-made smart home experience that can’t be beaten.
Everything from your home’s sound system to your heating and cooling can be voice or phone-activated. The impacts on your day to day life almost can’t be overstated. Moreover, outfitting your home with smart tech is a great investment for property owners. These kinds of upgrades can increase your home’s value by up to 5 percent. This means in addition to the everyday benefits of smart home life, you also get to see a solid return on your investment when you sell your home down the road.
There are tons of ways that you can use smart home tech to make your life easier and more fun. For example, you can use voice commands to dim lights, play music, turn on the AC, and more. Or, you can ask your digital assistant to tell you a joke or give you the weather forecast. The ability to access online knowledge just by asking a question out loud is infinitely useful.
There are utterly practical conveniences as well. Save money on your heating and cooling bill by setting your smart thermostat to run at energy-saving levels when no one’s home. Set it to kick back on ten minutes before you arrive, and your home will be a comfortable temperature once you’re back. You can also turn lights on and off remotely, which allows you to prepare your home for your arrival. Imagine coming in from work to a perfect temperature, well-lit home playing your favorite unwind song. It’s a wonderful image.
Security and Safety
Smart home tech can also go a long way toward increasing your safety and security. You can set up a home camera and security system that will text you if there’s movement when no one’s meant to be home. You can access the video from your phone and tell whether someone’s broken in, or if your spouse just got off work early that day.
Smart doorbells can also make your home more secure. You never have to wonder who’s at the door or try to make out a distorted peephole image before you answer. You can easily see and communicate with whoever’s knocking, even if you’re not at home. Not only will this make you feel safer, but it will also make it easier to communicate with delivery people and neighbors.
Consider starting small when it comes to smart tech. You’ll almost certainly expand your collection of smart home features, but diving in with just one thing gives you a chance to learn how the technology works in a low-pressure situation. You don’t want to get every piece of smart tech and be stuck trying to figure it all out at once. Start with something that will save you money in the long run, like smart light bulbs or a smart thermostat.
These will give you a chance to play with the different options available and will cut down on your energy bills. Living in a smart home will make you wonder how you managed before. Explore the options available, and remember – you’re limited only by your imagination. The customization possibilities are practically endless, so figure out how to make your smart home perfect!
Photo Credit: Unsplash
March 19, 2020
A two bedroom terrace house has launched to the market today on Jennings Street in Edgeley, Stockport, SK3. The property came to the market with Springbok Properties with a guide price of only £120,000!
March 17, 2020
If you’re looking for a buy to let investment in Stockport then look no further, this one bedroomed apartment within the Box Apartments building in Hillgate, Stockport, SK1 with a guide price of £80,000 is a brilliant buy!
March 16, 2020
In often cases, the kitchen is what holds properties back from selling quickly. Not everyone can afford to replace a full kitchen, but with some pointers, and a few YouTube tutorials along the way, you can learn how to make affordable improvements yourself. Without breaking the bank.
A typical 8-unit kitchen that provides 10m2 of storage space can cost at least £1000. A larger kitchen however, requiring 20-units, giving 30m2 could be more like £7000 and that’s not even including the worktops, appliances or installation fees. Besides, if you were going to invest that much money, you’d want it to be for your own kitchen that you can enjoy yourself! With our kitchen guide, you can transform your kitchen space for under £80!
Before we start, you will need: (For the best quality supplies, head to Dulux or Johnstones.)
• Dust sheets! Old bed sheets will do too or these can be ordered online for as little as £1.
• Degrease wipes £2 from any supermarket
• Advanced primer in white £8
• Water based acrylic satin, mixed in any colour you want £9
• Foam roller £4
• Paint brush pack £11
• Mini roller bucket £3
• Knotting solution £7 (if necessary)
• New cupboard furniture, around £20
• Sanding pad pack £4
Step 1. PREP
Start by removing cupboard and draw furniture (handles and knobs.) Use a screwdriver to do so, usually either a flat head or a Philips. Then start sheeting the floor. You don’t want any paint splashes on your tiled floor (use masking tape to secure if you’re worried.) With your sanding pad, start going over the ins and out of your cupboards. Be thorough and make sure all food splashes are rubbed off. Dust down well. Then with the degrease wipes, give everywhere a wipe down. This is important and if done properly will help the paint sit better on the surface.
Step 2. BARE WOOD?
This step is only for those who will be transforming bare wood units. After wiping down, get your knotting solution and with a cloth or thin paint brush, ensure all wood knots are covered well. If you don’t know what a knot looks like, give it a google! We use this so the darkness of the knots, don’t shine through under the paint, especially if it’s a light colour. This dries instantly, so about fifteen minutes later move on to the next step.
Step 3. PRIME.
With a 1.5-inch paintbrush start applying the advanced primer. This removes the porosity creating a smooth coat ready for the following final coats. To get the best outcome do two coats, just to get a good coverage, avoiding any other colour or wood flashing through. Leave around 3 hours in-between coats and overnight for the last.
Step 4. PAINT.
Grab the water based acrylic satin, a clean brush, foam roller and mini roller bucket. This stage can vary depending on what cabinets you have. If you just have flat doors and draws, then that’s easy! If you have grooved or paneled cabinets, then this will require just a little more attention. For flat doors, with the brush, paint the outskirts of the door. Do one door at a time and don’t do a wide area, keep it neat and narrow. Coat the roller well in the acrylic satin and spread evenly over the entire door and lay it off well so there are no bubbles and is evenly covered. Don’t forget to do the side of the opened door as well. Don’t apply any more paint to the roller, just run it up and down and it will cover perfectly. If you want to do inside the cabinets as well then repeat this process.
For grooved or panelled doors, paint with a brush the panels and grooves, if there is an area larger than the width of your roller, roll it. If it is smaller and needs the paint to be worked into it, then stick with a brush. Lay it off well with the roller again to make it smooth and even. Using a foam roller will eliminate any brush marks and will make it look like the cabinets were that colour to begin with!
Make sure all edges are painted. This stage needs two coats, so wait 6 hours between coats and then overnight after the final. You might be thinking this will take up too much time, but I would say it’s much better than having fitters in and leaving you without a kitchen for a couple of days.
Step 5. DRESS.
This is the fun part. Now everything has dried, removed the sheets. To make the kitchen more modern and in keep with the transformation, you may want to replace the furniture. You can get a pack of four handles from Wilko for £6. When putting these on, be careful not to scratch your masterpiece! Dress with a new fruit bowl, a fresh bunch of flowers or some hanging green plants.
There are millions of hints and tips found online. Look through Pinterest for colour inspiration and watch any YouTube videos along the way if you find yourself struggling. Just by doing this can really increase your chances of selling. A major kitchen remodel only returns around 80% on to your investment, a minor remodel like revamping your cabinets, has an 87% return!
For £80, it’s a no brainer.
March 16, 2020
When it comes to buying property, it is important to keep in mind that it could potentially be the home you live in for the rest of your life. With this in mind, it is essential that when you view potential properties that you take the time to be thorough and get all the information you can.
To help make sure you don’t miss a thing and make the right choice when you do eventually make an offer, we’ve compiled the following list of tips to help you to view a property like a pro.
We all feel a bit strange viewing someone else’s home, but as we said earlier, you could be living in this property for decades, so don’t rush through this process! It’s vital that you spend close to 30 minutes exploring the property, asking questions and just getting a good sense of how it feels. If you just wander from room to room, taking a quick look and then moving on, you won’t get a good feel for the property. Taking that little extra time will mean you are well-informed when you come to make a formal offer.
Think about how much space there actually is
When it comes to property, space is one thing you can never have enough of. Whether you’re looking to fit in that Queen-size bed or you need somewhere to store all of the precious knickknacks that you have collected over the years, space is incredibly valuable. Pay attention to the way the current owner has laid out the furniture, as it will provide you with some insight into how to best make use of the property’s available space. It’s also an excellent opportunity to think about how much room your items take up and whether there is any scope for a little pre-move declutter.
Take a walk through the area
When you’re buying a property you’re not just investing in that building, you’re also investing in the neighbourhood itself. If you’re first-time buyers and looking to build a life in this new home, you have to ask whether the area is suitable for your family’s needs. Are there plenty of shops close by? How do the local schools perform? It’s best to wander around the area for a short while in order to see how it all feels, after all, if you’re going to be here for some time, you need to feel comfortable.
Once you’ve taken a good look, take another and maybe another
As we stated at the beginning, when it comes to buying property it’s best done the right way, but even when you do everything right, it’s always best to check things twice. No matter how thorough you intend to be there is always the possibility that you missed a couple of things the first time around. Most would advise visiting a property 2-3 times and at different times of the day – if possible – to see if you feel the same way each time. Buying a home can be very exciting, so it is worth visiting the property a few times.
Don’t forget that your agent is there to help you! Make sure you ask them questions about the property’s history and the local area, as they will be more than happy to assist you with your decision.
March 16, 2020
Interest rates have been cut to 0.25% in a bid to shore up the economy amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. This is the first time since the financial crisis that the Bank of England has announced an emergency move.
Low interest rates may well help cushion the housing market in the months ahead. Over 70% of homes are purchased with a mortgage.
According to data from the Bank of England, activity in the mortgage market is currently at a four-year high and mortgage rates are increasingly competitive on the high street.
In 2008, interest rates were cut for six consecutive months, falling from 5% in September 2008 to 0.5% in March 2009. Low interest rates helped the property market rebound throughout 2009.
March 16, 2020
Snowden Wilkinson listed a property for sale last Thursday which would be a great investment opportunity, its a two bedroom, mid terrace property in Denton with a guide price of only £85,000!
March 16, 2020
I wanted to give a big hello and warm welcome to the newest member of our Stockport Exchange team. Lydia Swann joins us today, starting as a Trainee Sales and Lettings Negotiator.
Welcome Lydia, I am very happy to have you on board!
March 12, 2020
An incredible buy to let opportunity on has arisen on Mayfield Grove, Gorton. Refurbishment is required, however even with the costs of works factored in we would estimate a yield well over 7%!
March 11, 2020
Glenbrook have released new images of their vision for the new office spaces at the former Marks and Spencer site.