June 2019 Roundup of Home Improvement Reads

04/07/2019

June was full of great articles on lots of different home and gardening topics. Some of the few we’ve picked out include mortgage tips, a Love Island property, some tasty barbecue recipes, and more.

Here’s a list of some of our favourite, but don’t forget to suggest some in the comments below.

Connected cooking: The best smart kitchen devices and appliances

The Ambient put together a great guide on smart tech for your kitchen and the ranges that different brands offer. As well as covering products from brands like Samsung and LG, advice is also offered on whether some of these smart products are worth their smart applications.

The article also covers smart cooking accessories like a handy thermometer to help you cook meat to perfection and Amazon’s own smart microwave.

If you’re interested in creating a smarter house, take a look at some of our smart bedroom gadget ideas.

Top 15 family barbecue recipes

As the weather is starting to be consistently warmer it’s tempting to host a great barbecue for friends and family.

When hosting a barbecue it’s easy to revert to the classic burgers, sausages, and chicken. However, BBC Good Food have come up with 15 recipes perfect for adding something a little different to the mix. Think flatbreads, sweet potatoes, chorizo, and even bananas! There’s lots of ideas to give your guests something a little different to choose from.

Expert warns of one thing to ALWAYS do when checking affordability for mortgages

The Express spoke to a mortgage expert to find out what you should be doing when looking into a mortgage. In short, the answer is to be completely truthful about your financial situation to prevent getting in hot water further down the line.

Financial situation doesn’t just mean your salary, but all income that you may receive. It also includes your credit score, any debt, and criminal records.

Being upfront about your situation allows a mortgage broker to properly assess how much a lender would be willing to lend you, and what kind of mortgage will best suit you and your situation. When you’re paired up with the right kind of mortgage for you, you can focus on paying off your mortgage quicker.

Call for action to stop buyers paying price for new-build delays

If you’ve ever considered buying off-plan, read this account provided by The Guardian of two families that have been left severely out of pocket due to new build delays.

There are various pros and cons to buying off-plan, and all should be considered before committing to purchasing a new build. These families found themselves short thousands after new build properties they had purchased were delayed by months. One of the families have still yet to move into their home, and may not until February 2020.

When buying off-plan, it is advised to seek professional, impartial advice where possible.

Vinegar as a Weed Killer: You’re Probably Doing It Wrong

It just sounds so nice to an environmental-minded homeowner: a natural, organic, inexpensive weed-killer you can make from common home ingredients - chief among them, vinegar. If you search online for vinegar weed killer, the results will bombard you with recipes, formulas and tips, promising effective weed control.

But experts say this touted home weed control will likely leave you with a sour taste. Common home vinegars aren’t strong enough to do any real weed killing, and the industrial strength versions can be as toxic and dangerous - to both you and your plants - as the synthetic pesticides you were trying to avoid.

This post talks you through how to safely make your own vinegar weed killer.

Take a tour of Love Island’s Casa Amor villa

Hard core Love Island fans may be excited to hear that the secret second villa that male cast members have stayed at in previous series is up for sale.

The property boasts a 14 metre swimming pool, 4 bedrooms, 2 roof terraces, and total privacy behind electric gates. It’s no wonder the villa was chosen to be a part of the TV show, being described as “one of the most stylish homes to have been built in Mallorca in the last 20 years”.

If you’re interested in the Mallorcan property, the asking price is a cool 2.5 million.

5 reasons to invest in property abroad

The DIY Investor spoke to Christopher Nye, editor at Property Guides, about whether buyers should look beyond the UK for their next investment. He wrote about 5 key reasons in favour of investing in property abroad, including having a holiday home, how the process has become easier for buyers, and capital growth.

It still remains that any property investment should be carefully thought out before jumping in, even if the idea of a home in the sun is tempting.

How Much Space Does £1 Million Buy You in 20 Cities Around the World?

The one-million-pound home remains a benchmark for ambitious homeowners, and the people at OnStride have used a variety of data visualisations to show just what that million quid might get you in different parts of the UK and the wider world.

In short, a £1m apartment in Hong Kong would fit into the bathroom of a £1m house in Glasgow – which would also be five times the size of a London pad of the same price.

How far are you willing to trade square footage for location?

6 iconic rooms from TV homes get a 2019 decor makeover

It’s not always easy to picture how this or that new décor trend might feel in your House.

Interior magazines tend to idealize things, and while there are plenty of apps around to virtually re-wallpaper your living room (or pop new bits of furniture here and there) it’s easy to get wowed by the change while missing the bigger Picture.

By applying 2019’s top interior trends to six familiar TV homes, Budget Direct give you a chance to really see those trends in action. If it’s good enough for Don Draper, it’s good enough for you, right?

The Worst Home Décor Trends Visualized

At the other end of the scale, here are the interior design trends that (hopefully) time forgot. It seems we were working through a lot of aesthetic baggage as a society in the 1990s and 2000s, with everything from inflatable furniture to motivational slogans dragging down perfectly serviceable homes.

If you spot any of these style crimes around your home, you might want to bury the evidence as soon as possible – and start looking ahead to a brighter decade.

Basic Tips for a Beautiful Summer Lawn

During the hot summer months, lush grass is something all garden owners want. Keeping your grass looking beautiful and healthy can feel like a constant battle, however, it’s possible to have the ideal lawn if you follow some simple steps.

These easy to follow basic tips will help you to have a beautiful lawn ready for the summer. The process isn’t challenging, so if you follow the advice it should be no time before you have a lawn that your neighbours will envy.

Online Estate Agents vs. High Street

TheAdvisory - The UK's consumer advice group for house sellers conducted research to see who gets the best results, high street estate agents or online estate agents. They concluded the best high street estate agents provide the gold standard when it comes to achieving the highest ‘walkaway figure’ from your sale.

Their research confirms that estate agency services that just list property on Rightmove (or any of the other main property portals) will indeed generate viewings, offers and sometimes even the best possible result (albeit only 27% of the time). However, what may surprise you is just how much added value the right high street estate agent brings to the table…

Must Do Jobs When Getting Ready To Sell Your Home

Getting ready to sell a home can be immensely stressful. But, what if you knew what the most important tasks to prioritize were? This post combines eight home improvement tips to make sure your home is ready to sell, but quickly and for top dollar.

Included are guidelines for everything from making repairs, decluttering, enhancing curb appeal, and even getting stunning property photos taken (you wouldn't want all of your efforts to go to waste, would you?)

How to Assess Water Damage

When they hear "water damage," far too many people think that we're talking about stains and cracks along a wall or ceiling. However, if you wait too long, water damage could impact the structure of a home or business. Left untreated, mold can grow leading to serious health risks and the inability to use the structure.

The best place to start with water damage in a home or business is to learn how to assess it properly and then decide whether to treat it yourself or hire a professional.

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