Living On The Water: Is It For You?

Living in colder climates means for the most part, people reach out and yearn for a warmer climate. Being on a boat in a colder climate is an entirely different story to being on a boat in the heat of the Mediterranean and cruising across the Med is a dream for most. Those who are able to take the time for themselves to cruise in the Mediterranean tend to be of an older generation and the business of boat transporting becomes limited to that generation.

For those who have been involved in boating for a long time, the pull of the water for a longer period, let’s say sailing round the Canary Islands is a large pull. You’ll observe yachts moored and on the water when holidaying in the Med with lithe, sunbathing babes hunkering down on the top deck ready to bronze themselves into oblivion. This may seem like the life you’ll get while living on board a boat but that’s not always the case unfortunately. Even the most experienced yachtsmen can be seduced into forgetting that there are a lot of details to think about when living on a boat long term and they’re not always fun details either!

A combination of lack of boat haul companies and sailing experience an wrong assumptions about what it takes to sail long term really can lead to large problems coming about after significant amounts of capital have been deployed. The dream of living on a boat needs to be thought through thoroughly in the first instance as it’s all well and good to dream but if you don’t go over the practicalities then being seasick will be the least of your worries. Living on a boat abroad is not the same as a coastal cruise. Holidays cruises and charters end – again, unfortunately – but deciding to actually live on a boat is a little more permanent. Living on board your boat is a tough option even when it’s warm and in practice is far removed from the on seen with rose tinted glasses.

The first misconception that most people have is that living abroad in the Med is cheaper than in the UK. Based on real experiences, you will likely find that your shopping costs are the same if not more. Spain itself is usually quite cheap but not when it comes to food shopping. Marina fees are pretty much the same as in the UK and in the summer even casual moorings can be majorly expensive. Finding somewhere to fill water tanks can be a problem if not in the marina and even if you are living on a small boat you will need a minimum of ten thousand pounds a year to simply get by. There are places you can go that are cheaper of course but the disadvantages make it unsuitable for many of those who live aboard.

So money wise the cost of living in the Med for yourselves and the boat is rather the same as in the UK but with nicer weather. It’s a bad misconception to think you would be living the life of Riley on a tiny budget abroad. That’s not to say you should give up your dream of doing so but you should be more prepared. Living aboard your own boat can be a fantastic experience and reestablishing yourself on shore can be costly. As with anything in life, we can only recommend you give it a go. You may regret it but if you don’t go, you will definitely regret it!

Buying A Holiday Home To Let

Perhaps you want to join the bandwagon and buy a holiday home, it’s great news if you want to invest in holidays homes for sale abroad. It’s important to be aware of how you can buy a home abroad so take a look at these areas to consider when buying a holiday cottage to let.

Location – an important consideration when buying a holiday cottage to let

If you’re deliberating over getting a world property deal a holiday cottage to let, the likelihood is that it’s going to be away from your current place of residence. This comes with some added considerations; areas 

popular with tourism often carry with them a premium price, and also require a local knowledge to ensure you’re in the right place. In some locations the difference a mile can make in potential rental value you can expect to gain, and the price you’ll have to pay can be massive. Ensure you do your research; speak with a number of local agents, and also visit a range of properties in the locality to allow you a greater understanding of the market. You want to make sure what it is you’re buying is going to give you an adequate return.

Size matters

Who is going to want to stay in your property, and does the size therefore make it suitable?  If your holiday cottage is likely to be full of young families from spring to summer then it’s vital you have the space in which to accommodate them. You may also want to consider the space outside of your holiday home; does it have a large garden in which children can play? Or where romantic couples can watch the sun set? Also bear in mind that the larger your holiday home is, the more maintenance and cleaning it will require. Who will be doing that for you? Are you factoring this into your on going running costs?

Local amenities

What is it that brings people to a certain location? Whilst getting the right sized property in the right spot will significantly increase your chances of bookings, it’s important to remember that guests will actually spend the majority of their time outside of your holiday home! Tourist attractions, restaurants and pubs, walks and beaches; all these things will make great selling points when it comes to marketing your holiday cottage and it’s vital that as an industry we all work together in order to promote the destinations in which we live and work.

Specialist Holiday Letting Insurance

Once you’ve found your perfect property, you’ll need specialist holiday home insurance to protect you from incurring financial loss if your property suffers an insured peril. Working with a specialist means they understand the risks you’re facing, and can provide you with the cover that you really need. Whether it’s Loss of Rent cover that ensures you don’t lose out should your holiday home become uninhabitable due to issues such as storm damage, or Accidental Damage making sure you don’t end up out of pocket if a guest damages your property, our team will speak with people just like you every day and will be able to help.

Things To Consider Before Moving Abroad

Last year around 320,000 people left the UK to live abroad, according to the Office of National Statistics, with Spain, the US, France and Australia among the expat hot spots. If you’re thinking of working or retiring overseas, there are a number of practical considerations to take into account before you go for an international property finder online.

Visa

British citizens don’t need a visa to move to a country in the European Union but getting the right paperwork can be difficult if you’re going further afield, for instance to America or Australia. For those going for work, you often need to be sponsored by your workplace or have a skill which is needed. Outside the EU, those looking to retire abroad usually have to prove that they are wealthy enough to support themselves or be sponsored by a local resident and finding overseas property deals online is a good place to get an idea of what you can afford.

Health

While a warmer climate may be better for your health, the cost of health care can be significant, especially in North America. In the European Union, you will need to apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to receive emergency treatment at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. In Australia, Medicare is the publicly funded scheme which exists alongside a private health system.

Having health insurance is often a condition of being granted a visa. It also pays to be aware of the rules and regulations for individual countries – for example, tough new regulations in Spain mean that some expats taking early retirement there have been blocked from free medical treatment.

Property taxes

When buying a new home overseas, check the cost of tax and legal fees which can often add 6-10 per cent to the purchase price. There are also ongoing taxes which vary depending on the region.

The tax may differ for residents too. For example, taking Italian residency means you’ll pay 3 per cent purchase tax and lower ongoing property taxes, but second home owners pay 9 per cent when buying and higher ongoing taxes.

Foreign exchange

Not only will you need to change a lump sum into your new local currency, but you may need to transfer money regularly between the two countries, perhaps for education fees or a pension. Foreign currency brokers charge lower fees and offer better exchange rates than using your UK bank.

Cost of living

Look into the living costs before deciding which country to settle in. Although property prices abroad are often cheaper than in the UK, day-to-day living may be the same or more expensive. Check out the cost of food, petrol, entertainment and energy. Remember that living in a tourist area will be pricier than less popular areas. And don’t assume the exchange rate will stay the same. The pound has risen strongly against the South African rand and the US dollar in the last year. You can protect yourself against currency fluctuations by fixing the rate you’ll receive with a forward contract for up to 24 months ahead.

Packing Tips When Moving House

Not many people like the slog of packing. It’s all about throwing most of it out and packing as little as possible really, but the worst part is actually packing everything into the right boxes and packing only as much as each box needs. The process of packing up your house when moving can sometimes be a nightmare. Finding the time to prepare your house for sale in between work and possibly looking after children can be stressful and very difficult. Packing at an earlier stage can make your house more desirable for potential buyers and certainly can help reduce stress levels.

It is common for packing to be left until the last minute as most people just really can’t find the time to pack around their existing commitments. professional removals in Granbury can actually offer a packing service with their moving services but if you haven’t got the budget to pay another person to pack for you, then here are some packing tips for you to be able to do it yourself with as little stress as possible.

Don’t leave it until the last minute if you can absolutely help it. Life can get in the way but your move should be a good priority of yours. Sounds like an obvious tip but if you are looking at a relocation company, you should find that they will say to start packing before your For Sale sign goes up and throw out belongings that you no longer need. You could also consider selling or donating your items that may still have some value to charity. Getting rid of things you won’t be taking with you will make unpacking easier and making more space available for buyers to see. If you start with rooms you use the least, you should be able to get a good idea of how much you don’t actually use and therefore don’t need. These days a lot of homes don’t have an external garage for storage therefore once you have cleared out a room this can then be the best place to store items out of the way. There are moving companies that can give you excellent advice on packing and how to filter your things out with car boot sales.

Handle with care. Set aside the fragile items in your home for extra bubble wrap and make sure you mark boxes that need to be handled carefully. It’s worth remembering that not everyone who will be moving your boxes will know of the precious contents inside. Don’t overload those boxes. You are going to be doing an awful lot of carrying therefore it is important to use smaller boxes for heavier items and larger boxes for lighter items. Label carefully. Ensuring you label correctly with the contents and room destination can save a lot of time and effort when unpacking, especially if you use a moving company. Documentation. Make sure all documentation doesn’t get lost. This can be prevented by keeping all paperwork together and separate so that when you arrive it can be put in a safe place.

If you have young children it is worth packing a box with essential items such as toys and bedding so that you can keep them occupied as quickly as possible when moving home. It’s an unsettling time for children as much as the grownups coordinating everything. They can feel overlooked and so ensuring they settle properly requires their own things around them.

Tips for Packing Up Your Home

The process of packing up your house when moving can sometimes be a nightmare. Finding the time to prepare your house for sale in between work and possibly looking after children can be stressful and very difficult. Packing at an earlier stage can make your house more desirable for potential buyers and certainly can help reduce stress levels. It is common for packing to be left until the last minute as most people just really can’t find the time to pack around their existing commitments. Your chosen moving workspace in Weatherford can actually offer a packing service with their moving services but if you haven’t got the budget to pay another person to pack for you, then here are some packing tips for you to be able to do it yourself with as little stress as possible.

  • Don’t leave it until the last minute. Sounds like an obvious tip but a lot companies will say to start packing before your For Sale sign goes up and throw out belongings that you no longer need. You could also consider selling or donating your items that may still have some value to charity. Getting rid of things you won’t be taking with you will make unpacking easier and making more space available for buyers to see.
  • Start with rooms you use the least. These days a lot of homes don’t have an external garage for storage therefore once you have cleared out a room this can then be the best place to store items out of the way. A stephenville removal services can give you excellent advice on packing and how to filter your things out with car boot sales.
  • Handle with care. Set aside the fragile items in your home for extra bubble wrap and make sure you mark boxes that need to be handled carefully. It’s worth remembering that not everyone who will be moving your boxes will know of the precious contents inside.
  • Don’t overload those boxes. You are going to be doing an awful lot of carrying therefore it is important to use smaller boxes for heavier items and larger boxes for lighter items.
  • Label carefully. Ensuring you label correctly with the contents and room destination can save a lot of time and effort when unpacking, especially if you use a moving company.
  • Make sure all documentation doesn’t get lost. This can be prevented by keeping all paperwork together and separate so that when you arrive it can be put in a safe place.
  • If you have young children it is worth packing a box with essential items such as toys and bedding so that you can keep them occupied as quickly as possible when moving home. It’s an unsettling time for children as much as the grownups coordinating everything. They can feel overlooked and so ensuring they settle properly requires their own things around them.

Three Tips for Moving Onto A Boat

There are a lot of things that are fantastic about moving onto a boat. The great lifestyle is one of them I mean, who wouldn’t want to live on a boat? You get to be surrounded by the ocean and the endless sky, surrounded by nature and surrounded by the laid back attitudes of other boaters. The freedom to come and go as you please on the water or the shore and you don’t have the chains of a desk holding you back anymore. But how do you make that transition? Companies like brownellsystems.com can ensure your boat is in the correct marina waiting for you to embark on your new life. It’s hard enough moving house but when you need to downsize enough to live on a boat, it’s tough and especially difficult if you’re someone who likes to hold on to things. There are three very important tips to remember that can get you started toward living on a boat and enjoying beautiful sunsets.

  • Lose the material things
  • Lose the bills
  • Lose the worry

It seems pretty straightforward to lose the material things in life but you would be amazed how hard it can be to go from living in a full house full of your things and furniture to a 3-500 square foot boat. Don’t worry though, the hardest bit is just the beginning as getting rid of things that you’ve considered a prized possession that you haven’t looked at in years can be painful. Plan on car boot sales, bulk eBay listings and plenty of Facebook posts to empty your house and earn in the process. Utilise companies like brownellsystems.com to move your boat to the correct mooring ready for you. After you’ve got rid of your excess things via sales or the local tip, plan on storing any remaining things in a family members home or a paid storage unit. If you do this for six months to a year, then you can review after this time and anything you still don’t need or find as important as you used to you can then chuck or sell on and save yourself further possible storage fees. If you do this a few times you’ll guarantee that all you need is on that 500 square foot of home you want to live in.

The second step of losing the bills is more of a practical one as it’s so easy to forget to cancel things like subscriptions that you cannot use on the water and by cutting your overheads by simplifying your expenses you are buying yourself that freedom on the water. It can be hard to sail away into the sunset if you’re still paying for a sky bill or magazine subscription. You won’t be able to keep going to the gym or go to Blockbusters on a Friday night. Every pound you save is a pound you don’t have to earn.

The last point of losing the worry means letting go of the attitude toward time and work. Stop worrying about the hours in the day as time on a boat slows down significantly. Living on a boat is not a lifestyle it’s also a life and to get the most out of living on a boat you can’t function the same way you would living on the shore. Relax, enjoy and know that time on your boat is ti

Buying Property Abroad

In the past, foreign nationals were reluctant to purchase property in the Middle East. Deterred by a history of violence and instability in the Arab World, and discouraged by national laws in many countries that limit foreign ownership, expats looked elsewhere for second homes or real estate investments. In 2002, however, Dubai’s crown prince stepped outside of the box when he issued the Freehold Decree, formal legislation that allowed foreigners to buy property, sell property, and lease or rent property at their own discretion.

The decree was designed to increase international investment and put the emirate on the map as a global hotspot. With no special permission needed or hidden hoops to jump through, buying property in Dubai became easy and potentially profitable for foreigners. With the rising cost of rental in Dubai and a healthy property market that looks set to continue growing, buying property is becoming an increasingly attractive prospect for expats living in Dubai. Before perusing the market, it’s necessary to pinpoint the exact reason for purchasing property – either for investment or to live in. The purpose behind a purchase can greatly affect what type of property one should consider.

If investing, expats buying off plan apartments for sale in Dubai will ultimately be renting out the accommodation; thus it’s necessary to do some research and find out what kind of property has the highest rental yield. For example, one-bedroom apartments have higher yields than large villas; thus even though the luxurious lure of cheap Dubai apartments for sale in Dubai is tempting, it is a better business decision to purchase an apartment. It is best to purchase property in Dubai from a developer, or to enlist the services of a real estate agent. It is important to do background checks and confirm the reputation of both entities, though most operate with a high level of integrity. If purchasing from a developer, chances are the new home may not even be built yet. Thus, expats interested in these endeavours should take care to visit presentation centres and show homes to get an idea of what to expect. In most cases, whether dealing with a developer or a real estate agent, a fee of between two and five percent of the selling price is expected to be paid out in addition to the property price.

The first step in purchasing a property in Dubai is making a verbal offer to the seller. Once this is accepted, a formal sales contract is drafted and agreed upon between the parties, and a deposit is made. The buyer obtains financing, the seller ensures that the property is not encumbered by anything that goes against what has been stipulated, and final payment is made or a payment plan is solidified. The deed is then transferred. There are slightly different sets of protocols depending on whether one purchases property from a developer, called an “off-plan” purchase, or purchases property from a private seller, called a “resale” purchase.

Buying Property Overseas

The Arab world, once characterized by unrest and instability, with laws that severely limited foreign ownership, was an unpopular place for foreign investment in the real estate sector prior to 2002. However, in 2002, when the Freehold Decree was introduced as formal legislature permitting foreign nationals to buy, sell, lease or rent property, the Middle East and Dubai in particular, became an immensely popular destination for real estate investments. Today, with the soaring cost of rentals and a healthy property market that continues to grow, buying property is becoming an increasingly viable and attractive option for expats living in Dubai.

Additional costs

In addition to the purchase price of a property for sale in Dubai Marina, keep in mind that there may be several other fees and costs associated with a property purchase transaction. In addition to legal fees, there will be developer fees or fees to be paid to your real estate agent. Additionally, land registration and maintenance fees may also apply. If buying a property ‘off-plan’, expats can expect to pay about 2% on land registration fees. Maintenance fees, which cover the upkeep of gardens and other shared facilities may be a fixed rate or may vary based on the size of the property. This could add up to a fairly large amount, therefore it is important to factor this into any financial plan for purchase of the intended property.

Read and understand the contract carefully

In Dubai, property in Palm Jumeirah are accompanied by legal documents that may be a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) or a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) between buyer and seller. These documents outline all the terms and conditions as well as define the buyer’s and seller’s responsibility in completing transfer of the property from the seller to the buyer. Make sure you understand your responsibilities as a buyer as outlined in the agreement; do not sign unless you are sure you understand and agree to all the terms and conditions.

In Dubai, property can be purchased either ‘off-plan’ from a developer or ‘resale’ from a private seller. When purchasing off-plan, expats will need to submit their passport, along with a reservation form that outlines the terms and conditions of the deal. A reservation fee, of between 5 to 15% is then paid to draw up the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA), that commits both parties to the deal. For properties that are still under construction, ensure that the agreement includes a completion date and outlines any compensation to be paid if there is a delay in completion by the stipulated time period. When purchasing resale property from a private seller, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlines the terms and conditions of the deal, after which the buyer usually puts down a 10% deposit of the property price to confirm his purchase of the property, pending approved financing. Once financing is obtained, the transfer of deeds can take place.

Concrete Driveway Repair Scams & How To Avoid Them

In life, there are always people who will try it on to take advantage of you. Karma will take care of them, but in the mean time you have to be vigilant about those who seem genuine but are actually the worst kinds of scammers. When your concrete driveway starts to crack, you have two options. You can wait for the damage to spread or you can call a concrete driveway contractor. There are fantastic and genuine companies out there like http://www.southeastgroundworks.co.uk but then there are others that could be ‘rogue’ traders. If all you have is a hairline crack in the concrete, then your driveway is likely the victim of time and weather and an immediate fix may not be needed. If your crack in concrete changes widths along its length, and has high and low points, though you should call a professional in.

There are unfortunately some unscrupulous contractors that count on homeowners’ desperation to fix their concrete. There are some things you should know before you go ahead with someone who approaches you for a fix so never agree to any kind of concrete work before getting at least three estimates from different companies. A company like http://www.southeastgroundworks.co.uk would be a genuine company to help but others out there need to be compared against as you just never know. Get references and referrals and if you can see some of the work a contractor has done before you go ahead and book them, then all the better. For many homeowners, you’ll be enjoying a properly repaired driveway while someone less diligent has to search for a second repair contractor in as many months.

Getting a good quote for your concrete issues means setting up a system. So call a company like http://www.southeastgroundworks.co.uk and ask when they can take a look – never accept an over the phone quote as they haven’t seen the job. When they arrive, ask what the quote covers and how they budget for any extras. If the contractor becomes defensive or says anything along the lines of ‘that’s just how it is’ get another quote immediately. Second opinions are invaluable in the business so if you ensure you get that extra opinion you can have a better idea of how a company works.

Companies uses a mix of cement and chemical binding agents to fill the cracks in your driveway or patio and minimise the chance of further breakage. Your concrete will never look as perfect as it did the day it was poured, and any company that tries to sell you otherwise is lying. It’s easy for the lie to come off as professional as you yourself will likely not be an expert! Real concrete professionals should be able to tell you what kind of crack you have – shrinkage, expansion, heaving, settling, overloading and premature drying are all common causes. A reputable contractor will also be able to tell you if your cement cracks are necessary and whether they occur along purposeful joints in the slab.

How You Can Get Rid Of House Pests

Did you know that there are over 2000 species and subspecies of flea? And did you know these fleas can live in the deepest part of carpets? Fleas have adapted themselves well in all types of terrains and regions, so their effects are seen anywhere and everywhere. They are parasitic in nature and feast on warm-blooded animals like mammals and birds. If you have a cat or a dog and you haven’t de-flead your animals you can pretty much guarantee that you will have in infestation soon enough. Pet owners know if you see one flea, there will be two and if you see two there will be an infestation. Fleas lay eggs inside mattresses, curtains and into carpet fibres and those eggs lay dormant. Pets bedding can be a hot bed for flea growth and the thicker the carpet the harder it is to clean. If you can hire in a company like http://www.servicemasterclean.co.uk you can have your carpets and upholstery regularly cleaned and having clean carpets can keep pests at bay.

Fleas have a distinct characteristic of hopping to host itself in furry animals like dogs and cats but they can also feast on the blood of us humans and that is never good.

Hidden safely under the hosts’ coat and deriving nutrition from its blood, the female lays huge numbers of eggs. When the host animal moves around, these eggs are dropped off in surroundings.

Riding on these pets means they can get around a lot and they hide in the fluff of carpets, furniture, bedding and gardens. Here it completes its four stage life cycle from a larva to a full grown flea.

Getting rid of these pesky insects is a challenge that can be countered only with a holistic approach of closing all the possible avenues of its entry in a home.

This includes a thorough house cleaning, bathing your pets regularly, and using chemical or natural treatments to exterminate these insects. Doing this once is not enough, regularly repeating the same process of extermination is essential.

First and most important thing to tackle this situation is to get rid of flea in your home by adopting some easy and natural methods. There are certain natural methods you can use other than companies like http://www.servicemastercleandevon.co.uk and one of those is planting pennyroyal in your home or garden, but be careful if you have kids and pets around. They must not touch or eat this dangerous plant as while it can kill bugs it can make them very sick. Boric acid is a well-known repellant for cockroaches and other kitchen insects. It is equally effective for fleas too. Sprinkle boric acid on carpets and upholstery after a thorough vacuum and leave it there for 10-12 hours.  Vacuum again for a flea free home and make sure you get right into corners and under furniture.

Fleas have amazing jumping abilities and they can climb on your pet very easily to ride inside your home.