Which House For Me?

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There are many decisions that you have to make when moving house, from location to budget. The finances surrounding moving, whether you are buying or renting, can seem overwhelming and financial stress is not something to ignore. But the biggest decision you have to make, before you can even start looking, is what sort of house are you looking for?

Do you need a family home? Is this a second house? Have you got restrictions surrounding having a garden, a garage or a certain number of rooms? These are all things that you need to consider for the immediate future, but you should also consider years down the line – if you are looking to buy a house for the long term, is it going to meet you needs years down the line?

You also need to consider the implications of buying a different property than you are used to; the change between a house and a bungalow might not be that great, but between a bungalow and a farmhouse can be huge. Not only do you have the added space within the house – but have the grounds around it too that will need maintaining.

If you opt to buy a farmhouse or a ranch with the land included, you don’t have to farm the land yourself. You can always rent the fields to farmers, or to split the land up and sell it off – although renting or farming it yourself is a better investment in the long run.

Are you going to be looking for a new property or an older one? Both have their benefits; a new build has the most up-to-date materials and appliances and shouldn’t need any work for many years to come. However, new builds tend to be a lot more expensive than an older building. A property that has been around for some years might need some more looking after, but they are full of character and history. Some of the oldest buildings have rich pasts.

Buying a second home also comes with some extra considerations; like who will look after the property when you are not there? You can rent out the property to holiday-goers, or you can look into a house-share, where you buy the property with a second party and split the use. A second home can be a good investment, but if it just sits there, you can lose a lot of money through taxes, insurance and other bills.

If you are considering moving abroad than be aware that the standard size for homes vary in different countries. A town house in America is typically bigger than one for the same price in the UK, this comes down to the materials used, the age of the building and the economy of the country. You will also need to be aware of the different types of buildings common in different countries, like a ksar found in the oasis towns in northern Africa.

Here are some of the more common types of housing within the US with a short overview of what they generally are like.

House

Your basic house is usually two-story with an attic. They can be detached, semi-detached or terraced, and can date as far back as the colonial years. Typically they come with a rear and/or front garden, a driveway and a garage, or some combination of the four. Houses are incredibly common and make great homes for couples, families or single people. You’ll find larger properties out in the suburbs rather than in a city.

Bungalow

A bungalow is classed as a single-story building, although they mostly include an attic. Like a house, they usually come with gardens, drives and garages. Bungalows again are great options for many people but have the added bonus of no stairs for the elderly. A bungalow might be a good option for downsizing your home when retiring. But you can get some sprawling bungalows that are larger than a typical house. Bungalows are quite common in areas that suffer from earthquakes.

Townhouse

A townhouse, or a terraced house, is a row of attached houses. The common difference between referring to the property as a ‘town’ or ‘terraced’ house is due to the size. A townhouse is typically a three-story building. The term came into use during the Victorian era, when both town and terraced were being built on mass with speed. A townhouse is a great family home, and usually has a garden. You have neighbours either side, which will be annoying if they’re loud, but great if you make friends with them as they will be extra eyes on your property while you’re not there.

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Cottage

A cottage is, traditionally, a more European structure although they have been copied over the years throughout Northern America. It is an older building made of stone and, originally, had a thatched roof. Most cottages have been renovated for modern conveniences, including a modern roof. If you find a cottage with a thatched roof, be mindful of the cost of repairs and rethatching in the coming years. But they are great character-filled homes, the beams crossing the ceilings and the picturesque windows are very much like a fairy-tale cottage. Most cottages found in small towns have been joined with their neighbours, meaning that the original two-roomed structure can be a lot larger.

Apartment

Apartments are common throughout towns and cities, but if you are shopping in the heart of a city like New York, don’t expect to find a house nestled amongst the skyscrapers. That said, apartments make great homes, for families and couples. They vary in size, and you can get some two-storey apartments. You do have neighbours above, below and either side, so choose wisely. You won’t get a garden or garage with an apartment, but you may get a balcony that you can fill with flower boxes, and the views you can get within the city can be spectacular. As well as your usual apartment, you can also go for the penthouse suite, which is usually the top floor, and can take up the entire floor. These are obviously more pricey, but the view from the top must be the best.

Condos

In structure a condo is the same as an apartment, it’s just the ownership that changes. An apartment block is often owned by a single entity and rented individually, where a condo has a landlord for that one unit, not the entire block. However, seeing as the landlord is presumably making a living out of renting, an executive condo does have the reputation of being more modern with more investments made into the property.

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Farmhouse

A farmhouse can come with or without a farm, but they tend to be situated in the country, surrounded by fields. If you are looking for a working farm for crops, poultry and smaller livestock, then this is the type of house you’re looking for. And if you just want a nice big building, in the country with a bit of land – this is perfect for you too. There is plenty of space for children and pets to run around.

Ranch

A ranch is like a farm on steroids. These slices of land are huge and are more geared towards large livestock like cattle, bison or horses. The houses are similar to farmhouses, but successful ranches will have been added to extensively over the years. It’s easier to find a not-working farm than a ranch.

No matter what house you choose – make sure it is right for you and your family. Don’t judge a house on first glance, and always check out the neighbours before committing to a property. If you can, visit the property a couple of times, at different points in the day – you’ll want to know if it is in the middle of rush hour traffic, whether it’s easy to access in the dark or if the neighbours are nocturnal.

How much healthier is filtered water than tap water, is it worth the expense?

People often find themselves torn deciding between filtered water and tap water. These days filtered water is widely used all over the world. It comes in a fancy bottle with a label indicating the brand it belongs to. Tap water maybe convenient to get because you can always walk up to your kitchen and fill up your glass. But nowadays people know better than that. They are aware of the pollutants and contaminations which could be dissolved in their water. So they think about getting filtered water.

Although tap water is inexpensive and easy on the budget, it may not be the safest option. But a lot of people are these days concerned about the quality of the bottled water. They find themselves wondering if bottled water is actually safe or at least safer than tap water, or is it just another unworthy expense that they bear.
However, bottled water isn’t the only option that there is for pure water. You can also try filtered water which has proven to be very healthy and economical.

With so many options of water available out there it can be tough to pick one out of the other. To help you out, below we have talked about a few popular water sources.

What’s in the bottle?
Bottled water is purified and packaged which is later sold to us. However it should be kept in mind that since it is kept in a bottle, it shouldn’t be kept for long because when bottled water is exposed to sunlight it creates harmful chemicals in the water. So you should consume it sooner rather than later and also check out its expiry date just to be safe.

Filtration process
Filters eliminate a lot of dangerous contaminants as compared to any other water purification methods, and since they are innovatively build to work with municipally treated water they perform way better. The water that is purified by filters is not vulnerable to phthalate contamination, and the filters are also successfully able to eliminate cryptosporidium from drinking water, an achievement that has neither been managed by municipal water treatment plants nor has it been achieved by bottled water companies. Apart from that, having a source of filtered water proves to be way more economical than bottled water. To get filter water in your house there are plenty of options which you can opt for. For example you can try water filtration plants and check to see if there are any such plants near your house or not. If you don’t have a filtration plant near your house then you can think of installing a filter in your house. It would you way less than water bottles would and it would be convenient as well. All you would have to do is to install the filter in your house and you will have pure water whenever you open up the tap.

Furthermore, because water filters use no more energy than is already required to propel water through a home’s plumbing system, they circumvent several of the environmental problems of the bottled water industry.

Apart from the price factor filtered water is better than bottled water because you can never be sure of the source of the water and the level of purity it has with bottled water. For all you know you could be spending money on contaminated water, which is why it is way better for you to get filtered water.

One thing that should be kept in mind, however, is that the quality of your water would depend upon what kind of water filter are you using. So if you are using a high-end reliable filter then you can rest assured that your water will be full of minerals and pure of any contaminations.

By purchasing a point-of-use water filter, like a counter top, faucet, or under the sink water filter, you can ask to get your local water quality report in order to determine what contaminants are being filtered by your home filter.

A lot of suppliers also sell pre-filters or specialty filters that can be added, if required, to get rid of specific water contaminants from your source water.

Smooth Mover: Your Guide to an Awesome Office Move!

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Every day, businesses move offices. Sometimes they just move up a couple of floors in the same commercial building. Sometimes they move to a new part of town. Sometimes they move to another city entirely! In any case, a move is never particularly easy.
There are a lot of things you need to consider when you’re moving office. You don’t need this process to be any more expensive, stressful, or dangerous than it already might be. Ensure that the move goes as smoothly as possible. This article is filled with suggestions we hope you find useful!
Consider the budget
This ain’t exactly gonna be cheap. The world of business never is. And while you feel like you could really use a break during such a stressful process, you’re not going to get one. You’re going to have to spend some money to ensure this goes smoothly! The best thing for you to do is to create a budget. Work out what you can afford to spend on this move. Consider the fees of moves and real estate agents.

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The checklist
Yes, you should be making a checklist. You may think that this is way too informal a practice for a serious business to use. But if you’re not keeping track of the process in some way, then it can all get very disorganized very quickly. You need to develop a plan of action. And one of the best ways to track the progress of that plan is with a checklist.
Shopping around for movers
Don’t just go for the first movers you find. No two moving companies are the same. You may find that one charges you less for what you’re taking. But they may charge you more based on the location you’re headed to. A company that seems expensive at first might actually offer a bunch of helpful benefits. Basically, you need to research all of your options carefully. And remember that relocating your IT infrastructure safely is important. You might want to work with specialists in that field.

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The furniture question
The furniture your company uses isn’t exactly going to be easy. In fact, this could end up being the most difficult task of your move. You’ve got desks, chairs, and sofas to worry about. But what if there’s already furniture at the office you’re heading to? You might want to consider selling the stuff you have now, or even giving it away. If you get stuck later, there are actually places where you can find free furniture that might be suitable for your office.
Safety first
Last, but not least – in fact, the opposite of least – is safety. A move can be a pretty dangerous thing if you’re not careful. Ladders are out. Boxes are lying around. Heavy equipment is being carried. Transport needs to be used. All of a sudden, the safe little haven you call your office seems to be a hazard zone! Make sure you’re paying close attention to health and safety during your office move. If you don’t, you could end up with an injured employee. (Which often results in, y’know, a lawsuit. Eep!)