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Moving Home with Kids Made Simple

Moving house is stressful, moving house with kids… well, that can be a recipe for meltdowns, tantrums, and sleepless nights.

As parents, you’re probably moving house for logical reasons: you need more space, you want to be closer to good schools, you’ve found a better job in the area. But as many of us know, logic and rationale aren’t always high on a kids list of priorities.

 

Change is scary for all of us, not just kids, so how can you make it easier?

 

In this three-minute read, we look at a few ways to help your little (and not so little) cherubs settle into a new home.

 

Prepare your child

Keep your child informed. Talk about the new home, why you’re moving, where you’re going, their new room, and so on. By including them in the process – such as visiting the property before the move – they know what’s coming. Kids love an adventure, and a new home is just that.

 

When packing up their things, get them to help. Create a special moving box, so they have all their favourite toys, clothes, and bits and bobs in one place. It could help them feel more in control and get them ready for the change ahead.

 

Sleep is key

When your child doesn’t sleep, everyone suffers. You’ll be exhausted, they’ll probably be grumpy, and the whole household will feel bleary-eyed. Try to keep their sleep routine similar to their old one to (hopefully) avoid sleepless nights.

 

Show them their room before you move in, or if possible, let them choose their new room. Let them know where their cot/bed will be and how the room will look.

 

When it comes to those first few nights, make sure you know where their favourite blanket or toy is, so you don’t have to fret before bedtime. (This approach might not work with teenagers.)

 

Moving-in present

Show us a parent that hasn’t bribed their child with chocolate or a toy, and we’ll eat our hats! A move-in present doesn’t have to be expensive; it could be the promise of an activity you’ll do together once you’ve moved in, or a toy that’s been waiting for them to arrive.

 

Decorate together

Whether it’s a new paint colour, bedspread, or wall art – letting your child choose what they like gives them a sense of ownership and independence. Creating a cosy, welcoming space will help your child settle and make their room feel like home.

 

Celebrate

Whatever the circumstances of your move, children will want to feel like it’s an adventure. So, make sure to celebrate together. You could have a first-night pizza party, a teddy-bear’s picnic in the garden, ask the grandparents over, or even blow out candles for the new home’s first day. Making the move as fun and celebratory as possible gives the whole family something to look forward to.

Silverspring can help you and your family find your new home, so get in touch with us today.

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Four Things to Consider When Buying a ‘Doer-Upper’ in Leeds

There are four things to consider when searching for a new home, do you scroll past properties that look a little worse for wear? You know the ones, where the carpet hasn’t been changed since the 70s and the floral wallpaper is curling off the walls?

Lots of buyers look for newly renovated or new-build homes due to fear of the doer-upper. If that sounds like you, we’re here to tell you that you’re potentially missing out, and giving you our four best tips.

Older, unloved properties may look scary, but they’re often hiding bags of potential.

 

Here’s the four things to consider when buying a doer-upper.

 

Dilapidated or older properties tend to come onto the market at a lower price than their newly renovated competition. With new homes, you’re paying for the time and money someone else has put into it. While with doer-uppers, you’ve got something relatively untouched and ready for updating.

 

Of course, you must factor in build costs, decoration, plumbing, electrics, etc. But in many cases, these can work out at less than a new-build, especially if you do some of the work yourself.

 

Top Tip: If you’ve fallen in love with an older property, make sure you view it a few times, and take an experienced builder along to see it so they can advise on costs and potential issues.

 

  • Research

Buying an unloved property without doing your research is a fool’s game. Get yourself online and look at similar homes in the area; ask the agent as many questions as you can to get to grips with the property. Is there potential to extend? Does the property have permitted development rights? What do the other properties on the street look like? There are no silly questions when you’re thinking about a renovation project.

 

  • Add value

When buying a doer-upper, you can feel smug in the knowledge that any updates you do will add value. For example, many older flats or houses don’t have a central heating system, which would put a lot of buyers off. By installing one, changing the old windows, and investing in insulation, you’re not only energy-proofing, but you’re also saving money in the long run. Also, if you decide to sell, you’ll be able to command a higher purchase price.

 

  • Make your mark

It’s great moving into a shiny new home with a flawless kitchen and high-spec bathroom, but imagine creating your own space. There’s nothing like seeing your design ideas come to life and a renovation project allows you to do just that.

 

If you’re looking for a renovation project, get in touch with us at Silverspring. We’ll help you find your dream home.

 

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How to Wow Buyers with a Spacious-Looking Home

Find out how you can impress buyers by making each room in your home look as spacious as possible. A two-minute read.

Whether you’re marketing a one-bedroom flat or a seven-bedroom mansion, the same rule usually applies – big is beautiful.

We’re talking about big rooms, of course! It’s well known that a home that feels spacious will always fetch a higher price than a similar property that comes across as cramped and crowded.

The good news is you don’t need to go crazy with a sledgehammer knocking down walls to make a home feel roomier – a few clever adjustments will do the trick.

Here are five ways to make your home look bigger.

 

1)     Ditch the clutter 

Carry out an audit in each room of your home and identify any items you can live without for a few months during the marketing process. Put the ones you want to keep in storage and ditch the rest (some have probably been gathering dust for years). Don’t be precious; no one’s passing judgement on your hobbies or interests. Just give buyers what they want: a blank canvas that they can put their own mark on.

 

2)     Get the furniture right

Perhaps you have a huge sofa that’s fab for family film nights but swamps your living room, or a 14-seat dining table that you only use at Christmas? Put super-sized items of furniture in storage and hire or borrow pieces that are in proportion with the room.

 

3)     Use mirrors

Mirrors reflect light and make a space look bigger. Positioning a large mirror at the rear of a room is a great way to make it look roomier.

 

4)     Go neutral

Dark walls and bold patterns make a room look smaller (and don’t even get us started on dark-coloured ceilings). Interior designers suggest painting the walls and ceiling the same light neutral tone to make a room feel more spacious.

 

5)     Let there be light (artificial and natural)

Always open your curtains or shutters before a viewing to allow natural light in. Also, dot lamps around the room to generate more light. A variety of lighting creates depth (and hence a sense of space) in a room.

For more tips about marketing your property, contact us here at Sauls of Yorkshire.

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Walk This Way: Do it for Your Children and Planet

Find out why it’s time to ditch your car and walk to school with your children instead. A two-minute read.

Want to reduce carbon emissions, traffic congestion, and the risk of childhood obesity? Then step right up and out for Walk to School Week (16 to 20 May).

Next week’s event, organised by the charity Living Streets, encourages children and their carers to leave the car at home and do the school run on foot instead.

So, why all this emphasis on swapping four wheels for two feet? Here are just a few benefits associated with walking to school.

  • It’s a great way to boost children’s activity levels (bear in mind that only 45% of children and young people exercise for the recommended one hour a day*).

  • Starting the day with a dose of fresh air gets the endorphins (feel-good emotions) going and increases alertness.

  • It’s an excellent opportunity to have a little one-on-one time with your child and natter about whatever is on their mind.

  • According to Unicef, in 71% of UK towns and cities, children breathe in unsafe levels of air pollution (which is linked to an increased risk of asthma and respiratory problems). Reducing cars on local streets will mean cleaner air.

  • The roads around schools are often chock-a-block at peak times, with some parents also failing to adhere to road rules and parking irresponsibly. Fewer cars mean less stress and less dodgy driver aggression.

  • A Living Streets study found that 87% of parents with primary school-aged children have had to step into the carriageway because of vehicles parked on the pavement while on the school run. This poses serious safety and accessibility issues.

Take part 

Why not try walking your child to school every day next week and see if you notice the benefits?

If it’s not feasible to walk the whole way due to distance, consider parking about ten minutes away from school and completing the rest of your journey on foot.

And don’t forget to take note of the street conditions on your route to school and contact your local council if improvements are needed to remedy unsafe crossings or damaged pavements.

From all of us here at Silverspring sales, thanks for reading and happy walking.

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Is the Internet Frying Your Brain?

What impact do constant scrolling and swiping  on the internet have on your ability to focus, reflect, and connect? A two-minute read.

If you can’t read two pages of a book without getting twitchy or struggle to go for an hour without checking social media, then you’re not alone.

A recent study by tech giant Microsoft found that the human attention span has shrivelled by 25% in just a few years. It’s just one of a growing number of studies suggesting that in the digital age, our ability to focus is decreasing.

Over the past two decades, the internet has become a constant presence in our lives. Much of that has been good – social media connects people with shared interests, gives the under-represented a voice, and exposes us to new ideas. You are most likely reading this article online.

And podcasts and audiobooks make mundane tasks, like driving or household chores, more enjoyable (and sometimes educational).

But are we having too much of a good thing? If you seem to spend hours lost in a digital rabbit hole, perhaps it’s time to reappraise your habits. You don’t have to take an all-or-nothing approach, it might just be a case of being more measured.

 Five ideas to sharpen your focus

  • Be more mindful of your online activity. Is it productive? Does it make you feel happy? If the answer is no, consider scaling back your screen time or deleting apps that have a negative impact.
  • The artificial light from phones and laptops messes with the body’s internal clock and your ability to sleep. That’s why experts advise people to avoid screens before bed.
  • Every time we flick from one thing to another (as most of us do online), our brain adjusts. This can be tiring over an extended period and explains why you feel shattered after an hour on the couch scrolling.
  • Wrestle back control with apps like Serene and Freedom, which monitor your focus and block distracting apps and websites, or try the more radical options: SelfControl and Cold Turkey Blocker.
  • The kSafe is a time-lock safe that protects you from yourself. You set the timer and put your object of choice – be it a phone or gaming handset – into the heavy-duty container and lock it. The safe won’t unlock until the designated time.

From all of us here at Silverspring, thanks for reading.

 

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How to Spot a Great Estate Agent in Leeds

This two-minute read explains how to identify a great estate agent – one who’ll land you the best deal for your home. 

What separates a mediocre estate agent from an exceptional one? It’s not what they say; it’s what they do.

While some agents talk a big game, in reality they just go through the motions. But great agents (and we like to think that here at Silverspring sales we fall into that category) go all out to get the very best deal.

That’s because top agents know that now, more than ever, every extra pound added to a sale price matters to sellers (and can be put to good use to cover DIY or furniture in their new home).

So, how can sellers in Leeds spot a great agent from a run-of-the-mill one? Here’s what to look out for:

A comprehensive marketing plan – The great thing about the internet is you can see if an agent means business. Top agents use professional photography, floor plans, and sparkling copy to showcase properties and engage buyers. They also regularly update their website and post live feeds, video tours, and property sneak peeks on social media. Contrast this with the coasters who throw a few shabby images on a property portal and then wait for the phone to ring. Who do you think achieves the best result?

 

Negotiating skills – People often overlook the importance of negotiating skills in the selling process. But when you’re close to sealing a deal, a savvy negotiator can really make a difference on price. A great agent has soft skills – the ability to listen, read body language, and interpret the dynamic between couples – along with industry nous.

 

Has a rapport with buyers – To know if a buyer is serious and how much they are willing to spend, a great agent needs to be personable and have good communication skills.

 

Can explain their valuation – A top agent doesn’t just pull a figure out of the air; they do their homework. So, when a potential buyer pushes for a price drop, a great agent can justify their valuation and stand their ground.

 

Honest feedback – A great agent won’t just tell you what you want to hear but what you need to know. If your house needs decluttering, or you need to improve how you stage it, they’ll be straight with you.

 

Here at Silverspring sales, we’re serious about delivering for our clients. Get in touch to learn more about our successful selling track record.

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Six Ways to Celebrate National Gardening Week

Do something positive for you, your community, and the planet’s health by celebrating National Gardening Week. A two-minute read.

There’s nothing quite like a bit of digging, watering, or pruning to calm the nerves and soothe the soul.

Gardening is good for our mental and physical health, reducing the risk of depression, osteoporosis, and stroke and – added bonus alert – it’s great for the environment, too!

Along with making our surroundings look nicer, gardening cleans the air and soil, helps fight global warming, and supports wildlife.

That’s why it’s time to get behind the Royal Horticultural Society’s National Gardening Week, which kicks off next week (2 – 8 May). Even if you don’t have a garden, you can still participate.

Here are six ways to celebrate National Gardening Week in Leeds.

  • If you have little ones in your life (children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews), make flower crowns or daisy chains with them. While you’re busy making, chat to them about the wonders of nature.

  • Build a bug hotel in your garden using recycled natural materials such as terracotta pots, logs, twigs, and wooden pallets. Bug hotels attract insects such as bees (excellent for pollinating your plants), ladybirds, and woodlice. And if you’re lucky, the odd frog or hedgehog might check in, too.

  • If you don’t have any outdoor space, liven up your windowsill with a colourful flower box or plant some pots of herbs like oregano, chives, and mint (they’ll taste great in your cooking).

  • It’s not too late to get started on a veggie patch in your garden by planting tomatoes, beetroot, carrots, and courgettes. Add a few sweet peas, too – you can’t eat them, but they produce colourful flowers that are pollinator-friendly, so they will improve your crop yield.

  • Join a gardening club or wildlife society where you can learn more about the natural world and meet people with similar interests.

  • Put your name down for an allotment. Bag yourself a plot on an allotment and you’re bound to meet other greenfingers with whom you can swap gardening tips and produce.

We’d love to see what you’re growing at home. Take a snap and share it with us on social media at Silverspringsales. #NationalGardeningWeek