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28Aug

Are you moving to a new home soon or considering the prospect?

Wondering how to help your kids transition easily from one home to another?

Whether you have younger children, tweens or teenagers, moving home can be a big adjustment for everyone, and it can be hard to say goodbye to a place which holds so many fond memories and move to a new unknown home.  

So, if you’re wanting to make the move easier on younger members of the family, here are some tips on how to help your child with moving.

Younger Children

If you have younger children between the ages of 1-9 then moving for them may be a very new concept and something that they have never experienced before. 

To help them you can:

Depending on their age, explain your reasons for moving (new job, new school, closer to family, bigger home, new garden, new country even) and keep everything positive. If you are positive about the move then they will be too. 

1) Try to get them involved from the beginning. If possible (and dependent on age), take them to view properties with you and once you find the property you are going to purchase, make sure your child has visited at least two or three times before the big day of the move. Let them know which room will be theirs, show them the new kitchen and living room, help them visualise family times there, and make sure they are familiar with the surroundings.

2) Read your child books or watch TV shows about moving house for the first time. This helps them to understand the process of moving house and how to go about it. 

3) Get them excited about moving to the new property. If there are things like the prospect of a bigger garden, a local park or somewhere to ride bikes, then let them know. The promise of something new is always exciting for a child. 

4) Just like you, most children from around 4+ need to go through the process of emotionally leaving a property and moving to a new home. Let your child help pack smaller things like their toys. When packing your child’s things explain to them that you’re not throwing them away and that they will see them again at the new house.

5) Packing can be stressful, but if you let your child pack their toys then it helps them to feel involved and to know that their personal belongings will be with them too. If your child has a favourite stuffed toy or blanket, then make a big thing of leaving that out so that they can take it in the car to their new house, helping them to feel more secure in the process. 

6) Take a drive around your new area with your kids to see what there is and so they know what it looks like.

7) On moving day, sometimes it may be easier and less stressful for younger children to stay with a friend or family member until everything is packed in the moving van and then meet them at the new house. Alternatively, you could let your children play outside your house and when everything is packed take them inside and let them say goodbye to all the rooms to help it feel more real for them. 

8) If your child is moving schools, then to help them with the transition, you could make a memory scrapbook (or digital version) and help them to keep in touch with their old friends after moving, whilst assuring them that they will make new friends. Talk about their feelings with them and reassure them that moving on is just a normal part of every day life. 

 

Tweens & Teenagers

If you’re moving with children aged 10-16 plus, then they will typically have a better understanding of what it means to move home. They may have experienced it as a child, or they will typically have friends or family who have moved home as a reference point. To help them have a better adjustment to moving home, some things which may help include:

A) As with younger children, getting them involved in the viewing process and getting their opinion on each home. You never now, your child may spot something that you don’t during viewings which could help stop you from making an expensive purchasing mistake!

B) Making sure that your child has seen the house at least 2-3 times before moving, and has an idea of the layout of the house and most crucially, which room will be theirs. 

C) Let them explore the surrounding area either with you, by themselves or maybe with a friend. 

D) Get them excited about the new opportunities which the house move offers. If the house has a cool feature like a bigger bedroom or garden or an attic room. Get them excited about that, it helps them have something to look forward to.

E) Start the process of going through their old things in your current property and get them involved in it too. Hold onto belongings from their childhood or things they deem sentimental and if possible, don’t throw out things your child still wants. It’s amazing how even the most secure teenager can need those small reminders of their childhood around them to help them feel safe. 

F) Talk to your tween/teen about how they are feeling about the move. Help them to feel heard and let them know that you’re always here to talk if they want to. 

G) Let your teenager have pack and unpack their own boxes it means they have a responsibility and ownership over their belongings and they feel included.

H) Get them involved in planning on redecorating their room if they want to. Perhaps let them pick out some new things for their room either before the move or in the early weeks of moving in. 

I) Try to keep your child at the same school especially if they are secondary age, but if you absolutely have to move them, then make sure they keep in contact with their old friends. You could invite their friends over once you get settled for a sleepover or to watch a movie. This helps your child to settle in to their new home with people they are already familiar with. 

J) Finally, on moving day, give them time to say their goodbyes to the house, their room etc. Like you, it gives them the closure they need. This helps your child to feel more ready to leave and have a chance to go around one last time remembering the happy memories in their home. 

Although moving is an exciting time, it can also be a difficult and emotional time for everyone too, and leaving somewhere you love can be hard. However, hopefully some of our tips above can help to make things easier, and eventually your children will settle into their new home, as will you.

If we can assist you with any aspect of the moving process then please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01727 221290. 

 

 

 

 

 

17Jul

A lot of Selling a home is often about psychology. It’s about that feeling that someone gets when they walk into a property and they know it’s the one!  

You may have seen that moment on property programmes on the TV when the buyers walk into a property and become emotional because it’s just what they’ve been looking for. 

Of course, that moment is not always happily ever after, but you may have experienced that feeling yourself when you walk into the property and you just know that this is your next home or your forever home. 

So as a seller, how can you help to ensure that your property is the one that people want to purchase? 

Well, here are some great tips for you! 

1. Appeal to your potential buyers. 

When you are selling your property, it helps to try and appeal to potential buyers. You’re selling a lifestyle, whatever that may be. 

Perhaps it is selling a lifestyle of owning your first home to first-time buyers. Maybe it’s positioning your property as a great place to start a family, or somewhere for a family to have more space as children grow. 

It could be that your property is perfect for an older couple with a dream of downsizing now children have flown the nest. 

The key thing is to ensure that when people are viewing your house, they are able to imagine themselves living there, whatever the dream is. 

 

2. Declutter....

At the moment your property is probably filled with your things and if you are like most home owners, then it’s amazing how quickly you accumulate “stuff” to fill your home. One of the things that may help with selling the dream to buyers is decluttering your home. If you are able to declutter and depersonalise then it helps potential buyers to imagine the space as their own, with their own furniture in it. 

 

3. Decorate in neutral colours 

If you are struggling with selling your home then it may be because people are finding it hard to imagine themselves living in your property. Perhaps one way that may make your property more saleable is redecorating to a more neutral colour as this then gives new occupants a base to work from in their own time rather than feeling they would have to redecorate as soon as they move in. 

4. Consider external spaces 

The front of your home and what it looks like is important in making a great first impression to potential buyers.  Ensuring that the front of your home is clean, tidy and welcoming makes all the difference to your property as may a couple of well-placed pots. 

It’s all about “Bringing the outside in” between the house and garden, so where possible have windows and doors open and lots of fresh air coming into the property as this gives it a much larger and more open space feel. Show off the potential of the garden too.

5. Consider what’s important to your buyers. 

If you are going to be present during viewings then it may help to have info at the ready about walking distance to the station, what nearby schools are like, whether the community is active, what the local takeaways are like and all of the other info that potential buyers may ask. 

Additionally, consider if its better or you prefer not to be present during viewings and let your estate agent know this. 

Sometimes there is nothing worse than having people in the house when they’re trying to make decisions about such a life changing move so it can be helpful to go out during viewings especially if you are going to have an estate agent showing people round the property. 

The market really is alive and well in the local area and so if you are considering selling your property or would simply like a valuation to find out how much you to get to it get for it, then please do give us a call on (01727) 221290. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24May

Now that we are able to meet up with up to thirty people outside and six people (or two households) inside, there is a great opportunity to welcome friends and family over to your garden and outside areas to enjoy their company and socialise once again. 

So today, we have some tips for you on how you can ensure that you keep those outside garden areas lovely and enticing, whilst keeping your guests comfortable, enjoying themselves and socialising safely at the same time. 

It’s all about the Heat!

Firstly, it’s all about the keeping everyone as warm as possible during Spring and early summer. If people don’t feel warm, then they won’t want to stay outside. Encourage people to dress warmly for the cold weather with lots of layers. Have blankets at the ready and hot water bottles to keep people warm. 

After the sun goes down, (or even before), a patio heater may be your best friend during the colder parts of the spring and summer. Additionally, investing in a Fire Pit or Chimenea of some description can also help to keep your group warm on a colder evening. 

 

Shelter from the Weather – come rain or shine!

A covering such as a gazebo or marquee (with sides open of course), or an event shelter of some kind will help to protect your group from all kinds of weather – either by keeping you all warmer and protected from the elements if its windy or raining, or by acting as a sun shade in hot weather. Failing that, even a patio umbrella can help to keep you all sheltered.

 

What’s on the Menu?

Of course, it’s all about food and drink when you get together with friends, so really think about tailoring your menu for the weather and your audience. 

If it is going to be a colder evening, then some warm snacks or hot dishes will help to keep everyone nice and toasty. Dishes such as jacket potatoes, slow-cooked chilli, hearty soups etc may not be the immediate thing that you think of when entertaining, but these could be great for cooler evenings. Flasks of hot chocolate, Tea and coffee can also help to keep people warm.

With hotter weather comes the opportunity for BBQ food, party food and ice-cold drinks to keep the gathering in full swing!

 

Let me Entertain You

It’s a well-known fact that if your visitors are having fun, then they will stay for longer, so it helps to consider the entertainment! Why not have some music on in the background. A party is not a party without music, so choose your music to suit your audience.

You could also organise garden games to keep little ones (and grown-ups!) running around and busy, or perhaps toasting marshmallows and some card games for the adults. Keeping people distracted means that if the weather is cold, they hopefully won’t be feeling it as much! Plus, if they are having fun, they will stay longer!

Put up a small tent or shelter for the kids and give them blankets to build a den they can play in together. 

 

Lights Up!

As the Sun starts to go down, really think about lighting for your get-together to create a great ambience. Investing in some solar lighting means that you won’t need to worry about electricity or burning through endless batteries. You could also consider rows of fairy light, or perhaps even a portable lightbulb or two which seem to very on-trend this season!

Remember of course, even though you’re outside where the virus is less likely to spread, it’s still a good idea to employ social distancing, so choose your garden set up wisely to allow for distancing or being seated in “bubbles” and give everyone a chair of their own rather than sharing outside sofas and the like if possible. 

 

We hope that this gives you some ideas of how you can get back to entertaining now that we can gather in larger groups again.

If we can be of assistance for any advice on buying, selling or renting your home or property then we’re always happy to chat so why not give us a call!

 

 

26Mar

Our clients often approach us to discuss buying or renting a property for the long-term, but sometimes situations may arise where you, or someone that you know needs accommodation for the shorter term, or in a hurry.

This could be perhaps because you have to leave the accommodation where you have been living at short notice or in an emergency, or maybe you are at a stage in your life where you are in between life arrangements, or even need somewhere to live for short periods of time due to work or study.

Over the last few years, we have seen a growing trend in people coming to us for short term accommodation because they have sold their existing property and their new property requires renovation or they haven’t yet found a new property and want a base whilst they are looking. 

With the amount of building work always ongoing in the local area, and people looking to extend their current home rather than moving, we also often have enquiries from people who need short term accommodation whilst home renovations are taking place. 

If you need accommodation on a short-term basis, then here are some options for you to consider:

Staying with family or friends

If you can’t rely on family and friends to help you out when you need a place to stay then when can you? If there is room for you to stay with friends and family then this could be a great option if you need somewhere to live in a hurry as typically the cost will be less, if anything at all and you get to spend more quality time with each other. 

The downside? Space can become quite cramped, quite quickly if you’re a guest in someone else’s home. The place doesn’t feel like your own and it can be even worse if you’re crashing on the sofa rather than in your own room. Plus, tensions can start to arise quickly as everyone is used to living in different ways. Family and friends are a good option for just a few days or even a week or two, but perhaps not always an ideal situation if weeks are moving into months. 

Staying in a Hotel

Although Hotel stays are only for essential travel within the current climate in “normal times” (if there is even such a thing anymore!), staying in a hotel could be a good option if you need short term accommodation. This option is quick and easy to arrange, and gives you your own privacy. Plus, there’s room service and someone to clean your room – what’s not to like! You’ll also be guaranteed the option of breakfast and perhaps dinner too, without having to do the cooking.

However, this can be a costly option, unless you can come to some sort of arrangement with the hotel for a longer-term stay. It’s always worth trying to negotiate this with staff at the hotel. The downsides are also that depending on the size of your family, everyone living in one room can feel quite cramped, and the lack of catering and laundry facilities may quickly start to become an issue too. Again, this may be another issue for a few days to a week or two, but perhaps not feasible for longer. 

Airbnb/Air Hosting via Aubrey and Finn

If you want the combination of your own space, catering and laundry facilities and a property which is already fully furnished, then renting a property via Airbnb may be the answer. 

Did you know that here at Aubrey and Finn we also have our own version of Airbnb called “Air Hosting” for the local area, giving you the option to be able to book short term accommodation via our website or by contacting us without the fees that Airbnb add. 

Our Airbnb properties make a great stop-gap to get you out of a bind and are often owned by people who live in the local area, but work or stay away over different periods during the year, meaning that they can’t rent out their property long-term but they can short term. 

This can turn into a win-win situation for them and for you! They have someone living in the property whilst it’s empty and you get somewhere to stay when you need. We also have properties that we rent where the owners prefer short-term lets. In between the lets, our expert cleaning and maintenance teams will service the property, ensuring that everything is in tip-top condition for your arrival and everything is cleaned after you leave too. 

So, if you’re considering short-term accommodation in St Albans or the local area and would like some help finding a short term let property then why not give us a call on (01727) 221290.