Monthly Archives: May 2018

Moving House and Home

You should always consider moving house with professional removal contractors, as this will be not only more efficient, but it may also reduce the risk of damage. Just think about all the precious items you’ll be removing from your family home, and you’ll realise how important it is to have a smooth and accident-free house move.

Thankfully, if there is accidental damage caused by professionals during a house move, then your home insurance policy should protect you financially. This financial protection will only exist if you are moving house to a new private residence within the United Kingdom, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. Any international house moving will not usually be covered on your home insurance.

You may also find that not all types of damage are covered by your home insurance. Any damage or loss to money, jewellery or to contents that are in storage will not usually be covered. You will also want to make sure that professional removal contractors pack the more delicate items from your home, as breakages and damage to china, glass, porcelain or any other delicate item of earthenware will not be covered unless it was packed by a professional.

You can reduce the risk of damage to your personal belongings whilst moving house by planning your move as much as possible. Make sure you have large supplies of bubble wrap and strong moving boxes, so that you don’t have to cut corners when it comes to packaging. If you’re packing the boxes yourself, you should make sure they’re all labelled clearly so there is no unnecessary movement from one place to the other. If any items inside the box are fragile, this should always be marked clearly – and where possible do not over pack boxes as this could lead to the box breaking from the strain.

Moving house can be quite a stressful experience. Whilst you can take certain measures to prevent damage, it’s best to avoid the stress of seeing your belongings damaged in the first place. Either make very detailed plans for the move yourself, or – even better – hire a professional contractor who will ensure your home is moved safely from A to B.

Protecting Your House and Home

If you live in a neighborhood where you are constantly looking over your shoulder and feeling unsafe, it might be time to invest in a non-expensive method for home protection. Home alarm systems are usually an expensive investment, but there are alternatives you can take that cost less and may work just as good. Here are the top measures for protecting your home without breaking your bank.

#1: Lock all windows and doors. Did you know that unlocked windows and doors provide the top way that burglars break into a house? And it’s still one of the top ways that a thief breaks in, simply because it’s so obvious that most people forget to do it. Get into a habit of checking all your windows and doors every night before you go to bed. If you lock your door or double check that porch window, you might just turn a thief or two away.

#2: Fake Alarm System signs. This one might not be the best one, but it actually has worked for several homeowners. The key here is to make it look professional. If you get a sign that looks just like the real thing, and add matching stickers to your windows or doors, you’ll be a little more protected against uninvited guests.

#3: Store your valuables and money in the bank. If a burglar gets wind that you have a family heirloom from Grandma worth several thousand tucked away inside your bedroom, he might be ready to stop at nothing to get it. This is an effective way to keep the burglars away. You might be surprised if you knew just how much a burglar is able to find out.

#4: Buy motion sensing devices for your lawn and yard. One cost effective measure you can use to protect your home and property is a motion-sensing floodlight. A bright flood of light instantly turning on when motion is detected is enough to scare an intruder away. For a mere $50 you can get a Designers Edge super bright LED motion activated floodlight. The sealed sensor on the Designers Edge floodlights are protected against any kind of weather condition and the LED itself is guaranteed to last for no less than 50,000 hours.

Simple Measures for Protecting Your House and Home

  • If you live in a neighborhood where you are constantly looking over your shoulder and feeling unsafe, it might be time to invest in a non-expensive method for home protection. Home alarm systems are usually an expensive investment, but there are alternatives you can take that cost less and may work just as good. Here are the top measures for protecting your home without breaking your bank.
  • #1: Lock all windows and doors. Did you know that unlocked windows and doors provide the top way that burglars break into a house? And it’s still one of the top ways that a thief breaks in, simply because it’s so obvious that most people forget to do it. Get into a habit of checking all your windows and doors every night before you go to bed. If you lock your door or double check that porch window, you might just turn a thief or two away.
  • #2: Fake Alarm System signs. This one might not be the best one, but it actually has worked for several homeowners. The key here is to make it look professional. If you get a sign that looks just like the real thing, and add matching stickers to your windows or doors, you’ll be a little more protected against uninvited guests.
  • #3: Store your valuables and money in the bank. If a burglar gets wind that you have a family heirloom from Grandma worth several thousand tucked away inside your bedroom, he might be ready to stop at nothing to get it. This is an effective way to keep the burglars away. You might be surprised if you knew just how much a burglar is able to find out.
  • #4: Buy motion sensing devices for your lawn and yard. One cost effective measure you can use to protect your home and property is a motion-sensing floodlight. A bright flood of light instantly turning on when motion is detected is enough to scare an intruder away. For a mere $50 you can get a Designers Edge super bright LED motion activated floodlight. The sealed sensor on the Designers Edge floodlights are protected against any kind of weather condition and the LED itself is guaranteed to last for no less than 50,000 hours.
  • Don’t wait for something to happen before you protect your home. The smart way is to prevent theft and burglary from happening before it happens. Use these handy tips for cost effective solutions to keeping your home safe.

Counting the Cost of a House and Home

When you go shopping for a house to buy, you must be aware of all the costs that will be involved. Apart from the actual purchase price that you and the seller agree on, there are a large number of other costs, some big and some small. Some of these relate to the home loan, while others relate to lawyers’ fees and transfer costs. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with all these costs so that you know exactly what you are going to have to pay out at the end of the day.

The costs you will need to cover
The biggest cost factor will obviously be the purchase price of your new home. But if you are going to mortgage the property then you won’t need to have all the money available. You will, though, have additional costs to cover, including fees to register a bond, fees to have the property transferred into your name, as well as other costs including those that various attorneys will charge.

Costs of purchasing a property
The costs related to the purchase itself include transfer duty, conveyancing fees, and a Deeds Office tariff. Buyers are required to pay the transfer duty before the property is registered in their name. The amount payable is calculated according a set scale and then the transferring attorney pays it to S.A.R.S. If the property costs less than R500 000 it is exempt from transfer duty. If it costs between R500 0001 and R1-million, than there is a 5% transfer duty levied, and it increases from there. If you buy the property as a company, close corporation or trust, there is a flat rate of 8%. Conveyancing fees get paid to the transferring attorney (who is a conveyancer) and these are based on tariff guidelines set by the South African Law Society. The Deeds Office tariff is a nominal fee set by the Government, and it relates directly to the purchase or bond price. So, for example, if you buy a property for R1-million, the Deeds Office tariff for land transfer will be about R500 and for the bond, about R400.

Transfer cannot be registered until the relevant local authority has issued a rates clearance certificate. This means that the seller must pay all outstanding rates and taxes first. In the event of the seller having paid these rates in advance, the buyer will be billed for the pre-paid rates from either the date of possession or the date of transfer. If you have bought the property through an agent, the agent will have commission due. While this is usually a cost that is covered by the seller, sometimes buyers agree to pay the fee.

Costs of raising a bond
Very few people today can afford to buy a property without raising a mortgage. In fact when people buy homes, sales are more often than not subject to getting a bond on the property, sometimes even a 100% bond with no deposit needed. Of course the bond will have to be registered and this costs money, not only for registration fees (which are paid to the Deeds Registry), but also to pay for the attorney who handles the registration. There will also be a valuer’s fee (or an assessment fee), for the person who evaluates the property to make sure that it is worth at least what bond is to be provided.

Eating You Out of House and Home

Human beings have been battling insects as long as both species have been on this planet. Bugs have been known to cause both mild and severe health problems, destroy crops, and generally make a nuisance of themselves. Termites, while not known to directly cause illness, can literally eat your house out from under you, causing structural damage that weakens your home, sometimes beyond repair.

Termites are attracted to the protein content of various woods; different kinds of termites actually favor different woods, but one common issue is the moisture content of the wood. Termite infestations are especially prevalent in rainy weather or during periods of high humidity. Keeping your house moisture-free by grading the land around the house and using drain spouts to direct rain away from the building can eliminate a major source of attraction to termites. Basements in particular can be a big source of moisture in the home, but can be built or remodeled to be moisture-free.

In the past fifty years, it has become standard practice to create a barrier around the home by chemically treating the soil around it. Chlordane was used for decades, and was extremely effective, but had major problems with its use. Exposure to chlordane has resulted in nervous system, liver damage, and in some cases, death. It’s easy to see the dangers inherent in chlordane use if you consider that children and pets, in particular, spend a lot of time playing, rolling around, and otherwise using the land immediately surrounding homes. Additionally, chemicals used as barriers can seep into home and commercial gardens and into the ground water and end up being absorbed by food plants, fish, and farm animals. Chlordane builds up in the systems of animals and humans, and can cause long-term health problems. Chlordane was banned by the EPA for most uses in 1983 and for eradicating termites in 1988.

Other chemicals are now used instead of chlordane, but are less effective. In addition, bait traps are used insides houses to attract and kill termites already in the home.

One problem with barrier methods is that they can easily be circumvented by termites, who actually build mud tubes which the termites use as tunnels to bypass barriers, including chemical barriers. One of the most noticeable signs of termite infestation is a series of long, thin mud tubes, which can appear in any area of the house. Termites can travel as much as fifty feet into the interior of a home.

If you are considering buying a home, it’s wise to require a termite inspection as part of the sales agreement. If you already own a home and you suspect termites, or if you know other residents in your area have had termite infestations, hire a termite expert to inspect and, if necessary, treat your home. Find out just how they plan to both eliminate termites already in your home and how they are going to create a barrier to further infestation. Amazingly, even the kind of sand you use to create a barrier can have better or worse results.

Be sure to ask questions about any chemicals used, and the toxic effects of those chemicals; some chemicals are safer than others. And finally, inspect your home for areas of high moisture, and eliminate any moisture problems you discover. Controlling the moisture in your home may be the best line of defense against termites.