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8 Things to Consider When Buying a New Home

8 Things to Consider When Buying a New Home

Buying a new home is one of the most daunting experiences; yet it is one of the biggest milestones in life. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by this huge life decision and substantial financial investment. It is a significant commitment and requires careful planning and cautious choices. Planning is vital to the process, and while it will help you set your boundaries, it will also show you where you need to be flexible as you wade through the market.

Once you have made up your mind about the boxes that a potential property needs to tick, you can determine on which matters you are willing to be more flexible, and narrow down your options. If you do your homework, you can avoid the pitfalls and empower yourself for a successful and prosperous purchase.

1. Price

Your new property is going to have to fit into your budget. This is probably the most important thing to consider when buying a new home. How much are you willing and able to spend? What is your absolute ceiling?

Don’t waste your time looking at properties that you can’t afford because realistically you won’t be able to compete with other buyers and will leave yourself short, considering all the other expenses you need to cover including lawyers and realtors’ fees, repayments, rates, strata, living expenses, bills, and ongoing costs. You need to take into consideration if you will have funds leftover for possible renovations, furnishings and other improvements.

You also need to factor in the cost of moving including movers, packing, and cleaning, storage, redirecting mail and rubbish removal. If you are borrowing from a lending institution, you need to make sure you are covered if interest rates increase unexpectedly.

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2. Location

You need to decide where you want to live. It sounds easy enough, but there are a number of things to consider. You may want to ensure that you live close to where you work, where your children will go to school, where your family and friends reside, and where you go for shopping and leisure.

You may not decide to live in the same suburb as these needs, but then you should consider your travel and commuting to places that your life revolves around. Location is extremely important, as it will determine your quality of life for possibly years to come. You should consider if the area is familiar to you or if you will embark on a whole new lifestyle. When looking at properties in the area of your choice, consider the neighborhood carefully. You may want to introduce yourself to the neighbors or just observe the comings and goings of the street.

Think about the property’s proximity to main roads and be aware of the flow of traffic. Take stock of the surrounding area and the possibility of noise and activity. Are there stadiums or public arenas nearby? Or perhaps busy pubs and clubs? Is public transport readily available and is the town under any flight paths?

You may be looking for a vibrant and fast-paced environment or a quiet and secluded lifestyle. Whatever your preference, make sure that the dwellings you look at meet your needs.

3. Size

When buying a new home, you need to think about the size of the dwelling you require. How many bedrooms are you after? Do you need a big kitchen and bathroom(s)? What about living areas? Are you the kind of person who likes to entertain, or do you prefer to eat out?

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Do you need a yard or balcony and are you prepared to put in the maintenance required should you have a large outdoor space? Are you considering a swimming pool or perhaps you require storage and a garage? Is there room to renovate and do you need approval?

You may look for a dwelling that has the potential for a granny flat, extra bedrooms or living areas and can you expand the kitchen or bathrooms later on? These are all very important questions and rely on you having the capacity to think a little bit ahead.

A new property needn’t have everything you need immediately if you can see potential to invest in expanding it later on, and the property can accommodate that. The size of a dwelling also largely depends on how many people are going to reside there.

Are you single? A couple? Do you have children or pets? Will you want to accommodate extended family or friends? Do you want the potential to house boarders and earn an income? Do you need room for many belongings or are you a minimalist?

4. Upsizing or downsizing

Buying a new home often means you are needing more or less space. Whether you are moving in order to expand or to reduce your living space, you need to consider if you have to get rid of things or buy more. Both scenarios require planning and foresight in order to make the transition as seamless and stress free as possible. Are you living with more people, expanding your family, or will you need room for guests? Or are you going it alone?

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5. Timing

Timing is everything when you are buying a new home. You need to figure out how much time you have to complete the process and whether or not you are on a time restriction or not. You may be selling and buying simultaneously or ending a lease, in which case you need to ensure that exchanging the keys for both your old and new home happen around the same time.

Financially when you are buying and selling at the same time, you need to consider whether or not you need a bridging loan, which will cover you if you purchase a new dwelling and need more time to sell the old property. It’s all a negotiation between yourself and the other parties involved and communication is imperative. Reading the fine print of any agreement or contract is also vital and it’s helpful to have excellent and experienced legal representation to assist and advise you.

6. Viewing

One of the most tiresome activities that you must endure when buying a new home is going along to open houses to view properties that are for sale. However it doesn’t have to be something you suffer through. It can actually be pretty exciting and enjoyable. You have to narrow down the properties that fit the majority of your requirements and remind yourself that it is impossible to see everything.

If there are clashes with scheduled viewings of properties that you are keen to see, you just need to prioritize and see the most suitable first. Properties will often be open for viewing on more than one occasion so it isn’t too difficult to see all the dwellings you are keen on.

You also have the option to arrange a private viewing at a time that is more suitable to you, and most selling agents are very accommodating. They want more people to see the property to increase the likelihood of it selling at a good price. They want you there and are more than happy to stay a little later or meet you at a different time.

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If you are buying a property off the plan or you plan on building, you need to be careful about what you imagine a property will look like once it is finished and the reality. The positive side is that you can carefully tailor a dwelling to your requirements and correct or change things as you go.

The negative is that sometimes the end result isn’t exactly as you envisaged and changes will incur further costs. It really depends on you having a strong relationship with your architects and engineers, particularly if the dwelling is free-standing.

You may have less control and input if the place is a part of a larger complex, like in the case of a unit or town house. You will need to ensure you or your legal representatives are in good communication with the builders and developers.

7. Purpose

The purpose of your purchase will determine many of your decisions. Will you be an owner occupier? Are you flipping it—buying something you will renovate and improve in order to sell it on for a profit? Will you purchase the property and then lease it out? Whatever your purpose, the type and condition of the dwelling you buy and how much work you are prepared to do to improve it will only be successful if you keep your intentions in mind and buy accordingly.

8. Permanency

Is it a forever home or a transitional one? If you are looking for a home you will commit to for years to come, the process may take longer to find the perfect fit. After all, it is not a decision to be taken lightly and you may have to face a few let downs and disappointments until all your conditions are met. If it is a temporary arrangement or an investment, you may have room for more flexibility and may be looking at something that is good enough as opposed to perfect.

Featured photo credit: Jennifer C. via flickr.com

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Diane Koopman

Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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