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7 Useful Sites When Buying a House in the UK

7 Useful Sites When Buying a House in the UK

Making the decision to buy a house can be a massive one which will impact the people involved for possibly the rest of their lives, so it should not be taken lightly.

It can be a huge strain on one’s purse so we have pulled together a number of websites to visit before buying a house which could potentially save you money in the short and long term. Check them out.

1. Money Saving Experts

MSE, as it is commonly called, is a very popular website for what the name says – saving money. It prides itself on providing information to help people make financially sound decisions in life, including when it comes to buying a house.

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They have a very active forum where people ask all sorts of questions and get various responses from experts and everyday people. One of their articles – 50 House buying tips is very popular for finding useful information on buying a house.

2. Rightmove & Zoopla

These two websites are very important for people looking to buy a house as they are great for searching for houses to buy across the UK. They provide information on the price, pictures of the house and opportunity to get in touch with the letting agents.

In some cases, they also give you an idea of the cost of running a property including the council tax, utility bills and many others. They also provide a quick summary of the area including local stations and schools.

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Personally, I’ve found Rightmove easier to search for houses and general information but Zoopla better for researching historic data about the house and the neighbourhood, so it’s hard to recommend one over the other.

3. Reallymoving.com

Reallymoving.com provides comparison services for local conveyancing lawyers and property solicitors in the UK, as well as surveyors and home removal services. This provides another opportunity to save money when buying a house as the cost of conveyancing, various surveys required and stamp duties tend to add up.

This site would help you find either a local lawyer or online one and provide decent quotes. They also have a useful Moving Cost Calculator which estimates how much buying or selling a house would cost you based on a few details you put into it, quite handy at the starting point of a house hunt.

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4. Experian, Noodle & Equifax

The difference in credit scores can be the difference in getting approved for a mortgage or not. A credit score is based on one’s credit history so if you know you’re looking to buy a house at some point it is very important to start working on your credit score to ensure there aren’t any surprises on it.

Noodles offer a free credit score for life service, while Experian and Equifax offer an initial free period. Even if your credit score isn’t great, these websites will give you useful tips and things to do to help improve your score

5. Gov.uk School Performance Tables

Lastly, if you are a parent, you want to make sure your areas of interest(s) have good schools and facilities for your children. What are the school ratings? Are they oversubscribed? Will your child be able to get into the school in year? How close is the nearest school to you?

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Websites like the Gov.uk will be very useful for answering such school related questions. They might not go into much detail about the school but they’re a good starting point, especially when you want to narrow it down from a very long list.

There you have it, five excellent websites which should help you get a little bit closer to your dream house.

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Tola O.

Blogger and Digital Marketer

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com