Category: Rent

3 Things You Must Do Before Moving To London

moving to londonLondon is one of the most sought after places to live on the planet. People from all corners of the world would love the chance to live in this energetic and vibrant city. Whether you’re moving closer to your family or for your job, living in London is unlike anywhere in the world. You have incredible shopping destinations, endless culture and fabulous entertainment right on your doorstep. But due to it’s popularity, buying a home in London can be challenging. From high house prices to finding a suitable area, there is plenty of things you must consider. To make the process easier, there are three things you must do first.

Do your homework

London is an enormous city that is full of different boroughs all of which have their own unique qualities. Use accommodation search engines, talk to friends and search on Google to establish which boroughs might appeal to you. Do plenty of research into each one including property types, transport links and local entertainment. The house prices will also vary from borough to borough and how close you want to live to the city centre. So find out what the average prices are as this will help you budget and plan ahead. If you have a family, you should also research what schools, parks and attractions are in each borough too. This should help you choose some viable places to start your search.

Visit the city

It’s not alway wise to move somewhere you have never been before. So if you have never visited London before, you should always take the time to do so before moving here. You may find that city life is not for you after all or that the areas you can afford to buy in aren’t what you thought they would be like. If you have visited before, you should still visit again but from the perspective of a buyer not a tourist. You can spend your visit contacting Canary Wharf estate agents or viewing potential properties. Try to fit in as many viewings as you can to see what options are available. You can also use this time to explore the borough’s you researched previously. Doing this will help you determine whether moving here is right at this moment in time.

Look for work

With people from the UK and beyond looking for employment in London you face stiff competition. The sooner you start your search for work the better. If you work for a large company, you may be able to relocate to their London office. Or you might want to look for something completely different to what you are doing now. Sign up to recruitment sites or contact an agency to help you find a suitable role. Securing work should be a top priority as it will help to fund your new home and life.

Whatever your reason for wanting to move to London, these tips will help make the transition go a lot smoother. Take the time to do each action and carefully consider each decision you make. Acting on impulse may sound exciting, but it could have expensive repercussions.

Thinking of renting out your spare room?

Spare room renting“Having a lodger” or “taking lodgings” are phrases that bring to mind the Victorian era, when widowed ladies rented out rooms in their city homes to single men and women. Though private homes and apartments have since become the norm, the idea of renting a single room in a private home has been steadily increasing, due in part to the difficult economy. For homeowners, the idea of renting out a room has become more and more appealing, so much so that the number of private homeowners renting out a spare room in their home has more than tripled in the past year.

Financial advantages of renting out a spare room

The extra income generated on a monthly basis is one of, if not the, main reasons that people choose to open their homes to a stranger. The amount of rent being charged for a room will vary depending not only on the size of the room and its amenities, but also on where the home is located. A bedroom with bathroom and kitchen privileges may run around $200 per month while a room with a private bathroom en-suite or possibly an efficiency layout with a small refrigerator and microwave could run as much as $500 per month. The type and amount of furnishings, as well as the utilities included will also affect pricing.

Renting out a spare room also allows the homeowner to receive a break on their income taxes by deducting part of their home ownership expenses. Real estate taxes and home mortgage interest are two areas where dividing the property into effectively two homes can save when it comes to tax time. Deductions may also be taken for general maintenance, expenses and repairs to the home, including utility bills and repairs to appliances, as long as these are available to the entire home. Installing utility services directly to the room being let may also be deducted, for example the installation of a cable or phone line.

Financial costs of renting out a spare room

Choosing to rent out a room in the home means the homeowner may have to invest before the profits roll in. The room needs to be properly and simply decorated with a sleeping area the primary focus and a seating area a close second. This may mean carefully selecting furnishings and investing in pieces such as a sleeper sofa or a built-in Murphy bed that are both functional and attractive. Room design and décor may need to be quite different in a rented room than it would be in the rest of the home, with furniture choices and layouts more like those in a studio or efficiency apartment than in a traditional bedroom. The homeowner can save on the furniture by watching for sales and taking advantage of free delivery if available. Neutral color palettes and wood furniture pieces are universally appreciated and allow the tenant some leeway to express themselves and their style by adding accessories and personal items.

Other financial considerations include legal expenses, such as credit checks on prospective tenants and extra home insurance reflecting the new rental status of the property.

Why You Should Not Skip Renters Insurance

Renters insuranceRenting a home can have the same risks to an occupant as owning a home. And while homeowners insurance is definitely a requirement for anyone who owns a home, many people struggle with whether they really need renters’ insurance. And they most often aren’t sure whether they need it due to the cost of coverage.

Those who rent their homes often view the cost of renters insurance as another bill to add to those they already have to pay. For example, when moving into a new home, a tenant may have to pay first and last months’ rent, in addition to a security deposit and perhaps even deposits to initiate the turning on of utilities. And this is in addition to any moving costs the renter may have incurred. So the fact that there are many renters out there without insurance coverage is definitely understandable.

But what many renters don’t realize is how having insurance coverage can benefit them. In fact, the benefits of having coverage can far outweigh the costs that a renter may pay each month in order to be covered.

What Renters Insurance Protects

Many renters believe that the insurance coverage their landlord has will be enough to cover them. Not so. The coverage held by a landlord only covers the rental unit itself and the property the unit sits on. Their insurance will not cover any damage to your personal property. Without renters insurance coverage, any damage incurred to your belongings due to theft, vandalism, or something another tenant does to it will not be covered.

More Than One Option

What is listed as a definite benefit for most renters is that renters insurance is available at several different price levels. Flexible options mean that you as a tenant can choose the level of coverage that’s most affordable for you. With a policy, you can ensure that your property is protected and that you receive either full replacement cost or depreciated cash value, depending on the item or items damaged.

Don’t Be Underinsured

Having an inventory of the items you own is crucial in order not to be underinsured. Your policy’s rate will depend on the type and value of your items. Any inventory should include the price, condition and appraisals of items. Keeping all receipts for items you’ve purchased in a single and safe place will be crucial to getting any claims settled in a timely manner.

Liability protection is another type of coverage that every renter would do well to consider, which will usually cover up to 50% of the policy’s total value. As well, additional coverage can be purchased in order to protect you in the event that something happens to your home that requires you to move out for a temporary period of time. This will allow you to meet daily needs such as doing laundry and paying for temporary accommodations.

Limited Coverage

One disadvantage to many renters’ insurance policies is the amount of coverage you receive. It is true that the onus will be on the landlord where damage occurs to the rental dwelling itself. However, this coverage may not extend to the interior of your dwelling. And so checking your policy is crucial. If your landlord’s insurance only covers the outside of their property, then getting renters insurance will be important.

Another limit on renters insurance is water damage. Questioning your water damage coverage is definitely important. If water damage was caused from below the property where you are renting, then any damage will likely not be covered. But if the damage occurred from above, such as because of a leaky roof, then it’s likely to be covered.

When deciding on whether or not you need renters insurance, it’s important to remember that even a small number of possessions can quickly add up in terms of dollar value. And although you will have to pay a deductible before being reimbursed by an insurance company, having coverage will help you to replace your lost or damaged items more quickly and easily than if you had to do it all on your own.

You May Not Need Home Insurance; Apartment Owners Should Always Get Renters Insurance

A lot of people tend to think the only reason to have insurance at their current residence would be if they own a home. However, insurance is a very important thing to have when you are renting an apartment, as well. This type of insurance is not only going to cover your valuables but will also cover you if there are injuries within your home, whether they be to you or someone who is visiting.

Do I Need Renters Insurance?

It is common for renters to ask questions such as, ‘Why should I get renters insurance, I don’t have anything worth protecting?’ You may say that now but at the end of the day, there is always something worth protecting, even if all you have are the clothes on your back. When you know you’re covered, you’ll be able to go to sleep at night and leave for work each day, reassured by that fact that your most important items, no matter what they may be, are safe; and so are you.

So, What Exactly Does Renters Insurance Protect Me From?

A lot of people simply don’t understand what they need to be protected from, so they tend to avoid getting renters insurance or put it on the back burner, as if it’s something that can wait until a later date. The sad (yet realistic) truth is; life doesn’t wait around for us. Sometimes bad things happen and it’s better to be prepared for them than to have them appear out of nowhere.

While you may not realize this, most apartment complexes do not have coverage that extends to their leasers. They most likely will have a basic form of coverage; protecting their property but not necessarily anything or anyone that you have inside your building at any given time. This is why it’s always a good idea to read the fine print and ask for proof of what type of coverage they have before signing any paperwork and moving in.

Helping You Pay for Unexpected Expenses

Added Assets, Income/Expenses, for a Full Financial Statement

Renters insurance can help pay for the expenses that come along with a break in; such as replacing that laptop or television that was stolen (or broken) by an attempted thief. If there is some form of natural disaster and your home is no longer habitable, renters insurance is commonly going to pay for any living expenses over the short term. Many complexes are actually going to require you to have some form of renters insurance, and will typically even suggest a company to go with to help you get the ball rolling. Choosing a policy ASAP is important because every day that passes without coverage could potentially lead to tragedy.

Renters Insurance Isn’t Just About You

Another really good reason to consider purchasing insurance, even if your landlord does not require you to do so is because it will cover you if anyone is injured while spending time inside your apartment. While the last thing we want to imagine is someone we care about suing us for being hurt, this is actually a fairly common occurrence, especially if said person does not have any other way to pay for their medical bills, surgeries and other reasons for doctor visits.

Features and Benefits May Vary

It can be very easy to select the first plan you find as a way to avoid ‘wasting time’, but it is imperative that you take your time and really think through the whole process. There are many features that you may not even realize are available until you begin researching your local options and figure out what exactly you’re going for.

Some companies will actually replace your items that are lost or damaged (as long as the event is covered within the guidelines of your policy). What about those items that you store in your car, bringing with you to and from work? Those can also be covered from damage or loss; as well as injuries that are outside of your residence (much of the time, this is not going to cover car accidents). If you’re able to, consider grouping all of your insurance policies (life, renters, and maybe even your car insurance); putting them in a bundle because this can save you a pretty penny each month.

Discounts aren’t always advertised, so don’t be shy about doing a bit of digging to see if there are any hidden deals you can find for yourself. Ask around, too, because oftentimes family members or friends will already be aware of companies that have special offers that may apply directly to your situation.

George Smith-Davies is a journalist cum blogger and is well aware of insurance related problems. He says that you must always find out more information about the insurance company you want to deal with. To know more about content insurance, you can connect with him on Google+.