North East Days Out

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With such a rich and vibrant cultural heritage in the North East a visit would not be complete without seeing at least one of the English Heritage Properties. With so many to choose from often in very close proximity to each other, there’s no need to stop at just one. Accommodation like tudorcroft.com is always on hand to visit while you’re in the North East. From the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site, stunning coastal castles, spiritual priories, grand gardens, to many hidden gems, English Heritage in North East England is able to offer so many great places to visit for an incredible family day out.

9468806482_38cc0a3913_kBelsay Hall Castle: An architectural masterpiece, influenced heavily by the temples of ancient Greece, the Grand Grecian Hall is a true spectacle. Explore the Middleton family bedrooms with incredible views over rest of the estate. Whilst the hall itself is unfurnished, beautiful floral print wallpaper from the 1800’s still lines the walls. Using rocks hewn from the quarry on the Belsay grounds the hall was completed in 1817, with its incredible ionic columns, through which you can still wander today, being one of it’s many splendid features.

After viewing the hall, take a stroll through the restored Grade I heritage gardens, exploring a vast range of shrubbery and flowers, with an atmosphere that changes with the seasons. Visiting the Quarry Garden is the highlight of many a visit, a real one of a kind feature within an already spectacular garden.

The hall and garden perfectly complement the impressive medieval castle which, from the top of the tower, offer spectacular views over the estate and surrounding countryside. Thankfully the hall’s original kitchen is now home to the Belsay Hall Tearoom, the perfect place to rest after working up an appetite. With regular events and activities for the whole family, a trip to Belsay Hall, Castle and Garden is the perfect family day out.

Tynemouth Priory Castle: Tynemouth Castle and Priory was once one of the largest fortified areas in England. Overlooking the North Sea and the River Tyne, it dominates the headland. With its 2000 year history and beautiful views it is the perfect location for a family fun out.

The interactive ‘Life in the Stronghold’ exhibition takes you on an exciting journey. It tells the story of the site from its original beginnings as an Anglo-Saxon settlement, an Anglican monastery, a royal castle, artillery fort and a coastal defence. The newly refurbished battery gun was designed to defend the Tyne in the First and Second World Wars and can be explored.

Tips For Buying Property Abroad

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The Arab world, once characterised by unrest and instability, with laws that severely limited foreign ownership, was an unpopular place for foreign investment in the real estate sector prior to 2002. However, in 2002, when the Freehold Decree was introduced as formal legislature permitting foreign nationals to buy, sell, lease or rent property, the Middle East and Dubai in particular, became an immensely popular destination for real estate investments. Today, with the soaring cost of rentals and a healthy property market that continues to grow, buying property is becoming an increasingly viable and attractive option for expats living in Dubai. The purchasing process with http://www.dreampropertydubai.com in Dubai is fairly simple compared to many other countries in the world; this can be both an advantage as well as a hindrance to purchasers. While the purchasing process is fairly straight forward in some cases (when you buy on the secondary market from a seller who has no loan on the property), the relative immaturity of the legal system in Dubai makes it even more imperative that buyers exercise caution when undertaking such a major monetary transaction. It always pays to understand the purchasing process and to minimize any risks associated with what is usually the largest money-related transaction that most people will ever undertake. 11

1) Understand the purchasing process in Dubai

In Dubai, property can be purchased either ‘off-plan’ from a developer or ‘resale’ from a private seller like http://www.dreampropertydubai.com. When purchasing off-plan, expats will need to submit their passport, along with a reservation form that outlines the terms and conditions of the deal. A reservation fee, of between 5 to 15% is then paid to draw up the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA), that commits both parties to the deal. For properties that are still under construction, ensure that the agreement includes a completion date and outlines any compensation to be paid if there is a delay in completion by the stipulated time period. When purchasing resale property from a private seller, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlines the terms and conditions of the deal, after which the buyer usually puts down a 10% deposit of the property price to confirm his purchase of the property, pending approved financing. Once financing is obtained, the transfer of deeds can take place.

2) Consider why you want to purchase property

Deciding on whether to purchase a property for investment purposes or to buy property that you intend to occupy yourself can have a huge impact on the type of property purchased. If the primary purpose of purchasing property is for investment, most expats will be likely to rent out such a property. It is then important to look at the property market and study the types of properties that have the highest rental yield. Investing in a one or two bedroom apartment would be a more sound investment decision than indulging in a villa purchase, as the former have better rental yields than the latter, even though the latter may seem more luxurious to own.

3) The importance of due diligence

Whether buying off-plan or resale properties, it is important for buyers to ask plenty of questions to determine the reputation of either the developer or the real estate agent. If buying from a developer, you will want to look at the developer’s reputation particularly with respect to quality as well as being able to deliver on time. In most cases when buying from a developer, the unit you purchase is not even ready, so it becomes doubly important for potential buyers to visit show homes to get an idea of what they can expect. If you intend to purchase through a real estate agent, find one that is registered.

Where Should You Buy Abroad?

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If you are looking to find a home in the sun, France, Spain and Portugal and properties with http://www.dreampropertydubai.com remain firm favourites, although some will, of course, set their sights much further afield.

Crucially, if you are tempted to dip a toe into the foreign property market in the hope of bagging yourself a bargain, you need to be aware that the process is complex.

When buying overseas, there are a host of legal, financial, tax, cultural and also linguistic issues to consider.

For this reason, it is essential to plan very carefully

At the outset you need to decide on a country – and a particular location within that country.

To do this, you may need to carry out lots of holidays or short visits until you get to really know an area and decide that it’s right for you.

Having decided where you want to live, you then need to decide what kind of property you want.5456403074_89ff016ae4_o

That might, for example, be an apartment in a block with access to a beach and a pool, or a remote cottage in the middle of the countryside.

At the same time, you need to decide exactly why you are buying: is the property for holiday use, retirement or investment. And are you going to rent out the property – or live there yourself?

You still need to sit down and work out carefully exactly what you can afford to buy in your chosen location, as you don’t want to end up over-stretching yourself.

You also need to be sure you can actually afford the property after you’ve bought it.

There might, for example, be extra fees to cover the upkeep of communal areas, such as a shared pool or gardens.

Don’t forget to spend time checking out local facilities, such as the shops, restaurants – and potentially the coast.

Also ensure there are good transport links to the main cities and airports.

When spending hefty sums on an overseas property with http://www.dreampropertydubai.com it’s vital to get the finance right.

The simplest option may be to fund the purchase by raising funds based on equity you have in your UK property or other assets. Alternatively, you may need to take out a mortgage. In more tried-and-tested markets, such as France, Spain and Portugal, you may be able to take out a mortgage in the local currency. In newer markets you will probably be limited to raising finance on other assets in the UK.

Crucially, you should look to have an “agreement in principle” before you start property hunting.

This will tell you how much you can borrow – and also demonstrates to estate agents and property developers that you are a serious buyer.

To sort your finance, consider approaching a mortgage broker which specialises in purchasing property abroad.

When buying a place overseas, you should take proper legal advice from a reputable local specialist – and someone who speaks good English.

You should also ensure they are up-to-speed on the laws and rules of the country in which you are buying.

In addition, it is essential that you choose someone who will protect your interests – and not someone recommended by the estate agent.

Personal recommendations from friends, family and colleague can be a helpful starting point.

Never sign a contract that you don’t understand or which is in a foreign language, and never make a payment without checking with your legal adviser.

Also take the time to check the tax rules on property purchases, as buying abroad can come with a host of tax challenges – such as potentially exposing yourself to inheritance tax in your chosen country.

Cleaning Your Paving

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Maintaining brand new block paving is a tedious but necessary job to ensure that the new paving stones have settled correctly. For the first few weeks after laying new paving, the joints between the block pavings will be very porous. Water from rain or other sources will flush out jointing sand and can this is especially an issue on sloping sites. It is important that you keep your joints topped up with sand to prevent damage to your driveway. A general clean of your block paving at the start of the spring months with a stiff broom and good detergent, followed by the appropriate weed preventions restricts the ingress of unwanted plants. This can affect the long term durability of your purchase.2180973321_65fac32b08_o

If you use power washers to clean your driveway or patio, the directed water should be at a thirty degree angle and no more to the paved surface and sprayed diagonally across the joints. This prevents the dislodging of all the joints and not following this advice may mark the surface of paving materials and break up the materials in between. If you use any detergents and don’t use a company like southeastgroundworks.co.uk then you need to ensure you wash away any leftover cleaning products. Ensure it is channelled to suitable drainage points and when this has been done, inspect the joints and re-sand and re-point any damage as necessary.

Removing stains and spills is simple as well, but before you apply any treatments to block paving, ensure you test out a small area first so that you don’t end up damaging the entire patio or driveway. When you treat the stains it’s advisable to identify the source of the staining.  Companies like southeastgroundworks.co.uk do what they can to ensure that all stains are identified on block paving and can advise on the removal of rust stains.

Rust stains are important to get rid of and you need to identify and treat the source of rust staining to prevent any further staining or a reoccurrence of staining. To remove the stains made by rust from paving, first you need to wet the affected area and then apply with 10% hydrochloric acis solution, or a similar product you can get from a builders merchants or company like southeastgroundworks.co.uk. Cleaning leaf and beverage stains from block paving is also easy as all you need is hot soapy water. If it doesn’t work, a patio cleaner from the local hardware shops can also do the trick.

Tyre marks are an issue with most driveways as people can sometimes scuff as they reverse in or out. General weathering and wearing of the surface of the block paving should remove tyre marks over time but they can be removed faster by a big scrubbing session. Power washes should also do the job and you should always make sure that you use the correct solutions or detergents to help the scuff marks.

Restoring The Home After Disaster

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When a disaster happens whether that be fire, flood or electrical there are a lot of companies out there that can step in and take over, restoring everything from documents that are important, to carpets and flooring. If you’re a homeowner, you’ll have home insurance which will likely cover restoration of furniture and floors and water damage cover specifically has changed over the years.

It is helpful to review your policy annually, to understand what is covered and what may have changed from previous years. Fire damage is similarly able to be restored with the proper equipment and time.

11Normally, these conditions would be covered by an insurance policy: tornadoes, burst water pipes and water heaters, sudden or accidental overflow of a toilet, tub, or sink and even quite disgustingly, sewer backup. Most existing homeowner policies probably don’t cover the following conditions: ground flooding, slow, dripping leaks and overflowing streams or rivers. Companies in the south such as servicemastercleandevon.co.uk have a specialist local team on call 24/7 so that if you have any of the above issues they can be there at your service. Effective and rapid action is required for fire and flood damage.

Slow, dripping leaks, such as those from an incorrectly installed toilet, sink, shower or bathtub are usually not covered by homeowners insurance and if you do have a leak in the bathroom you’re not just risking damaged floors, you’re risking the ceiling coming through to the bottom floor of the house and whenever something is considered maintenance-related, chances are the insurance expects that you properly maintain your dwelling. Regular checks on your appliances, pipes and bathroom equipment can ensure that you don’t have to worry about disaster restoration.

Even when a fire is put out, the damage can last because much of the materials found in carpets and furniture is synthetic and finding a restoration company like servicemastercleandevon.co.uk is the best thing you can do to restore the damaged furniture and carpets as soon as possible.

Flood damage from an overflowing river or nearby body of water will mean large dehumidifier equipment drying out your home or business. Home insurance policies have changed greatly over the years, especially if the property is located on or near a river or canal. An additional flood insurance policy is usually required, because a normal homeowner policy will not cover damages resulting from a flood of this type.

If you have sudden water damage, calling in a professional restoration expert can make all the difference to your home. They can assist with coordinating restoring all the damaged goods and floors and can assist you with your insurance claims. They then will check for indoor mould and mildew damage and if it’s present drying won’t be enough. Anything mouldy needs to be removed for decontamination and there are companies trained in how to deal with mould damage to removal. The costs of mould and water damage increase greatly if not dealt with effectively and quickly.

Home Safety Tips You Need

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There is a list as long as your arm that can make up the types of emergency you can have in the home but as there are some more common than others, you need to be vigilant. Emergencies in the home can strike at any time, from a frozen pipe burst in the middle of winter, at night, to a burglary during a holiday in the summer. You should always take steps to keep your house and home safe through all seasons of the year. Prevention is far better than cure and a lot less expensive. We’ve put together a list of things you can do to keep your house safe through the year and make sure you have a stable roof over your head.3

  • Keep drains unblocked: always take steps to keep drains unblocked and pristine. Two to four times a year you should really use a decent drain cleaner as well as calling in a company such as com to do a yearly service for you. If you’re constantly pulling hair out of the drains and don’t scrape your plates properly before you wash them, you’re looking at a difficult job of keeping drains clear.
  • Service appliances: if your oven is gas run, have that and your boilers checked and service by an appropriate engineer once a year. This will mean you have less leaks, less breakdowns and the likelihood of carbon monoxide poisoning goes down dramatically. Appliances may be there as an everyday home help, but they can make such a difference in your health as well.
  • Electrics: every five to ten years checking the electrics through the home is imperative. Doing so will help you ensure you have any burnt out wiring replaced and avoid electrocution, power cuts and broken circuits.
  • Guttering: keeping your gutters clear of leaves and debris twice a year will mean you don’t have a back up in your drains. It’s a bit of a miserable job and it can be dangerous in cold and wet weather so try and make this a summer job!
  • Kitchen pests: without liking to judge a little clutter, a kitchen that isn’t regularly swept and mopped can mean the entrance of little pests like ants, mice and large flies. Flies find food, lay eggs that become maggots in dirty and damp places. Messiness can also mean danger and a toaster full of old crumbs and an oven covered in grease are both at increased risks of fire which can be very hard to combat in a kitchen especially.
  • Security: invest a little in a security light, burglar alarm and fences. Anything you can think of to protect your home and keep robbers at bay would stand you and your home in good stead. Other ways to deter criminals are gravel driveways, spiky bushes lining the boundaries, well-lit gardens and secure fences. These don’t have to be expensive but they do have to keep people from wanting to rob you.


5 Ways To Impress Your Holiday Let Guests

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It’s the small touches that make a big difference when it comes to high quality accommodation. Guests notice the small touches; the fresh flowers, the neatly made bed, the detailed welcome pack. These things show that you care, and they will make your accommodation stand out to visitors. You’ve bought a holiday home with restlessearth.com but what’s next? So what should you be doing to ensure that your holiday cottage provides a great experience for your guests?

Avoid overcrowding2 (4)

Whilst it may be tempting to say that your two bedroom holiday cottage bought through restlessearth.com can accommodate six guests, you must think about how comfortable that would really be for visitors! Two double beds and a futon may have the sleeping covered, but what about when six people are fighting over the bathroom or are trying to cook dinner in a small kitchen? Ensuring that guests have plenty of space will greatly improve their experience of your property.

Provide hairdryers for your guests

Hairdryers are one of those things that no one really wants to pack, so make life easier for your guests and ensure that there is one in each bedroom (preferably within easy reach of a mirror). This simple action can be really appreciated by visitors, particularly if it’s a girls’ weekend! You could even go a step further and provide hair straighteners.

Buy high quality beds

If you wouldn’t want to sleep more than one night on the beds in your holiday cottage, then why are they there? It’s always a good idea that you try being a guest in your own holiday home. We definitely think you should spend a few nights ensuring that the beds are comfortable. A bad night’s sleep can ruin a guest’s stay, and it’s even worse if it gives them a bad back! Investing in high quality beds will give your visitors a great night’s sleep, and they’ll last longer too, so they’re not as costly as you may think.

Champagne flutes, not just wine glasses

This easy-to-do touch adds a real element of luxury to your holiday cottage. A stay in your property may be for a special occasion, and that’s when the bubbly comes out. Champagne out of a wine glass just hasn’t got that touch of class and luxury; for such a small cost this simple gesture can go a long way.

Save them from washing up

Nobody likes to spend their holiday doing the washing up, which is why a dishwasher is great addition to any holiday cottage. Whether there’s a family staying or a group of friends, they’ll love being able to focus on enjoying quality time together free from wrinkly hands and marigold gloves!

Overseas Mortgages: What You Need To Know

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You can arrange an overseas mortgage through a UK bank or an international lender after you’ve used a company like restlessearth.com to find your dream home. It’s also common to raise the funds to buy a home abroad outright by remortgaging your UK property. Here, we explain the pros and cons of each.

Remortgaging your UK home to buy an overseas property

Remortgaging your UK home can help you raise the funds to buy an overseas property outright.

Whether this is a sensible option for you will depend on your personal circumstances – including how much of your existing mortgage you’ve paid off and your current credit rating – as well as 11factors such as interest rates at the time you apply.

Borrowing from a UK bank to buy overseas property

All of the main UK high street banks have an international mortgage service, but you’ll need to find out which countries they operate in. Banks tend to only provide mortgages for purchases in countries where they have offices. While getting a mortgage in established overseas property markets such as France or Spain might be simple, it may be trickier if you’re looking further afield.

Although the mortgage may be set up through the UK bank, you would deal with the foreign arm of the bank once the mortgage is arranged.

Arranging an overseas mortgage abroad

It’s possible to arrange a mortgage with an overseas lender using a specialist broker. These brokers can give you tailored information, including a list of estate agents or lawyers to use in your chosen country. Mortgage rates in some areas of the eurozone are far lower than in the UK, especially in established property markets with a wide range of mortgage providers, so you might get a better deal by borrowing abroad.  However, overseas mortgage brokers are not covered by the Financial Conduct Authority, so you would struggle to get any compensation if you were given poor advice. You should also consider the repercussions of borrowing in a foreign currency. If you do so, exchange rate fluctuations would affect your repayments.

Deposits on overseas property

The deposit needed for an overseas mortgage tends to be higher than you’d need for a standard UK mortgage. In Spain, it’s common for overseas buyers to pay 30%-40% of the property price as a deposit. In some countries, this deposit is non-refundable, so don’t hand over any money before you’ve negotiated an initial contract, and then only to a lawyer or bonded estate agent.

Moving abroad is feat enough in itself without using property finders like restlessearth.com. You should do whatever you can to ensure your property search is as easy as possible.

Why You Should Rent a Villa

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What is it with rent villas Paphos that it is so popular? Why can’t people just rent a room in a hotel, where everything is already prepared for them? You might be confused right now whether it is better to rent a villa rather than a hotel room, so to help you get to a decision, here are the following reasons why it is better to get a villa.


While the price of renting a villa is certainly expensive, it is a very cost effective option if you are traveling with a group of family or friends. Villas are fairly large and you get to choose the number of rooms you wish to use through an agent.


There is no need to wait since there is no room service or get the laundry done by noon.


You have the flexibility to choose the kind of food that you want to eat. This is because the villa is like your home – you get to decide having a barbecue at the poolside with enough fish, prawns, and lobster to feed the group. What’s more, you get to save money this way, as well.


The facilities in a villa depend on your choice. Most private resorts offer much or like how 5-star resorts have offered for their guests – free Wi-Fi, iPod docks, DVD or Bluray players, well-equipped kitchens, cable TV and much more. But if you go for villas, you will be welcomed with pool tables, Playstations, saunas, gymnasiums, etc. What’s more, there is no need for you to wait for hours just to get to your turn.



Do you wish to wander around only in your bikini or simply stay in a dressing gown the entire day? Do you want to listen to your favorite music or simply have a marathon of movies by watching DVDs? Or go to home theaters or private gyms that only private villas have? These are all available in a villa. You get to have your own privacy. You get to choose the kind of features when you choose a villa to rent.


Most villas to rent are situated in the most scenic places like ocean views, private islands or beachfront. It is for this purpose that villas are built that way – not only do they serve as private residents for its original owners, they let it rent so that they get an income from tourists that wish to stay for a couple of nights to enjoy a private vacation. It is also designed in a way that will maximize the view of the common areas that are overlooking the most amazing views and even bedrooms that get the best views that have open doors, welcoming the horizon.


The villa market is very competitive and in order to stay relevant in the season, villas have continually invested in high quality fixtures and furniture for the purpose of providing that degree of luxury to its renters. And this is something that you can’t find in hotel rooms.

Negotiating Tips Every Buyer Should Know

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Finding the best buying opportunities is quite challenging. You have to understand the factors that you have to consider before you finally purchase a property and all there is that you need to know when it comes to real estate world. Whether it’s your first time buying a property like Spanish property deal you just need a refresher, here are some negotiating tips that every buyer should know:

Know how the market works

Knowing how the market works can help you set off the right track. To stand above your competitors and convince your seller that you are a serious buyer, you should understand the method of the market. Whether you are going to buy in an auction or a private sale, you should know how it works for you to develop an effective strategy for negotiation.

Ready yourself

You should also prepare yourself before you step a foot in the real estate world. By doing your homework in conducting a research of everything that you need to know and making sure that your personal emotions won’t affect any of your decisions in buying can help you to do well in negotiating. The most common mistakes of buyers are that they get too carried away with their emotions, and they end up buying a property that they could not benefit.


Get to know the seller’s point of view

It is imperative to ask the reason behind the seller’s decision in selling his property. It can be advantageous to you, especially if the property is a rush sale because the seller will most likely take up your offer. For instance, before you offer your price, you should know if the seller is selling the house because of an arrival of a new member of the family, migrating to another country, divorce, or emergency. Use these factors in convincing the seller to sell it at a lower price.

Don’t get too low

One way to scare off or probably annoy your seller is when you get too low on the price for your first offer. Make sure that your first offer is reasonable, a price where they can still think about it. After that, you can now test the water if how they would react if you tend to lower the offer once more until you get your desired price. If you directly tell the seller the price that you wanted on its lowest, they wouldn’t probably entertain you anymore.

Create a win-win situation

Don’t make the seller feel as if he’d regret his decision on selling the property to you. After you two have agreed on the price, you should provide him terms and conditions that would be beneficial to him so that you will sound more appealing.

These negotiating tips can help you a lot in convincing your seller that they should sell their property to you. In that way, you will be able to get the best deal out there. For more information, visit bargain Spanish property.

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