My Recommendation for a Decent Mortgage Broker in Bournemouth

We have recently moved house in Bournemouth with an expanding family we decided it was time to move from our three bedroom in Christchurch and get somewhere with a bit more space closer to the beach. Now this goes a bit beyond my normal post on my blog but I was really impressed with the service that I received from our new mortgage broker – we also went back and used our self storage tips whilst moving in case you wondered.

Everyone Knows a Mortgage Broker… Right?

mortgage-broker-bournemouth-logoIt’s one of those things everyone seems to know a mortgage broker but no one wants to recommend one in fear of it not being as good for their friend and family member. We spent a long time looking for a mortgage advisor using the internet and personal recommendations.  Thankfully we were recommended City Mortgage Advisor – you can see them on their Mortgage Broker Bournemouth website.

The great thing is that many mortgage advisors will offer initial advice for free so it helped us get a feel for what they were about. Most importantly what they could offer us when looking for the finance to buy a larger property.

Me and my partner class ourselves as rather money savvy so even looked down the route of organising the mortgage ourselves direct with the bank we are so glad we didn’t after reading a review on the Bournemouth Echo website we met a couple of advisors they came to our home at a time that suited us which was great. Then we met Archie from City Mortgage Advisor and he invited us to his office a professional office in the centre of Bournemouth.

Simple As One, Two, Three

We travelled into see him and we explained what we were looking for as you normally do. The great thing about Archie was his down to earth and personable approach. He clearly had a lot of experience in getting people what they wanted. He explained some options in a way that we could understand as I said we are rather switched on but Archie’s approach showed us what we thought we were looking for and how we could actually get a better deal looking in another way. It was really refreshing to be sat in front of a professional that didn’t just match what we had told him. He took the time to understand what we were looking for and what was important to us and tailored a package that fitted us perfectly.

No Pushy Sales from the Mortgage Broker

After the initial meeting we went away to consider the proposal. This is something we had always be told to do by friends and family and actually Archie encouraged it rather than applying pushy sales tactics. He seemed very confident in his advice and his offering that reassured us further. We met back with Archie at his office in Bournemouth and agreed to go ahead after a couple of weeks of consideration time. We had some questions throughout which where answered promptly and efficiently if not by Archie then one of his team  it was a very seamless process.

The best was yet to come we had dealt with mortgage advisors previously when taking out the loan for our first home and then our three bed house in Christchurch and we remembered how it had been a constant two an throw between us the advisor and the mortgage company. It felt like we were constantly dropping proof of and being asked additional questions. Archie’s approach was a lot different he knew what he was dealing with and asked for all the necessary  information up front as to reduce and delay in the whole process . It was great to work with someone who was so well prepared.

We moved into our new house two weeks ago now and apart from a couple of issues with a regulation around a drain it all went very well. Although many people get nervous about recommending mortgage advisors to friend s and family I would definitely recommend Archie and his team for any one that is looking for a mortgage broker in Bournemouth.

When looking at the website they can also source new build homes providing a complete offering. They get deals form the developers that are eligible for help to buy in Bournemouth. So we have now made a personal recommendation to our niece who is looking for her first home Archie gave us a bit of brief info to pass on and showed us how cheap it could be to get first time buyers on the property ladder.

Overall it was a great service from city mortgage advisor and we are loving our new house. For my normal blog readers understand this a bit out of the blue to our normal blog post. But when met with incredible service why not share it. Hope you enjoyed the read and business as usual next post unless we are blown away again in this way.

Continue reading →

Double Glazing DIY Disasters – Don’t Install Yourself!

Just thought I would share with you my most recent DIY disaster. My aunt has recently moved into a new house in Southampton great property and was really proud she could finally afford to buy in this area. As budget was a bit tight she bought a property that needs a fair bit of work. Windows, Doors, Electrics and there is defiantly going to have to be a new bathroom and so much more.. Over the coming months I will be sharing some of my story’s after carrying out the work. Now this was my first task and not my greatest one which I said I would help her with…

 Why I Don’t Advise You Install Your Own Double Glazing

I’m not the worst DIY expert in the World by any stretch, and like to think that I can turn my hand to most things.  For example, in our house I’ve fitted out the kitchen and electrics all by myself and prefer to do my own DIY by learning about it first and then doing it myself on the cheap rather than employing a specialist.  So, when it came to fitting new windows in our house last month I was fully prepared to learn about double glazing and to get it all fitted myself – why not, I thought!  However, and this is quite a lesson I learned – I really wasn’t cut out for installing my own double glazing and really wish I’d not done it and instead paid for a proper double glazing company to do it for me.

Where did installing my own Double Glazing go wrong?

It seemed rather straight forward to do take out the old put in the new but like any DIY task not the right tools and not enough knowledge sets you up to fail. The problem I had was that I should have taken out the old double glazing frames first, and without harming the actual wall itself.  Unfortunately I left some degree of damage.  I really should have cut the old double glazed window frames at small interval and removed them in smaller chunks – instead I pulled it all out in one go and pulled some of the wall away. This meant that I had to then repair the wall, and actually ended up spending far more money than I would have done.

When I initially started to look at replacing my Double Glazing I watched many videos on you tube and tried to get a good understanding of what I needed to do. This is all well and good but it did not prepare for what was to come. Like many explanatory videos on DIY subjects the people are actually professionals with many years’ experience and could do the task of replacing their double glazing with their eyes shut.

On the other hand their was me yanking at the old window frame once I had removed as much of the sealant as possible before hand only to find I was very good at getting the frames out but equally good at causing damage to the brickwork and surrounding wall. I wish I’d stopped their but moved on to the next room  believing getting the windows out first win as many rooms was the best strategy for this. The same thing happened more damage to the wall and this was notably becoming a bit of a shambles.

My wife doesn’t share the same views as me when it comes to DIY  when she realized I was destroying her home I was told to stop and call in a professional who would have to fix this mess as she called it. With my male pride damage I started looking for a company to come and save my windows quickly and at this rate my marriage at the same time.

Finding a Double Glazing company in Southampton

Now because of my love of DIY I don’t tend to make a habit out of paying professionals and this makes finding one even worse. So I scoured the internet searching for double glazing company in Southampton I found a few and gave them a call looking for quotes on fittings and emergency work. After talking with a few of the well trained sales professionals that take the calls for these company’s I was left with some quotes with huge different in pricing and availability. I decided to call in local firm in Southampton Apple Home improvements they seemed to have the quickest turn round time. As I was left with holes instead of windows time was a huge factor they sent a team round and the work begun.

They were great my new double glazing was fitted in about a day and half the quote was realistic for the work they carried out no hidden costs or unexpected glitches that end up costing me £100’s to fix. To my wife’s joy they also tidied up the brickwork for me and peace has returned until the next time at least in my household.

The Finished Product

My new Double glazed windows are fitted finally and I must admit although my pride doesn’t want to agree they look fantastic. Where they have been fitted professionally by a double glazing firm they are sealed correctly and I’m noticeably saving money on my heating bill which is great news. This was the main reason for getting them fitted but I also know that adding double glazing to your home can lift the price up and the resell value.

So as you can probably imagine this is not my proudest DIY moment but does teach really valid lesson to me that I’m sure for obvious reasons I’ll never be allowed to forget. That if you are not completely confident in your ability or think the task maybe that little bit too large for you then call a professional in.

As much as we like to think it can be cheaper and I can assure you that by this example it definitely was. After my initial problems and having to rectify my broken walls I spent much more then I needed to. If I had of gone straight to the experts and spoken to them to install my new double glazing windows and doors I would have kept the costs lower and not had the stress and the grovelling that followed .

Continue reading →

Larkin Windows Reviews and Customer Feedback

larkin-windows-reviews-logoI was recently over in the UK where I have been helping to renovate my mother in-laws house, which has been neglected for over a decade.  As part of the project I decided to get the windows and doors re-done, so employed a local company called Larkin Windows of Weymouth.  They did a great job, and was talking to their marketing manager about my home improvement blog that I run, and said I would be happy to publish my own review of Larkin Windows – which is what this is.  So if you are looking for Larkin Windows reviews, then I hope my short customer review and testimonial helps you decide whether or not to use them.

Larkin Windows Customer Review

From the outset I found the customer service quite outstanding. I called the Larkin Windows number and they talked me through the whole installation and pricing process.  The designer had some great ideas on how we could make the windows and doors look in-keeping with the existing design of the house – having read other Larkin Windows reviews this seems to be something that Larkin Windows are renowned for.

When it came to the day of the installation itself, there was a short delay due to bad weather but I was kept up to date by the Larkin Windows team over the phone and told me exactly what was happening each and every step of the way.  I was really impressed by how professional they were.

When the installation team arrived they were quick and professional and even tidied up after themselves which for me is a first when dealing with contractors of this type… that’s why I was so happy to provide a Larkin Windows customer review as the service I had was second to none.  Here’s their own video relating to Larkin Windows Customer Reviews.

Admittedly the price wasn’t the cheapest on the market, but the service and the quality of the Larkin Windows products are outstanding.  In addition to that they have some awesome energy saving ideas – I’ve previously written about this when it comes to double glazing and windows.

So if you like anywhere on the south coast of the UK or near Weymouth in particular then I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend that you try them out.  I hope you enjoyed my short review of Larkin Windows.

Continue reading →

Why You Need to Use Bar Stools Right Now in Your Kitchen

If you’re thinking that bar stools are only suitable for bars or pool halls, think again. I’ve recently completed a new project in the family home where I customized our kitchen to great effect. If you don’t believe then check out some of the photos below which I’ve aggregated from elsewhere online – all showing how a set of bar stools can really transform a living space.

Fixed Bar Stools

This idea comes courtesy of Elena Travis at the Funky Chair bar stools retailer website – she asked me to let my readers know about her own bar stools website – more than happy to do so!  In this photo you can see some fixed bar stools in a red color.  These would more suit a bar, but if you want your kitchen to actually look and feel like a bar then they are a great shout.  Fixed bar stools tend to be more expensive than standard ones to consider that before making too many plans.

Fixed Bar Stools in Read

Image copyright of flickr.com/photos/pat_ossa

Bar stools have many great uses around the home, and can turn a room into a stylish seating area for guests. There are many reasons why you should decorate your home with bar stools. Here’s just a few of the reasons why you need to buy bar stools right now.

Kitchen Bar Stools

Bar stools can be used in almost any room. You can keep them in your kitchen or dining areas for meals. They can be kept in the basement or games room for a drinks station during parties and games. They can easily be moved from room to room, unlike bulky living room furniture. You can set them up in the bedroom if you wish to have a little hideaway in there.

Kitchen Bar Stools

Image copyright of flickr.com/photos/williamskitchen

Particularly useful if you share your home with room mates, but don’t always feel like socializing in the early morning. Another great use for them is in the bathroom, particularly in the morning, when you’re still sleepy. You can sit on one and do your makeup. This is also a handy idea for those with back injuries, as they’ll provide a bit of support, while you get ready in the morning.

Like this blog post?  Have you read my article on getting rid of refrigerator smells?

One of the best reasons to buy bar stools is for the comfort of your home. If you lack a lot of space, you may be trying to eat your meals on the couch, which can get a bit messy at times. Setting up bar stools around your kitchen counter, or a nook, or buying a special matching bar table will increase the comfort of your home. You’ll feel more relaxed when you actually have a special spot in your home to eat meals, as well as a cool spot to entertain your friends.

Bar stools are compact, so they’ll fit into almost any space. When not in use, they can be tucked under a matching bar table, or under the overhang of a countertop. Some can be stacked and placed in the corner, or against the wall, giving you more walking space in your room. In a pinch, you can even use them with your dining room table.

Bar stools can be added to a room for ambiance. They come in a wide range of natural and man-made materials, plus a variety of colors and design options. You can find almost any style to enhance the interior design of your room. If you find one of your rooms is missing something, bar stools could provide that welcoming touch.

Price ranges for bar stools can be anywhere from $30 for a cheap department store model, to hundreds of dollars for chrome finishes with genuine leather padded cushions, arm rests and back support. You can find bar stools in your budget range at any local furniture store. Just remember to times it by two or four when shopping for your stools, as you’ll want to buy more than one.

There are many reasons why you’d wish to purchase bar stools for your home, but the main one is that they’re so versatile that you can easily move them from room to room, as they provide a dash of character to your home.

For even more idea on kitchen and interior design then I recommend Design Milk.

Continue reading →