Our New Build Journey

Now we have been in our house for 15 days, I thought I’d start sharing the whole new build purchase process with you and also some truths about it all. It’s only right to start from the beginning so here goes…

Right at the beginning of this process (November 2018) we had ummed and ahhhd about whether we wanted to move and with 2 new build developments on our doorstep, had also spent many an hour looking at the show homes. Finally we concluded that we were in fact interested in one and started scoping out the perfect style of house.

Originally we had looked at a David Wilson Bradgate which was a gorgeous 4 bed detached house. We then discovered that Avant homes (the other development in our village) had a similar house in the Pendlebury. We were in a tricky situation as we were able to look round an almost finished Bradgate however there were no Pendlebury’s we could view without travelling over an hour away.

We went with our gut feeling about the houses and based on what Avant offered vs David Wilson and eventually settled on the Pendlebury.

Avant Pendlebury: photo credit

After initially spending a week discussing things with the bank and also having valuations done on our existing house as we wanted to part exchange, we eventually reserved the plot we wanted 7 days later. The reason we chose the plot was because it had a lovely big garden and was also directly across from the park in the centre of the development. The development itself only has around 120 houses compared to the David Wilson one across the road with over 200. This was part of the reason we chose Avant because we didn’t want to be in such a huge development.

At the time of us reserving the house, it was only in the very early stages of build so had a couple of rows of bricks if that. It was really hard to picture the house above from just a site with a few bricks but we couldn’t wait to see the build take shape and eventually be in.

We were set the expectation that it would be completed somewhere between March to May 2019 and we completed on 28th June, so in the grand scheme of things only a minor delay relay. I have heard stories of people being delayed 9 months before so you can imagine what went through my mind when they started to advise it would be delayed.

I would say until the house properly began looking like a house, it felt like it took forever and then things suddenly started to happen however it took from 15th November (ish) to 5th March to get to roof stage below.

I won’t share anymore at this point in regards to the home buying journey as it would be super long but my next post will be all about choices inside the house so hopefully you will be excited to read that one.

Laura x

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My favourite money making websites

Last week I published a post featuring all my favourite cashback apps and this week I want to share some of the ways I earn money online as well. These have been great ways to earn little bits of money here and there which have allowed us to purchase bits and pieces for our new house over the last few months.

*post contains referral links*

Topcashback

This is my favourite website for all things cashback and whenever I make an online purchase, I always check the site to see if they offer a cashback deal first and then go via them if they do. Since becoming a member I have earnt over £500 in cashback from my purchases and have included things like; booking a holiday, buying my home insurance, purchasing my new phone and even buying clothes or groceries.

Some of my biggest earners came from:

  • £200 from re-doing our life insurance online
  • £25.25 from booking a holiday
  • £50.50 from home insurance
  • £27 from a furniture purchase

It requires no extra effort and is a great way to earn yourself some money back on the purchases you were going to make anyway.

E-Rewards

I have been doing surveys on this site for 18 months now and earnt around £80 of Amazon vouchers from it. The points rewards are very generous for the surveys that you do complete and if you get zoned out of the survey, you still get some points for doing the qualification part. You get what you put it in with this one so it’s worth getting the email notifications for the surveys so that you are notified when one goes live. I’ve found recently by staying on top of them as they come in, I’ve built up my rewards balance far quicker and been able to redeem a lot more.

Quidco

Quidco is another cashback site that works exactly like Topcashback. They generally offer cashback on the same companies but every so often you will find one that doesn’t and one that does. I check both sites usually to see which has the best cashback rate on it so I know I am maximising my purchase. This one works with the clicksnap app that I mentioned in my previous post as all your cashback from that will be pooled into your Quidco account for withdrawal, so definitely worth having this one as well if not just for that reason.

Ebay

This might seem like a really silly one but the last few months I’ve followed more and more instagrammers who do ebaying as a business whether it be part time or full time. Now I’m not looking to turn it into a business but it did make me realise that we have a lot of stuff in the house that can be sold. Now that we are on the countdown to moving we are also doing lots of de-cluttering so Ebay is getting utilised as much as possible. In the last few months I’ve probably made around £250-£300 which I think is fantastic for just getting rid of stuff in the home.

Other than the 4 websites I’ve mentioned, I don’t really use any others at the moment but if you think I’m missing any good ones then feel free to let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading

Laura x

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Winter Lawn Care: Keep Your Garden Fresh With Minimal Effort

How can you include winter lawn care in your routine and what does it involve? :

It’s true that your lawn doesn’t need to be kept prim and proper during the winter months. Why? Your efforts would be wasted due to all the harsh weather it brings. However, just leaving your lawn to its own devices when the temperatures get colder isn’t the way to go if you’re garden proud.

To ensure your children have a safe lawn to play on in the summer months and to make sure it looks the part at your garden parties this year, you need to put some measures into place. Winter lawn care doesn’t need to be difficult and you can implement some simple tasks to get the most out of it. It will also help you out when springtime comes around.

For this post, I’ve teamed up with Greensleeves, lawn care and treatment experts, to bring you some helpful tips to consider for keeping your garden fresh. Winter lawn care is much simpler than you think!

Clear debris

The first thing you need to do, whenever you notice it, is to clear any dead leaves and debris from your lawn. This debris will not only look a mess in your garden, but it can also be an ideal way for moisture and disease to grow.

To ensure you eliminate the chances of this happening and to help keep your lawn healthy, you can use a rake or brush to remove any debris that could harm your lawn. Keeping it clear as much as you can will help to keep it clean and disease-free.

Mow infrequently

It’s often said that there is no need to mow your lawn during the winter as it doesn’t grow like it does in the warmer months. In fact, when the temperature is above around 5 degrees, your lawn will begin to grow slowly.

Where you can and when it is needed, ensure you mow your lawn, but make sure it is longer than it would normally be when you give it a cut in the summer. Of course, steer clear of mowing if the grass is wet or there is frost around.

Aeration

A handy trick that you may not know about – aeration is the process of making holes in your grass for better drainage. To prevent clogging on your grass and muddy puddles rising to the surface, prick some holes through your lawn using a garden fork.

Doing this will improve the drainage in your lawn and prevent any minor flooding. It will also allow more air to travel into the root, making way for a more healthier lawn in the long term.

Keep off the grass!

Where you can, try not to walk on your lawn much if it is wet or covered in frost. If you do at this time, then you could quite easily damage the grass. It will then not be able to fix itself until the spring.

Make a point of telling family members too and ensuring that any children have a suitable place to play away from the grass. It will prevent any damage and you’ll thank yourself for it when the warmer weather comes around!

Winter lawn care should be simple

Keeping on top of these easy to implement tips should ensure you have a happy and healthy lawn when the summer time comes around. How do you make sure your lawn is looking its best in winter? Let me know in the comments!

This post was in collaboration with Greensleeves, lawn care and treatment experts. For more information about their services or to request a quote, visit their website: https://www.greensleeves-uk.com.

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