Archives for January 2016

Difference between using an online estate agent against a traditional


Looking to sell your property? If you simply opt for a traditional estate agent without thinking, you could be making the wrong choice. Plenty of them hide their fees within a mountain of fine print, so that what looks like a good deal at first ends up costing you a bundle. Switching to an online agent, though, means you know exactly how much things are going to cost right from the start, letting you relax safe in the knowledge that your property is in the right hands.

The first thing to be wary of when you sell with a traditional agent is the cost. While they will be keen to stress how little they charge up front, agents like this will most often charge an average of 1.6% of the total sale price upon making the sale. We don’t think this is fair on our customers, so we let you know beforehand just how much everything will cost, with a one off payment of £595 to cover everything. We also disagree with making you pay just for us to give you an estimate on your property’s value, so we are happy to be able to include this for you at no extra cost. On top of that, we’ll even throw in floor plans for your property

Traditional agents are also keen to have you believe that they are your only option by insisting on conducting property viewings themselves. This just gives them more of a reason to add additional fees on to your final bill, and could in fact harm your overall chances of making a sale. Research has shown that buyers actually prefer to owner to be present for viewings, so that’s the attitude we take. You’ll be on hand to give as much information as possible, and you’ll already know what the key selling points of your property are. Since you’re only focused on selling your own property, unlike traditional agents, you’ll be able to stress just how great a choice it is to buyers, and therefore have a much better chance of getting everything resolved much sooner.

Online agents also give you the best chance of having people view your property in the first place. Unlike traditional agents, who are limited to only advertising on particular property sites, we can ensure that your property appears on the most popular sites, so that more people come across it. We spend a lot of time ensuring that your property is well advertised, and that it is presented professionally, so you can rest assured that you will attract a lot of interest and, hopefully, make that sale a lot quicker.

Finally, we extend our policy of complete honesty to the buyer, as well as the seller, to make sure that everyone feels as comfortable as possible with the whole process. Unlike traditional buyers, who prefer to start a bidding war over a property to earn as much commission for themselves as possible, we like to keep things simple. By being clear on how much a buyer should expect to pay, we earn an average of 99% of your asking price for your property- 3% more than traditional agents can manage. As you can see, selling with an online agent really does have multiple advantages, and therefore it’s the perfect choice if you want to sell your property for what it’s really worth.

Research by UK’s Leading online estate agent

Useful Tips to Clean Your Mattress Topper


Cleaning your mattress topper is just as important as cleaning your sheets. It is suggested that you clean your topper several times per year, maybe every couple of months. Of course, if there is a spill or some other unexpected accident clean it right away. Also, if you have a dog or cat that sleeps with you consider cleaning your mattress pad more often because just as your body oils and dust get to the mattress topper, so do your animals.

There are numerous tips and products available that you can use to effectively clean your mattress topper. Discussed below are some of the best tips to use on a mattress topper. Do this as often as you like, but as stated above, at least every couple of months for the best effect. Sleep Judge has some excellent information on the different mattress toppers available. Take this into consideration as you decide how you will clean your topper.


The very first thing you will always want to do is vacuum the mattress topper. Vacuum the top and the sides to ensure you get all of the excess oils, skin cells, dust, dog and cat hair, etc. For allergies, this is the best thing you can do. It might even be a good idea to vacuum you mattress topper every time you change your sheets. It is a quick and easy chore that will really help those with allergy problems.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

One of the best spot cleaning options is to add distilled white vinegar to dissolved baking soda with a little bit of water in a spray bottle. Squirt this on the entire stain, after you already cleaned up the excess mess. Make sure you spray thoroughly and let it sit for about one hour. Then use a damp towel to dab the excess vinegar and baking soda. Let the area sit until it is dry. You can use a fan for ventilation purposes or even a hair dryer to speed the process up.

Lemon Juice and Baking Soda

Lemon juice is a fantastic replacement for vinegar if you do not have it. It also smells amazing. It is a fantastic disinfectant, so it will work wonders on pesky stains. Give this one a try if you do not have distilled vinegar around your house.

Laundry Detergent

Landry detergent is an excellent source to use for spot cleaning your mattress topper, although you can also use it on the entire mattress topper as well. For spot cleaning, put a small amount of your laundry detergent on a rag (white) with some warm water and gently dab the stain. The detergent will work the same as it would in a washing machine. Work the stain until it is gone. You can also use laundry detergent on the entire mattress by filling a spray bottle with one part laundry detergent and two parts warm water. Spray the entire mattress with this solution and let it sit until it is dry (typically taking 2-4 hours). It is suggested that you use a fan to help ventilate the room and leave the windows open if you can. This will speed up the drying process.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another great spot cleaning tool, more specifically for blood stains. You never know when a scab will come off, or an irritated bloody nose might start. This is an important cleaning tip to know. Pour hydrogen peroxide on top of the blood stain (50/50 with water) and let it sit for about 30 minutes, then blot it dry with a clean rag. Make a paste solution of either salt and cold water or baking soda and cold water to put on top of the leftover stain to help remove the redness left behind. Again, let it sit for another 30 minutes and use a vacuum to pick up the dried paste.


Deodorizing your mattress topper is a great way to give it a fresh new mattress topper smell. There are several ways to deodorize, one option is to use baking soda in powder form by sprinkling it on and then rubbing it into the topper. Let it sit and vacuum it clean after about 10-20 minutes (rotate the topper and do this to the other side). Do the exact same thing with baby powder, sprinkle it on and then vacuum it up after about 10-20 minutes. As I stated earlier, lemon juice smells amazing. Put about a 50/50 concoction of lemon juice and water in a spray bottle. Spray the mattress topper on both sides and use your hair dryer to dry it out or use a fan to ventilate and leave your windows open. These are all fantastic deodorizing ideas to try.

By ensuring you use these cleaning tips on your mattress topper you will enhance the longevity of the mattress topper and ensure you stay nice and healthy. Give each of these a try over the next several months and see what works best for you.

Top 4 Reasons your Skincare Matters for your age


While some skin care advice holds true for all ages, like wearing sunscreen and using moisturizer, your skin changes as you age. That means the products that got you the best results a decade ago might not achieve those same results now. By understanding which nutrients and active ingredients best benefit your skin during each decade, you can achieve the best result with products that deliver exactly what your skin needs.

Your 20s Are About Prevention

You’re young and fresh-faced, and imagining yourself with wrinkles in your 20s is difficult, so you skip the skin care more often than you should. Pop culture tells you that acne is a teen problem, but your 20-year-old complexion begs to differ. You get to enjoy a more sculpted face thanks to the absence of baby fat, yet you still break out sometimes. Your two main concerns in your 20s are preventing skin damage and treating that enduring acne.

If you do one single thing for your skin in your 20s, wear sun screen. Sun damage doesn’t just cause discoloration and wrinkles; it also puts you at risk for skin cancer. Apply a nightly moisturizer, and start introducing eye creams and anti-wrinkle serums, which you can find in the wide array of Amway skin care products. As far as the acne goes, you don’t need harsh chemical cleansers all over your face like you probably used to combat acne in your teen years. A spot treatment should do the trick for individual pimples.

Preservation Matters in Your 30s

Image via Flickr by sunshinecity

One of the big reasons you start to see fine lines in your 30s is due to a lack of natural exfoliation. Your skin naturally exfoliates far less often in your 30s than it did in your 20s. If you weren’t diligent about sun screen and skin care in your 20s, this is when you start seeing the damage via discoloration and age spotting.

You should gently exfoliate when you wash your face. Get a cleanser with exfoliating beads for daily use; it’s doubly helpful if that cleanser removes all your makeup, too. Eye-cream is a must now because the fine lines around your eyes probably don’t quite go away when you stop smiling. If it seems like a lot, don’t panic. Many of these essential ingredients come together in products. Don’t forget to keep applying sun screen, either.

Your 40s Require Nourishment

Hormonal changes in your 40s may start to dry out your skin. Combine that with natural aging, and your 40s skin care routine becomes about treating the lines you see on your face and brightening the places where your skin is going dull. Collagen and peptides are your friends. Serums with retinol and peptides will help your skin with collagen production and will eliminate a lot of the dry skin you may be seeing.

On top of that, you should still be gently exfoliating and wearing sunscreen. Remember the eye cream from your 20s and 30s? It’s also time to add neck cream to your daily regimen since your 40s are when your neck really starts to need attention.

Hydration is Essential in Your 50s

Your skin needs serious moisture in your 50s, regardless of what your ultimate cosmetic goals are. If you’re looking for simple solutions to keep your skin healthy at this age, just make sure your products are moisture-rich. Your cleanser and SPF should be packed with moisturizers.

Glycolic acid is a great way to encourage your skin to keep renewing itself, which helps to maintain a smoother appearance. Go the extra mile with peptides, alpha hydroxy, amino acids, and retinoids. You won’t get face-lift dramatic results, but these ingredients will help with the dullness that often overtakes skin as it ages.

Your skin care solutions change as you age, but as long as you understand what your skin needs you’ll be able to find the right products. Don’t be afraid to visit a dermatologist for help figuring out exactly what combination of products and care works for your unique skin.

The best ways to help you keep your home clean when owning pets

If you have a pet, there are steps you can take to keep your home clean and odor-free. (Fotolia/TNS)

If you have a pet, there are steps you can take to keep your home clean and odor-free. (Fotolia/TNS)

The benefits of having pets are huge, plentiful and well-known. They enrich our lives, improve our health and offer a unique sort of companionship and unconditional love. They also represent a serious responsibility, and the best pet owners are absolutely clear about what this responsibility entails. First and foremost, it means maintaining a healthy, safe and pleasant environment for both you and your pet, and achieving this with an animal in the house is no mean feat.

These are some of the most common challenges faced by pet owners when it comes to keeping a clean home, and some ideas for how to deal with them:

  • Fleas and ticks. This is a major worry for many pet owners, particularly those with dogs, as it is an actual health concern that can be passed on, and not just about appearances. Keep a close eye out for symptoms such as excessive scratching. Flea-tablets for dogs are safe and effective and can help you catch a potential flea problem before it gets out of control.
  • Moulting fur. The rule here is little and often as neglecting the issue causes a big build up, which can be harder to handle in the long term. Regularly groom your pets to minimise moulting as this will help to control the actual shedding, and make sure you clean up thoroughly afterwards. If appropriate, in warmer months, consider getting your dog’s coat trimmed as this will also benefit them.
  • Muddy paw prints. These may be endearing on a Christmas card, but they are not so cute in real life. The key here is to be prepared and get into good habits. Keep a towel in your car or by your door and give paws a quick rub before coming inside. Your dogs will also come to recognise this as part of their own routine. Cats are harder to manage in this way, so make sure you have a good-quality mat by all entrances.
  • Animals, and dogs in particular, are not always the tidiest eaters, so invest in good-quality bowls for food and water. There are some innovative designs on the market that reduce the risk of movement and spillages. When they do occur, and sadly this is pretty inevitable, clean them up as quickly as possible to prevent staining, bad odours or permanent damage to your floor.
  • Damaged furniture. The best, and perhaps only, way to protect your furniture from animal hair, scratch marks and other damage is to make it a pet-free zone. From day one, train your pets to understand that this is out of bounds for them. It takes time, and a lot of patience, but the results are worth the effort.

It is true that there is a lot to think about, but anyone who genuinely wants an animal companion should not be put off by the extra housework that comes with it. All it takes is a bit of thought and some tried and tested techniques, and the few extra chores pale into insignificance against the pleasure that comes from having a pet in your home.