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We might be biased but Liverpool is one of the best places to visit whether you’re a resident or a tourist. There’s so much to do and see, you’ll never have a dull moment. Staying in Airbnb’s are the latest trend. They’re a cost effective and fun accommodation to use when on a trip. They’re cheaper than hotels and a lot more unique. You can also find them in the most unexpected of places meaning you can stay somewhere else than the City Centre – if you want to that is.

So, you’re a tourist (or you live here and you’re looking for some inspiration) & we’ve got some great ideas of things for you to do and see in the city.

Food- We’ve all got to eat and you want to choose somewhere worthwhile! Why not go to The Tavern on Smithdown Road for breakfast? They say it’s the best in the city and you won’t be hungry after polishing off a plate of pancakes. If you’re after something healthier to start your day stop by Love Thy Neighbour on Bold Street, get yourself a smoothie and enjoy the funky décor while you’re in there. The recently opened Baltic Food Market is a must see. You can enjoy every kind of independent food in the city under one roof! It’s free to get in and there is something for everyone’s tastes.

Nightlife – Fancy having cocktails at the altar of a beautiful old church? Pop into Alma De Cuba and enjoy a mojito while watching Brazilian dancers shake their stuff on the stage. It’s a classy nightclub with great music and even better vibes. If you’re more into a pint and live music then how about The Jacaranda? With Beatles photos on the wall and beer on draft the laid-back atmosphere guarantees you a good night. Liverpool is known for it's great nightlife and why wouldn't it be? Not every city has a bar that you need to know the secret knock to get into...

Entertainment - For a different kind of night go to Bongos Bingo at the Camp & Furnace. You’ll never have been to bingo like this before. Tickets sell out quickly so you’d need to plan in advance for this one. Ghetto golf at Cains Brewery is another thing you should try while in Liverpool! Cocktails & R’n’B music while having a game of crazy golf, what could be better? Again, book this in advance but it beats a regular night out anytime.

Culture – Liverpool has many fantastic museums that are all worth a visit if you’d like to learn some interesting things about the city. They’re free to visit and great for all the family. We’ve also got some wonderful theatres here so why not see if there’s anything showing and get yourself some tickets.

Shopping – Last but certainly not least, shopping! Liverpool One is the main shopping area here in Liverpool and you’ll find all the big names in the same place. There’s also plenty of restaurants and things going on in this part of the city to make sure you check it out. If you’re after more independent retailers, charity shops and vintage stores then make sure you wander up Bold Street. You’re sure to find something there.  

Whether it’s your first time visiting the city or your hundredth there’s something here for everyone!

There are so many things you’re thinking about when you decide to buy a house but location needs to be at the top of your list. Unlike a renter, when you’re a homeowner you can’t just up and leave if you decide that your area is less than desirable. You need to consider a few points before putting down roots.

If you’ve got children or you’re planning on adding to your family in the near future then considering location in regards to schools is important. You might want your children to go to a particular school and that may mean you need to live in a certain area. Your children may already be in school and then you need to consider how they’ll be getting there. Are there easy transport links for them to get there or are you prepared to drop them off and collect them every day? These are important points that need to be considered.

What are the local amenities like in your chosen area? If the nearest shop is 3 miles away and you don’t drive then you might want to reconsider living there. Running out of milk on a Sunday morning won’t be ideal if you have to walk 3 miles before you can have your morning coffee. Even if you do drive, a lack of public transport or convenience store nearby could become irritating in time. You might like peace and quiet and in that respect, somewhere remote will be perfect for you but if you’re someone who wants an easy life then consider what’s around you.

Have you checked out the crime rates in the area you’re considering? This is always worth thinking about as it can affect insurance rates and your peace of mind. Nobody wants their car stolen or their house broken into and if you choose to live in an undesirable area then you may find it difficult to sell when the time comes you want to move on.

If you’re unsure about areas or you just can’t decide then pop into the office, we’re always happy to pass on our knowledge and help you figure out what’s best for you and your family.

When you make the big decision to start looking to buy your own home having a decent deposit is the first thing you need to think about. Without a deposit you’re not going to get far. We’ve put together a few tips to help you get that all important money together.

  • If you’re already living out and renting it might be time to consider moving home to save money. If you’ve got some loving parents to throw yourself on then it’s definitely something to consider as you could be saving around £500 per month on rent and bills! That would help you save up your deposit in no time. This isn’t an option for everybody but if you can and your family are willing then you should think about it.
  • Making a spreadsheet with all your outgoings on each month isn’t the most enjoyable task but it can be very helpful. Seeing exactly what you’re spending your money on each month could help you to limit unnecessary spending. You can create a budget for each day and see what you can cut out and see exactly where you can save.
  • Take out coffees and lunches really add up without you noticing. You may only spend £3 on your meal deal from Tesco every lunch time but I bet you don’t realise that it adds up to a massive £780 per year! Make your lunches at home and bring them each day. It’s going to save you a lot of money and you have the added bonus of being a little bit healthier too.
  • Try and curb your shopping habit. We’re all guilty of some spending here and there and it soon adds up without you realizing. A great way to combat this is to leave your debit card at home and only spend using cash. When you’re using cash instead of contactless you’re a lot more mindful of what you’re spending.
  • Set yourself a target. Having something to work towards can be hugely helpful as having an end goal in sight can make the end task seem a little less daunting. You can even make a chart to tick off when you reach a small goal. The child in all of us loves ticking off something when it’s been achieved.
  • You should set up a direct debit to take money out of your account just after payday each month as you won’t even notice this money coming out of your account and it’s an easy way to save without you missing the money too much.
  • Do your research. Look around at different savings accounts and find the one with the best interest rates. If you save enough this could earn you a little bit extra which is always nice!

If you use even one or two of these tips it should help you start saving up that deposit and you’ll be house hunting before you know it. Good luck!

Every home can benefit from a little greenery and no matter on the size of where you live there’s something for everyone. Most people think that if they don’t have a garden that they can’t enjoy flowers and plants but this isn’t the case. You just need a little imagination.

Let’s start off small and easy with the cactus. Low maintenance and hard to kill, anyone can take care of a cactus. They come in all shapes and sizes meaning you can find one perfect for your space. Cacti look great on a bookshelf or grouped together in a terrarium on your coffee table. They’re the plant of the moment and it’s easy to see why.

Herbs in a shelf planter are another cheap and easy way to bring the outdoors in. Even if you live in a tiny flat 10 stories up you can keep herbs on your kitchen windowsill. You just need a place with plenty of sunlight where the plants can flourish. As well as adding that green freshness to your kitchen they come in handy for cooking. Fresh herbs are always lovely.

Aloe Vera in your bathroom always looks great. You may not have thought of plants going in the bathroom but they can add a great pop of colour and vitality to your décor. Aloe doesn’t need a lot of sunlight or much water so it’s perfect for a bathroom. The humidity in the air will keep it healthy.

House plants can actually help to purify the air in your home so having plenty of them around is going to make your home look stylish and make sure the air you’re breathing is that little bit cleaner. Even picking up a cheap bunch of flowers from the supermarket can make your home look that little bit extra stylish so why not stop on your way home from work and get yourself some flowers or a plant. You’ll be surprised at how they can add to your space.

When it comes to renting all tenants are protected by the right to rent. This is a government document that explains everything you need to know before starting a new tenancy. There is plenty to consider before signing your new tenancy agreement and you should be aware of these things before undertaking any contract.

Searching for a property -

  • Have you thought about how long you want your tenancy to be? Most places will sign you up for 6 months initially but some landlords may insist on a 12 month contract. You need to make sure you’re happy with this before signing. 
  • How much can you afford? Before choosing something and signing for it make sure that you have done some careful budgeting and you can afford to live alongside paying your rent.
  • Choose an area to live in. You may need to be flexible with this but it helps to have a starting point when searching for a property.
  • If you’ve got children or pets (or both!) you need to check that any potential properties you like accept them. You don’t want to fall in love with something and discover that your dog won’t be welcome.

When you’ve found a property –

  • Make sure that you are given a proper tenancy agreement. This will protect you and the landlord during your tenancy. Have a read through before you sign it to make sure you’re happy with the terms.
  • Agree an inventory with the landlord. Again, this is to protect yourself and the landlord. This will also be important come the end of your tenancy when you want to collect your deposit back.
  • Remember to take meter readings for the water, gas and electric when you move in. You want your bills to be correct and you don’t want to be paying the bills of someone who used to live there!
  • Make sure you get the contact details of your landlord or managing agent. There’s a number of reasons you might need to contact them and some of those could be quite important.

As a tenant you must –

  • Endeavor to always pay your rent on time. Set up a standing order or direct debit to ensure you never forget when your rent is due.
  • Look after the property while you’re living there. It’s your responsibility to let the landlord or managing agent know if there are any problems and if you’d like to decorate then just check that it’s okay first.
  • Be considerate to your neighbours. No one wants to be that nuisance person in the street.

The landlord must –

  • Maintain the exterior & structure of the building.
  • Fit smoke alarms on every floor of the property.
  • Deal with any problems that may arise with the gas, water or electricity.
  • Maintain any appliances or furniture that they have supplied.
  • Carry out any essential repairs that need to be done. Remember, if you ever notice a problem report it straight away to your landlord or managing agent. The quicker you report the problem the quicker it will be sorted out for you.
  • Arrange an annual gas safety check.
  • Give 24 hours notice of any visit they (or a contractor) plan to do.

If you or the landlord want to end the tenancy –

  • It’s a legal requirement for your landlord to give you proper notice if they’d like you to leave.
  • You’ll also need to give notice if you’d like to leave. Check your tenancy to see what you’ve agreed but usually this will be a month.
  • When leaving the property you should always try and be present when an inspection is carried out. This relates to the inventory from when you first moved in and is crucial when it comes to claiming your deposit back.
  • Make sure all your rent payments are up to date. No one wants to leave on bad terms.
  • Don’t leave bills unpaid. You don’t want any problems or anything hanging over you.
  • Clean the property. Make sure you’re leaving it as you found it.

This is just a quick run down of the rights every tenant (& landlord) has. You can find the full document here.

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