Turn Your Country Home into a Cash Machine

money from home

So you’ve got your dream home, out in the countryside, and you’re wondering how to make a little extra income on the side? Maybe you’d like to show it off more and make proper use of your beautiful surroundings and lovely spaces, all while making some spare dosh? Read on for a couple of safe, fun, interesting and, most importantly, easy ideas.

Playing Host

An amazing way to make a little money on the side, providing you’ve got the space for it, is playing host to high end business parties, upmarket hen dos and weddings. As well as showcasing your stunning home, this can be very lucrative and fun.

A must-have if you want to do this kind of thing is having a spacious, open garden and a suitably welcoming home. It’s always best to use an experienced party planner, so as to make sure nothing gets out-of-hand. Just make sure you select an experienced and affordable party planning company and you can just sit back and watch the money roll in.

That’s my House on TV!

So you live in a beautiful, spacious country home, right? Don’t you want your house to be a movie star? An unbelievably simple way of making an impressive secondary income is listing your house with a location agency, who scout for characterful properties with distinctive features for filming and fashion and homeware photoshoots. Obviously ideally you’d want film as this is the easily the most lucrative option, but as long as you can rely on a steady stream of work, you’d be getting a pretty easy new income source.

Obviously having a filming or photoshoot crew around the house isn’t amazingly comfortable, and they might cause a little inconvenience and havoc, but trust us, the fee will always compensate for that. As well as the thrill of occasionally getting to see your very own home in a magazine or on a TV show, of course.

Nice and Easy BnB

Another fantastically straight-forward way of extracting more value from your house is listing your spare room for short lets, primarily getaways and weekends, but also, potentially, when you’re away on holiday. All you really need to do is take a couple photos, scribble down a quick description and then list your house on a site like AirBnB.

AirBnB began way back in 2007, and it’s a global community that lets anyone list their guest rooms like any hotel or bed and breakfast, very easily. While not hugely cheap (AirBnB charge a service fee of around 6-12 percent of the room rate), they do include a Host Guarantee, which covers damages up to £600,000. You’re also able to look at who’s staying in your house, and pick and choose. If you rent a room out for just 46 nights a year (about 6 weeks), you’d be looking at roughly two grand annually.

Obviously if yours is a more substantial home, you might want to look into more specialist renting agencies online, but don’t worry! There are plenty to choose from, just have a quick look around on Google and you’ll be renting in no time.

Getting Rid of Damp

damp-in-old-house

Damp can be a hindrance to any homeowner. The age of a building often dictates how it will be affected by damp. For example, an older building that has an open fire will draw in air from the windows and doors, meaning moisture is quickly captured.

An equilibrium is in place that dictates that the moisture being absorbed is equal to that evaporating. This will ensure that the building is kept free of damp in most instances. However, there are some other factors that contribute to the build-up of damp.

Air moisture condensation is present in many modern houses and apartments, as it reflects a modern lifestyle. It’s not unusual for a household to have a series of appliance running that all emit moisture. Even the steam generated from a shower can start a build of damp.

If your problem isn’t too bad, getting rid of damp can be as easy as cleaning the area with a specialist cleaner, but those looking for a more robust solution may wish to use a ventilation system that will deal with the moisture found in the air. A window vac can also be used to clear any moisture from the windows in the property.

Expert damp proofing companies like Crown Preservation, know that one of the biggest problems that can affecthomes in the country is penetrating damp. This is normally caused by water within the property. This could be due to faulty guttering or certain parts of the property being exposed to rain. The tell-tale signs of rising damp normally including the peeling of wallpaper and plaster, and tide marks on the skirting boards.

Once you are confident that your damp proof course is working, you will then need to find the point of where the water is coming from. For example, is there a hole in the roof? Is there a defective water pipe? Again, specialist advice may be required, but the longer rising damp is left, the more damage it can do to the property, so it’s always worth trying to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

Another similar kind of damp is rising damp, which is normally caused by ground water travelling up via the wall. Rising damp can also occur if the ground outside the property is higher than that of the damp course. As such, the damp proof course may need to be altered so that it offers the maximum protection.

To deal with rising damp effectively, a homeowner has to be sure that their damp proof course is working. If there is any doubt in relation to this, then an expert should be contacted. Simply assuming all is okay could cause more problems in the long run.

Overall, you should never assume a bit of damp is okay, unless there’s a genuine reason as to why it is appearing. Moisture from the air can be easily dealt with, whereas rising damp is a bigger problem, and as such normally require specialist advice. This may seem like a financial burden in the first instance, but the sooner the damp is dealt with, the less damage it will do.

Maintaining of a Thatched Roof

local-thatched-roof

Thatched roofs are purely a product of England, created by our ancestors during the days of old, thatched roofs were used because of the insulation properties. The style remains popular to this day for the same reason. Tiled or slated roofs often need insulation well as the roof itself, whereas a thatched roof deals with both responsibilities effortlessly.

Why Have a Thatched Roof?

Of course, many have a roof designed to their own preferences, so it’s not to say that a thatched roof is for everyone, but there are a number of benefits in having a thatched roof.

One benefit is the ecological qualities. That is a carbon-neutral material so doesn’t require a lot of energy to be grown. Having a thatched roof also benefits agricultural communities, as it keeps the skill of thatch making alive.

Some may be dissuaded from having a thatched roof due to it being a potential fire hazard, but thatched roof these days are just as safe as any other roof made from slate or tile. Safety regulations have moved on since the early days, and modern regulations state that a thatched roof must have a fire-retardant board put beneath it. This makes the property much safer in the event of a fire.

There is also the charm that a thatched roof gives a property. It gives a house a sense of character as well as giving visitors a hint of nostalgia. Thatch also blends in with its surrounding environment as it ages, meaning that your house really becomes as one with nature.

How Do You Maintain a Thatched Roof?

That naturally degrades over a period of time, so it’s important to know what to look out for in order for your roof to be maintained.

The roof should always be monitored for any changes, but the winter months should call for more checks. There are a number of factors that make up what kind of work needs to be carried out on the roof. The ridge of the thatch normally needs replacing every ten to fifteen years. The coat work will vary depending on a number of factors, such as the brand used and the lifespan associated with it.

The roof should be kept dry where possible. Of course, this can be difficult if it is raining, but once the rain has finished, be sure to move any obstructions that could hinder the roof drying. If a thatched roof cannot be dried properly, it is likely to accumulate moss and algae, which will only keep the roof wet moving forwards.

A thatched roof should not experience any damage from the elements, but from time to time, holes can appear within the roof. Patching is normally used to repair these holes, and is normally done using the same material as the coat work. Speak to a company experience in thatched roof repairs if the problem is too big to tackle yourself.

Overall, maintaining a thatched roof is about attention to detail and understanding the life span of thatch. Once you have all the relevant information to hand, you too can enjoy the benefits a thatched roof has to offer.

Make Your Country Home Famous

film-set

Having a country home is a wonderful thing, living in a piece of history and surrounding yourself with the beauty of a past age. Restoring a property to its former glory and ensuring that it looks just as you want it to takes time and money. Now, there is a brilliant way to show off your work and to even make some money from it in the process – by making your country home famous as part of a film or a TV show.

Being on TV

The idea started out with shows like Downton Abbey, which used a property in Berkshire for most of its filming. Rather than build a costly set that looks like a country home, the show makers actually rented a real one out. This allowed them to film in a property that really was from the period the show was based in for that added element of authenticity. It also netted the owners of the property a cool £750,000 per series and they are now welcoming an increase in visitors due to their association with the show.

But how do you get involved with such an enterprise? The easiest way is use a specialist and experienced location agency. These guys work for studios around the world, sourcing the kinds of properties needed for TV shows and films and organising everything with the homeowner, from payment to alternative living arrangements if the show needs to take over the house entirely.

How it works

Because you live in a country house, speak to location agencies who deal with the kind of shows that might want your type of property – though you might be surprised how wide a range this might be. Period dramas are the obvious ones but shows such as sci-fi and horror often use period properties for selected shows.

Once you have been approached by a studio via the agency that wants to use your property, a fee can be agreed. Anywhere up to £2,500 a day can be charged for the property though around £500 is a more typical figure. The location agency will have a fee agreed beforehand and the rest is profit for you.

While in the property, if the film crew causes any damage, it will be covered by a special insurance policy that the location agency will put in place. It is also worth telling your own insurer what is taking place just to cover yourself.

Take a break

Sometimes the studio will ask you to leave your home for the duration of the shoot and if this is overnight, they will put you up in a hotel. It can be a great opportunity to take a break, while your home pays for the holiday in a sense! Otherwise, you can even watch the filming discreetly and maybe even get to meet the stars of the show.

So if you don’t mind a bit of disruption to your life and have a property that a film or TV crew might be able to make use of, then renting the house to them is a great way to make some money and be able to boast you live in a famous house too.

Buying & Selling Your Property

buy sell property

Moving house is something that virtually everyone does at some point in their lives. Whether you are moving to the country or moving to the city, there are some principles that are the same. And while the process is always a little chaotic, there are tips to make it as smooth as possible, especially if there are kids involved in the process!

Preparing the house

To get the best price for your own home, you might need to do a little work. Have a chat with the local estate agents and get them to give you an honest assessment of the property. If you are aiming to sell to another family, then the house will need to be in a condition where new people could move straight in and live there immediately. If you are selling the house to someone interested in property developing, then this might be a little less important.

Always view your property as an investment and make sure you get the best possible price. Don’t opt for losing money for a quick sale unless this is crucial to your plans – quick house sale companies rarely get you the full market value. Estate agents may take a little longer to sell the house but will get you the best possible price. Their valuation upfront will give you an idea of what you have to work with.

Finding a new property

As soon as you start the selling process, you also need to be laying the foundation for the buying process – especially if you are moving house with a family! You don’t want to find that the sale of your house falls through because you have nowhere to go when you leave it.

After you have your valuation from the estate agent, you can begin to look at properties and see what you can afford. If you are moving out to the country, you might find you can get a little more house for your money than in the city as properties prices are sometimes lower.

The legal stuff

There’s not really a good way to avoid the need for legal involvement in the buying and selling of a house and to ensure it is all done correctly, it wouldn’t be advisable anyway. Talk to two or three lawyers to get prices before you commit to anyone and look for recommendations from friends and family.

Once you start the legal process, you should specify and have specified a range of little issues. Things such as what you are leaving the house – carpets, fixture, even furniture – should all be specified in the contract for both parties. The same should be done with the house you are buying so again you know what will be taken and what will be left.

Preparing the move

It is a good idea to start the packing process as soon as you know you are going to move. Once you have a good idea about what you will need moving, you can get prices for your removals men as they usually charge by the box. Again, shop around and get a few prices – look at areas such as insurance and their customer reviews to get the right people for the job.

Finally, don’t forget to organise your documents and other important paperwork with your change of address. Things such as bank accounts, driving licenses, passports and credit cards all need to be updated to ensure everyone knows where you are. A redirect of mail for a short time can also be a benefit. That way you will still get mail from anyone you missed notifying first time around.