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Friday Five: Must Have Home Gadgets

This week for our Friday Five we have chosen our favourite gadgets for the home. After looking around we were amazed at just how many weird and wonderful gadgets there are for just about anything you can think of doing in the home. We are going to start at five and work up to our favourite at number one. If you’re a landlord generous enough to provide tenants with the following, then it will be worth checking whether your landlord insurance policy will cover any contents as it would be a shame for such objects as these to not be replaced in the event of damage or theft.

5. Robotic Pool Skimmer

For those among us who are lucky enough to have a pool within their home, they will know of the hassle of clearing out the debris before using it. Even those who don’t, know how annoying it is swimming with some bugs and leaves on holiday! Well we have discovered the world’s first solar powered pool skimmer. It navigates itself around the pool collecting, grass, insects and leaves. This not only reduces the inconvenience of getting the net out but it also relieves some of the pressure on the pool pumps.

4. Rapid Drink Chiller

Ever turned up to a party where the drinks aren’t quite cool enough yet? Well now there is a gadget that will make you the perfect host. All it takes is 1 minute to chill a drink meaning your guests won’t get irritable and eat all your food while waiting for their drink. All you have to do is add some ice and cold water to the gadget and away you go.

3. Oregon Mirror Weather Station

Number three on our list is the mirror weather station. In the British weather it can be very hard when deciding on what to wear for the day. Many of us find ourselves searching for the remote control to hear what the weather will be like for the day. Well now this is a thing of the past. There is a gadget that will tell you the weather without having to put any effort in what so ever. The forecast for the day is displayed on the mirror and shows indoors and outside temperatures. Although we don’t know how accurate it is, as it is made by Oregon we are pretty certain it will be of good quality.

2. Electric Cork Screw

There is nothing more annoying than looking forward to a glass of wine in the evening, opening the bottle and the cork snapping in half or falling into your drink. Drinking wine through gritted teeth so not to get any cork is not enjoyable by anyone’s standards. We have found a gadget that will help get the cork out in one piece and with very little effort at all, perfect! The electric corkscrew removes all types of corks, plastic, regular and rubber and is rechargeable. Not only is it great to use, it looks good too. There are many to choose from so get shopping and never have any cork mishaps again.

1. Bath Caddy

On my search for the best gadget I came across this and knew that nothing could beat it! The bath is the perfect place for some relaxation and “me time.” If you love soaking in the bath then this gadget is perfect. It is a bath tray that hooks over the sides of the bath and has different sections: one for a candle, a holder for your book and two glass holders. All of these are detachable and there are built in compartments that mean even the rubber duck has a place to sit! There is one down side to this gadget though; it has two arms to hook over the sides of the bath which means it only works properly on free standing baths.

What’s your favourite modern gadget for the home?

Literally the Hottest Places to Buy Property in the UK

With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations starting from the 2nd June in just 2 weeks, it seems like the main occasion to kick off the beginning of the summer season. However the UK weather hasn’t received the message as we continue to experience a mixture of rain, wind and light clouds, with just a taste of blue skies and sun.

Constant great weather throughout the summer is not a great demand and climate is an important factor to consider when buying a property in a new region of the country. The Northern regions, particularly Scotland, seem to get the brunt of bad weather with more severe cases of rain, wind and snow. So for residents in these areas, having property insurance is especially important if their homes are more susceptible to weather damage.

Using information sourced from the Met Office, the following areas have been identified as having the highest average temperatures. So for people who want to enjoy warmer days on a more regular basis, these places may be the ideal place to invest in a property. The property information was sourced from Rightmove and lists the average prices taken from last year.

Central London – Average Temperature of 11.7 Degrees

Located in the innermost part of the nation’s capital city, it is part of Greater London which borders South East England and the East of England.

Best Selling Property: Flats (£722,234)
Others: Terraced (£2,386,852), Detached (£2,091,786).
Most Expensive Area: Westminster (£915,362)
Cheapest Area: City of London (£515,624)

Cornwall – Average Temperature of 11.3 Degrees

Located in the South West of England, it has borders with the Celtic Sea and English Channel.
Best Selling Property: Detached (£293,597)
Others: Terraced (£171,771), Semi-detached (£187,147)
Most Expensive Area: St. Mawes (£686,313)
Cheapest Area: Delaboles (£138,637)

Dorset – Average Temperature of 11.3 Degrees

Located in South West England, it has a border with the English Channel.
Best Selling Property: Detached (£333,929)
Others: Flats (£178,074), Semi-detached (£216,780)
Most Expensive Area: Sandbanks (£1,025,872)
Cheapest Area: Portland (£161,510)

Hampshire – Average Temperature of 11.3 Degrees

Located on the southern coast of England, it is the third largest shire county in the UK.
Best Selling Property: Terraced (£186,671)
Others: Detached (£385,406), Semi-detached (£229,723)
Most Expensive Area: Dummer (£1,212,500)
Cheapest Area: North End (£137,814)

Isles of Wight – Average Temperature of 11.3 Degrees

Located in the English Channel, just south of Hampshire, this is the largest island in England.
Best Selling Property: Detached (£279,083)
Others: Semi-detached (£172,842), Terraced (£158,989)
Most Expensive Area: Yarmouth (£359,208)
Cheapest Area: Chale Green (£137,270)

Kent – Average Temperature of 11.3 Degrees

Located in South East England, it is often known as ‘The Garden of England’ and borders the English Channel and the North Sea.
Best Selling Property: Terraced (£192,333).
Others: Semi-Detached (£237,270), Detached (£399,446)
Most Expensive Area: Penshurst (£747,441)
Cheapest Area: Queenborough (£108,238)

Landlords should not be fooled by warm weather

What a difference a year makes! It was around this time last year that the UK found itself enveloped by atrocious weather conditions. Beginning with floods in the South West, these were quickly followed by Arctic conditions in Scotland which eventually moved progressively south and left the whole British Isles shivering for months. Landlords across the length and breadth of the country found themselves claiming on their landlords insurance policies for all manner of things related to the bad weather.

Balmy weather

Compare that to the balmy conditions we are experiencing at the moment. Here in the South West the temperature gauge has yet to drop below double figures so warnings about preparing properties for winter are hard to take seriously, but they should be.

Green deal could hold back investment

The temptation for some landlords may be to hold back on investment on insulation as the Government’s much vaunted Green Deal supposedly starts next year. Although details are still sketchy landlords may well be forced to bring properties in their portfolio up to a certain standard; however, they may be eligible for cheap loans to complete the work. Obviously investors with a solid business brain have to consider this but they should not leave their homes at the mercy of the weather if repairs are needed now. Their business property insurance provider will require them to keep their property in a state of good repair and their tenants deserve to be given the best living conditions the landlord can achieve.

Good relationship with tenants a must

With this in mind landlords should aim to insulate their loft to a minimum of 10 inches and to also consider cavity wall insulation. They should use draught excluders where appropriate if they are holding back on investing in a new heating system and now is the time to ensure that all exterior maintenance is completed. Mid winter is not the time to have missing roof slates or leaky guttering. Tenants should be asked if they have noticed anything that should be repaired or soon will do and it’s massively important to make sure tenants know how to work heating systems. It is foolhardy to install a new system unless the house incumbent is completely at ease on how it works. It always pays for landlords to take time to get to know their tenants; a good relationship is beneficial in lots of ways to both parties.