Many people who love nature and the environment, dream of owning a horse. Horses are not like regular pets though; they’re very expensive to buy and keep so it’s not always possible for the average person to have one.
If you are considering buying a horse then there are practical considerations you need to take into account. Below are some of the most important questions to ask yourself.
Can you afford it?
Horses are extremely expensive and there are plenty of on-going expenses of owning one. Below are some of the main expenses of owning a horse that you should be certain you can afford before taking the plunge –
- The initial cost of the horse –
- The required equipment i.e. saddle, leading rope, bridle etc.
- Feed & bedding
- Vet bills
Do you have the room?
If you’re planning to keep the horse on your own property then you’ll need to ensure that you have enough room. In addition to have a stable, you’ll also need to have a good sized field where the horse can exercise each day. It is possible to buy a horse that’s kept for you but then you have to take into account the livery fees, which can mount up quickly and in some cases cost up to £1000 per month
Do you have the time?
Some people mistakenly believe that horses mostly take care of themselves and don’t need much looking after. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Horses require daily care throughout the year so you should think about whether you’re able/willing to invest this much time.
It’s also worth considering the amount of care that a horse requires when it becomes older and is no longer rideable. It’s always worth having a plan in place for euthanasia or specialist care.
Are you planning to transport the horse regularly?
If you’re planning to transport for your horse regularly, for example to take it to horse shows, then you’ll need to have the proper transportation and insurance. Horseboxes are specially designed vehicles for transporting horses safely and securely. If you decide to invest in a horsebox then you’ll need to get a special type of horsebox insurance, from a site such as http://www.rwst.org.uk/
It would be nice to believe that you can leave your property unoccupied for an extended period of time without having to worry about it being broken into or vandalized. Unfortunately that is not the world we live in.
Unoccupied properties are at significantly greater risk of being targeted by burglars, vandals and even squatters, so you need to take the proper precautions if you want to keep it safe while you’re away. Below are 5 of the best ways to do this.
1. Hire a housesitter
Hiring a housesitter is one of the best ways to make your home more secure when it would otherwise be unoccupied. The internet has made it much easier to find a trustworthy housesitter so this is definitely something you should consider when leaving your home for a longer period of time.
2. Make the house look lived in
A big mistake that a lot of people make when they leave their property unoccupied is to turn all the lights off. This will make it clear to potential burglars that nobody is home and will make your house much more likely to be targeted. Simply leaving a few lights on will help to decrease the chance of your house being broken into significantly. You can get automatic switched devices that turn certain lights on and off in your house at intervals.
3. Get unoccupied property insurance
If you’re going to be away from the property for more than 30 days then you’ll need to get unoccupied property insurance. Many people make the mistake of assuming that their home insurance policy will cover them but this usually is not the case if the property is unoccupied for an extended period of time.
Therefore you’ll need to get unoccupied property insurance to property protect your home.
4. Have your post held
As well as having your post held, you should also cancel any regular deliveries for newspapers etc. There’s nothing that screams a property is unoccupied more than a build up of letters and parcels by the front door.
5. Have an alarm fitted
If you don’t already have a home security alarm then you should certainly invest in one if you’re planning to go away for an extended period of time. Often merely the sight of an alarm is enough to put would-be burglars off so it’s definitely worth the investment.
If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a thatched roof home then you’re not alone. Many people in the UK love the unique look that a thatched roof provides.
If you’re thinking of purchasing a thatched roof property there are certain things you need to be aware of. Below are some of the main ones.
There’s a good chance it will be a listed property
Listed properties are those that are judged to be of significant historical or cultural interest. Many thatched roof properties are listed, which can make it harder to get a mortgage for them.
Something else to consider is that if the property is listed, you have a responsibility to keep it as close to its original state as possible. This means if you want to have any structural work done on the property, you need to obtain written permission from the council first.
You’ll need to get a special type of insurance
Because building a thatched roof requires special expertise, you’ll need to obtain an insurance policy from a specialist thatched roof property insurance provider.
Luckily the internet has made it much easier to obtain quotes for thatched roof property insurance so it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge to get a policy at a reasonable price.
It’s always a good idea to have it professionally valued
Thatched roof properties are generally specialist properties that need professional expertise in order to be valued properly. There are many factors to take into account when valuing a thatched roof property, such as the location, its historical value, the rebuild costs and the size amongst other things.
You’ll need to have an electrical inspection
This is important for your own safety and for insurance purposes. One of the biggest concerns that insurers have when it comes to thatched properties is safety. The risk of fire is increased significantly if there are any exposed wires so a proper electrical inspection by a professional is a must.
You’ll want to have the chimney and flue inspected
Most thatched roof properties have a working fireplace, which certainly helps to add to the charm. However a fireplace and chimney can be a fire hazard if they’ve not been properly inspected for a long time. One of the first things you’ll want to do after you purchase a thatched roof property therefore, is have the chimney and flue inspected by a professional.
If you own a green home then you’re likely very conscious about the environment. This being the case you’ll know that nature can be cruel, especially where natural disasters such as flooding is concerned.
There are many areas in the UK that are susceptible to flooding and if you happen to live in one of these high-risk areas then it’s important to be prepared for the worst.
With this in mind, below are some of the best ways to protect your home from flood damage.
Invest in flood barriers
Flood barriers are always worth investing in if you live in an area that’s at high risk of flooding. Flood barriers are lightweight and can be set up very quickly in order to minimise the amount of water that gets into your property.
Flood barriers can be purchased for quite a reasonable price and are easy to store in a garage or shed. You’ll certainly be glad you have them if the time comes where they’re needed.
Get good insurance
If you live in an area that’s known to be at risk of flooding then it’s a very good idea to get flood insurance for your property. This will ensure that you’re fully compensated for the damage that’s caused as a result of the flooding.
If your property has been damaged by flooding then it’s always recommended that you take as many pictures as possible of the interior and exterior of your property to show it. You should only do this when it’s safe to do so of course.
If you want to get flood insurance quotes from a panel of specialist flood insurance providers then http://www.insureflood.co.uk/ is an excellent site for this.
Invest in tiled flooring rather than carpets
Tiled flooring is the most resistant so if your home is flooded, you’ll be able to recover much faster and won’t need to have your flooring replaced as would be the case with fitted carpets.
You can still use large rugs if you want to create a more homely feel but it’s better to avoid fitted carpets if you think that flooding is likely to occur at some point in the future.
Green homes are homes that have been adapted or built to be environmentally-friendly. Unlike traditional homes, green homes prioritise a minimal use of resources and aim to derive power from natural sources.
Below are some of the biggest benefits of owning a green home –
- Better for your health – One of the great things about living in a home that doesn’t rely on fossil fuels for power is that it creates a much healthier atmosphere with better quality air to breath. This means green homes are especially good for people who are prone to respiratory problems.
- Great for the environment – Another obvious benefit of a green home is that it’s great for the environment. The burning of fossil fuels contributes greatly to the destruction of the ozone layer and the energy use in domestic properties is a big part of the problem. Because green homes make use of energy through natural sources, such as the sun, they’re much kinder to the environment.
- A great sense of well-being – It can seem like we’re constantly bombarded with stories about how much damage human beings are doing to the planet so it gives you a great sense of satisfaction to know that you’re not negatively contributing.
Things to consider when buying a green home
If you’re considering purchasing a green home then below are some of the main things to look out for.
- Subsidence – Some green homes can suffer from subsidence, especially if they’re nearby large trees and shrubs. If there is a risk of subsidence then you’ll need to get a subsidence insurance policy from a site such as Subsidence Insure.
- Location – The location of a green home is also very important. If you know what area you want to live in then it’s simply a matter of finding the green homes in that area and prioritising what’s most important to you. For example some people might prefer to live in a very natural environment with plenty of wildlife around, while others might want the best of both worlds and prefer there to be many modern amenities nearby.
- Value – The value of the home is important since it will affect the price you pay for home insurance and also the resale value of the property. It’s not a bad idea to get the property surveyed by a professional to ascertain its true value.
The Brazilian government has angered environmental activists around the world by attempting to roll back the country’s laws that protect indigenous territories and the environment. The plans could have huge negative implications, including the possibility that the country could fail to meet its commitment to the Paris climate deal.
Deforestation of the Amazon is big concern in Brazil and the two initiatives proposed by the Brazilian government would certainly not help that cause. The timing could not be worse either, coming after the announcement of a 29% jump in Amazon deforestation – the highest level for 8 years.
The bill has been put off for over a decade but is now being pushed by congressman, Mauro Pereira. The bill seeks to overhaul Brazil’s strict environmental licensing laws and give Brazilian states the ability to decide which licences a project should have. A big reason behind the push for the new bill is due to the amount of business Brazil currently loses to neighbouring countries that have faster processes.
Around 250 individuals and businesses have strongly opposed the bill and have signed a letter that condemns the bill and explains how it could lead to more environmental disasters in the future.
The plans for a new £12m energy scheme at Snowdonia National Park have been refused by NRW.
The plan was to use water from the River Conwy for a hydroelectric scheme but this will now not go ahead due to the negative effect it would have on the environment.
RWE Innogy UK are the company who applied for the permit and claimed that its hydro power stations in the area could provide power to more than 3,200 households. However their plans faced major opposition from environmentalists and businesses among others, who feared that the scheme would greatly reduce the amount of water from the waterfall.
The reason the permit was refused was because the company wanted to extract too much water.
Head of operations for NRW, Sian Williams, had the following to say –
“The Conwy is an important natural asset for the area and we’ve conducted a detailed assessment of the proposals before reaching this decision. We support sustainable developments in the right places.
But the evidence we’ve scrutinised shows that the proposal submitted could harm the local environment. As such, we can’t grant it a permit.”