Claire @ October Rain


5 Mistakes To Avoid When Buying Your First Home

Buying your first home is a big step. Being such a complicated process, it’s not uncommon for first-time home-buyers to overlook things and make costly mistakes. Here are just several expensive blunders to avoid.

Not shopping around for mortgages

Many first-time homebuyers spend a lot of time shopping around for property, but very little time shopping around for mortgages. In fact, some homebuyers may settle for whatever their bank offers, without comparing other lenders. This could result in you paying much more in debt than you need to.

In many cases, you’re much better off using a broker than a bank. Why use a mortgage broker vs a bank? Brokers compare multiple mortgages for you and can give you expert advice helping you to understand complex terms and work within your budget. They may even have access to exclusive deals that you can’t find on the market due to having close relationships with lenders. Some mortgage lenders will charge a small fee for their services, but generally you’ll still save a lot of money by using them.

Only budgeting for the down payment

When saving up to buy a property, most people focus all their energy on being able to afford the down payment – this is the most expensive upfront cost. However, there are many other upfront costs that need to be budgeted for too such as conveyancer fees, surveyor fees, van hire/removals hire and first month’s mortgage payment. These extras can cost thousands altogether.

On top of budgeting for these upfront costs, it’s important to also not ignore your monthly mortgage fees – there’s no use taking out a mortgage with an affordable down payment if you can’t realistically afford the payments each month. Bills, home repairs and taxes are just a few other monthly expenses you’ll have to budget for too.

Failing to hire a surveyor

A property surveyor is always worth hiring because you commit to making a purchase on a property. Surveyors check the property for any hidden problems that could be costly in the long run such as signs of structural damage or subsidence. They can give you an idea of how much money you may need to put into repairs and whether it’s worth your while. Surveyors may charge few hundred dollars, but hiring them could save you thousands in many cases. It’s best shopping around to find a surveyor within your budget who also has a good reputation.

Allowing yourself to get rushed into a purchase

Buying a property is not a process that you want to rush – it could be the most expensive thing you buy in your life time. A lot of people within the trade may try to rush you into making decisions. Agents for example may often try to push buyers into a purchase by claiming lots of other people have viewed the property, whilst mortgage lenders may try to push you into taking out a loan from them there and then. It’s important to not let them pressure you into making a purchase until you feel confident that this is the right option for you. Of course, you don’t want to spend too long deciding whether to make a purchase on a property, otherwise it could get snatched up by someone else, however you shouldn’t ever make a decision there and then – give yourself enough time to compare multiple properties/mortgages and mull over the pros and cons of each one.

Not considering the future

Your future circumstances could change in which the case the perfect property for you now may not be the perfect property for you in a couple years. For example, if you’re a couple, consider whether you’re planning to have kids and whether the home has enough space. Also consider whether you’re likely to change job soon and whether this may affect your commute or your income.

It’s important to also consider what you may be able to do with a property in the future in terms of renovations. You may find a property that’s got a few imperfections, but it could be under your budget allowing you to make future improvements and fix up the property to your specs. You may be able to knock down interior walls or replace an ugly bathtub or change the layout of a kitchen – the beauty of buying versus renting is the fact that you can make these modifications.

How To Make Your First Place Your Own

We all love the idea of independence. Whether its university dorms, your first shared pad with your significant other, or a flat you live in independently, having a space to call your own is a great feeling. When it gets to the point in your life where you have your own place, then you may be desperate to get stuck in and make it your own. Below are some handy tips to get you inspired for making your first place your own through some simple and easy solutions.

Thinking practically…

DIY projects are a great idea

Simple DIY projects are not only a fun way to spend your time but are also great for anybody who needs to save money. They allow you to put a personal touch to your furniture. Some fun ideas include putting in your own shelves in a window space for plants, upcycling a clothing rack for closet space, and making your own jewelry organizer you can tuck away and keep out of sight.

Think of space-saving solutions

Get creative with shelving as this can be a real space saver, and add hooks here and there to keep your space from getting too cluttered. It can be easy to get carried away with decorating your first home and not think practically. Consider some additions that will help you with everyday living, such as an allocated space for your mail, a closet for your coats and shoes, and savvy additions such as nesting coffee tables.

Think of a colour scheme… and stick to it

Many people get ahead of themselves when they move into their first place. It can be easy to get overexcited and purchase everything in sight when you hit a home store, leaving you with confused décor and clashing colours. Rather, stick to a set theme of several complementing colours, and slowly but surely find key pieces of furniture and décor that tie into this theme. See your place transform over time into a calming space, where yourself and your guests can feel at ease with an aura of balance and tranquility.   

Make it personal…

Invest in cozy additions

Feeling cozy and at home is paramount once you finally move into your own space. To achieve this, consider features that will add style and comfort to your home, along with a modern touch. This could be as simple as modern kitchen appliances, to heating solutions such as bench radiators. After all, what could be better than a comfortable, warm space that also offers the latest in décor for you to enjoy? Head to to get inspired and find out more.

Decorate the walls

Nobody likes a blank wall. Take your time to find some pieces of artwork that really appeal to you, or spend a chilled afternoon collating your favourite photos to put in a multi-picture frame to hang in your living room. Whether you use wallpaper, shelving, houseplants, photos or artwork, give your space a touch of personality and it’ll soon transform into an ultimate cozy pad where you enjoy spending all of your time.

Millennials: How You Can ‘Adult’ Better

You may have graduated from college nearly ten years ago, found your first grey hair , or be a homeowner, but still don’t really feel like you’re an adult. It seems that after a certain point, life is pretty much the same, and it flies by, leaving you feeling like you’re still like you’re in your college days, but just a more adult version. But spoiler alert, no one really ever feels like an adult. You may have all of the ‘qualifications’ to be a fully-grown adult, but because of some sort of imposter syndrome it doesn’t always make you feel like you are one. So learning to adult more can be something that can help you to feel more ‘adultier.’ Here are some of the things that you could do to help.

Plan a Routine

There is a reason why children crave routine so much, and really, we all do. But because of certain times in our life, routine can sometime fly out of the window. But to help you be better, be more organized, and get your stuff together, a routine can really help. You can be more efficient with a routine, you know what is coming next, and you can get things done. If you always feel like you’re running around like a headless chicken, then this can be the thing that can help you to feel more in control.

Make Plans For the Future

Guess what guys? The future isn’t too far away. If you look at how fast the past ten years have gone by, then you can only imagine how another ten, and then another ten, could go by. Which is why there is no time like the present to make plans for the future, through things like a will and life insurance. Sure, it isn’t a very fun way to spend money, but it is going to be so beneficial in the long-term, and what is more ‘adultier’ than that? It doesn’t just have to be your future you’re planning for either. If you look at an article like Selfgrowth’s guide to home care for the older generation, then you could see how beneficial it could be. So for your parents, it could be something to look into. Because if you are getting older, they certainly are too.

Organize Your Home

Your home can say a lot about you. So have a look around; what does that say about you? Is it screaming hot mess because there are things all over the floor and the dishes haven’t been done in days? Or are you someone that knows where everything is, even if that does mean all over the floor? Having a home that is organized can give you peace of mind, less stress, and it can be good for your physical health too. So focus on a deep clean of your home, alongside some major organizing.

There are so many other things that could have been added to the list, so it would be great to hear what else you think could work? Thanks for stopping by.

5 Reasons You Should Plan A Road Trip

There is nothing quite like a road trip where you have the open road ahead of you, great company, good music and lots of food and drink. It is a fun and unique vacation which brings a whole host of benefits over other types of trips. If you have never felt the thrill of the open road before, then you might want to consider one of the many classic road trip routes. No matter where you are or where you are going, a road trip will give you a different perspective of your surroundings and is sure to create many happy and fun memories. Here are five reasons why your next trip should involve getting behind the wheel.

  1. Complete Control

First, a road trip gives you complete control over what you do. If you were to fly or get any other form of transportation, you would be somewhat limited, but not when you are the one that is driving. If you feel like pulling over for some food, you can! Or, if you decide that you don’t like a place and want to move on, then this is not a problem.

  1. Experience Lesser Seen Places

A road trip also allows you to see and experience places that tourists often do not get to see. It is these places that are between major destinations and cities which often have the real heart and soul and allow you to have an authentic experience. If you were to stop at a roadside cafe, for example, you are more likely to encounter a local who will be able to tell you about the best places to go and how to avoid the tourist traps. You can also do this by doing your research and reading handy destination guides to help you decide on which vacation rentals are best for you, and which you would benefit from.

  1. Privacy

You can also enjoy a lot more privacy when you go on a road trip. It allows you to kick back, relax and talk as you wish without worry about irritating anyone. This also means that you can listen to whatever music you like, sleep and generally be yourself, which is particularly helpful for parents who often worry about their kids’ behavior on public transportation.

  1. Easier To Pack

Going on a road trip allows you to easily take along anything that you want without the worry of having to pay extra to bring additional items. It can make it much easier to pack and bring along camping gear, ski equipment, and so on because you can simply throw it in the back and forget about it.

  1. Affordability

Finally, a road trip will usually be less expensive than a flight, particularly if there are a few of you to split the cost of fuel. It will, obviously, depend on how far you are traveling and the cost of hotels, food along the way, but often you will find that this is the cheapest way to reach your destination.

A road trip is a brilliant way to travel as it allows you to fully explore a region and provide a lot more comfort and privacy than other forms of transportation. Provided that you have some good company, music or podcasts to listen to, plenty of snacks and a few games to play along the way, then it is sure to be an unforgettable trip!

Simple Strategies and Tactics to Manage Your Anxiety and Panic Attacks

The narrative on mental health is much more open these days, and it makes it much easier to talk about how we are feeling. There can be many of us that might not have known what we have been experiencing was something like depression or a panic attack, without people being open and talking about what they are going through. Anxiety is something that gets bandied around a lot at the moment, but it is more than just nerves. Anxiety and panic attacks can impact your whole life and can stop you from doing things that you normally would. But what can be done about them? Here are some strategies and tactics that can help you deal with your anxiety, so that hopefully, they don’t turn into a full panic attack.

Take Supplements

Believe it or not, there are plenty of supplements that can help you to deal with your panic attacks. For starters, things like vitamin B6 and the iron levels in your body can play a big part in regulating the serotonin in your body. This is something that occurs naturally and is sometimes known as a ‘happy’ hormone as it can come from exercise too. But if are lacking those nutrients, then you could be lacking how your body deals with the hormone. You could also consider looking to buy weed online, as medical marijuana can help you to deal with panic attacks and anxiety. There are many studies now showing that it can help in those situations.

Relax Your Muscles

Being in control and being able to relax your muscles can be another great way to deal with anxiety or if you feel a panic attack coming on. When you feel anxious, your body can tense up and make things worse. So you could start by relaxing different parts of your body, like your hands and arms, then moving onto shoulders and neck, for example. It is something that you will need to do consciously, as you can tense up without even realizing it.

Limit Caffeine Intake

If you are someone that drinks a lot of drinks that contain caffeine, or consumes a lot of caffeinated foods, then it has shown to make you more anxious than people that don’t. Caffeine is something that stimulates your central nervous system, and you guessed it, that plays a part in anxiety and panic attacks, as it can get you in a constant state of ‘fight or flight’ which isn’t going to be good for you; you’ll feel on edge all of the time. So limit those kinds of foods and drink, and eat whole foods, and as little refined foods as possible to help you to eat your way to feeling better.

Have you ever experienced panic attacks? How people deal with them can be pretty individual. But these can all help to get you on your way to dealing with them in a better way, or even eliminating them over time. It would be great to hear what you think.

When Should A Home-Based Business Move Into Its Own Premises?

In most cases, the decision to start a business from home is made primarily due to necessity. Home-based businesses are inherently flexible, offering the opportunity to keep costs low while still building a company that can thrive in the future.

If your home-based business has proven to be profitable, however, it’s worth considering the next step. Some home-based business owners prefer to retain the ability to work from home, and their business lends itself to this kind of arrangement.

On the other hand, some businesses don’t particularly lend themselves to remaining based in the entrepreneur’s home: for example, businesses that require high levels of stock can quickly crowd out a family’s living space. It’s also worth noting that running a business from home can have significant disadvantages, and now your business has proven to be viable, you may want to consider moving the company into its own space.


Even if you have grown tired of working from home, or are well aware that your business could benefit from its own premises, the decision to actually move out is one that doesn’t come easy. There’s a familiarity and comfort to running a business from home, and the flexibility it offers you in terms of your lifestyle can be difficult to part with.

Ultimately, the decision becomes one of head versus heart. You can know, intellectually, that your business is ready to move into its own space; you can even want to stop working at home… but you still hesitate due to concerns and anxiety about such a huge change. As a result, you hover, wondering which route to follow.

Is there a right answer to this conundrum?

Realistically… no.

It would be easy to say that, if it makes sense for your business to move out of your home and you like the idea of doing so, you should go for it. Unfortunately, this kind of black or white thinking rarely produces positive results, and forcing yourself – despite ‘heart’ concerns such as anxiety – to move out before you’re ready could be genuinely disastrous.

So, let’s simplify:

  • If your business is profitable and you are entirely comfortable with the idea of no longer running it from home, then your business is ready to move into its own premises.
  • However, even if your business is profitable and you can see that moving out would be beneficial, you don’t have to move out until you’re 100 percent ready.

Is there any way to help yourself become 100 percent ready?

The issue that you are likely facing if you are hesitant about moving your business out of your home is a fear of the unknown. The move from home-based business to full-time premises is a big one, and no entrepreneur knows exactly how it will play out should they make this leap.

If you’re hesitating, then use the time to research everything about moving into dedicated business premises. You can view properties, talk to a commercial real estate lawyer about purchasing options, and even talk to business owners who have made the move themselves to see if they have any advice. Ultimately, knowledge is the best way to overcome your hesitation; after all, you needn’t fear the unknown if you ensure that very little about the idea is actually unknown.

In conclusion

The decision to move your home-based business into its own premises is incredibly difficult, so don’t force yourself to make the jump before you are ready. Instead, take your time, do your research, and wait until you feel certain that such a step is the right one for you.