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Are your home renovations REDUCING the price of your property?

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While an on-trend home might look good on your Instagram grid, investing in the latest fads could be reducing the price of your property, experts have claimed.

Holly Herbert, head of content at webuyanyhouse.co.uk, in collaboration with sofa and carpet specialist ScS, has revealed the ten interior features currently hugely popular on social media that could devalue your home.

The trends to avoid include DIY patterned feature walls often made using tape, high maintenance freestanding baths, as well as kitchen islands which could make the space on offer feel more cramped. 

Here, FEMAIL reveals the popular designs to avoid if you want to keep the value of your property from decreasing… 

1. FREESTANDING BATHS

Tub toil: Standalone baths (pictured) look great but they often come with a lot of practical issues including hidden pipework that can be tricky to reach

Tub toil: Standalone baths (pictured) look great but they often come with a lot of practical issues including hidden pipework that can be tricky to reach

Freestanding baths look great in social media posts, but they often come with a lot of practical issues that make them unattractive to buyers.

Holly says: ‘Freestanding baths are far higher maintenance than normal varieties. You may need to make extra room under your floor for additional pipes and plumbing. 

‘If these pipes leak, they can be incredibly expensive to access and can create bad smells,’ she adds.

The expert suggests they’re not easy or practical, which is what most homeowners want, especially families with children. Standalone baths also require more storage space for soaps and toiletries, which many people usually keep on the corners of a bath.

It also depends on who is buying your property, as young, busy couples and elderly homeowners tend to prefer walk-in showers over bath tubs.

2. GOLD HARDWARE 

Glittering gold features can add a touch of elegance around the home, but as Holly explains, this effect doesn’t last long.

‘Gold hardware can quickly look stained and marked, which is very noticeable. It can also be difficult to match it with other features in your home, especially once the gold colour has faded.’

Gold door and cupboard handles are currently all over TikTok interiors accounts, but this trend can either be loved or hated by potential buyers.

Interior trends can change quickly, so if you really want to add gold to your home, seek the help of a professional to make sure it’s done right and ensure that it will age well, says Holly.

3. TAPE-DESIGNED WALLS

Just paint it white? Triangular-painted feature walls (pictured) often using tape to create coloured shapes were a lockdown hit but might not age well

Just paint it white? Triangular-painted feature walls (pictured) often using tape to create coloured shapes were a lockdown hit but might not age well

Triangular-painted feature walls, with tape used to create coloured shapes, were incredibly popular during lockdown, but such creativity isn’t always appreciated by buyers.

Holly says: ‘Over-expressive decorating, like accent corners, scalloped edges, painted arches or frog-tape walls, are all very much to individual taste.

‘As such, it can make it much harder to achieve a sale. You’re far better off sticking to neutral colours.’

If you really like this trend, consider creating artwork that can be framed or hung up on the wall rather than risk having to redecorate your entire home when it comes to selling a property. 

4. HOME GYMS

With the pandemic closing gyms across the UK, many people added workout rooms to their home, but this can be off-putting for prospective buyers looking around your property.

Holly adds: ‘Home gyms were a bit of a lockdown fad but are becoming more redundant now that regular gyms are open again. They generally take up space which could be used for something more beneficial.’

People want to imagine living in a home when they come to view it, and exercising in the home may not be everyone’s lifestyle. Consider using extra space as an extra bathroom or bedroom, which can add up to 15 per cent on to a property’s value.’

5. BI-FOLD DOORS

Bi-fold doors (pictured) are really useful for creating an easy passage from your home to your garden, but if they are low-quality or badly fitted, they can count against you

Bi-fold doors (pictured) are really useful for creating an easy passage from your home to your garden, but if they are low-quality or badly fitted, they can count against you

Bi-fold doors are really useful for creating an easy passage from your home to your garden, but if they are low-quality or badly fitted, they can count against you.

Holly says: ‘Such doors do look attractive, but in reality, they can break quite easily, which can be a nuisance for new homeowners. It can also be really difficult to get hold of replacement parts, so it’s something to keep in mind before paying out.’

Bi-fold doors may not be practical either, as the British weather is often grey, these features will spend most of their time closed, making them more impractical than regular doors and windows. 

6. LOG BURNERS

On cold winter evenings, log burners can make your room feel cosy, but not all buyers will agree.

Holly explains: ‘Log burners require a lot of fuel, which can be expensive, and you need somewhere to store the wood, which takes up extra space. 

‘There’s also the risk of smoke damage and marking decorated walls, which buyers won’t want to inherit.  If you do install one, make sure to clean it regularly so that it works efficiently and doesn’t look messy.’ 

7. KITCHEN ISLANDS

Open plan kitchen, dining and living spaces with islands (pictured) are really popular with interior influencers, but before you hop on the trend, there's a lot to consider

Open plan kitchen, dining and living spaces with islands (pictured) are really popular with interior influencers, but before you hop on the trend, there’s a lot to consider

Open plan kitchen, dining and living spaces with islands are really popular with interior influencers, but before you hop on the trend, there’s a lot to consider.

Holly advises: ‘Islands are great in a big home, but space is the main factor for most buyers, so if they make your kitchen look cramped, they can be a big mistake. 

‘If you do add an island, make sure you don’t add appliances (such as a cooker) to it unless you’re absolutely certain, as it then becomes expensive for the next owner to remodel if they want to change things around.’

8. CERAMIC STATEMENT TILES

Pause a while before installing tiles - statement flooring can be too niche for home buyers

Pause a while before installing tiles – statement flooring can be too niche for home buyers

Tiling needs to be consistent around the house to look attractive and it can be expensive to remove, which many buyers will want to do. 

If tiles are badly laid or decorated with quirky colours, they can be off-putting and quickly look outdated.

Holly says: ‘Poor flooring can decrease a house’s value by around 5 per cent. It can be really costly to rip it up to replace, so if tiling, you’re best sticking to neutral colours.’

9. PANTRIES

A pantry can work well in a large home but in smaller kitchens they can kill valuable space

A pantry can work well in a large home but in smaller kitchens they can kill valuable space

Having a separate area to store food can be a great feature for a kitchen, but pantries need to be well-located and genuinely useful to be appealing.

Holly adds: ‘Pantries tend to take up a huge amount of space, which impedes the kitchen and reduces the house’s value. 

‘They are a nice touch in homes which have enough room for them, but this isn’t the case for many properties.’ 

10. PAINTING OR COVERING OVER ORIGINAL FEATURES 

The trend of touching up original features is very divisive, so isn’t a good idea if you’re looking to sell.

Holly says: ‘You need to carefully maintain original features if they’re to look good and attract interest. Don’t risk damaging them by attempting paint or restoration work yourself, as you could end up ruining the feature altogether.’

Painting features like kitchen cupboards, taps, window frames and floorboards put off over 30 per cent of buyers, who admitted they couldn’t see past these personal touches to see a property as their own, recent research by the firm found.

Some of the worst colours you can paint features in includes dark grey, black and dark blue. 

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Orange warning in place for five counties on west coast

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Violent storm force 11 winds are expected off the west coast as Storm Barra approaches on Tuesday morning.

Met Éireann has upgraded its marine weather warning to red, the highest category, on Irish coastal waters from Galway Bay to Bantry Bay from 3am on Tuesday morning to 11pm tomorrow night.

A status orange warning is in place on land for the counties of Galway, Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Cork from 6am on Tuesday morning until the same time on Wednesday morning.

Counties included in orange warning could see damaging gusts of up to 130km/h which will head to high waves, high tides, heavy rain and storm surge.

The rest of the country will be under a status yellow warning for the same period with the possibility of localised flooding.

Met Éireann head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack told Newstalk Breakfast that the storm system is developing rapidly over the Atlantic at present and will hit Ireland’s western seaboard on Tuesday with strong gale force winds which will quickly extend across the country.

There will be heavy rain turning to sleet and snow on higher ground, she warned.

Met Éireann will meet with gardaí, local authorities and emergency services this morning to update the progress of the storm and provide advice on what precautionary measures should be taken.

“It will be a pretty horrid day,” added Ms Cusack who advised against cycling.

The high winds and heavy rain will continue throughout Wednesday but they will have moved on by Thursday.

On RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, senior meteorologist Liz Walsh warned that trees could be knocked down during the high winds. She also advised that outdoor street furniture should be taken in or tied down and cautioned that Christmas decorations could be damaged.

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Coronavirus rules for driving tests spark complaints

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Claims of rude testers, of not being allowed to cough and having to drive with windows open due to Covid-19 were among the complaints received from people who failed driving tests recently.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA), which oversees driving tests nationally, released a sample of the 1,505 complaints received since the start of last year under the Freedom of Information Act.

New figures show the driving test centre in Cork had the highest pass rate with 75 per cent of people passing, while the lowest was Charlestown in Dublin with a 42 per cent pass rate.

One person complained he had told his tester he had asthma and might need to cough because he had recently changed inhalers, causing irritation to his throat.

“I was advised that if I coughed at any stage, the test would be over immediately. This was difficult to control while under exam pressure and added a huge amount of unnecessary stress and pressure,” the individual complained.

Another individual complained their tester said if their face mask slipped “a little bit from my nose” while driving, the test would be ended.

“I’m in shock how he treated me that day,” said the complainant.

Another learner driver who failed said their car was hot and “very uncomfortable” because the tester said the hot air de-misters had to be kept on to prevent the windows fogging up because the back windows had to be kept open due to Covid-19.

One complainant said the tester seemed to have prejudged the test when they spotted a small stain on the driver’s seat as the car was supposed to be “spotless”.

‘Anxious’

“The tester was clearly taking it too far. I was complying with all Covid precautions as I had just Hoovered and sanitised the car and it was simply a mark on the seat.”

There were general complaints beyond Covid-19 issues. One person complained about feeling “anxious” because the tester was “sitting there shaking his head”.

Another said their tester repeatedly shook his head and sighed several times, and then made notes on the score sheet, which was “extremely off-putting and really unfair”.

Another driver said the tester was “extremely condescending and patronising” and mocked their answer to a signpost theory question about an “unguarded cliff edge”.

“We don’t drive along cliff edges in this country,” the tester was quoted as saying.

The RSA has been dealing with a backlog of driving tests due to the pandemic.

The centres with the next highest pass rates were Clifden (71 per cent), Killester in Dublin (70 per cent), Birr, Co Offaly (70 per cent) and Cavan (69 per cent).

The test centres with the next lowest pass rates were Dublin’s Churchtown, since closed (44 per cent), Nenagh, Co Tipperary (44 per cent) and Mulhuddart (45 per cent) and Raheny (46 per cent), both in Dublin.


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Former US presidential candidate Bob Dole dies aged 98

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Bob Dole, the long-time Kansas senator who was the Republican nominee for president in 1996, has died from lung cancer. In a statement, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, founded by Dole’s wife, said: “It is with heavy hearts we announced that Senator Robert Joseph Dole died earlier this morning in his sleep. At his death at age 98 he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years.”

In late February, Dole announced that he had advanced lung cancer and would begin treatment. Visiting him, President Joe Biden called Dole his “close friend”.

On Sunday the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, like Biden a Democrat, ordered flags at the Capitol to be flown at half-staff.

Born in Russell, Kansas in 1923, Dole served in the US infantry in the second world war, suffering serious wounds in Italy and winning a medal for bravery.

His wounds cost him use of his right arm but he entered state politics and soon became a longtime Republican power-broker, representing Kansas in the US House of Representatives from 1961 to 1969 and in the Senate until 1996. He had spells as chairman of the Republican National Committee and as Senate minority and majority leader.

In 1976 he was the Republican nominee for vice-president to Gerald Ford, in an election the sitting president lost to Jimmy Carter. Two decades later, aged 73, Dole won the nod to take on Bill Clinton.

Against the backdrop of a booming economy, the Democrat won a second term with ease, by 379 – 159 in the electoral college and by nine points in the popular vote, the third-party candidate Ross Perot costing Dole support on the right.

Dole received both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest US civilian honours.

In the Trump years and after, Dole came widely to be seen as a figure from another time in Republican politics.

On Sunday, the political consultant Tara Setmeyer, a member of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, tweeted: “I cast my first ever vote for president for Bob Dole in 1996. A war hero with a sharp sense of humor ? another piece of a once respectable GOP gone.”

However, Dole remained a loyal Republican soldier, telling USA Today this summer that though Donald Trump “lost the election, and I regret that he did, but they did”, and though he himself was “sort of Trumped out”, he still considered himself “a Trumper”.

Dole called Biden “a great, kind, upstanding, decent person”, though he said he leaned too far left.

He also said: “I do believe [America has]lost something. I can’t get my hand on it, but we’re just not quite where we should be, as the greatest democracy in the world. And I don’t know how you correct it, but I keep hoping that there will be a change in my lifetime.”

On Sunday, Jaime Harrison, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, said: “Sending heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family of Senator Bob Dole. We honor his service and dedication to the nation. May he Rest In Peace.”

– Guardian

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