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Winter in the Highlands & Islands

Winter in the Highlands & Islands

Winter in the Scottish Highlands can be a truly magical experience but what are the realities of living here in the winter?  It’s a question that we are frequently asked by people looking to move to the Highlands and Islands.

Glencoe Snow

Ultimately, it varies greatly depending on your location, remember the Highlands & Islands is a vast area and accounts for just over half of Scotland’s landmass with a complex geography incorporating the UK’s highest mountains and around 100 inhabited islands.

It goes without saying that the higher above sea level you are the more snow you will see but coastal villages, towns and the city of Inverness will experience less snow and icy conditions than our inland communities – just a couple of miles can make a huge difference.

Snow

The average number of days with falling snow ranges from 15 to 20 days.  The amount of snow that falls and the likelihood of it lying depends on your location.  That’s probably a lot less than you thought right? However, its always best to be prepared and here we have a few tips to keep you snug as a bug and safe in your first winter in the north.

Travel

Driving in snowy and icy conditions can seem daunting at first but don’t feel you need to own a 4X4 to cope with our winter roads. Check here for some great hints and tips for driving in winter conditions from the AA, remember to take your time and avoid unnecessary journeys when the roads are icy.

There may be slight delays for buses and trains during poor weather conditions but they usually continue to operate.

Car Snow

Work

Sorry to disappoint but snow days are normally few and far between, however, they do occasionally happen.  Depending on where you work your employer may expect you to work from home, take unpaid leave or a holiday if you are unable to make it to the office.

School

Occasionally schools may be forced to close due to winter weather.  If the decision is made to close schools will announce it online, on your council’s website, social media, local radio, or you may receive a text or phone call.  I have memories of standing beside the radio in my jammies in the 90’s waiting with anticipation following heavy snowfall as the list of schools that have been closed was read out on Moray Firth Radio in alphabetical order – was it going to be a walk to the school bus wrapped up in hat, scarf, gloves and wellie boots or a day of sledging and snowball fights before hot chocolate and thawing out my toes in front of the fire…

Feet by the fire

Power cuts

Power cuts rarely happen and when they do it’s likely to be no more than a couple of hours at the very most.  We are extremely fortunate that if a storm is on its way engineers will be ready to head out in all weathers to a fault wherever it may occur.

To prepare for a power cut you should keep a torch handy and it’s always helpful to have an alternative heat source if yours is normally reliant on electricity.  We also have a small camp stove so we can get hot water, whether that’s for a hot water bottle or simply for a cup of tea!

All-in-all life tends to carry on as normal during the winter but it’s always better to be prepared as Scotland frequently lives up to it’s reputation of four seasons in one day, and remember spring is just around the corner…

We have a wide range of properties for sale throughout the Highlands & Islands and our team of local property experts are happy to discuss your property needs today.  To take the first step towards buying your home in the Highlands & Islands contact Monster Moves today.

5 Steps to House Sale Success

5 Steps to House Sale Success

Looking to sell your house as quickly as possible and for the best possible price?  Check out our easy 5 step process below.

Taking care of your back yard like a pro

Step 1.

First impressions count;

  • Weed the driveway and footpath
  • Clean those windows and your front door
  • Clear any rubbish from your garden and cut the grass
  • Pop a plant at the front door, a small conifer, etc – you can take it with you when you move!

Step 2.

Depersonalize your home.  Pack as many personal items such as family photographs, ornaments, fridge magnets, kid’s toys away now.  This will let potential buyers imagine themselves and their families living in your property.

Step 3.

Declutter.  Think about what you want to take with you when you move.  Consider storage facilities for items of furniture you wish to take with you but don’t ‘need’ now and anything else donate to charity or take to your local refuse site.  Decluttering will make each room look more spacious and allows potential buyers to picture their own furniture and belongings in each room.

Step 4.

Redecorating is generally not recommended as buyers like to put their own touch to a new home but that said, if you have a teenager with a black bedroom or maybe a purple kitchen it might be worthwhile considering painting with a neutral colour as light as possible to make the property more attractive.

Step 5.

The final step in preparing your house is to have a spring clean, rid those corners of cobwebs and clean any integrated kitchen appliances thoroughly.  Try to keep on top of the cleaning from then on so you are prepared for potential buyers to view your property – saving you that mad dash around the home before they arrive!

Change of Address Guide

Change of Address Guide

You’ve sold your home and you’re packing up ready for the move, boxes everywhere, bubble wrap and tape at the ready.  Packing done, the removal van has arrived and it’s all systems go.  But wait, what about your mail?  You have arranged everything except redirecting your mail.  We’ve all done it, some of us learn from previous experience, others are still learning (I’m still learning).  I, therefore, decided that if I wrote down a process it might help me in the future, I just need to remember that I wrote this blog first thou.

So here it goes, my advice on how to change your address, “before you move”.

  1. Have a pen and pad at the ready/mobile phone or download the checklist at the bottom of the page.
  2. When mail is received take a note of who it’s from and their contact details, or create an album on your mobile phone and take a picture of the letter (it will help if your photos are backed to a cloud, etc, we wouldn’t want to break or lose our phone with all this gathered info stored on it, that would be a nightmare).
  3. Take a note of all online contacts that you use for online shopping, i.e. Amazon, eBay, Tesco, etc.
  4. Download Change of Address checklist (see link below).  This will help you keep track of who you have contacted.
  5. Phone/email everyone on your list/photo album to update your new address details.  Mark each one off your checklist as you go. 
  6. Set up a redirection with Royal Mail, although there is a charge for this service, it is worth doing in case there is any mail that has been missed.  A minimum of 5 days is required to arrange the redirection.   https://www.royalmail.com/personal/receiving-mail/redirection

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