The Property Market

The property market is currently on everyone’s lips with all the economic issues that are happening. With the dramatic fluctuations on the FTSE, the property market has obviously slowed down. People wait with baited breathe. Will prices rise or drop? What will happen to the bank rates and hence the changes to the amount we pay on our mortgages.

Rumour has it that things will settle in around a year. But then that is what it is… Rumour!

People see the current property market as a negative situation. However I feel that the way you see it is obviously very dependant on your own economic situation. In my case, the situation is actually a positive one as I am looking to buy a property but not sell. It gives me to opportunity to buy low and not have to sell low. It also means that as the property recovers, I can hopefully make a killing. However, it is all about perspective.

With increased mortgage rates, people may struggle to pay their mortgage and have to sell and perhaps downsize or rent. But as people are hesitant to buy because they hope the prices drop further or because they hope they will get more for their property, it means the market slows down. It means that selling quickly gets harder. People can use business services, where they can get cash for property instantaneously. Not an easy choice, but sometimes it works out being the lesser of two evils. It is better to sell at a lower rate quickly than to lose a house to repossession (and lose a lot of money).

Meanwhile, I shall be keeping my eye open for a good buy. With the market being what it is, I hope it means that I can get myself a good deal.

As I said… it is all about perspective!

Retirement

My dad always wanted to retire at 40. Things went wrong. 40 came and went and I thought perhaps at 50. That came and went to. 60 passed. 61 official retirement age. He claims to have retired, but he has not really.

I am past 30. I cannot see either my husband nor I retiring. Albeit I don’t have an official job but it does not mean I won’t be returning to work in the future. So I am looking into pension options like trust deeds and ISAs. Yet property always seems the better bet. I hope I don’t get it wrong. I dread to think of being in a situation where I could not work and could not afford to live!

Ethical Liposuction!

I have recently heard of “Ethical Liposuction“. First of all I cannot see how ethics comes into it. But if you really want to be pedantic about ethics, then perhaps you need to talk aestetics. If someone improves their beauty, is that not a work of art? Whether it is make up or surgery, is it not an improvement? Are we not out to become the best that we can be? And is it not so much nicer to see something beautiful than ugly?

And yes, I have heard of inner beauty but I like outer beauty too. Cannot a person have both?

Bank Charges

It makes my blood boil when I think of bank charges .?

I do know that they do not automatically give overdraft facilities and worse still sometimes refuse to give it to you even when you request it, despite the fact they sometimes charge ridiculous amounts for the priviledge. As a student I had been refused an overdraft. Then I ended up overdrawn as a result of bank charges. Before I knew it I owed the bank quite a bit of money. I found this out when I received my statement and there were charges upon charges upon charges!

Needless to say, I flipped. I marched into the bank, demanded the manager and raised hell. I said that if there was no money in the account, they should not have taken out any further money especially as they were not verified bank charges. I said I should have been billed first, so that I could make sure that I had enough money in my account to pay.

I felt that if I had a zero balance, then they should have turned down who ever it was who was claiming the money. As it was I ended up with:-

  • The Original bank charge that made me overdrawn
  • A charge for going overdrawn
  • Interest for being overdrawn
  • A charge for something else bouncing despite my having put in money but because I was yet unaware that I was overdrawn and the money I deposited was eaten by bank charges
  • and who knows what else!

I was fuming and threatening to close my account. Especially as I was able to prove that the first charge was not a valid charge but an error on their behalf. It took months to sort out. Needless to say, I do not bank with them anymore. After all if you bought some bread and ran out, you could not eat a couple of slices from your next loaf unless you agreed to take it in advance and pay for it later! Same goes to banking.

There are websites that obviously agree with my irritation with bank charges. They can advise you how to object. So if you see a bank charge and it feels unreasonable (they all do!), then read up about it, hold your head up high and give the bank hell. After all, it is a service they are supposedly offering you and you are not begging. It is YOUR Money!

Perception

I have been thinking about perception. For example, does Office Furniture? give away what type of service you receive? If you choose cheap furniture people do not think? – ah yes they have economised on furniture and so can in turn charge me less. Quite contrary they tend to see cheap furniture and think unsuccessful and lack of quality. Hence when choosing furniture for a business it make sense to get quality furniture as first impressions count, even if they are wrong impressions! Besides you can always charge more because you seem successful! Ironic!

Can you imagine what someone with the below office would charge?

Essays

Did you know that one can get application essays? or admission essays written for you. At first I thought that it? is cheating but after thinking about it for a while I saw things in a different light. It says something about you. If you choose to get someone else to write it for you, it could be due to a number of things eg laziness, lack of confidence etc. Yet it shows an ability to over come your short comings, so I guess it should count for something. Mind you, considering that the essay might be of significance, I am not sure I could assign it to someone else but that is just me!

Brazilian

Ever wondered what a Brazilian is? Well, it is not a type of nut and nor is it a person from Brazil. The Brazilian refers to a specific waxing in a specific female area. If you are really up to it you can watch the Brazilian Bikini Wax Video? but I think I will just have to give it a miss! Brazilians? are just a bit too much for me!

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Torch Bearers

Sometimes it is nice to see something positive. I found that you can Nominate torchbearers for the historic Torch Relay to theBeijing 2008 Olympic Games. I think this could be a really proud moment for someone special. If there is someone who is a hero or heroine, then you can nominate them to be a torchbearer. It would be an honour they would not forget. It would also be a great and unique way to thank someone who deserves to be thanked in a really amazing manner. The only question is who are you going to nominate for the role? ME?

Energy

I must say I was quite impressed to hear about the BP Solar Decathlon? in association with the US department of Energy. Apparently, they run a competition where 20 groups of university students compete to build an energy friendly house.

With all the crap you hear about not being environment friendly, it makes a huge change to see something positive and proactive about it. Hopefully, they may even come up with cost effective ways of turning your house into a truely energy efficient home.

Anyway, 20 teams of university students from around the world compete in the competition held every two years. They have been hosting this competition since 2002. The students? try to design and? build solar powered houses. They need? to be habitable too. It ends with a week long? competition event.

The main? inspiration is to create and provide a cheap way of producing energy.

I wonder what they will win? The house? Or Free Energy?

And when the competition is over, hopefully some of the students will come and voluteer to make my house energy friendly. ­čÖé And while they are at it, there are a few more requirements I would not mind including too? Any volunteers? Please? Pretty Please?

Loans

Did you know that loans effect the cost of living, the rise in house prices and the interest rates?

Apparently because of the number of people who take personal loans (regardless of whether they are secured loans or not), it effects the rest of us. And do you know what the main reason for taking a loan. That’s right to keep up with The Jones. I mean it is all very well and good to have a new kitchen or a fancy holiday but they are not necessities. Perhaps we ought to think twice before taking out an unnecessary loan!