20 Jan 2013

In the long run, you're going to be ok

I've noticed a bit of a theme on a couple of blogs, house buying and it's associated costs. I agree with them both, buying a house is one of the biggest decisions you'll make in your life. That's why you should take your time over it. Don't be put off if someone swoops in and buys the one you had your eyes on from under you. 

It's not the end of the world. Also, although it is relevant to have a sizeable deposit and cash available for fees. This isn't the most important thing.

So what is? You have to make sure your buying a HOME, put aside the money for a few minutes (it won't make you happy anyway), this building you're buying is going to be the place you spend most of your life in from now on. Yes a lot of it you'll be asleep for but nonetheless it needs to be right.


So your buying a place with your new husband/wife, maybe your going to want an extra room or two? What's that I hear the distant patter of footsteps? 

Got a love for cars / building insane stuff make sure you have access to a garage. Or even better some space to build one!

Training to become an Olympic swimmer? Maybe an indoor pool would be of use. 

The point

Anyway the point is don’t get too wrapped up in the price you pay for a home. Yes, ideally you get it at market rate, but paying a few extra thousand isn't going to break the bank, as long as you are happy to stay there for a long time.

This is the kicker. If you are forced to sell the house due to having / wanting to move in a short space of time you open yourself up to a whole host of bad things.

Like the market moving in the wrong direction, or having to lower the price to bring a quick sale.

Moving again will also add on the transaction costs. Mortgage fees, removal vans, solicitors, it all adds up. It can really be a drain on your short term finances and stop you getting where you want to be.

Holding on to the property for a bit longer can help you increase your net worth as well. Paying down your mortgage will reduce your liability whilst the general increase in the value of property over the long term will increase the value of your asset.

At the end of the day, your probably quite intelligent and you know this all ready, so it’s really down to me to say, don’t take the first quote given for anything, always shop around and remortgage to a lower rate whenever it is viable to do so.

These methods will help you to reduce your mortgage expense as quickly as possible. Then when your mortgage free, the fun begins! 

Well that's the plan anyway :D

Do you have any other tips I've missed?

If you got stuck having to sell at a loss what would you do?

Picture by: The truth about

1 Jan 2013

The Banter Requirement

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

It's a time of opportunities! So having this in mind I made a few changes. 

The small win first. My broadband / phone. I'm currently with Sky for both of this. There service is alright, I've never had much downtime on anything. There prices aren't too bad either. 

One thing that has annoyed me though, they continually raise their prices! Mine has increased by 21% this year! That is a little bit above inflation

Then they have the audacity to ring me to try and sell me other services! Don't they know we're in recession?!

Well, I'm having none of this. So I asked the nice lady if there was any way to reduce my bills. So she puts me through to a nice guy who turns out to be from just down the road from me, he goes through my bill with me and as I already knew, he can't give me any savings either, not without reducing my service anyway. Which isn't good enough realy is it. Considering they are shafting me for an extra 21% more a month! The nice man mentions that using the good old, "I'm gonna leave unless you give me some money off" tactic might help. Then puts me through to cancellations, the lovely Juliet in Edinburgh. Again after five minutes of going through my account she offers me 10% off my bills for the next 12 months. Not exactly the best thing considering the 21% INCREASE! But hey, I've already been on the phone for half an hour and am getting bored. So I wished her a happy new year and moved on with my life.

The good thing about letting them ring me and using this opportunity to reduce my bills is that I don't have to pay for the call! Normally I'd have to ring an 0845 number which from my mobile can be up to 45p a minute. This call could have cost me £13.50! This money is better off in my pocket and I'm happy to keep it there.

The other bigger win was with my mobile. I'm probably the same as most of you and had a mobile phone for a long time now. To be honest I've been paying over the odds for the service I get. So I thought I'd shop around. My contract actually ran out on Christmas Day which is handy and I've seen quite a good deal, with a free spanking new phone - OOOH! So I rang T-mobile my current provider, they said they can't compete with that and put me through to disconnections. Fair enough I thought, and was planning my trip to Tesco. 

The helpful lady at disconnections asked what the deal was, again repeated that they couldn't compete but asked for 5 minutes to speak to their third party provider chitterchatter, she then duly rang me back and announced that the deal could be beaten, they will do more minutes, more texts, more internet for less a month. Ermmm....ok! 

So end result I'm saving almost £10 a month from my mobile alone. To make this money I'd need £5628 ( basically a full cash ISA) earning 2% interest. 

To get these savings I've just had to do a bit of research, then ring them (or let them ring me), being willing to leave makes it easier. Then just have a chat, make sure they realise your a person, not just a phone call - ask them how they are. Have some Banter with them - calling the guy from Derbyshire a sheep shagger on New Year's Eve seemed to help! Relate to them, they called me at work, so I asked if it was busy, I told them I was at work - I knew it wouldn't be we could both relate to this. 

The fact that just having a bit of banter with someone on the end of the phone has saved me this much money is a huge win for me.

I'm going to be doing more of this, think home/car insurance, mortgage. hopefully these larger expenses will bring larger rewards.

Here's to the new year, bring it on buddy!

Stay well


Image: By Jon Sullivan