Looking For A First Or New Home

I have to say that, at the moment, I am perfectly happy and content in my home. It is cosy and homely, in a nice area, and has the perfect school for Joe just on the doorstep. But in September next year, Joe will be at High School and the time maybe right for a move, and an upgrade.

Funding For A First Or New Home

When we bought our first home, in 2003, we were right in the middle of the housing boom, and you could still get 100% mortgage in the UK, which was handy if you had not been able to save for a deposit. Now it is getting harder to get onto the housing ladder, particularly if you are a first time buyer, even more difficult if you are a first time buyer with a low income. But if you live in the US, you may be able to get help through an affordable housing programme like the Chenoa Fund, which helps help credit worthy families to realise the dream of home ownership by providing hopeful home buyers with the financial tools to purchase a home. It takes away the problem of having to have a deposit ( a minimum down payment) which can often be a barrier, and is helping more and more families to get on the housing ladder. When combined with your first mortgage, qualified borrowers can receive a second mortgage or grant to purchase a home with little or no cash investment.

If you are able to obtain your funding for a mortgage, or through an affordable housing programme, the real fun starts as you are able to look at what you require in your new home. For me I would look for somewhere that would be both practical as a family home and yet large enough for family and friends to stay over, and there are certain features that would definitely make a home more attractive.

What to look for in a new home

1. A double garage

We have both a car and a van. One is currently parked at the back of the house, one on the road. A double garage would be both practical and a security measure too.

Double Garage from Warwick garages

Double Garage from Warwick garages

2. A dressing room.

I have a lot of clothes, more than a couple of wardrobes can handle. And despite the fact that I cull my clothing items regularly, a dressing room with some walk in wardrobes would be just lovely. I’d be happy to share it with the hubby too – he’s a bit of a clotheshorse too!

Love this!

Love this!

3. Period features.

I am not a fan of modern and new build houses, I currently love in a Victorian terrace that has lots of its original features, and would definitely be looking for something similar – a Victorian villa or a Georgian townhouse are two styles of house I truly love.

How fantastic is this Georgian townhouse in London.

How fantastic is this Georgian townhouse in London.

4. An exposed staircase and entrance hall.

One of the things about living in a Victorian terrace is that you literally walk straight into my dining room once the front door is opened – there is no entrance hall. I would love a proper entrance hall with a beautiful winding staircase exposed. Our stairs are currently hidden behind the living room door – they are steep and literally just a staircase, with no hall space.

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5. A large garden with lots of grass.

We have this currently – almost 100ft of garden with a large grassy area . The garden would need to be big enough for two sets of goals – we play a lot of football in our current garden so this is probably the most important space in the whole house and garden.

A garden big enough for a game of football is a must for my family.

A garden big enough for a game of football is a must for my family.

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What would you look for in your next home?

 

Maintaining A Fashionable Lifestyle With Alamo Associates

We live in an age when consumerism is perhaps at its peak. Financial facilities that are now available have led to a general belief that it is now easy to buy whatever we wish, and then pay for them later in manageable bits and pieces. This has resulted in buyers becoming more aggressive. Buy now and pay later is the culture that has taken over the world. As a result, people are being more and more driven towards debt.

Easy money fuels buying

It is so easy to get into debt. Suppose you have a reputation for being fashionable, and you take pride in buying new items frequently. It is quite natural that in order to stay fashionable, you indulge in spending more on branded clothes and accessories. You feel a tinge of excitement every time you see a “sale” sign hanging outside of a store. In order to stay tuned with the trends, you become unmindful of the spending since money is now easily available through various financing schemes and credit cards. You pamper yourself with shopping sprees that soon become your habit.

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The debt trap

The habit of uncontrolled buying can keep growing. This can lead to a dreaded financial rut as debts mount on credit cards. The temptation to borrow from multiple sources to keep pace with your buying habits is always a danger. Debt can also get worse due to just paying the minimum amount off every month against the debts, which is quite common with other financial needs, but the burden of debt gradually acquires menacing proportion. Along with other bills that need paying each month, managing debt can become a big problem. Missing out on payments can make things worse for you as debts keep piling and you can also end up with late and missing payment fees.

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Borrow from a single source Like Alamo Associates

So what options are available to help manage your debt and repayments?  You need to look for support from a company like Alamo Associates who prioritise what clients need by offering a single monthly payment with low interest rates.  The idea being that it is easier to deal with a single lender who offers finance at lower interest levels, enabling you to pay off the total sum of all other outstanding debts.

What Will Happen?

A company like Alamo Associates will first evaluate your needs and financial situation, before they offer you a new loan/payment scheme that should be manageable for you.  The new loan is obtained at lower interest rates so that you pay less every month and can hopefully lead to your debt being repaid in a way that still leaves you able to live day to day.

You have thus found out a way to get out of the vicious trap of debts that has now becomes easy to manage. You don’t need to give up your love for fashion to live a life free of debt. All you need to do is manage your finances better!

Getting Financially Savvy In Time For 2020

With Brexit edging ever closer, the credit crunch still in full flow, and money becoming increasingly tight, 2020 may well be the year when many people have to, once again, tighten their belts when it comes to family finance. But, if we are being truthful, are we as canny with our budgets as we could be. I know my answer to this question is no, but 2020 could be the year when you change all this.

Woman with coins in jar

Woman with coins in jar

Here are some of the things you could be looking at.

Bank Accounts 

Look carefully at your bank accounts. I have had the same bank account with the same bank for many years, but I’m not sure it is the right one for me now. Shopping around for a new account with better interest rates on savings could help to increase savings, and if they also offer things like travel insurance and other incentives, this may also save the pennies. In addition, my son Joe is now almost 11 and I think it is time he had a bank account of his own to teach him all about the reasons for saving. Many banks offer specific savings accounts for families and these are well worth a look.

Borrowing

Look carefully when you need to borrow. Bank loans and borrowing can leave you in a position where you can only borrow a large amount, which you then end up paying interest on. Borrowing in general can also be difficult if you have a low credit score. Polar Credit could well be worth a look if either of the previous statements apply to you. They offer a credit line which allows applicants to borrow money as and when they need it. Customers apply for a credit limit through an online application and if the application is approved, sums of money can be transferred to your bank account. Interest is paid only on the amount of money drawn out of the credit line, not on the total credit limit agreed, and repayments can be tailored based on an individual’s current financial circumstances with only a minimum repayment being a required each month. This means you can borrow small amounts (from £25), get the money quicker than you would from your bank, and with far lower interest rates than you would find from payday loan lenders.

Household Bills

Look at the household bills to see where savings can be made. Utility bills need to be looked at carefully, swapping your provider can lead to quite decent savings, and you can also lock yourself into deals which fix your rates for up to 12 months. In addition, if you use Quidco, you can gain cashback when you swap.

Your Shopping

Write a shopping list. This may sound like a no-brainer, but I never do this – ever. I walk around the supermarket and throw anything (and everything) in. Planning meals properly, checking what you actually need and writing it all down in a list should avoid waste and impulse buys.

Your Home Insurance

Keep up to date with when insurances need renewing and then shop around. I kept the same home contents insurance for years, I just kept renewing at a rate of £33 per month. I then had a random letter from ‘More than’ and saw they did home contents insurance. A quick phone call led to a new policy saving more than £250. When it comes to renewing, barter, and if that fails, get more quotes.

Shopping Online

When you shop online, shop savvy. Look for voucher codes, free delivery offers, companies that offer free returns. Sign up to email alerts that will tell you when the sales are on, or if there is a flash sale coming up. Nobody says you should never shop or treat yourself, but there are definitely more savvy ways to do it.