Will 2016 be a year to save or invest?

For quite a while people have been holding back on their investments. Whether for a car, house, flat or just daily purchases.

A friend of mine has seen people reducing their day-to-day spending and for instance having a coffee with no pastry because budget was tight.

January and February 2016 are no exception.

Are people actually saving for 11 months in order to be able to buy want they want for the festive season (presents, drinks, food, holidays…etc). But, is Christmas not a bit too excessive making the following months a real struggle?!

Modern lifestyle is almost perceived as wanting to own everything. Is this to be seen as cool or wealthy?

A few years back (early 2000) not that many people had a mobile: it was rare. Nowadays, it is consider as strange, if you don’t have an email, computer and smartphone. You have to be “connected” with the latest technology and ideally got one of these wearables. How did we do previously?

Is social media draining our spare time or is it actually bringing something positive to our already busy schedules?

Families are rushing to work and school then it is a kind of a race to reach their beach holiday destination. And it is the same when it is time to go back to the daily routine. An endless and stressful pace for parents and children.

So, how can individuals find enough time to make an appointment for home/flat viewing when there isn’t already enough hours in the day to complete basic tasks?!

Investing in a property is also something which takes time. There are various stages and a couple of acquaintances managed to get their properties after 6 to 8 months following several appointments with solicitors and banks.

A neighbour who works part time hours has decided with his wife (and new born) to buy a house and a second hand car at the same time! In this particular case, investing to get on the property ladder seems to be as natural as buying a pint of milk. His wife is a trainee doctor… this is probably the reason why this young couple has been able to move forward after renting and sharing various accommodations.

The mortgage will be in the long term cheaper than the monthly rent. The most important is to be able to put the hefty deposit on the table and the rest is history!

Are we going to see more people buying a roof over their heads in 2016 or will it be a slow walk to the top of the mountain – as it has been for the past years?

your money in 2016


Home owner in #London

With a bit of luck, you have a good job. What is a good job? For some it is about job satisfaction. For others, it is just the high income (without the daily happiness).

When living in London, there are a lot of vacancies in different industries! It all depends whether you are fussy or if you are desperate to get some cash.

London is the Capital of England and like other big cities around the world, life can be expensive. We are not talking about food or transport but, paying the monthly rent or, if your income is high enough investing in a property and repaying the mortgage.

London house and flat

London house and flat


Rents are high and getting higher. A mortgage could be in fact cheaper than the rent but, the initial deposit is what brings a real stop to most first-time buyers!

Some long time London citizens are even moving away from the busy streets and changing their lifestyle for something quieter but mainly cheaper.

They are keeping their jobs but may decide to move to the suburbs or even commute daily for two hours by train – which would take less time to reach the destination than jumping on the crowded London Underground. On a train a seat is reserved as on the Tube, people have to stand for hours due to the fact that so many commuters are going/leaving central London at the same time.

London crowded Tube

London crowded Tube


Now, the Guardian has revealed the following:

…first-time buyers need to earn £77,000 a year to live in London…

Even the so called “affordable housing” – across the UK is a real issue as for that particular case, a minimum income of £41,000 is expected, in order to get through all hurdles.

Average house price per region UK

Average house price per region UK


What is preferable: rent a property but keep a certain quality of life or get on the property ladder and check each penny spent on a daily basis to make sure that the bank won’t call for a lack of money on the savings account?!

Families and businesses seems to struggle despite the quietness of the recession. Mind you, the news have been busy recently with everything concerning the Royal Baby & the UK elections to name just a few.

Looking at a few unexpected changes from the past years; The MetOffice relocated to the Southwest of England and just a few years back BlurGroup also decided to install its offices at the newly implemented Exeter Science Park (see article HERE). It seems that commercial investment in the Southwest is changing in a good way.

Devon was seen until the late 90s as the countryside of England with nothing actually happening. However, entrepreneurs are observing what is going on and expenses can make such a difference when choosing the right location. It doesn’t actually matter anymore where you are and this is applicable for a firm or for your own property too.

Everyone can be online. Some employees and employers as well, work from home. It is all about increasing your savings and getting a good balance between life & work.

This can explain why families are relocating from London to Devon such as Bikelands in Exmouth.

When it comes to put a roof over your head, owning a property is the dream of must of us as long as it doesn’t trigger anxiety, stress and despair when finances aren’t following as planned. Yes… buying a house (whatever the size) is a commitment where everything needs to be scheduled carefully!

Read full article from The Guardian Business section HERE.


#London: after a decent #house price

Wherever you go people are working as hard as they can in order to save enough money to buy a house.

London is maybe one of the hardest place in England where to find a real “bargain” with an average house at a decent price.

Most Londoners need to travel a couple of hours each morning and evening. This means that a budget needs to be allocated for the daily commute. Then there is the essential lunch break: going outside the office at another very busy time to battle the food shelves and get a kind of meal deal – ideally sandwich, drink, dessert (which can be a chocolate bar or a cereal energizing bite). Life in the capital can be hectic and stressful.

Apparently when comes January and estates are still on the market from pre-Winter/Christmas, property consultants usually advice to adjust the asking price.

Days it takes to sell your home - 2013 to 2014

Days it takes to sell your home – 2013 to 2014

According to this chart June and July are the best months to put your house on the market. Is it because people have thought about it and decided to get a new life whether they are a buyer or a seller?!

A sales strategy by the estate agent is something to consider especially after the festive season. Most individuals have spent more than they should and consequently, thinking forward and not being too greedy could change the premises’ transaction.

…You need to look at how long the property has been for sale, how many viewings it has had, and find out from your agents what people say and don’t say about it… Source

In other words, being too expensive could attract a lot of online hits because it is a prestigious building in an exclusive location. However, if there are no appointments and viewings this without a shadow of a doubt screams a price tag too high.

Nowadays, people are able to check everything online once they have a postcode. Google Maps and Street View can show an aerial image of the building(s) and whether there is a motorway or industrial estate around – which could trigger a lot of interests as well. It is in fact hard to hide things to a potential buyer/investor. All boxes need to be ticked to be successful.

Location is very important if a couple is working in two different directions. Let’s say one is catching a train at the nearby station but the other person has to drive the opposite way. Families also want to know where the nearest school/university is, so they can plan how to organize their morning/evening routines to gain as much time as possible.

Buyers/sellers are not alone… it is a jungle.

It is not just about buying/selling at the right time but also having that accommodation at the right place.

Of course being in London can be a great asset, but the amount to pay will be proportional. What about going for the near suburb which will give you both of both worlds? A slightly more affordable accommodation with some travelling time – like everyone else – but at least your lifestyle won’t suffer.

There is no point to buy a house/flat in central London, if you can’t even invite your friends to go out for a drink/movie, because your savings account is dry. Getting the right size rooms is also something to look at –  but do you actually need a study or home cinema with all the surround sound in a dedicated space?

Living in the 21st Century can seem difficult because technology is playing a huge role. It might be necessary to rethink what you need and opting for a more minimalistic approach could be just what you need to live comfortably.