First Time Buyers what they should really know

First Time Buyers what they should really know

First-Time Buyers should know how stressful and costly the process of buying a house could be. I cannot see any reason why it has to be any different from purchasing a car or any other item that cost a lot of money, and yet it is. If you buy an expensive piece of jewellery, for example, this bracelet, which is worth £195,049. You need to write a cheque, put it on your credit card or pay cash.

Hidden costs for first time buyers

First-time buyers bracelet

Now, if you are going to buy a house, there is much more involved. First of all, you need to find a house. For this, you go to an estate agent. Easy enough, walk along any high street, and there are usually three or four estate agents all wanting your custom. Alternatively, look online at a number of online property websites. If you are a first-time buyer than you enter the housing chain at the bottom of the pile, which means that you are purchasing the least expensive house in a chain that can result in a million-pound purchase for someone at the top of the chain.

Getting a Deposit the First-Time Buyers

Unlike the bracelet mentioned above, you may not have £195,049 just laying around. Which means you will need to borrow the money from a bank or building society. To do this, you will need to have a deposit, as these institutions will no longer loan 100% of the value of a house. This deposit is generally 10% of the value of the house but can range from 5% to 20%. Let’s assume that your first house is going to cost you £207,693 (according to the Halifax Building Society this is the average cost of a first-time buyers house, £12,644 more than our bracelet above). So, 10% of £207,693 will be £20,769. The average household income for first-time buyers is £35,635, and they spend on average five years saving for the deposit. First-time buyers also borrow on average £10,000 from the bank of mum and dad (according to The Independent)

You would think that once the deposit has been saved, you have the money from Mum and Dad. The next process would be simple quick and easy.

Well, it’s not, this is when the hard work starts, and you find that everyone you meet is standing there with their hands out wanting your money. First-Time buyers will not pay the Estate Agent, which is probably the only saving grace for an Estate Agent. Estate Agents don’t enjoy working with first-time buyers. They are an essential aspect of many purchases in a property chain, but first-time buyers are treated the same way as a throwaway product. You know those products, they get people in the door to buy more high-end purchases.

The House

Looking for a house for a first-time buyer is tough. There are so many beautiful houses for sale, and your expectations are high. You look at your parent’s home, your rented home or that of your friends. You want and expect the same type of home. The same space, the same furniture and well, the same lifestyle. Unfortunately, this is NOT going to happen.

For a start, they have all probably had two or three homes. They have also been on the property ladder for a number of years. You are a first-time buyer, and as such you get the runt of the litter. There is nothing wrong with the runt, but your expectations have to alter. A first-time buyers house will be small. When I say small, I mean small.

The second bedroom, if there is one will be the size of a double bed, or maybe a little bigger, but not much. You might be able to fit in a wardrobe or chest of draws, but that’s it. The Master bedroom will be able to fit in a double bed, wardrobe and chest of draws and you may even be able to walk around the bed. Don’t expect an au-suite. Your bathroom will have a bath with a shower attached to the bath, a sink and a loo. Not much else. Your kitchen will be small, one person in the kitchen and it will be crowded. The living room will be compact. You may get a sofa in, but don’t expect a sofa and a chair.

Remember you will need to find a place for the television and a small table to rest your coffee up on. If you are very, very lucky, you may have a dining room. Otherwise, you are eating on your knee for the next few years. Your garden will be small but manageable.

The Mortgage

Once you have found a house within your price range, and I say within your price range as this will not be your dream house, then the hands start to extend for your hard-earnt money. First of all, you will need to find a mortgage provider. Most offer their services for free. However, you will need to bear your financial life to the mortgage provider. They will want to know everything about you, your job, your income, savings and your inside leg measurement. It is stressful. This whole process can take up to 6 weeks.

You might be offered a mortgage in principle. It is in principle as they don’t know which house you are going to buy. Alternatively, you may have a house in mind and go to the mortgage company with that purchase, and they will take all the details you have and then ask for your inside leg measurement.

The mortgage is only offered in principle as they will want to check the house out. The mortgage company will do their survey on the property. Primarily to ensure that if you don’t repay your mortgage, they will want to get the property from you and sell it to cover the mortgage. Therefore, they need to ensure that the property is worth the money they are leading to you. This survey is generally free. However, if you put in an offer on the house and or some reason the house sale fails, you will need to pay for the next survey yourself. At the cost of around £300, depending on the mortgage company.

Your Surveyors Report

In addition to the Mortgage company doing a survey, it is advisable that you conduct your survey on the property. Everyone will be telling you to do this and will advise you to do the most comprehensive survey on the market. It is easy for them to tell you, it isn’t their money they are spending. There are four types of surveys on offer.

  • Condition Report – the condition of the property with any risks and potential legal issues with any critical defects identified. The cost to the first-time buyers circa £250 + VAT
  • Home Buyers Report – identify structural problems including subsidence and damp. The cost to the first-time buyers circa £400 + VAT
  • Building Survey – in-depth analysis of the condition of the property and advises on defects, repairs and maintenance. The cost to the first-time buyers circa £500 + VAT
  • Building or Full Structural Survey – an amalgamation of all of the above. The cost to the first-time buyers circa £800 + VAT

You decide on which survey you want. When you are saving your deposit, you will tell yourself that you will go for the best, but when it comes to it, £800 + Vat is a lot of money and can represent two- or three-months savings. It is your call.

The survey, in my experience, is a tick list of the surveyor covering his rear end. They will note everything that is wrong with the property. Just in case anyone decides to sue him or her because the property was damaged, in need of repair or any other issue. The report will be a perfect dissertation on house construction. They will advise on how to re-plaster walls, tell you the house has damp (all houses have a certain amount of damp) and other bits and bobs.

Once you have the survey, you will then need to read it, and then get someone to interoperate what the report is telling you. It is worth the cost no, do you need to get it done, just in case yes. A survey will be the final straw in deciding if you want to buy the house or not.

The Solicitor

Then you will need a solicitor. To purchase a house, you are looking at about £850 + Vat. The solicitor will be very helpful to you, but you will have to chase for updates. The solicitor’s work will take about six weeks. The first job you have to do is sign a contract with the solicitor and agree on prices. They will then start to work for you, but you will need to send them a cheque, generally about £300 before they do anything.

The solicitor will then start to run additional checks on the house at an extra charge to you:

  • Land Registry to ensure the house is there and that the garden belongs to the house etc. A fee circa £270.
  • A drainage enquiry. A fee of circa £30.
  • Then there is the cost of Local Searches, to see if there are going to be any power stations etc. built next to your new house. A fee of circa £112.
  • Then there is the cost of Land Transaction Return Form. A fee of circa £65 + VAT
  • Cost of Telegraphic transfer (sending the money to the seller of your house) £40 + VAT

The Government has its hand out

The government has its hand out when you are buying a house. For the average house purchase of £207,693, you won’t pay stamp duty. This only applies to purchases over £300,000. Therefore, any house over the value of £300,00 will have to pay a fee of £5% (Basically £50 for every £1000 added to the cost over £300,000).

More Costs for First-Time Buyers

There are even more costs. You then have movers that will move your positions from your current home to your new house. Also if you are doing this yourself, there is a cost involved.

In conclusion, it appears that if you don’t have enough money to buy a house, then you have to spend more money to get that house. Those with money don’t appear to have to spend as much. The UK has a system of house purchase that is created to ensure that no-one is able to get ahead unless you pay for it.

The purchase of a house in the UK is outdated, complicated and to be frank, a disgrace to this country and anyone who is trying to make a life for themselves.

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Educating Women after Marriage

Educating Women after Marriage

Educating Women in the United Kingdom, today is taken for granted whether you are married or not. A girl will start school at 4 or 5 and leave school when she is 16 or 17. Unless, of course, she is going on to higher education. However, not so long ago it was a very controversial issue. Just take a look at this video from 1961. The two who are women being interviewed discuss the merits of educating women when they are married.

What is sad and also surprising about this video is that the lady in the coat is advocating that educating women is detrimental to their mental health. As it could give them an unhappy and unsatisfactory lifestyle. Especially, when they have to leave work and stay at home and look after their husband and children.

This lady is speaking some truth. If you are married, an educated woman and ambitious then having to stay at home and become a housewife could be detrimental to a woman’s mental health. A life that revolves around three or four people at the expense of your happiness can be soul destroying.

From a personal point of view, my grandmother wanted to continue her education and work when married. Unfortunately, her husband wouldn’t allow it. As far as he was concerned it was his duty, as a man to provide for his wife. Her views and aspirations didn’t matter. My grandmother had two children, and her life was in the home. She had pocket money for household bills. Lived her life on a shoestring as her husband controlled the money. She thought this was normal as did her friends.

Giving up Work when Married

What neither of the women argued, is that as soon as a woman gets married why does she have to give up work and stay home. It is now, taken for granted that once a woman is married, she doesn’t have to give up work or her education. Only 40 years ago, it was expected that a woman

Educating Women who are married

ABC TV’s Jean Battersby chairs a debate between two educated women, Jean Inkster and Toni Thompson, on whether education is a waste of time for married women

would leave work once married and therefore educating women was not worth the effort.

Quotes about this video on Educating Women taken from YouTube

“Women, when I grew up in the 60s, should have been receptionists, teachers or nurses. In every way, women needed to be subservient to the needs of their family. As this video shows, there were women who bought into being ignorant”. alistairville

“As a wife and mother, I worked as a school teacher all day. When I came home, I had all of the housework, cooking etc. to do all night. I worked myself to death. It was like trying to be two people instead of one.
My husband worked (also a school teacher), and when he came home, he rested, ate the dinner I prepared and then rested some more, while I did the dishes, laundry, cleaned house, helped the children with homework etc.
Society has changed over time, and there are more women in the workplace than ever before. However; men’s roles haven’t all changed.” Amy Sutton

“In 1968 my parents were married, my Mum worked as a Typist for five yrs . until I came along, but when Mum got married, she had to leave her Job & reapply under her married name. Crazy” Leanne Blake

Alternatively, watch this video from Michelle Obama talking about Women and Education.

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Second Viewing of my Property

Second Viewing of my Property

So, I might have to admit I am maybe a little excited; I have a second viewing of my property. There’s a young couple, looking to buy their first house. They came to see my cottage last weekend. This weekend they will be bringing their parents with them. It’s going to be interesting to see if they remember what my cottage looks. I have commissioned a decorator to repaint the living room and the master bedroom. The master bedroom had a patterned wallpaper when they visited; now it is being changed to a magnolia. The living room will have a fresh coat of magnolia with a new coat of white for the ceiling.

I’m not sure how I feel about the parents coming along. It will go one of two ways.

  1. They look of the cottage, that was built in 1860 and say there is too much work to be done to maintain it or
  2. They fall head over heels in love with it instantly.

It’s hard to call. Before the second viewing my property the couple going to look at a brand new house in the price range. The new houses are tiny. The bedrooms of small, although some of them have on suites. My cottage doesn’t have an on-site. In a new build, the kitchen will be brand-new, although most new builds have an open plan feel about them. Having lived in an open plan house, I have to say I dislike that style of living. You have to keep on top of any mess at all times. There is no way, for example, you can cook a meal and not do the dishes instantly as they are an eyesore.

A second viewing of my property

The second viewing of my property is viewed favourably by the estate agents as someone wanting to put in an offer. I’m not sure that I would agree.

I don’t see a second viewing of my property as being an entirely positive outcome. This is why I am dubious and can’t seem to get excited about the about second viewings. You still have a lot of work to do. Keeping the house clean and tidy, making sure the rooms are all dressed, making sure the house smells nice and has that warm and cosy feel that wraps you in a warm blanket the moment they walk through the door. Anyone, who views a property doesn’t realise the that there is a three-hour ordeal for every viewing.

It will be easy to say that you should keep your house clean and tidy at all times. However, the reality is we don’t. For example, we walk into a room with a coffee cup and put it down, then go and get a packet of biscuits to eat with the coffee. We come back and sit down and watch television, while at the same time playing on an iPad or doing a craft. You then put those things down to go to the loo. On your way back to the living room you pick up a glass of water, or something else. Thus creating a mess where ever we go.

The Selling Process

Selling a home is stressful especially when you have a second viewing of my propertyIt has been almost eight months since I made the decision to put my cottage for sale. Although I had an offer and he pulled out 48 hours before exchange (his work sent him to another office) this is the first, second viewing of my property I have had.

To be honest; I hate it. I hate the whole process of putting my Cottage for sale. The fact you have estate agents telling you to hide or remove some of your valuable positions (they call it decluttering). Having to repaint, do additional repairs and letting people walk around your home and judging you. You know they are judging because you get feedback from the Estate Agents. Charming cottage, to small, couldn’t put a sofa in there, so you get a sofa. The rooms need painting, so you paint the rooms. The redecoration is the advice of the estate agents, who want to the colour pop and light bounce off the walls. The garden needs a good tidy, so you tidy the garden. The list just goes on and on.

Estate Agents

Then, of course, you have to deal with the estate agents. Even now, after eight-plus months, I am not sure if the estate agents are telling me the truth, a version of it that they think I want to hear or are just lying to me. I have no idea. Do I trust them? No, I don’t think they are all trustworthy? Do they talk a good talk? Absolutely. They all sound convincing, they seem as if they speak with conviction, but I am sure behind my back they have a giggle.

Also, my Cottage for sale is tiny, in comparison to the Million pound houses they sell. It’s a first-time buyer cottage and would suit a girl or a young couple. So do they push it, yes? Do they want the sale as much as me, I don’t know. There is a flat fee if they sell but nothing if they don’t. However, after eight months are they board of trying to sell it? I don’t know, I know I am bored of trying to sell it.

My Cottage for sale and those purchases

What I have learnt so far about any prospective purchasers is that they are blind, naïve or have no imagination. How is it that they can walk into a room and see that it’s packed with the current owner’s possessions and not see themselves living in there. What is it that a purchaser sees when they look around the house. I was told to ignore the positions people have and look at the ceiling. That will give you an idea of the space available and what it is you are buying. The current possessions in the house will be gone when the owners move out. Don’t look at them, don’t judge them, just look at the ceiling and use your imagination.

In Conclusion – A Second Viewing of my Property

Am I happy about the second viewing of my property? I think I am excited but daunted at the prospect of having four people criticise my cottage. Do I want to sell my cottage, yes absolutely? The cottage will look its best and offer that cosy blanket!

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What is Feminism and is it important

What is Feminism and is it important

Feminism What is it

.A woman should be equal to a man in every area of life. At its core, this is what feminism is. Feminism discusses several ideas and equality for both genders in various aspects including economic status or cultural life – but most importantly on an interpersonal level where they can break free from traditional roles which oftentimes advantage one sex over another (typically male). The basic theory behind this movement “Feminists want us all – indeed every human being–to live freely without restrictions based upon gender.”

With such a basic and broad definition of what Feminism is, it is hardly surprising that the understanding and narrative portrayed by women about ‘being a feminist and feminism is diverse and caused controversy among women and men alike.

Social Media and Feminism

The popularity of Social Media can demonstrate the diversity and potential misunderstanding of what feminism is. For the first time in history women and men are free to use their image

Feminism means different things to different people
Kim Kardashian, image taken from her Instagram account via Daily Mail

And publish that image in a manner that they chose and at a time of their choosing. For example, in the United States of America, Europe and Australasia, some women/feminists believe it is their right to take photographs of themselves topless and post the image on social media. It is these women, who have become social media celebrities, for example, Kim Kardashian, who use their sexuality to sell products and aspirational lifestyles. With millions of followers, all applauding them for their freedom, and freedom of expression and speech.

Are we all equal?

Other women, in the same countries, believe this is not feminism and brings feminism into disrepute. They believe that the image of a topless woman is a method of portraying female sexuality in a male-dominated environment. This image is not that of freedom of equality but a collaboration of female subligation even though the individual takes the image. The image is the male ideal of what a woman should be and how they should act and be available to him.

At the same time, women in some countries are fighting for the right to an education. They fight for the ability to walk the streets without being attacked. Without lude comments and being independent. Human slavery is increasing. Women’s rights to freedom of movement removed by law and voluntary curfews. In the papers on the 8 March 2017, a 14-year-old girl

What is Feminism and who does it affect.
Women are being beaten. The image was taken from Google.

had been given a total of £0.40 to attach a bomb to her body by terrorists. She then became a human bomb and died. An Indonesian woman publically flogged. Her crime? As a single woman, she was in close proximity to a man.

Personal Perspective on Feminism

Feminism is a broad issue and will mean different things to different people. This definition varies depending on your current lifestyle, where you live and your economic background.  As a middle-class European being treated equally to a man in the workplace is vital. Additionally, the right to voice your opinions and own your own image is important in society. The right to take a photograph of yourself and determine the distribution of that image is a right you have.  In other countries, such as Indonesia, feminism is the right to walk the street and talk to a man without being flogged to death!

In conclusion

Women’s history is the struggle to gain equal rights. In the UK, USA and Australia women have benefited from our predecessor’s struggles. We have rights because of their struggle, efforts and diligence. However, many other countries are now fighting for the rights we take for granted. Moreover, the rights we take for granted today are the same as those we have in the future. We need to remember our past to secure our present and our future.

Grans Recipes can be lost forever

Gran's Recipe of Sherry Trifle

Sherry Trifle image from

I am a big fan of QI and watched an episode on Dave a few days ago. Mr Alan Davies was talking to Sandi Toksvig about his memories of his grandmother. One of the greatest things Mr Davies misses about his grandmother was her homemade trifle. It’s such a shame to be in a position when you lose a Gran’s recipe like this. Mr Davies, Gran’s recipe for trifle could have so easily been saved. Mrs Toksvig has also stated that she recently purchased a book and it starting to write all her favourite recipes for her children. (more…)