Top Tips for a Quick House Sale

If your mantra is sell house fast but you have been struggling to find buyers for your property, we have a few tips that you might find useful. Some of them are simple and common sense; others you might not have thought of. Either way they could help you sell your home quickly so it is worth reading on.

Tidy up

Ok this is one of those common sense tips but you would be surprised how many people don’t tidy up their home when people are coming round to view it. A quick tidy will make your home immediately more presentable. Mess and clutter is a quick way to put off a viewer, so give your property a once over before you show anyone around.

Redecorate

If you have tried tidying and cleaning before viewers see your house perhaps you need to take the next step. Giving your rooms a lick of paint can make a huge difference to the feel of your home. Painting your home white or magnolia is wise as people want to see a blank canvas when they look around. They don’t want to see someone else’s style, so make sure you go neutral if you redecorate and it could secure you that quick sale.

Top Tips for a Quick House Sale

Repair obvious issues

If you have a DIY to do list as long as your arm it can pay to take care of these jobs before anyone looks around. If your home is full of creaking doors, peeling paint and holy curtains you should fix these things quickly. If not people looking around your home will be totting up how much it will cost to fix these problems if they bought the property.

Contact a house buying firm

Sometimes it is essential to sell your home quickly. You might need the funds urgently or have to sell so that you can complete a purchase on another house. If speed really is of the essence then you could contact a specialist house buying firm. There are companies that will buy your home from you within a week. They may offer you a little less than the market value for your property but a fast sale is guaranteed. 

How to Make the Most of Your Greatest Asset

In the current economy, a curious phenomenon has arisen. An increasing number of Britons are now finding themselves in the position of being cash poor, but asset rich. This is testament to prosperous times gone past, when people were able to indulge more in luxurious items, and also to the circumstances in which many of us now find ourselves, when the cost of living is spiralling far beyond our financial means.

How to Make the Most of Your Greatest Asset

It may come as no surprise then, to learn that many people are now turning to their assets to help them weather to the storm of the continuing financial crisis. By selling assets they are able to raise some much needed cash, to supplement an income which simply isn’t meeting their current needs.

Your Home as an Asset

One of the most popular assets for a person, or family, to sell, is their property. Homes and land are still capable of commanding impressive asking prices, especially if they have unusual features or significant amounts of space. The price of properties is also, as it has ever been, dependent on location. Properties in London, for example, will always sell for higher prices than similar properties outside of the capital.

Today’s Housing Market

Selling a house in the current market is, however, easier said than done. Despite the great benefit which a house sale can bring to its owners, the actual process of selling a property can be expensive and, at the moment, time consuming. This is because a lack of available mortgages, combined with rising debt and high living costs, has resulted in a market which is severely lacking in first time buyers. And because so many people are finding it harder to get onto the property chain, this is having a knock on effect throughout the entire housing sector.

Unfortunately, this  scenario spells trouble for many homeowners who are currently trying  to sell their properties. And, even though the market is beginning to pick up, it’s still not unusual for a house sale to take months, if not years.

Selling Your Home Quickly and Safely

Fortunately, these is a solution to this problem. House buying services offers a variety of packages which are suitable for homeowners at every rung of the property ladder, meaning that the cost of selling a home in today’s precarious market can be managed more effectively and, often, reduced. If you’re selling your home and are worried about the rising costs of doing so, it’s always advisable that you take full advantage of these types of services, in order to make the most of your greatest asset.

Protecting Your Finances Whilst in a Property Chain

Moving house can be a wonderful time. For many people, it represents the opportunity to move up the property chain. For others, it gives them the opportunity to relocate to a more desirable location, or to be nearer family or friends. In these circumstances, moving house is the stuff of dreams. Unfortunately, however, moving can be the stuff of nightmares. And this is never more so the case than when a homeowner finds themselves stuck in a property chain.

What is a Property Chain?

A property chain occurs when three or more homeowners find that their house move becomes dependent upon the sale of the property belonging to the next person in line. For person B to move, person A has to sell their home. So person B can’t sell their home until person A sells theirs, which means that person C can’t sell until person B sells, and so on. And if a property chain collapses, this can spell disaster for everyone involved.

Protecting Your Finances Whilst in a Property Chain

How to Spot a Property Chain

Spotting a property chain can be difficult, but there are ways to stop yourself becoming involved in a chain. If you’re buying, instruct your property agent that you aren’t interested in seeing properties which are already involved in a chain. If you’re selling, make sure you ask all potential buyers if they are currently in a chain.

Protecting Yourself in a Chain

If you do end up in a property chain, don’t panic. There are plenty of ways to protect yourself financially while you’re waiting for the chain to move forwards, and also in the event of the chain collapsing.

Minimising the overall cost of your moving is always a good idea, as this will free up your finances and help you to cushion the blow of a chain collapsing. Take as many money saving precautions as you can: pay off all of your bills, sell all of your unwanted possessions, and take advantage of the reasonable removal rates.

Many property owners also find that selling their property before they’ve bought a new one is a great way to protect yourself financially against the risks of getting caught in a chain. This is a great idea for people who have family and friends who they can stay with, in the interim period between selling and buying. And, of course, it’s always good practice to get your mortgage in order before you commit to a purchase.

Money Saving Tips for Small Businesses

No matter whether your business is large or small, saving money is always a good idea. However, for small businesses it’s particular important that money can be saved, especially if the business in question is experiencing a vital growth stage.

Why Saving Money is So Important

Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to market fluctuations, consumer interest and the whims of other, larger organisations. During the first few years of business, it’s absolutely vital that all resources be used to their maximum efficiency, and that money be saved and reinvested in the company wherever possible. This will help the business to do more than just survive – it will ensure that the business continues to grow and expand into the future.

Money Saving Tips for Small Businesses

So, for your benefit and that of your small business’, here are some great money saving tips:

Avoid Office Rentals

If you can avoid paying out to rent an office, do. Office rental prices can be very expensive, but are often unnecessary. The work undertaken by a small business can often be conducted just as well out of informal premises, especially if the number of employees is small. And not only will you save money on rent, but also on utilities and insurance. But if you find that your customers prefer to deal with a company which has a real business address, you can always rent an access mailbox from a reputable self storage company.

Get Great Insurance from Day 1

There’s always something that can go wrong with a business, whether your business is internationally renowned or a small, local company of one. And since it’s nigh on impossible to predict when things will go wrong, it’s always best to have a contingency plan in place, just in case. Business insurance is the best way of protecting your company’s interest, whatever the circumstances.

Have a Get Out Plan

Believe it or not, but sometimes the wisest money move a company owner can make is to set up a winding down plan for their business. All companies will, at some point, go out of business. When this will happen is harder to predict, but preparing for it will ensure that you and your employees are able to benefit when it happens. There would be nothing worse than being left with nothing after working so hard. So do yourself a favour, and make sure you’re prepared to go out with a bang.

Saving Money When Moving Abroad

The world is a very big place, but it’s getting smaller. With communications technology connecting us at lightening speeds via the internet and our mobile phones, it now seems as though we live in one big global community. So it’s no surprise then, that more and more people every year are taking this one step further, by moving abroad to start a new life.

The Benefits of Moving Abroad

Moving abroad can be a fantastic idea, providing you’re doing it for the right reasons. An exciting new job, a chance to travel and explore a new country, to make new friends, or even find love – all of these are great reasons for moving abroad.

Saving Money When Moving Abroad

Money is also a factor for many people. It’s no great secret that the cost of living in the UK is very high, in relation to both the rest of the world and to our national wages. Often it’s the case that by moving abroad we can experience a better standard of living, whilst reducing our monthly outgoings. Foreign countries also offer benefits that aren’t available in the UK, such as free university tuition or low taxation. For people who find it a struggle to make ends meet, this prospects can be very alluring.

Preparing for Your Move

Even if you know you will save money by moving abroad, the actual process of moving can itself be quite expensive. It’s therefore important to know how to cut the costs of your expatriation, by saving money wherever you can.

Perhaps the easiest way to save money is by selling your possessions before you move. Not only will this negate the cost of having to transport your belongings to your new country, but the money you receive can be put towards the cost of offsetting other parts of your move.

Saving Money When Moving Abroad

If selling your possessions isn’t an option, you will most likely be interested in finding a reputable, reasonably priced international removal company. 

Saving Money After You Move

The process of saving money by moving abroad doesn’t end when your feet touch terra firma. You will need to educate yourself about the tax laws in your new country, to find a new job (if you haven’t already) and to make sure that you have an easily accessible local bank account. All of these things will help you to make the most of your finances as you begin your new life.

5 Small Everyday Purchases That Can Really Add Up

Imagine getting an instant payrise of a hundred dollars a week, without having to badger your boss! Sound too good to be true? This might just be the case, however most people spend more than they might think on small daily expenses. However, by simply cutting out these little treats or finding savvy alternatives, you can truly save upwards of $100 every week. Check out these 5 small everyday purchases that can really add up over your typical working week.

Local Lunches

5 Small Everyday Purchases That Can Really Add Up
Everyone knows what it feels like to be in a rush, the morning hits and suddenly you simply don’t have time to try and make lunch at home. As an alternative, you probably end up getting lunch from the local cafe or Thai restaurant close to work. While this can be a nice treat once in a while, buying lunches out can be a seriously costly exercise. With $10 being a conservative estimate of a city meal, you can see how it can quickly add up over a week if you aren't careful. This calls for some serious organisational skills, and planning ahead. Try cooking meals for dinner that can be extended to lunch the next day, or even freeze leftovers so you always have a quick and easy lunch option on hand. After a while, it will become second nature, and you’ll be enjoying the extra time and money that packing your own lunch can bring.

Morning Coffees

There’s nothing like a coffee to kick start the work day, however a daily morning cuppa could be costing you over $30 a week. You don’t have to go without, instead try making your own at home and bringing it to work in a quality thermos.

A Daily Magazine

Picking up the daily newspaper or a magazine of interest might not sound like much, but it can seriously add up when you start calculating the costs over the long term. Many people like having the paper for the latest news, so consider installing a range of news apps on your smart phone or tablet instead. You’ll have access to all the latest stories from around the world at your fingertips, for free! For those who want something to read on a long public transport trip, consider visiting a local book fair and stocking up on quality novels. Many books are on offer for as little as 50c each, making them a great way to save on daily entertainment.

Parking Costs

Unfortunately parking is often a necessary daily cost, however there are ways that you can try to reduce the impact on your budget. Public transport is one of the best ways to cut down on not just parking, but also the general wear and tear on your vehicle. If this isn’t an option, check out the cheaper parking lots around your workplace, and if it’s a little further away, consider combining exercise with your savings by walking the remaining distance.

Afternoon Snacks

Almost every job seems to invite a case of the afternoon munchies. Just like lunch, by packing your own sweet or savory afternoon treat, you can enjoy the savings without missing out on a great afternoon snack.

If you’re looking to save extra money every week, keep these common expenses in mind. Whether you’re looking to consolidate debt or save up for an exotic holiday, being a little organised can truly offer amazing rewards.

4 Things That Can Affect Your Chances of Having Your Home Loan Approved

Submitting a home loan application can be a bit of a nerve wracking process, particularly if you are looking to put a deposit on your very first home. Some people find themselves continually facing refusals, and this just makes the process feel even more challenging. Being well prepared is a key factor in having a successful home loan application, so there are a few things you should be aware of before you get started. Here are 4 things that can affect your chances of having your home loan approved.

Income and Job Type

Unfortunately not all jobs are considered equally when it comes to getting a home loan. If you work on a contract basis, have your own business or are self-employed, you may be experiencing difficulty getting the fair treatment that you deserve. You can counteract the bias that many lenders may have against your employment type by have over 20% saved as a deposit. The higher your deposit, the less likely your lender will reject your application simply based on your income and type of job.

Credit Rating

Your credit history is one of the first things that a lender will check when considering your application.  To improve your chance of success, it’s important to make sure that your credit rating is in the best shape possible. You can achieve this by having a proven record of prompt repayments on loans and credit cards, and by ensuring that all of your bills are paid on time. If you are experiencing difficulty at any time, contact your service provider or lender immediately to work out an alternative arrangement that won’t adversely affect your credit rating.

4 Things That Can Affect Your Chances of Having Your Home Loan Approved

Inadequate Preparation

Being adequately prepared is the key to a successful application. Sometimes this can take months, if not years to truly achieve, so it’s important to get started right away. Your priorities should be to save a significant deposit, consolidate your financial situation and preserve your credit rating. With all of this taken care of, you can be confident that your home loan application has every chance of being approved.

Finding the Right Lender

While applying for a home loan can seem daunting, you don’t have to do it alone. Getting professional help is a great way to take the stress out of your home loan application. The team at Fox Symes Home Loans have a range of services available to suit your needs and personal financial circumstances, as well as specialised experience in helping those who may have had trouble being approved by other lenders. As a leading name in debt solutions and financial advice, it’s no surprise that thousands of Australians are choosing Fox Symes as their home loan provider.

By taking the time to adequately prepare yourself financially, you will have a much higher chance of succeeding with your home loan application. Don’t forget to check out Fox Symes home loans, and talk to the friendly team for some professional advice on how you can enjoy the best chance of success with your application.

Paper or Plastic: The Pros and Cons of Using Cash, Debit, or Credit

It’s an age old question. Should you stuff all of your cash into a mattress and only shell out greenbacks when you make transactions? Should you join the American trend towards being a cashless society? If you do go plastic, should you use credit or debit cards? This decision is not to be made lightly. Here are the pros and cons of each choice:

What’s Good About Cash? 

Cash is classic and a lot of its benefits come from its simplicity. There are a variety of reasons why cash is a good way to spend:
  • Everyone accepts it. Try to find an American business that doesn't want your cash. No one will turn you down. 
Paper or Plastic: The Pros and Cons of Using Cash, Debit, or Credit
  • You always know how much you have. No statements or online banking needed to know exactly how much cash is in your wallet. Cash takes the ambiguity out of spending money.
  • You can’t spend more than you have. When you’re out of cash, playtime is over, but that means the bank won’t hit you with fees for overspending. 
  • Did you know you spend less when you use cash? When you spend cash you see the money leaving your hand and you feel your wallet getting lighter. The fact that you have less money after a purchase is clear and present in your mind as compared to a quick swipe of a card. 
Wait, Where’s My Cash?

In spite of all its benefits, cash does offer its own set of risks.
  • When it’s gone it’s gone. If someone steals your money or you have a hole in your pocket, then you have no way of getting it back.
  • It’s dangerous to carry in large amounts. 
  • Cash is hard to track. You may know how much you have but how much you had is a different question. Unless you keep every receipt you get or keep track of your transactions, you don’t have a record of your spending.
  • It’s cumbersome. Have you ever been in that situation when you are at a checkout counter and the cashier hands you the cash, coins, and your receipt all in one hand? You sit there fumbling with it, like you've never used your hands before, while the people behind you are waiting. 
The Debate Over Debit 

If you are a bit more inclined toward financial responsibility then debit may be a good choice for you. If you can keep track of your spending, a debit card offers several benefits.
  • A debit card forces you not to spend more than you can afford…or else. Debit users need to be responsible with their spending to avoid fees.
  • It’s like cash but quicker and lighter. Instead of fumbling around with cash. All your money is conveniently on a little card.
I Have to Pay Money Because I Don’t Have Money?

While debit cards are safer and more convenient than cash, they do have some drawbacks.
  • Fees. Let’s say you are renting a DVD for $6. If you’re balance is too low that DVD rental could end up costing as much as buying one. Some banks charge almost $40 for an overdraft above $5.
  • Holds. If you don’t complete a transaction right away certain merchants can place a block or hold on your card. This especially occurs with gas stations, hotels, and car rentals.
  • Even though a debit card is a little more secure than carrying large amounts of cash with you, they can be a problem if there is a security issue. You probably won’t be liable if you become the victim of theft or fraud but when you report it your card and money may be inaccessible for up to a few weeks.
Credit Where Credit is Due 

Credit cards represent a very popular payment method and with good reason.
  • They are great for emergencies. If you need money and you forgot or ran out of cash, a credit card can get you out of a sticky situation. 
  • Paying your credit card bill on time every month is one of the simplest ways to build good credit.
  • This is probably the most secure payment option. If your credit card gets lost or stolen you can usually take care of the problem with a phone call. It also won’t tie up your money while the issue is being resolved.
Credit Cons

In spite of their popularity, credit cards can cause a lot of problems when used irresponsibly.
  • If you fail to pay off your credit card in full you will have to deal with interest. This can start to snowball from month to month and eventually leave you with some serious credit card debt.
  • Don’t be fooled by the illusion of minimum payments. These are designed to set you behind on your payments and have them roll over to next month. 
  • Credit cards are fast and easy. How is this negative? Well, since they are so easy to use you may be more inclined to spend more than you can afford to pay. The swipe of a card doesn't feel like spending money as much as handing over cash does.
  • Credit card spending adds up fast and can quickly lead to burdensome debt. You may find yourself needing assistance from Consolidated Credit or a similar government agency.
With all of these options in mind, consider this. You don’t have to use one of these methods exclusively. Decide what is right for you and your style of spending. What do I have in my wallet? All three. Personally, I find that cash is good to carry in limited amounts for its universal nature, debit cards are useful for the day to day purchases, and when all else fails credit cards are great in a pinch. Which one do you prefer?

The Dos and Don’ts of Maximising Your Finances

We’d all like to make our money stretch a little further. But sometimes this is easier said than done. It’s particularly true these days, when wages are low and the cost of living is high, that making the most of our finances often takes a back seat to simply covering our basic expenses. But nevertheless, there are many ways by which we can help our money to work harder for us, by simply following some basic dos and don’ts.

DO

Make a personal money management plan. This will help you to identify what money you have coming in, what expenses you have, and how you can increase one whilst reducing the other.

The Dos and Don’ts of Maximising Your Finances

DON’T

Make your money management plan too complicated. One of the most basic tenets of learning better money management is to keep it simple. Trying too hard to track every penny will leave you frustrated and unmotivated.

DO

Be pro-active about finding ways to maximise your income. Part time jobs or freelance work can be incredibly beneficial. Some people even choose to have a home clear out, to sell all of the things they don’t need. And other people even decide to go the whole hog and downsize to a smaller property, by using property management agents to find them a good deal.

DON’T

Keep your head in the sand about your money troubles. Doing so won’t make them go away, and they’re actually more likely to grow and multiply if you ignore them. Instead, take stock of your finances, and keep a level head about what you need to do to make your money work harder for you.

DO

Talk to an experienced professional about how you can improve your income. There are plenty of free advice lines and financial services which are available to people struggling with money problems. Make use of these services and you’ll find that you’re better able to make use of your money.

DON’T

Get complacent. Good money management is about setting up a plan for the long term, to give you the tools you need to maximise your finances for the rest of your life – not just for the short term. By making the most of your money today, you’ll be able to get yourself into a habit of good saving and wise spending, which will set you and your loved ones in good stead for the future.

How to Save Money when Moving House

Moving house can be a very expensive time. From estate agents fees to the cost of transporting all of your belongings, it’s no wonder that many people are put off by the cost of moving, and decide to simply stay put instead. But moving house doesn’t have to be a drain on your finances. In fact, there are plenty of ways in which you can minimize the cost of moving, and save money in the process.

Shop Around for Mortgages

Mortgages represent a huge portion of the cost of moving house, so it’s important that you get a good deal. Many people choose to stick with the provider they already have, but this could see you miss out on some great deals. Instead, investigate the market and compare rates from several different providers.

How to Save Money when Moving House
 
Get Different Valuations

The valuation process is not set in stone, and there is no clearly defined amount which any person would pay for a property. Because of this, you cannot guarantee that any single valuation you receive will be the best indicator of your home’s worth. Always make sure to have your property valued by different people, at different times of the day. Additionally, do your own research. Find out what properties on your street are selling for, to ensure that the price you’ll be asking is reasonable.

Negotiate With Service Providers

Many services, such as Sky or broadband, require that a person pay an re-installation fee when they move. However there are other providers which offer free installation, as well as great deals on new contracts. So, before you move house, make a point of calling your existing service providers and explain to them that you are thinking of switching in your new property. They may be willing to waive the installation fee, in order to retain your custom.

Invest in Conveyancing

Sometimes we have to spend money to make money, and this is also true when it comes to saving money! Even though it requires a small financial outlay, conveyancing is one of those services which no potential homeowner should go without. Conveyancing refers to the process by which the legal title of a property, or piece of land, is transferred from one owner to another. Because it’s a legal process, during which many things can potentially go wrong, it’s always a good idea to have a professional handle your conveyancing. This will ensure that the transfer is conducted legally, and in a timely manner, which will ensure that you don’t have to pay any additional costs afterwards.

Should college kids invest in their future?

Saving and investing money for future is quite important. It will be better if one should understand the importance of it at a young age. Lot of college goers think that it is a long term and time consuming process and thus avoid it in order to enjoy the fun of college life. However, those college students who understand the importance of investment at a young age go on to lead a secured life. 

Will it be affordable for college kids to invest? 

Before debating whether or not college kids should invest in their future, it is very important to know if they can afford to invest. This is mainly because of the fact that their monthly expenses outweigh their income. Thus, they hardly have any money left to invest for their future. But as the famous saying goes – “if there is a will, there is a way”. If the college students maintain a no-frill lifestyle, then they will be able to save more money than expected. They can invest this money or save it for emergency purpose. In the long run, this good habit will help them in a great way. They will have a secured financial life and can easily get any kind of loan or mortgage.

Should college kids invest in their future?

Should college goers invest their money? 

Now the obvious question arises – whether or not the college goers should invest their money. Most of the financial experts opine that, yes, college kids should start investing money. There are mainly three reasons for it: 
  • Funding higher education: If you invest money in short term investment schemes, then you will get the returns soon. This will help you in funding your higher education. You won’t have to opt for any kind of student loans in order to pursue your studies. You will be able to afford your own studies. Moreover, with this, you will also be saved from the burden of paying off the student loan
  • Safeguard the golden years of your life: If you save money from your college days or invest in good financial schemes, then you will be able to safeguard your post-retirement life. You won’t have to be dependent on anyone and don’t have to worry about money. 
  • Time will be on your side: If you start investing early, then time will be on your side. You will be able to plan and adjust accordingly. Even if you commit any errors, you will have enough time to rectify it. Thus, your life won’t get jeopardized. 
Go slow on your investments

In order to be on the safer side, the college goers should research and update themselves about different types of investment schemes available to them. This will help them decide which one will suit their needs. If you, the college goer, is unable to decide which investment option to go for, then you can take help of a financial planner. Thus, you shouldn’t rush to invest your money. Taking the right steps at the right time will help you better. 

Thus, if you are a college goer, then you should definitely think of investing your money in the right financial schemes so that you can earn better returns.

How to get fit Inexpensively

A lot of people are put off by exercising and getting into shape because they think that these activities require a gym membership. The idea that getting fit costs money is preposterous, and more people need to realize this.

There are plenty of ways you can get toned without shelling out, or perhaps for no money at all, depending on what you want to achieve. Either way, getting fit shouldn’t be seen as a financial investment that you need to make.

Exercise socially

Who on earth likes socializing at the gym? It’s much more fun to exercise and work out with your friends instead. Schedule exercise sessions with a friend or two that you don’t get to see often enough, and you’ll actually look forward to exercising every week.

How to get fit Inexpensively

It’ll definitely beat sitting around your apartment, playing video games and eating Doritos. By exercising together, you’ll really feel like you’ve achieved something.

Exercise for charity

Finding a charity event that asks for participants to exercise to raise money is a great way to lose weight and get fit – or to start the process! Although most of them cost money to enter, you can probably get the entry fees covered by friends who will sponsor you.

This is a particularly good way of exercising if you’re afraid of losing steam or dropping out halfway into your regime. Once you’ve entered, you won’t feel like letting down all of your sponsors, particularly the charity you’re doing the event with.

Get some gear for free

If you feel like you want to step up your game, but you don’t have the money to pay for new exercise equipment, there are plenty of ways of obtaining such things inexpensively.

There are loads of websites where people advertise exercise gear they’re either selling second-hand, or giving away.

Use your TV

Don’t go crazy and get rid of your television because you think it’s going to be an obstacle in your mission of getting fit. There are plenty of free shows you can watch that will teach you how to get fit.

If you’re a television buff and you can’t be bothered to sacrifice precious TV time for exercise, don’t worry - there are ways of exercising that will enable you to watch your favorite shows while doing so. All you have to do is get a yoga mat and do your stretches while you watch TV.