Category: money

The buy to let market in Anson County

mountain-lake-properties-nc14You can now choose from a wide range of buy to let mortgage deals, including fixed rate, discounted, tracker and flexible schemes. With latest figures telling us that the rental market is booming, it is a great time to speak to a broker who specializes in the buy to let market.

Investing in residential property to rent out in Lilesville can be very lucrative, especially over the last few years where properties have appreciated in value year on year. So if you are looking for an investment plan to buy a house and let it out we can help with your mortgage in seconds.


In the late 90s only a handful of lenders started offering special buy to let mortgages. Now with the market having increased significantly over the last few years most mainstream lenders cater for this market. Buy to let investors can now choose from a vast selection of products but with the offerings varying so much and different lenders requiring different criteria it is wise to talk with a mortgage lender that is a specialist in this field. Not only will theyt give you advise on the best deals around at present but will help guide you through the whole buy to let process.

Requirements for a Buy to Let Mortgage

Generally you will be required to have at least a 15% deposit. The rental that you will be charging for the property will normally need to be at least 125-130% of your mortgage repayments. This is put in place to protect you too since there may be periods when your property will not be let ‘void periods’, either because you have no tenants or perhaps need a few weeks to redecorate before new tenants arrive.

Some lenders have limits to the amount lent on a buy to let property, some are lower than you may think so do check.

How many buy to let properties can I have?

This varies with different lenders, some will limit you to the number of properties you have in your portfolio, others have monetary limits to the portfolio but there are lenders who may allow you to expand your portfolio with no preset conditions except that each additional property makes sound business sense.

Where should I buy?

It is very important that you research your area very well before deciding to purchase a buy to let property. Speak to the local estate agents, especially those that have a letting department within their agency. Find out what the local demand is for, whether their is over supply in the area and which properties are in demand, e.g Flats for professionals or perhaps 3 bedroom house for families because the area has a good selection of schools.

Where can I get help and information?

For all potential landlords the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) is the best place to go. They have a panel of recommended buy to let lenders and their website gives some very useful information regarding the buy to let market for both landlords and tenants and the potential pitfalls you may expect when entering the buy to let market.

What additional costs may I expect?

You will need to decide whether to instruct an agent to fully manage the property or to just find the tenants and perhaps collect the rent. Letting agents charge different commissions for this and you may get a better deal if instructing one on a sole agency basis. Standard rates vary from 10-15% depending on the service you require.

You are also responsible for the upkeep and general maintenance of the property, so some savings kept aside is advisable. Buildings insurance will need to kept up on your property and you may also wish to instruct the services of an accountant or tax advisor, although many letting agents offer a tax service as an additional cost.

Russia with Love

Omega presentation to the Russian Scientific Community

We were approached recently by Professor Howard Ward to write a paper on the design and development of the Omega computer to be presented by him at a scientific conference in Russia.

According to Professor Ward, Russia has shown great interest in the now ageing Risc PC computers, so I wonder what they will make of the Omega, I would imagine they will be very impressed.

Apparently a delegation came over the the UK and they were staggered by the lack of interest shown in desktop RISC technology, so much so that one university now has a Risc PC computer laboratory.

I am not at all surprised that their scientists should be interested in RISC technology which delivers powerful efficient processors, because they have an almost direct equivalent in rocket motor design. Were their technology delivers small lightweight motors which produce a much greater thrust than equivalent western designs.

Arm in digital television

Samsung Electronics has announced that it has built a single chip system for digital TV based around a 200MHz ARM920T processor core, the chip is aimed at high definition TV and set top box markets.

This is especially good news for ARM, who are pushing hard to get its processors into ever wider consumer markets.

Recognition for ARM RISC Processor

Stephan Furber, Professor of Computer Engineering at the University of Manchester has been elected a Fellow of The Royal Society for his contributions to electronics, including his role in the designing of the ARM RISC processor.

Over 1 billion ARM RISC cores has been shipped making it the worlds leading embedded processor design.

Should you buy brand name or go with the cheaper alternative?

It’s really easy sometimes to stick with what you know and never think about alternatives, but with the economy on a downturn more of us are thinking about whether we should try cheaper alternatives to our normal brands as a way to economise. Is it really worth it though? Will the food taste as good, will the shampoo last as long or will the quality be poorer generally and if so will we really notice it.

It seems to me that some things are a pretty safe bet and yet when I’ve tried them, I’ve still found myself disappointed. Others, I’ve tried with trepidation, and been very pleased with the results and there does seem to be a fairly large amount of trial and error involved. An example of this for me was that cheaper wrapping paper seemed pretty obvious to me when I bought it – after all, you wrap the present, and someone unwraps it and then the paper is thrown in the bin, but sadly it was a false economy as the stuff was so thin you could read the title on the dvd I was trying to wrap, and so I had to use twice as much as I would have of the more expensive paper.

So how do we get it right? I’ve found that discussing things with friends helps, particularly people who I know have similar tastes and values to myself. If one of them tries something different and says yeah it’s not bad, then I think hmm maybe I’ll give it a go. If they say don’t touch it, it’s rank then I’m likely to not bother trying it.

Forums and discussion boards are useful too I think – people can talk about their choices and preferences and that helps everyone. Also I think some people feel a bit self conscious talking to friends about economising, but talking to strangers when you can use a ‘username’ and no one knows you, doesn’t feel so embarrassing.

10-minutes! My bath’s last longer!

In a recent article Ross mentioned buying cheap batteries and having them only last 10 minutes, and feeling disappointed that he’d wasted his money while trying to economise. I find myself going the other way, I buy the rechargeable batteries so that they last – well if not forever then often for longer than the product I’m putting them in anyway! – Ok, it still costs me money on my electricity bill to recharge them, but less than replacing them each time would. I’ve not sat and worked out whether I’m reeeally saving money or not, but it certainly feels like I am by doing it that way, and I also feel I can pat myself on the back because I’m being a bit greener too.

How do you do it? Have you found a way to balance the money saving advantages of the cheaper no name brands with the quality of the brand name products? Or do you think all brand names are just that – names and nothing else?

My money saving tips for y’all

We all want to make our money stretch as far as we can and with prices going up and up, it’s getting harder and harder to do so. Making the things that we buy last longer will mean we don’t need to buy them as often and will therefore save us money.

Money saving tips

Shampoo, conditioner, liquid soap and washing up liquid are all things that many of us use far more of than we actually need each time we use them. A simple way to cut down on how much you use without having to really think about it each time is to add water to the product when you buy it. Tip 1/3 of the bottle into an old bottle you’ve saved and top up the now only 2/3rd’s full bottle with water, give it a shake and pop it back on the cupboard.  So for every 3 you used to buy, you now only need to buy 2!

shaving-pics-interior-wet-shaving-company-shave-4Razors can be costly especially if you use the disposable sort – paying a higher price once for a reusable one, that you can buy new blades for could save you money overall especially if you pick one where the blades are generic not specific to that razor. Another tip is to make sure that you rinse and dry the blade after each use as this will extend the life of each blade or set of blades.

The life of your mattress can be extended by simply flipping and rotating it regularly.  Once a month either Flip the mattress over, so the top becomes the bottom, or rotate it so that the foot end becomes the head end. If you write on the calendar which to do when, you’ll never get it wrong and your mattress will wear more evenly and in this way will last a lot longer.

If you are really in need of money then a payday lender could be the last place you’d wish to turn, however instant payday loans on the Internet do offer introductory rates towards the start of the month. This would appear like a false economy, however, if all you need to repay is the loan then it doesn’t work out too bad.

imageFreezing food as we all know is a great way to preserve it, but don’t forget that just because you didn’t do it on the day you bought it, doesn’t mean you can’t do it still. If you find yourself with 3 packets of cold meat in the freezer that are only a day off their sell by or use by date, separate them into individual portions and freeze them.

As long as you make sure that you note on them that they only have a 1 day life span when you remove them from the freezer, you will be able to defrost them one at a time and use them before they go off.  Less waste, and therefore less cost for you. (This can also be done for things like fruit and veg, if you blanch it you can then freeze it and extend it’s usable life).

Did you know that a good chunk of the wear in your clothes comes from washing and tumble drying them? Now a payday loan would certainly fix this but isn’t it better to keep clothes longer? Well it does, so if you are wearing once and then washing everything you could be shortening the life of your clothes considerably. Obviously for undies we only want to wear them once before we wash them, but for outer wear, wearing it a couple of times before you wash it, and then hanging it on a line or airing cupboard to dry it rather than putting it in the tumble dryer will not only save you money on the amount of washing and drying you do (think of the cost of all that electricity and water), but it could also extend the life of your clothes by as much as a third.

These are all small things, and I’m sure there are more that other people can add (do feel free to use the comment box to do so!), but each one of them added into a routine will save you money without really adding much to your workload.


As we are definitely beginning to feel the pinch from massive price rises in petrol, fuel and groceries I was reading that many people who would once have taken unwanted goods to a charity shop or chuck out are now thinking twice and looking at how they came make some profit from their unwanted goods.

There are a number of different places that you can get cash for your unwanted items, one of the oldest and still the best are car boot sales.

Apparently not only have the number of car boot sales grown by 20% since this time last year, but the number of attendees has also sharply risen which could be down to the effects of the ‘credit crunch’.

car1-648218 Denise-cop-2

Personally I have been to many a car boot sale both to buy and sell, the last time I did one I made around £100 after I paid my fee for the car stall space, which isn’t a bad profit for a days work.
If you have a bit of the Dell boy in you then car-boot sales can be great places to pick up a bargain to sell on, personally I have got some cracking items in the past which I have then went on to sell on Ebay for a marked up price.

So what are my top tips to running a good car boot sale stall?

  • Car boot sales can be very cut throat, one of the main secrets to making as much profit as possible is getting there early – when I did it I was there for 5am and I was getting one of the last decent spots.
  • Make sure that your pitch is in one of the main thoroughfares which will get the most visitors. If you are stuck at the back of the car boot sale you will have no chance of maximising your sales, I would suggest that if you haven’t been before to check the car boot sale out the week before you go to find the best spots.
  • Take a folding table with you to display your wares on and make it neat, there is nothing worse than a messy stall.
  • Some people mark prices on all their items before hand, I didn’t bother, whatever you choose to do people expect to haggle so make sure you start with your prices high, you will be expected to haggle.
    And finally don’t spend all your profit buying from other peoples stalls!
  • If you don’t know where your nearest car boot sale is check your local paper which will usually have them listed or check out which lists regular sales up and down the UK.

If you want to chat about car boot sales or want to learn about lots of other money making ideas then get in touch!