Why UK House Price Collapse is Unlikely

With interest rates set to increase in the near future some commentators argu this could have been the signal for house prices in the UK to collapse either at the end of 2007 or in 2008.

Worries over the UK housing market have increased due to turbulence in the US housing Market. In the US house prices have been falling significantly. However, the reasons for the fall in US house prices are somewhat different. There is no reason it has to occur in the UK.e

However there are various reasons why thUK Housing Market is different to the US housing market.

Why House Prices are illegally to Collapse

1. Differences in Sub Prime Market.

The US sub prime market was more aggressive in its sale of "bad credit mortgages". Although the UK mortgage lenders have become less stringent they still retain more safeguards in checking a mortgage plan is payable.

2. Shortage of Supply in UK. Excess supply in US.

In the UK there is still a fundamental underlining shortage of housing. In the US there is a growing surplus of housing. The excess supply of housing is a consequence of the irrational exuberance generated in the housing boom of 2002-2005. There is an increase in the number of houses without owners.

3. Differences in Interest Rates.

US interest rates have increased from a low of 1% in 2003 to their current rates of 3.5% This has had a significant impact on increasing cost of mortgages. In the UK the increase in interest rates has been a smaller and more gradual process in last year UK interest rates have only increased by 0.75%

4. Population growth.

The UK is witnessing an increase in the number of households. This is caused by:

Immigration from Eastern Europe

Demographic Factors such as rising number of single people.

Aging population, increasing number of old people living alone.

Combined with a shortage of supply this explains a significant reason for increase in UK house prices.

Interest Rates likely to Peak soon

Inflation is still quite low. Moderate increases in interest rates are likely to be sufficient to reduce any lingering inflationary pressure. …

House Selling – Things To Increase Home Value

If increasing the value of your home is a main consideration when remodeling, there are a few things to consider. First, consider whether or not the scale of he project you are considering will generate enough profit-potential for your area. Most kitchens remodels these days cost between $ 15,000 and $ 50,000. While putting in high-end appliances, granite counter tops and custom tiled floors can often be redeemed when selling in higher-priced neighborhoods, in some areas the costs of such a project will never be redeemed.

It does not matter how gorgeous your house is – or how much you paid to have it remodeled – if your neighborhood is full of $ 135,000 homes, a $ 75,000 kitchen is not going to yield a $ 350,000 selling price!

So, what projects are the best to consider when trying to increase the value of your home? Here are a few basic projects that almost any neighborhood can sustain:

New Windows.

New double paned windows are always a good investment since they help lower energy costs for the new owner and primarily maintenance free for decades!

Fresh Paint.

A new paint job in both the interior and exterior of your home can make it much more appealing to potential buyers and give them a sense that the home has been well cared for and easy to maintain which can help boost its selling price.

Layout Reconfiguration.

It is all in the layout these days. People want big airy spaces to live in, and that sometimes means opening a wall between a living area and the kitchen or teasing out a closet to expand an otherwise cramped space. Although more expensive than some remodeling jobs, reconfiguring your layout may mean the difference between selling for one price and another $ 10,000, # 20,000 or more higher.

Kitchens and Bathrooms.

It is said that kitchens and bathrooms sell a house these days. They need to feature modern amenities and luxury like never before. While most kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects cost over $ 15,000 these days, they can usually be recouped in the selling price as long as you stay within your area's ability to pay the higher price.

As you can see, there are a lot of inexpensive (and not inexpensive) ways to increase the value of your property. But which ones are best? According to a recent cost vs. value report released by the home selling industry These were projects yielded the most profit in 2006:

  • Bathrooms: 75%
  • Deck: 77%
  • Master Suite Additions: 73%
  • Sunrooms: 66%
  • Attic Bedrooms: 88%
  • Kitchen Upgrades: 84%
  • New Roofing: 80%
  • Siding Replacement: 87%
  • Window Replacement: 84%

5 Flatshare Rules: Create a Contract With Your Flatmates

Living in a flatshare is a great way to meet new people and save money on living expenses. However, some tenants have had problems with their flatmates such as space invasions, noisy nights, messy situations, and more. You can avoid all of these problems by meeting with your flatmates and laying out some rules on paper. Lay out the rules together and have everyone involved sign the agreement.

1. Security

Safety should be number one on the agreement. It’s vital for everyone. Flatmates must lock the doors when leaving the property, even if it is just down the street. If you open a window make sure it is locked when you close it. Protect your house keys. Don’t let others borrow them. It is way too easy to make copies.

2. Food and Drinks

Everyone buys their own food and drinks and labels them. If it’s not labeled; it’s up for grabs. That will ensure flatmates label their food and drinks. Assign refrigerator shelves, cupboards and drawers in the kitchen for each mate. Yes, you should put this in the agreement too. It’s hard to argue about something you agreed to earlier with your own signature.

3. Noise

Set a noise curfew for everyone in the apartment. Generally, 10 at night is a good time. A noise curfew means that no loud noise will be made after the agreed upon time. This includes loud music, loud guests, etc. Agree upon a time and write it in the agreement.

4. Cleanliness

There are two general types of space in a flatshare: public and private. Public areas are usually the kitchen, living room and bathroom. If you make a mess clean it up right away. Flatmates should not have to clean up after each other. It’s inconvenient and annoying. All public areas need to be kept clean. Private areas should also be kept clean. Filth can lead to pest problems that no one wants. Chores will also need to be outlined in the flatmate agreement. Write down who will do what and when. General chores include dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, and washing dishes.

5. Space

Flatmates need to respect each other’s space. Designate the apartment’s space for each flatmate. What is not designated is public space. A flatmate should use her own space and no more.

It would be wise to invest in an attorney to have a professional meeting with you and your flatmates, and to have him write up the contract for you. Your contract will be in writing, signed and written by an attorney so you and your flatmates can enjoy your stay together.…

Interior Design Ideas – Conservatory Living

Can you imagine the joy of spending late autumn afternoons warmly lounging in the mid of your garden, of growing and harvesting your very tropical fruits and of twilight summer suppers that are guaranteed rainproof? No, this is not a description of life on a faraway tropical island, but a glimpse of the bliss to be had when you own a conservatory.

Yet another inspired Victorian concept that we are reviewing and appreciating anew, despite the disparity of lifestyles between then and now. A conservatory gives life a new dimension. It allows us to enjoy a garden year-round and stretches the living areas of our homes. All age groups can benefit: it provides an ideal space for a toddler to play in (the semi-outdoor finishes should stand up well), for an elderly person to relax in out of season, and for people of any age to enjoy atmospheric dinner parties.

Should you be on the brink of deciding to construct a conservatory, be sure to pin down your ideas well in advance;

How much do you want to spend? A finished conservatory may cost more than you imagine and such extras as heating, lighting, wall and floor finishes, furnishings and plants can add considerably to an initial estimate.

How will the finished conservatory look from outside? Do you wish its style to reflect the architecture of your home?

Which direction do you wish your conservatory to face? A southerly orientated conservatory will be full of sunshine, but without a good ventilation system it is installed and shade provided (by blinds or by painting the glass), it is likely to overheat in summer. A north-facing glass house will receive little sunshine and so will require an efficient heating system for cooler days.

To what purpose will you put your conservatory? Is it to be a place for indoor gardening, relaxing, dining, cooking or playing?

Do you wish your conservatory to become an integral part of an interior living area and / or to open up to and become one with your garden or territory? The larger your opening on to either or both of these areas, the more linked they will appear. Double, sliding or folding-back doors will help to achieve the connection you desire.

Because the conservatory represents a link between the house and its exterior, the most appropriate furnishings will be those reflect this connection. Well-designed garden furniture, softened with table cloths, cushions and upholstered seats, will help blur the line between inside and out, as will rattan, wicker or cane furniture.

A floor of flagstones, scrubbed wood planking or terracotta tiles will underscore the connection. Accessories can provide a similar link – garden statuary, urns, plants and terracotta pots are all particularly suitable.

The best window treatments are ones that do not detract from the view or interior planting. Tailored blinds or curtains of muslin or calico in a simple style are ideal.

When it comes to selecting a color scheme for your conservatory, the choice is yours …

Athlete’s Foot – 9 Steps to Treat Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is caused by parasitic fungi which usually attack the feet. Many people are plagued by this malady, since the organisms which cause it are spread from contaminated floors surrounding pools and showers. The skin between the toes is most often attacked, but the disease may spread to any part of the feet and may break out on the hands. However, what appears on the hands is usually caused by absorbed toxins in the bloodstream rather than the organisms themselves.

As athlete’s foot develops, blisters or cracks appear in the skin, which softens, turns white, and peels off in flakes. There is itching and burning – occasionally pain. The disease is more severe in warm than in cool weather.

What to Do

  1. Keep the affected skin areas as cool and dry as possible. Wearing sandals or open-toed shoes will help.
  2. Protect other members of the household by refraining from walking barefoot about the house, especially the bathroom. Don’t use the family shower, and before using the bathtub soak the feet for at lest five minutes in a warm, saturated solution of boric acid.
  3. Every night at bedtime wash the feet briefly with mild soap and warm water. Then soak the feet for 15 to 30 minutes in a warm, saturated solution of boric acid. If boric acid solution is not available, use a warm saline solution (one tablespoonful of table salt to a quart of water). Then with a bit of gauze pick and rub away all loose bits of skin, taking care not to get any of the contaminated material under the fingernails. Then apply an athlete’s foot cream, working it carefully into the affected skin, especially between the toes.
  4. Every morning, wipe away the remaining medicated cream with dry gauze and dust the skin area thickly with antiseptic powder.
  5. Wear cotton hose, preferably white, changing it daily. To launder hose, boil for ten minutes or re-infection is certain.
  6. If sores appear on the hands, use only mild ointments. If itching is severe, apply 1 percent phenol in calamine lotion. When the sores on feet have healed, those on hands will probably disappear.
  7. To prevent a relapse after the infection appears to be cured, apply 2 percent ammoniated mercury ointment each evening, and talcum powder containing 1 percent of salicylic acid each morning, continuing the treatment for several weeks. Dust the same powder into the shoes daily.
  8. In severe cases, keep off the feet as much as possible and use the soaks and medicated cream as in (3) twice a day instead of once.
  9. In a persistent case consult a dermatologist. An antibiotic is usually helpful, but this requires a physician’s prescription.
  10. The person with athlete’s foot should be considerate of others by not using public showers or swimming pools until his infection is completely cured.

Sump Pump Pros and Cons

“We like the house a lot. It’s got all the features we’re looking for. The only thing that worries me is the sump pump in the basement. Obviously the house has some sort of water problem.”

It’s easy to imagine a prospective home buyer voicing concerns about a sump pump located in a basement or crawl space. But is having one always a bad sign? Is a house automatically better off without one? How reliable are they at keeping water out of a basement or crawl space? One way to answer these questions is to examine the “pros and cons.”

PROS

  • Effective water removal. When a sump pump has been properly installed, it’s the most effective way to move water away from the foundation and help keep the basement or crawl space dry in wet conditions.
  • More reliable than other waterproofing treatments. Despite what many people think, coating the outside of a foundation with a moisture barrier is no guarantee against water infiltration into a basement or crawl space. Both the coating and the foundation can (and often do) develop cracks that admit water. Water can also come in through cracks in the concrete floor, or along the joint between the floor and the wall. A properly functioning pump is more reliable than a “passive” system like a moisture barrier.
  • Able to handle major leaks. Unlike a curtain drain system that relies on gravity alone to remove water, it can move a great volume of water in a relatively short time. This capability is important whenever a severe storm or an unanticipated leak occurs.

CONS

  • Electricity required. Power outages often occur during heavy rainstorms that can cause water to enter a basement. But when the power goes out, a standard one won’t work, so the basement can fill up with water. To prevent this catastrophe, you need to install a sump pump that includes a battery backup system.
  • Possible radon hazard. Putting a hole in the concrete floor of a basement or crawl space creates an opening where radon gas from the soil can enter the foundation. Since exposure to radon can cause cancer, it’s important for any house with a sump pump to be tested for radon. If hazardous radon levels are detected, they can be reduced to acceptable levels by an experienced radon mitigation contractor.
  • Unattractive appearance. In the past and even today, installation leaves an exposed hole in the foundation that is rough and unsightly. Seeing an open hole that’s dirty and partly full of water will not make homeowners feel good about their basement or secure about avoiding water damage. But it doesn’t have to be this way. As shown in the photo, sump pumps like those available from Basement Systems, Inc. have a neat, clean appearance that inspires confidence rather than fear.

BOTTOM LINE

To a homeowner or home buyer, a sump pump can be a liability or an asset, depending on how it functions and how it looks. …

Private Investigator Careers – Residential Burglary

If you live in a suburban neighborhood, chances are that one of your neighbors' houses will be burglarized this year. If burglars stuck your house once, the odds of burglarizing your house again are higher. Because of these odds, it is important that you should have a burglar alarm system installed in your house. Having a burglar alarm reduces your chances of your home being burglarized by 90 percent.

Suppose your purse was stolen, car stolen, and your house burglarized. You obviously feel violated that strangers rummaged through your personal things and took what belong to you.

Burglaries are difficult cases to solve. Nationwide, law enforcement authorities implemented a little over 12 percent of cases involving forced entry. On the other hand, they solve close to 50 percent of sexual assaults and sometimes over 60 percent of aggravated injuries. The reason for these skewed statistics is that with rapes and assaults, the victim and the perpetrator meet face-to-face. With most burglaries, nobody knows who the perpetrators are.

It is typical that private investigators get job orders to solve burglaries for two reasons:

  1. Law enforcement does not investigate because the monetary loss of property is not enough to warrant the manpower.
  2. Police showed up but have not solve the case.

Either way, odds are that you will not be contacted until several days after the crime occurred.

The bottom line regarding a burglary is that a private investigator is not going to solve the case without your neighborhood investigation coming up with something or his client has a suspect in mind. Most victims of burglaries know who the burglar is but do not realize it. Typically, the burglar has been in the house at least once in the past. He may be a salesman or a member of the maintenance crew of your apartment complex. There are some burglaries that are a random crime. Everyone is a suspect in a burglary. Burglars could be friends of the victim's teenage children. It is surprising that crimes against properties are perpetrated by teenagers who know the victims and their children too well.

If your house has been burglarized, compile a list of people who you think might have committed the offense. Take into consideration people who have been in your house in the last three months. Delivery drivers, movers, maintenance personnel, professional maids.

Hopefully, your neighbors will have seen something out of the ordinary. Perhaps they might have seen someone and have a description of the perpetrator. Maybe the perpetrator left some evidence behind.

Heeding these tips can help solve the crime of burglary. …

Dog Sense – How To Give Your Dog Freedom

I am a professional dog trainer. As such I have a very specific way that I view dogs and how I think about dog training. I refer to this as my 'dog-sense'. When I encounter new clients I discover them with varying degrees of dog-sense. It is my responsibility as a trainer to inculcate as much dog-sense into my clients as possible.

Through my years of training I have found that the majority of dog owners lack dog-sense in one key and critical area. If dog owners everywhere were able to improve in this area it could very well put me out of a job.

Dogs have dozens of natural instincts. A great deal of these instincts act out in contradiction to what the average dog owner wants. Dogs instinctively pee on rugs, jump on newcomers, bark at things, and chew on whatever feels comfortable.

It remains the responsibility of the dog owner to mold every dog ​​behavior. It is your responsibility to determine how your puppy or dog interacts with your sofa, with your rug, with your guest, with your child, and with every part of your dog's surroundings. This is where the average dog owner goes wrong.

The average dog owner Merely hands over freedom to his dog. This is a mistake. Dogs need to earn their freedom through good behavior. You can not allow your dog to be loose in your house until he has learned how not to go to the bathroom on the floor, how not to chew on your shoes, and how not to make a wreck of everything. Every time a dog owner gives a dog freedom too early he runs the risk of the dog taking that freedom and acting inappropriately with it. If you give your dog freedom and he pees on the floor what can you do? The answer is nothing. You can not find a problem after the fact and do anything about it.

So what is a dog owner to do? The answer is that you are to restrict your dog's freedom until he has earned it. Keep your dog with you. If you want to mold behavior you have to see behavior. If you want to see your dog's behavior your dog has to be next to you. So keep your dog with you at all times. Do not let your dog out of your sight until you can trust him. If you can not keep him in your sight because you leave the house or are too busy, put your dog in his crate.

As your dog progresses and is reliable in the house you can give him more and more freedom. Do not rush it. Take your time and you will see that your dog can learn to be a perfect pet in the home. …

Are You Getting the Best Mortgage Rate?

The problem with trying to get the best mortgage rate is not in the percentage of interest that you will sign up with, most mortgage companies will basically have the same rates or not too far from each other for it to be of much difference.

Looking at More than Just the Rates

The best mortgage rates are more than just numbers telling you how low the interest is on your loan, it's those low rates coupled with reasonable conditions on keeping those rates as low as advertised. So before you jump in and put up your property as collateral to a deal that seems too good to be true, take a second look at why the institution is giving you those rates.

What Can Affect Your Rates?

The most common thing that will affect the interest rates on your mortgage would be your ability to pay the amortizations on time. Oftentimes, the best mortgage rates apply only during that grace period in which you are expected to pay that amortization, say on or before every 15th of the month. Should you be on default and pay on the 16th (sometimes there is a three day grace period, so look into that as well), your mortgage rate may shoot up from 5.5% to 7.9%, plus the fines, fees and penalties applicable. While this practice may seem unpalatable to you, it is completely legal and quite broadly practiced. If you have a problem in understanding the conditions of the contract in which you can avail the best mortgage rates that they can give, or if it looks that the amortizations are too big, then remember that "best" is a relative term, and look for deals that are better for you.

Another thing that will affect your rates is your rating, the better your credit rating, the lower the best mortgage rate available to you. Credit rating is something that wil be easy enough to check, and if your rating is only good, do not expect to get the same rates as people who have pristine credit records. The difference in the rates is rationalized by the forgone conclusion that people with better credit ratings are less of a risk for non-payment.

Reading Between the Lines

For your part, getting the best mortgage rate is a good idea on the sunset of the mortgage deal because it would seem like you are paying less interest for the money that you borrowed. Just remember that sometimes lending companies will give low rates to hook you in on a deal that may be hard for you to actually fulfill.

The Right One

This is not to say that all mortgage companies are out to get you, there are very good ones who will give you good rates at reasonable terms. It is only saying that you should not rely on numbers alone. Good credit companies would rather get their loans paid than take your house. Bad ones will make sure the loan is paid …

European Tapestries – Van Gogh

The Olive Trees – Artist Vincent Van Gogh developed a style of painting while he was incarcerated at the asylum at Saint Remy. Instead of his usual bold strokes and luminous colors, the artist experimented with long swipes to create curving, undulating silhouettes across his canvas. This style is more expressive and more dynamic than its previous style, which is a testament to the artist's inner demons.

Out of this style evolved The Olive Trees is one of his most famous paintings, along with Irises. Against the grain of what sees to be blazing Mediterranean afternoon, olive trees of an intestine green sway, twist and crimp. In the distance are rolling hills of the Alps as well as the sky awash with clouds and moonlight.

The Olive Trees is truly one of Van Gogh's most striking paintings. While he was at the asylum, Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo about his most recent work. He spoke of a landscape filled with olive trees as well as a study about a starry sky. When the paintings drawn, he sent these to Theo telling him to take note of the olive trees with the clouds and mountains, as well as the light of the moon and the effect of the light. Van Gogh exaggerated the whole general composition of the painting, accentuating colors and outlines of the trees and the mountains. Van Gogh tried to avoid the photographic perfection that other artists tried to perfect. This influenced fellow artist Paul Gauguin. Together, they painted masterpieces that veered away from the conservative perfection of paintings, and instead tried to intensify colors and lines in their paintings.

Like his other works, The Olive Trees has often translated into prints, tapestries, wall hangings and wall décor. Now, others as well as art collectors or art historians can have access to this beloved work of art. Homeowners with an eye for style and sophistication can simply buy a print or wall hanging of The Olive Trees to add a touch of elegance to their homes.

Tapestries and wall prints are available for ordering and shipping online. They come in various sizes to fit your space requirements. Most of them also offer other materials such as brackets and linings so you can display your tapestry with ease. You can hang this anywhere in your house, whether it be in the privacy of your bedroom or in your living room, for all your guests and friends to admire. …