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5 Things to do Before and After Buying a New House

5 Things to do Before and After Buying a New House

5 Things to do Before and After Buying a New House

Home ownership is the dream of most people. It represents the pinnacle of your accomplishments and the fulfillment of “The Great Australian Dream”. But wanting a home and actually owning one is a decision that requires serious thought. Home ownership is a transformative experience. It’s a great feeling and a monumental accomplishment but it also carries tremendous responsibilities. Thus, there are things you have to do before and after buying a new house.

5 Things to do Before Buying a New House

  1. Assess Your Financial Position. Buying a house will probably be your largest single purchase. Although your house will be an asset that has the potential to generate returns over time, it will still shake up your financial foundation. If you plan to apply for a home loan, you have to make sure your stream of income can accommodate the amortization without compromising your monthly expenses. The rule of thumb is: the cost of amortization must not exceed 28% of your monthly income.
  2. Evaluate Your Monthly Expenses. Home ownership means you are responsible for all maintenance and repairs. Your monthly summary of expenses would include power, water, telephone and Internet connection among others. If you have children, you will have to account for schooling needs, transportation and food as part of monthly expenses. Would your current stream of income accommodate these expenses in addition to your amortization?
  3. What Do I Want In a Home? When you’re dreaming of buying your first home, it’s fun to get lost in the fantasy of owning one with all the trappings your imagination can come up with. But when fantasy gets closer to becoming reality, you have to shift your mindset to “What I Want” to “What I Can Afford”. If you have a family, find out how many rooms, toilet and baths you need. There may be nicer suburbs but with pricier homes. You may have to compromise on the number of rooms. You should also consider your proximity from schools, the Central Business District or CBD, the commercial shopping centers and accessibility to public transportation. Draw up a list of what you want in your home and neighborhood. As you visit prospective homes and negotiate with more sellers, you should come up with a realistic view on the type of home you can afford.
  4. Where Do I See Myself in 5 Years? One of the greatest feelings is to wake up in the morning and realize this is the first of many days in your new home. It seems and feels like the beginning of a new chapter in your life. But in truth, change remains constant. Things could be different in 5 years. What would you be doing then? Will you have a new job in another city? Will your children be away for college? Will you have a new addition in the family? The answers to these questions will have bearing on your decision to own a house in the present day.
  5. Hire a Buyer’s Agent. Given the size of the investment and the process of owning a home, it would be a good idea to have a buyer’s agent on your side. A buyer’s agent is a real estate agent who represents the interests of the buyer. He or she has the experience and expertise to help you find a home that will meet your qualifications and budget. A buyer’s agent is a veteran of the negotiation process. When dealing with sellers and their agents, a buyer’s agent can tilt the negotiations in your favor. Once the contracts have been signed, final balance has been paid and procedures with the local government have been fulfilled, it is time to plan moving in to your new home. But there are 5 things you need to do once you’ve bought the house:

5 Things to Do After Buying a New House

  1. Pest Control. Many homes regularly have soil treatment and pest control scheduled every year. Find out the last time your new home underwent pest control. Ideally, you should have monthly pest control services. But if you have pets or if there are noticeably have more pests in the area, you should opt for bi-monthly services.
  2. Hire Professional Cleaning Services. Before you move in your things, have your new home cleaned by professionals. It is possible that the seller had the house cleaned before selling it but it is always better to be sure. If the home has carpets, these should be steam cleaned. If you want to bring in carpets and your upholstery is made of fabric, you should have these steam cleaned as well. Carpet and upholstery are breeding grounds for dust mites and other pests.
  3. Install Window Treatments. The first thing you should secure when you buy a new home is your privacy. Even before you open the boxes and unpack your things, make sure the living room and bedroom windows have curtains or blinds. You would not want the neighbors or passers-by have a fish-eye view of your home as you are unpacking. This is after all your home, not a fish bowl! Secure your privacy immediately especially the bedrooms.
  4. Make the Beds. Moving in will be one of the most tiring days of your life. You have to oversee the movers as they load up your things on the truck, check the inventory of items as these are brought in to the new house and direct the movement of furniture in their new location. At the end of the day, everyone will be exhausted. But for sure no one wants to sleep on the floor! So have your beds set up right away. If you have a head rest or wall padding have these installed along with the bed frames.
  5. Check Out the Nearby Town. Forget the boxes. You can open them and unpack later or the following day. Once you’ve got the curtains and beds set up, pack yourselves inside the car and head off to town! Check out the local market and be familiar with the establishments and available services. Immersing yourself in the culture and spirit of the town is one of the best ways to get settled. The feeling of home ownership is one that you would like to bottle up and cherish for all of eternity. You have shelter; a place to lie your weary head and start new memories. It is certainly one of the biggest milestones of your life.

Author bio

Felix works with the Flint buyer’s agent. He often blogs about real estate and businesses.

The Retirement Savings Crisis: What Will Fix It?

The Retirement Savings Crisis: What Will Fix It?

The Retirement Savings Crisis: What Will Fix It?

The numbers are staggering. An astounding $14 trillion retirement crisis is looming for millions of Americans. Nearly a third of the workforce does not own a single retirement account – not a 401(k), not an individual retirement account (IRA). Of those who do own a retirement account, the median account balance is a mere $3,000. Rising costs, longer lives and the very human tendency to not worry about it because it’ll all turn out OK in the end is driving the numbers. There are ways to fix the retirement savings crisis before it’s too late. Here’s how.

No Retirement Plan? Get One

If you think your Social Security check will be enough to live on during retirement, think again. The Social Security board of trustees anticipates that by the year 2035, all excess cash reserves will be gone. Benefits could be cut as well. Even if neither of these events occur, Social Security benefits will barely touch your living expenses. You need more.

If you don’t participate in an employer-sponsored IRA or 401(k)plan, sign up if your company offers one. You have to start somewhere and automatic contributions are a great way to do just that.

Consult a Professional Retirement Planner – Now

One 401(k) or IRA is not enough to live a comfortable retirement. Investment portfolio management, retirement savings management and strategy development are all services a professional provides to help you achieve your financial goals. A professional looks at where you are now, what you have to do to live a comfortable retirement and develops a plan to get you there. Professionals recommend the investments that work best for you, no matter what your age or financial picture. A retirement manager creates a customized solution that may include mutual funds, ETFs, annuities and other types of investments. If you’re older and starting to save late in the game, you may be reluctant to seek the help of a professional. You may feel embarrassed or ashamed, but there’s no need. Retirement planners are there to help and many have successfully helped clients in your situation – or, at least the financial planner you work with should be experienced in helping others in your situation. In fact, if you’re starting late, you need the expert advice a professional retirement planner brings to the table.

Living Longer Means Working Longer

One of the biggest reasons for the retirement savings crisis is the longer and overall healthier lives of today’s population. The amount of savings needed now far outpaces what used to be the norm. What’s a great way to improve your own retirement outlook? By working longer. There are potential problems with working harder, however. Economist David Neumark’s research indicates that employers tend to discriminate against older workers. And, there’s the problem of health issues as people age. Still, if at all possible, working longer ensures a more comfortable retirement when the time comes.

Don’t Wait

It’s much easier to do nothing and hope it all comes together in the end. But, the longer you put off, the less you’ll have later on. If you take steps now to increase your savings and reduce spending, you can avoid becoming part of the retirement savings crisis.

Gabby Revel, Founder, writer, editor & administrator at Fertile Content, is a freelance writer who specializes in lifestyle topics, as well as science and technology, investing, and personal finance. She also has a passion for adorable dogs of all kinds. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Brad Thor Changes His Mind

Brad Thor Changes His Mind:

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This is not easy news (especially for a #NeverTrump stalwart) to deliver.America, you have cancer. And it’s bad – really bad. It’s aggressive. It has spread throughout most of your body and it’s continuing its march.

How much time do we have left? Less than three months.

Is there a cure? We’re not completely sure, but there are two alternatives:

The first is a decades-old generic, lacking any potency whatsoever. Studies have shown that Drug #1 not only won’t cure the cancer, but that it will actually strengthen it and speed our death. Drug #1 offers no upside whatsoever.

Drug #2 is being offered out of a clinic in Mexico. It claims to be a surefire, can’t lose, 100% guaranteed treatment. The clinic, though, is run by pockmarked, gold-toothed, oily-haired- men in bad suits with absolutely no medical backgrounds. They ogle your wife and daughter incessantly anytime you drop by for more information, and are constantly trying to upsell you into an oceanfront timeshare.

So, which drug should we choose?

Drug #1 will kill us – no question. Drug #2 might kill us, but it also might:

A) Slow the cancer, or even

B) Cure the cancer

It’s a lot to hope for, I know, but hope is all we have left. We have exhausted every other avenue. Make no mistake – I believe one hundred percent in standing on principle. Principle, in this case though, will not cure cancer.

Sadly, that crappy clinic south of the border is starting to look like our only option.

Read more:

Book Review: The Check By Clair Wm. Harmony

Print Length: 251 pages
Publication Date: April 27, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Imagine you open your bank statement online and see $100,000 more in your account than the $1,000 you thought you had. Imagine checks rolling in to the point that you now have $500 Million and still it rolls in. And at the same time someone is sending checks out to needy recipients with a note that says “for your cancer treatment” and you didn’t know you had cancer…yet.

Where is the money coming from? Who is doing this to you? And why are all kinds of thugs after you?

The Check” is a good story, about using computer technology and data mining to siphon funds from bank accounts of drug dealers, criminals, and corrupt government officials (is that redundant?).

I have some nits with the editing, but who finds a manuscript without a few typos? I liked the book, and if Harmony has another book in him, I would give it a go.

Mt Hood Swarm

Mt Hood Swarm

Mt Hood Swarm

Wired reports at Oregon’s Mt. Hood, the USGS has noticed a swarm of small earthquakes (all less than M2) that started on Sunday.

Right now, the earthquake swarm at Mt. Hood is centeredjust to the south of the main edifice (see below) and most of the earthquakes are between 3 and 5 kilometers below the surface. This is likely the zone where magma is being staged as it ascends from its source. Research by Adam Kent and others (including myself) has found that the magmatic system beneath Hood is likely dominated by a big pile of high silica crystals and magma (the crystal mush) that then interacts with new, hotter and less silica-rich magma that intrudes, producing a hybrid magma that compositionally is in between the two. These earthquakes may be a sign of new magma rising and stalling in that “crystal mush”—but very little of the time is the system in a state that it can erupt.

There is A Place for Precious Metals

Rosland Capital, a premier precious metals asset firm, is your go-to gold, silver, platinum and palladium resource. Founded on honesty, high-quality customer service and public education, Rosland Capital exists to educate you on the benefits of strengthening your assets and diversifying your portfolio.

Whether you are looking to safeguard your retirement savings, hedge against inflation or against potential stock market volatility, Rosland Capital offers precious metals in physical form, precious metal-backed IRAs, and the knowledge base you need to realize the benefits of precious metals.

The graphic below is an additional resource developed to help guide those who are seeking insight on the various savings and investment options for retirement.”


This is a Noisy Book

This is a Noisy Book

The Oracle Philon: A Colton Banyon Mystery (Kindle Edition)
This is a noisy book. I’ll tell you why in a moment and why I gave the book three stars. First, combine ancient artifacts with weather (Something is happening to the weather. Catastrophic events are occurring all over the world). and archeology and you’ve hooked me. The author didn’t disappoint. It’s a good adventure yarn, buy it is noisy and frankly the author should go back and edit the book. I counted 78 times the author used “screamed” and 27 times the author used the verb “yelled.” It’s ok if the verbs are used when you need to talk loudly amidst multiple hand-held automatic weapons firing, but even in polite conversation! If the characters are talking loudly, try shriek, screech, howl, shout, bellow, bawl, cry out, call out, yelp, squeal, wail, squawk; holler etc. I don’t believe people should raise their voices 105 times in a book.
Would I read another Gerald J. Kubicki book? Not without doing a word search.

Unusual Meeting Today

USD 4-11-16


Quite the day so far. Janet Yellen calls a special meeting, the President and Joe Biden will have unusual meeting today, Gold is up fifteen dollars and the dollar is at the bottom of its range. What will happen next?

What does the new frontier of negative interest rates in the global arena mean for investors?

What does the new frontier of negative interest rates in the global arena mean for investors?

What does the new frontier of negative interest rates in the global arena mean for investors?


Cindy Yeap / The Edge Malaysia discusses “What does the new frontier of negative interest rates in the global arena mean for investors?”

“For RHB Research Institute executive chairman and chief economist Lim Chee Sing, NIRP “can only be seen as a temporary expedient to hold up financial markets”, albeit one that has little room to push for more economic growth in this relatively mature stage of the growth cycle.

“That means rising investment premiums and heightened market volatility will likely be the order of the day in the days ahead. Portfolio investors may have no choice but to build some degree of defensiveness into their portfolios to balance out the risks. This implies rising appetite for high-yield stocks,” Lim says.

“Even dividend stocks have caveats in the days ahead, largely due to their rich valuations vis-à-vis tougher conditions to grow at the same rate as before. For example, sin stocks might have to contend with higher taxes; the fees for telecommunications spectrum refarming have yet to be revealed; and consumer stocks have to contend with the possibility of a further tightening of consumer spending. Then, there is the higher labour cost.

“The focus should be on stocks with an improved business model, reasonable earnings visibility, strong cash flow, a dividend policy and, thus, sustainable dividend payments. Of course, one cannot ignore valuations but rich valuation stocks are still susceptible to a selldown should the global economy take a turn for the worse,” Lim adds.

“Gerald Ambrose, CEO of Aberdeen Islamic Asset Management Sdn Bhd, too, noted expensive valuations after a good run in recent years.

“We are keeping a close eye on notable high-yield companies, like the cellular phone companies, the brewers, tobacco companies and the REITs (real estate investment trusts). We’re currently about halfway though the 4Q2015 results season and to be honest, a lot of the better-managed companies have been able to find efficiencies to enable dividend payout to remain high. However, after outperforming for over a year, a lot of the high dividend yield companies are hardly cheap,” he says.”

BOTTOM LINE: Focus your strategy on yield and gold. Gold is an alternative when interest rates are negative adjusted for taxes and inflation.

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