Are Sellers Overpricing Their Properties?

Written by Karen Bryan

homesandmoneyResearch conducted by eMoov, one of the UK’s largest online estate agents, has revealed that many sellers ask for unrealistic house prices when compared with the actual selling price achieved. The average asking price for properties listed at Rightmove is £281,000, while the final sale price average tends to be £207,000, approximately £74,000 lower than first asked. This dramatic difference in figures is evidence that there is disparity between what sellers believe they should get and what they actually do.

The study, which took place between 13/02/2015 to 19/02/2015, was carried out by Opinion Matters, a registered company with the Information Commissioner’s Office, and encapsulated a sample of over 2,000 participants across England and Wales. Amongst the survey questions, participants were asked what they thought the most important factor was when selling their home, to which just under 30% answered it was getting the highest price possible. This is in contrast to the mere 8% who placed a quick sale above all else as the primary desirable outcome. Even though profit is always important to sellers, it does seem surprising that the majority of those surveyed were concerned first and foremost with money. One would naturally assume that being financially secure or selling the property in a short time period would be more of a consideration in the turbulent property market.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share Button

My Money Podcast #113

Written by Karen Bryan

The My Money Podcast #113 summarises four recent Help Me To Save articles.

Subscribe to the My Money Podcast from Help Me To Save in itunes

Share Button

Is There Such a Thing as a Credit Blacklist?

Written by Karen Bryan

credit reportIf you have been refused credit by a lender, you may be concerned that you are on a credit blacklist. The idea of a universal credit blacklist has existed for some time, but it is an urban myth. There is no single list of those not deemed fit to borrow money to which all lenders refer. In other words, if you apply to borrow money, your prospective lender will not look for your name on a credit blacklist and make their decision based entirely on whether or not you are on it.

But – and there is always a but – your lender will apply to a credit reference agency to find out more about your borrowing history. If the information they receive suggests to them that you are not a reliable borrower, then they are more likely to reject your application.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share Button

How I Improved my Experian Credit Score

Written by Karen Bryan

debit&credticards1After my surprise at the drop in my credit rating from good to fair, during my free trial of Experian’s CreditExpert, I decided to take action to improve my credit score.

I was quite confused about whether closing old redundant credit cards would have a positive or negative effect on my credit score. Having a long-standing credit card is supposed to be a good thing, but having too many credit cards is a bad thing.

I like to use credit cards which offer cashback and/or 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers, with low balance transfer fees.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share Button

Are the BT Mobile SIM Deals Any Good?

Written by Karen Bryan

BT logoThere are three new BT Mobile SIM only deals. They all come on a 12 month contract, offer 4G mobile broadband, unlimited BT WiFi and free BT Sport. There’s a £5 a month discount on each for BT Broadband customers. Everyone living in a household with BT Broadband qualifies for the £5 discount.

As my Vodafone 24 month contract runs out in mid May 2015, I thought I’d take a closer look. We have BT Infinity Fibre Broadband, so are eligible for the £5 discount.

However, if I entered a 12 month BT Mobile contract in May when my Vodafone contract runs out but we changed to a new broadband provider next February when our current BT broadband contract expires, I’d lose the £5 discount for the last few months of the BT Mobile contract.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share Button

Looking for Freelance Work on Elance

Written by Karen Bryan

elanceIn January, one of my friends told me that he had found some work through the Elance freelancer work marketplace website. He assisted a hotel in the Middle East with their social media presence. This prompted me to have a look on Elance to see if I could pick up some work in this sphere, based on my social media experience running my websites.

The basic freelancer account is free of change, although there is some attempt to get you to sign up for the premium $10 a month account. On a free account you get 40 Connects, each job proposal you submit uses 1 Connect.

You need to set up your profile and set a rate per hour in US Dollars. Elance add a service fee of 8.75% to that charge. You also have to factor in Paypal and currency conversion fees to change your pay to your local currency.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share Button

All Credit Card Statements Should Clearly State End Date of Promotional Offers

Written by Karen Bryan

santander 123 credit cardI was impressed that the monthly statement for my Santander 123 Credit Card clearly stated the end date of the promotional 23 month 0% rate of interest on new purchases and balance transfers. The date was  at the bottom of the list of transactions for that month.

I believe that this is really useful for customers, as it’s a monthly reminder of the date by which they need to pay off the full balance to avoid starting to pay interest on what could, after 23 months of spending plus balance transfers, be a large sum.

It’d be pretty easy to get a confused about the exact end date of promotional rates. It’s usually calculated from the date on which you applied for the credit card. It’s quite likely that you didn’t keep a note of this.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share Button

Review of BT Infinity Fibre Broadband

Written by Karen Bryan

BT homehub 5We had BT Infinity fibre broadband installed in late January 2015. I’d been thinking about upgrading from standard broadband for some time and took the plunge after BT finally offered a discounted price of £8 a month for BT Infinity 1 Unlimited (with speeds up to 38Mb) on a 12 month contract. I was originally quoted a standard price of £23 a month to upgrade to this product.

An engineer’s visit was required to activate the fibre broadband, which was scheduled for 10 days after agreeing to the new contract.

The engineer was from a company called Kelly Communications, who appear to be a subcontractor for BT. The appointment was for 1pm – 6pm, but the engineer phoned at 12.45 to ask if he could come early.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share Button

Tips on Planning for Your Retirement

Written by Karen Bryan

It seems to me that the average person is pretty bamboozled by the complexity of pensions in the UK. This is borne out by the fact that recent research carried out amongst people aged 55-64 for the financial services company Legal and General  uncovered that:

  1. 53% of interviewees said that they had received either poor or no financial education.
  2. 33% of interviewees said that they didn’t understand annuities (where you use your pension pot to buy an income for life).
  3. 26% of interviewees said that they didn’t understand how personal pension plans can be accessed.

To help address this issue, Legal and General held a Google Hangout (video chat) in which a panel of experts answered questions on retirement and pensions, submitted via Twitter and Facebook.

Below are my tips on planning your retirement based on my research and personal experience.
Read the rest of this entry »

Share Button

You Could Miss Out on the Best Deal by Booking Through Hotel Price Comparison Sites

Written by Karen Bryan

£5 notesI’m a big fan of the HotelsCombined.co.uk price comparison site. It’s my first port of call when I’m looking for a hotel. However, clicking through the link on a hotel entry listed on a price comparison site could mean that you miss out on cashback and/or promotions.

I always check for maximum cashback on the lowest hotel price that I’ve found on the TopCashBack.co.uk site. I’ve earned cashback of up to 12% on hotel bookings. The majority of the time I do receive the cashback, but I’ve had a couple of instances when I didn’t receive the cashback.

Recently, when I was booking hotels for my trip to France, going through the link to ebookers from TopCashBack.co.uk had another benefit. The link from TopCashBack.co.uk took me to the ebookers homepage, where I spotted the code for 20% off selected hotels promotion that weekend. Although TopCashBack.co.uk was offering 11.5% cashback on hotel bookings, getting 20% off the price at the point of purchase was a much better deal.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share Button

The MON£Y SAV£R free monthly newsletter from Help Me To Save helps you -

  • Save more money
  • Spend less
  • Live well

Take control of your money now