As a nation, we are fixated with the property. And I mean properly obsessed. You’d be forgiven for thinking we all move home each spring, given the amount of porn property programmes there are.
But, of the 23 million households in England, on average less than 900,000 properties are bought and sold each year. So yes, while it’s great to know what you can get for your money, it’s largely irrelevant to the majority of us. We’re just gawking at what Hayley and Paul might buy in Bury St Edmunds. That makes for entertaining telly but doesn’t enlighten anyone about the things they need to understand to make educated, informed decisions about how to protect themselves when it comes to their day-to-day living situation.
I spent two years writing a property column for a national newspaper and each week my inbox was brimming with queries from readers who needed help on a wide range of issues – the majority of which were basics that I thought most folk knew about. Turns out they don’t. Even now I’m amazed how people react when I explain to them that estate agents aren’t regulated by law or have to sit exams before they can set up in business, for example.
As I go about my daily routine, I often get talking to people, taxi drivers for example, and it inevitably comes up in conversation that I’m in the property business. Once that happens, I’m usually asked, “Well „don’t suppose you know anything about…?” If in the time it takes to get from Marble Arch to the South Bank I can give them a nugget of advice that might save them a few hundred (or thousand) pounds then that makes my day. It’s my belief that everyone, regardless of their financial circumstances, should have easy access to straightforward, unbiased knowledge around homes and property and that’s what inspired me to write this blog.
INTRO TO FINANCIAL PLANNING:
While there is a wealth of information available for free on the internet, most of the time people ‘don’t know what they don’t know’, or for that matter, where to look to find out more. I know there will be folk who say some of what I’ve written in this blog is stating the bleeding obvious. Well, that’s great, because if they know this stuff already then clearly they don’t need my help. But for those who are dealing with a problem for the first time, and just can’t see the wood for the trees or don’t know where to go for help, it can be scary and confusing and, crucially, can lead to costly mistakes.
That’s when you need someone to point you in the right direction, which hopefully is where this blog will help. I’m not saying any of this is rocket science, but what I have attempted to do is compile a `roadmap’ to provide you with all the basic information in one handy place so you can dip into the various chapters when you need them. I’m a big believer in taking advantage of any free resources, so where relevant I’ve tried to steer you towards where you can get more information and expert guidance that won’t cost you a penny.
With over twenty years’ worth of wisdom to draw on, I’ve based much of Property Uncovered on my experiences, both as a property professional but also from the perspective of being a flatmate, tenant, buyer, seller, landlord and home owner. I’ve worked on the basis that if it’s happened to me, it could happen to you. Therefore you get to benefit from my having had to learn the hard way.
So, as you read this blog, picture you and me sat down over a nice cup of tea, chatting about a load of stuff that you need to understand, but don’t quite know where to start. I’ll try not to make it too boring for you, but we’ll cover all the important things to make sure you’re properly clued up. It’s a conversation rather than a ‘how to’ manual; I want you to feel that I’m going through this with you, that you’re not on your own and that help is on hand should you need it.
Now, go and put the kettle on, and we’ll get started…
P.S.: None of the companies or organisations referred to throughout this blog have paid any commission or fee to be included. I’ve simply recommended them to you as they are sites or companies I use myself, and have always found their services or content to be extremely useful or helpful, or they have been a valued contributor to this financial advice BLOG.
And if you tired enough go jump on jet ski with fishing rack form Strong Outdoors and rock and roll.