<p>Homes in the city cost more than 10 times the average local income, as home affordability in the UK hits a nine-year low</p><p>Home affordability in Britain is at its worst level since 2008, with Oxford, London and Winchester the UK’s most unaffordable places to buy. </p><p>Affordability ratings, which compare the costs of buying a home in an area with the average regional pay, say that the cost of homeownership in five cities is now more than 10 times the average local income, thanks to a rapid growth in house prices, combined with slower wage growth.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/feb/25/oxford-once-again-tops-list-of-uks-least-affordable-places-to-live">Continue reading...</a>

Oxford once again tops list of UK's least affordable places to live

Feb 25, 2017 8:01

Homes in the city cost more than 10 times the average local income, as home affordability in the UK hits a nine-year low

Home affordability in Britain is at its worst level since 2008, with Oxford, London and Winchester the UK’s most unaffordable places to buy.

Affordability ratings, which compare the costs of buying a home in an area with the average regional pay, say that the cost of homeownership in five cities is now more than 10 times the average local income, thanks to a rapid growth in house prices, combined with slower wage growth.

Continue reading...

<p>These properties, from Cumbria to Essex, are ideal for catching some rays all year round<br></p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/gallery/2017/feb/24/homes-with-sunrooms-in-pictures">Continue reading...</a>

Homes with sunrooms – in pictures

Feb 24, 2017 23:45

These properties, from Cumbria to Essex, are ideal for catching some rays all year round

Continue reading...

<p>These rolling hills, thatched pubs and gay towns are a long way from the nearest turmeric latte</p><p><strong>What’s going for it? </strong>We’re not in Kansas any more, Toto. This is north Devon, <em>deeeeeep</em> Devon. Far, far, far from the nearest motorway. Far, far, far from the nearest turmeric latte. You need resilience out here. Survival skills. Your role model? <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarka_the_Otter">Tarka the Otter</a>. His creator, author Henry Williamson, moved here from London to track the tough lives of local otters. Poor old Tarka suffers endless iniquities (the loss of his mum, the death of his first mate, the trials of being a young dad, fleeing hunts and facing up to his old foe, Deadlock the dog) but nothing can break his spirit.</p><p>The Torridge valley is a little less harsh for the 21st-century human. Think lush hills, thatched pubs and gay towns, such as Great Torrington, bedecked in bunting. But you’ll still need your wits about you: with mod cons so distant, Torridge denizens have learned to be resourceful. This is one of the UK’s hot spots for volunteering and community fundraising, keeping the likes of the <a href="http://www.theploughartscentre.org.uk/">Plough arts centre</a> and cinema going strong.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/feb/24/lets-move-great-torrington-torridge-valley-devon">Continue reading...</a>

Let’s move to the Torridge valley, Devon: ‘It’s lush’

Feb 24, 2017 16:30

These rolling hills, thatched pubs and gay towns are a long way from the nearest turmeric latte

What’s going for it? We’re not in Kansas any more, Toto. This is north Devon, deeeeeep Devon. Far, far, far from the nearest motorway. Far, far, far from the nearest turmeric latte. You need resilience out here. Survival skills. Your role model? Tarka the Otter. His creator, author Henry Williamson, moved here from London to track the tough lives of local otters. Poor old Tarka suffers endless iniquities (the loss of his mum, the death of his first mate, the trials of being a young dad, fleeing hunts and facing up to his old foe, Deadlock the dog) but nothing can break his spirit.

The Torridge valley is a little less harsh for the 21st-century human. Think lush hills, thatched pubs and gay towns, such as Great Torrington, bedecked in bunting. But you’ll still need your wits about you: with mod cons so distant, Torridge denizens have learned to be resourceful. This is one of the UK’s hot spots for volunteering and community fundraising, keeping the likes of the Plough arts centre and cinema going strong.

Continue reading...

<p>Railway buffs can hop on board at Bognor Regis to find a berth in a unique bungalow with sea views </p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/gallery/2017/feb/24/beach-front-home-former-train-carriages-bognor-regis-in-pictures">Continue reading...</a>

A beachfront home in former train carriages – in pictures

Feb 24, 2017 7:00

Railway buffs can hop on board at Bognor Regis to find a berth in a unique bungalow with sea views

Continue reading...

<p>The dream of a property-owning democracy is ridden with cracks and leaks: ministers say build, build, build – but then fail to ensure proper regulation</p><p>They might be the most ubiquitous feature of the modern English landscape, and yet they barely attract any comment: those sprawling newbuild housing developments that seem to surround almost every town and city, offering a promise of comfort and security and a vital foot on the property ladder.</p><p>More often than not, their avenues and culs-de-sac will have faux-bucolic names often ending in “meadows”, “mead”, or “wood”. The life therein seems profoundly modern: stripped of much history or sense of shared experience so that everything suggests the weightlessness of suburbia. Yet for all the outward gleam, something is wrong.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/23/building-millions-new-homes-not-fit-to-live-in-regulation">Continue reading...</a>

What’s the point of building a million new homes if they’re not fit to live in? | John Harris

Feb 23, 2017 15:58

The dream of a property-owning democracy is ridden with cracks and leaks: ministers say build, build, build – but then fail to ensure proper regulation

They might be the most ubiquitous feature of the modern English landscape, and yet they barely attract any comment: those sprawling newbuild housing developments that seem to surround almost every town and city, offering a promise of comfort and security and a vital foot on the property ladder.

More often than not, their avenues and culs-de-sac will have faux-bucolic names often ending in “meadows”, “mead”, or “wood”. The life therein seems profoundly modern: stripped of much history or sense of shared experience so that everything suggests the weightlessness of suburbia. Yet for all the outward gleam, something is wrong.

Continue reading...

<p>Also, the pension changes that could cost Britons thousands and Whirlpool finally tells customers to unplug dangerous tumble dryers<br></p><p>Hello and welcome to this week’s Money Talks – a roundup of the week’s biggest stories and some things you may have missed.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/feb/23/london-penthouse-60000-per-week-isa-high-returns">Continue reading...</a>

A London penthouse for £60,000 per week, plus the Isa offering 12% returns

Feb 23, 2017 15:20

Also, the pension changes that could cost Britons thousands and Whirlpool finally tells customers to unplug dangerous tumble dryers

Hello and welcome to this week’s Money Talks – a roundup of the week’s biggest stories and some things you may have missed.

Continue reading...

<p>Funding changes mean some of our vulnerable tenants may face a shortfall of up to £440 a month by 2019. We need more time to pilot such drastic change</p><p> </p><p>In November 2015, then-chancellor George Osborne <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jan/26/benefit-cap-on-social-housing-will-leave-thousands-homeless-landlords-warn">caused considerable alarm</a> for providers and tenants of supported housing, when he announced that the amount of benefit available to new social housing tenants would be capped at the relevant private sector Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate. </p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2017/feb/23/the-timetable-for-changes-to-supported-housing-is-recklessly-short">Continue reading...</a>

Plan for changes to supported housing is recklessly short | Zhan McIntyre

Feb 23, 2017 7:05

Funding changes mean some of our vulnerable tenants may face a shortfall of up to £440 a month by 2019. We need more time to pilot such drastic change

In November 2015, then-chancellor George Osborne caused considerable alarm for providers and tenants of supported housing, when he announced that the amount of benefit available to new social housing tenants would be capped at the relevant private sector Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate.

Continue reading...

This business rate crisis is the direct result of flawed policy that penalises commerce in our town centres<p>Children should not play with bombs. Business rates are the cluster munitions of fiscal policy, and the chancellor, Philip Hammond, and his “communities” secretary, Sajid Javid, have been playing with them all week. They have duly exploded in high streets all over southern England. There is blood everywhere.</p><p>When I discovered that the resident&nbsp;of one of the most expensive flats in London was <a href="http://www.standard.co.uk/comment/comment/simon-jenkins-let-the-mayor-save-our-high-streets-from-crippling-rates-rises-a3466451.html" title="">paying £1,400 a year</a> in property tax, while Javid wants&nbsp;a&nbsp;watch&nbsp;shop in the same building to pay £244,000, I realised that&nbsp;whatever else Britain is good at, it&nbsp;is&nbsp;terrible at taxation.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/23/destruction-of-britains-high-streets-business-rates">Continue reading...</a>

The destruction of Britain’s high streets is no accident | Simon Jenkins

Feb 23, 2017 7:00

This business rate crisis is the direct result of flawed policy that penalises commerce in our town centres

Children should not play with bombs. Business rates are the cluster munitions of fiscal policy, and the chancellor, Philip Hammond, and his “communities” secretary, Sajid Javid, have been playing with them all week. They have duly exploded in high streets all over southern England. There is blood everywhere.

When I discovered that the resident of one of the most expensive flats in London was paying £1,400 a year in property tax, while Javid wants a watch shop in the same building to pay £244,000, I realised that whatever else Britain is good at, it is terrible at taxation.

Continue reading...

<p>My husband and I want to finance a new kitchen and don’t want a loan refusal to tarnish our future ability to borrow </p><p><strong>Q </strong>In 2013 we bought our house on a Scottish island for £229,500 on a 16-year mortgage. I am 51, my husband 56, so we now have a mortgage for the next 12 years. The house is big but the kitchen is tiny, and we have a large family. We are thinking about having a new kitchen built and there seem to be two options. We can either build one in our dining room for about £17,000, which would look lovely. Or we can go for broke and knock down the small extension that houses our existing kitchen and loo, and build an extension with kitchen-diner, utility room and office opening on to our large garden, which would cost around £50,000. <strong tabindex="-1"> </strong></p><p>We owe £96,500 on our mortgage and, as the house is valued at £275,000, we could remortgage to fund either option. The only problem is that our credit ratings aren’t perfect. My rating is good to excellent but my affordability score is poor. My husband’s is average. We do, however, have quite a lot of personal borrowing, and are asset-rich and cash-poor, largely as a result of funding three of our kids at university, which means that credit card usage is high.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/feb/23/do-we-need-credit-check-find-out-whether-remortgage">Continue reading...</a>

Do we need a credit check to find out whether we can remortgage?

Feb 23, 2017 7:00

My husband and I want to finance a new kitchen and don’t want a loan refusal to tarnish our future ability to borrow

Q In 2013 we bought our house on a Scottish island for £229,500 on a 16-year mortgage. I am 51, my husband 56, so we now have a mortgage for the next 12 years. The house is big but the kitchen is tiny, and we have a large family. We are thinking about having a new kitchen built and there seem to be two options. We can either build one in our dining room for about £17,000, which would look lovely. Or we can go for broke and knock down the small extension that houses our existing kitchen and loo, and build an extension with kitchen-diner, utility room and office opening on to our large garden, which would cost around £50,000.

We owe £96,500 on our mortgage and, as the house is valued at £275,000, we could remortgage to fund either option. The only problem is that our credit ratings aren’t perfect. My rating is good to excellent but my affordability score is poor. My husband’s is average. We do, however, have quite a lot of personal borrowing, and are asset-rich and cash-poor, largely as a result of funding three of our kids at university, which means that credit card usage is high.

Continue reading...

<p>Housebuilder appears to brush aside Brexit uncertainties despite being forced to cut prices of top properties in capital</p><p>One of Britain’s biggest housebuilders has surprised shareholders with an enhanced cash payout, despite its decision to cut prices on some of its most expensive homes in London amid waning demand.</p><p>Brushing aside any uncertainty over the <a draggable="true" href="https://www.theguardian.com/politics/eu-referendum">Brexit vote</a>, <a draggable="true" href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/barrattdevelopments">Barratt Developments</a> said it was sufficiently confident in the outlook for the housing market to extend its capital return plan, including special dividend payments of £175m in November 2017 and November 2018.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/feb/22/barratt-surprises-investors-with-enhanced-dividend-payouts-housebuilder-brexit-capital-profits">Continue reading...</a>

Barratt to pay out more to shareholders despite London sales slump

Feb 22, 2017 14:25

Housebuilder appears to brush aside Brexit uncertainties despite being forced to cut prices of top properties in capital

One of Britain’s biggest housebuilders has surprised shareholders with an enhanced cash payout, despite its decision to cut prices on some of its most expensive homes in London amid waning demand.

Brushing aside any uncertainty over the Brexit vote, Barratt Developments said it was sufficiently confident in the outlook for the housing market to extend its capital return plan, including special dividend payments of £175m in November 2017 and November 2018.

Continue reading...

<p>It hums with independent shops, pubs, restaurants, museums, microbreweries, an eco-suburb and even a walking festival</p><p>W<strong>hat’s going for it?</strong> As the isolated and only children know too well, when you have nobody else to talk to, you must make your own entertainment. Bishop’s Castle, all alone out near the Welsh border, has had centuries to perfect the art of entertaining yourself. This pretty town bursts with enthusiasm. There may be barely 2,000 souls here, but goodness they’re industrious. Bishop’s Castle hums with independent shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants, B&amp;Bs, two (<em>two</em>!) microbreweries, museums of rural life <em>and</em> railways, a weekly market, an eco-suburb, and I&nbsp;haven’t even got on to sports and recreation, let alone the <a href="http://walkingfestival.co.uk/">walking festival</a>. The town has long attracted alternative types, as my granny called them: artists, writers, the long-haired and crafty, the kind who can whittle the Cutty Sark from a&nbsp;twig. There was a horrifying spate of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yarn_bombing">yarn bombing</a> last autumn. If anyone asked them, I’m sure this lot could work out Brexit after a&nbsp;community meeting or five; but, keeping itself to itself, Bishop’s Castle instead makes a perfect spot to escape the world as it self-destructs, and indulge, perhaps, in a little <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/12/modern-macrame-craft-interiors-portland-emily-katz">macramé</a>.</p><p><strong>The case against</strong> No castle (well, a wall). No bishop. Say goodbye to metropolitan pleasures. Far, far from anything but <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/oct/23/lets-move-to-church-stretton-shropshire-hills-tom-dyckhoff">Church Stretton</a>.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/feb/17/lets-move-to-bishops-castle-shropshire-pretty-town-enthusiasm">Continue reading...</a>

Let’s move to Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire: ‘This pretty town bursts with enthusiasm’

Feb 17, 2017 16:30

It hums with independent shops, pubs, restaurants, museums, microbreweries, an eco-suburb and even a walking festival

What’s going for it? As the isolated and only children know too well, when you have nobody else to talk to, you must make your own entertainment. Bishop’s Castle, all alone out near the Welsh border, has had centuries to perfect the art of entertaining yourself. This pretty town bursts with enthusiasm. There may be barely 2,000 souls here, but goodness they’re industrious. Bishop’s Castle hums with independent shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants, B&Bs, two (two!) microbreweries, museums of rural life and railways, a weekly market, an eco-suburb, and I haven’t even got on to sports and recreation, let alone the walking festival. The town has long attracted alternative types, as my granny called them: artists, writers, the long-haired and crafty, the kind who can whittle the Cutty Sark from a twig. There was a horrifying spate of yarn bombing last autumn. If anyone asked them, I’m sure this lot could work out Brexit after a community meeting or five; but, keeping itself to itself, Bishop’s Castle instead makes a perfect spot to escape the world as it self-destructs, and indulge, perhaps, in a little macramé.

The case against No castle (well, a wall). No bishop. Say goodbye to metropolitan pleasures. Far, far from anything but Church Stretton.

Continue reading...

<p>Life on these isles is, if not simpler (have you tried getting from A to B on 70 islands?), then more elemental</p><p><strong>What’s going for it?</strong> The Orkney islands are my Plan B (though I haven’t told my wife). When all hell is breaking loose at home and post-postmodern chaos engulfs the world, when <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/cbeebies">CBeebies</a> is cranked up to 10 and I’m tripping over the Lego, I think of Orkney. I picture myself collecting seaweed on a beach on <a href="http://www.sanday.co.uk/">Sanday</a>, staring out at a startled sheep from a little stone cottage on <a href="http://www.hoyorkney.com/">Hoy</a>, clambering over the moors to a cairn, or dancing to folk jigs at a <a href="http://www.stromnessorkney.com/">Stromness</a> inn. Life on these isles is, if not simpler (have you tried getting from A to B on 70 islands?), then more elemental. The sea is everywhere. The sky is gigantic. The people fabulous and resourceful. And they have CBeebies, too. I’m still working on Plan C.</p><p><strong>The case against</strong> Remote, naturally. Better get used to wind, rain, more wind, more rain, then sunshine: the weather is wild and unpredictable. Life can be tough, and ferries and flights pricey.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/feb/10/lets-move-to-kirkwall-and-orkney">Continue reading...</a>

Let’s move to Kirkwall and Orkney: all sea, sky and peace

Feb 10, 2017 16:30

Life on these isles is, if not simpler (have you tried getting from A to B on 70 islands?), then more elemental

What’s going for it? The Orkney islands are my Plan B (though I haven’t told my wife). When all hell is breaking loose at home and post-postmodern chaos engulfs the world, when CBeebies is cranked up to 10 and I’m tripping over the Lego, I think of Orkney. I picture myself collecting seaweed on a beach on Sanday, staring out at a startled sheep from a little stone cottage on Hoy, clambering over the moors to a cairn, or dancing to folk jigs at a Stromness inn. Life on these isles is, if not simpler (have you tried getting from A to B on 70 islands?), then more elemental. The sea is everywhere. The sky is gigantic. The people fabulous and resourceful. And they have CBeebies, too. I’m still working on Plan C.

The case against Remote, naturally. Better get used to wind, rain, more wind, more rain, then sunshine: the weather is wild and unpredictable. Life can be tough, and ferries and flights pricey.

Continue reading...

<p>The two-day Royal Shrovetide football match is its annual blood-letting</p><p>W<strong>hat’s going for it?</strong> I am not a football kind of chap. I barely know my Nobby Stiles from my Cristiano Ronaldo. But, if I were, <em>this</em> is the kind of footy I’d like to play. Ashbourne’s <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/ng-interactive/2016/feb/11/ashbournes-royal-shrovetide-football-match-photo-essay">Royal Shrovetide</a> match has been played every Shrove Tuesday for hundreds of years, and employs lots of elbows and a fair amount of handball, bunting, beer and clambering through the river. The whole town plays: the Up’ards (those living north of the river) versus the Down’ards. Ashbourne’s pretty, sloping, stone streets course for eight hours a day over two days with limbs, shouting and sweaty bodies. The point is to get the cork ball to one of two millstones at either end of town. But really, it’s the taking part. The event is an annual blood-letting for the town, which, soon after, reverts to normal – antique hunters peering through windows, pavements bustling with walkers off to the Tissington Trail, the whole surreal game just a dream for another 363 days.</p><p><strong>The case against…</strong> Very little. It’s a delightful town, though pretty sleepy outside Shrovetide. The outskirts are increasingly troubled with new developments, with mixed results.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/feb/03/lets-move-to-ashbourne-derbyshire">Continue reading...</a>

Let’s move to Ashbourne, Derbyshire: ‘A delightful town’

Feb 3, 2017 16:29

The two-day Royal Shrovetide football match is its annual blood-letting

What’s going for it? I am not a football kind of chap. I barely know my Nobby Stiles from my Cristiano Ronaldo. But, if I were, this is the kind of footy I’d like to play. Ashbourne’s Royal Shrovetide match has been played every Shrove Tuesday for hundreds of years, and employs lots of elbows and a fair amount of handball, bunting, beer and clambering through the river. The whole town plays: the Up’ards (those living north of the river) versus the Down’ards. Ashbourne’s pretty, sloping, stone streets course for eight hours a day over two days with limbs, shouting and sweaty bodies. The point is to get the cork ball to one of two millstones at either end of town. But really, it’s the taking part. The event is an annual blood-letting for the town, which, soon after, reverts to normal – antique hunters peering through windows, pavements bustling with walkers off to the Tissington Trail, the whole surreal game just a dream for another 363 days.

The case against… Very little. It’s a delightful town, though pretty sleepy outside Shrovetide. The outskirts are increasingly troubled with new developments, with mixed results.

Continue reading...

<p>There’s plenty to discover, with a vibrant arts centre, an exciting new restaurant and eccentric attractions</p><p>W<strong>hat’s going for it?</strong> There are ups and downs to living on a small island. The ups? You have to really want to live on one, so spots like the Isle of Wight attract the intrepid and the eccentric. Like Queen Victoria, who came here to escape the hordes so she could play “normal life” at <a href="http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/osborne/">Osborne</a>, her suburban house on steroids. The apparently ordinary on Wight is rarely that. Take its capital, Newport. On the face of it, this is a humdrum town of Prezzos and Carphone Warehouses, where the height of civic excitement is the opening this year of the new Asda. But its quaint alleys hide jewels like Robert Thompson’s <a href="http://www.robertthompson.co.uk/">new restaurant</a>, the fabulous <a href="http://www.quayarts.org/">Quay arts centre</a> (how many galleries hold kids events by Rob da Bank?) and the <a href="http://www.postalmuseum.co.uk/">Isle of Wight Postal Museum</a>, a&nbsp;collection of paraphernalia accumulated by one Wight eccentric, including “the infamous Rhyl station bracket box”. Be still, my beating heart.</p><p><strong>The case against</strong> Problems peculiar to islands, such as the cost and effort to get there, impact on local economics and services. See Newport’s <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/dec/15/bestival-leaving-isle-of-wight-2017-lulworth-estate-dorset">loss of Bestival to Dorset</a> this year, though the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/isle-of-wight-festival">Isle of Wight festival</a> still reigns.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/jan/27/lets-move-newport-isle-of-wight">Continue reading...</a>

Let’s move to Newport, Isle of Wight: ‘Its quaint alleys hide jewels’

Jan 27, 2017 16:30

There’s plenty to discover, with a vibrant arts centre, an exciting new restaurant and eccentric attractions

What’s going for it? There are ups and downs to living on a small island. The ups? You have to really want to live on one, so spots like the Isle of Wight attract the intrepid and the eccentric. Like Queen Victoria, who came here to escape the hordes so she could play “normal life” at Osborne, her suburban house on steroids. The apparently ordinary on Wight is rarely that. Take its capital, Newport. On the face of it, this is a humdrum town of Prezzos and Carphone Warehouses, where the height of civic excitement is the opening this year of the new Asda. But its quaint alleys hide jewels like Robert Thompson’s new restaurant, the fabulous Quay arts centre (how many galleries hold kids events by Rob da Bank?) and the Isle of Wight Postal Museum, a collection of paraphernalia accumulated by one Wight eccentric, including “the infamous Rhyl station bracket box”. Be still, my beating heart.

The case against Problems peculiar to islands, such as the cost and effort to get there, impact on local economics and services. See Newport’s loss of Bestival to Dorset this year, though the Isle of Wight festival still reigns.

Continue reading...

<p>It has it all – donkey rides, ice-cream sundaes, fish and chips, penny slots and a miniature railway</p><p>W<strong>hat’s going for it?</strong> I’ll warn you: I’m saving Scarborough for me. It’s mine, all mine. You can keep your Costa Brava and all of that palaver. This, where seasiding began in the 17th century, has all I require in life balanced beautifully in the perfect resort recipe: one measure donkey rides to two parts ice-cream sundaes, a dash of kiss-me-quick, a sprinkling of eccentricity (those daily mini naval battles on the lake in <a href="http://peasholmpark.com/">Peasholm Park</a>, for starters), a generous helping of fish and chips (cooked in dripping, natch), penny slots, funiculars (I love a funicular) <em>and</em> a miniature railway, a dash (but only a dash) of decline. I could, believe me, go on. What could possibly improve it? Well the locals are giving it a try. The spa’s revived, the new <a href="http://www.alpamare.co.uk/">Alpamare waterpark</a> is one of the fanciest in the UK (with an infinity pool – in Scarborough!), and the newly reinvented 1930s open-air theatre welcomes <a href="http://www.scarboroughopenairtheatre.com/2016/11/21/beach-boys-play-scarborough-open-air-theatre/">the Beach Boys</a> this summer. Back to their roots, you might say. Hope they wrap up warm. Next on the wish list? <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/film/wes-anderson">Wes Anderson</a> buys the <a href="https://www.britanniahotels.com/hotels/the-grand-hotel-scarborough/">Grand Hotel</a>. I can dream.</p><p><strong>The case against</strong> Out of the way. Even York’s a bit of a schlep. The mooted demolition of the fabulous <a href="http://www.futuristtheatre.co.uk/">Futurist Theatre</a> on the front: depressing.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/jan/20/lets-move-scarborough-north-yorkshire-where-seasiding-began">Continue reading...</a>

Let’s move to Scarborough, North Yorkshire: ‘Where seasiding began’

Jan 20, 2017 16:30

It has it all – donkey rides, ice-cream sundaes, fish and chips, penny slots and a miniature railway

What’s going for it? I’ll warn you: I’m saving Scarborough for me. It’s mine, all mine. You can keep your Costa Brava and all of that palaver. This, where seasiding began in the 17th century, has all I require in life balanced beautifully in the perfect resort recipe: one measure donkey rides to two parts ice-cream sundaes, a dash of kiss-me-quick, a sprinkling of eccentricity (those daily mini naval battles on the lake in Peasholm Park, for starters), a generous helping of fish and chips (cooked in dripping, natch), penny slots, funiculars (I love a funicular) and a miniature railway, a dash (but only a dash) of decline. I could, believe me, go on. What could possibly improve it? Well the locals are giving it a try. The spa’s revived, the new Alpamare waterpark is one of the fanciest in the UK (with an infinity pool – in Scarborough!), and the newly reinvented 1930s open-air theatre welcomes the Beach Boys this summer. Back to their roots, you might say. Hope they wrap up warm. Next on the wish list? Wes Anderson buys the Grand Hotel. I can dream.

The case against Out of the way. Even York’s a bit of a schlep. The mooted demolition of the fabulous Futurist Theatre on the front: depressing.

Continue reading...

<p>‘Huge efforts have been made to reverse the reputation for crime Streatham attracted in the 80s. It’s worked’</p><p><strong>What’s going for it?</strong> Don’t, don’t, don’t believe the hype. Or the opposite of hype, whatever that is. Streatham has a reputation. But so what. The reality is amazing. In the 1930s (geographically challenged) people called it the “West End of south London”. Streatham was glam. The High Road is still lined with art deco mansion blocks, former department stores and cinemas from the era of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/film/2009/dec/22/clark-gable-screen-legend">Clark Gable</a>. This was the main route to <a href="http://www.croydonairport.org.uk/The-Airport/The-History">London’s airport at Croydon</a> and, flying being an expensive affair back then, the glitterati purred through in their Wolseleys en route for <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/mar/29/travel-tips-deauville-france-peak-district-brussels">Deauville</a>. You want more proof? <a href="http://www.waitrosememorystore.org.uk/page_id__329_path__0p3p38p466p.aspx">Waitrose opened its first supermarket here!</a> Huge efforts have been made to reverse the reputation for crime Streatham attracted in the 80s. It’s worked. The neighbourhood’s golden ages have left it with homes high on its hill that’d be the envy of Hampstead, but without the snobbery.</p><p><strong>The case against</strong> It has rather a large road running through it, and we can’t do much about that. Let’s run with it. Turn it into a boulevard. Plant trees.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/jan/13/lets-move-to-streatham-south-west-london">Continue reading...</a>

Let’s move to Streatham, south-west London: forget what you know

Jan 13, 2017 16:30

‘Huge efforts have been made to reverse the reputation for crime Streatham attracted in the 80s. It’s worked’

What’s going for it? Don’t, don’t, don’t believe the hype. Or the opposite of hype, whatever that is. Streatham has a reputation. But so what. The reality is amazing. In the 1930s (geographically challenged) people called it the “West End of south London”. Streatham was glam. The High Road is still lined with art deco mansion blocks, former department stores and cinemas from the era of Clark Gable. This was the main route to London’s airport at Croydon and, flying being an expensive affair back then, the glitterati purred through in their Wolseleys en route for Deauville. You want more proof? Waitrose opened its first supermarket here! Huge efforts have been made to reverse the reputation for crime Streatham attracted in the 80s. It’s worked. The neighbourhood’s golden ages have left it with homes high on its hill that’d be the envy of Hampstead, but without the snobbery.

The case against It has rather a large road running through it, and we can’t do much about that. Let’s run with it. Turn it into a boulevard. Plant trees.

Continue reading...

<p>As buildings go, Durham Cathedral is as good as it gets </p><p><strong>What’s going for it?</strong> Is it silly to move somewhere just because of one building? I think I could, you know. I’m an archi-geek, so perhaps more predisposed to being intoxicated by a smashing guildhall or a stately home. But still: <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/21/durham-cathedral-opens-hidden-treasures-and-spaces-to-public">Durham Cathedral</a>, what a place. As buildings go, this is as good as it gets, equal to the Alhambra, the Pantheon or the Parthenon. Walk in and you’re beamed back to a time of monks and border raids, when Durham was the heart of a rather different northern powerhouse. I could move my bed, desk and a Baby Belling into the north aisle this second, though I doubt the bishop (or my wife, or my kids) would approve. The cathedral does dominate the city. Without it, Durham would be a pleasant, undemanding market town, albeit beautifully sited on a wooded loop of the river Wear and with a fine university attached. With it, though... Wow! But madness, right? Right?</p><p><strong>The case against</strong> It’s a small city, constrained by its geography, so urbanites might get bored.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/jan/06/lets-move-to-durham-county-durham">Continue reading...</a>

Let’s move to Durham, County Durham

Jan 6, 2017 16:30

As buildings go, Durham Cathedral is as good as it gets

What’s going for it? Is it silly to move somewhere just because of one building? I think I could, you know. I’m an archi-geek, so perhaps more predisposed to being intoxicated by a smashing guildhall or a stately home. But still: Durham Cathedral, what a place. As buildings go, this is as good as it gets, equal to the Alhambra, the Pantheon or the Parthenon. Walk in and you’re beamed back to a time of monks and border raids, when Durham was the heart of a rather different northern powerhouse. I could move my bed, desk and a Baby Belling into the north aisle this second, though I doubt the bishop (or my wife, or my kids) would approve. The cathedral does dominate the city. Without it, Durham would be a pleasant, undemanding market town, albeit beautifully sited on a wooded loop of the river Wear and with a fine university attached. With it, though... Wow! But madness, right? Right?

The case against It’s a small city, constrained by its geography, so urbanites might get bored.

Continue reading...

<p>They’re remote, but that goes with the territory</p><p><strong>What’s going for it?</strong> Those wily French! No sooner had <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2009/jul/15/archive-storming-bastille-france-1889">they stormed the Bastille</a> than they had designs on storming us. Again. <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/wales/entries/002ee4af-c847-3da1-9112-fdb206618b86">The last invasion of Britain</a> took place on 22 February 1797, just outside Fishguard, though it seems more omnishambles than shock and awe. Two of the three prongs of attack were scuppered by bad weather; the third was marred by a right old shower. Many opted to get drunk and loot farmhouses; the rest were seen off after a couple of days by reservists and locals, including folk heroine <a href="http://www.visitwales.com/explore/traditions-history/horrible-histories-wild-women">Jemima Nicholas</a> who, it’s reputed, rounded up a dozen Frenchies with nothing more than a pitchfork. That’s the spirit. After which Fishguard and its mini-me Newport returned to business as usual, catching herring and supping ale. Today, they’re rather idyllic, with their boats bobbing in the harbour, their wooded slopes and tranquil beaches, while tourists and downshifters hungry for the Pembrokeshire Experience invade Tenby and the south coast, armed with selfie sticks and demands for artisan ice-cream.</p><p><strong>The case against </strong>They’re remote, but that kind of goes with the territory.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/dec/16/lets-move-to-fishguard-and-newport-pembrokeshire-wales-idyllic">Continue reading...</a>

Let’s move to Fishguard and Newport, Pembrokeshire: ‘They’re rather idyllic’

Dec 16, 2016 16:30

They’re remote, but that goes with the territory

What’s going for it? Those wily French! No sooner had they stormed the Bastille than they had designs on storming us. Again. The last invasion of Britain took place on 22 February 1797, just outside Fishguard, though it seems more omnishambles than shock and awe. Two of the three prongs of attack were scuppered by bad weather; the third was marred by a right old shower. Many opted to get drunk and loot farmhouses; the rest were seen off after a couple of days by reservists and locals, including folk heroine Jemima Nicholas who, it’s reputed, rounded up a dozen Frenchies with nothing more than a pitchfork. That’s the spirit. After which Fishguard and its mini-me Newport returned to business as usual, catching herring and supping ale. Today, they’re rather idyllic, with their boats bobbing in the harbour, their wooded slopes and tranquil beaches, while tourists and downshifters hungry for the Pembrokeshire Experience invade Tenby and the south coast, armed with selfie sticks and demands for artisan ice-cream.

The case against They’re remote, but that kind of goes with the territory.

Continue reading...

<p>It needs attention, despite the famous white cliffs and some beautiful Regency terraces</p><p>W<strong>hat’s going for it?</strong> Britain’s gatehouse, thanks to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/politics/eu-referendum">Brexit</a>, may be about to resume the role it has held for a millennium or two. The past few decades have not been kind to Dover: bombed to smithereens in the second world war, rebuilt – vigorously, if we’re being generous – in the 1960s and on its uppers since airports and the Channel tunnel snatched away its historic role. Maybe the future will be kinder. The hefty chunks of the past that have survived hint at a more prosperous incarnation: <a href="http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/dover-castle/">the castle</a>, of course, none sturdier in the country, and the beautiful Regency terraces along the waterfront. Combined with its dramatic geography, squished into a cleft where the North Downs hammer into the sea, this should make for a spirited town, as impressive as its famous white cliffs, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/nov/07/carol-ann-duffy-white-cliffs-dover">our “glittering breastplate<em>”</em>, as Carol Ann Duffy called them</a>. What it needs is attention, money and a new confidence.</p><p><strong>The case against</strong> An air of despondency from years of being overlooked. How will Dover respond to Brexit? Customs strikes and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/24/dover-port-delays-uk-home-office-reinforcements">14-hour queues this year</a> are a worrying augury. The waterfront needs serious work. Will the <a href="http://www.stjamesdover.co.uk/">St James retail park</a>, opening next year, liven things up?</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/dec/09/lets-move-dover-kent-on-its-uppers-tom-dyckhoff">Continue reading...</a>

Let’s move to Dover, Kent: ‘It’s been overlooked for years’

Dec 9, 2016 16:30

It needs attention, despite the famous white cliffs and some beautiful Regency terraces

What’s going for it? Britain’s gatehouse, thanks to Brexit, may be about to resume the role it has held for a millennium or two. The past few decades have not been kind to Dover: bombed to smithereens in the second world war, rebuilt – vigorously, if we’re being generous – in the 1960s and on its uppers since airports and the Channel tunnel snatched away its historic role. Maybe the future will be kinder. The hefty chunks of the past that have survived hint at a more prosperous incarnation: the castle, of course, none sturdier in the country, and the beautiful Regency terraces along the waterfront. Combined with its dramatic geography, squished into a cleft where the North Downs hammer into the sea, this should make for a spirited town, as impressive as its famous white cliffs, our “glittering breastplate, as Carol Ann Duffy called them. What it needs is attention, money and a new confidence.

The case against An air of despondency from years of being overlooked. How will Dover respond to Brexit? Customs strikes and 14-hour queues this year are a worrying augury. The waterfront needs serious work. Will the St James retail park, opening next year, liven things up?

Continue reading...

<p>My partner and I already own homes, but want to purchase another to help our children later on<br></p><p><strong>Q </strong>My partner and I – we are not married – live in his house, which he owns outright in his sole name. I also have a house in my name only. There is a mortgage on this property, which will be rented out once it has been renovated. We are thinking about jointly buying another buy-to-let house but won’t need a mortgage to do that. The property we are looking at will cost £220,000. Will we have to pay extra stamp duty because it is a second home?<br tabindex="-1"></p><p>The main reason we’re buying this house is to provide security for our children when they need money later on in life for deposits or university fees. We also want it to help with our planned retirement in five years’ time. We are not buying the house to make money from a quick sale as any money we can get from it will not be touched until such time as it is needed. <strong>MB</strong></p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/feb/16/pay-higher-stamp-duty-buy-to-let-property-help-children">Continue reading...</a>

Will we pay higher stamp duty on a buy-to-let property?

Feb 16, 2017 11:10

My partner and I already own homes, but want to purchase another to help our children later on

Q My partner and I – we are not married – live in his house, which he owns outright in his sole name. I also have a house in my name only. There is a mortgage on this property, which will be rented out once it has been renovated. We are thinking about jointly buying another buy-to-let house but won’t need a mortgage to do that. The property we are looking at will cost £220,000. Will we have to pay extra stamp duty because it is a second home?

The main reason we’re buying this house is to provide security for our children when they need money later on in life for deposits or university fees. We also want it to help with our planned retirement in five years’ time. We are not buying the house to make money from a quick sale as any money we can get from it will not be touched until such time as it is needed. MB

Continue reading...

<p>We are very concerned to find out whether the builders factored the neighbour’s trees into their work </p><p><strong>Q</strong> My husband and I are looking to move into a bigger house as our current two-bed, one-bath house has become too small for us.</p><p>We have found our dream home. It is a semi-detached property with three bedrooms and three bathrooms, which was rebuilt out of a rundown two-bed house in 2015. The previous owner extended the house to the side all the way up to the neighbour’s boundary wall. What worries me is that the neighbour has a line of very tall conifer trees running along this wall. I am afraid these trees could cause us a great deal of subsidence trouble in future – although there don’t currently seem to be any signs of subsidence in the house.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/feb/09/our-dream-home-has-been-extended-near-trees-is-subsidence-a-risk">Continue reading...</a>

Our dream home has been extended near trees – is subsidence a risk?

Feb 9, 2017 7:00

We are very concerned to find out whether the builders factored the neighbour’s trees into their work

Q My husband and I are looking to move into a bigger house as our current two-bed, one-bath house has become too small for us.

We have found our dream home. It is a semi-detached property with three bedrooms and three bathrooms, which was rebuilt out of a rundown two-bed house in 2015. The previous owner extended the house to the side all the way up to the neighbour’s boundary wall. What worries me is that the neighbour has a line of very tall conifer trees running along this wall. I am afraid these trees could cause us a great deal of subsidence trouble in future – although there don’t currently seem to be any signs of subsidence in the house.

Continue reading...

<p>Help to Buy prevents borrowers from renting out their properties, so I want to increase my mortgage to pay off the loan </p><p><strong>Q</strong> Due to a change in circumstances I am looking to rent out my house. However, because I have an equity loan from the Help to Buy scheme, this is forbidden. As a result I’m looking to repay my Help to Buy equity loan but don’t know how to go about doing this. Do I contact the mortgage provider or a solicitor? Also, once my mortgage repayments increase does this mean the house is fully mine or is this not the case until its fully repaid? <strong>JD</strong></p><p><strong>A </strong>Even though you had help in the form of an equity loan from the Help to Buy scheme and a mortgage from your lender, the house is already fully yours, as you will be registered as the legal owner with 100% title to your home. Your mortgage lender and Help to Buy agent do not become joint owners with you. However, to protect the loans they make to you, your mortgage lender will take a first charge over the property and the Help to Buy agent will take a second charge over it to ensure that if the house is sold, they get enough of the sale proceeds needed to repay what you owe them.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/feb/02/i-want-to-repay-my-help-to-buy-loan-in-order-to-let-my-house">Continue reading...</a>

I want to repay my Help to Buy loan in order to let my house

Feb 2, 2017 7:00

Help to Buy prevents borrowers from renting out their properties, so I want to increase my mortgage to pay off the loan

Q Due to a change in circumstances I am looking to rent out my house. However, because I have an equity loan from the Help to Buy scheme, this is forbidden. As a result I’m looking to repay my Help to Buy equity loan but don’t know how to go about doing this. Do I contact the mortgage provider or a solicitor? Also, once my mortgage repayments increase does this mean the house is fully mine or is this not the case until its fully repaid? JD

A Even though you had help in the form of an equity loan from the Help to Buy scheme and a mortgage from your lender, the house is already fully yours, as you will be registered as the legal owner with 100% title to your home. Your mortgage lender and Help to Buy agent do not become joint owners with you. However, to protect the loans they make to you, your mortgage lender will take a first charge over the property and the Help to Buy agent will take a second charge over it to ensure that if the house is sold, they get enough of the sale proceeds needed to repay what you owe them.

Continue reading...

<p>As an unmarried couple we want to protect our monies, but my partner is worried that if I pay for repairs her share will fall </p><p><strong>Q</strong> Two years ago my partner and I bought our first house together. Although the deposit we gathered was more mine than hers, we signed a deed of trust protecting our respective monies. It has since come to light that I am due to inherit some money. As there is still much to be done to the house, I had planned to spend around £20,000 putting in a new bathroom, double glazing and front door – all necessary improvements we could not otherwise afford. <br></p><p>My partner, however, has raised concerns that by putting more money into the property, I would subsequently be taking more out (and therefore depleting her share) were we to sell it and go our separate ways. What is the norm for unmarried people in this situation? She has suggested that she pay for half of the repairs, though at present she does not have the money to do so. Should I otherwise just pay for the cost myself and take the hit? Any advice would be most welcome. <strong>KM </strong></p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/jan/26/do-we-need-deed-of-trust-reflect-our-shares-house-purchase-">Continue reading...</a>

Do we need a deed of trust to reflect our shares in our house purchase?

Jan 26, 2017 11:12

As an unmarried couple we want to protect our monies, but my partner is worried that if I pay for repairs her share will fall

Q Two years ago my partner and I bought our first house together. Although the deposit we gathered was more mine than hers, we signed a deed of trust protecting our respective monies. It has since come to light that I am due to inherit some money. As there is still much to be done to the house, I had planned to spend around £20,000 putting in a new bathroom, double glazing and front door – all necessary improvements we could not otherwise afford.

My partner, however, has raised concerns that by putting more money into the property, I would subsequently be taking more out (and therefore depleting her share) were we to sell it and go our separate ways. What is the norm for unmarried people in this situation? She has suggested that she pay for half of the repairs, though at present she does not have the money to do so. Should I otherwise just pay for the cost myself and take the hit? Any advice would be most welcome. KM

Continue reading...

<p>Also, will I be able to get a mortgage after my individual voluntary arrangement ends? I don’t have a deposit though<br></p><p><strong>Q</strong> I have a few questions about whether I have any chance of buying a flat while I am on an IVA (individual voluntary arrangement) and repaying my debts. As I am on an IVA, rather than bankrupt, are there any special options for me? And how many months after I finish my repayments will my credit score be OK for me to get a loan? I want to avoid paying a deposit as I have no savings so what are my options? My income is £24,000 a year so how big a loan I can apply for? <strong>PG</strong></p><p><strong>A</strong> Brace yourself for answers you are not going to like. First, the chances of buying a flat while you are still paying off your debts through an IVA are, at best, incredibly slim. And no, there are no special options because you chose an IVA over being declared bankrupt – both are still forms of insolvency. An IVA is a formal agreement to repay your creditors at an amount you can afford. If your creditors agree to the IVA it becomes legally binding. As long as you keep to the IVA terms, your creditors will not contact you or increase the debt. When you have made the final payment, any unpaid debt is written off. <br></p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/jan/19/buy-flat-paying-debts-iva-mortgage">Continue reading...</a>

Can I buy a flat while I'm paying off debts through an IVA?

Jan 19, 2017 7:00

Also, will I be able to get a mortgage after my individual voluntary arrangement ends? I don’t have a deposit though

Q I have a few questions about whether I have any chance of buying a flat while I am on an IVA (individual voluntary arrangement) and repaying my debts. As I am on an IVA, rather than bankrupt, are there any special options for me? And how many months after I finish my repayments will my credit score be OK for me to get a loan? I want to avoid paying a deposit as I have no savings so what are my options? My income is £24,000 a year so how big a loan I can apply for? PG

A Brace yourself for answers you are not going to like. First, the chances of buying a flat while you are still paying off your debts through an IVA are, at best, incredibly slim. And no, there are no special options because you chose an IVA over being declared bankrupt – both are still forms of insolvency. An IVA is a formal agreement to repay your creditors at an amount you can afford. If your creditors agree to the IVA it becomes legally binding. As long as you keep to the IVA terms, your creditors will not contact you or increase the debt. When you have made the final payment, any unpaid debt is written off.

Continue reading...

<p>They have recommended an insurance policy that costs more than we can afford<br></p><p><strong>Q</strong> My husband and I are in the process of buying a property. We have agreed to get life cover for the money we feel we can afford, but have just received a recommendation from our mortgage adviser that is more than £120 higher than previously agreed.</p><p>Do we have to take the life insurance out with them? I know we have to buy their buildings insurance, but what about the life insurance? Please could you give me some advice on this. <strong tabindex="-1">MW</strong></p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/jan/12/buy-life-cover-mortgage-adviser">Continue reading...</a>

Do we have to take out life cover through our mortgage adviser?

Jan 12, 2017 7:00

They have recommended an insurance policy that costs more than we can afford

Q My husband and I are in the process of buying a property. We have agreed to get life cover for the money we feel we can afford, but have just received a recommendation from our mortgage adviser that is more than £120 higher than previously agreed.

Do we have to take the life insurance out with them? I know we have to buy their buildings insurance, but what about the life insurance? Please could you give me some advice on this. MW

Continue reading...

<p>We are awaiting a full mining report and have had a structural survey, but know we risk insurance being far higher</p><p><strong>Q</strong> We are in the process of purchasing a property and have a report that states our property is within 50 metres of coalmining subsidence claims. We’ve had a full structural survey done, which says there is no evidence of current subsidence, but are awaiting a full mining report for the area.<br tabindex="-1"> <br tabindex="-1"> We want to know if this will affect the value of our future home. Also, if we go ahead with the purchase should we ask for a reduction in the sale price in view of the fact that it will cost us significantly more to insure?<br tabindex="-1"><strong tabindex="-1"> AF</strong></p><p><strong>A</strong> Anyone buying property in a former or current coalmining area is strongly advised to do a coalmining search. Property near to both past and current mining activities can be at risk of subsidence because of being on unstable ground. If your solicitor doesn’t automatically do such a search, you can do it yourself using the <a draggable="true" href="https://www.groundstability.com/public/web/home.jspx">Coal Authority’s online search service</a>. </p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/jan/05/should-we-buy-a-property-in-an-area-of-coalmining-subsidence">Continue reading...</a>

Should we buy a property in an area of coalmining subsidence?

Jan 5, 2017 7:00

We are awaiting a full mining report and have had a structural survey, but know we risk insurance being far higher

Q We are in the process of purchasing a property and have a report that states our property is within 50 metres of coalmining subsidence claims. We’ve had a full structural survey done, which says there is no evidence of current subsidence, but are awaiting a full mining report for the area.

We want to know if this will affect the value of our future home. Also, if we go ahead with the purchase should we ask for a reduction in the sale price in view of the fact that it will cost us significantly more to insure?
AF

A Anyone buying property in a former or current coalmining area is strongly advised to do a coalmining search. Property near to both past and current mining activities can be at risk of subsidence because of being on unstable ground. If your solicitor doesn’t automatically do such a search, you can do it yourself using the Coal Authority’s online search service.

Continue reading...

<p>We need to remortgage in a few months and wonder if it’s best to lower the amount we need to borrow <br></p><p><strong>Q</strong> We are looking to move up the housing ladder and have managed to save £60,000. However, we are struggling to find a house we like so it may be another year or two before we move. The issue is that we are coming out of our five-year fixed rate on our current mortgage in April and all the numbers suggest that it would be better to remortgage than stay on the lender’s standard rate. Is it best to use some of our savings (maybe £20,000-£30,000) to lower our remortgage or keep the money until we amend our mortgage for the new house?</p><p>I am just confused if lowering our current mortgage is the same as having more equity for our new house. My gut says lowering the current mortgage is best overall with the reduction in debt and interest paid, but I am worried I am mixing it up and all the other advice out there doesn’t seem to cover this area. <strong>SJ</strong></p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/dec/22/dip-into-savings-reduce-mortgage">Continue reading...</a>

Should we dip into our savings to reduce our mortgage?

Dec 22, 2016 7:00

We need to remortgage in a few months and wonder if it’s best to lower the amount we need to borrow

Q We are looking to move up the housing ladder and have managed to save £60,000. However, we are struggling to find a house we like so it may be another year or two before we move. The issue is that we are coming out of our five-year fixed rate on our current mortgage in April and all the numbers suggest that it would be better to remortgage than stay on the lender’s standard rate. Is it best to use some of our savings (maybe £20,000-£30,000) to lower our remortgage or keep the money until we amend our mortgage for the new house?

I am just confused if lowering our current mortgage is the same as having more equity for our new house. My gut says lowering the current mortgage is best overall with the reduction in debt and interest paid, but I am worried I am mixing it up and all the other advice out there doesn’t seem to cover this area. SJ

Continue reading...

<p>She is concerned that if she pre-deceases me and I remarry, our children may not inherit our house<br></p><p><strong>Q</strong> I have a genuine problem which is causing a problem in my marriage. I married my wife over 20 years ago. When we met, she already had three children by a previous marriage, and we had one more together.</p><p>I have always treated them all the same, and my current will leaves everything to my wife, or in the event of her death, a straight four-way split between the kids. I have no intention, or plan, to revise this, my wife’s will is a mirror-image.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/dec/15/my-wife-wants-to-protect-our-childrens-inheritance-if-i-remarry-after-her-death">Continue reading...</a>

My wife wants to protect our children's inheritance if I remarry after her death

Dec 15, 2016 7:00

She is concerned that if she pre-deceases me and I remarry, our children may not inherit our house

Q I have a genuine problem which is causing a problem in my marriage. I married my wife over 20 years ago. When we met, she already had three children by a previous marriage, and we had one more together.

I have always treated them all the same, and my current will leaves everything to my wife, or in the event of her death, a straight four-way split between the kids. I have no intention, or plan, to revise this, my wife’s will is a mirror-image.

Continue reading...

You can navigate your way through what can be a long and complex process by following these steps<p>Buying a home can be a long and complex process, but typically it involves going through these steps:</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/nov/24/factsheet-buying-home-property">Continue reading...</a>

Factsheet: Buying a home

Nov 24, 2014 14:10

You can navigate your way through what can be a long and complex process by following these steps

Buying a home can be a long and complex process, but typically it involves going through these steps:

Continue reading...

'How to' guides for a wide variety of personal finance issues including: claiming benefits, taking out a loan, interest rates, buying a house, insurance, pensions, savings and tax<p><a href="http://www.theguardian.com/money/2007/oct/25/state.pensions">State pensions</a><br><a href="http://www.theguardian.com/money/2008/sep/11/taxcredits.familyfinance">Tax credits</a></p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/nov/20/money-factsheets-benefits-loans-interest-rates-buying-house-insurance-pensions-savings">Continue reading...</a>

Money factsheets: How to organise your finances

Nov 20, 2013 12:35

'How to' guides for a wide variety of personal finance issues including: claiming benefits, taking out a loan, interest rates, buying a house, insurance, pensions, savings and tax

State pensions
Tax credits

Continue reading...

<p>Your six-figure budget can get you a variety of accommodation – from a house boat to a French manor</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/gallery/2017/feb/22/homes-at-300000-in-pictures">Continue reading...</a>

Homes at £300,000 – in pictures

Feb 22, 2017 7:00

Your six-figure budget can get you a variety of accommodation – from a house boat to a French manor

Continue reading...

<p>You’ll be in business in no time if you choose one of these properties, from the Scottish Borders to Cornwall<br></p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/gallery/2017/feb/17/homes-that-generate-income-in-pictures">Continue reading...</a>

Homes that generate income – in pictures

Feb 17, 2017 23:45

You’ll be in business in no time if you choose one of these properties, from the Scottish Borders to Cornwall

Continue reading...

<p>With two of three towers already restored, this Herefordshire pile even comes with the chance to buy the title of lord<br></p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/gallery/2017/feb/17/castle-on-river-wye-in-pictures">Continue reading...</a>

A castle on the river Wye – in pictures

Feb 17, 2017 7:00

With two of three towers already restored, this Herefordshire pile even comes with the chance to buy the title of lord

Continue reading...

<p>Whether your interest lies in horses, livestock, B&amp;B or growing a lot of veg, these properties across Britain and in Italy will get you down on the farm</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/gallery/2017/feb/15/homes-on-smallholdings-in-pictures">Continue reading...</a>

Homes on smallholdings – in pictures

Feb 15, 2017 7:00

Whether your interest lies in horses, livestock, B&B or growing a lot of veg, these properties across Britain and in Italy will get you down on the farm

Continue reading...

<p>From a Devon cottage to a Hebridean ‘Shelter of the Limpets’, these properties you’ll want to cling to as much as any Valentine </p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/gallery/2017/feb/10/romantic-retreats-in-pictures">Continue reading...</a>

Romantic retreats – in pictures

Feb 10, 2017 23:45

From a Devon cottage to a Hebridean ‘Shelter of the Limpets’, these properties you’ll want to cling to as much as any Valentine

Continue reading...

<p>The £500,000 price tag could end up being a steal for this characterful North Yorkshire property if you believe the tale that comes with it </p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/gallery/2017/feb/10/a-farmhouse-with-a-valuable-secret-in-pictures">Continue reading...</a>

A farmhouse with a valuable secret – in pictures

Feb 10, 2017 7:00

The £500,000 price tag could end up being a steal for this characterful North Yorkshire property if you believe the tale that comes with it

Continue reading...

<p>From Derbyshire to Essex via Alicante and Dalaman, these properties will let you make a quick getaway</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/gallery/2017/feb/08/homes-near-airports-in-pictures">Continue reading...</a>

Homes near airports – in pictures

Feb 8, 2017 7:00

From Derbyshire to Essex via Alicante and Dalaman, these properties will let you make a quick getaway

Continue reading...

<p>Fancy yourself to be the fairest of them all? This London flat is a riot of opulence, reflected in a rent of £3,000 a week</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/gallery/2017/feb/03/a-house-of-mirrors-n-marble-in-pictures">Continue reading...</a>

A house of mirrors 'n' marble – in pictures

Feb 3, 2017 7:00

Fancy yourself to be the fairest of them all? This London flat is a riot of opulence, reflected in a rent of £3,000 a week

Continue reading...

<p>Desperate to get going after months of enforced idleness? The long wait is coming to an end</p><p>With March just around the corner, it’s about now that every gardener starts getting cabin fever. There is only so much peering at snowdrops, sniffing scented daphnes and admiring frosted leaves you can do before the desire to start sowing seeds with abandon sets in.</p><p>Be careful what you sow, though: it’s still too early for many seeds, which need spring to be in full flow before they sprout. That’s where half-hardy annuals come in. These are the more exotic, tender cousins of hardy annuals: both flower, set seed and die in the course of one year, but the half-hardy types need to be started indoors and planted out only once the risk of frost has passed. That means cosseting them on a sunny windowsill and faffing about with pricking out and transplanting; but you get loads of plants for very little outlay, and a tantalising range of colours and forms.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/feb/25/how-to-get-your-garden-ready-for-spring">Continue reading...</a>

How to get your garden ready for spring

Feb 25, 2017 11:00

Desperate to get going after months of enforced idleness? The long wait is coming to an end

With March just around the corner, it’s about now that every gardener starts getting cabin fever. There is only so much peering at snowdrops, sniffing scented daphnes and admiring frosted leaves you can do before the desire to start sowing seeds with abandon sets in.

Be careful what you sow, though: it’s still too early for many seeds, which need spring to be in full flow before they sprout. That’s where half-hardy annuals come in. These are the more exotic, tender cousins of hardy annuals: both flower, set seed and die in the course of one year, but the half-hardy types need to be started indoors and planted out only once the risk of frost has passed. That means cosseting them on a sunny windowsill and faffing about with pricking out and transplanting; but you get loads of plants for very little outlay, and a tantalising range of colours and forms.

Continue reading...

<p>You can sow them now, they are easy and the results are delicious</p><p>I have written <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/feb/21/alys-fowler-broad-beans">a lot</a> about <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/oct/26/alys-fowler-broad-beans-peas">broad beans</a>. This has a predictable rhythm: you can sow them now, they are easy and the results are delicious. Plenty of vegetables and flowers provoke a sense of ennui when I have to write about them again. And again. But broad beans never fail to delight me. I love everything about them. I do not think, “Everyone must know how easy they are by now.” I just feel a sense of joy that I get to do it again.</p><p>So I will not apologise for writing this again: sow them in modules and pots to plant out in a month or so; sow them direct into the soil if it’s pliable; put fleece on top, if necessary, or netting if there are small creatures hungry for fat, protein-filled seeds.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/feb/25/alys-fowler-broad-beans">Continue reading...</a>

How to plant broad beans | Alys Fowler

Feb 25, 2017 11:00

You can sow them now, they are easy and the results are delicious

I have written a lot about broad beans. This has a predictable rhythm: you can sow them now, they are easy and the results are delicious. Plenty of vegetables and flowers provoke a sense of ennui when I have to write about them again. And again. But broad beans never fail to delight me. I love everything about them. I do not think, “Everyone must know how easy they are by now.” I just feel a sense of joy that I get to do it again.

So I will not apologise for writing this again: sow them in modules and pots to plant out in a month or so; sow them direct into the soil if it’s pliable; put fleece on top, if necessary, or netting if there are small creatures hungry for fat, protein-filled seeds.

Continue reading...

<p>Choose the right one and you’ll have cheery flowers from March to July</p><p>According to the Victorian language of flowers, wallflowers represent faithfulness, which is odd, really, because many wallflowers are anything but. Wallflowers are classed as short-lived perennials, but many will pop their clogs after a&nbsp;year or two, which isn’t great for the low-maintenance garden. Time was when ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ was the only reliably perennial wallflower, but breeders have expanded the options considerably. Choose the right one and you’ll have cheery flowers from March to July (often longer).</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/feb/25/perennial-wallflowers-best-ones">Continue reading...</a>

Plant of the week: perennial wallflower

Feb 25, 2017 10:59

Choose the right one and you’ll have cheery flowers from March to July

According to the Victorian language of flowers, wallflowers represent faithfulness, which is odd, really, because many wallflowers are anything but. Wallflowers are classed as short-lived perennials, but many will pop their clogs after a year or two, which isn’t great for the low-maintenance garden. Time was when ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ was the only reliably perennial wallflower, but breeders have expanded the options considerably. Choose the right one and you’ll have cheery flowers from March to July (often longer).

Continue reading...

<p>I’ve gone for a spaceship-style sleeping capsule made of plywood, which I’m going to cover with tin foil I sourced in Lidl</p><p>So here’s my mood board: the brief is for something quite cool, modern, classic, yet in keeping with the whole thatched-country-cottage vibe, so in the bedroom I’ve gone for a classic, spaceship-style sleeping capsule made out of plywood, which I’m going to cover with this beautiful tinfoil I sourced cheaply in Lidl. No, trust me, it’s going to look amazing.</p><p>Then, to add to the sense of hi-tech sophistication, I’m planning to cover each wall with a moody Elvis portrait, framed in egg boxes I’ve sprayed with metallic car paint, so that just screams elegance with a twist. And for the windows I’m painting the glass black, to create more wall space, but emphasising the frames with classical tartan pelmets, adding texture to the overall atmosphere of&nbsp;finesse and refinement.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/feb/25/aspiring-interior-designer-modern-tribe-catherine-bennett">Continue reading...</a>

Modern tribes: the aspiring interior designer | Catherine Bennett

Feb 25, 2017 8:00

I’ve gone for a spaceship-style sleeping capsule made of plywood, which I’m going to cover with tin foil I sourced in Lidl

So here’s my mood board: the brief is for something quite cool, modern, classic, yet in keeping with the whole thatched-country-cottage vibe, so in the bedroom I’ve gone for a classic, spaceship-style sleeping capsule made out of plywood, which I’m going to cover with this beautiful tinfoil I sourced cheaply in Lidl. No, trust me, it’s going to look amazing.

Then, to add to the sense of hi-tech sophistication, I’m planning to cover each wall with a moody Elvis portrait, framed in egg boxes I’ve sprayed with metallic car paint, so that just screams elegance with a twist. And for the windows I’m painting the glass black, to create more wall space, but emphasising the frames with classical tartan pelmets, adding texture to the overall atmosphere of finesse and refinement.

Continue reading...

<p>Embrace spring’s biggest trend and pop some cork at home</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/gallery/2017/feb/24/the-10-best-cork-pieces-for-your-home-in-pictures">Continue reading...</a>

The 10 best cork pieces for your home – in pictures

Feb 24, 2017 16:30

Embrace spring’s biggest trend and pop some cork at home

Continue reading...

<p>Gardeners love rhododendrons for the kaleidoscopic glare of their spring flowers, but their leaves are what captivates rare plant expert Robbie Blackhall-Miles</p><p>I am very lucky. I have one of the greatest and grandest gardens in the world right on my door step. The National Trust’s <a href="https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden">Bodnant Garden</a> is just a short drive from where I live in Snowdonia, and right now the garden is getting ready to put on a performance like no other in the world.</p><p>Bodnant is famous for many things, but the one that stands out most for me is its amazing collection of rhododendrons. The flower buds of these superlative members of the Ericaceae are swelling and getting ready to burst into flower with technicolour abandon. Red through pink, orange and yellow to white, and with blue and purple to add, they are a show that must not be missed.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/gardening-blog/2017/feb/23/rhododendrons-forget-the-flowers-check-out-the-leaves">Continue reading...</a>

Rhododendrons: forget the flowers, check out the leaves

Feb 23, 2017 14:34

Gardeners love rhododendrons for the kaleidoscopic glare of their spring flowers, but their leaves are what captivates rare plant expert Robbie Blackhall-Miles

I am very lucky. I have one of the greatest and grandest gardens in the world right on my door step. The National Trust’s Bodnant Garden is just a short drive from where I live in Snowdonia, and right now the garden is getting ready to put on a performance like no other in the world.

Bodnant is famous for many things, but the one that stands out most for me is its amazing collection of rhododendrons. The flower buds of these superlative members of the Ericaceae are swelling and getting ready to burst into flower with technicolour abandon. Red through pink, orange and yellow to white, and with blue and purple to add, they are a show that must not be missed.

Continue reading...

<p>The new 12-sided £1 coin arrives in March, and you will only have six months to offload the old ones. It’s also just 10 weeks until paper £5 notes are history</p><p>It’s all change once again for the UK’s coins and notes. While millions of us are still getting used to the new “non-vegetarian” plastic £5 notes, it’s the £1 coin that is next to receive a makeover. The new 12-sided “bimetallic” (made of two metals) pound coin is being introduced on 28 March. Then in September it’s the turn of the tenner (see below).</p><p>The new £1, which resembles the old threepenny bit, will be “the most secure coin in the world”, <a href="http://www.thenewpoundcoin.com/">claims the Royal Mint</a>. Here’s everything you need to know about the new coin – and what’s going to happen to the old “round pounds”.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/feb/25/get-rid-of-1-pound-coins-new-12-sided-coin">Continue reading...</a>

Quids in: why it’s time to get rid of your £1 coins

Feb 25, 2017 7:00

The new 12-sided £1 coin arrives in March, and you will only have six months to offload the old ones. It’s also just 10 weeks until paper £5 notes are history

It’s all change once again for the UK’s coins and notes. While millions of us are still getting used to the new “non-vegetarian” plastic £5 notes, it’s the £1 coin that is next to receive a makeover. The new 12-sided “bimetallic” (made of two metals) pound coin is being introduced on 28 March. Then in September it’s the turn of the tenner (see below).

The new £1, which resembles the old threepenny bit, will be “the most secure coin in the world”, claims the Royal Mint. Here’s everything you need to know about the new coin – and what’s going to happen to the old “round pounds”.

Continue reading...

<p>As bike-sharing in London hits a record high, we explore schemes across the globe<br></p><p>This year is the 10th ­anniversary of the world’s first large-scale bike-sharing scheme, the Velib in Paris, whose immediate success – 20 million users in its first year – prompted cities across the world to wheel out their own copies. A decade later there are 1,000 of these schemes, from Milton Keynes to the medina in Marrakech, with 17 across the UK and more opening this year. <br></p><p>Some have back-pedalled: Seattle will shut its Pronto scheme in March, a victim of hills, rain, budget cuts and the city’s mandatory helmet law, while in Spain cash-strapped local authorities have put the brakes on half of the country’s 130 schemes. <br></p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/feb/25/best-and-worst-city-cycle-schemes-bike-sharing-london">Continue reading...</a>

On your bike: the best and the worst of city cycle schemes

Feb 25, 2017 7:00

As bike-sharing in London hits a record high, we explore schemes across the globe

This year is the 10th ­anniversary of the world’s first large-scale bike-sharing scheme, the Velib in Paris, whose immediate success – 20 million users in its first year – prompted cities across the world to wheel out their own copies. A decade later there are 1,000 of these schemes, from Milton Keynes to the medina in Marrakech, with 17 across the UK and more opening this year.

Some have back-pedalled: Seattle will shut its Pronto scheme in March, a victim of hills, rain, budget cuts and the city’s mandatory helmet law, while in Spain cash-strapped local authorities have put the brakes on half of the country’s 130 schemes.

Continue reading...

For many of EDF’s five million customers they have actually gone up<p>In December one of the “big six” energy firms, EDF, had some good news for consumers. In a press release it said it would be “cutting gas prices again ahead of the coldest winter months, and will hold back electricity price rises until March”. It added that “electricity costs have been rising for some time, but gas prices are not facing the same pressures. The company believes it is right that prices reflect this”.</p><p>The response was generally positive. The Mail said the company was “<a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-4040648/EDF-Energy-breaks-ranks-cut-UK-winter-household-gas-prices.html" title="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-4040648/EDF-Energy-breaks-ranks-cut-UK-winter-household-gas-prices.html">breaking ranks</a>” with rivals on gas prices, in a move that would “put pressure on the remaining big six”. <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/dec/16/edf-cut-gas-prices-hike-electricity-tariffs" title="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/dec/16/edf-cut-gas-prices-hike-electricity-tariffs">The Guardian</a> focussed on the fact that, after March, electricity prices would jump 8.4%, but dutifully reported the gas price cut. The BBC went for a straight “<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38338360" title="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38338360">EDF to cut gas bills, but raise electricity prices</a>”.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/blog/2017/feb/25/truth-about-gas-prices-edf-customers-gone-up">Continue reading...</a>

The truth about falling gas prices

Feb 25, 2017 6:59

For many of EDF’s five million customers they have actually gone up

In December one of the “big six” energy firms, EDF, had some good news for consumers. In a press release it said it would be “cutting gas prices again ahead of the coldest winter months, and will hold back electricity price rises until March”. It added that “electricity costs have been rising for some time, but gas prices are not facing the same pressures. The company believes it is right that prices reflect this”.

The response was generally positive. The Mail said the company was “breaking ranks” with rivals on gas prices, in a move that would “put pressure on the remaining big six”. The Guardian focussed on the fact that, after March, electricity prices would jump 8.4%, but dutifully reported the gas price cut. The BBC went for a straight “EDF to cut gas bills, but raise electricity prices”.

Continue reading...

<p>From mortgages and insurance to savings and tax returns, here are some tips on making savings in the new year<br></p><p>With the Brexit process set to begin in earnest, next year could be tough on many people’s finances. Guardian Money is here to help:</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/dec/17/seven-simple-ways-cut-spending-make-savings-2017">Continue reading...</a>

Seven simple ways to cut your spending in 2017

Dec 17, 2016 7:00

From mortgages and insurance to savings and tax returns, here are some tips on making savings in the new year

With the Brexit process set to begin in earnest, next year could be tough on many people’s finances. Guardian Money is here to help:

Continue reading...

Our careers expert – and you the readers – help a marketer who wants to write, and a part-time ecologist who isn’t being paid enough<p><strong>I graduated with a first in English when the recession was at its worst. Consequently I was fixated on stability and survival, even though that meant relegating my real love, writing, to a hobby. As a result I’ve done well, and at the age of 27 became head of marketing at a mid-size company.</strong></p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/feb/25/working-part-time-unfairly-interpreted-lack-commitment-work-expert-responds">Continue reading...</a>

‘Part-time is unfairly interpreted as lack of commitment’ – our work expert responds

Feb 25, 2017 6:59

Our careers expert – and you the readers – help a marketer who wants to write, and a part-time ecologist who isn’t being paid enough

I graduated with a first in English when the recession was at its worst. Consequently I was fixated on stability and survival, even though that meant relegating my real love, writing, to a hobby. As a result I’ve done well, and at the age of 27 became head of marketing at a mid-size company.

Continue reading...

Buying a used car was historically fraught with danger, but the rise of finance leasing deals means many three-year-old cars can be safely snapped up<p>Over the past three years consumers have increasingly been relying on credit to fund new car purchases, with nearly nine out of 10 private vehicles bought this way during 2016, according to the Finance &amp; Leasing Association. The rise of the personal contract purchase (PCP), which lets you buy, say, a new Ford Fiesta for as little as £150 a month and a small deposit, is largely behind the boom in cars sales in Britain. But with a lot of three-year PCP deals coming to an end in 2017, it might be a good time to pick up an ex-finance bargain.</p><p>Under most PCP schemes the driver makes monthly repayments for three years before being presented with three options: either make a “balloon” payment and take legal ownership of the car; trade it in and use any equity as a deposit for another new car; or return the car to the dealership. If it is traded in or returned the dealership usually approves the ones in the best condition to re-sell. The rest are disposed of via an auctioneer, such as <a href="http://www.british-car-auctions.co.uk/">British Car Auctions</a> (BCA), to a secondhand dealer or a private buyer (see box below), opening up the opportunity for bargain seekers.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/feb/25/secondhand-car-bargain-finance-leasing-deals">Continue reading...</a>

Drive off with a secondhand car for less

Feb 25, 2017 6:59

Buying a used car was historically fraught with danger, but the rise of finance leasing deals means many three-year-old cars can be safely snapped up

Over the past three years consumers have increasingly been relying on credit to fund new car purchases, with nearly nine out of 10 private vehicles bought this way during 2016, according to the Finance & Leasing Association. The rise of the personal contract purchase (PCP), which lets you buy, say, a new Ford Fiesta for as little as £150 a month and a small deposit, is largely behind the boom in cars sales in Britain. But with a lot of three-year PCP deals coming to an end in 2017, it might be a good time to pick up an ex-finance bargain.

Under most PCP schemes the driver makes monthly repayments for three years before being presented with three options: either make a “balloon” payment and take legal ownership of the car; trade it in and use any equity as a deposit for another new car; or return the car to the dealership. If it is traded in or returned the dealership usually approves the ones in the best condition to re-sell. The rest are disposed of via an auctioneer, such as British Car Auctions (BCA), to a secondhand dealer or a private buyer (see box below), opening up the opportunity for bargain seekers.

Continue reading...

A new electricity tariff will make it cheaper to run the washing machine and other appliances at night. But will lower bills come with a fire risk?<p>A small independent energy firm has launched the UK’s first variable electricity tariff, promising households significantly lower bills if they avoid using power at peak hours and run their appliances overnight.</p><p>For years energy experts have suggested that smart tariffs, which price electricity according to the time of day, are the future, as they could help smooth out the peaks in demand currently faced by the National Grid. This week, Hertfordshire-based <a href="http://www.greenenergyuk.com/" title="">Green Energy UK</a> launched its Tide tariff which offers exactly that. Initially only available to households in England, the Tide dual-fuel tariff offers three different prices of electricity depending on the time of day.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/jan/07/night-time-use-electrical-appliances-lower-bills-fire-risk">Continue reading...</a>

Is night time the right time to use your electrical appliances?

Jan 7, 2017 6:59

A new electricity tariff will make it cheaper to run the washing machine and other appliances at night. But will lower bills come with a fire risk?

A small independent energy firm has launched the UK’s first variable electricity tariff, promising households significantly lower bills if they avoid using power at peak hours and run their appliances overnight.

For years energy experts have suggested that smart tariffs, which price electricity according to the time of day, are the future, as they could help smooth out the peaks in demand currently faced by the National Grid. This week, Hertfordshire-based Green Energy UK launched its Tide tariff which offers exactly that. Initially only available to households in England, the Tide dual-fuel tariff offers three different prices of electricity depending on the time of day.

Continue reading...

<p>The ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings lists the UK’s highest salaried careers. If you fancy one of the Top 10 jobs, we have tips on how to do it<br></p><p>Have you got one of the best paid jobs in the UK? <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/oct/26/weekly-uk-earnings-rose-2015-biggest-increase-since-financial-crash">The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has released its Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2016</a>, and we’ve looked at the top 10 highest paid jobs in the country and what you need to do to get one of them. </p><p>To obtain the data, the ONS surveyed a random sample of 1% of all the workers who carry out each occupation, using 2015/2016 pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) tax records. </p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/oct/31/highest-paid-jobs-2016-ons-annual-survey-hours-earnings">Continue reading...</a>

What are the highest paid jobs of 2016 in the UK?

Oct 31, 2016 14:10

The ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings lists the UK’s highest salaried careers. If you fancy one of the Top 10 jobs, we have tips on how to do it

Have you got one of the best paid jobs in the UK? The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has released its Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2016, and we’ve looked at the top 10 highest paid jobs in the country and what you need to do to get one of them.

To obtain the data, the ONS surveyed a random sample of 1% of all the workers who carry out each occupation, using 2015/2016 pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) tax records.

Continue reading...

<p>No one wants to buy them and I don’t want to throw them away</p><p><strong>Every week a Guardian Money reader submits a question, and it’s up to you to help him or her out – a selection of the best answers will appear in next Saturday’s paper.</strong></p><p><strong>This week’s question:</strong></p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/blog/2017/feb/25/what-to-do-with-national-geographic-magazine-collection">Continue reading...</a>

What can I do with my National Geographic magazine collection?

Feb 25, 2017 7:00

No one wants to buy them and I don’t want to throw them away

Every week a Guardian Money reader submits a question, and it’s up to you to help him or her out – a selection of the best answers will appear in next Saturday’s paper.

This week’s question:

Continue reading...

<p>Whirlpool – which also owns Indesit, Creda and Proline – changes advice after criticism from trading standards and Which?</p><p>The maker of Hotpoint and Indesit tumble dryers has changed its advice to the owners of millions of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/sep/24/killer-tumble-dryer-faulty-whirlpool-machine-product-safety-scandal">potentially dangerous </a>machines, telling customers to unplug the appliances and stop using them until they are repaired.</p><p>Whirlpool – whose brands also include Creda, Swan and Proline – on Wednesday updated the advice on its website after receiving two enforcement notices from Peterborough trading standards. In <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/dec/23/consumer-group-challenges-peterborough-over-potentially-dangerous-tumble-driers">December </a>the trading standards office was threatened with a judicial review by consumer group Which? for its handling of the “fiasco” of the faulty machines. Whirlpool has also been advised to publicise the changed advice to consumers through advertisements in national newspapers, through social media and in stores. </p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/feb/22/hotpoint-indesit-tumble-dryers-fire-risk-whirlpool-creda-proline">Continue reading...</a>

Hotpoint tells tumble dryer owners: unplug faulty machines due to fire risk

Feb 22, 2017 12:55

Whirlpool – which also owns Indesit, Creda and Proline – changes advice after criticism from trading standards and Which?

The maker of Hotpoint and Indesit tumble dryers has changed its advice to the owners of millions of potentially dangerous machines, telling customers to unplug the appliances and stop using them until they are repaired.

Whirlpool – whose brands also include Creda, Swan and Proline – on Wednesday updated the advice on its website after receiving two enforcement notices from Peterborough trading standards. In December the trading standards office was threatened with a judicial review by consumer group Which? for its handling of the “fiasco” of the faulty machines. Whirlpool has also been advised to publicise the changed advice to consumers through advertisements in national newspapers, through social media and in stores.

Continue reading...

As another customer explains how he was conned out of £6,300 after the firm’s security breach, the ICO is seemingly stalling while a class action moves closer<p>When pensioner Barry Tucker was called at home by his telecoms provider, TalkTalk, quoting his account number and personal details he dutifully carried out their instructions. He was told there was a problem on his computer and that a staff member would resolve it. He gave remote access to his computer, and after the work was completed was told he was entitled to a £200 “compensation” payment, and was invited to click on his bank logo that appeared on his computer.</p><p>But the man Tucker was speaking to was not a TalkTalk employee. He was part of the network of crooks who have accessed the details of many thousands of TalkTalk customers stolen from the company in 2015. Instead of paying him £200 the fraudster stole £6,300 from his Santander account – and the real TalkTalk has refused to pay any compensation to him or the many other victims to come forward over the past year.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/feb/18/talktalk-scam-victims-answers-security-breach-ico-stalling-class-action">Continue reading...</a>

TalkTalk scam victims say it’s time for answers

Feb 18, 2017 6:59

As another customer explains how he was conned out of £6,300 after the firm’s security breach, the ICO is seemingly stalling while a class action moves closer

When pensioner Barry Tucker was called at home by his telecoms provider, TalkTalk, quoting his account number and personal details he dutifully carried out their instructions. He was told there was a problem on his computer and that a staff member would resolve it. He gave remote access to his computer, and after the work was completed was told he was entitled to a £200 “compensation” payment, and was invited to click on his bank logo that appeared on his computer.

But the man Tucker was speaking to was not a TalkTalk employee. He was part of the network of crooks who have accessed the details of many thousands of TalkTalk customers stolen from the company in 2015. Instead of paying him £200 the fraudster stole £6,300 from his Santander account – and the real TalkTalk has refused to pay any compensation to him or the many other victims to come forward over the past year.

Continue reading...

<p>The Lancashire district was named the best place in Britain for twentysomethings to move – and nowhere in the south-east even made it to the top 50</p><p><strong>Name: </strong>South Ribble.</p><p><strong>Age: </strong>43.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/shortcuts/2017/feb/22/south-ribble-best-place-to-live-if-in-20s">Continue reading...</a>

South Ribble: the best place to live in the UK – if you’re in your 20s

Feb 22, 2017 13:25

The Lancashire district was named the best place in Britain for twentysomethings to move – and nowhere in the south-east even made it to the top 50

Name: South Ribble.

Age: 43.

Continue reading...

Savings rates have never been so low, but with a spread of sensible investments your portfolio can still deliver good returns<p>As if savers needed to be told, it is a miserable time for anyone hoping to make money from their nest egg. With rates in the doldrums, the news last week that inflation has reached its highest point in the past two-and-a-half years means many cash savers are now losing money in real terms.</p><p>Added to that, having a punt on premium bonds, the UK’s favourite flutter, is also set to become less appealing. In May the proportion of the total amount invested which is given out in prizes will be reduced, resulting in fewer big prizes. National Savings &amp; Investments (NS&amp;I) also announced it was cutting rates on three other products.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/feb/20/savers-beat-inflation-spread-investments-portfolio-good-returns">Continue reading...</a>

Savers need a balancing act to beat inflation

Feb 20, 2017 7:00

Savings rates have never been so low, but with a spread of sensible investments your portfolio can still deliver good returns

As if savers needed to be told, it is a miserable time for anyone hoping to make money from their nest egg. With rates in the doldrums, the news last week that inflation has reached its highest point in the past two-and-a-half years means many cash savers are now losing money in real terms.

Added to that, having a punt on premium bonds, the UK’s favourite flutter, is also set to become less appealing. In May the proportion of the total amount invested which is given out in prizes will be reduced, resulting in fewer big prizes. National Savings & Investments (NS&I) also announced it was cutting rates on three other products.

Continue reading...

<p>The ONS has released its Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2015. Here are the 10 best paid jobs in the country, with tips on how to get one of them</p><ul><li><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/oct/31/highest-paid-jobs-2016-ons-annual-survey-hours-earnings">The highest paid jobs of 2016 in the UK</a><br></li></ul><p>Is your job is among the best paid in the UK? The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released its <a href="http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/ashe/annual-survey-of-hours-and-earnings/index.html">Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2015</a>, so we have gathered together top tips for anyone aspiring to do one of the top 10 highest paid jobs, and asked people who do them why they are worth their high salaries.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/oct/31/highest-paid-jobs-2016-ons-annual-survey-hours-earnings">What are the highest paid jobs of 2016 in the UK?</a> </p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/dec/02/highest-paid-jobs-2015">Continue reading...</a>

What are the UK's highest paid jobs of 2015?

Dec 2, 2015 8:27

The ONS has released its Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2015. Here are the 10 best paid jobs in the country, with tips on how to get one of them

Is your job is among the best paid in the UK? The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released its Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2015, so we have gathered together top tips for anyone aspiring to do one of the top 10 highest paid jobs, and asked people who do them why they are worth their high salaries.

Related: What are the highest paid jobs of 2016 in the UK?

Continue reading...

Wedding costs can quickly grow, but couples need not say ‘I do’ to paying an average of £7,500 on their big day<p>The wedding season is in full swing, and while some couples are happy to throw cash around like confetti, others try to slash the cost of their big day. <a href="http://www.nationwide.co.uk/about/media-centre-and-specialist-areas/media-centre/press-releases/archive/2015/6/8-friends-and-family-first-to-go-as-couples-cut-wedding-costs" title="">Those tying the knot can expect to pay an average of £7,500</a>, according to Nationwide building society (that’s for couples of all ages, which includes the lower amounts older couples tend to spend), or more than £24,000 if you’re a reader of Brides Magazine.</p><p>But celebrating with a bit of fanfare doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, it is perfectly possible to tie the knot for less than a grand.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/jun/27/how-get-married-finances-wedding-costs">Continue reading...</a>

How to get married for less than £1,000

June 27, 2015 7:00

Wedding costs can quickly grow, but couples need not say ‘I do’ to paying an average of £7,500 on their big day

The wedding season is in full swing, and while some couples are happy to throw cash around like confetti, others try to slash the cost of their big day. Those tying the knot can expect to pay an average of £7,500, according to Nationwide building society (that’s for couples of all ages, which includes the lower amounts older couples tend to spend), or more than £24,000 if you’re a reader of Brides Magazine.

But celebrating with a bit of fanfare doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, it is perfectly possible to tie the knot for less than a grand.

Continue reading...

<p>National Employment Savings Trust to move investments into new climate change fund and scale back shares in firms such as Shell and ExxonMobil<br></p><p>A giant pension scheme with more than 4 million members is shifting almost 10% of its investments into a new climate change fund designed to move people’s money out of fossil fuels and into renewable energy.<br></p><p>Nest (National Employment Savings Trust), a publicly owned scheme set up by the government, said it was moving £130m into the fund because it wanted to protect its worker members from the risks associated with climate change by reducing their exposure to companies with reserves of coal, oil and gas.<br></p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/feb/24/government-pension-scheme-ditching-oil-gas-investments-shell-exxonmobil">Continue reading...</a>

Government pension scheme begins ditching oil and gas investments

Feb 24, 2017 10:21

National Employment Savings Trust to move investments into new climate change fund and scale back shares in firms such as Shell and ExxonMobil

A giant pension scheme with more than 4 million members is shifting almost 10% of its investments into a new climate change fund designed to move people’s money out of fossil fuels and into renewable energy.

Nest (National Employment Savings Trust), a publicly owned scheme set up by the government, said it was moving £130m into the fund because it wanted to protect its worker members from the risks associated with climate change by reducing their exposure to companies with reserves of coal, oil and gas.

Continue reading...

Lambeth council pursued us for a parking fine even though we have never driven our car in London<p><strong>We have had to pay a bailiffs’ fee of nearly £300 because Lambeth council has pursued us for a parking fine, even though we have never driven our car in London. </strong></p><p><strong>We thought the penalty notice and ensuing letters were a scam, so we ignored them. Then a bailiffs’ letter set alarm bells ringing. The bailiffs said the car in question was a Vauxhall. We own a Nissan Nivara. </strong></p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/feb/24/scam-penalty-notice-parking-fine-lambeth-council">Continue reading...</a>

How ignoring a ‘scam’ penalty notice cost us £300 in fees

Feb 24, 2017 7:00

Lambeth council pursued us for a parking fine even though we have never driven our car in London

We have had to pay a bailiffs’ fee of nearly £300 because Lambeth council has pursued us for a parking fine, even though we have never driven our car in London.

We thought the penalty notice and ensuing letters were a scam, so we ignored them. Then a bailiffs’ letter set alarm bells ringing. The bailiffs said the car in question was a Vauxhall. We own a Nissan Nivara.

Continue reading...

Switch regions:  Ireland | United Kingdom | Australia
Copyright © 2016  DaftDrop.com | Designed & maintained by Certak Ltd