Thursday, 15 May 2014

10 Step Guide to Buying Your Home.

The news that interest rates may rise at the beginning of next year may be welcome for savers but not so welcome for those with mortgages who have enjoyed a low interest rate for several years now.

Back in days of yore when I was a newly wed young lad, I recall taking out my first mortgage for the princely sum of £10,000. That was a huge sum in 1982 and I remember planning my finances to ensure I could pay the £85 per month mortgage payment. I managed okay but also recall a sinking feeling when I received my first mortgage statement a year later and discovering my unfailing monthly payments had been 'rewarded' with the exact same amount being charged for interest - meaning my balance had not changed a penny in 12 months. My irritation when I phoned the bank turned to embarrassment when they explained all I was paying in the early years of the mortgage was interest. I maintain to this day this hadn't been explained properly at the time I took out the mortgage but it was all part of the learning process of life.

Nowadays, of course, things are different. Banks, building societies and other financial institutions are only too keen to provide as much information as they can.  For example, a handy and easy to understand 10 step guide to buying your home can cover the salient points an ensure the customer is left in no doubt about the process and legalities concerned.

Thinking back to my first mortgage in the early 1980s, it's still something  of an eye-opener to think that had I remained in that two-roomed flat in the centre of Aberdeen, my mortgage would have been paid off in 2007 - and my £10,000 loan would have cost me £25,500. Of course, interest rates were sky-high during the days of the Thatcher government and the difference between then and now is startling. Equally startling is the difference in the information and guidance provided. At least that's one thing that has improved. Back in 1982 I wasn't given any steps, far less 10!

For anyone looking to get on the property market, I wish you the very best of luck. Just don't be as naive as I was after a year!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Happy Birthday, Ava

Four years ago today, my third grandchild Ava was born. Quiet, unassuming, barely a cheep out of her. As we say in Scotland, aye right! She can drive her poor mummy demented at times but knows her Papa is a strict disciplinarian who won't let her off with anything. Oh no.

Like I say, aye, right...

Happy birthday sweetheart.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Happy Birthday, Jack

Nine years ago today my first grandchild Jack was born. I had him for a 'sleep-over' on Friday and he is turning into an impressive young fella. He told me how much I meant to him and I was like Chelsea FC's manager Jose Mourhino - the special one. Damn near brought a tear to my eye. He is pictured above with Marion aka The Guvn'r. I'm a lucky guy to have two such special people in my life.

Didn't stop me from thrashing the pair of them at ten-pin bowling though...

Friday, 2 May 2014

I'm Rich, I'm Rich!

I received this email from someone who says he has defected from the Syrian Army. I immediately replied and readily provided my bank account details. I'm about to become very rich!

What's that you say? Scam, you say? Perish the thought...


I apologized using this medium to reach you for a transaction/business of this magnitude, but this is due to Confidentiality and prompt access reposed on this medium.

In unfolding this proposal, I want to count on you, as a respected and honest person to handle this project/transaction with sincerity, trust and confidentiality.
Let me use this opportunity to introduce myself briefly to you. I am Brigadier General Zaher al-Sakat . One of the Brigadier General that defected from the Syrian Army.

My office monitors and controls the affairs of sensitive institutions including some financial post in my country concerned with foreign contract payments as well..
I am the final signatory to any transfer or remittance of funds moving within banks both on the local and international levels in line to foreign contracts settlement.

I have before me, list of funds which could not be transferred to some nominated accounts as these accounts have been identified either as ghost accounts, unclaimed deposits or over-invoiced sum e.t.c. before I defected.

Now listen carefully please. I write to present you to the federal government that you are among the people expecting the funds to be transferred into their accounts.

On this note, I wish to have a deal with you as regards to the unpaid certified contract funds.
I have every file before me and the data's will be changed into your name to enable you receive the fund into your nominated account as the contractor/beneficiary of the fund amount $20 Million U.S.D.

It is my duty to recommend the transfer of these surplus funds to the  government treasury and reserve accounts as unclaimed deposits. I have the opportunity to write you based on the opportunity that the funds was release to my office which I have made deposit into three countries France , United States and Britain namely.

Among several others, I have decided to remit this sum following my idea that we have a deal/agreement and I am going to do this legally.


1. You will give me 70% at of the total sum as soon as you confirm the total fund in your designated account. 25% will be for you for while 5% should be set aside for any miscellaneous expenses.

2. This transaction must be kept highly secretive as I am still in service to avoid public notice and all correspondence will be strictly by email for security purposes. We will talk on phone partially if any warrant for that.

3. There should be no third parties as most problems associated with fund release are caused by your agents or representative.
If you agree with my conditions, I will intimate you with the procedures to enable me fix your name on the payment schedule instantly to meet the mandate and vital information for you to receive the funds legally from the bank in which country funds has been safely deposited.

I hope you don't reject this offer as this great opportunity comes but once in one's entire life.

Brigadier General Zaher al-Sakat