Saturday, 10 December 2016

Buying a New Build?. Selling tricks to watch out for.

What with all the new houses being constructed around te UK at the moment, there is a rush of people wishing to own their first/bigger home.
The developers are quite a whiley bunch when it comes to 'sealing the deal' so will apply a few tricks to 'rush' a prospective buyer into making what will be the biggest purchase of their lives.

Some of the tricks are outlined below.

Trick 1 - The 'selling fast' trick

Ever wandered around a new development and noticed how many of the nearly/completed properties are already sold?. Well, one of the easiest ways to get someone to make their minds up is to initiate their 'panic buying' mode.

If they think they are about to miss out on a bargain because 'as you can see, the properties are selling fast and the next phase will be more expensive', the buyer will rush into the decision to purchase the property in order to not miss out on their new home.

In reallity, 50% of the properties initially marked as 'sold' are not in fact sold at all. So don't be surprised to find that when you finally moved in to find the property next door is no longer sold, but instead 'for sale'.

This trick is used to kick-start sales on new developments.

Trick 2 - Multi-developer sites

A large  number of developers operate under more than one name so don't be surprised to see exactley the same houses built across a major development with a small number being built by another developer.

This 'other' developer will usually be a subsiduary or sister company to the main developer. The houses will be identicle to the ones built by the main developer, but will be much lower in price.
This trick is to fool they buyer into believing that the higher-priced houses are a much better quality.

In reallity, once a set number of the lower pried houses are sold, the price difference is reversed so that the small development becomes higher-priced. Meanwhile, the houses on the main development see their prices cut by whatever the initial difference was in the first place.

Thus, those who purchased the cheaper houses are exstatice to see their houses increase in price, whilst those who purchased at a higher price may well find themselves in negative equaty.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The truth about gluten.

There appears to have been a big swing to gluten-free eating of late. But what is 'gluten' ?.

Ask the average person and they will tell you thet "gluten is a fat, so by going gluten-free, i'm eating healthily". These people are not very well informed. Glute is, in fact, a protien. In fact, it is the protien that makes bread 'elastic' and cakes 'spongey'.
It is NOT (and never has been) a fat.

Gluten is found only in wheat, barley and rye. It is NOT found in meat, vegetable or dairy products. Neither is it found in fish, fruit or drinks, despite what the supermarkets may tell you.

I have noticed that there are a growing range of 'specialist' food ranges on the supermarket shelves. however, a big deal is being made about items being 'Gluten-free' with whole swathes of products from bread to yoghurts all boasting their gluten free pedigree. Apart from bread, cakes and any products made with wheat, barley or rye flour, the likelyhood that a product will contain gluten is in fact, 0% as anyone who suffers from coeliacs disorder will tell you.

Coeliacs suffer from a disease in which the intake of gluten-based products causes the small intestine to release anti-bodies to attack the gluten protiens. However these anti-bodies also attack and flatten the 'hairs' contained within the small intestine, thus preventing them from 'grabbing' passing food particles and digesting the goodness from them. This inturn can cause issuses with anemia, drowsiness and lack of energy.

Coeliacs have to avoid gluten at all costs or end up suffering.

Everyone else can eat gluten without any issues.

When gluten is removed from food, something else needs to be added to make the food more palletable. This is normally either suger or fats, so that 'healthy' gluten-free diet you are on is actually quite bad for you with all that added fat and sugar.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Conservative Party lies exposed.

The Conservative Party has launched it's 2015 election campaign with claims that 'under the Conservatives, unemployment is down. Dont let Labour wreck it.'.
In truth, using figures from the ONS, it appears that the opposite is in fact true.

When Labour lost to the Conservatives in 1979, the % of people without a job was just 5.4%. Within a year of Conservative rule, this had risen to 5.9% and continued upwards to reach a peak of 12% in 1984.

The level the dipped to 7.4% in Q1 1997. Labour then took control of the country and those figures continued to drop to a low of 4.7% in 2007.
It then climbed to 8.1% before the 2010 election. After peaking at 8.6% in 2011, it has dropped to5.7%, but this has mainly been attributed to a rise in the number of people becoming self-employed, which has been revealed as 1 million extra people since 2010. David Cameron claims that such an increase shows how much the economy has increased.

However, it has been disclosed by HRMC that 750,000 of those registered a self-employed have registered purely to claim Working Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits, which together are much higher than Job Seekers Allowance. Those on full WTC or CTC are entitled to full Housing Benefits and Local Council Tax Reduction, so are able to claim the same add-on benefits as those on JSA, but without the need to sign-on or hunt for work.

Prior to 6th April 2015, a self-employed person was not subject to prove that they had worked a minimum of 24 working hours or wage when claiming WTC/CTC (unlike directly employed people who had to work at least 24 hours per week and send in their payslips to prove it). This meant that they had no need to actually do any paid work, just claim to work the required number of hours to qualify.
This was down to a quirk in that self-employed people were exempt from the National Minimum Wage Act that governed PAYE people. Someone with 3 children and registered as self-employed could, in theory, get £300 a week BEFORE HB and LCTR. They would also be entitled to free prescriptions and dental care to boot.

This loophole came to light when HMRC started to look a little harder at some of the self-employed claims for WTC. They discovered that 1 person had an allotment and had registered as a self-employed market gardener even though he didn't sell any of the produce he grew. Another told them he was a treasure hunter, but never managed to find any treasure to sell. Yet another claimed to be a journalist just because they had a blog and these are just the ones HMRC has revealed to the public.

The Coalition Govt. finally realized what was happening and have now closed the loophole so that in order to claim WTC, a self-employed person must now provide evidence that they are earning the equivalent of NMW for 24 hours each week.

It is estimated that once the new rules kick-in, unemployment will increase by up to 700,000.