How do you like to spend your Sunday afternoons?

How do you like to spend your Sunday afternoons? Take a nap or walk the dog? Serious brunching or more serious biking? Window shopping or online browsing?

We recently were driving on a Sunday afternoon and saw a sign for an open house so we stopped to have a look around, as we weren’t in much of a hurry to get to where we were going. We spent maybe half an hour walking around this place purely for our entertainment. When we got back on the road, we noticed more and more of these open house signs and we wondered if we had stopped too early and if we had chosen the most interesting house to judge.

This is the thing about Sunday afternoons. I think even people who have to work have a different attitude about Sunday than about any other day of the week. It’s a day to be relaxed and refreshed, exercised and entertained. Of course this concept does not carry through to Israel where we lived recently. There, Shabbat is over on Saturday evening and everyone is back to work and school on a Sunday morning, the equivalent of Monday in the rest of the world.

Another thing Sunday afternoons are great for is big ideas. You’ve had a great weekend but now you start thinking about your routine starting up again the next day. You’re one of the lucky ones if this gets you more excited than disappointed. So maybe you have a dream to do something different – travel, set up your own business, start a movement, or buy a dilapidated property to renovate. This could be why Sunday is the busiest day for propertyunder20k.com: a combination of time off and escapism. We aim to cater to all these Sunday afternoon dreams.

Buying a property in a different currency – when to make the jump!

A good friend of mine recently bought a property in the US. He lives in Ireland and the property was as an investment. The property value was $360,000 US Dollars. He began the process of buying the property in question 6 months ago. At this time it was expected to cost him €310,000. This was based on the currency exchange rates at that time.

He closed the property 2 weeks ago (it took very long to complete the transaction due to it being a foreclosure property) and the actual cost was €288,000; a saving of €22,000 based on the exchange rate movement.

Whilst this worked out strongly in his favour I can’t help feel someone from the US who was buying a property in Europe and ended up paying far more than initially expected. It raises an interesting question though. Continue reading Buying a property in a different currency – when to make the jump!

Property prices react badly to wars – even a trade war

The big world news story at the moment appears to be regarding a trade war that has broken out between the US and China (although it could be argued that it is between the US and the rest of the world). Of course such a war will have an effect on many key elements of each world’s economy.

Being who we are, let’s talk about how it might affect property prices.

Generally speaking property growth relies on a stable local and world economy.

Continue reading Property prices react badly to wars – even a trade war

To Architect or not to Architect

For many years I must admit to being quote opposed to use an Architect and their (what I considered) exorbitant fees.

When it comes to house design I pretty much think everyone else’s idea is a good one.

Also I am not really one for putting my own stamp on things. All this meant I ways thought there was enough house designs out there already so why not just buy off a prescribed house plan rather than looking at designing your own pile. Just look through the catalogue and pick the design you want. In recent months though I am not so sure….

Continue reading To Architect or not to Architect

Generation rent

Generation rent is a generation of young adults who, because of high house prices, live in rented accommodation and are regarded as having little chance of becoming homeowners.

Doesn’t this feel like flushing money down the toilet?

First time buyers in England are not having it easy.

Before they can get a foot on the property ladder they may spend many years renting and end up spending more than 50,000 Pounds in rent.

Figures from the Association of Residential Letting Agents show that tenants will be renting for an average of 13 years and in 2015 spent 22% of their wages in rent. Continue reading Generation rent

Property transactions costs comparison between the US and Europe

I recently read an article which indicated that transaction costs for US property average between 9 and 10%. This seems staggeringly high to someone like me who is more used to costs around 2%.

The seller has to pay the majority of the US transaction costs and the largest part by far is the Real Estate Broker fee which is typically 6%.

Similar costs in Northern Europe are between 1.5 and 3%. Other overall costs are pretty comparable and consist mostly of taxes and legal fees.

Continue reading Property transactions costs comparison between the US and Europe

Property viewing – what to look out for when buying a home?

Property viewing is vital to check on the construction quality, property boundaries, and energetic condition. When you like to buy a house there are a lot of things to check and consider.

Quality of life is the most important goal when buying a home. To make buying a home a worthwhile investment in the future, you need a cool mind and ideally the advice of an expert.

Property viewing is of immense importance.

You get a first impression of the property already when seeing some photos of it. But this can never replace a real property viewing. You would not be able to see the smell or see the noise of a nearby road on the photos. Continue reading Property viewing – what to look out for when buying a home?

The lack of a single European Property Website

Most countries have a main property website or two that covers the whole country.

The US also has a couple of major sites which appear to cover the all states (www.realtor.com being the one I have used).

One thing that seems to be missing in Europe is a joined up property website.

One that  summaries all properties for sale throughout the whole European area.

Continue reading The lack of a single European Property Website

Should I become a Landlord?

After writing many blogs stating the advantages and disadvantages of being a Landlord it seemed natural to talk a little about whether it is a good idea or not to become one in the first place.

There are several factors that this depends on.

The first might seem a surprise but I think it so important: your age! Why might you ask? Well in my opinion the job of a Landlord needs energy. As a younger man I loved the challenges associated with it: fix this, write a reference, unblock a drain…. all the usual things. Continue reading Should I become a Landlord?

Moving back with the parents to save up for a deposit

There is really no way around it, if you are planning to buy a home you will need to have enough for a 10% deposit.

The way things go, you will need to save at least 20k to 30k before you can dream of getting a place you can call your own.

Now the tricky part, unless you have a good “parents bank” to back you up, this sum may take years and years to put together.

In the meantime, you need to live somewhere and as we all know, rents can be quite hefty. Continue reading Moving back with the parents to save up for a deposit