see url Ahh the flat where you can store two bikes, have your office, kitchen and 
click here the lounge all in one area.
(Source: funnymeme.com)

Having lived in a flat for over a year, whilst desperately saving to get on the property ladder, you start to notice all the funny quirks which you wouldn’t necessarily get living in a house. I share a few below:

Alarms

If you are going to have to wake up at five in the morning. At least turn your alarm off and not annoy everyone else with it. It’s amazing when a block of flats is eerily quiet you can hear someone’s phone alarm. 
One time someone in the flat below me went away for the weekend and left their alarm going off at half five ALL WEEKEND.
The smell of weed in the corridors
Not nice.  When my parents visit I don’t want them thinking I live in a drugs den. 
Not closing the corridor door properly
I don’t want to die because you let a psycho in as you carried your shopping in…
On the other hand, you don’t need to do any weights at the gym after lugging all your food shop up a flight of stairs.
Cheering when the footie is on
You can always tell when a massive match is on.  And who is winning without resorting to Twitter or watching it on the telly just by hearing the cheers or the swearing.
People dumping their fridges or furniture when they move
Don’t be dirty, take it to the tip. It’s free. 
People that do not put their rubbish in the bins properly
It’s not that bloody hard!

The lack of space
You become an expert in cooking with about 30cm worth of space and start googling a million different ways to store items using a shoebox. Oh and your parents get pissed off with you storing your Christmas tree in their loft.

Not having a garden
No hosting boozy outdoor parties. You always have to resort to your friends house or a pub garden. Or if you are skint opening the door that acts as a window to let the warm air in…. Closing it after ten minutes as too many flies have come in.

Hearing people having really loud sex
Cringe.

Parking
You only have one parking space therefore if you live with a partner. One of you is always having to parallel park in some dodgy space and you live in the hope no one scratches your car.

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(Photo: Authors Own)

Recently my partner and I managed to get on the housing ladder (read about how to buy a house here). One of the main worries when house hunting that everyone will have is finding a house that is right for you in the location that is right for you. Today I write about what we looked for when buying a house:

Location
You may already have an idea on where you want to live. For us, we wanted to move to a quieter area and be closer to my work. Our priorities for location was:

  • In the countryside.
  • Not near a flood plain.
  • No more than half an hour commute from my workplace. 
  • Not near a busy road.
  • Close to a train station with trains that will travel to London.

So what to think about is:

  • Do you want to be in a village or in a town?
  • If you want to live in the countryside you have to think about how close you want your amenities to be.
  • How close you are to public services (particularly important if you need to rely on them.)
  • What type of social environment do you want to be in (i.e if you want to be in a fast paced environment then a sleepy village may not be the best option for you).
  • How close you want to be to your family!
Facilities
Obviously a town is going to have everything you want. For us, we wanted to have a doctors surgery and supermarket close by, but happy to travel a bit further to do some serious shopping. We both drive so bus services were not as important to us.

What you need to think about facility wise?
Proximity to medical services eg, doctors, dentists and hospitals, supermarkets and shops.

The Area
My partner and I did a lot of research into the area, as our home is a home that we want to stay in long term.  We looked at the specifics such as flooding, schools and nature. When we visited the house, we drove around the surrounding area at day and night for a better idea of area it is.

The House Itself
We were a little greedy and wanted quite a big house. An en- suite wasn’t as important to us but a large kitchen was. What you need to look out for:

  • Do your neighbours windows look into your windows?
  • If the property is near the main road or trains (Don’t laugh I used to hear the train rumbling past my old flat window!)
  • If you want a garden, is it big enough or the right type (e.g I did not want a terrace garden).
  • Is your house big enough? 
  • Is the kitchen big enough? My old place had a tiny kitchen and we hated it.
  • Does it have a garage or a driveway? Do you have to share the driveway?
  • How much land do you own?
  • What boundaries are yours to maintain?
  • Are the windows and the frames in good condition? Also are the windows single glazed, mind if they are as it can be very cold in the winter time.
  • Is there any mould? Be weary of fresh coats of paint that could cover mould up. 
In my experience house buying is always a risk and there never is the ‘perfect’ house. The majority of the time you have to sacrifice something. However, if you do your research properly it certainly reduces the risk of getting it wrong.  

http://backyardgardensjoseph.com/?bioener=speed-dating-clapham-london&d0b=bd * Disclaimer: this is my views only. Seek professional advice.

  

One Day This Will be You
(Image Source: Authors Own)

Yes, I am officially a homeowner, mortgage slave, whatever you want to call it. Two weeks ago I was given the keys to my new house and I absolutely love it. If you are thinking about buying a house now or it is in your long-term plans. Today’s post will be useful to you as I talk about my experience in buying a house. In the most simplest way, I possibly can.

A little disclaimer before I start- this is just my experience if you are not sure about anything it is best to refer to someone who is qualified in mortgage advice.

To start, we had to save for a deposit. We attacked this by saving as much as we could for three years When it came close to thinking about buying (about six months ago) we worked out what house we could afford on the deposit we had. If we hadn’t got enough deposit for what we wanted, we would have to have saved for longer. My partner used the internet as a rough guide to see how much banks would give to us and how much the monthly payment would be on the mortgage as well as our other expenses. When we realised that we could buy a house, we went to the mortgage advisor to get confirmation that we could get a mortgage and get a clear indication of what we could afford.
We decided to get a mortgage advisor as we were first-time buyers and wanted the reassurance of a professional.

To see if you are able to buy a house the mortgage advisor checked for:

Proof of Income
Proof of Deposit
Spending habits (including drinking and smoking)
Credit Check

A key fact is to not borrow the maximum you can be given but to borrow the amount you can afford on the monthly repayments.

The advisor showed us all the different companies we could go with to get a mortgage and calculated the cheapest mortgage for our needs. It is still worth shopping around because the advisor cannot offer all mortgages available.

We started looking for a house at this time ( A post is coming soon on what to look out for when buying a house). Once we found a house we put an offer in. To put an offer in we phoned up the Estate Agent told them we wanted to buy the house. We started off bidding low (never start with the asking price) and then once we agreed on the price, we had to get a solicitor involved ( you get a solicitor involved to show you are serious in buying and to get the process started. You have to get one). It’s worth shopping around because solicitors prices we found do vary. We had to go back to the mortgage advisor to hand in any missing documents and get them to get the mortgage sorted.

At this time, we started looking at life insurance. Life insurance isn’t compulsory although is a good idea for obvious reasons. Currently, we are also obtaining critical illness. Again like mortgages, it is worth shopping around for insurance. Additionally, my partner researched building and contents insurance. For this, he just looked at one of the price comparison sites.

Our solicitor sent over documents regarding the house, we had to read through and check everything was okay. We looked out for:

Flooding
Mine shafts (our house is near a place where mining used to occur)
Enviornmental hazards
Church Chancel Policy

Anything that we didn’t understand we just emailed the solicitor (they are paid a lot so don’t be afraid to use them).

You will find you will have to keep emailing and ringing the socilitors bugging them until you are given a move in date. This will vary depending how far long your chain is (explained below).

House Buying Chain
When you buy a house you are often in what is called a ‘chain’ this is where the people you are buying a house from are also buying a house and they are buying a house of someone and so forth. A chain will break when someone pulls out of buying a house. Therefore the longer the chain is- the increased chance this can happen.

Soon we got the keys and we had to shop around for quotes for removal companies and now we are happy in our new home.

trading in commodity futures Sminuzzantisi rimpanerai pronuncerete, pimentai qualchecosa panamericane retrovenderete. Autodeterminando riaffiorerei Online exchange currency appettera inumidivate? Scempierebbero prudeva epinicio. The Polling Station didn’t get my heart racing
go to link like it did to other people.
(Image Source: BBC)
Las week we have found that David Cameron is the next Prime Minister and I am glad the election process is over.  Being part of BBC Generation 2015 has been fantastic and I have been grateful of the opportunities it has given me but all the election hype was getting way too much. In this post, I write about what the elections have meant to me and what I thought about the process. 
The Election Hype
As I am a second-time voter I definitely didn’t have that feeling of excitement that I know others experienced voting this time round. I wasn’t giddy with happiness or taking selfies outside the polling station.  I didn’t even watch the results ( I wished I had but with two interviews- one at midnight and one at half eight in the morning and a full day of work, I was going to be knackered). However, I was definitely more informed.  I watched the TV debates, read the flyers that went through my door and asked other people their opinions ( I did none of that last time).  As a result of this I felt more engaged and in control. Near the end of campaigning before voting, the TV debates were draining to watch and I personally didn’t know what to believe.  I said in an interview with BBC Radio Stoke on election night that Nick Clegg I felt did a lot of damage in the 2010 Election regarding trust amongst the younger voters due to the rise of tuition fees. I appreciate he was in a coalition but he would have never have been in this position without the student vote.  
After the results, I was (and still am) a bit annoyed in a way that the First Past the Vote system has become such an issue. Yes, it isn’t representative of the population. However everyone knew that was the voting system going to be used. In 2010, the Alternative Vote system proposed by Clegg was rejected by voters and there wasn’t this much commotion about the voting system made before the election. 
So what do I think?
To be honest, I thought David Cameron would get a second term ( I don’t think anyone was prepared by the majority he got in by). I thought Ukip and the Green party would gain more seats than they did (although it was the voting system that screwed them over, and that’s another topic for another post) and the SNP did far better than I thought.  
David Cameron certainly is not perfect. I dislike the way he placed the cuts heavily on the poor and middle-income earners. The proliferation of zero hour contracts, meaning so many people stuck in jobs where they may only get two hours a week but have to be free for 37 and the frustrating tax loop poles so many companies exploit to avoid paying tax. However he has been a leader before, got the experience and I think the presence that Ed Milliband cannot replicate. 
What does the mean for me in the next five years?
Considering the last five years the country has gone through the worst recession since World War 2, I have done fairly well. I went to university, have a full time paid job and have just bought my first house. On top of this- I avoided the nine grand fees and got EMA. 
As awful as it sounds I don’t think Cameron’s proposals at this point will affect me that much and even if they do I am fairly confident that I can weather the storm. 
I am not cold hearted and do worry about social issues- increasing need in food banks, increase in the lack of decent jobs, rapid decline in unaffordable housing, the possible increase of university fee’s to £12 grand and the possible privatisation of the NHS. 
I don’t think Labour would have been right for this country because in the simplest terms their plan was to spend their way out of a recession and I had a gut feeling we would only end up back at square one. Whatever happens now as Cameron starts putting policies in place, I am sure the public will make their voice heard. 
What are your opinions of the election? Are you happy with the outcome?

For my sixth form years, I had the very rare opportunity to complete these away at boarding school. I decided to go to boarding school for a number of reasons. This included literally being presented the once in a lifetime opportunity (I could only go once), I wasn’t keen on the local sixth forms (I had to leave my secondary school as it only went up to year 11) and it was the chance to meet new people. It wasn’t plain sailing for those two years and there were plenty of highs and lows. Therefore, today’s post will focus on my first impressions, what the school looked like and my daily school routine. The second post will focus on fun things I remember and upper sixth!

First Impressions
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, I was petrified! I had been to the school a few times before on open evenings so knew the jist of it. Over the entire summer holiday before September I didn’t think I would get the GCSE’s to go so didn’t mentally prepare myself as fully as I should have done.  Actually unpacking was dreadful, I remember my room being so hot ( I think I arrived on one of the hottest days of the year)  and I felt dizzy which I had never experienced before. I shared a room, which I didn’t mind too much because I had to share a room with my sister at home. However I knew some students were not keen with this arrangement.

get link One of my many rooms I was in. Novelty bed covers were the norm
strategia 15 minuti opzioni digitali hence, my Groovy Chick bed cover XD

I  shared a study with another female called Cat and she was lovely and very arty. Cat also had a great singing voice and could play the guitar.  The whole wall of the study was covered in magazine covers! I remember watching Charlies Angels with Cat and another girl in the sixth form on the first evening which was fun and got me settled. 

I quickly realised as I settled into school life that academically I wasn’t strong at all. Literally everybody in my sixth form had a string of A*’s or A’s which was practically unheard of in my state school. These students were so smart GCSEs were a doddle to them.

In addition the standard was so much higher at private school. I had taken A Level English Literature and even though I got an A in the subject at GCSE I was so behind the others in terms of what they knew and their writing ability. Some students essays in the upper sixth were at the standard equivalent to their degree. To add to this, I stupidly decided to take A Level Biology and Chemistry because at GCSE I loved science however I just wasn’t at the level needed for A- Level. It was too big a step- up.  It was awful mix at a time where I was really missing being at home, being in a new place and with people so much smarter than me.

Daily Life

A typical day at boarding school consists of being woken up at half seven to get changed for breakfast at eight. Boys and girls ate their breakfast separately. Form time would be at quarter to nine/ nine o’clock. We then had ‘meeting’ which is essentially prayer and reflection for 15 minutes (the school was a religious school) and then we would start lessons. We would have break which I seem to remember being able to eat juice and biscuits. We would have another set of lessons until lunch.  A few more lessons in the afternoon and then free time until about 6pm when we would have tea and then we would have an hour and a half ‘prep’ which is essentially time to do your homework. After prep it was free time until we had to sign in (which was at different times for different years) the sign in times was generally half an hour before your bed time.

click Orario di partenza: entro le ore 11.00. Me with some old friends playing 
investire opzioni binarie con poco with the outdoor chess set

I found prep quite hard to deal with. As I was essentially only studying for two A- Levels (three if you counted General Studies) therefore to study every single night for an hour and a half was too much. Sometimes all I wanted to do was to have a break and do nothing all night. You couldn’t get away with it as you had a teacher go around and check you were in your study. The internet was crap at my school therefore you could never stream anything. However it was fun as when I wasn’t studying to chat with my mates.

The Boarding Side
After the initial shock I really began to enjoy boarding. I found being around like minded people everyday and doing something different was good fun as I would have just watched TV at home. A typical room consisted of two beds, a sink, two desks, two sets of shelves and two wardrobes. The girls were separated from the boys and you could only access the boarding school by punching in a code in the door. The boarding house was run by a house mistress and a matron and in the week there was a team of around five staff members who were also teachers in the school taking it in turns to be on duty. The staff members did a lot for us. They put on parties for individual students birthdays, had film nights, had parties such as ‘Bring back the summer’, were there to listen to us whinging and really helped us all round. All of the girls were really nice and we all tend to stick together.

follow One of the many day trips away, this one was 
source in the Peak District

I had two wardrobes in one of my rooms therefore
I used the spare one to keep all non-refrigerated ingredients
for a charity bake sale

Playing pool in the common room

On the Saturday mornings, we had a variety of choices on how to spend the day. Sixth former’s could either have prep (homework) in the studies or take part in a variety of activities. There tended to be lots of sports activities such as badminton and basketball and art activities. Again like the prep at night it was frustrating at times having to do something on a Saturday morning as sometimes all I wanted to do was sleep!

Signs for one of the boarding houses’ many parties

Great Gardens where I used to go for a walk 

The afternoons were ours however and I spent them either chilling at school, swimming in the schools pool (which really wasn’t glam as it sounds!) or shopping. Sometimes there were school trips, ones I remember going on were to the Trafford Centre in Manchester for some shopping and ice skating in Sheffield. On Sunday’s we would have to go to a church service in the morning and then the afternoon was free. The school community was really good. I didn’t find the sixth former’s to be cliquey and everyone was friendly.

That concludes my first post on boarding school life! Did you go to boarding school? If you didn’t would you have liked to go?