Tag: England

Where do I get started buying a house?

Buying a home – especially your first – can be both exciting and terrifying. How can you ensure that your search for the house of your dreams doesn’t turn into a house of horrors?

When my husband and I bought our first place, we felt in the dark – and came close to making a pretty big mistake. Fortunately, we learned a lot from the experience, and things worked out well in the end – we found a place we loved that suited our budget, paid off our mortgage in under 5 years, and that was what started our journey to financial independence.

But before we look at what you should do when getting started buying a house, let’s take a look at what to avoid: Continue reading “Where do I get started buying a house?”

Are you keeping up with the Joneses or the Kardashians?

Keeping up with the Joneses‘ is an idiom in many parts of the English-speaking world, implying successfully matching the lifestyle of your neighbours.

Idioms, or fixed expressions such as ‘costing an arm and a leg’ or ‘waste not want not’, are normally considered ‘figures of speech’ in Linguistics, and their meaning is not the regular sum of their parts. For example, to ‘kick the bucket’ must be understood as a set phrase meaning to die, and cannot be determined by analysing the words ‘kick’ and ‘bucket’ alone. As a result, many idioms are culturally specific and difficult to translate.

Nevertheless, unsurprisingly, similar idioms suggesting changing on the basis of changes you observe in others exist in many languages: for example, the delightful Mexican idiom ‘Si de tu vecino ves la barba cortar, pon la tuya a remojar’- ‘If you see your neighbor has shaved his beard, you should start lathering yours’.

But in our globalised world, who exactly are your neighbours, and should you care?

Continue reading “Are you keeping up with the Joneses or the Kardashians?”

Is it harder to buy a house these days?

Increasing house prices is one of the most frequently discussed – and worried about – topics.

One of the most fascinating items on display at the British Museum is a 13th century mortgage, carved into a stone brick.

Dated Sunday 11 June 1217, and written in Sanskrit mixed with the local dialect in Nagari script, the enormous brick records a mortgage against a loan. (I suspect that if you took out enough mortgages, you could build a house out of the mortgage bricks!)

Continue reading “Is it harder to buy a house these days?”