Become a loan ranger in market
With some mortgage lenders already reporting 'exemption' limits reached on loans over and above normal credit limits, and it's still only March, demand certainly isn't an issue.
With some mortgage lenders already reporting 'exemption' limits reached on loans over and above normal credit limits, and it's still only March, demand certainly isn't an issue.
Q Around 10 years ago my mother gave me €35,000 at a low point in my life. It was help toward re-starting my life after divorce and I was very...
I was directly caught up in the grounding of Boeing flights last week.
Love is in the air ... or maybe it's just the spring, but recovery from the recession seems to have made us all more romantic!
Q We own a rented property in South Dublin. We are thinking of building an extension out the back, (under 40 sqm) or erecting a modular home. To...
What is it with male politicians continuing to exert control over female reproductive systems? In a disgracefully cavalier approach reinforcing the ongoing discrimination between the sexes, the normally mild-mannered Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has imperiously banned the use of contraceptive pills, patches and injections, starting immediately.
Mortgages are expensive enough without added costs borrowers can't afford. One of the benefits of recent consumer protection laws is that it forbids banks from forcing customers into buying add-on products like life insurance - a mandatory component of any home loan - from their preferred insurers.
Borrowers availing of the Government's Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan (RIHL) are paying over the odds for mortgage protection insurance, making the loans far more expensive than originally thought.
Bank charges are on the rise again with both Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank hiking transaction fees it charges to customers, so this week I'm having a look to see which lender offers the best value banking and how to keep fees to a minimum if you need to operate a current account.
Q We were recently approved for the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan (RBHL). We were delighted to get approval as this meant we could now get an affordable mortgage, or so we thought. On closer inspection, we realised we were tied into a mortgage protection provider called Generali Pan Europe which will charge 0.55pc of our loan amount working out as an extra €132 per month. This is up to 10 times more expensive than most other providers.
Q I bought a Section 23 property in 2005 on which I claimed the relevant tax relief at the time. This...
Q My younger son announced his engagement at Christmas and is getting married next year. He farms the family farm with my husband, myself...
Q We have a ‘granny flat’ as a separate building beside our house which is a selfcontained unit. We had let it to a family friend for many years at a...
Tiny Japanese powerhouse Marie Kondo has got everyone spring cleaning.
I'm moving house in the next few months, so I'm busy packing up and clearing out. Naturally I'm glued to Marie Kondo's new show on Netflix (at least it gives me an excuse to avoid actually...
We're one of the few countries that doesn't have Uber as a transport option. And as difficult as it can be to get a taxi on a Saturday night in the city centre, I think this is a good thing.
We're all going on a summer holiday ... or, perhaps the blast of snow last week put you in mind for skiing. Wherever your travels take you in 2019 it's vital that you put enough insurance in place - and the right kind - before you leave. This week we're looking at travel insurance and doing a little myth busting about what you need, and why.
Our property finance expert answers your questions
When I was a little girl I wanted to be a prima ballerina or an astronaut. Indeed, around age seven, these didn't even seem to be mutually exclusive goals, much less unattainable ones.
The growth in online shopping may be bad news for home-grown retailers, but it's a boon for parcel delivery companies.
The house is officially up for sale and the estate agent has encouraged 'open viewings'. I'm terrified. I had been all over Marie Kondo, before throwing in the (not tidily rolled) towel and deciding that, actually, as it's a family home, any family who wants to live here should really see how much floorspace there is to chuck stuff on.
They're called disrupters - online banks using technology to unseat the traditional players. It's changing the face of banking as we know it, especially among younger people who want to 'tap and go', and are mystified by the thought of actually visiting a bank branch, or waiting for money to leave or arrive in days rather than seconds. They don't exist in bricks and mortar, but are hoovering up customers and becoming serious players in the money market. Are they worth it? Are they safe?
Q We recently bought a new kitchen costing €8,500 and on which we have paid a deposit of €2,400. We have now discovered that the company has suddenly shut its doors and disconnected its phone line and website. I have no way of getting in touch with them and we are furious to be left out of pocket. Work was supposed to start last week and we're left knowing nothing. Is there anything we can do at this stage?
Today is my birthday. Yes, thank you, you're very kind, but as it's not a big roundy one, my inclination is to ignore it.
All eyes are on Meghan Markle as she prepares to give birth to her first baby. Ignoring the #fakenews about her #fakebump emanating in some of the weirder online portals, it's probably fair to say that the Duchess of Sussex has exactly the same worries as any new parent about their baby's health and well-being, but will happily avoid concerns about how she's going to afford it all.
While most of the 4,000 or so couples who decide to separate this year won't be splitting assets worth billions of euro, unlike Amazon's Jeff Bezos and wife MacKenzie, it is still a fraught time - and very expensive.
Q I am looking for a smallish mortgage on my house, which currently has none, to build an extension. I need around €60,000 and the house is worth 10 times that, so I don't anticipate a problem getting the loan. My question is: I jointly own a property with my former partner where he lives and we let the other room and will, at some point probably sell, but for the moment the rental income is more valuable as it's covered by the rent-a-room scheme. It is mortgaged for about €200,000. If I take out a mortgage on my own house now, will this count against me?
I was speaking to someone recently who took possession of an Alexa over Christmas. It's taken a little longer than usual for her to acquire an ear for his Kerry accent, but she's now busily turning on and off lights, music and, for all I know, putting the kettle on and telling him to put the bins out on Tuesdays.
Economic theory says when you have a booming economy and low interest rates people do two things: spend and borrow. But people are not economic theories.
Apple issued a profit warning recently, causing its share prices to plummet. To put it in context, the loss amounts to a mere $55bn.
There's no doubt mortgages are going to be the financial talking point of 2019.
Even though 66pc of the €7.6bn in new mortgages drawn down in 2018 were bought on fixed-rate terms - a huge increase - it still leaves Irish borrowers far behind their EU counterparts.
It's the second week of January so, naturally, the supermarkets are already full of Easter eggs. I'm not (so sue me), a big chocolate fan. I even have some Roses left in a tin where the Christmas tree once stood, which is possibly a jailing offence.
If you're frantically shaking your bathroom scales wondering why it has suddenly added 10 lbs to your weight, chances are you'll be resigned to getting in shape the hard way for 2019. However, before you splash the cash on expensive gym subscriptions, there are lots of ways of losing pounds instead of Euros.
The best New Years resolutions are those with small, incremental changes to lifestyle rather than great sweeping plans which aren't sustainable. When it comes to your finances, it's exactly the same. Here are some things to help make yourself financially fitter this year:
There's nothing like starting the new year with a bang. Out with the festive cheer, in with the moaning bank balance and sore head.
Now is the time for New Year resolutions, and what better one to make than to do things a little bit differently so that 2019 isn't as financially fraught as 2018? There are some really small changes that will make a big difference.
Still spending in the sales? Went a little mad over Christmas? Chances are your 'flexible friend' took a battering and will be about as flexible and friendly as a brick come January.
Getting your finances in order is a bit like a spring-clean. You don't want to do it, but you know you'll feel so much more in control once you have.
I don't know how you spent yesterday, but for most families Christmas Day tends to be a repeat of every other Christmas Day which, for some, is a great comfort, and for others, is approached with dread.
You might only own it less than a day, but if those woolly Santa pyjamas just aren't you, or the lovely stripy scarf you received as a gift yesterday has unravelled, then you'll be considering bringing it back for a refund or credit note.
If you're one of those households with Christmas lights on inside and out, not to mention the flashing reindeer, glow-in-the-dark Santa, and the shower on 24/7 with all the house-guests, you're probably dreading the arrival of your electricity bill in January.
It's Christmas, so I've got food on the brain. And in the fridge. And, mostly, in my mouth too.
It's the laziest of gifts, but for the last-minute shopper, or that difficult person to buy for, you can't beat a voucher. But consider other gifts which don't involve a trudge around the shops on a wet Saturday and which prove that a little bit of thought, at least, went into it. This week I'm looking at subscriptions - gifts that fit into an envelope.
We're in the middle of rugby season. For all I know, we might also be in ice-hockey/ping pong/synchronised swimming season too, but I'm long resigned as a rugby widow. I have, however, picked up some tips along the way about men who play with odd-shaped balls so, if you also need to join in and impress, here's how:
The good news is that 2018 didn't see the same spike in abandoned pups as previous years, but that's down to the 'Paws for Thought' campaign which Dogs Trust ran after Christmas last year, says the organisation's Ciara Byrne.
Booked a trip? Nervous about flying?
We know that among the so-called superfoods, the avocado reigns supreme.
Question: I recently bought a 1940s house opposite the sea shore where it gets hit by sea spray, especially in the winter. The windows and wood surrounds are badly affected and were replaced in the 1980s with UPVC but I don't want the same again as it looks so fake. What would you recommend?
There are few remaining untouched parts of the planet, but one, a tiny island called North Sentinel in the Indian Ocean, is one.
Oh dear. Went a little mad on Black Friday and suffering from buyer's remorse? Not to worry. You might still have a remedy to your shopping hangover. Today I'm looking at sending stuff back, and hopefully, getting your money back too.
Question:My wife passed away and we have no children. My home is worth perhaps €400,000, and I have around €25,000 in the post office. I live more or less on my pension, which is €16,200 including the old age pension. My wife's death has brought my own mortality into focus. I am 79 and while I have five nieces and nephews I would certainly leave something to, I would prefer my house to be left to a charity where it could be used to house people in need. How would one go about this?
Jammies on, coffee poured, and laptop open? It's Black Friday - where else would you be? Certainly not trudging around shops in the rain when you could be clicking online instead. But is it all it's cracked up to be, or is the hype over-played?
Like everyone else, I've been watching the nostalgic John Lewis Christmas ad featuring Elton John. It's even rumoured the star's massive fee went to charity, which is all very nice.
Unregulated and unauthorised lenders are openly operating in Ireland, providing credit to consumers via retailers like Harvey Norman, Mothercare and Argos.
Recent reports of a blockage on proposed legislation protecting farms and business assets from the Fair Deal scheme emerged after civil servants identified a range of 'what if' scenarios which would place it in jeopardy.
Question: I read with interest your paper's article about older folk freeing up their houses and downsizing. We are such a couple and find banks are unwilling to help us. We have a five-bed house ready for the market which is mortgage free and valued at €650,000. Our plan is to build a smaller house in our side garden. Ideally we wish to remain in our family home while the new house is being built as we have a disabled daughter who needs a downstairs bedroom. We have asked various banks to borrow the build cost while offering our own home as a guarantee. Each one has declined...
I do wish the pace of technology would slow down. I'm all for things that make life more convenient, but am I the only one whose head spins when all the latest gadgets seem to be replacing old ones before I've got my brain around what the first lot do? This is science week, so I'm trying to be positive about things I really don't understand but have to trust are good for me.
Personal Contract Plans, (PCPs) are "complex financial products" and poorly understood, according to new research from the ESRI. The think-tank asked consumers if they knew how the car finance plans operated, and discovered, shockingly, that 23/100 respondents' answers, were "no better than chance".
Question: My father is in his late 80s and gets around independently with a walker. He does not need a nursing home and would refuse one in any event. What he does need is someone around most of the time as he is in danger of falling and he can't even do light housework so things are piling up, but we have found the private care agencies very expensive. At €25 an hour he simply cannot afford them and he was refused a Home Care Package. We considered a student under the rent-a-room scheme but I was worried they would be coming and going. I live 50km away and can't be there...
In 2012, you might recall, 150,000 letters were issued by Revenue Commissioners in a trawl to inform pensioners that they may owe tax which they under, or not at all, declared. The tone of the brusque missive, which created a Joe Duffy moment, put the fear of God into older people, resulting in a belated apology from then tax boss Josephine Feehily after more than 55,000 complained of...
When did bathrooms become so complicated? As I get older I prefer things simplified, straight-forward and easy to use. I favour not having to pass an engineering test before spending a penny, for instance. Yet it seems every new restaurant or trendy bar now needs to feature a design studio in the loo.
Aviva Insurance revealed recently that up to 400 of its motor insurance policies had been sold by "ghosts".
Only two things in life are guaranteed, it is said: death and taxes. Although most people will have to organise a funeral at least once, the costs can overwhelm, especially at a time of grief.
Question:Myself and my boyfriend are buying our first home together. It is my first house, but he is selling a flat he owns to purchase it which is worth €140,000 once the mortgage is paid and our new house will be around €500,000. However, our solicitor is saying that his contribution to the purchase could be treated as a ‘gift’ to me, which I don’t understand, as we will both own the house 50/50. I’m putting in €25,000 of my savings also. Is there a tax implication and how do we get around it?
When I was a child, Halloween was about homemade costumes using a bedsheet and a box, loo-roll tubes and Sellotape or a cheap plastic mask bought in the supermarket. It was about filling a plastic bag with monkey nuts and apples you would never eat and throwing out the sodden mess a week later. All the kids on our road descended on the neighbours at the same time and nobody expected anybody else to have a 'bought' costume or even face paint.
Halloween is scary enough without a visit from Revenue. October 31 is the tax-filing deadline, which means that it's the hour to come clean, 'fess up and pay your dues.
Question: My girlfriend and I are hoping to rent an apartment together as it makes no sense me flat-sharing and her lease is coming to an end in December. It has been a nightmare in terms of even trying to get viewings as it has been a number of years since we’ve been in the market-place, but we were shocked recently when we were asked to pay a ‘viewing fee’ of €350 which was non-refundable just to get a ‘jump start’ on looking at an apartment. We had never heard of this before but the estate agent told us it wasn’t unusual and was quite gruff about it. We didn’t pay but...
Only one more sleep until the moratorium. Take a deep breath and close your eyes. In the absence of a nuclear explosion (metaphorical or by tweet) or the emergence of a remotely interesting challenger, it looks like Michael D will be returned to the Áras.
Question: We are three people renting a house together and the utility bills are becoming a nightmare. One of us wants to install a pre-pay meter as she says it’s the best value for money and we can tightly control our spend. I don’t agree, because I’ve heard these are actually quite expensive, but I would also like the control. As it is, we don’t really know where our costs are going. Now with electricity prices rising we really need a solution. The house itself is quite old (1980s) and wouldn’t have great insulation. Our landlord says we can change supplier if we want.
Sorry, it's not even Halloween yet, but there are only 10 weeks to Christmas.
The budget may not have given everyone what they hoped for, but if there are signs the recession is over, look no further than weddings. Perhaps inspired by this year's royal nuptials, you may not have Princess Eugenie and Fiancé Jack's budget, but couples are splashing out, according to Confetti.ie, with the average spend about €25,000.
Hat bought? Pimms on ice? Posh wave practised? Get ready for some serious style as the spectacle of the royal wedding takes over our screens tomorrow. Here's everything you need to know...
FAMILIES will be reasonably happy with the changes in Budget 2019, with lower income earners getting the largest share of an admittedly small pie.
The smoking, betting, staycationer did poorly from this budget. But his pensioner and family neighbours saw a boost.
It's all over for another year. But what are the key takeaways from the budget speech?
They say only two things are certain: death and taxes. When it comes to our national obsession with property inheritance, you can be sure of another truism: where there's a will, there's a relative.
LoCall numbers (with an 1890 prefix) are used by organisations to make it cheaper for their customers to call.
Question: My brother and I were left our mother’s home when she died last year. We have cleared it out and tidied it up, but are still deciding whether to sell it or let it. I have two children and my brother, who is separated, has three. Very sadly, we have recently learned that he now has a life-limiting illness and are both anxious that his family is looked after. What steps should we take to ensure that his ‘half’ of the house (or its proceeds) is kept intact for his children — and where does that leave me in terms of making decisions about it? I don’t want my brother’s ex-wife, for...
We already know Ireland has the fourth-highest electricity prices in Europe. If that wasn't bad enough, they're about to go up again, just in time for a chilly autumn.
Ireland is the empty-nest capital of Europe. On one hand housing is in chronically short supply, but on the other, a massive 70.6pc of homes are under-occupied, especially among the over 65s with 91pc of houses too big for their occupants, according to research from the ESRI.
Question: I received a letter from Revenue telling me that income I earned from a room letting in 2015 is suddenly liable to tax. I rented out my spare room on Airbnb for five months while I was between tenants (I live in the property). I only earned around €2,000 over the entire period and it cost me money in terms of linen changes, painting the room etc. This was before I understood the income was subject to tax, which I believe was clarified last year. Am I exempt under Rent-A-Room, and how do I go about proving it?
The rental market remains as dysfunctional as ever. Ever-rising costs (despite rent control measures), fewer properties and landlords leaving in droves, paints an unhappy place for accommodation seekers to find themselves.
Question: We are buying our first home together, although my husband is not a first time buyer. He got stung badly in the financial crisis on his first house and is anxious that we get a 10-year fixed rate mortgage now. He says this is the safest one, with guaranteed repayments. I haven’t heard of anyone we know getting a fixed rate for this long – are they are good idea?
Cycling has become a victim of its own success. The immense popularity of free bike schemes, new greenways and even getting a tax break to move from four wheels to two has resulted in more bicycles being stolen than ever before.
Getting the CAO points for your dream course is only the beginning. The financial costs also start for nearly 50,000 students embarking on their college life. While you're looking forward to Fresher's Week, freedom and new friends, making practical money decisions is important too.
Advice from our property finance expert on tax rebate on a house extension and executor's fees.
As the new school year starts, many parents are already in debt. It's an expensive time of the year and we'll be struggling until mid-term to catch up.
I had a mortgage with Bank of Scotland Ireland which has been sold to Pepper Asset Servicing. My mortgage has never been in arrears or behind on payments but I'm very nervous of this change as I've heard negative coverage about Pepper. It said I can clear my mortgage by September if I wish but I'm not in a position to do that. I'm paying my mortgage alone. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm very stressed with this news.
It sounds like the ideal way to finance new wheels - a reasonable deposit or trade-in, low repayments for a few years and swap the car for a brand new model at the end before starting all over again.
The banks regularly and rightly get hammered over ripping off customers, but sometimes it’s the customers who can make better choices to save themselves money.
I had to make a last-minute trip abroad last week, just over and back quickly. I knew it would be more expensive than if I had the luxury of booking well in advance, but it was still a shock.
If only we'd known summer 2018 was going to be so nice, we could have saved loads of money on booking foreign holidays.
I texted someone recently who was going for their first 'proper' job to wish them good luck.
Consumer rights are very strong across Europe when it comes to air travel disruption:
Getting on the road is harder than ever for young drivers. Whether it's the cost of insurance - which is set to rise with yet another levy - or trying to find a car you can afford, along with tax, NCT, servicing costs and rising fuel prices, it can be tempting to punt for an online 'bargain' or an import from the UK.
I've had the same tenant for 10 years in a property I bought as my 'first home' in 2006, deciding to keep it after I got married and moved. It was supposed to be my pension and I've been on an interest only arrangement which is due to revert to a normal mortgage. I've been advised my repayments are to go up from €825 to €1,450 per month. The 4pc rent cap is proving the final straw and I don't think I can afford this. I have deliberately under-charged the tenant in order to keep him, but is there any way I can increase his rent to market rates which may help me keep the house?
School is finally out and we’re all enjoying the long, summer holidays. Or are we?
There was absolutely no chance Meghan Markle was going to be able to ease her way into royal life slowly and without fuss. Since her wedding to Prince Harry on May 19, there's been a whirlwind of engagements, a family wedding and a whole host of charities and causes to get to grips with before she decides what patronages to adopt.
We have a mortgage on our property which is 10pc of its value. As pensioners we cannot extend the term to reduce monthly repayments but we have a guaranteed monthly income, which allows us to meet our day-to-day expenses. However we would like to have a reserve for unusual expenditure. Can we do this using our property as leverage? We are not interested in life products which hit the market before the recession but understand that mortgages are freely available in the UK up to your 85th year.
Usually sale season comes limping along a damp few weeks after what we laughingly call 'summer', but this year we still have weeks ahead to make use of all those lovely discounted items. I've had a look around to see what's on offer, while the panel shows you your consumer rights which, contrary to what many believe, are exactly the same during sales, irrespective of the price you have paid - so get shopping!
Ryanair has cancelled dozens of flights due to striking French air traffic controllers and diverted others due to drunks on board, while Irish Ferries has cancelled all sailings to France – and July has only just begun.
Can a mother who is a widow, gift a house (which is not her principal residence) to a daughter, who in turn is divorced with children and also has a disability, and be exempted from Inheritance Tax or Capital Gains Tax? I understood there was such a relief but am wondering if her marital status has any implications?
I’m an empty nester this summer, and the house sure is quiet.
Myself and my husband have been living and working in Dubai for the past four years and we are considering investing in property in Ireland, which we may use as our primary residence when we return in a couple of years. We think it's preferable to do this now rather than have to start the mortgage application process while renting on our return, and begin to move our money back home. What options do we have?
While the kids are looking forward to eight long weeks of summer, their parents may be dreading the 10 long weeks of summer. It's supposed to be about sun, fun and freedom, but all too often it's stress, expense and worry. This week I'm looking at ways to keep costs down if you're going away on holiday and also lots of completely free - and fun - family activities right here at home.
Summer is such fun, for adults and kids alike. We all relive our childhood when the warm weather comes and after the recent lovely spell we've had, those who still have their holiday break to look forward to get to enjoy it all over again.
My daughter is finishing up a Masters in Amsterdam and will be handing back the keys to her student flat - before it's turned around again for the September intake. The studio is self-contained with a kitchenette, living/study space and bed, with ensuite. It's in a new building of 300 or so units, freshly kitted out by Ikea and costs around €350 to €550 per month including utilities and wifi, depending on size. There are four such blocks, and that's just for one university. The Dutch government even offers a subsidy towards it - the huurtoeslag - if you find €3,150 for the...
I am a widow who was left my husband's estate in its entirety when he passed away in 2010. It is our family home which is worth around €720,000, and about €115,000 in the post office and some shares which I think are worth around €25,000. I survive on my pension which was from his company and the old age pension, which is sufficient. My concern is, at 82, that we only had one child, our daughter who has four children. I don't want her to be left a big tax bill when I die. Would it be very large and is it possible to leave everything instead to my grandchildren via trust which I...
It only takes a few days of sunshine in a row to have us firing up the barbecue, finding our inner Mediterranean and turning a fetching shade of lobster.
A parish priest in Co Meath instructed the St Vincent de Paul to remove its clothing bank from the Church-owned car park in response to the organisation's refusal to take a No stand in the abortion referendum.
My father and mother separated many years ago and she came to live with me. My dad and his partner live in what was my parents’ home. Mum now needs a nursing home. I can’t afford this, and it would need to be under Fair Deal. However, the problem is that the house technically still belongs to Mum and Dad, as they never legally separated and the HSE is saying it has to be included in the costings. But Dad and his partner are avidly refusing this and I’m caught in the middle. What advice can you give?
Returning to work after a baby is a bittersweet time, and difficult for a mum juggling the guilt of leaving their newborn with (maybe) the relief of being among adults again. So imagine the added challenge when you've been out of the workforce for years on a career break, concerned your skills are so out of date you'll be useless.
Financial literacy among adults is very poor, and we should take no solace from the fact that Ireland is no better or worse than other countries.