Don’t Forget The Stamp Duty If You Are Buying A Property This Year

Last year the Government announced that it was raising the 0% stamp duty threshold from £125,000 to £175,000 for a period of 12 months. In April’s budget, the holiday was then extended to December 31st 2009.

Anyone looking to buy a home worth between £125,000 and £175,000 could save up to £1,750 in stamp duty if they complete before this deadline. Once the deadline is up, properties worth more than £125,000 will once again face a stamp duty bill of at least 1%.

Any saving made could be valuable to many first time buyers already facing the prospect of having to raise a significant deposit and cover other moving costs. Most mortgage lenders typically require at least a 15% deposit so it is vital to do your homework to get the right mortgage deal.

“As house purchases can take months to complete, it’s make your mind up time for those considering buying a property. With house prices now holding up more strongly and in some cases rising, the stamp duty holiday could act as a greater incentive as the deadline approaches” commented David Hollingworth, Head of Communications at L&C Mortgages.

To work how much stamp duty you’ll have to pay, use L&C’s stamp duty calculator Buyers should call L&C on 0800 373300 for free, no obligation mortgage advice.

London & Country (L&C) is the UK’s leading no-fee mortgage broker. Based in Bath, it provides whole of market advice via telephone and post to clients nationwide. As well as residential mortgages, it also specialises in the Buy-to-Let and adverse-credit sectors.

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Thracian Cliffs Golf And Spa Resort Bulgaria – One Of Europe’s Top 3 Golf Courses

Soon, Bulgaria will be home to one of Europe’s top 3 golf courses, in the form of Thracian Cliffs Golf and Spa Resort, which boasts an 18-hole Gary Player Signature golf course.

Thracian Cliffs Golf And Spa Resort

At the heart of the luxury mixed-use development is the Gary Player Signature golf course, located on 164-hectares of wild, scenic Black Sea coast terrain, spanning 4.5 kilometres of coastline and bestowing a truly exhilarating golfing experience with stunning sea views.

Mr Player cannot speak highly enough of the course. “I’ve been designing golf courses for a long time all over the world – in China, India, Africa, America – all over the world. And I must say that I have never seen such a beautiful golf course as this here.

I am certain that it will bring a lot of tourism to Bulgaria and I am confident that Bulgaria will become a favourite place for holding world class golf tournaments within the next two to three years.”

The Golf Clubhouse will offer casual luxury with a comfortable, sophisticated and inviting social atmosphere for golfers and friends.

The facility will include relaxing restaurants, an elegant bar and lounge with fireplaces and terraces overlooking the 18th green and seaside views to the Gary Player Signature golf course.

The Clubhouse will include workout facilities, indoor and outdoor pools with dramatic views in all directions.

Gary Player has the final word, “You will never see a golf course like this anywhere in the world. Never.”

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Edinburgh-Based Ocean Serviced Apartments Responds To The Growing Number Of Business Clients By Providing Dedicated Corporate-Level Accommodation

Business travellers are switching to the value and comfort of serviced apartments to seal the deal. Edinburgh-based Ocean Serviced Apartments has responded to the growing number of business clients, looking for economy and luxury combined, by providing dedicated corporate-level accommodation.

Ocean Serviced Apartments

When the UK’s newest operator in the sector, Ocean Serviced Apartments, offered high-spec accommodation for corporate clients, they anticipated that many guests would also want to use their waterfront address to entertain too. “And why not?” asks Matthew Hansen one of Ocean’s Corporate Account managers. “If you’re working in Edinburgh for a limited time, be that a few days or a few months, there’s no needing go to the additional expense of a meeting place, when you can easily use one of our corporate-level apartments as a place to live, and as somewhere to hold an informal meeting”.

Certainly, Ocean Serviced Apartments offer an inspiring location. With views of the Edinburgh skyline and the waters of the Firth of Forth there are few locations that come close to this impressive new-build. “We’re on the edge of the city centre, rather than being out of town”, adds Matthew Hansen. “So we avoid all the usual problems, like parking and congestion, while still being close to all the city amenities”.

Ocean’s two-bedroomed Corporate Apartments all have complimentary wifi, and TV and radio so you can Wake Up To Money and doze off to the Financial World Tonight. They’re all furnished to a premium standard. With nightly rental available from £70, corporate guests have excellent flexibility and a great view of Edinburgh to impress clients.

Ocean Serviced Apartments, Western Harbour, Edinburgh. 0131 553

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Astute Investors Can Enlist Help Of Quality Tradespeople To Boost Returns

It has long been the case that investors have seen renovating and modernising a run-down property as a good opportunity to make money.

But in times like the present, when anyone who is still in the market for property can drive a hard bargain, such investments offer an even more appealing deal.

This is because, with good properties scarce, investors’ attention will increasingly focus on what is available lower down the market, where the potential long-term gains are greater.

Les Yates, of Bolton-based trade comparison site, LocalQuoter, believes that, with lots of tradespeople working at less than capacity due to the recession, there is also plenty of help and advice available for would-be investors.

“Competition is fierce among quality tradespeople, whose workload has slowed with the onset of the recession,” Les points out.

“So they have more time to advise on which improvements are needed to a run-down property, and which will bring potentially the highest return.”

Measures such as a new fitted kitchen, double glazing and a new bathroom always have the greatest appeal for buyers, and are one way to make money in a flat housing market, it has been claimed.

But with renewed emphasis on energy efficiency, any improvements which enhance a house’s energy-saving performance are also likely to bring good returns for investors.

Local Quoter can provide you with all the information you need to embark on any home improvment or enovation project such as Double Glazing QuotesCheap Double Glazing and Conservatory quotes.

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Brasil Investments Helps Foreign Investors Find Prime Real Estate In Brazil

Brasil Investments is leading the charge to help foreign investors find prime real estate properties in and around Brazil. The land division program within Brasil Investments has created a team of knowledgeable experts who specialize in acquisition and development of real estate properties. These experts include a legal team that understands the intricacies of Brazilian law and a knowledgeable group of financial authorities who understand the Brazilian real estate market inside and out.

Properties that are offered by Brasil Investments meet the highest standards. We work closely with all our investors and ensure that they are only selecting a top property f r o m the best available land and properties available. The investment professionals on staff help guide investors through the process of purchasing land for both personal and commercial use and only offer properties that they would be willing to purchase for themselves.

Brasil Investments offers the widest range of first-class Brazilian properties available f r o m any single firm and offers a 1,000 Euro cash back incentive for investors upon receipt of a signed contract and first payment. In effect, this is to show that the team at Brasil Investments values their clients and wants to instill the highest amount of confidence possible with their investors.

For additional information regarding Brasil Investments and a complete prospectus on properties offered, please contact them through their Web site at

About Brasil Investments:
Brasil Investments is a property and real estate investment firm located in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. They provide investment services and property tours to foreign clients wishing to do business in Brazil.

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Renters Take Responsibility with Renters Liability Insurance

As an apartment or condo renter, it’s your responsibility to take care of your guests. Part of that responsibility includes owning renters liability insurance to avoid falling into a financial hole if a guest were to get injured on your property. A recently published article on discusses the significance of renters liability insurance and how it’s become a necessity rather than a luxury to own.

“If you are renting a house, condo, or apartment and you haven’t looked into purchasing renters liability insurance then you might want to start,” the article, Get Covered With Renters Liability Insurance, suggests. “Renters liability insurance is one component of a larger renters policy. A standard renters insurance policy generally comes with contents coverage, liability coverage, and external living expense coverage. However, you should not consider a renters policy unless it has adequate renters liability insurance coverage.”

You should also not consider a policy if it excludes the following: coverage for damage or injury caused by you or your property in your home as well as outside of your home (not including auto accidents), coverage for medical costs and legal bills that could result from said damage or injury, and a substantial coverage limit of at least $500,000.

Go to for renters or homeowners insurance quotes from up to five local agents.

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More Serviced Apartments Added To SilverDoor’s Website

SilverDoor has expanded its website to reflect its ever growing portfolio which now includes 954 apartment buildings in 186 towns and cities around the world.

Chris Gee, sales director at SilverDoor said: “Business is booming at the moment. One of the benefits of operating globally is that there are always lots of new serviced apartment buildings opening. Given the shortage of supply of serviced apartments in general, one of the main keys to our expansion is the continued growth in supply of new serviced apartment buildings.”

A recent addition is a selection of serviced apartments in Milton Keynes. These apartments are situated within a ten minute walk of the main shopping centre and a good selection of bars, cafes and restaurants. Ideal as business accommodation, the mainline train station is a short walk away and has a direct service to London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. Each modern furnished apartment includes a comfortable living area, a fully equipped kitchen and a luxury bathroom with a bath and a shower. Apartment features include a secure video entry system, free broadband internet access and a flat screen TV with Sky satellite channels. These serviced apartments and penthouses also enjoy south facing balconies and complimentary parking is also provided for one car.

As well as Milton Keynes, SilverDoor has added some new serviced apartments in Nottingham. Situated on the Ropewalk, these stylish and contemporary Nottingham serviced apartments are conveniently located near to the town centre. Residents have access to the popular shopping areas, renowned boutiques, designer stores and a great selection of bars, restaurants, cinemas and theatres. These modern apartments are well suited to those who require a short-term corporate rental as the business and commercial districts are within a ten minute walk. Each one and two bedroom apartment is beautifully furnished and includes a large living area and dining area, a modern kitchen with a complete range of appliances, master bedroom with king size beds and a separate bathroom.

About SilverDoor
SilverDoor offers serviced apartments in over 170 locations globally such as London, Paris, New York, Abu Dhabi and Toyko. SilverDoor has also just added to its portfolio with additional new Prague serviced apartments and a selection of serviced apartments in Slough as well as new serviced apartments in Glasgow.

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SilverDoor Has Announced Record Figures For August After An Amazing Month For Sales Despite The Country Being In Recession

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says the pace of the global downturn is now moderating after a sharp drop in the six months to March and that the recovery is likely to be weak and fragile for some time. However, despite hotels being hit hard during this time, the serviced apartment industry hasn’t seen the same drop in business, as shown by the figures SilverDoor has published.

SilverDoor has seen a 41% growth year on year and it has also increased its portfolio due to client demand, adding new serviced apartments in Cheltenham. Clarence Apartments, located in historic Clarence Square, is a few minutes’ walk f r o m the town centre with its selection of shops, bars and restaurants. The fully furnished apartment is convenient for Cheltenham Race Course, the Centaur Conference Centre and the famous Pittville Park with Pump Room where the legendary spa waters can still be tasted. The apartment is housed within a beautiful regency townhouse and comprises one double bedroom, bathroom, an open-plan kitchen/dining room and a sitting room with a bay window which overlooks the public gardens.

Also recently added to the SilverDoor portfolio, is Rimal Apartments, a new selection of Dubai serviced apartments. Conveniently located within walking distance of the major shopping district of Deira and a short drive f r o m Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Trade Centre, these spacious well equipped apartments offer a choice of comfortable studio apartments and two bedroom accommodation. Each modern apartment includes air conditioning, multi channel satellite TV, an in room safe and high speed internet. Guests can enjoy 24 hour room service and on site fitness centre which has a fully equipped gymnasium with a cardio system, sauna and steam room. A temperature controlled swimming pool and landscaped terrace are located on the roof of the apartments, offering views over the sea and City.

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Housing the New Majority: 78 Million Seniors

If you are looking for an idea with legs, take a closer look at this mashup: 78 million new senior/baby boomers “coming of age” in the next 20 years and planned cohousing communities of 50+ adults sharing independent lifestyles and solid financial health.

Architect and author Charles Durrett’s recently released book Senior Cohousing Handbook comes at a time of high interest in greening, sustainable housing and affordable living concerns. Durrett’s new book is a comprehensive guide for baby boomers wishing to continue vibrant, active lifestyles.

Senior cohousing is ready for the fast growing baby-boomer demographic — healthy, educated and proactive adults who want to live in a social and environmentally responsible community and maintain a quality lifestyle while stretching their dollars further into the future.

Durrett is the leading cohousing architect. His awards include the United Nations World Habitat Award and the Best of 50+ Housing Award. He coined the term cohousing, introduced the idea to the U.S. and is currently the U.S. leader in the field as an architect and consultant.

I caught up with Chuck Durrett between project meetings and book signings and quizzed him on the “hows and whys” of senior cohousing.

Q: What are some of the unique characteristics of senior cohousing communities?

A: One word: proactive. These communities are filled with individuals who are choosing to take control of their destinies through planning, not leaving things up to chance. For instance, accommodations are made for shared caregivers to live on site and long-term mobility and access issues are examined. Just the process of thinking things through as a group changes cohousing participants, preparing them with realistic views of their future.

Q: What are some senior cohousing benefits?

A: Emotional well being, saving money through shared services and community and maintaining independence for much longer than is commonly possible.

The biggest factor by far is living with kindred and having a number of close friendships. But it cannot be overlooked that cohousing costs significantly less than other senior facilities and gives the longest possible independent lifestyle—good for living a full life and conserving financial resources

Q: How does cohousing reduce an individual’s carbon footprint?

A: Cohousing takes an individual out of the single home mindset. Top of mind: better lifestyle, greener lifestyle. Seniors realize that it’s really okay to leave their ranchette and move closer to town knowing they will be living with people they are comfortable with and that they are creating a home they can easily maintain for the next 20+ years.

Last year Americans drove 5 billion miles caring for seniors in their homes (Meals on Wheels, Whistle Stop Nurses, and so on). In our small, semi-rural county in the Sierra foothills, Telecare made 60,000 trips in massive, lumbering, polluting vans-buses – usually carrying only one senior at a time – schlepping a couple thousand seniors total over hill and dale to doctor’s appointments, to pick up medicine, or to see friends.

In our cohousing community of 21 seniors, I have never seen a single Telecare bus in the driveway. In cohousing it happens organically by caring neighbors: “Can I catch a ride with you?” or “Are you headed to the drug store?”, etc.

This alternative is much more fun and inexpensive for all involved, and much less damaging to the environment. For instance, Wolf Creek Lodge, a new senior cohousing community about to start construction, has 30 units to be built on 1 acre within walking distance of downtown Grass Valley, population 12,000.

Senior cohousing is a mind shift that is not just greener—it makes a better life.

Q: How does cohousing effect my retirement planning?

A: Cohousing is a proactive, realistic way of addressing issues. Really, it’s an ultra-responsible approach to assessing how to provide for one’s own future. Everyone in the process is dealing with understanding that mortality is real and that aging successfully means examining the whole person benefits—economic, emotional and physical well being. Cohousers choose to place themselves in a fun, life-affirming and embracing community.

The big thing here is that by living independently longer, money is saved at every juncture, so by taking control, resources can go much further. Turns out that an independent, quality life costs less than facilitated retirement.

Q: What kind of start-up process is involved?

A: First off, contact a cohousing company. They will find out what considerations and requirement are needed for your specific area. They will also be able to guide you in forming a group.

Next, read the book. Then start talking to friends. Host a presentation in your town, secure a site. You may already know some of your new cohousing neighbors.

Hear Durrett speak about how the 50+ population is redefining its future by applying cohousing concepts.

Contact Charles Durrett by calling The Cohousing Company at 530.265.9980. Visit:

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