An expat’s guide to buying property in the UK

No matter what is happening in the rest of the world, interest in the UK housing market remains strong with many people looking to buy a property as part of their portfolio of investments, or as a future home.

For expats, it is harder to obtain a UK mortgage but I have an excellent in-house mortgage department with the largest panel of lenders of any broker in the Middle East and we focus on assisting expats buy property in both the UK and the UAE.

This article is a guide to what you need to know when buying property in the UK and there will shortly be two companion pieces, one about buying in Dubai and another about the tax issues to bear in mind in respect of UK property ownership.

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The financial mistakes that you really want to avoid

Everyone moves to the UAE with the best of intentions but it is easy to get side-tracked by the attractions, the fun and sun and forget that you planned to be sensible. The laws here are also very different to those in most of our home countries so it is good to have a  reminder of what to avoid and what not to do.

I recently wrote an article on this topic for Good magazine, published in the March 2017 issue, and these are all the points covered.

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UK Budget March 2017 – the main points for expats

9th March 2017 saw the final UK Spring Budget as the announcements now move to the Autumn. As ever there were a number of measures that will affect expats, including a surprise regarding pensions. This article is a brief overview of some of the main points with particular reference to any changes that have relevance to those living outside of the UK.

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Want to save money on your currency transfers?

Given all that has happened over the past year we’re all pretty switched on to movements in exchange rates these days and we look to move our money when it is beneficial. Despite this far too many people are using their online banking system for transfers but this is rarely the best option as not only is there usually a fee, the exchange rates are rarely competitive. If you want to save money on your currency transfers read on.

With Sterling being relatively weak compared to the US Dollar, the currency to which most GCC currencies are pegged, it is still a good time to move your Dirhams, Riyals or Dinars to Sterling although there have been suggestions that we may see some movement the other way before too long.
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What’s your financial personality type?

We all have certain beliefs and behaviours that guide us in our choices in life, whether that is in respect of the food we eat, how we live, the way in which we work or bring up children, our political views etc,  so it stands to reason that these personality traits cross over to our financial identities.

Although the financial services industry tends to pigeon hole people into various categories such as balanced investors, retirees, young married, cautious types and more, I believe that there is a whole other set of identities that relate to how we run our financial lives.

You may have heard people claim that they are a ‘spendthrift’ or that they are ‘saver’ but I think it is a little more complex. In reality we rarely have such black and white styles of money management.

There have been a number of studies with authors listing up to 20 different personality types but I have narrowed it down to seven which I think cover most of us.

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UAE Public Holidays for 2017

These are the official dates of public holidays for the UAE for the coming year so you can make a note in your diary now and plan ahead. Actual days off work for both the public and private sector will vary but these are the dates announced by the Government so far.

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The Twelve Days of Christmas – the cost of recreating it in Dubai

It’s the time of year for seasonal cheer and goodwill to all men so for a little fun I’ve put together something a little different. It can be tough to decide what to buy for your significant other, particularly when they seem to have everything so sometimes you just need to be creative. Most people know the song The Twelve Days of Christmas so to show someone that they really are your true love you could go all out and recreate it!

For the first time in the UAE here is your guide, with all the relevant costs, to giving the appropriate gift for all 12 days to your beloved. This is Dubai however, so we just have to do things a little differently so if you really want to impress the love of your life and go all out this Christmas here’s how you can do it, and most importantly what it is likely to cost you.


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