Peer to peer lending, maybe there is an alternative to banks?

Have you ever lent a friend a tenner? If so you already understand ‘peer to peer‘ lending, this is where one person lends money to another person and there is no bank or other intermediary involved. Traditionally it has been a case of letting a person borrow some money until payday and then they’ll give it back to you, traditionally this was also an interest free proposition, not only because the amount of time the money spent borrowed was generally short term but also for cultural reasons, because lets be frank, if a mate asked for ‘interest’ on a loan for a week or two you’d think of them as an incurable scab.

The current liquidity crisis is hitting banks the hardest, this means that the very stalwarts of the financial world are the ones that don’t have the money to lend out, however, there are many individuals who do and this presents the opportunity for a market niche. The market has responded in the form of enabling technology which connect a borrower …

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Some quick Tips about Irish Mortgages and getting a Mortgage in Ireland.

If you have never bought a house then all the talk you will hear about mortgages might be fairly confusing and even frightening. Back in the olden days when I had a personality (the mortgage industry eventually strips you of that) I was training up as a mortgage advisor and even though it was all I did the whole day through every day of the week it took me a long time to become a Professional Broker, that and examinations such as the Mortgage Diploma. So I can only imagine how it must feel for people who are looking for a mortgage and looking to get straight talking advice. Who do you trust? How can you be sure that you are not being ill advised or ripped off?

In this post I will give you a few quick ‘checks’ you can do to ensure you are dealing with a professional broker. Firstly, you can ask the broker if they are regulated by the Financial Regulator and if you are the suspicious type you can ask to see their certificate of …

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UBS write down €37 Billion, wait…How much is a billion?

When you hear people talking about ‘A Billion’ be it a Bank talking about a billion in write-downs, or a politician talking about a billion in tax spending, it’s important to put the number of one billion in perspective.

One Billion seconds ago it was 1959, one billion minutes ago Jesus was alive, a billion hours ago our ancestors were in the stone age eating raw meat and dying of common colds. A billion days ago there we were not walking on two feet. However in monetary terms a billion dollars ago was 8 hours and 20 minutes ago at the rate it is being spent by the US Government, it’s 5 days ago at the rate the ECB has been printing it in order to avoid the credit crunch and it is also almost as much as Sierra Leone’s GDP (at the official exchange rate), that’s for the whole country for a whole year.

So when UBS came out and said that it has ‘written …

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What is a mortgage broker? Why use a mortgage broker?

Today’s blog entry will be shorter than usual, because I have to leave soon to go to the annual MoneyMate awards for 2008, Irish Mortgage Brokers has been shortlisted for Mortgage Broker of the Year. The awards are kind of like the Oscars of the Irish finance world, it’s a time when all of the incredibly dull folks (like me) get to let our hair down and talk about things like APR and not have to be ashamed. Just kidding, it’s actually a savage craic shin-dig. We were shortlisted last year as well, and in fact I’m hoping that we can stop being the bridesmaid and become the bride this time around!

We have gotten a few queries lately from people asking about mortgage brokers and what we actually do, because I work in this industry for a living I was under the assumption (now proved to be false) that people knew what we do. I went out onto Lombard Street and asked a few folks, …

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Do you need a 'Reality Check'? Property prices rationalise.

According to Britain’s largest property portal Rightmove.co.uk sellers need a ‘reality check’ when selling their according to a story published by Reuters. In the UK the unsold property stock has reached record proportions, currently it is seeing 35,000 per week come online, rightmove have about 90% of the property listed on the market on their site so it’s an even better indicator than our own versions which would be daft.ie and myhome.ie.

They have said that people need to embrace ‘smart pricing’, here we have taken to calling this ‘priced to sell’ or ‘price adjustment’ but in the end of the day the message is clear, drop your prices if you want to sell. The interesting aspect of the rightmove analysis is that many of the people advertising property are trading up and although they want to buy at a bargain they want to sell for the highest price attainable, its an interesting juxtaposition.

I think we are seeing the same thing in Ireland with sellers hoping for high …

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Do you need a ‘Reality Check’? Property prices rationalise.

According to Britain’s largest property portal Rightmove.co.uk sellers need a ‘reality check’ when selling their according to a story published by Reuters. In the UK the unsold property stock has reached record proportions, currently it is seeing 35,000 per week come online, rightmove have about 90% of the property listed on the market on their site so it’s an even better indicator than our own versions which would be daft.ie and myhome.ie.

They have said that people need to embrace ‘smart pricing’, here we have taken to calling this ‘priced to sell’ or ‘price adjustment’ but in the end of the day the message is clear, drop your prices if you want to sell. The interesting aspect of the rightmove analysis is that many of the people advertising property are trading up and although they want to buy at a bargain they want to sell for the highest price attainable, its an interesting juxtaposition.

I think we are seeing the same thing in Ireland with sellers hoping for high …

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US fed will inject $200 billion in cash in an effort to end the credit crunch

The United States Federal Reserve have announced that they will give a $200 billion dollar cash injection to ease the tensions in the credit market that are threatening to stall the wider US economy. They will buy mortgage backed security in return for cash and that will hopefully free up the credit markets and lending. Does that mean the Fed is taking on the risk the banks created? In a nutshell, yes, it does mean that, they are going to accept mortgage backed bonds from banks that were finding it hard to raise cash through the normal channels. So these institutions are not good enough for the market but they’ll do for the Fed.

The banks and financial institutions have taken a beating due to the credit crunch but it seems now that the fed is willing to stand up and be hit on behalf of the banks, so its like a guy who steps in to break up a fight and he turns out to be …

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Mortgage Companies in Ireland

In Ireland there are several methods of getting a mortgage, you can do it directly with a lender, or via an Intermediary (which is what Irish Mortgage Brokers are). Both lenders and Intermediaries are regulated by the Financial Regulator and they are the ones who set policies and regulations that all financial companies must adhere to.

If you need a mortgage ‘do some research’ would be the first piece of advice anybody should give you. There is nothing that can replace doing your own research, for such a massive undertaking as most mortgages are – the vast majority will make up more than 20% of your net income for quite some time – it is tantamount to irresponsible if you don’t try to familiarise yourself with the process and what it involves.

After that you need to work with a firm that you are happy with, sometimes you might know a person in the industry or maybe you will pick a company out of the Golden Pages but in any case make sure that you are satisfied the person you …

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