Ready To Buy Your First Dream Home In Belfast?

This article looks at suggested routes for buying your ideal home in Belfast, a city packed with culture, great shopping, entertainments, history and excellent employment prospects.

Why Belfast?

Northern Ireland is an excellent place to live and Belfast is the city of choice for young professionals looking to live close to their place of work in the city, whilst taking advantage of the wide range of amenities available. House prices soared in the city in the run-up to the credit crunch in 2008 as Ireland enjoyed its rapid growth as a new economic tiger, spurred on by the growth in its service industries. However, since then, the global economic crisis has taken its toll and house prices have begun to become more affordable again, particularly for first time buyers who are keen to get their feet on the property ladder.

A Wide Range Of Properties

The good news is that there are many    excellent houses for sale in Belfast and affordability is good. Salaries in the city may be slightly lower than for the UK as a whole, but Belfast and its surrounding areas also enjoy a slightly lower cost of living, meaning that affordability overall is good. There are a wide range of different property types too, with recent investment in the city meaning that high quality new builds are very much in evidence, as well as older home renovations and classic terrace houses.

Terrace Houses

Terraces have long been favourites for first time buyers because they are solidly built, often spacious inside and offer a good balance of space for cost, with good construction, original features and attractive designs. They are easy to maintain and manage and cheaper to heat too than bigger detached houses. Smaller back gardens or yards are also desirable for young working people, who lack the time needed to tend a garden and terraces in Belfast also tend to be very well positioned for local transport, shopping, the city centre and other amenities. If you dream of owning your own terrace, then you will find excellent houses for sale in Belfast of this type.

New Builds

Other buyers prefer new build properties and there are plenty of development projects within the city offering high-spec and yet affordable new build apartments and homes. These are great for people who don’t want to spend money updating or refreshing a home and want to move in immediately and benefit from its new construction, energy efficient features, compact space and community environment. Most new builds are stylish and well thought out and designed for modern working people. They are often offered with stylish kitchens and bathrooms already installed and incentive cash payments may be offered to help with deposits or initial furnishings. There a number of highly recommended developments in and around the city and your estate agent can advise you further.

In conclusion, Belfast is a great choice for a city to settle in and to get your foot on the property ladder as you will find excellent houses for sale in Belfast to suit all tastes and budgets.

Cheap car leasing helps new car sales rise by 10 per cent in first half of 2018

New figures have revealed that the UK’s car leasing and sales industry continues to defy the difficult economic conditions. New car registrations in the first six months of 2018 increased by over 10 per cent on last year’s total, with the availability of cheap car leasing and a drive for more fuel efficient vehicles boosting car sales.

With some stunning car leasing, contract hire and finance deals available, it’s rarely been cheaper to buy or lease a new car. Keep reading to find out more about the UK’s booming new car market and how car leasing deals are helping drivers get a great deal.

Drivers looking for fuel efficient cars and cheap car leasing deals

Auto Express reports that new car sales so far in 2018 have reached 1,163,623 units. The UK new car market also saw its 16th successive monthly rise in June, growing 13.4 per cent to 214,957 units.

Retail sales saw a substantial increase in market share with a 21.3 per cent increase over last year, taking total sales up to 96,931 units. However, it was ‘alternatively fuelled vehicles’ (AFVs) which saw the biggest change in market share. 26.2 per cent more AFVs were sold in the first six months of 2018 than the equivalent period last year, representing 3,131 sales. And, although falling by 3.4 per cent, fleet sales still retain overall majority of the market with a 50.2 per cent share.

Experts have identified two main reasons why car sales continue to rise. First, drivers are increasingly keen to switch to more fuel efficient cars to combat the rise in fuel prices. 20 per cent more fuel efficient petrol engine cars were sold in the first six months of 2018 than in the same period in 2017. And, the average CO2 output has fallen to 129.1g/km in the first half of 2018, down 3.7 per cent over this time last year.

Second, cheap car leasing and car finance deals are offering new car customers excellent value. In many cases it can be cheaper to lease a new car than buy a nearly new used car and these great contract hire and hire purchase deals have proved attractive to buyers.

With car sales rising, what are the most popular brands? We look at the figures next.

Ford continues to dominate car leasing and sales

According to the latest new car sales figures, Ford is continuing to dominate the new car market. The Ford Fiesta topped the UK new car sales charts in the first half of 2018 with 63,040 sales while the Ford Focus was in second position with 47,675 sales. The Vauxhall Corsa came in third position with 46,147 sales.

Other top 10 finishers include the Vauxhall Astra, VW Golf, Nissan Qashqai and VW Polo. Auto Express reports that ‘premium brands like BMW are also proving to be popular with the 1 Series and 3 Series also making the top 10.’

A newcomer to the new car leasing and sales lists in 2018 is Dacia. The Romanian based car manufacturer has been owned by Renault since 1999 and offers the lowest cost new car in the UK. So far in 2018, Dacia have sold 6,994 units which means they are already selling more cars than more established manufactures such as Alfa Romeo, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Lexus, Mitsubishi and Subaru.

The most troubling long-term effects of the BP Oil Spill

The BP oil spill is an unprecedented event in the history of industrial disasters and an event that will be remembered for a long time, hopefully, as the largest environmental catastrophe in the U.S. history. During the 67 days that the spill was active, more than 200 million gallons of oil were released into the ocean and much of this oil has reached the Gulf coastal areas over the years. The immediate effects of the BP oil spill have been devastating, but the truly worrisome news is that the worst effects may yet to be seen. We would, therefore, like to look at the potential and factual long-term effects of the BP oil spill.

First of all, we cannot help but think that it will take significant amount of time before the fishing and the tourism industry in the area fully recover. For example, when asked in 2012, the local fishermen in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama said that they are worried that fishing will never be the same in the Gulf. What is certain is that the fishing industry has taken a huge blow and that people are still mostly worried about buying stuff that comes from affected areas. The tourism is also struggling, although it is in a somewhat better position than the fishing industry. However, the number of visitors is still significantly lower and the jobs are being lost.

Environmental effects of the BP oil spill will continue to haunt the area and the entire Gulf. Some scientists and experts even say that the entire chemical balance in the ocean has been disrupted by so much oil and that we might be seeing some global negative effects in the future. What is sure is that the wildlife and marine life in the Gulf will never be the same. We are only in the first few years and we are already seeing mutations to fish and shellfish, which is something that will only become more pronounced as time goes by. The oil as well as the dispersants has also entered the food chain and there is no way to foresee what this will do in the long run.

There are also the long-term effects on the oil industry and the BP and its partners in general. They have lost huge amounts of money, deservedly so, and they are still continuing to pay out on various claims and settlements. The oil industry will be burdened with new regulations and inspections and if we had to give our opinion, we see this as a positive, a single long-term positive that has come out of all this.

It is very difficult and even near impossible to be upbeat about the long-term effects of the BP oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico and the people living in coastal areas. We need to keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. Still, due to the unprecedented scope of the spill, it is difficult to be optimistic about it.

Why Might You Need A Psychiatrist?

Currently, there are a good number of individuals with serious thoughts or involved feelings, behaviors and relationships which leave them wondering whether they should seek professional help. It is given that in the journey of life, we will all be struggling at some point. However, in as much as we understand that using problem-solving and stress management routes will see us through, it is challenging for most of us to admit that we might need professional help. It is a state that you may call denial.

When faced with a situation that seems to be difficult for you to pull yourself by your bootstraps and get better, then it will be advisable to seek the services of a professional, in this case a psychiatric help. Psychiatrists in NYC usually specialize in different types of situations. The most common include mood management, anxiety disorders such depression, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In addition, some of the psychiatrists in New York City also offer services in ADHD and eating disorders. This includes helping individuals have a comprehensive evaluation of their nutrition, fitness routine, and their relationships. In some cases, psychiatrists use prescriptions or medications to relieve their patients from depression and anxiety-related symptoms.

When Should You Seek a Psychiatrist’s Help?

Sometimes it can be difficult to realize that we need to seek professional help for what we might be going through. A psychiatrist is a medical professional specializing in mental and emotional illness. Psychiatrists in NY have the ability of prescribing medications which can be or really good help when one is faced with mental distress.

When you feel emotionally or mentally distressed, it is highly advisable to seek professional help. This is because, there might be an underlying cause of the anxiety or moodiness that you are always experiencing. Conditions like PTSD and OCD also require one to be in touch with a psychiatrist.

Please remember that after you have been properly diagnosed by a psychiatrist, it may be possible to manage your condition through a general medical practitioner either immediately or in the future. The medications used by the psychiatrists are meant to facilitate the exploration of deficits in your life. Keeping the problems and struggles to yourself, without seeking professional help, might lead panic attacks and sometime long term or recurring mental conditions. This in the long run may affect the way you lead your life. Dr. Wendy Wolfson is a psychiatrist in NYC who may be able to help you.

Mother Nature At Her Finest: How She Can Help Lower Your Energy Bills

We spend hundreds of dollars on heating and cooling our homes each year, yet simply by taking advantage of natures cycles we could be saving a tidy sum.

Here’s how mother nature can help lower your energy bills:

Using a Ceiling Fan to Warm the Room in Winter

Yes you read that right….. everyone knows that a ceiling fan is an effective way of cooling a room down during the hot summer months, but did you know that you can also use it to keep the room warm in the winter?

Ceiling fans are able to move clockwise and anticlockwise and this makes a difference to its effect on the airflow. During the summer you should use the fan in a counterclockwise direction to cool the warm air. Experts say that a months use of a fan only costs around 70 cents per months in comparison to a single room air conditioner which costs around 9$.

In the winter you can use the fan on a very low-speed in a clockwise direction to help keep the warm air in the room. The angle of the blade pushes the air back down, meaning that if you are heating a room, this low-speed air movement will keep the nice warm air in the mid section of the room and prevent it all from leaving through the ceiling. Research shows that you could be making a 2% saving on your heating bill by using this method.

Using the Earth’s Daily Patterns

One of the most effective ways of lowering your energy bills is by cutting down on the amount of appliances you are using to heat and cool your home. During the hot summer months you can take advantage of the cooler temperatures in the night-time by opening the windows and letting the built up warm air escape. This means that it will take longer for the house to heat up again the next day.

You can also use shutters to keep the sun out of your home as this will dramatically reduce the speed at which temperatures rise. If you have any south-facing windows you should keep them shuttered up during the day time as this could save a significant amount on cooling costs.

Even better than this, planting a large tree to the side of your home can create a lot of shade, as it also helps to reduce the heating effect of the sun on your home. This would also be a great opportunity to educate your kids on energy efficiency. Check out this Energy Savings eBook for Kids if you’re looking for even more ideas on teaching these topics to children.

Using Off-Peak Time Patterns to Your Advantage

Electricity does not cost the same amount throughout the day and you can use this to your advantage by running any appliances that are not time specific during the off-peak times. During the night electricity is cheaper than between 9am and 9pm. By running your washing machine, dishwasher, water heater, other appliances during the night-time you could save a lot of money over the course of a month or a year.

With a little bit of thought and planning it’s possible to use mother nature (as well as some other little tricks) to lower your energy bills.

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