Friday, 15 July 2016

Contracts, Houses & Dosh

Guess what turned up yesterday!!!! Yep, DHL actually did their job properly.


More to the point, and much to my surprise, they actually did their job REALLY well. The contact turned up a day earlier than their claimed delivery date, wonders will never cease.

What was in the contract I hear you ask? Well, I'm afraid I have no intention of going into any specific details, as it's private, however I will tell you a few generic things compared to the standard UK teachers contract.

Firstly, they own your soul. The contract is weighted in their favour, unlike in the UK where our unions have negotiated us a great deal that protects the teacher. I'm going to clarify that a little bit, it all seems to be reasonable and nothing within it concerns me in any way, but as international school are businesses they have a vested interest in protecting themselves.

Once I had read the contract I only really had 1 question for the school. The contract wasn't particularly clear in regards to the medical cover on offer, moreover it sounded like it would only cover me and not my whole family. For anyone who hasn't had to look into the cost of private international health care, I can tell you it costs a lot. As a rough guide I got a few quotes for my wife and 3 year old son, all of which were well over £100 per month for basic cover. As you can imagine I was more than a bit concerned as having to pay for additional cover was an expense I hadn't really thought I would have to factor in.

As it turns out, I wasn't the first person to question the way that the contract was worded in regards to the heath insurance. My head replied very quickly to the e-mail I sent her asking for clarification, in fact she replied at 5.30am Malaysia time. The whole family are covered fully, and I have nothing to worry about.

I'm sure that this may well be an issue that resides with just my future school, but it is worth noting, check your contract and ask any questions before you sign and return it!

How Much?

Anyone who hasn't been living in a box in outer Mongolia will know that there has been a lot of talk about what Brexit will do to the housing market. We were really worried about it, leaving the country and having to either rent or sell our house. 

Enter the estate agents.

I'm going to do a shameless plug here because unlike previous experiences with estate agents, this lot were really great. So if you have any property requirements I genuinely recommend (They aren't paying me to say this, wish they were though) Lodden Property Basingstoke.


It turns out that the housing market isn't quite as broken as many would have us believe. That's not to say it won't go down, just that the Brexit factor could have had a much larger effect then it did in our area. Our house has increased in value by about £70000 in 2 years, not bad going if you ask me. 

We are hoping to be able to rent out the house whilst we are away in Malaysia, the idea being it will cover it's costs and we will still have bricks and mortar in the UK should we need it. So, if you know anyone who might be in the market for a reasonably priced 3 bed detached house in the Basingstoke area, let me know!

Our next step is to look at a remortgage, our fixed term is at an end and it would be nice to reduce our payments a little if we can, watch this space.

On a side note, if anyone was wondering, Solar (Photo-voltaic) does not add the value of the property, it's just a good selling point. 

Look at me! Not just a mildly entertaining tail about moving to Kuala Lumpur, but also housing advice.  

Sell, Sell, Sell

So, now we have decided to rent rather than sell, we have to make the hard decision to get rid of a lot of the stuff we have been hoarding over the years. Some of the items we are getting rid of were an easy choice, things that have been around for a while that we have little or no use for now. Other things are slightly harder to part with, case in point the sofas. 

Anyone that has ever been sofa shopping will understand the pain and anguish it can cause, let alone the arguments if you and your partner want different sofas. Well, that may give you some idea as to how long it took us to choose what we now have, add to that the fact that they are only less than a year old and you get some idea of why it's annoying at best that we are going to have to sell them. 

So, the next problem, once you have come to terms with the fact that you have to basically do a massive life laundry, is how to get the most dosh your your possessions. It turns out that your go to ideas of eBay and a good old fashioned car boot sale may not be the best idea. eBay for one will take some of the money in fees and car boot sales are great for tat, but not so great for high value stuff.

Top tip? Gumtree and Varagesale.

Both of these are free to use, don't charge once you have sold and are very easy to use. So far I've manage to sell quite a few things via both and both have various forms of protection built in, meaning your transaction is as safe as can be. That said, you still need to be careful and I really do advise you to make sure you take the usual precautions when selling.

There are things that we are going to want to keep, so where the hell are we going to put those? In-laws to the rescue! Thankfully my wife's parents have agreed to us abusing their loft space, that said I really think all of this might be an opportunity for us to finally have the proper life laundry we have been threatening for years.

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