Who do you trust?

Hi everyone,

Well, wow! and thanks! Lots of people are reading, reading old blogs and ‘following’. I’m enjoying your company and really appreciate the support. I’m going to tell you all about my day, but you need to watch Steve Tilston and enjoy the video first to get an understanding of how I don’t trust the grasping, covetous, penny squeezing financiers of this world – here goes – Here’s film first . Steve Tilston is one of the UK’s finest folk musicians and his song ‘Pretty Penny’ sums up the financial sector not giving a flying **** about anyone, or anything they destroy so long as they make a ‘pretty penny’. Now I’ve got that out of my system, I’ll tell you about my day.

It started like this. I wobbled down stairs, bleary eyed, tea deprived and fumbled my way to the door mat and collected the dog chewed post. After wiping off doggy spit, I read the postcard from a local estate agent. Someone wants to buy my house. Well, I wish the daft ****** I had come round and knocked on my door, because if it’s true, it would have saved me 2.5% of the asking price!!!! Those of you who’ve read my blog for a while, know that I want to sell up and downsize and have a simpler life in a smaller more manageable house. When the estate agent’s office opened, I called them and it is true. Tomorrow, said estate agent will come round to value the place – after the financial collapse it’s probably worth two pasty crusts,  a dented Smart car bumper and rusty Co-op trolley if I’m lucky.

I then, just in case the impossible is possible had to contact a financier. It’s like having a hot line to the devil when ever you deal with someone who makes money by moving money around. You can almost hear the groping and salivating  avariciousness of it all on the end of the phone. You go through an online form with them and soon, they discover you have equity, savings and they can make some money! From that moment on, you are their best friend! As the words of ‘Show of Hands’ say 
All I wanted was a home 
And a roof over our heads 
Somewhere we could call our own 
Feel safer in our beds”. 

I just want a house I can a) afford to buy and b) afford to run. I mean actually afford to have lighting and heating in, without breaking the bank. By the end of the phone call, in theory, the mortgage application had been accepted. I didn’t get excited. I’ve been there before and at the eleventh hour, some underwriter in a dank dark hole at the bottom of humanity, refused it. Even though it was half the size of the mortgage I was paying. Again, paraphrasing ‘Show of Hands’ Here’s the video you’ve got to love them!!

With your bonuses and expenses
You shovelled down your throat
Now you bit the hand that fed you
Dear God I hope you choke

The whole world of ‘financial services’ of any sort is a stinking mess. Whilst they continue to make bonuses, no one can get a mortgage, borrow money for business and any one poorer than Richard Branson can’t afford a house anyway. I know, ‘the dream’ (sounding like George and Lennie in ‘Of Mice and Men’ – a little wood stove!) is within my grasp, actually achievable. I know there is a lost generation out there who will never be home owners unless they inherit from a baby boomer. I know there are millions of people who will never see forty years old, let alone retirement. I know I’m lucky, blessed and better off than the biggest percentage of the world as I have a roof over my head. Now I’m in the position to make regular savings, have an ISA, and can sit looking at my bank accountS, all of a sudden, pond life want to know me! I did catch out the blokey on the phone today, by asking lots of questions mainly: what are you making out of this? what’s the fee? are there any fee free mortgages? what’s the catch? what’s the tie-in? And now, after he’s gone through every permutation of possibilities and I’ve had Ebeneezer’s time for free! I shall go and broker my own deal any way!

I really felt as if I had to go and clean slime off myself! If I can put today into context. I don’t trust these people. Not any of them. I don’t trust banks, building societies, mortgage brokers, financial advisers as they are not there to provide financial advice but to make as much money out of me as they possibly can and I see my job as to make sure I give them as little as I can. I’m not comfortable about home ‘owning’ and want to feel slightly better by living in a small house (two up, two down terrace is my preference) with a tiny back garden and feel as if I’m consuming less, even if it’s just by taking up less space.

My apologies to anyone who works in a bank, or telesales, or insurance……it’s legal, its a living and it pays the bills. I’m just going to do all I can to give them as little as I possibly can.


18 thoughts on “Who do you trust?

  1. Froogs…loud clapping and a hearty agreement!!!! You put into words what I've thought for a long time, except you were very polite about it. When I make my car payment every month, pennies are going to the principal. It's frustrating and depressing. I need, nay, have to have a good running car. If I lived in the city, I would be quite content to use mass transit. Although I know it's the nature of the beast, it still doesn't go down well.

    Good luck with your house and keep fighting the good fight!


  2. Good luck! I hope it all works out, and the prospective buyer becomes an actual buyer.
    We are waiting for that too – we've had two viewings in two months. We all need a few more mortgages to be approved to get things moving.


  3. Trust your own instincts girl – you are who I turn to time and again as you SPEAK GOOD SENSE!!
    I never tire of listening to your advice and your friendship is worth more than all the jewels in the known world XXX good luck tomorrow XXX FM


  4. I dont like most commercial banks and financial institutions either so we deal only with our two credit unions her in the US. Since they are owned and run by the members and helped by a society of credit unions, we have gotten great service. I even had the first mortgage given by one of them decades ago.


  5. Like Lizzie, I'm inclined to think the postcard was just a way for the real estate agent to get his or her foot in your door. It is a common marketing tool in the U.S., and I get postcards all the time wanting me to list my house for sale. When you called, how specific were they about the potential buyer? (“Family with 3 kids, just moved to area, father works a mile from your house,” etc.) Ask the agent to “show me the money!”–in other words, demand proof that the potential buyer actually exists, before you sign a listing agreement. A house that doesn't sell won't cost you anything (or wouldn't, in the U.S.) but it's a lot of trouble.


  6. Dear Mikemax and Lizzie – I'm signing nothing! After the 'buyer' has been here with the estate agent, made an offer that I like and paid the excess into the bargain, then I'll sign a contract to sell! And Lizzie, don't bother making any more sarcastic comments as I'll only delete them.


  7. ..and theres a whole new discussion there….after my eyebrows hit the ceiling in astonishment at someone being “not comfortable with home owning”.

    Hmmm…subject for another post maybe…as someone who was VERY VERY uncomfortable indeed with NOT home-owning until I managed to buy a house finally…I shall doubtless be struggling for a few hours to try and think how its possible to be “not comfortable with home-owning”.

    I'll also confess here to “not being comfortable” with the fact that my home hasnt got facilities I took it for granted I'd have – like a decent size garden/conservatory/decent size kitchen – so I'm coming at this from a very different viewpoint to yours LOL. I struggle personally with having these lower level of “home facilities” than I'd thought I'd have…so my kitchen and garden are absolutely crammed (as I try to get in everything that would fit quite easily into the space I expected to have…).

    So – would be interested on your thoughts on this.


  8. Hi Froogs, Well said. I do often feel vey sorry for friends and family who work in banks, who joined when it was an honourable profession, yes they had a make a profit, what business doesn't, but lending criteria was strict and no manager worth their salt would make a loan or property mortgage to anyone who could not realistically manage the repayments, I am just turned 60 and I guess that many of your readers would not know how it used to be. Good luck with your house. Ali.


  9. I feel sorry for the branch staff when they try to get me to have a 'financial review' because I know they have to meet tough targets but I'm not having any of it. I do my own research and manage my own money.
    We managed to refinance to a fully flexible mortgage with NatWest about 10 years ago when the mortgage still had 10 years to run. We paid it off in two years and saved ourselves so much money. It was a more expensive headline rate of interest but because we overpaid as much as we possibly could it worked out much cheaper and I was astonished at how quickly we were able to pay it off. Of course, they really expected us to draw down our overpayments so that we would be debt slaves for ever – HAH!!


  10. Bank and building societies are businesses and therefore I expect them to try and make money. However my biggest issues are the practices of “gambling” with money in the markets, short selling etc that appear to be risky and nothing sort of going down to the bookies only it's not their money they're potentially losing. Such practices should be make illegal, the banks make a pretty profit without needed to resort to boost the amounts to quite frankly obscene numbers. Having watched the US markets last week does make me wonder if all this finance is about as stable as a house of cards.


  11. Hi Foogs, good luck with the house selling and the down sizing, I really really hope it goes the way you want and need it to. xxxxx

    I'll give you a good example of the penny pinching blood sucking currently going on – we have quite a lot of debt on credit cards etc. One of then major banks who I have banked with for nearly 30 years and who I have never ever ever missed a payment to, were charging me 17.9% on my credit card bill – high enough you would think bearing in mind that the bank of england rate has been 1/2% for donkeys now – but last month they sent me a letter telling me that as I was a bad risk due to the amount of debt I have (its been decreasing NOT increasing for the last two years ???? ) they have put my intrest repayment rate UP to 27.5% !!!! Thereby adding to my debt and keeping me prisoner to them for longer ! I cant find words to express how angry I am at this, its just totally outlandish !!! I dont have a problem with the 'ordinary' people working in the financial institutions, they dont make up these murderous rules, its the pocket liners at the top that I hate…..


  12. I really hope all this works out for you, that the prospective buyer sees and falls in love with your house. How timely that you have been working so hard on it all Summer, you deserve a GOOD sale.

    I know exactly what you mean about once the 'bankers' find you have money in accounts and are debt free they are falling all over themselves to try and ensnare you all over again.

    I stand well back now and smile, and fall for none of their charming little tricks.

    Through hard work and determination we have made ourselves free from debt, how dare they even think we would fall into their little traps again.

    I sincerely hope you can get your little two up two down, but try for a nice long narrow garden at the back where you can grow your own food, keep 3 chickens and get down to continuing all those frugal lessons that you have learnt and taught so well.

    Sue xxx


  13. I just happen to have a dented Smartcar bumper. Unfortunately. Not my fault but it will still cost me money. I do hope that things go well for you and your house sells for a good price. I'll kep my fingers crossed for you.


  14. Nice to read that, somebody agrees with my opinion of the financial world and the parasites that inhabit it.
    Apologies to anybody that works in the front line, it's not you who gets the big bonuses when the business goes down.


  15. My husband and I met later in life, i.e. 40's so we already had separate endownment mortgages. As everyone knows these were 'Rip Offs', being sold by financial advisers who got paid commission. My husband had to pay £2,500 at the end of his, mine is due to end next year with a shortfall of £7,000 to £9,000. I was told I would get £11,000 when the 25 year term was up! What scumbags they all are! I agree with everything you say, they are only 'in it' for their benefit. We are lucky that we have been able to save money in the past, we can't now, due to decreasing incomes and increasing bills.


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