Are New Build Apartments A Good Investment Or Are They About To Crash?

Take a walk through most city centres or riverside areas such as the Thames and you will see numerous tower cranes, most of them being used in the construction of one, two and three bedroom apartments. It begs the question: Are the developers building too many of this type of housing, or is there still a strong demand. In some areas of the country there is simply an oversupply and some proposed developments have been mothballed completely.

Places such as Leeds, Nottingham, Leicester and Ipswich, which have been intensively developed, have now been recognized as only having a modest demand. Prices for these properties largely depend on supply and demand and in areas of oversupply prices are plummeting. Both aspiring and experienced landlords have purchased many apartments as buy to let investments and in areas of oversupply there may be dozens of properties for every potential tenant. This has caused the value of these properties to fall but the mortgage payments remain the same. Rents in areas of over supply have to be reduced to attract tenants and they often do not cover the monthly mortgage repayments meaning that they become an even less attractive prospect to would be investors. Some property investor gurus have been predicting a crash in apartment prices for a few years now so will their predictions come true in 2008?

The question may be answered by simply looking at supply and demand for property in general in the UK. The government estimates that approximately 230,000 new homes are required to be built every year to cope with our growing population, but only 160,000 are actually being built leaving a shortfall over 20 years of over a million homes. People are living longer due to healthier lifestyles and there are a growing number of single people due to our modern lifestyles and values. People are less likely to stay in a difficult relationship these days and are much more likely to opt for a single life for a while. Add to the equation, a shortage of work skills and the requirement for overseas workers to set up residence in the UK and in the long term it seems that there will be a very strong demand for affordable housing.

There seems to be a hiccup in the property market at present, which is due to the lending businesses i.e. banks and building societies who, we are told, facing difficulties in liquidity and are toughening up their lending criteria. In America several banks have gone bankrupt and in the UK Northern Rock has recently been nationalized by the British government. Some lenders are not passing on interest rate cuts to tracker mortgages following cuts to the bank of England base rate due, which they say is due to the current liquidity crisis.

This all makes for interesting times ahead. The general consensus seems to be that in the short term property prices may fall or at least not gain much in 2008 but in the long term supply and demand will cause prices to continue rising.

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What Does My Name Mean? – Explore Your Name Meaning

Celebrity movie star Kate Hudson and her fiance British rocker Matt Bellamy recently gave birth to their baby boy. The tabloids were ripe with speculation regarding the baby name the couple would choose for the newly arrived family member. After much deliberation, the couple chose the name «Bingham» or «Bing» for short much like the search engine. Meanwhile, on an entirely different plain, celebrity football star David Beckham, who plays for Manchester United, and wife Victoria were busy naming their newly arrived baby daughter Harper Seven which sounds more like a password to a secret Gmail account than a baby name. What is it with the movers and shakers of our planet? Don’t they realize that the first thing their child is going to ask Dad and Mom when the «time cometh» is «what does my name mean?»

A Rich and Holy Tradition of Celebrity Baby Names

The practice of giving off-beat and unusual names to celebrity babies isn’t a recent trend by any stretch of the human imagination, More than three decades ago, singer composer Frank Zappa shocked everyone by naming his daughter Moon Unit Zappa. Moon later grew up to be a mover and shaker in her own right with hits like Valley Girl and others. More recent examples include Jermaine Jackson, Michael Jackson’s elder brother, who named his baby Jermajesty, and actor, skateboarder and photographer, Jason Lee who named his baby Pilot Inspektor.

Probing questions like «what does my name mean» or «what does my last name mean» are obviously not restricted to celebrity children. Even you have the right to know. Although whether or not your name has a meaning may have more to do with your ethnic heritage and cultural background, it really doesn’t hurt to either ask or research the issue because many baby name meanings are not obvious at first glance. In the Hindu naming tradition for example, chances are about 99.5% that your name means something and may be derived from Sanskrit, India’s ancient language. On the other hand, its meaning may be known only to those who are familiar with the language because, like Latin, Sanskrit isn’t used anywhere in India for conversational purposes.

Many Norman and Anglo-Saxon names have no meaning and even if they do, the meaning may be more legendary than derived through etymology. In China, baby names take on clearly defined meanings and often tend to reflect virtues and traits that are worthy of emulation. As is the case with baby names in these cultures, the names of babies can have religious connotations in many parts of the world thus assuming added significance.

Direct Response to the Million Dollar Baby Name Meaning Question

Let us spring ahead for a moment instead of falling behind and assume that you are now a parent and have a child who wakes up one fine morning and pops the question, «what does my name mean?» Your response should be as natural as can be. it is very likely that you researched baby name meanings when you researched baby names for your son or daughter. In that case the answer will be forthcoming instantly. If that is not the case and given the remote possibility that you do not know the meaning of your child’s name, simply buy time. Say that you need a day to come up with your baby name’s meaning and share it as soon as Almighty Google has shared it with you.

Either way, any questions regarding your baby’s name (after all a baby is always a baby no matter how old he or she is) such as «what does my name mean» or «what does my last name mean» should be addressed by you and your significant other accurately and in a timely fashion. If there is an anecdote behind your baby’s name, share it. If there is a family connection with a grand dad or grand mom, reveal it. Discussions about baby names once the children are old enough to understand is always productive and instills in them not only a sense of confidence but also goes a long way to help the family come closer and bond together.

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Euro 2012 Fantasy Football

When international tournaments arrive, the job of a fantasy football manager gets that much harder. In the main, this is because there’s no real way to compare the expected performances of a team in advance. Of course, we can take the sum of its parts, namely the players, but will they perform the same way they do in their respective leagues? How do you compare leagues? Can we safely say that good performers in the Bundesliga, Premier League and La Liga are equal? Looking at the time it takes transferred players to the Premier League to adjust, I would say not.

In many ways, the place to start with all fantasy games is the scoring criteria and the rules. These constraints should govern about 90% of your approach to player selection.

For the UEFA / McDonalds Euro 2012 game, there are three key rules for choosing your first team. The first is that you can only have 2 players from each team, the second is that you get to change your team in its entirety at the end of Matchday 3 and your third is that you are restricted to one free transfer for each of the first 3 «Matchdays».

This means in essence that your best strategy is to look at the teams that have the best chance of success over the three days without concerning yourself too much on who will progress past the initial stages.

Using an un-named bookmaking site, I have created a list of the total odds on each teams success through the first three matchdays. The results are:

Spain 4.65

Germany 5.37

England 6.07

Russia 6.47

Netherlands 6.73

France 6.77

Poland 7

Italy 7.37

Czech 8.14

Ukraine 8.5

Portugal 9.13

Greece 9.9

Sweden 10.25

Croatia 13.6

ROI 13.75

Denmark 15

If I work through the figures a little further, it comes to light that there are 8 teams that figure in the top 8 for each «Matchday» either twice or three times, they are (in order): Spain, Germany, England, Russia, Netherlands, France, Italy & Czech Republic. As some teams have a greater chance of success in any given week, I would suggest the following approach to team selection – Matchday 1:

2 each from Spain, Germany, England, Russia, Netherlands, France and Italy; 1 from Poland.

Matchday 2:

Sell Polish player, buy Portuguese player

Matchday 3

Sell Portuguese player, purchase Czech player.

This approach should bring you the optimum initial team but beware, the bookmakers dont always get it right so be ready to adjust your strategy if a team plays markedly better or worse than anticipated.

I’ll return shortly with the second of my guides, detailing how to use the scoring restrictions to pick the perfect players for your Euro 2012 Fantasy Football Team.

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5 Sentiments to Share in the Visitation Line

Going through the visitation line at a funeral is overwhelming. Sometimes it’s the first time seeing the family since the death of your loved one. Seeing everyone so distraught is emotionally draining and can leave us feeling stymied when it’s our turn to meet the family in the visitation line. Prepare yourself to come face to face with the family of the departed by thinking about what you’re going to say ahead of time. Here are 5 sentiments to share with the family as you make your way through the visitation line.

1. I’m Sorry for Your Loss

If you can’t think of anything else to say in the visitation line, tell the family that you are sorry for their loss. It lets them know that you recognize their sadness instead of minimizing their grief. Saying things like, «at least he lived a long life,» or «at least you got to spend those final days with her,» is insensitive and shows that you truly don’t understand the magnitude of their loss. Tell the family that you’re sorry for their loss and if that’s all you can muster up the strength to say, give them a hug and leave it at that.

2. Share a Memory

As you make your way through the line, share a story about the departed with the family. Whether it’s a memory that you all share together or one that is unique to you and the departed. Hopefully it will lighten their spirits, even if for just a moment.

3. Share Your Favorite Thing About the Departed

Say something like, «I just loved how your mom always had a smile on her face.» Or, «your sister had a special way of lighting up a room, I sure will miss her.» Pointing out the great qualities of the departed will remind the family of what a great person they had in their lives and keep the memory alive.

4. What They Meant to You

Telling the family just how important the departed was to you will give them a sense of pride: To know that their father was a mentor to you, or their daughter taught you everything you know about cooking. Share your profound experience with the departed with the family to let them know how much you will miss having them in your life.

5. Bring a Photo or Keepsake to Share

If you have a special photo of the departed or something that reminds you of them, bring it to the visitation and share it with the family. It’s a physical reminder of the departed, and can even show the family their loved one at a stage in his or her life that they had never known.

So often people fail to give any thought to what they’re going to say during the visitation and end up unintentionally saying something hurtful or insensitive. Plan ahead and think about what you want to say so the words don’t come out wrong when you come through the visitation line.

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A History of the Chelsea Flower Show

The origins of the Chelsea Flower Show is as rich and varied as the abundance of stunning horticulture on display in it's gardens. Before it became the world's number one venue for lovers of flowers and garden architecture, the exhibition was the centerpiece of The Royal Horticultural Society Great Spring Show. This was first held in the Spring of 1862, and the original site was located at Kensington. This was a popular event in the calender and as a result, ran for some twenty-six years until 1888.

The decision was then made to relocate the annual Great Spring Show to a more central location in the city, so as to entice even more visitors. The selected venue was the Temple Gardens, near the Enbankment and this was an instant hit with more exhibits being displayed than ever before. Not only was it capturing the imagination of the public, but also suppliers of plants, flowers and seed were drawn to it as a means of gaining further business.

The Great Spring Show ran until 1912, when a one-off Royal International Horticultural Exhibition was launched and a larger, more suitable site was needed. It was down to the eminent horticulturist, Sir Harry Veitch to locate the new venue. Eventually, and to some surprise, he chose the eleven acres of Chelsea Royal Hospital grounds to host the Exhibition. Such was the success of this elaborate event, that all concerned believed it to be the perfect venue for the Great Spring Show. And so, in the Spring of 1913, the Show was relocated again to the Chelsea site, which is where it has remained to this day.

It has been an incredibly hardy exhibition, with only the two World Wars having interrupted it's annual celebration of all things horticultural. The success of the Chelsea Flower Show has grown exponentially through the years and is now well known as being the top attraction in the horticulture calendar. It welcomes visitors from around the world to walk through the myriad of beautiful exhibits on display. It is a location very much close to the Royal Family's heart, and several of the family pay visits to a special preview of the exhibition.

The gardens themselves breathe fresh life and inspire new generations of gardeners and followers of horticulture, often creating new fashions and trends as each year passes and this will no doubt continue on into the future.

The Chelsea Flower Show has survived through all weathers, wars and riots to promote it's stunning attractions year on year and is surely the benchmark for all other horticulture shows. It's long history is indelibly woven into the fabric of what makes it such a successful and popular event.

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Football (Soccer) Betting Strategy – Discover Winning by Betting on The Lower Leagues

Most punters like to wager on top flight football especially the English Premier League (EPL). Millions of dollars are wagered on every match.

Why is there the tendency to focus on elite football?

Because the punters believe they have better knowledge and thus greater confidence. They like the winning consistency of the big clubs. However, the odds for such consistent winners are often low and without value.

It can pay dividends to concentrate on the lower leagues. Let me share with you an interesting incident. On 21st Feb. 2009, there was a match between English non-league side Weymouth and Rushden & Diamonds. Weymouth was trashed 9-0. But Weymouth fans laughed all the way to the bank. The bookmakers paid out more than one million English Pounds in one of the biggest betting coups in non-league history.

What went wrong for the bookmakers?

In the lower leagues, the punters have an edge if they are able to obtain the latest team news faster than the bookmakers. In this incident, Weymouth fans found out «before the bookmakers» that Weymouth’s first team, which had not been paid at all this year because of the club’s debts, went on strike after discovering that there was no medical insurance for the game. The club had no choice but to field its inexperienced youth team. In this match, the bookmakers were caught with their pants down.

Those punters who are prepared to spend the same amount of time applying the same research criteria in the lower divisions can profit immensely. The following four reasons will convince you :

1) Smaller Squad

Most lower division teams do not have huge squads and cannot replace their star players easily with players of the same quality. Injury or suspension of certain key players can upset the performance of the whole team.

2) No Powerhouses

Unlike the elite league like EPL, for the lower divisions, there are no powerhouses who dominate the league for multiple seasons. There are no so-called Big Four. This gives the lower leagues a more level playing field and creates more opportunities for value betting.

3) Better Odds

Manchester United is the reigning EPL champion and the odds for any of its Home games are hardly worth making a bet. However, the equivalent leading league favourite in a lower division could get as much as three times the odds with an almost equal probability chance of winning. During the season, lots of such instances will crop up which the punters can capitalise on.

4) Same Punting Options

With the growth of online betting, lower division football now has the same type of markets and punting options as the top tier football. However, the bookmakers tend to dedicate most of their time on the top flight leagues. For the lower divisions, there is a tendency for them to make more mistakes when setting the prices. There is value to be spotted.

Conclusion

Betting on the lower leagues is an area waiting to be exploited. If the punter is diligent in doing his homework, it is not difficult to acquire a betting edge. The above incident is a classic example. So, it all depends on :

* How knowledgeable you are OR

* How misinformed the bookmakers/public opinions are

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Top 10 Gifts For Football Fans

With the new Premier League season just around the corner and excitement building over the South Africa 2010 World Cup competition, football fans everywhere are gearing up for plenty of action from the beautiful game.

The big teams are becoming the most successful and lucrative brands in the world. Manchester United, Barcelona, Liverpool and Real Madrid are expanding their fan base in India and China. Soccer fever has gripped the world.The USA team reached the quarter finals of the Confederations Cup and David Beckham plays in Los Angeles. Football has become a global phenomenon.

If there’s a football fan in your family, you can be assured they’ll love to receive a gift with their favourite teams colours on. Here are my top 10 gifts for football fans.

1. Tickets

Often hard to come by. Enjoy the thrill of being at the game and a pie at half time.

2. The Replica Shirt

What self respecting fan wouldn’t want to show his support in his club’s colours.

Your name and squad number on the back.

3. The Team Tours

Get a guided tour of your teams home ground. You might get to meet the team!

4. Team Scarf & Hat

With great new styles and plenty of choices, all fans can keep warm in the winter.

5. Football Monopoly

The big teams all have a version of Monopoly. For Park Lane see Old Trafford.

6. Football Player Figurines

Collectible and homage to great players.

7. Footy Wallpaper

Decorate your kids room with floor to ceiling views of their favourite football grounds.

8. Personalised Football Books

Your name on the headlines, «Fan Signs for United»

9. Table Football

The classic table game.

10. Rubber Duck

Yes, Rubber ducks in your teams colours.

If there’s fan in your life you can be assured they’ll love any of the above.

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Messi Vs Ronaldo

It is the question in every football fan’s mind. It is one of the most mind boggling queries of all time. As a matter of fact, it is right up there with, «Is the world coming to an end in 2012?» But sadly, it is a question that sorely misses a unanimous answer. The question is «Who is a better football player, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi? When the great football team giants like the Barcelona and the Real Madrid collide, the real battle takes place between its respective titans- Messi and Ronaldo. To come nearer to an accurate answer, one must take a closer look at the lives, accomplishments, statistics and setbacks of both the players.

Let us start with the Portuguese forward and the Real Madrid player- Ronaldo. He hails from a small town, south of Portugal and became an accomplished football player by the time he turned a teenager. He has previously played with the other Premier League heavy weights such as Liverpool and the Manchester United. He constantly strived and pushed himself to the limits to live up to his idols such as David Beckham and George Best. He has amassed an astounding number of titles and awards in his time, which include PFA Player of the year, World Soccer Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year.

Messi, in all manner of speaking, is Ronaldo’s Argentinian counterpart. He is Barcelon’s defender and the captain of the Argentina national team. He was the winner of the prestigious Ballon d’Or in 2009. Lional Messi’s profile is cluttered with plaudits the likes of which include, FIFA World Player of the Year, FIFA Ballon d’Or and the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. He also has an Olympic gold to show for his victory in 2008 Beijing Olympics. In 2005, Messi was the top scorer of the FIFA World Youth Championship.

When compared to Ronaldo, Lionel Messi’s statistics are not even a bit further behind. They stand neck to neck when it comes to skills, goals scored, remuneration and worldwide stardom. In 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo became the world’s most expensive player when he signed with Real Madrid for a fee of Dollar 131 million. That record was beaten by Messi when he recently renewed his contract with Barcelona at Euro 27.5 million. This has caused Ronaldo a great deal of frustration who in turn has retorted with threats that he would leave Real Madrid, unless and until he is compensated handsomely.

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How I Make Money by Gambling Smartly

There may be no such concept as a "sure thing" when it comes to gambling but there are a few bets which com pretty close.

Before I explain what I mean above, I want to make sure you are aware of two things. Firstly, be aware that the vast majority of people who set foot in a betting shop do not really want to win money. Yes, they'd like to win money but they don't really, really want it. If they desired to win money with all their heart they wouldn't be in a betting shop to start with, they'd be at home gaming online. Instead of mucking about with Lucky 15s and Yankees they'd be minimising their risk as much as possible.

Secondly, people in the UK don't really understand odds. We look at the lottery and feel fine about flushing pounds down the toilet in the vain hope of hitting the jackpot but would never consider risking £ 100 to win £ 1 on Manchester United winning when they are already two-nil up against Sunderland at home in the Premiership – and it's in the 85th minute!

In the second situation here I hint towards the secret of my success in the world of gambling. Like the stock market, the first rule of gambling is "never lose". This means betting in-running on an almost certain situation. This is certainly not for everyone and takes a complete mindshift. Take Saturday 27th September 2008. I backed 5 goals or less between Manchester United and Bolton when it was nil-nil well into the second half, and the same for Chelsea against Stoke. There was really no point when my money was in danger whatsoever. I made a 3% return on my money and it was only on risk for all of about about 25 minutes. It would only take about 20 sessions such as this for me to double my money. In fact I've managed to take a £ 10 starting bank to over £ 1000 on three occasions now.

To conclude, if you want to make money through gambling it is necessary to pack in the seven horse accumulators and start thinking smartly.

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Around the English Premier League – Round 30

Manchester United has reached its third week at the head of the Premier League and with its triumph at home has open up a bit more the gap between it and City.

On Saturday Manchester City visited Britannia Stadium to meet with Stoke City for their away match and after a pretty plain first half they finished in a 1-1 draw. Although the Sky Blues toughed it up in second half, at 59′ Peter Crouch grabbed the lead for the Potters with the help of Jermaine Pennant. First Asmir Begovic fired the ball with a powerful hit that Pennant intercepted and immediately headed to Crouch, who then struck it with a superb shot that send the ball over Joe Hart and straight to the bottom of the goal.

Right away Mancini responded by sending in Adam Johnson to substitute Silva, but even though Johnson made a couple of dangerous intents, he was stop each time. At 72′ the Citizens’ boss made another change calling in Carlos Tevez; however the Argentinean didn’t perform as well as in the last game. Instead the one in charge of leveled the scoreboard was Yaya Toure with a potent shot from a long-range within the last 15 minutes of the encounter.

The 1-1 left Roberto Mancini quiet upset and even made him keep for himself whatever thoughts he had about the performance of his men and how it affects the race they have with United for the championship title. The point earned by the Sky Blues placed them on the first position for more than a day, while they were waiting for the Red Devils fixture against the Cottagers on Monday. Unfortunately for Mancini’s side its nemesis won that match and distanced itself a bit more from City, which now has 70 points while United holds 73 points.

Manchester United is looking for its twentieth Premier League title and the winning streak that is experiencing is helping them secure the first spot -at least for now, because their track in the standings throughout this season is kind of similar to theirs 2009/10 season track, in which they fell within the last 3 fixtures. Be that as it may, on Monday the Red Devils grabbed their 12th triumph at home, beating a Fulham that stood up firmly and only were unable to stop one goal. At 42′ John Evans caught the ball following a close intent from Ashley Young, but when Evans was in the move to score, he realized that Wayne Rooney had a better chance to score, so passed it over and Wayne fired it to the bottom of the net.

On the other hand it looks like Tottenham might be reinforcing, although at the end of the encounter it couldn’t score once, at least they defended their goal perfectly from the tough Chelsea and even had the best chances to score. Indeed this London derby was very even and therefore the 0-0 result it was somewhat fair. The extra point saved the Blues from losing the fifth place to Newcastle that tied them with 50 points on the standings, while the Spurs ended up 3 points away from Arsenal, still with good chances to recover the third place. However it won’t be easy for Harry Redknapp’s men, for at this point they need Arsenal to make a mistake, while they have to be undefeatable -instead, that’s how the Gunners have been lately.

The other matches from round 30: Swansea 0-2 Everton; Sunderland 3-1 QPR; Norwich 2-1 Wolves; Liverpool 1-2 Wigan; Bolton 2-1 Blackburn; Arsenal 3-0 Aston Villa; West Bromwich 1-3 Newcastle.

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