Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A house to have and hold

I knew my childhood years were over when I found myself signing on the dotted lines of a home mortgage. Goodbye innocence, hello cruel adult world! It's ironical how a house can be the most expensive thing you'll ever buy in your lifetime and yet the steps of buying a home is just the beginning. Looking at the various home loan options available in the market was mind-boggling, to say the least but hopefully I ended up with a decent package which has made my dream of being a tai-tai pretty hazy!

Googling loans, I found that our loan market here isn't as sophisticated as the UK. Their loans are termed endowment mortgages where an insurance policy covers the principle of the loan to ensure that you can meet the principle when it falls due. However, some got burnt when their endowments weren't enough to cover the principle amount due to rising interest rates and inflation. So the good British Government stepped in to legislate an endowment policy selling service which allows them to sell their endowment policies for up to 35% more than insurance companies would buy it back for!

While the second part of the deal about not having enough money wasn't very good, I found the insurance concept rather interesting. I believe some insurance companies here have started a similar system except in our case, the policy protects by only kicking in if you have lost your ability to pay the loan due to death or permanent disability.

It's a sobering thought sometimes about how short a time we actually have to earn our money that's supposed to support our dependents and ourselves till we depart. Scary...looks like I'd better keep my nose to the grindstone now instead of blogs!

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