House prices across Europe continue to soar

It has been a highroad roller coaster ride for house owners and tenants in Europe in 2017. House prices continue rising and many fear that the light at the end of the tunnel might be far off and opt to apply for a Bolån or house loan to pay off the soaring prices. But what are the factors that influence the rise of the housing market and who with this impact housing prices in 2018? Here are a few factors to take into consideration:

Interest rates will stay low

Although a few price hikes are to be expected, house owners and tenants won’t really feel these hikes as they should be within the range of only 0.25% to 0.75%. For some, it may seem like a small percentile but for others, it might mean being able to purchase a home or not. As the year progresses, there are fewer hikes expected and although house prices are still high, it might still feel like a heavy burden to carry.

The rate of housebuilding will rise

The European government has set out a certain amount of homes to be built by the end of 2018. With the financial crash and the cost of houses, it is not guaranteed that enough houses will be built within the set time. The economy is quite weak and that impacts the rate of house building by a huge amount.

First-time buyers will are increasing

Taxes are rising and this will cause home buyers to be more prone to purchase a house while property speculators will retreat in 2018. The buy-to-let option for landlords will see a decrease as in 2015 it stood at about 150 000 and is expected to drop to about 80 000 in 2018.

The debate on whether tenants will find relief

It is not certain whether tenants will be able to experience some relief in 2018 but they should be able to feel more pennies in their pockets after paying rent each month. This should also spark some new life in first-time buyers. In 2017, rent prices rose by about 1% and although this seems like a small percentage, European salaries are still under a huge amount of strain as inflation is quite high.

Skyscrapers still continue reaching for the sky

When talking about the rich, it is evident that 56 storeys of building and more will lead to a lot of strain over prices. With at least two new skyscrapers being built over the course of the next few years, one can only imagine what the price tag on these buildings will be.

While taking the above-mentioned points into consideration, it can be said that homeowners still need to keep all their pennies close as relief is still a little way off. Although they can slowly start blowing off some price increase steam, the roller coaster ride still isn’t over. It might be slowing down but making a stop or coming to a halt isn’t being expected as yet.

Essential Facts You Should Know about Child Support

According to a recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau, there are about 13.7 million single parents in the United States. However, 25.9 percent of those who are expected to receive child support have not received payment from the noncustodial parents. Meanwhile, among those who received payment, only 45.6 percent have received full payment. These statistics give a snapshot of the current situation experienced by single-parent families. Here, we list some essential things about child support that can help you better understand the topic.

About Child Support

Naturally, the law mandates that parents financially support their dependent children. In a typical household, parents live together and support their children. In instances of separation or divorce, one parent receives custody of the child. This means that the child lives with that parent most of the time. The parent is then responsible for the child’s ordinary expenses and everyday care. Meanwhile, the other parent needs to help with other expenses through child support.

When Does It End

All dependent children receive child support. These are children below 18 years old and those still pursuing full-time education. However, there are instances when child support ends even if the child is under 18 years of age. This happens when the child has married. It can also be due to the voluntary withdrawal of the child from parental control when he/she reaches the age of 16. A judge determines the amount of child support for children above 18 years old. The judge’s decision will take into consideration other income or earnings received by the child from other sources.

When to Apply

The court will only make an order for child support and custody when one parent has moved out of the house. Typically, parents apply for child support after separation or as early as the beginning process of divorce. It is advisable to apply for child support and custody at the same time and at the earliest time possible. This will prevent possible complications in the future. You can get help with child support in Los Angeles by coordinating with law firms.

How is It Paid

Usually, parents use the Child Support Guidelines to come up with a support agreement by themselves. It gives them an idea of the amount of financial support the judge will most likely order. The paying parent must give complete and true information regarding his/her income. One lawyer will have to write the agreement while a different one checks it. In this way, both parents ensure that their rights and their children’s rights are protected before they sign the agreement. In other cases, wherein the parents cannot come to an agreement, the court becomes involved.

When Child Support is Unpaid

The law first and foremost prioritizes the child’s best interests. It believes that the child must have a good relationship with both parents. Thus, even if child support is unpaid, the parent with custody cannot prevent the child from seeing his/ her other parent. The custodial “access” to one’s child cannot be removed due to non-payment. However, government offices can enforce different methods to collect child support from the parent.

Guess The Racehorse

With just a few weeks to go a lot of punters will be looking at what is the best bet on the Gold Cup as the race continues to look wide open. One horse that certainly enhanced his festival chances is star stayer Native River. Now joint second favourite at 6/1 he will be looking to improve upon his 3rd place finish in the 2017 edition. He had several questions going into his comeback race as this was his first start in nearly a year. However he looked as good as ever as he cleared away in the final 3 furlongs to win by an ever growing 12 lengths.

Native River is a top stayer having already landed the Welsh Grand National in the past so if the ground came up soft he is likely to run a huge race. His main threat looks to be the Henderson trained Might Bite. He has looked to have so much untapped ability throughout his career with a huge asset being his jumping which again was shown in his King George victory over Christmas at Kempton. This race is billing up to be one to savour for racing fans. Check out this quiz and see if you can name the famous race horse from there Sire and Dam.

Smartphone Apps Which Travelers Will Love

Each summer, my buddy Gordon Tang and I spend at least 3 weeks traveling, either here in the USA or further afield. Whenever we travel, that is exactly what we do, no weeks spent on the beach in a comfortable hotel, we much prefer to explore and look for adventures with some breakneck traveling.

For me one of the most important things that I carry with me when I travel is not so much what is in my suitcase or bag, but rather what is downloaded to my phone. Without some phone applications, my travel life would be way harder and I wanted to share with you some of my favorite apps which I never leave home without.

Google Maps

Naturally it makes sense to know where you are and where you are going when traveling and a map application is a no brainer. There are a huge amount of phone apps on the market and in my view, Google offers the best. There is so much to like about the way that Google do maps, from the ability to synchronize with your other Google accounts, the way in which you can search for places of interest in your location, and then see photos and links for each one, as well as the fact that you can use the app even when you have no phone signal. The most complete maps app is Google in my view.


TripIt is an application hiccup basically manages all of your travel plans, and puts them in one place, it is kind of like having a travel secretary. As soon as you get an email of confirmation about your travel plans, you can forward it straight to the TripIt email address, where it will then be sent directly to your phone app. Within the app you can keep all of the important details such as travel dates and times, confirmation numbers and locations. If you are traveling a lot, this is the app you need as it will ensure that you not only have all of the important info which you require, bit it can also help you to keep your schedule on track.

Google Translate

Google come up trumps again for me with their translate app and for anyone traveling in countries where they do not know the lingo, this is an app which can help greatly. Whilst the app may not always be 100% accurate given that it translates individual words rather than phrases, it can always help you out when you are in a sticky situation. The best use of this app in my view is the voice recognition software which it uses, if you don’t understand what someone is saying, you can record it on the translation app, and then it will give you the nearest possible translation. some times you may be able to get away with speaking English in a foreign country, when you can’t, Google is on hand to help.

How The World’s Big Cities Can Reduce Congestion

Congestion in many of the world’s biggest cities is completely out of hand and causing a great amount of problems. The congestion is a result of cities growing in population before its infrastructure catches up, as a result of more cars being on the road than ever before, and also as a result of the failure by many cities to provide adequate public transport links.

This is an issue which is causing many headaches, especially for people such as Umbertto de Pretto, Secretary General of the International Road Transport Union. Both Mr Pretto and his team, and local governments have much work on their hands, and here are some of the ways that the can help to reduce this problem.

Investment in Public Transport

After many years of ignoring the pressure to invest in public transport, many cities are now playing catch up in terms of modernizing and updating their public transport links. Ultimately this has meant that there is much more money that needs to be invested, and in spite of this, it seems many local governments have realized that to help the issue of congestion, great public transport is the best approach. In London for example they have recently undergone a multi-billion pound overhaul of their underground metro system in order to bring it into the modern age, speed up the service, improve reliability and encourage more people to use this mode of transport. Public transport takes larger numbers of people and occupies far less space than cars, the perfect solution to congestion.

Bike Schemes

Encouraging people to cycle instead of using a car has worked in cities like Amsterdam and Beijing and it is something which is gradually being rolled out in a number of cities around the world. Cities like Miami and Mexico City have implemented public bike rentals and have placed a great many stations around the city, the public can simply turn up, take a bike and they are then charged for the amount of time that they use it. More often than not there is no charge for the first 30 minutes, which gives most people enough time to get from A to B. Cycling is harmless to the environment, rarely causes traffic and can really help cities beat their congestion problems.

Congestion Charging

Ultimately if you want people to make a change, you need to hit them where it hurts, in their pockets. This is what the congestion zone system seeks to do by zoning off an area of the city, and charging people if they wish to drive within that zone. For anyone who drives in the zone, that has not already paid their congestion zone charge, they will be hit with a large fine to ensure that they don’t do it again. This is a system which has done wonders in London, and many cities are rolling out a similar plan to fight congestion.

Best Albums For a Road Trip

I regularly drive between Washington and Vancouver for my job, along with my buddy Dean Kirkland WA resident like myself and also like me, a massive music fan. Sometimes I need to go there and back in the same day and during those drives, I like to fill the 4 or so hours in the car, listening to music. Now, because I have done the journey so many times, I have started to put together quite a playlist in terms of which kind of music is the best for the trip. Whilst I do have a couple of playlists that I have put together, I much prefer listening to an album in its entirety. I love albums as work of art and I feel more people should listen to them rather than songs. And so, what I currently do is I will listen to a brand new album first, and then I’ll dig into my collection, and these are my favorite albums to listen to on the road.

Wolfmother – Wolfmother

When I first heard Aussie band Wolfmother I couldn’t help thinking that they were trying to basically rip off every 70s rock band that had ever been. On closer inspection however, this is simply not the case and this debut album from the trio is absolutely incredible. The album is the perfect driving record, stomping rock songs, killer guitar solos, sing-a-long chorusses and just a feel good album right the way through.

Nas – Illmatic

I’ve been a hip-hop head since I was young and whilst I love a great deal of new hip-hop, I just can’t get past this incredible debut album by Nas. From the first snare hit on N.Y. State of Mind, Nas takes you on a swift journey through his early life growing up in Queen’s and tells tales of what life was like back then. The smooth flow, storytelling technique and killer hooks is enough to make any journey better, and this album is always in my car.

Paul Simon – Graceland

My mum was a huge Simon and Garfunkel fan, and the a huge Paul Simon fan afterwards and Graceland is by far and away Simon’s finest musical offering. For me, there is no better album to listen to when the drive is slow, than this magical album which Paul Simon put together with a group of African artists such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo. From rocky numbers to African chants, trumpets and orchestras and Simon’s cleverly written lyrics, if you are looking at cheering yourself up on the journey home, look no further than Graceland, and absolver masterpiece.

Michael Jackson – Off the Wall

Of all of Michael Jackson’s albums, this is the one which I prefer to drive to because of the sheer amount of funk that is packed into this record. From Rock With You to Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough, this album will make you bounce around in the driver’s seat and make the journey feel infinitely quicker.

Top 5 Britpop Songs

I was chatting to a good friend dog mine Matt Knouff last week about our favorite movements or scenes in music, and which ones we would love to have been involved in. In truth, the decision as to which one you would rather have been involved in is pretty tricky, San Francisco with the hippies in the 60s? Summer of Love in London in ’67? Grunge in Seattle in the 80s and 90s? Perhaps New York for the birth of hip-hop on the 80s? For me, the one scene that I would love to have been involved in was the Britpop explosion in the mid-90s, whilst I was old enough to appreciate the music, it never had quite the same impact over here in the States, as it seemed to in the UK. I decided then, that I would pick me favorite songs from this era, let me know what you think.

Oasis – Live Forever

Of all of the teenage angst themed, stomping indie rock pieces that Oasis put together, this was the song that summed up the scene of Britpop. From the opening lines of ‘Maybe, I don’t really wanna know, how you garden grows, ‘ cos I just wanna fly,’ Noel and Liam Gallagher captured the magic of youth, the disconnection they felt from the ‘oldies’ and the pure and innocent optimism which most young people hold dear. This was a song for the youth then, and it still resonates today.

Pulp – Common People

If Blur and Oasis were the top tier of Britpop, Pulp were right on their heels and when Different Class came out, the face of Britpop changed forever. Common People was the song that thrust Pulp into the limelight and shone a light onto the working class Britain, the heart of the Britpop scene. The story is of a posh girl who wants to experience the lower classes as Jarvis Cocker delightfully reminds us that things are much better at the bottom than the top.

The Verve – Drugs Don’t Work

Lead singer of The Verve Richard Ashcroft was a true poet of his time and this offering about his Mum’s illness and ensuing death, was a true masterpiece of the Britpop generation. Whilst the song may have been jumped on by the youths of the time, as an encouragement to take drugs, the power of the song was never lost on people, even if the meaning was. Few bands came up with powerful songs like The Verve did, and this was their finest piece.

Blur – Boys and Girls

Britpop began from the Manchester scene of the early 90s, so when the London boys Blur came along, they were keen to put their own stamp on it. This offering from Blur, about the hedonism and ridiculousness of the Ibiza party scene, firmly cemented their status as a brilliant British band, and immediately segregated the youths of the day, between themselves and Oasis. A classic song which offers a perfect commentary of life in the 90s.

How You Can Inspire Those Around You

Whether you are a teacher, a business leader or a parent, learning how to inspire those around you can bring a great many benefits for both you and them. Now, there are some people in this world such as the mercurial Marc Leder, CEO of Sun Capital Partners, who have the natural ability to inspire just about everyone around them. Unfortunately for us mere mortals, we must learn ways in which we can inspire those around us, and then try to use them effectively. Let’s take a look at what you could, and should be doing in order to make sure that those around you, are inspired to do better.

Highlighting the Need

The tricky thing about motivating or inspiring those around you is that not everyone is built in the same way, and many people require different types of inspiration. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to inspiring others and until you have learned how to spot the needs of people, you will have to learn through trial and error. Once you have the nose to sniff out exactly what makes people inspired, then you can start employing various tactics to push them forward.


Some people react best when they are faced with a challenge which seems almost impossible to achieve. This is known as the carrot and the stick method, based on a man riding a horse with a carrot hanging from a stick in front of the horse’s face. The idea is that the horse will run as fast as it possibly can to try and catch the carrot, which of course it never will. The notion behind this is that you set a challenge which may not be possible, but in seeking to complete the challenge, your subject will have been inspired to achieve far more than they could have, if there was no carrot to chase.

Arm Around Them

Some people are more inspired by care, kind words and an arm around their shoulder of support. These are the people who know what their capacity is and are happy to reach for the stars in order to maximize it, so long as they know that they are fully supported.

Pushing and Pushing

There are a many people who prefer to be inspired in a far more powerful and aggressive way and these appeal react best to the ‘stick’ approach. Again this is a horse analogy given because of the increased speed of a horse when it is hit with a stick. You will only be using a verbal stick in this example but it can be very effective. Think of the army as an example, there is no cuddles or wistful challenges in the army, just frank speech and constant pushing to get someone to achieve something which they previously didn’t think was possible.

These are just some of the many ways that you can inspire people, the key is to find out how to inspire them.

Energy Efficient Windows With West Coast Better Homes

If you’re interested in discovering how you can save money by investing in energy efficient windows with West Coast Better Homes, simply continue reading to discover out!

If you pay to have energy efficient windows installed in your home, you’ll drastically cut down on your energy consumption.

As an example, if you invest in high-quality energy efficient windows, you’ll find that you won’t have to use your heat pump, heater or fireplace as often, to try to keep warm in the cold, winter months. As

your energy efficient windows will prevent the heat in your home from being released through your windows. Which means that you’ll constantly have to keep heating cold air, as warm air will continuously escape from your home.

To save money on your power bill during winter, simply close all your doors and windows when you arrive home from work and turn your heater or fireplace on for an hour. Once the bulk of your

home is warm and comfortable, simply turn your heater off and you should find that your home home remains warm throughout the night.

As an added benefit, in the warm summer months, you’ll find that your home is a much cooler, more relaxing environment to spend time in as energy efficient windows also work to keep the heat from the sun from getting into your home. So you won’t have to have your keep your air-conditioning unit on full blast all day long, which can be an expensive exercise.

Tips to keep in mind, if you choose to install energy efficient windows:

1. Think about which style of windows best suit your window frames

Examples of some of the available types of energy efficient windows include awning style windows, sliding windows, fixed windows, double hung windows, casement windows and awnings. You may want to opt to have similar style windows fitted to your existing windows or to opt for a brand new style of window.

No matter which style you choose your professional window fitters will ensure that your new windows will boast weather resistant components. Especially if you live in an area which is frequently exposed to severe elements such as blistering hot sun, torrential ran, sleet or snow.

2. If you live in a hot, humid climate you may want to consider opting for tinted energy efficient windows

If you live in a hot climate, such as California, it’s seriously worth considering opting for tinted energy efficient windows which will help keep your home even cooler than if you were to simply opt for regular energy efficient windows.

Alternatively you may want to opt for tinted windows on the side of your house which is exposed to direct sun light for the majority of the day and to opt for regular energy efficient windows, on the other sides of your property. In order to enjoy the best of both worlds.

So if you’re looking to install brand new windows, it’s well worth investing energy efficient windows instead of regular windows!

Nenadi Usman on How to Go from Classroom Teacher to Political Leader

Nenadi Usman is a very popular politician from Nigeria. She is one of those rare people who doesn’t just know what they want, but who will fight tooth and nails to get that. In the face of many forms of adversity, including a poor background and the fact that she is a woman in a male-dominated society, Nenadi Usman has shown that she has what it takes. She has experience, she has leadership skills, she has integrity, and she has a genuine desire to make Nigeria a better place.

Nenadi Usman Takes on Politics

Nenadi Usman has indicated that she is interested in the position of National Secretary. She has made an official declaration towards this through the PDP National Convention at their headquarters. As a senator herself, she already has a wealth of political knowledge and background that she hopes to bring to the table.

Born in Kaduna, Usman started her life as a humble classroom teacher. Later, she took on the position of Commissioner and, eventually, worked her way up to Minister of Finance. Very few women ever take up positions of such seniority and even fewer do so in the financial field. However, finances seem to be Usman’s forty. Indeed, she was the Director of Finance for PDP, who organized the presidential campaign. She feels this proves even further that she is ready to grow into the next position.

Usman also believes that her party, and her country as a whole, needs to become more united. She wants people to come together as brothers and sisters, all of whom want to make Nigeria a better place. As one of the fastest growing economies on the African continent, Nenadi Usman feels that the various divisions within the countries should be resolved to present a united front to the rest of the world.

Nenadi Usman also wants to break through the glass ceiling. Never before has a woman taken on such a position of seniority in Nigerian politics, and she hopes to be the first of many. The world over, people are seeing women take on traditionally male-dominated roles, particularly in politics. However, very often, those women have had to give up some of their more feminine qualities, losing some of the soft skills that they all have. For Usman, this is also something that needs to change. She believes women, like herself, have their own particular strengths that have a lot to bring to the world. Indeed, many people say that if women ruled the world, there would be no more war. The fact that so many continue to believe that, in order to succeed above the glass ceiling, femininity has to be sacrificed is nothing but shameful.

People all over the world are watching Nenadi Usman and her quest to the top. She is proving to be a true inspiration for the masses. Nowhere is this seen more than in her own country, where young girls in particular hope to emulate her.