A Holiday in Turkey – Is it the New Spain?

Some four hundred thousand Brits now own holiday homes abroad, Spain has been the most popular of destinations over the past twenty years; it has however become very expensive and more than a little over developed in recent years.

As a consequence many have begun to look elsewhere for their ´place in the sun´. Turkey has seen a huge rise in interest both as a holiday destination and a place to invest in property, people who were astute enough to recognize it as a potential ´hotspot´ as little as eight years ago could have seen their property increase in value by as much as 500% in that time; and whilst Turkey too has seen a decline in demand during 2009, property values have not dropped in the more desirable Mediterranean resorts, (one such resort being Kalkan) to the degree they have in the likes of Spain.

The possibility of Turkey´s acceptance to the European Union has also fuelled speculation in the property market there, whether they will ever achieve acceptance (or indeed actually want to) is yet to be seen. This is the account of how I became one of those ´Brits abroad´: -

I first went to Turkey, rather reluctantly, I might add, on holiday in 2000, and was very pleasantly surprised at how green the country was, I had expected to find a dusty arid country, how wrong I was! I was also very pleasantly surprised at how warm and welcoming the Turkish people were; having holidayed in Greece for some years I had always believed the Greeks would be difficult to beat in their hospitality, the Turks did just that.

My wife and I returned some five years later, having booked a holiday in a very swish hotel on the Dalyan delta, we were disappointed six weeks before being due to depart, to be told by the holiday company that we could not go there as the hotel was having work done and that they, the holiday company, would not allow their guests to have what was not the perfect holiday experience. They told us to choose something else from the brochure and regardless of cost they would honour the price we had paid and even refund us if there was a difference. My wife had seen Kalkan but dismissed it due to the transfer time from the airport feeling that it would be too long, however, given the situation we decided that we would endure the two hour transfer (it turned out to be one and a half). We chose a villa holiday instead of a hotel and hit the jackpot!

Kalkan, we decided very quickly was an idyllic place to holiday and whilst walking down one of the narrow cobbled streets one evening to enjoy a pre-dinner drink stopped to look in an estate agents window (as I´m sure many of you have), before I knew it we were making an appointment with the agent to view some properties the following evening. Meeting that particular agent was yet another amazing stroke of luck, he was a charming intelligent man who´s English was impeccable.

The following evening arrived and I have to say that I personally was not too enthusiastic, as I believed that I was wasting valuable time, I never actually expected to be buying a house. The agent who we learned was called Kemal met us at the appointed time and took us to view the first property, which he had chosen as a possibility. It was an imposing four bedroom detached property with magnificent sea views and a swimming pool; it was newly built and was being marketed at £140,000. It was without doubt a lot of house for the money, however, there was an apartment block right along side it with twelve balconies all of which looked over the swimming pool, a serious privacy issue which immediately ruled that one out.

As we drove away from that villa Kemal asked, “what are you looking for, do you want detached?” I rather facetiously said ´of course´ (remember I had little or no intention of buying) “do you want a swimming pool?” ´ Well obviously!´ He then took us to another newly built in fact not completely finished villa, at what point my attitude changed I cannot actually say, I just knew it was going to happen! This villa again was a four bedroom detached with pool and panoramic views over the bay and astonishingly £15,000 cheaper! We left Kemal that evening feeling like excited school children, a couple of days later and a couple of telephone calls back to the UK to our bank manager and we were signing on the dotted line!

From thereon Kemal did everything we gave him power of attorney (not an easy decision to make with someone you have only just met) and he completed the deal, we became the proud owners of our own piece of paradise seven months later. The piece of paradise is called Villa Katmar, a vaguely Turkish sounding word? No just a combination of parts of our names.

Becoming a property owner in Turkey for us was a very easy and stress free experience, however, a WORD OF WARNING, not everyone we know had such an easy transition into becoming a Turkish villa owner! As in any country it depends very much on the people you deal with and applying a little common sense! I have to say we were very fortunate to have had that almost accidental meeting with Kemal; it could have been a very different tale had we done ´business´ with someone else.

If you are contemplating buying in Turkey then I would urge you to consider Kalkan and if you do then again I would have no hesitation in recommending Kemal Safyurek of Mavi Estates.

Discounted Cash Flow Modelling to Achieve Personal Financial Goals

A discounted cash flow or DCF model is a style of calculation linking streams of future money flows to lump sum amounts. Discounted cash flow models have a range of business-related applications, and are used extensively by economists, accountants, actuaries, engineers, business valuators, finance professionals, and others.

For example, a company may wish to finance a project if (and only if) the Internal Rate of Return exceeds 10% per year. The anticipated development costs for the project may be large for the initial year. On the other hand, significant revenues are anticipated for Year 2 onward. The company directors rely on a DCF model to help determine whether or not the project's Internal Rate of Return exceed their 10% threshold.

Discounted cash flow models also have important applications in everyday life that are often overlooked. For example, consider auto dealers who advertise low finance rates to prospective clients. From a car buyer's perspective, low finance rates are understood to be good, since they mean lower monthly payments. By using a DCF model, a buyer can determine the monetary value on the low finance rate offer.

Everyday use of a Discounted Cash Flow model would include (but would not be restricted to) the following:

  • Mortgage Refinancing: For homeowners with a fixed-rate mortgage, refinancing often debts paying a penalty. A DCF model can be used to calculate whether the interest savings exceeded the penalty cost
  • First-Time Home Ownership: First time home ownership involves many new costs, and can be intimidating to many of us. A DCF model can help by comparing long term home ownership costs against rental costs
  • Lease or Own Vehicle: A DCF model can help car shoppers in their decision whether to buy or lease a vehicle

Examples of these and other everyday applications can be viewed at the author's website.

Through the above (and other) practical applications, Discounted Cash Flow models can assist all of us in achieving our personal financial goals.

How to Set Up a Family Game Night

Family Game nights allow you to bond with your family and just have a fun time. Here is how you can go about setting one up.

1. Find a time when everyone will be available

Were all busy, the first thing you need to do is to plan it in advanced. Ask other people when they will be available and make it a date to look forward too. Put a reminder on the refrigerator so everyone knows when it is.

2. Find Some Games to play

You can’t have a family game night without games, so try to find some games somewhere; you may only need a deck of cards. You could also ask around and see if anyone knows of a fun game that you guys could play.

3. Decide what snacks you will have

People like to munch on things. Putting out a few cut up vegetables, or some chips can be a great idea. You might even want to replace dinner with snacks at family game night, just to mix things up a little.

4. Decide if it will be in the family

You have to decide if it will only be in the family, so only people in your family will be there, or not. I like the fact of inviting other people. You can invite other people and see if your kids want to invite other people the more the merrier.

This also is a great way to meet who your kids are hanging out with.

5. Have Fun

Family game night is all about everyone having fun and making good memories. So remember to go in it with a positive attitude and be happy. Remember if you aren’t having fun it can rub off and make it so no one is having fun either.

Will a Domain Search Lead to Someone Else Stealing My Domain Name?

Over the years I have come across a few people who believe that if they search for domain names using any of the domain registrars on the internet there are people ready to steal their domain name ideas. This thinking believes that if you are going to search for a domain name for your new venture, you better be ready to register that domain name on the spot or risk having someone else see that you looked up the domain name and register it ahead of you…

So is this possible?

The short answer is no. Unfortunately though, it isn’t necessarily so simple. There are ways that someone could use to see what you are doing online and take action based on what you did. These methods would require at least one of three things. Either a keylogger that can track everything you type into your computer (usually delivered via a virus or spyware), a page that has been hacked to capture your details or a phishing scam where someone creates a web page that looks like a legitimate domain registrar but is in fact a cleverly devised page to capture your domain name ideas.

How likely are any of these options? The best protection from a keylogger is to have a recently updated anti-virus program. Hacked websites are a little harder to be able to detect. It is also much more rare. While it is possible for you to land on a domain registrars website that has been hacked, it is unlikely. A close cousin to a hacked website is running into a well designed phishing scam. I am not aware of any phishing scam centered around the registration of domain names. This doesn’t mean it can’t happen, but I’m not aware of any such scams.

So how can you protect yourself for scam artists?

Visit sites that you can trust. Look for websites that don’t look like they have been thrown together by a child. Make sure you are protecting your computer with a good anti-virus program. Don’t click on links found in emails to go to a website, instead, type in the web address directly to reduce the chance of being fooled.

I counsel you to do your domain name brainstorming searches in peace. Know that stealing domain names is uncommon. If a domain you have identified as available gets registered between the time you do an availability search and the time you try to register it, it very well may be chalked up to the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of people registering domains worldwide at any given time. If the domain name you looked at was an especially good one, chances are someone else would think so too.