The Halo effect; Everything's negotiable; Home Club; Saving for a deposit on a house; Why bigger is better actually

By Amanda Morrall

1) Honey money

Some time ago, I copped it from readers after linking to a story about London School of Economics lecturer Catherine Harkim's latest book "Honey Money: The Power of Erotic Capital.'' In a nutshell, Harkim argued that good looking folk had a genetic advantage on the work front. Her message. If you've got it, flaunt it, "honey.'' 

Don't shoot the messenger but separate research in the field of applied financial economics from Middle Tennessee State University supports her hypothesis. A study, reported in the U.S. News Money section, found that the hotter the realtor, the higher the price they could command for a home. They called it the "halo effect.''

Read into that what you want. I'll be looking for the homeliest realtor in Auckland when I go house shopping I guess.

2) Everything is negotiable

I've met some shrewd negotiators in my time. I can't say it's an art form Amanda has perfected. Left unattended, I fell apart like a cheap tent in Bali. The BF would return to find my pockets emptied in exchange for a few trinkets. He'd return from the markets having spent a fraction of the money for twice the stuff and shake his head at me. When the occasion calls for it, I do have it in me to be tough though. The toughest part is just asking, for a discount.

Here's Time Magazine's Money Land with 12 things you should always haggle for.

3) Home club

One day I will join the home owners club in New Zealand. For now, I'm just biding my time waiting for the right moment and right house. I'm determined to ignore the urgent warnings from realtors that if I wait I'll be sorry.

Earlier this week, Westpac launched a cool new tool for prospective home buyers who want to keep an eye on the market. It basically allows users to collect, compare and store properties they are interested in, and provides QV valuations, comparable sales, maps, mortgage calculators and such. My colleague Gareth Vaughan attended the launch and wrote about the offering in this story.

4) Saving for a deposit

Saving for a deposit on a house can seem a monumental mission when you're starting from scratch. Telegraph reporter Emma Wall reviews some strategies for saving in this video presentation.

See also our house saving deposit calculator here.

5) Bigger is better

The bigger your deposit the lower long-term interest paid on the repayment of that loan will be. Rob Carrick of the Globe and Mail does the sums and looks at the upside of renting for patient first time home buyers waiting for the bubble to burst in Canada's housing market. New Zealand's bubble floats even higher, but will it pop?

Full moon tonight huh? I'll pay homage with the following. Another favourite from the '80s. A merry weekend to you all.


To read other Take Fives by Amanda Morrall click here. You can also follow Amanda on Twitter @amandamorrall

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1 . there are many woman secretaries who have flaunted it at there ugly bosses.
guess who's in charge now

You mean between Mr.Brain and Mr. Penis....? how good loking was the secretary...?
hmmmm tough call without some pic's to go on , but ................I'll stick it out there and say
....Mr Penis ,was in charge, while Mr Brain went on holiday. 

#1 I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking, but I have to admit being so has certainly made my life a lot easier...  :-)


#3 ah remember the good old days where people bought a house because they had been working for a few years, saved a deposit, and just needed somewhere to raise a family. Where negative gearing was something that only existed in cars (and even then without synchromesh), 'spruiking' was a fun game you played on holiday like spelunking (throwing rocks into water to make a cook 'spelunk' sound) and capital gains, overcapitalisation, mortgage sale, and resale value were just cards in Monopoly?
Buying a house - not half as much fun as it used to be. Good luck.


In the end it was decided we were such bad shoppers with regard to specials and haggling that we joined a buying club.  They say it's cheaper, but who has time to do detailed research - we hope at least we aren't totally ripped off most of the time.
Oh and it also slows down the buying decision just a bit so that's not a bad thing sometimes.

LOVE the video!