New blogs on Mongolia and (Rangefinder) Photography

Since a few days there two new "Shards of..." blogs. The first one is Shards of Photography. The blog describes itself as:
A record of my photography. Tips, information and news on rangefinders and SLR cameras, photography books, photography history, photographic art, travel photography, landscape photography and street photography. Reviews and links to information on photographers and photography websites and blogs. And I'll share my photos.

I prefer using rangefinder cameras and I've been very happy with my digital rangefinder. Positive aspect is that I'm now also using my digital SLR more often. It wasn't such a bad buy after all.

So, if you're into photography, and especially rangefinder photography, then come and visit Shards of Photography regularly. I'll be updating regularly. :)

The second "Shards of..." blog is Shards of Mongolia. The description goes:
A record of my travels to Mongolia, Russia and China. News, culture, photos, music, books, art, history, food, recipes, the environment and anything else related to Mongolia.

Mongolia holds a special place in my heart. My wife and daughter are Mongolian, so it's understandable I feel some sort of affection for their native country. But Mongolia means more to me. It's a place where I feel at home, where I enjoy going, where I have great relatives, and where I want to live in the future. For those who don't have the opportunity to visit Mongolia (and you can always contact me if you want information or have me arrange a trip or such), at least visit the Shards of Mongolia blog.

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My mortgage application is not going the way I want it.

Three weeks ago I sent notice to my surveyor to value the property that we want to buy. Several days after that I received a tender from the mortgage advisor, which I duely filled in. So, three weeks ago I had sent in (by internal company mail as I work for the same company!) the signed tender together with all the documentation needed for the mortgage and the additional, but required, insurance.

Days later I received a new tender, based on the value gleaned from the survey. Again I filled it in and that friday I sent, again by internal company mail, all the required papers back to the mortgage advisor.

Then, the next tuesday, I called the mortgage advisor to inquire what would be the next step, only to learn that they hadn't sent any of the documents to the insurance department yet! They had received everything on monday morning but hadn't bothered to deal with it yet. Their excuse? They don't deal with internal mail. They prefer me sending things by regular mail, which of course takes days more and forces me to send everything by registered mail with no guarantee my papers will arrive the very next day!

But they assured me they'd sent things off to the insurance department that same day, and that I should call back a week later on Wednesday as the insurance department needs about 5 working deals to evaluate my insurance application.

Yesterday I got a call from my real estate agent. She had rather shocking news. The seller's real estate agent had called that the annulment period had past and they were wondering whether I was going through with the buy. I had no answer for her! My mortgage is dependent on the insurance policy, and that is dependent on the decision from the insurance doctor. And I was expecting that decision the next day (today!). My agent negotiated with her counterpart over an extension of the annulment period and was succesful.

So, this morning around 10am I called the mortgage advisor, who, as usual, was in a meeting. I left a notice asking her to call me back as soon as possible. By 3pm I hadn't heard from her yet and called again. She had a few things to say. Firstly, the financing is OK. My income is sufficient and the execution value of the property is high enough. Secondly, they transferred the bank guarantee to the notary's bank account but, thirdly, they're still waiting for the insurance doctor's approval. Odd, isn't it, to cough up the 10% bank guarantee already but not even knowing yet whether I'll be eligible for the insurance?

Just now I got the letter from the insurance doctor, asking me for additional information on something that happened some 4 years ago. I'll have to do a lot of phone calling tomorrow, get the information the doctor needs on the fax and pressure my mortgage advisor to demand preferential treatment for my insurance application. If I don't have a definite answer by friday late afternoon, I'll have to consider whether to cancel the buy or take the risk and go ahead without being 100% certain of the mortgage. Living dangerously keeps you feeling alive but risking a 200 thousand euro debt, even though buying a house is quite a good investment, is a bit too dangerous for my tastes. :) To be continued....

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