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House Price Crash Forum


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About Conan

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    HPC Newbie
  1. I shan't disagree with you there Paddles. Maintenance companies certainly aren't there to save you money, just as management agents are a costly way to take care of your tenants. In addition, there's bad apples in every barrel, but on the whole maintenance charges aren't a scam, they're just an expensive necessity. Nobody likes to pay over the odds, even if the final bill is less than expected, but if they discharge their duties, publish honest accounts, and you get some money back at the end of the day, it's pretty much job done.
  2. I have to pay service charges just like everyone else, but I have experience of many, many developments. Whilst I've had cause for complaint about most maintenance companies for one thing or another, they have at least acted in a legal and moral way, and their accounts have been accurate. So yes, fraudulent practice is unusual. And as for arbritrarily landscaping gardens at the resident's cost - if you've had a bad experience and want to rant about what imaginary evils the maintnenance company could do yo you, I guess you're in the right place. Just thought I'd drop a fact or two into the sea of conjecture. Don't worry, I know that's not what this site's all about - I shan't try to hold back the tide of embittered anectodal experience.
  3. Granted, I'm sure it depends on the company involved... The accounts should clearly reflect any monies held back for future use, and if unused funds are withheld with little explanation, I'd suggest this isn't acceptable practice.
  4. A full accountancy report of maintenance charges are published annually for new build developments. If there is underspend, then refunds are made. And such underspends are the standard in the early years after completion, when manitenance issues are both minimal, and on the whole dealt with by the developer themselves, not the maintenance company. To imply that maintnenance charges are some sort of scam is the opposite of the truth - they are generally far less costly than the worst case scenario advertised at the point of sale. This, and other facts from the real world, are familiar to those who actually deal with property. However, around here such alien concepts clearly fall on deaf ears.
  5. Jeez, for people so keen on passing comment on the property market, you sure don't pay much attention to the facts. Investment properties of this type were originally sold with discounts and incentives not far from that 30% mark. Maidstone and similar areas are pretty much the worst performers you could pick in the SE, and yet even with over-supply, auction prices, and the worst growth in the region, they're still fetching pretty much what was paid for them. Get a grip.
  6. You'll be back EDM. I'm not sure you can claim the high ground when you've been slapped with the banstick for such a blatant troll. Look at Dr B - he did his time and he's out now (mercifully sans pasted charts ad infinitum...) You should play nicely and show respect - just because your posts don't resort to profanity, doesn't mean they're free of intentional insult. Still - economic expertise and social skills rarely go hand in hand...
  7. I've been in the gym all night, and the telly volume was down, but did I catch sight of an interview with Kirstie? Anyone have a precis of the subject matter? Cheers.
  8. Yep Sarah Beeny and especially Phil have their business heads firmly screwed on, and know their own limitations too. You only have to look at Kirsty's persistent policy of advising purchasers to 'offer as much as you can afford' to get the measure of her financial philosophy...
  9. Yes, good tactical move. Great idea for FTBs too, altho as you say requires some fine tuning to ensure it hits the right spot...
  10. They've become popular over the last decade (in a rapidly rising market) to extract equity through re-mortgage.
  11. Interest rates will remain suppressed in the short term. As for 12 months or more, who knows? It's pretty much accepted that the human race will meet its maker in one of three ways - asteroid impact, super volcano, or terminal virus. Each of these is currently overdue to make its next appearance, so we may not need to forecast too far into the future...
  12. Don't get too hot under the collar. Widespread as this practice was, in the past couple of years it's been stamped on heavily. Mortgage providers require incentives to be clearly declared, as do valuers and solicitors. It has become commonplace to consider 'hidden discounts' as fraud, in relation to raising finance. To get anything like this through nowadays, every independant agency in the legal chain needs to be willing to act fraudulently - not an easy thing to manage. Obviously, incentives are still widely offered, but the days of mortgaging up to the full purchase price to pocket the value of the discounts are largely over. Developers themselves have ceased to collude in hiding discounts, since low profile legal action was taken on this very issue. Certainly figures for previous years have been distorted, but I shouldn't worry too much about the past year or so, or indeed those years yet to come.
  13. You people do realise this article is talking about a slowdown in growth, don't you...? A la 'braking', not 'breaking' Deary me, talk about hysteria...
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