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About hope4crash

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  1. Singapore is not in a recession. None of Asia is, hence why I'm working here to avoid the current Western mess of an economy. That said, as tbats has indicated, if house prices continue to be silly in Cambridge it'll be a long time before I move back and the 3 year plan of working in Asia may well get extended. 400K for that house is just crazy.
  2. This one caught my eye - they've been building it for at least 5 (possibly more?) years now - it was a bungalow and they essentially built a house around the shell of it. A few years ago the whole upper floor collapsed when there was some really bad weather - took them ages to rebuild it. £650K though - that's a lot of money - however a new build further along the road (crammed onto a side garden plot) went for a similar amount last year. Madness - I know.
  3. I continued to live in my (privately rented) house during a complete bathroom and kitchen refit - albeit both didn't happen at the same time. It took the builders a bit longer to do and was disruptive but they made sure that everything was usable at the end of each day - i.e. it's not impossible - good communication and some give and take and flexibility with the builders was crucial though: on both sides. The LL also threw every tradesman at the house simultaneously to minimise the disruption and it therefore probably cost a lot more to get done than had the house been empty. I didn't pay reduced rent, but then again my LL didn't put the rent up until 9 months later and even then it wasn't a huge increase - and I still (3 years later) pay well below the going rate but have a brand new kitchen and bathroom that I had a big say on in terms of layout, design and colour. If you have a good relationship with your LL I would suggest you think very carefully before forcing the issue. You need to weigh up how much a similar place that's had a refit would rent for vs. yours, find out how your new rent compares to that and then - if you really do need to move out - work out how much the two weeks rent at the old rate would work out per week, divide by 52 (weeks in a year) and then see what the difference would be between the going market rate and the new rent: you may find that you are getting a good deal after all. If not the answer is simple: move.
  4. A friend has just just put their 2-up 2-down terrace off Mill Road on the market for almost £350K.... And they think they'll get at least that. Admittedly it's very well presented and needs nothing doing to it but it just seems ludricrous when you think what else £350K could buy you, even in Cambridge....
  5. In several decades of living and travelling abroad I have NEVER handed over my passport to ANYONE apart from custom officials at a border or an embassy for visa purposes (including UAE). Even in places like Vietnam where even hotels like to demand you do: you don't - there are always ways around it. Anyone demanding that you do so is dodgy: find another employer/hotel. Rule #1 of travel - NEVER give your passport to anyone unless you can possibly avoid it - why do you think all travel check lists are ordered passport, money, tickets, other stuff? Because money will buy you new tickets but, unless you have 'special' connections, not a new passport.
  6. ?..! Nice to see you still lurk about and continue to provide sane insight :-) You are missed here (by me at least) for a more balanced, analytical and thought out opinion - so please post more often. The Alphaville link above on houses/oil tankers is hilarious, but sadly reflects our current reality... but to cheer you up - do go look at it and get the same light relief I did from 'Somali Pirate' 's comments in the article - had me in stitches.
  7. OMG - please tell me they provide some form of sunglasses or similar before you go anywhere near the bathroom!
  8. £2 million in the bank would be nice indeed... Seriously though, as a local (and someone involved with a community group loosely associated with the church, but not an attendee of it, I got some of the inside info), as I understand it there was a complete clash of personality amongst the vicar and a vocal minority of the congregation... Apparently some of the things he wanted to do e.g provide disabled toilets in the church, use PowerPoint in sermons, etc. were a step too radical for some. In the same way that the St John's house in town has sold quickly I reckon this one will too: location, location, location... Houses like this don't come up very often and if I had the cash (where did I put that lottery ticket... ) I'd snap it up, or something similar, ASAP, before someone else did.
  9. I'll probably get flamed for this but WTH My uncle and cousin are farmers and the farm has been in the family for 3 generations (the 2 generations prior to that were tenant farmers on adjacent land). When my cousin got married they wanted to build a house near to the existing farmhouse for him and his wife and had to jump through numerous hoops and rejected applications to do so - utterly ridiculous. Especially when you consider that they had a dual carriageway which cuts the farm in 2 enforced on him several years prior and again had to go through loads of hoops to get a bridge over the road so that he didn't loose access to half his grazing land. A lot of people seem to think that farming is an easy life - it's not. Like any small business it's a daily struggle, very long hours and add to that you're at the mercy of mother nature - last years wet summer really, really hurt. And finally, it's a small minority of farmers that exploit the system - in my experience many of the 'organic' farmers are quite good at this: applying for every grant going whilst sneakily 'borrowing' standard feed from their neighbours when their crop isn't enough to feed their animals (and said crop which takes 3 times as much land to grow for the same yield, that 3 times as much land being part of redesignated national park land with all the knock-on consequences to the environment). NB - what an ugly house they built. My cousin's place is a stone walled cottage with all local materials and looks like it could have been there for 100 years.
  10. Here's an example of a 'we can't sell so we'll try and let it out instead' house: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-ren...y-23325449.html was up for sale most of the summer, then for sale and for rent, now for rent with 2 different agencies and has been empty now for at least 6 weeks. Given the current price and location (busy road, next to guided busway construction work) it's likely to remain so for quite a while...
  11. Point taken but ultimately CEOs are at the mercy of their board, and ultimately, their shareholders. If it all tanks (tomorrow not looking good) there will be big questions being asked of them. Anyway - way past my bedtime - this AM will be interesting to say the least!
  12. and folks then deride management consultants (i.e. people like me) for trying to take the long term view to make businesses sustainable and hence viable. Again: which who was advising/forcing through LTSB to do the HBOS deal - and why - as it makes no business sense - short or long term. So there has to be another reason for doing this. I'll re-itterate: a CEOs mandate is to deliver stability and value to shareholders - this deal doesn't tick the boxes on either in the long term - so what's really going on? Tomorrow is looking like it will be carnage.
  13. Apologies if I'm harping on but can someone explain why the CEO of LTSB, whos remit is to deliver stability and shareholder return, is going ahead with the HBOS takeover when the rulebooks are being torn up on a daily basis and look likely to continue to be for quite some time.
  14. This is the bit I'm not getting. Imagine: you're the LTSB CEO - surely you can see this coming a few years down the line - so why merge and take on liabilities when the regulatory goal posts keep moving and look set to continue to do so? Looking at long term strategy with the current markets you're not looking at a ROI for a few years (at best) by which time you may be broken up before you can realise your investment. So why bother?! A CEOs remit is to build a stable business that maximises shareholder value and profits - I don't see how this works here unless there are other factors in play here - and I'd like to know what they are.
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