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  1. I have seen three identical houses in my village priced at 95k, 108k, and 117k. They're only a couple of streets apart, and the cheapest one is actually in the best location! Recently another identical house sold for 85k, so I have no idea how these vendors justify their asking prices. All of the vendors have owned their houses since way before the house price bubble started, so they're not trying to recoup the prices they paid; they're just being greedy.
  2. I saw an advert for a house which, quite frankly, is a mess - it's filthy, the walls are cracked and damp, the garden is a jungle, it needs a new kitchen and bathroom, and it needs rewiring as well as central heating installed because it has none. It's really only interesting because it's a nice location which I normally wouldn't be able to afford, and with a bit of hard work I could probably invest money over time and do it up to a good enough standard to live in. However the money I'd need to invest would mean the total cost of the house by the time it's renovated would be the same as similar houses in the same street, so there really isn't much of a profit to be made. The only advantage is that I couldn't afford a similar house at full price, but I could afford to buy this run down one and do it up slowly over a number of years. So I go to view the house, and the estate agent basically tells me there's no point in viewing it because he's already had two asking price offers and is looking to make a decision about who to sell it to on Monday. Obviously I want to know why he even bothered letting me view the house since it's as good as sold, and he tells me that the offers were made sight unseen, before the house was available for viewing, and he has to let other people view it otherwise he could be accused of selling it to a friend for a low price without even putting it on the open market. Hmm, this sounds a bit fishy to me. Surely if he had an asking price offer he'd just sell and not waste people's time? A similar house down the street is fully modernised and has been on the market for a year, during which the asking price has dropped twice. I am somewhat peed off about him wasting my time, though I don't mention it. I tell him I could offer 20k below the asking price, with no chain and a 30% cash deposit. He says he'll call me, but since he has two asking price offers I obviously won't be offered the house. What do you think? Are there really so many people who want to buy a house which is too much of a mess to live in? Is he telling the truth and wasting my time, or is he playing some sort of silly estate agent game?
  3. Well I've paid the rent until Saturday, but I was planning to move out today while someone with a Land Rover was available to move my stuff, and then come round in the evenings next week to clean the windows and wash the cupboards and carpets etc, so it's spick and span for the final inspection. I wouldn't have minded the landlord coming in to do repairs etc during that week while I was cleaning the place out. But due to unforeseen circumstances I was unable to move today, so I can't allow my landlord access as promised to remove the bath and do other repairs. Not being able to move out today is inconvenient for me too, because now I'll have to move a bit at a time every evening this week, and come round and clean the place out on Friday night when I wanted to be down the pub. My landlord is kicking up a fuss though, because he says I told him he could do repairs this week - which I did, on the understanding that I would be moving out today. I was unable to move out today, so I've refused to allow him to remove the bath on Tuesday because I'm still living here and I'd be unable to get showered, and he's getting annoyed because he says I promised he could do it.
  4. The contract on our flat expires next Saturday, but we told our landlord that we planned to move out today as we won't have time during the week, therefore it should be OK for him to do repairs next week. The repairs he wants to do includes thing like replacing the bathroom suite, decorating, etc. We said we would keep in touch about what's happening and let him know when we had vacated the property. We arranged for a relative to bring his Land Rover to move all our stuff today, but this morning we received a phone call to say that his wife had unexpectedly gone into labour and he couldn't come. There were serious complications and we've all spent the whole day at the hospital pacing up and down the hall (the baby seems to have pulled through btw). So obviously we've been unable to move out today, the person with the Land Rover said he's at work all week but will help us to move our stuff a bit at a time in the evenings so we can still be out by the end of our contract on Saturday. When I came out of the hospital I had texts and missed phonecalls from my landlord. The first text said he was coming round to the flat to let himself in, even though we hadn't informed him that we'd moved out. I replied to say he couldn't let himself in as we hadn't been able to move out as planned, and received a very snotty message saying what happened to moving out today and why didn't I call him if my plans had changed? He asked if he could come round tonight to get my written permission to do repairs next week. I replied to explain the unexpected situation that had arisen, and said that because of that we've been unable to move out today, so obviously he can't come round next week and remove the bath and do repairs etc because we're still living here. I apologised for the inconvenience, but said that these things happen and we'll still be out by the end of our contract on Saturday. He's not best pleased to say the least, but I think I'm within my rights to stay until Saturday even though I said I was planning to move out today. What are my rights in this situation? I did say he could do repairs next week as we planned to be moved out by then, but I didn't sign anything, and unexpected events meant I couldn't move as planned, so obviously I can't allow my landlord to remove the bath etc until I've moved out.
  5. Just a rant and a moan really... For my entire tenancy the landlord has avoided doing repairs; some repairs that were outstanding when I moved in 2 years ago are still outstanding, including important ones such as no hot water in the bathroom sink and a broken security light which means I have to go downstairs in the pitch dark. He tried to sell the flat from under me without even informing me - he pretended he was doing a routine inspection and secretly his companion was valuing the property and taking photos. He decided to replace the washing machine, and brought a second-hand one when I was out, then had to leave it in the garden because he didn't have a key, and made a fuss when I (a skinny little female) refused to bring it indoors and carry it up the stairs into the flat myself. The hoover has been broken for 2 months and he refuses to fix it, I keep having to borrow one from the downstairs neighbour. The list of annoying things just goes on and on... Anyway I have decided to give a month's notice and move out, and when the landlord received a letter from the estate agent he phoned me and demanded to know how long I've known I was going to move out, and asked why I couldn't have informed him sooner so he could get another tenant, as he can't afford to pay the mortgage without a tenant. Then he insisted on coming round to do an inspection, even though I'm in the middle of packing. When he arrived he demanded to know where I was going and why I was moving out, so to keep the peace I explained, even though I didn't really have to. He made a fuss about mould on the bathroom ceiling and dirty windows (which I obviously plan to clean before I move out), dirty carpets (despite the fact I have a carpet cleaning machine sitting there ready to wash the carpets when I move out), dirty walls (minor scuffs and marks) etc. I simply responded by saying I'll clean thoroughly before I move out,but he seemed in a terribly bad mood. All of these things are fair wear and tear, so I'm relying on the estate agent to be reasonable during check-out. I hope the landlord isn't going to be awkward about returning my deposit, wanting to bring prospective tenants in while I'm packing etc, but I rather fear he will be. He said he wants to install a new bathroom before he gets any new tenants, well he'll have to wait until after I've moved out, because I'm not having that sort of disruption when I'm moving in a couple of weeks time. Why do landlords have to be such a pain?
  6. Houses may hold their value slightly better than flats. Here in Tyne & Wear we are drowning in new-build flats that nobody wants, and many of them (in Sunderland particularly) are sitting empty. Landlords are trying all ways to get tenants and this has started to push rental prices down. Loads of places are up "For Sale or Let" and there are forests of estate agent signs in some areas. My landlord has been trying to sell for 6 months and has only had one viewer, now we've decided to move on he has literally begged us to stay as he can't afford a void period, he can't even pay one month's mortgage without our rent. He has offered rent reductions and allsorts in a bid to keep us in his flat as tenants, and he's even resorted to emotional blackmail, saying he'll lose the property if he doesn't receive our rent to pay the mortgage. My heart bleeds...
  7. LOL, that's the best post I've read in ages. You've hit the nail right on the head. I'd be willing to work hard if I thought it would help me to afford a house, a family, nice holidays and a nice car, etc. But the amount I would earn for working hard will buy me f*** all so I just don't bother. If I'm going to have nothing, I'll have a cushy life and have nothing - far better than working hard and still having nothing. If working hard and participating in society won't provide me with a decent lifestyle then I'm not going to participate at all, thank you very much. I'll just do odd jobs to facilitate a basic standard of living and to hell with your underpaid graduate slave jobs, I'd rather spend my time reading and pottering about than working for a pittance. If working in a proper job isn't worth my while then I'm not going to work, even though I'm more than capable. Sometimes this "not working" takes the form of turning up at work but not actually doing anything - if I'm not paid properly for doing something you can't expect me to do it properly! These graduate employers may be paying their employees enough to actually turn up and sit there 9-5, but they're probably not paying them enough to actually care about what they're doing. They should try doubling their employees' salaries and see how much harder they suddenly start working!
  8. No no no no no. What makes you think that the landlord will be able to get a tenant to pay enough to cover his mortgage? He can ask for that amount, but the tenant may well refuse, and if the landlord insists then the tenant may just give notice and move to a cheaper property. This leaves the landlord with a void period in which he receives no rent; in fact he may never find a tenant who is willing to pay the inflated rental price. Rents are set by the market, not by the landlord. In addition to this, rents are constrained by what people can afford. House prices, on the other hand, are only restricted by the amount that people can borrow. If you can't afford a house you can just borrow a larger multiple of your salary. If you can't afford rent then there's no way to get the extra money, if you don't earn enough you can't rent the property and that's that. Rents are restricted by people's salaries, but house prices are not - so house prices can keep going up and up but rents can't. For example: we pay £550pcm rent, if our landlord doubled the rent we would look for a cheaper flat. If we couldn't find a cheaper flat then we still couldn't afford to pay the inflated rent, it's not even an option because we just don't earn enough to afford it. We would either have to move in with our parents or find another couple to share our flat and pay half of the rent. Both of these options mean that rental demand would reduce - if people are sharing flats then they only need half as many flats! When rental demand reduces, landlords have to compete for tenants by reducing rents - perhaps the rent won't cover their mortgage, but any rent is better than receiving none at all. Thus rents are set by what tenants can afford to pay, and this is linked to how much they earn, NOT to house prices. To reiterate: rents are set by how much people can afford to pay, house prices are set by how much people can borrow. These two things are not necessarily linked: house prices can go through the roof when people can borrow a lot of money, but rents will still be restricted by tenants' monthly income. Therefore rents DO NOT hover around the cost of a BTL mortgage as you suggested, they hover around how much the average tenant can afford to pay.
  9. OK, so both of them are earning a salary, and they can (just) afford a 120k mortgage. Since they are both working, who is looking after the child? For a couple to start a family they need to be able to buy that 2 bed house on ONE salary, so one of them can work and the other can look after the baby. Maybe when the kid goes to school the stay-at-home parent could get a part-time job, but they are unlikely to have two full salaries coming in until the kid reaches its teens.
  10. If they're getting a free bit of land to build on then I want one too. And so, I imagine, does everyone else in the country who can't afford a house. You can't allow one group of people to build on council land and then deny others the same opportunity. Sell them the land at market value, but don't give it away, otherwise you'll have to do the same for everyone else.
  11. We can't afford to start a family because of house prices and living costs. Our rent is £550 and we each bring home £1200 a month, which is about average for the area in which we live. While we are both earning a salary we can afford our rent, and we could probably JUST afford a mortgage on a 2-bed house (the house would cost 150k, so the mortgage would be approx £850pcm). However if one of us had to stay at home to look after a baby we couldn't afford a mortgage (assuming we only have one salary coming in, after paying the mortgage we would have £350pcm for three of us to live on!) The situation if we continue renting isn't much better (after paying the rent we would have £650 pcm to live on). I know we would get child benefit and tax credit etc, but still, once you factor in council tax and bills there's virtually no money left with which to raise a child. Of course, in previous years when house prices were lower we could have got a small enough mortgage to make it possible to live on one salary. The high cost of living has made it impossible to have children because a family can no longer survive on one salary, and if both parents have to work there's nobody to look after the children (the same goes for elderly and infirm relatives, they end up in a home because their children are too busy working full-time to be able to look after them - this is why it costs so much to provide social services nowadays, all of the family are out at work to pay their mortgages so poor old grandad has to have a home help and a cleaner etc paid for by social services).
  12. I work in a university IT department, and in the past few years I have seen loads of Masters level IT graduates end up unemployed. Those who do get a job have usually had to search for months on end and accept an extremely low salary (12-18k). The top figure of 18k is what one of my students achieved when he moved to London to find work, up north the salaries are more like 12-15k. I've known a large number of excellent IT graduates who decided to move into other sectors with better earning potential, such as accountancy, and some who have deigned to accept 12k for a full-time job and have instead attempted to set up on their own or go freelance. The jobs aren't getting filled because employers want too many skills and too much experience for too little money. A Masters graduate who has spent 5 years at university and forked out a fortune on a higher degree is bound to feel insulted at being offered 12k. One of my ex-students told me "Why take a job for 12k when I can do freelance work for a higher hourly wage, and I end up working a lot less hours for more or less the same money?" I also know a recent PhD graduate who chose not to get a job and he teaches part-time instead. He does 8 hours teaching per week at £40 an hour, for two semesters of 12 weeks each. This works out as around 7.5k for 6 months part-time work, and he tops that up by doing a couple of courses and a summer school for the Open University. He estimated he gets a total of 14k for working part-time for 6-7 months of the year plus doing the OU summer school for a couple of weeks, and he does whatever he likes for the remainder of the time. He would probably only get another 10k if he took a full-time job for 12 months of the year, so it's not really worth his while to get a job. Of course if he could quadruple his salary by working full-time it might be worth it, but with salaries at current levels a lot of people simply refuse to work for peanuts and they do their own thing instead.
  13. If you have signed for 12 months then you can live in the house for 12 months, he can't kick you out before the end of your tenancy (although you could agree to let him out of the tenancy contract sooner than that...in return for a large amount of compensation of course!) He can put the house on sale while you're living in it, and he can sell the property to someone with you as sitting tenants, but there's no way he (or the new buyer) can get you out before the end of your tenancy agreement. Of course you don't have to allow prospective buyers to view the house if you don't want to, that's your decision- you're within your rights to say that buyers can only view the house at certain times, or if you want to be awkward you can say that they can't view it at all while you're living there. The landlord can't expect you to tidy up before viewings either - our landlord had a fit when potential buyers came round and the washing up was piled up to the ceiling, and my boyfriend was in the bath so they couldn't see the bathroom - after that we just refused to allow viewings, and we were within our rights to do that. Regarding repairs, your landlord is legally obliged to do repairs within a reasonable time frame. Call the letting agent if the landlord isn't helpful, and as a last resort call the environmental health dept if the repair is a danger (who will give the landlord a fine and a court order to make him do the repairs). If something hasn't been done within a few weeks I'd speak to the CAB and threaten to take the landlord to court if necessary, that usually sorts them out.
  14. As an amateur I'd have no idea how to NOT hold sterling. Setting up bank accounts abroad and transferring money back and forth, calculating exchange rate gains against losses on the fees charged for the exchange...it's way beyond me. This is how the rich get richer and people like me get poorer - they can afford to pay a financial adviser to deal with that sort of thing for them and I can't.
  15. After the last rate cut in December, Lloyds TSB dropped their interest rate from 4.65% to 4.40%. Today they have dropped it again to 4.05%. I can understand why they dropped it last time because there had been a rate cut, but there's been no rate cut today so why have they dropped the IR again? I'm extremely annoyed that they think they can just drop their interest rate whenever they like and still keep their customers. The saver suffers as usual
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