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About CynicalActuary

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  1. 4 bed detached for £147k?! Where the heck do you live? Burkina Faso? Can you look up what it (or similar in the area) sold for previously and when?
  2. In July we offered -23% on the initial asking price for a house that was "ambitiously" priced. We really liked the house and were ready to proceed with nothing to sell, but thought that our offer was very fair especially given the amount of work required (sale was following death of elderly owner). By November the asking price was below our offer although, unfortunately for the seller, we were no longer in the market. The last I noticed it still hadn't sold. So, moral of the story, never feel embarrassed to offer what you are willing to pay. I did get a slightly sneering response ("well, it's a start isn't it?") from the lady to whom we tendered the offer, but the guy actually handling the sale was quite decent about it and took us seriously throughout. In the end we were right, and the snooty lady was wrong.
  3. Agreed - they're just adding further complexity, cost and poverty traps to GB's labyrinthine system. Entirely for political reasons, of course. Welcome to new politics.
  4. They can rack up penalty fees at £1m a day, for all the difference it's going to make now.
  5. The problem is that it adds yet more complexity and another little poverty trap where someone earns more but ends up with less. Means-testing benefits is invidious anyway, as it discourages some people from claiming, and tax credits are just a really bad idea full stop. They don't help people who don't work so some other system is needed for those people anyway. Osborne should be aiming to simplify the tax and benefits system, not make it even more complicated.
  6. The debt belongs to one James Gordon Brown who is - I do believe - Scottish, and it is therefore obvious he should take it back home to share with his compatriots. After all, debt is wealth and it would be incredibly selfish of we English to keep such a windfall to ourselves; it should go where it rightfully belongs. Perhaps they could display it in Edinburgh Castle with the Stone of Scone (named from their tendancy to have their cake and eat it) as a further proud monument to their bravery in wrestling freedom back from the sassenach oppressors.
  7. Does anyone have experiences using this service in connection with a rental agreement? I am disputing with a letting agent about the return of some of my money which he handed over to the landlord when: under the contract it was not due to the landlord, and he had previously confirmed that in the particular circumstances he would return it to me. I suspect it was a simple administrative error, but that the agent doesn't want sorting it out to cost him any money. Nor does he want to upset the landlord by demanding it back. On the other hand I am not his client so he is quite content for it to cost me money. A lawyer has said my case is a "slam dunk", but if TPO is going to make things easier I might as well save the hassle of the small claims court. On the other hand, if the service is either not particularly independent in its judgements or simply incompetent in its evaluation of cases then, equally, I don't want to waste time with it. Incidentally I have tried asking the landlord to return the money directly, but that is not working.
  8. He was being totally ridiculous. The UK economy is best-placed to weather the global economic storm.
  9. I recently had a similar conversation with a Reigate estate agent that I know slightly and who was getting fed up with sellers rejecting perfectly reasonable offers. However, also being in the Reigate rental market for a large-ish family home, I am finding the diversity of asking prices for rental even more bewildering than those for sale.
  10. Because of adjustments to personal tax allowances, it actually starts at £100k above which the marginal rate will be over 45% (and closer to 48% for those on the higher allowances above 65). I agree that it will affect relatively few people but nonetheless evidence suggests that at these levels the tax take may actually fall. It's just politicking with the Tories. So much for prudent financial management and "doing the right thing".
  11. That's not a particularly good location and those prices - if achieved - would not be that attractive for repo's, IMHO.
  12. I was considering one of these, but I haven't seen anything like that cheap. Which auction was it at?
  13. He has to, unless the seller has already told him that he's not interested in certain types of offer (below certain amount, type of buyer, whatever) and that covers yours.
  14. My brother was at Balliol at the same time as Yvette Cooper and at the time he thought she was a b*llsh*tter full of pie-in-the-sky political ideas and absolutely no common-sense. His opinion hasn't changed and he was clearly right. PS Incidentally my time there overlapped with Boris. He won't remember me as, being a mathematics nerd, I didn't move in his exalted spheres. I do remember that people laughed at him a lot, but it didn't stop him reaching the top of Oxford student politics. Something else that hasn't changed ...
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