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House Price Crash Forum


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About Katrin

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  1. I've lived in my flat for 18 months. The cream carpets and walls were slightly grubby when I moved in, and over the course of the time I've lived here I've occasionally spilled a cup of coffee and mopped it up, trailed in a bit of mud or grease on my shoes, etc. I've borrowed a carpet cleaning machine and washed the carpets, they look OK but the landlord is still moaning about where there are a few stains that won't come out (some of which were on the carpet before I moved in). I've wiped the walls down with a cloth and they look OK but still slightly grubby. Does my landlord have the right to insist on money towards new carpets or redecoration? What's classed as fair wear and tear? In addition to this, last year I shook a pen and tiny ink spots flew onto the emulsioned wall in the bedroom. When I rubbed off the ink I also rubbed off small spots of paint, so one area of the wall has some lighter coloured spots. Is this fair wear and tear or am I liable for redecoration costs? Considering I've lived here for 18 months and the walls were grubby when I moved in, and the previous tenant lived here for a year, how much of the redecoration costs would I be liable for, if any?
  2. So you're saying that because someone has a vocation they don't deserve to earn a decent salary? By that token, doctors/teachers/nurses and anyone else with a vocation also doesn't deserve to earn a decent salary? I know that our local vicar certainly doesn't take multiple foreign holidays - he has to be in church every Sunday because there's nobody to cover for him unless its an emergency, and even if he takes some time off work he can't go away anywhere in case there's an unexpected funeral. I don't think he's "in the job to earn 20k", he's in the job to provide spiritual guidance to people and receiving an average salary is what makes it possible for him to do that and still have a life of his own. What part of providing spiritual guidance requires the person to also be as poor as a mouse? If the vicar had an extra 15k salary (e.g. to make him equivalent to a police officer) but no free house would he still be overpaid? Because the rent he would pay for the house is worth less than the extra 15k.
  3. To be fair, his free house would probably cost him 7-10k in rent depending on where in the country he lives, so adding that onto his 20k salary he's earning the equivalent of around 30k. That isn't a lot considering the long hours that vicars have to work, and I think there's very little opportunity of progression, his current earnings are basically the ceiling of what he is ever likely to earn. He could, however, quite easily survive without his wife's wage - unless you consider that he has to buy a house to occupy in the future after he retires (when he retires he'll lose the free house). So his 20k salary has to cover his living costs and bills, and he also has to pay a mortgage on another house so he doesn't end up homeless after retirement.
  4. I'm shocked that Peter Snow and son admitted to earning 100k and 75k respectively. While that's still a decent salary by anyone's standards, I'd have thought that as tv presenters they'd earn a helluva lot more, especially considering they live in London and probably pay extortionate prices for everything.
  5. The problem is, when the Job Centre tells you to get a job, what they really mean is "get a dead-end job". Having done A-levels and a degree I was still offered jobs such as cleaner, waitress, burger flipper, etc. I explained that I wanted an office job of some sort, a trainee position that was reasonably mentally challenging with a decent career progression, and they said they don't have anything that fits those criteria. The Job Centre is no use if you want anything other than an unskilled job. If I don't want to be a cleaner or a burger flipper I can understand why the long term unemployed don't want to do it either. If I was in their shoes and my only job options were e.g. McDonalds or night shift in a factory then I think I'd claim benefits too! The problem is that we don't allow people to do things for themselves any more. A friend of mine said he'd love to live somewhere a bit rural and grow fruit and veg, and make and sell his own products e.g. jams, chutneys, pies etc. Unfortunately he couldn't afford a property with a garden and a decent size kitchen, he couldn't afford to pay inspectors and lawyers and whoever else he'd need help from to officially set up a business, he'd have to have hygiene certificates and an accountant to handle his taxes and god knows what else before he was allowed to sell his jam, and the whole thing was completely unviable. People aren't allowed to build houses because of planning restrictions, they aren't allowed to make and sell things without hygiene certificates and safety certification and whatever else, they struggle to run their own small business because of the expense of managing taxation and other laws and because of competition from large chains, so what are these people supposed to do once they've been forced out of business or prevented from even starting up in the first place? Should they flip burgers for the rest of their lives? Our society has stifled innovation and initiative with silly rules and regulations, we've stopped people working and now we're complaining that people aren't working!
  6. I'm 29; not young but not old either. When I was growing up we were quite poor, my dad was a fisherman until his boat sank, and the insurance didn't cover the costs because it was an Act of God, so we spent the next 20 years paying off a boat that had already sunk! My mum used to get clothes from the Salvation Army (which made me really popular at school) and she used to buy 2 pork chops to feed 3 of us for Sunday dinner because she couldn't afford 3 pork chops (get out your violins). My dad was a coal miner and then a factory worker, but all of his money went on paying off that stupid boat. So I was always taught to hang onto my money because we never had any. After I left school I saved every penny, including Xmas and birthday money, and I worked weekend jobs and saved that, then got a proper job and saved every penny, because I didn't want my kids to grow up poor like I did. I just stuck all my cash in the HSBC at 6.5%, although I've finally found out about ISAs and this year I started transferring my yearly allowance in there. I have no idea what else to do with my cash, my parents can't advise cause they never had any! The cottages surrounding my gran's have all been done up, some have sold for 100K, so the council said 100K sale price minus 20K to do it up equals the cottage is worth 80K in its present condition. Last year people were actually buying them at that price, doing them up and then waiting for the value to rise even further so they could sell and make a profit. I was suspecting that it might take a couple of years for the market to bottom out, but I was hoping it might happen sooner, soon enough for me to buy my gran's cottage so she doesn't have to move. Oh well, c'est la vie!
  7. My gran doesn't pay any rent, she gets housing benefit that goes directly to the council so she never sees it. If we buy the cottage then she won't get housing benefit any more, so she can't pay me any rent for living in the cottage. I can't live there with her because she doesn't have room for me, and she'd lose some of her pensions if I moved in anyway. I don't really want the cottage, I'll never live there, I'm only considering buying it so my gran doesn't have to move. My concern is that the money I'd be using as a deposit is my life's savings, earned through sweating at horrible weekend jobs, and rarely drinking or going out or buying clothes, and saving all my birthday and Xmas money for years on end instead of spending it. If I lost even 10K of my savings that would be a disaster, as I'd have effectively wiped out a third of my life's savings which have cost me dearly - I haven't received a single birthday or Xmas present for the last 13 years because I've just asked for cash and saved it up for a house! I don't want to lose my savings, every thousand pounds the cottage loses in value is a thousand pounds of my savings I've lost, and a thousand pounds lost equates to having wasted almost 6 months doing crappy weekend jobs on min wage. I'm reluctant to buy if I'm going to make any loss at all, because my little bit of cash is so hard earned. But I can't let my gran lose her home, the council's decision is apparently legal and above board so she'll have to move if I don't buy the cottage. So my original question still stands: do you think my gran might get a significant price reduction if she hangs on for 9 months or so and then has the cottage re-valued? Is 9 months long enough to achieve a significant price reduction? Considering that these cottages were sold for 8K less than 10 years ago, 76k seems quite steep, almost 10 times more expensive. Even since 2003 the price has almost trebled Perhaps hoping for a return to 2003 prices is a bit optimistic, but if the price went back to 30K I could buy my gran's cottage in cash.
  8. Thanks guys. We've checked and the council isn't ending her tenancy, they're just asking her to move to another property for what seem like valid reasons, it's all above board. They said ~The old cottages need too much money spending on new bathrooms and other improvements, and fixing them up isn't worth the cost ~It costs too much money to keep running the intercom system and the warden service just for 3 tenants ~It also costs money to come out and mow the lawns and clear the paths of snow etc just for those 3 cottages ~The other cottages in the area have already been sold off ~It's inconvenient for the home help ladies to have to do these 3 elderly people's cottages right at the other end of the village The new cottages are literally brand new, and they have a warden service and an intercom system, meals on wheels service, and an elderly citizens day centre nearby. They're small and poky though, and my gran wants to stay where she is because she knows her neighbours and my mum lives in the next street. She likes living among a variety of people and she doesn't want to move to the other end of the village " to live with all the coffin-dodgers" as she says. The council can't see why she's objecting to being given a brand new cottage with all mod cons, but she wants to stay put because my mum lives literally in the next street. My mum cares for her, and if my gran is forced to move miles away then my mum can't keep popping in to make lunch or a cuppa etc like she does now. As I said, my gran has been offered first refusal on buying the cottage if she doesn't want to move. I think she can get 6K discount with the right to buy (1K for every year she's lived there) so it's for sale for 80K and she'd pay 74K with her discount. I have 30K in cash which I was keeping to invest in property at some point, but I'm still 44K short. My concern is that if I get a mortgage and pay 74K for the cottage and the prices crash I may be left in negative equity and at the very least I'll have lost my life's savings, and I dunno whether to take the risk. We could hang on until maybe September and ask the council to re-evaluate the selling price, but will prices have dropped significantly enough by then for the council to consider a lower selling price?
  9. I tried to post this before but it didn't seem to work so I'm trying again. My gran lives in a 2-bed cottage owned by the council. Most of the cottages in neighbouring streets have been sold off by the council as the occupants have died, and the new owners have done them up and added an additional bedroom in the attic, so they can be made into decent little houses. Only 3 council-owned cottages now remain in this area, the rest are all owned privately. My gran has received a letter saying that the council wishes to focus its housing provision for the elderly on the new housing estate at the top of the village, and it wishes to sell off the remaining 3 cottages. My gran has been offered first refusal on her cottage, if she doesn't want to buy it then she'll be re-housed on the new housing estate and her cottage will be sold to someone else. The letter said that this will take place within approximately 12 months as they want the sales to be completed by the end of 2008. My gran doesn't want to move, and she's asked if I could use the cash I've saved for a house to buy her cottage. She thinks this would benefit everyone, because she gets to stay in her cottage, and I get her cottage to rent or sell after her death. The problem is that the council is asking the market rate for these cottages, which they think is currently around 80k, and I can't really afford that. The cottages were originally being sold for 8k in the 1990s, in 2001 they were going for 15k, and even as recently as 2003 they cost around 30k. I'm also concerned that if I pay 80k the prices will fall and leave me in significant negative equity. The 80k the council is quoting is the highest price they ever sold one of these cottages for (in early 2007) and there's no sign of them having dropped the price slightly due to current market conditions, they're still trying to sell at the all-time peak price. But if I don't buy then my gran has to move. So my question is this: how soon do you think house prices will crash? My gran could probably sit tight for 9 months or so and wait for prices to fall, then ask the council to re-value the cottage based on the current market, and if the asking price goes down then I might be able to buy her cottage at that point. If it takes longer than 9-12 months for a significant fall in prices then it'll be too late, my gran will be re-housed on the new housing estate and her cottage will be sold to someone else. On the other hand, do you think house prices won't fall at all and I'd be safe if I bought now at 80k?
  10. Sorry to have to point this out, but employers rarely pay PhD graduates in proportion with their skills and experience regardless of what field they're in. My sister wanted to be a clinical psychologist, so she did a psychology degree and got a training post on an embarrassingly low salary, and eventually she managed to do a PhD in clinical psychology. When she graduated with her doctorate she thought that as a doctor in psychology working for the NHS she would earn quite a lot, but the NHS offered her 17 grand, which has now increased to 21 grand as she has a bit of experience. She showed me the salary scale and she can earn up to 30 grand with experience, but she'll have to become some sort of manager to get into the 30-60 grand salary bracket. It amazes me that she's a doctor in the hospital and she only gets 21 grand.
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