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Ignorant Steve

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Everything posted by Ignorant Steve

  1. Certainly in rural areas the planning system is very restrictive. In our village (desirable, but not that great for services) we have a planning envelope. Within the planning envelope landowners have a chance of getting a planning application approved, subect to the fairly onerous local conditions. Outside the planning envelope the land is "Green Belt" and considered rural - no applications have any chance of succeeding at the moment. The planning envelope does not extend beyond the existing houses in any direction. The result is that gardens, orchards and small bits of land within the envelope have all been built on over the last 10 years. There is now no easily accessible available land. One villager recently applied for 3 "retirement" bungalows to be built on his disused overgrown orchard behind his garden. Such was the fury of his NIMBY neighbours that he has decided to sell and move away! Our village is now seemingly stuck - not enough life for a shop, decent bus services, school, viable pub, post office. And an unwillingness to allow any more houses. The average size of house has also increased over the last few years. At least 20% of the existing stock has been extended, there are now very few 3 bed houses. We do have a tiny amount of LA 3 bed houses with good sized gardens and a small development of "starter homes" for FTBs. Unfortunately the LA houses are filled with long term tenants going nowhere soon, and the last "starter home" was sold to an elderly couple who managed to sneak round the section 106 by claiming to be FTBs as they had no property to sell. (STR's!).
  2. No change to our spending plans this year. Car loads of presents going all round the country in 4 seperate trips to cater for Xmas at both sets of Grandparents, New Year at good friends, and a pre-xmas party at another set of friends. I think we'll have spent about £3K by the time it's all over.
  3. Interesting article. I note that prices are expected to fall once supply increases. I'm beginning to doubt whether supply will increase sufficiently for this to happen.
  4. Having been born mid 60's I think it fair to say that having free University education was a huge help. Most of my uni friends left with little or no debt. Those that were in debt had not managed to find work during the vacations. They took several years in the grim 80's to catch up with those of us who'd remained debt free. Many of us took more than a year to find a decent job. Didn't make much difference in the medium term though - I had several friends in better paid jobs who were delighted to be able to afford their first ftb flat in 1988 - only to see their hard earned deposit destroyed in the resulting crash. I bought my first flat in 1991 in W13 avoiding the worst of the crash. I think hard work will take you so far but luck in timing also has a huge role to play. Mortgages are normally a lomg term commitment so everyone should expect, and budget for, at least 5 years of economic turmoil during the repayment period.
  5. If you want a place that is 1hr commute to London then Rugby fits the bill. Good education for the kids too. Have a look on Rightmove. £550K will buy a nice 4 bed house in a good village. There's one for £525K in Clifton on Dunsmore for example. Not too close to the sea granted. But good sailing available nearby.
  6. Yes Knight Frank are only top end. I thought the general tone of the magazine chimed rather well with most of the comments on this forum as to how the market has performed over the last few years. I'd assume that the better houses in the best locations would fall first and recover first. This is certainly true in London. So if KF are only seeing a recovery in 2011 for their types of property then the average 3 bed in Coventry may well continue on reducing and not recover for many years. Ages ago I was predicting average falls of 10 - 15% across the country, but saying poor quality houses in places like Stoke (or Coventry) would fall by up to 70%. So by that metric an average place in Cov may well fall 40%.
  7. Received the Knight Frank Local View magazine over the weekend. We bought through KF so are on their mailing lists as quality upstanding pillars of the community. Their various offices based in Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Birmingham are all given space for a review of the current market. Makes fairly interesting reading. The overall impression given is that this summer has seen 40% more activity than last year with most buyers spending cash. Very limited supply of the best property is leading to sealed bids and often above guide price deals. However almost all offices state that this is unlikely to continue next year. Supply expected to rise and demand remain static or fall. No sign of market recovery until 2011 is the consensus from KF. Lots of offices quoting average falls from peak 15% in the best areas to 25% in the more remote areas. Current buyers were mainly entrepreneurs and board level directors. Professions such as accountancy and solicitors are not yet buying in great numbers. Hardly any distressed sales occurring.
  8. Agreed it remains to be seen as to whether the London centric "boom" peters out before the next leg down. Or whether it ripples out through the outer home counties to South Midlands etc etc etc.
  9. So to conclude. You'd suggest that the majority of landlords should sell to crystallise gains (for them). This should therefore decrease the price of property (say by 10%). But equally decrease the stock available to rent. Ceteris paribus rental prices would increase. Equilibrium being where selling prices have fallen so that the new increased rental contracts result in a 7% yield. Unless you buy you are therefore even worse off as instead of paying £1350 per month you now have to find £1600 (approx).
  10. Although to put that into perspective I sold a 1 bed flat in W13 in 2001 for £200K. So last years price of £370k looks a relative bargain! And perhaps that is what todays potential buyers are thinking.
  11. You're talking generalities here. Of course the price is set by the balance of the counter parties. However what I was taking exception to is that you compare your financial wellbeing to a single individuals wellbeing as if his financial situation makes you better off. Whether your landlord paid £4000 or £400,000 for the house you currently rent is irrelevant to your financial situation.
  12. Paper loss is easy to cope with - we bought our "final" home so have no intention of moving. In fact even the £200K "loss" isn't worth worrying about. We made decisions which turned out incorrect but at the time we were happy with our chosen course of action. Most of the £200K was the ridiculous price increases in London 2005 - 2006. People should realise the inherent dangers before thinking about STR. Timing is absolutely key. If you believe most on here it's a no brainer, and easy to make shed loads. Lots seemed to have STR'd between 2002 and 2005. Anyone who did must be hurting financially. Except of course all these property experts are also financial geniuses who bought gold, or gold mining shares.
  13. STRing is difficult - I know because we tried in 2005 and failed. Your timing is much better so hopefully things will work out. Personally I think prices will fall again in 2010 and will keep falling as the effects of higher taxes hit consumers. However I thought London prices had peaked in 2004 so what do I know! We lost about £200K. (Adding rent paid out, change in selling price between what we achieved and what the flat sold for 18 months later, and various bits and bobs). Given that we bought again in 2006 we're probably sitting on a paper loss of £150K too!
  14. You gambled - presumably you can afford to lose. Perhaps you should buy now what you can now afford? Or perhaps you should have the courage to stay out of the market for another year? No-one said STRing was going to be easy. Are you enjoying renting? Or is the first years rent now finished and you're now looking at yet another grotty rented property?
  15. Just because something isn't skilled doesn't make it less valuable. Perhaps the human interaction is the most important bit.
  16. I agree with your synopsis of where your landlord has gone "wrong" assuming you know all of his personal details - but you don't. So his choice is his choice. Maybe he's planning on giving his house to children/ grandchildren in a few years time. Plus it's rather unfair to highlight, using hindsight, the highpoint of the market as the time when he should have sold. Your financial situation is completely independent of his. His "bad" decisions are no help to you individually. The fact that he hasn't sold surely indicates that he won't. £16,200 rent each year.
  17. I think the rural economy is actually going to get better rather than worse. People seem to have realised that community awareness is important for a more fulfilling life.
  18. No, but he's not the only one. I reckon 95% of postal workers are perfectly decent.
  19. Completely irrelevant to this thread but I just read your signature. Bug bear of mine. Why do you compare your financial situation in paying rent to you landlords financial situation? Surely his finances are irrelevant to you? Supposing he bought the house for half it's current "value" doesn't that make it a relatively good investment at the moment? His income is increased by £1350 (less expenses) every month.
  20. Our postman is absolutely brilliant. Rural postmen are one of the few regular people you see everyday. He's invaluable at keeping an eye on the old and frail. He'll also collect outgoing mail. He went skiing last year - paid for by his Xmas tips! Worth every penny IMO.
  21. I can confirm that mortgages can be set up for any time period. We have a 15 year mortgage. The monthly outgoings are higher of course but the amount paid out over the life of the mortgage significantly lower. The reason we went for the 15 yr mortgage was that, similar to the OP, we were over 40 when organising it. Didn't want to be paying a mortgage off after 55. Luckily we've managed to pay most of it off already and aim to have paid all off within the first 5 years. We also have school fees to budget for - one of the problems with starting a family later in life. My younger sister has 2 kids almost finished at Uni - I've got 2 children, 1 yet to start school.
  22. I woudn't buy now. I see no reason for prices to rise before next year - and may be not then either. Plus there is a small chance of losing your new permanent job - last one in etc etc. Having said that with a new family the pressure to buy will be enormous and difficult to ignore. We found that schooling decisions became the deciding factor. Personally I found renting with a young family no problem, but the thought of not having a stable base once schools were decided was a problem for me. So, rent if possible for a few years would be my opinion.
  23. Back in the good old days of sensible lending it was standard practice for a buyer to have previously organised a "mortgage in principle" letter from the building society at which you'd been saving for a number of years. EAs presumably only want to deal with bona fide buyers not potential time wasting idealists?
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