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About PennyPound

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  1. Very informative post, co2. Good antidote to all the media and goverment hype about green shoots of recovery. More like weeds ready to swamp what was not even there.
  2. I did not claim that my financial loss was because the property was a leasehold. It being a leasehold created additional problems with its maintenance. As far as Dr Bubb is concerned, he is not an anonymous poster. He is a known name in the financial world (do your research in www.greenenergyinvestors.com to find who he is) and he has given overall well balanced opinions. In addition, if you believe the noise from all vested interests that house prices will continue to recover, then perhaps we can talk about your gullibility in 6 months time, except of course if you happen to be a vested interest.
  3. Thanks for sharing your experience, Dudsie. It puts in perspective my financial loss (doesn't seem so bad in comparison). Mine was a new built flat when I bought it in 2004, and apart from a fresh lick of paint and buying a fridge and washing machine, it did not incur other costs. Apart that is of the average 2.5 months vacant periods between tenants, when mortgage had to be paid with no rental income coming in. If I did not sell it though, I would have had to change all the carpets prior to having it rent again. The Management company will be redecorating the building next year, which will also incur further costs.
  4. The flat was a two bedroom flat with a side view of the Thames. In 2004 the rent was £675. The next two tenancies were £650 and £625 respectively. I was very lucky with the last tenant (left in March 2009) as I got £725 (the highest). After that though and despite advertising it at £625 I did not manage to find a tenant. After a two month vacant period I decided to sell it. After paying for the letting agency, the Management company and taking into account an average of 2.5 months of vacant period between tenants, it was not much of an investment.
  5. This is an extremely clear and informative explanation, ChumpusRex. Indeed my flat was in a big development of 100 flats. Most of the leaseholders were buy to let landords. The builder had the freehold and sold it off to another company, who employed yet another company to collect the ground rents. If I ever buy another flat again, I will follow your advice and make sure that the purchase includes a share of the freehold. The flat should also be in a small development (<20 flats) There are many people and companies that make so much money out of leaseholds without providing any added value.
  6. If I didn't sell this summer when the sentiment was high at a price that made the flat very attractive to a buyer with a good deposit and who is not in a chain, I might be still waiting. I don't think it will take a long time for the market to take another dive downwards.
  7. I bought a leasehold flat in 2004, located in North Kent. I thought with Ebbsfleet International Rail to open in 2008 (which it did) close by, and the fast train to London to start on December 2009, I can't go wrong. Prices will not drop for this flat. Wrong. After a failed attempt to sell it a year and a half ago, I tried again this May and I just had the contracts exchanged. I made a loss of £15,000 on the price that I bought it in 2004. If I take into account the costs of buying and selling it is even a greater loss. The flat has been a constant worry. From having to find tenants every 6-10 months, to having to deal with disorganised letting agencies and a very sluggish service from a greedy Management company that oversees the communal areas. And when I gone into the process of selling it, the Management company refused to give any information to my solicitor, unless I forked out (which I did) £200 + VAT for a "sales pack". The company that collects the ground rent payments, wanted £80 +VAT for a simple receipt that confirms payment of the ground rent for 2009. (No, I didn't pay the later as I had already the receipt). I followed the advice of Dr Bubb regarding the last "window of opportunity" for selling this summer, and I did sell it, albeit at a loss. I feel I had caused myself a financial loss, but hopefully I prevented an even greater loss further down the line. I do though feel a huge relief for not having to deal with letting agencies, Management Companies, the Ground rent collectors, Council Tax demands, etc. A worry free, peaceful life is what I am aiming for. PennyPound
  8. I have agreed to pay my agents £ 3,450 (2.1%) including VAT, as sole agency. They are the best. Very good team, highly motivated and if they smell a possible buyer, he/she will have no chance of escaping. Maybe I could have negotiated a lower percentage. But, I want them to put their best efforts, find me a first time buyer that has a real chance of getting a mortgage, and keep on following the sale process. And yes, within a month of my flat being advertised they have done this. As far as what some of the posters here say about getting an agent that sells your property at the highest price, my answer is to get an agent that knows what a realistic price is and insists that he is not interested in marketing your property if you want a higher price. Properties at realistic prices have a chance to be sold, otherwise everybody's time is wasted.
  9. You show ignorance of Greece and of its history. No doubt, Lord Byron, the most celebrated philhellene of all time, will be turning in his grave with your lack of knowledge on this topic. He, after all, immortalised in his poems the heroism shown by the Greeks liberating their country from the Ottoman Turkish rule. If you would like to educate yourself here is a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_War_of_...e#Philhellenism This heroism was repeated with the Greek resistance against the Italian Invasion of 1940-1942. The following excerpt is from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Italian_War: "...the Greek resistance to the Italian invasion, according to several historians, greatly affected the course of the Second World War. ...Adolf Hitler, in conversation with Leni Riefenstahl, would bitterly say that "if the Italians hadn't attacked Greece and needed our help, the war would have taken a different course. We could have anticipated the Russian cold by weeks and conquered Leningrad and Moscow." As well as for your assertion "coming as you do from one of the most backward and corrupt countries in the civilised world ", I would remind you that Greece has one of the lowest crime rates in the developed world. This is because there is family cohesion and respect for the elderly. It is not that the country is corrupt, it's the goverment, and the police is pretty useless and hence the Greeks find themselves in an impass.
  10. I visit Greece every year and have a large number of relatives there. Young people are known as the "neolaia (youth) of €700", as this is the salary that they will receive if they manage to secure full time emplloyment. They know that the pension funds are running out of money, and as there are systemic corrupt practices in every goverment that has come to power over the last 20 years or more, the present is bleak and the future even bleaker for them. Today's Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/greece/3700248/Greece-comes-to-a-standstill-as-riots-continue.html) summarises succintly the situation: "The teenager's death was the catalyst for an outpouring of anger among ordinary Greeks over government corruption scandals, high unemployment, low wages, pension reform and the effects of the global financial crisis. "
  11. The following extract from http://news.uk.msn.com/Article.aspx?cp-documentid=8680797 supports Masked Tulip's concern of having money fixed in Leeds BS ISA for two years. If thats the case the Leeds BS ISA will in the second year be less than 4.5% . Will that still be competitve in relation to other offerings? AvidFan can you advice?
  12. I would asume you can, but if it becomes very popular Leeds BS may decide to withdraw it. I, myself, lost the opportunity with the Lloyds fixed 6.5 ISA offer, which they brought in around March and they withdrew it mid-April. So, the early bird catches the worm!
  13. AvidFan, I have had a look at Wikipedia to clarify my view on RPI and inflation. It does look that this product is too good to be true, but err ... it is true! Only, in the unlikely case of a deflation, it will not be as good. I will be moving my ISA to it asap, as the LLoyds interest at 5% will soon be rather pathetic in comparison. No need though to rubbish my view point even if it appears ignorant to you. This forum is not only for experts in finance, but also for those that aim to be experts
  14. Pete95, it is not RPI +2.5%, as you claim, but the percentage change in RPI between 30 April 2008 and 30 April 2009 plus 2.5%. That is, if the RPI on 30 April 2008 and the RPI on 30 April 2009 are the same, then you will only get 2.5%. There are several good examples on the web address you've given that explain the concept. And, if there is a deflation then it will be less than 2.5%. So it is not as good as you think it is.
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