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Boomer Baby

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About Boomer Baby

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  1. More Free Money For Home Owners - Renters Can Go SwivelNo, Green Deal is a loan. The idea is that savings from reduced energy costs will meet the premiums but no guarantee this will be the case.
  2. I may be wrong but assume you are talking about an indemnity rather than endeavour policy? If so, this is something your solicitor can and will deal with but if you’re not at that stage yet then with apologies for working from memory, this is what I recall from being in a similar situation. If the extension is very old and pre-dates the current owners who themselves had indemnity insurance in case of problems then the lack of a completion certificate is inconvenient but understandable. If the extension was undertaken by the current owners then while they may not have needed planning permission, building control should have been involved to inspect the work and confirm it met the then current building regulations. The thinking behind indemnity insurance is that for a single premium, you can insure against subsequent problems with the council arising as a result of a lack of planning permission or adherence to building regulations. Indemnity insurance premiums are typically just a few hundred pounds (because it’s very unusual for claims to be made) but as you’re discovering, the lack of a completion certificate or indemnity insurance can affect the saleability of a property, may delay completion and could be the basis for price negotiation. If you’re in any way uncertain about the quality of the extension then a structural survey (rather than a simple mortgage valuation survey) would be advisable as would insistence upon an electrical and (if appropriate) gas survey. Hope that helps.
  3. Bought our first house in 1970, a new-build, 2 bed semi-detached, price (I believe) £4k. I earned just under £1k pa, my wife just over £1k. Deposit found by a year or so of saving plus gift from BOMD. Getting a mortgage involved proving income, itemising expenditure and demonstrating a record of saving plus building society manager warnings the maximum they would countenance to service a mortgage was a third of take home pay, a quarter was what we should be aiming for! To say we were part of a lucky generation is woefully inadequate to describe the imbalance between the relative ease with which we could buy a house and the situation now. Zoopla estimates cost of that 1970 property is currently £163k while same job I had in 1970 now pays £22.5k, i.e. income multiple has gone from 4 x salary to more than 7 x salary! Central heating, washing machines, TV's, fridges and foreign holiday comparisons have more to do with technological and mass production progress than generational attitudes. If I could have bought an iPhone for £1.70 per month in 1970 I would have! If the situation makes me angry and frustrated I can only imagine the feelings of people 30 or 40 years younger.
  4. My Mother is in her 90’s and we’re about to sell her house to fund care home fees. She still has all her mental faculties (but needs nursing care that we cannot provide) so is upset partly down to fear of “going into a home” but also because she had hoped to leave something to me and her grandchildren. The line we’ve taken when discussing this with her is that her house and savings should be spent in this way, she and my father saved for their old age, the time to spend those savings has come, we do not need her money, she should not see it as her responsibility to fund our retirement….and so on. As she says, it was obvious even 40 years ago that saving for retirement was a complete lottery. If you stayed in basically good health before a short illness and death then you could use savings to provide additional comforts and probably leave something to the family. Make no preparation at all, spend everything as you get it and don’t worry about retirement then the state would provide. So, for someone who was already 40 when the Welfare State was introduced, self-reliance, saving and avoiding debt have not been something she regrets but I think she is now rueful that what she had supposed would be a safety-net for the ill, infirm and needy now seems a lifestyle choice. More to the point, she “gets” the fact that with the rich steadily robbing the poor and benefits replacing jobs, the world really has changed beyond recognition. Should she sell her house to pay for care home fees? Of course, why should someone else pay for this? Should she have worked the system and not saved for her retirement? Moot point, that’s not the way she, my father and most of their generation viewed the world. However, paraphrasing the moral dilemma she has posed for me …. your kids are going to be in a far worse situation at retirement age than me or you so why don’t you give them your house now and guarantee they will get something if you too have to go into a care home? After all, they’ll need it!
  5. Errrr .... I must try harder to make it clear when I'm agreeing with you, although I thought I had covered it in writing ...
  6. Does the UK have enough (any of?) the type of jobs we need … producing stuff the rest of the world wants, not putting kids to work for slave money to serve boomers on their holidays. Unarguably NO. Albeit not the type of jobs we need, are there sufficient, full-time, reasonably-paid jobs in the UK? Again, unarguably NO. Will a few very determined individuals going out of their way to pick up minimum wage, seasonal work, improve the lot of the many? NO Will government, ignorant fat cats and people who have never experienced hardship try to tout the availability of minimum wage, seasonal work as evidence the job market is not as bad as we all know it to be? PROBABLY Is it remotely viable for someone with children/partner/other responsibilities to head off to northern Scotland on the off-chance of getting low-paid, seasonal work? NO Does any of that invalidate the point that there are low-paid, seasonal jobs available for those willing and able to pursue them? NO
  7. I’ve recently completed a major house refurbishment (doors, windows, electrics, plumbing, drains, heating, some new floors, bathrooms, kitchen, insulation, lots of re-plastering etc.). We didn’t need a new roof, the structural walls were OK and there were obviously no clearance or ground works to contend with. Knowing almost nothing about building, we looked into a main-contractor approach and the lowest quote we received was £612 per sq. mtr. After a lot of research and several mistakes along the way, we project managed the work ourselves at a final cost of £408 per sq. mtr. As both of us are self-employed, the opportunity cost was lower than would otherwise have been the case but even so I would estimate something in the order of £80 per sq. mtr. It was a very worthwhile saving (impossibly expensive otherwise) but don’t underestimate the amount of time it takes to co-ordinate different trades and delivery dates. I’m sure you would find parts of it enjoyable – particularly the initial planning – but keeping different trades supplied with materials, room to work and decisions is really not possible on a part-time basis. Yes to the (general) quality and price but regulated mortgages and liberal planning is questionable. Two sets of friends have recently built good quality houses in Germany at €1,300 to €1,500 per sq. mt. plus plot costs of €100k to €250K (the latter in a VERY desirable area). Previously, each couple had rented for over 20 years with security of tenure amounting almost to UK leasehold. Freeing up land and granting planning permission is one approach but IMHO it is the AST, amateur BTL landlords and impossibility of long-term planning in rented accommodation that produces the desperation to buy and thereby fuels HPI insanity. Of course, if potential purchasers also calculate there is money for nothing as a result of buying and watching their "investment" increase then the insanity becomes even worse.
  8. Seriously? If someone gave you £650k in your 30's or 40's then buying an annuity would be the way you'd go? I have this bridge in New York that's a real snip.......
  9. Bob: "There are many definitions of wealth, most of which are context-dependent but for the purpose of our discussion to-day, I choose to define a worthwhile increase in my wealth as having all your pots and pans, which is why my baseball-wielding colleagues are now removing them from your house.” Me: "You do realise, don’t you, that by stealing my pots and pans rather than trading with me or getting a job, you are confusing relative success with objective wealth?” Bob: "Absolutely correct and while you and your friends continue believing that, my friends and I will carry on taking your stuff.” Me: "You understand we’ll ostracise you?”
  10. Agreed Probably so but only if (i) there are no other Bobs out there and (ii) he’s happy to wait for what could be a very long time, almost certainly more than a single generation. Nope. If he’s impatient for wealth, prepared to risk failure and has no qualms about using violence then his behaviour may end in success.
  11. Sure there is. If he can make it stick, i.e. getting people to give him money for promising not to hurt them, he will rapidly become rich and powerful. If by “time” you’re thinking glacial then maybe so but otherwise no. Lowliest beggars and kings of old? Why would Bob wait for productivity increases over millennia when he can duck in there and threaten a few people? Violence and stealing do increase wealth; Roman, Holy Roman, French and British Empires to name four. If you mean that violence and stealing do not increase wealth for the people being stolen from/put into slavery or that violence and stealing over the long term do not increase wealth for anyone then you’re probably right but why should Bob give a tuppeny damn about the lessons of history? As for Jesus and the hoverbike.......Bob called himself an arch pope or something, took people's money with the threat that if they didn't give it up then they couldn't live with their imaginary friend when they died and rather than investing the dosh in hoverbike research, commissioned a study into the number of angels who could stand on a pin head......
  12. I’ve just checked and can see that 10 years ago I was paying suppliers within 30 days, on average, while customers were paying within 40. To-day, I’m still paying within 30 days, while customers are averaging 65. The other thing I’ve noticed is that customers who used to email a remittance notice saying Invoice Number *** has been paid via BACS now send the same notice except the wording has been changed to Invoice Number *** will be paid via BACS on (to-day’s date plus 10 working days).
  13. If the old person requires round the clock nursing, has no relatives or is genuinely impossible for the family to manage at home then care/nursing homes will continue to be needed and unless we’re content for the old to die when savings run out then welfare budgets will have to foot the bill. That said, old age doesn’t mean government funding should take over if houses and other assets have not been liquidated. Indeed, the unsustainable burden of care home fees means we have to get used to family providing more logistic and/or financial support for parents and grandparents wherever they're cared for. It’s a cultural as much as a financial challenge and £29k of equity release now against a £130k lien on a property twenty years down the road shows how far we have to go.
  14. Same experience here. 25 year Prudential endowment taken out 1985 with target of £25,000. Matured last August at £28,000. The truth, of course, is I didn't do enough research and opted to use a commercial organisation's "superior knowledge" to look after something I should have taken responsibility for myself. Looks as though I was lucky.
  15. Take your general point but development of small/medium villages builds communities on a more human and sustainable scale. I’ve lived in a South Midlands village since the mid 1980’s when the population was about 4000, currently around 5500. The almost 40% expansion has come from the standard big-builder mix of semi’s and detached on the northern edge of the village and the most recent building has seen smaller plots, less open space and much less off-road parking. All in all, it’s a good place to live and bring up a family although the density of the new-builds means there are few places for kids to play and the distance from the village centre for newcomers means more car use to access the local shops and an increasing sense – they say - of relating more to the out-of-town shopping and entertainment facilities in the nearby market towns. Talking to friends and neighbours who’ve generally lived here 10+ years, I don’t know anyone who would oppose planning permission for, say, another 500 homes and maybe more. More people mean we’re more likely to keep the primary school, library and shops so everyone benefits. Sure, there would be opposition to more building on the flood plain (a few dozen houses were built there and millions are now being spent to provide “defences”) but that aside, a couple less fields of rape seed seems a small price to pay for providing homes and keeping a semi-rural community alive. So who’s against a significant number of new builds? (i) Yes, there are a few long-term residents worried that the “character” of the village will change. Sure, some of them are unreconstructed NIMBYS who want to pull up the drawbridge behind them but even they can be swayed by newbuilds that are not crammed together and constructed with no thought to how people might garden, tinker with a car on a drive or just have room enough to breathe. That said, if you live in a mellow stone, six-bedroom house worth upwards of a million then maybe you have different sensibilities! (ii) The local council. They “…see no pressing need…” to “….allow significant expansion of the housing stock…” despite the fact they contradict themselves by crowing about “affordable homes” on the developments they do approve. (iii) The residents’ association in part of the new development area. Oddly, the association seems to comprise those people who bought the 4 & 5 bedroom detached properties (distinguished by their gardens being large enough for the heat from the barbecue not to damage the plastic skirt round the trampoline). Just one village in one area and for all I know completely atypical but on a wholly unscientific basis I would be surprised if more than 2%-3% would seriously object to more home building. Improve the quality of the homes, spread them out a little, insist on larger gardens/room for allotments and generally make them places to live in rather than be part of a mythical ladder and that 2%-3% will decrease.
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