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Mrs Bear

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Posts posted by Mrs Bear

  1. 5 hours ago, winkie said:

    ......why would social housing lose votes?........they did not build them because they do not have the money, they were the ones in power that ended up paying the bailout price for the global financial crash......today the debt is bigger than it was then....and keeps growing.......any promises made by any of the political parties will end up being paid for by the generations to come, including a changing climate, plastic waste growth, and fuel and food security......that is before division and conflict.?

    Plenty of people who usually voted Labour were only too happy to buy their council houses at a discount.  Including a friend of mine - over the moon to be able to buy the house where she'd lived since a small child for £7k - this was shortly after RTB was introduced.

    Taking away that right could  easily have lost them a lot of votes.  Or do you imagine that the only people who ever exercised their right to buy, or who hoped to, were Tory voters?  

  2. Not ten million miles from us, very close to an entrance to Richmond Park, is a horribly ostentatious new-build house  that replaced an infinitely nicer (IMO) smaller, non-showy one.  

    Originally on the market for £5m.  Now down to £3.995m  - at least that was the last price Mr B found after a good old nose. 

    The days of 'think of a number and double it - some mug is going to pay it' are over. 

  3. Not everyone wants to live on top of their children in a small annexe, Winkie - not everyone will have the means  to buy such a property anyway.  And not everyone wants elderly parents who may be very demanding/interfering/just plain bloody difficult, living on top of them, either.

    Having said that, it's no news that these flats come with very expensive charges, can be notoriously  difficult to sell for anything like you paid, and may end up being a huge financial burden if e.g. the person later needs a care home, the place doesn't sell, and the charges still need to be paid.  I've heard of more than one case where the relative who had to deal with it all became truly desperate. 

    On top of all that, the ones I saw when looking with my elderly mother many moons ago, were very poky.  She very sensibly decided no thanks. 

    The answer, if one of these flats really does seem a good idea, is to rent one. 

  4. 7 hours ago, scottbeard said:

    To be honest, sounds more like it was badly marketed at a price that was too low, rather than a comment on the general market...?

    It wasn't priced too low - just not crazily high.  Like anyone else who keeps a close beady  eye on their local market,  she knew roughly what it should go for.   It was the agent's strategy, in order to get viewings and 'offers over' in.  It does happen here, too - if a property appears desirable enough. 



  5. My sister, who lives in Cambridge Massachusetts, had planned to put her house on the market back in the spring - she was was afraid of, and fully expecting, a downturn and not being able to sell/downsize - house now too big for her. 

    However for sundry reasons, inc. an elderly but much loved dog (RIP now)  who was  becomimg unpredictably incontinent, she put it off until very recently,  

    After a lot of decluttering and sprucing up, the house finally went live last weekend, with several viewings.  On Monday there were FOUR offers in, two at above the asking price, and the highest from a couple needing no mortgage.  

    As she said, she was triple gonsmacked.  Point being, though, that at least in that area (I know not typical, expensive by US standards, Harvard just down the road, etc.) the market is still hot. 

    Might add that house, while spacious and v nice, is not large by typical US standards, and plot is relatively small, so I gather perhaps rather more affordable than many family houses in the area, which might  explain it.  


  6. Some good news for once in today's Times. 

    Council tenant had been AirbnBing his central London flat since 2013. 

    Article says that Westminster Council (the one in question) has 1500 council,properties under investigation for illegal sub letting. 

    24 properties have been recovered in the past year after investigations of fraud. 

    More well publicised cases - and the huge fines!  - are evidently needed.

  7. On 17/07/2019 at 09:50, winkie said:

    It is great to have brothers and sisters.......what if the proceeds of the sale of the house has to be used towards  care costs?......so if renting and require nursing later in life, have no children or children that can help, who can help??

    Not everyone is going to need expensive care - many don't.  

    There will still be a lot of housing wealth sloshing around.  

    Care of people with no money and no relatives to help is down to the state/local govt., at least at the moment.  

    After an aunt died in her very nice care home (she was self funded) I went to clear out her room and was asked by staff to leave all her clothes and even toiletries, since they had residents with no money apart from the allowance from the state pension (£20 odd a week I think, which has to cover all extras inc. toiletries, haircuts, etc.) and no relatives to buy them anything. 

    Point being that they had council funded residents as well as self-funded - of course the self funders  do subsidise the others. 

    I was reluctant to leave some old and very faded nighties but they said please leave them, someone will be needing them. Worth adding that it was a dementia unit, and people with dementia are unlikely to object to wearing anyone else's faded cast-offs.  Even people who were very fastidious before are so often past caring or noticing what they wear. 

  8. I doubt it'll ever happen. It'd cause outrage among the swathe of priced-out voters - and the Tories are belatedly waking up to the fact that housing is a major issue among the younger votes they need to attract.  

    It's not as if cutting stamp duty on th smaller property would make a substantial  difference to the price of the bigger one.  And IMO if people really want to downsize, they'll do it anyway.  If they don't, such inducements are unlikely to change their minds. 


  9. It's not always bad - depends what you buy.  Family member bought a maisonette, purpose built Edwardian with a garden, one of just 2, 95 year lease, minimal ground rent, no service or maintenance charges. and proceeded to buy the freehold at a reasonable price (worked out via a formula - the Fholder can't just charge what they like). 

    Buying a LH newbuild house, or a flat in a new or newish block, is a whole different matter though. Wouldn't touch those with a ten foot  bog brush.

  10. We get The Times, and I have to say the front page headline on this cracked me up.  I mean, since when is it news that Foxtons (among others) regularly over-value to get the business?  Since when is it news that vendors can be extraordinarily stubborn about what they think their houses are 'worth'?  

    I can only think that after so many days of effing Brexit headlines, and I dare say sales falling because people are so sick of the effing B word, they thought this would sell rather more papers. 

    Very likely spot on, too. 

    Good on them for highlighting it, though - and for the website where you can enter your postcode and find out which local EAs are worst for over-valuing. 

  11. I'd imagine that any TV prog. on the  lines of Benefit Scroungers, but focusing on dropping tax dodging LLs right in it  with HMRC, would be a massive ratings hit. ,

    I'm only surprised that e.g.Channel 5 haven't run some ads on the line of, 'Do you know or suspect that your LL is a tax dodger?  Why not shop him to us - your confidentiality assured!  - and we'll take it to the taxman!' 

  12. On 16/03/2019 at 10:59, stop_the_craziness said:

    Unfortunately I think this "path to hell, paved with good intentions" is what is pricing other 28/33 year olds out of the housing market and keeping prices at a level that aren't possible for young people to achieve via their jobs, which was what previous generations took for granted.  Almost all the young people I know who have houses had to rely on grandparent inheritances or BOMAD "loans" in order to buy them.

    It must be so hard being a 50-something parent or 70+ grandparent in this situation because I imagine the "do anything for your kids/grandkids" instinct is so strong that you have to close your eyes to the fact that what you are doing is actually perpetuating the problem for others that you are trying to fix for your own.

    What a broken society we live in.

    Boomers can't win, at least not on here. 

    Either they get slated for spending their money on flash cars and cruises, and selfishly not giving a shiny shit about their own kids or anyone else's. 

    Or else they get slated  for using their cash to help their children  - how dare they when it's so unfair on those who can't expect any help.  

  13. On 14/03/2019 at 08:06, spyguy said:


    HMRC dont care if Busta's too busy getting tanned in Malta to notice their campaign.

    They put some adds out - box ticked.

    Now they go after LL.

    Its really not hard. Various posters have stated the obvious many many times.

    LL has a NI.

    LL has mortgage or x BLTs.

    HMRC have an API to pick an NI/name/DOB, call the banks servers and get a list of property owened.

    It will take the HMRC an afternoon to consolidate all he LL owned property i nthe UK.


    If there's no mortgage - not uncommon - and a letting agent is not used, then in many areas there will be no record anywhere, let alone any official record, of whether a property is rented out.

    In many areas you don't have to inform the council or anyone else, and even assuming that a LL does declare rental income, or some of it, the SA tax form doesn't ask for addresses, only how many properties. 


  14. I'm quite sure I've been 'played' in the past with phantom offers, and once had definite proof of blatant lies (very odd  reasons for turning down my offer.)  Found out later via nethouseprices that it had sold for way below my offer. 

    Which brings me to this: a few years ago I briefly met someone who openly boasted of his 'arrangements', I.e. brown envelopes, with EAs in a certain area.  He would get the properties cheaply, do them up equally cheaply, and flog them off to BTLers.

    Presumably that could only usually happen after other potential buyers had been fobbed off/lied to. 

    As for whoever said 'They can do the job without GCSE maths',  er, GCSE English, too, judging by so many of the blurbs.  

    Apologies to any literate/numerate/honest EAs who may be reading.  I know you do exist - there just aren't enough  of you.  

  15. On 23/02/2019 at 05:02, dugsbody said:

    I worked with a guy who bought in Tooting back in 2011/12 ish and at the time was looking myself. I eventually bought elsewhere but he told me he liked Tooting as a younger couple with no kids and a partner and he thought it seems good value for what you got. I was sceptical. Then it all went nuts after 2012. He wouldn't be able to afford his own house now. That doesn't seem like a sustainable situation.

    I've kept an eye on 2 bed p/b maisonettes in Tooting, largely Furzedown area, since a daughter was looking to buy there in 2010-ish.  (She subsequently moved to Oxford and bought there.).

    At the time a 65-70 sq m one with private garden was going for about £250-280k, depending on condition. Miles better value than new-builds - poky one beds of 45 ish sq m were going for about the same. 

    Roll on to 2016 and the p/b maisonettes in the area were being priced at anything up to £600k.  It was crazy. Prices are definitely coming down now, but still mad. 



  16. First time for ages, have just had a nose at an old search area - 2 bed flats/maisonettes in Sw17. 

    Prices definitely down - saw a couple - OK, needing major renovation - but priced at £375k ish, when not long ago even those would have been more like £425k, , if not more.  Though there's   still a major doer-upper that must have been on the market for 2 years now, still wanting £450k.  And that one started at not far off £600k, which was crazy even at the peak, given the amount of work needed. 


  17. On 22/01/2019 at 21:34, localhero1983 said:

    It's everywhere Tickle?

    Honestly mate, this is far from being Isolated, I found the villages around Saffron Walden to be the worst, some of the Bankers were even buying farms up and cultivating them into their sterile clinical images. Even the homes that were just very average at one point got this new breed moving into them that complained about everything, all trying to be local councillors or getting in with them to try and get some of their old city ways introduced.

    A couple who moved to coastal North Devon wrote to the local paper complaining about the noise of air/sea rescue practice flights at night.  

    There was so much vilification from the locals - and quite right too. -  they upped and left. 

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