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Mrs Bear

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Everything posted by Mrs Bear

  1. So I gather. Out like a light. Domt know whether 'his' EAs went through the motions of having the properties on the open market, just fobbing off viewings/offers. I do know personally of one case - property on the market, viewing conducted by ostensibly pleasant and helpful EA - only to have offer turned down on what seemed very odd grounds - exchange today, or no deal. Obv. out of the question. Found out later via LR that it had sold for way under offer - around 20% IIRC - was a BTL owned by someone at the EA, so presumably selling to a mate/son/daughter and avoiding what would have been a much heftier CGT bill. Still wish I'd reported it to somebody.
  2. All too easy IMO to under-estimate levels of ignorance/stupidity, but at the same time can't help wondering how many complainants genuinely ARE stupid/ignorant, and how many don't mind pretending they are, in order to claim. Or try to. I still remember a young primary teacher on TV who'd just bought a flat with HTB, being asked how she'd manage if IRs rose. The idea had clearly never even occurred to her, and it wouldn't surprise me if she had only a vague idea - or none - of what IRs meant in terms of buying property. And if that's a teacher for you... Article mentions the 3 Ds of forced sales once again - there's at least one more nowadays - Decrepitude/Dementia (care home fees) accounting for no. 4.
  3. It was in Tuesday's ES, but only saw it last night. Major article in traditionally bullish ES. Quotes prices of flats falling most, 7%, number of sales of one bed flats falling most sharply. Average price drop in year to November 17 was 4.1%. Unfortunately also said that prices of semis, 'most likely to be found in more resilient suburbs' rose by 4%. Article did not clarify whether all this is based on asking or sold prices. One bed flats in prime London hardest hit - no surprise there, given prices they've been asking.
  4. A while ago now, but at a do I met a bloke who called himself a property developer. He told me with evident satisfaction that he had an 'arrangement' with EAs in a large UK city - they would tip him the wink about repossessions or otherwise distressed vendors in a hurry. He would get the properties cheaply, pass a brown envelope to the EAs, tart them up cheaply and flog to BTLers. However I have since heard that's he's no longer a property developer, on account of being dead.
  5. Same old banging on about Brexit - not a mention of prices having soared into the realms of the ridiculous.
  6. Good to hear of someone actually getting caught! Mentioned it here before but brings to mind what I heard not long ago. Doctor A, friend of daughter, rented out her London flat after moving to Oxford for work - rented a flat in Oxford. Was subsequently told by doctor B that she was mad to be declaring her rental income since, 'We never have!' To be fair to doc A she was shocked and said she couldn't sleep at night if she didn't.
  7. This. Retired ex colleague of mine has lived for years in a small rented flat where he was more or less mates with similar aged (boomer) LL. They got on well, no worries. LL has now retired, handed reins over to a 40-ish offspring who is a much tougher nut. Ex colleague now in dread of a) rent rising to unaffordable level - he is only just managing now - or b] being given notice because Tough Nut has decided to sell.
  8. You apparently forget that many boomers have grown up children needing housing. so many of us are all too aware of how hard it is now that prices have become so unaffordable in many parts of the country. Many of us are all too aware of how it's not a question of iPads and too many takeaway lattes. Incidentally I once found myself explaining to my mother, who would have been 100 this year so pre boomer, after she'd been complaining that too many mothers went out to work instead of looking after their children, how different things were now - and this was well before prices reached current levels. With 4 children, she and my father had managed to buy a nice 4 bed house in what was always a good London-commute area, on one, very ordinary salary. Yes, they were permanently broke, but I had to explain to her that even then - quite a while ago now - this would just not be possible on one ordinary salary, no matter how broke you were prepared to be.
  9. Believe it or not, all boomers are not like your dad.
  10. This. I suspect that quite a lot of LLs bought ages ago, or for cash, so can afford to undercut those who set optimistic/greedy rents, and are then looking at lengthy voids. I already see quite a few greedy rents languishing unlet on the London market I watch most - SW17.
  11. As I posted recently on the Oxford thread, while checking daughter's area (OX3) on zoopla the other day (I like zoopla for the 'most reduced' feature) I saw several (empty) HMOs just on the first page. One was originally priced at £750k, reduced to £599,999. Owner paid £98,500 in late 90s - remains to be seen whether any other LL will want it at current price.
  12. I don't think of Victorian terraces as necessarily being slums. The 'court' housing was much worse, umpteen families packed around a courtyard with one cold outside tap and one privy between them. There was a programme featuring those not long ago - maybe by the same bloke who wrote the article. One existing 'court' was shown as a historical relic, but most of them are long gone. The Vict. terraced houses in the programme did usually have their own cold tap indoors, and their own privy out the back, so at the time a great improvement on the old court housing. .
  13. Just checked daughter's area again - OX3 - several empty HMOs just on the first page of zoopla. Courtesy of their 'most reduced' feature, how about this? A 5 bed in fairly central Headington, originally on for £745k in Jul 2017, now 'offers over' £599,999! Last sale, Aug 1999, £98,500! Methinks owner can afford to drop quite a bit more...
  14. There are a lot of reductions in one area I habitually keep an eye on - 2 bed flats (non newbuild) in SW17. The more optimistic/greedy initial prices fall furthest, of course. It's a start, though since many of these have more or less doubled in price since about 2009/10 there's a long way to go.
  15. I do think they are genuine. The woman didn't dwell on it, but did now and then tell me some pretty horrific stories of their journey to the UK, particularly in Sudan, where she also lost a baby at 7 months pregnant. I gather that her husband was at serious risk because of his political views. On the other hand, given the parlous political/economic state of so much of Africa (never mind anywhere else ) is the UK, or any other country, come to that, obliged to give asylum to everyone with a shit/dangerous life elsewhere? That is the question.
  16. Fair sized headline in today's Times - 'A fifth of landlords are ready to sell up.' Quarter page article, nothing new, except that I don't recall any blaming it all on Brexit. Increased taxes and stricter mortgage lending mostly blamed. (Or thanked, as the case may be.)
  17. Maybe your 55 pluses were just having a good old nose. I often look in EA windows when out of home area, inc. abroad, even when I've no intention of buying there. If I were looking seriously anywhere, I'd do it online.
  18. Sorry. The family were perfectly nice, well educated and very anxious to work rather than be dependent on benefits (hence the mother wanting to improve her already pretty good English) but I did find it a bit galling too, when I knew how many working UK nationals would be delighted with such a flat at an 'affordable' rent. This was a one off (unpaid) for me, BTW - I was asked by a mutual acquaintance to help, since I used to teach EFL.
  19. Looks like an ex rental - minimal stuff and no onward chain. Another LL hoping to get out while the going's still good? Bit of a daft layout IMO - unnecessarily large main bathroom with a small 2nd bedroom. Flats with 2 proper double bedrooms usually seem to sell more easily than those with a double and a single - even if EAs still call no. 2 a double just because you can fit a dbl bed in, never mind if there's no room for much else.
  20. For well over a year fairlynrecently I was going once a week to an Eritrean refugee woman - family with 2 young children - to help with her English. The family had a very nice, fairly new, 2 bed flat in Wandsworth, in a good location near a lovely riverside park and loads of buses. It was invariably immaculate. I think all the flats in the block were for 'affordable rent' , not even any shared ownership. If for sale they'd be priced now at at least £625k - that is if equivalents are anything to go by.
  21. That tacked-on house in Hawthorn Avenue must have fallen through - up again for 'guide price' £425k. It's only just over 74 sq m. Possibly a record for a 3 bed house? The bedrooms are actually a reasonable size, but there are no cupboards anywhere as far as I can see, and no hall or landing space to speak of, , either.
  22. Must say I do often wonder why lamb is so expensive when so many areas are crawling with sheep. We don't have lamb very often, but I only buy local. As for ordinary veg, I always check the source, and if it's not UK (when in season) I don't buy it. I did buy some flown-in veg the other day but that was a rarity - dinner with a sister briefly over from the US (and not looking fwd to returning to the deep-freeze which is Massachusetts at the moment!). By contrast we were sitting in the sun outside a lovely pub here yesterday - you can't sit outside with alcohol at all where she lives. It was a beautiful day - back to dismal again today, but at least no deep freeze.
  23. They were presumably differentiating 'family homes', I.e. houses, from expensive flats, so often bought by overseas investors - and left empty. Anyone living anywhere around London and parts of the SE will be aware that many houses formerly seen as nothing at all special are now priced at that sort of level. The article did not try to imply that all family homes cost so much. Though IIRC the article quoted a 'cottage' in the York area priced at well over £1m - which had been substantially reduced. It's not just London/the SE. There are very expensive pockets elsewhere. I'd have thought that the fact that this was the lead front page item in the Times, and that daft prices are being forced to be cut, would be seen as good news here.
  24. I can always get plenty of UK grown vegetables that are in season. Every local supermarket from Asda to Waitrose will have them. If people want mangetout, baby sweet corn etc. in winter then of course they'll be imported - very likely from thousands of miles away.
  25. I saw this article. Same old banging on about stamp duty/Brexit - no mention of the obvious: i.e. that many of the sort of people who would have taken it for granted that they would be able to buy such family homes 20 or 30 years ago, are now no longer able even to think of it. Many houses around here that are now routinely priced at around the £1m mark would not have been thought of as anything remotely special a couple of decades ago.
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