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charley

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About charley

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  1. I haven't posted here for months, simply because I now work long hours- deep breath - in an EA branch! I'm not an EA, which helps me sleep at night (I have qualifications, so I think that rules me out) but I do get involved with the day to day business within the branch. Yes, we have have seen a lot more people through the door in the last couple of months-but, they (on the whole with the odd stupid exception) certainly seem more reluctant to commit. Our branch has sold four properties this month so far, three of which were repossessions valued way under the local average. The other had been on for a year and had just reduced it's price by a huge margin - sold instantly (no-it hasn't yet completed). Loads of people genuinely are saying they want to use the cash they have in the bank and bringing in bank statements to prove they have it. Not many actually parting with it though! They register people so that they have a database of contacts. They can then call you about properties coming on (and associated crap), but your details then get passed to the mortgage guy in branch to call you as well. Our branch is now refusing to give property details to people that walk in if they won't register! I know - but nothing to do with me. As for EA staff keeping prices high-there is a degree of that. Our lister will go to value a property, do some research into what has sold in that area, go to the valuation with a figure in mind and come back blown out of the water by two other agents that have already valued at way over his estimation, just to get the property on their books. The vendor will say one of two things, this is what I owe so this is what I need irrelevant of the current market. Or- but I have this, that and the other so my house is definately worth more. No - it's not. Even when confronted with proof of why it's worth x, they still can't get it into their heads. Obviously the EA's need new property to get the potential buyers in, but it's only those coming on at a bargain price that are actually selling. This branch is in the South-East and we are probably the only one still recruiting people. We have interviews all this week lined up, all people that have recently been laid off from other agents. Unsure how long I will have this job, but having been made redundant from the last job I was in (for 10 years) a job is a job at the moment, so don't hate me!
  2. Some agents in this part of Kent have 'reduced' or 'new price' red signs on the rightmove picture, but certainly not all. There is a house on our road for sale, it's been on well over a year, but in September last received an asking price offer. Six weeks later buyer pulls out. The elderly lady and gentleman (I speak to them occasionally when they walk their dog) said all their EA seems to want is for them to lower the price, but they have told them (the EA) so many times - we KNOW it's worth the asking price because we already had an offer before, so no, we aren't dropping!
  3. We are still busy at work at the moment and have been constantly taking on new staff all through the holidays. We do have a very high turnover of staff, so we seem to be recruiting all the time. We have just had two staff quit on my department (one new, one after 14 years) and last night a girl came in looking for work and I couldn't find any application forms. My boss said we aren't taking anyone on at the moment. Apparently they are not replacing the two that are leaving, but they are rearranging the hours of those of us that are left so we are always covered and I am also being trained in two other areas so I can cover there if needed. So it would seem this company is going down the same route of natural wastage. I did question the reasoning as we are packed to bursting every single night and he said simply because it won't stay that way and he's anticipating it getting very quiet. We open Christmas day and normally by September there are very few places left, I looked in the book last night and there are few very places taken.
  4. There are a few like that here too. One year old 6 bed house started at 325k kept dropping (been on approx 4 months) is now offers in the region of 229k. Initially I thought now it's worth someone viewing, but to view what? It looks out on all the other similar properties so I still don't think it'll sell at that price. Couple of interesting facts though, first - they paid 300k a year ago brand new and second that there are five other identical houses on the same development (same outlook) ranging from 325k (2 x brand new still not sold) down to 280k.
  5. In this area rightmove is seeing a lot of prices dropping from 'In Excess Of' for example, £250k to 'FROM' £240k. So is 'FROM' the new 'IEO', or are EA so bored now it just gives them something to do by changing all their titles?
  6. The main criteria for us after number of bedrooms is garage and it must be a garage you can fit a normal sized car into. My husband has a large car that he races and takes to events etc and it must be kept in a garage. Whenever it's on the drive people stop to take pictures and talk to him about it and he would never want it left on a driveway permanently. But it is a large car and most new build garages are too narrow. We went to view a new build a few years ago, built as two detached houses next to each other by a local builder. We looked around and then asked to see inside the garage. The shock on his face! He first asked why then told me not to worry 'love' there's loads of room for the kids junk. When we did look inside there was no way you would fit anything bigger than a smart car in it. He said it had to have a garage to a minimum size to meet planning regs on parking, if it hadn't he would have built another reception room instead.
  7. Friend of ours bought a flat (sorry-I keep forgetting it's a luxury 2 bed apartment) brand new, first one in the new development so had his picture in the paper etc. I told him he was mad, he insisted that they were a fantastic investment and was even trying to persuade others to go and view them becuase they would definately make money on them. He paid £185k then, now there is an ad for them on local radio with deposits paid and mortgage subsidy offers for the last 'few' remaining (we've been to see him and there look like loads empty to us) at £163k. His only redemption is that he had a huge deposit (something between £40-50k) He told us he wouldn't buy without a large deposit because he was too financially savvy for that! lol
  8. This is the only thing we seem to have noticed here is the cold calling now by tradesmen. We've had builders knocking and giving us leaflets telling us they will do any job from painting to full building work, even garden clearance. We seem to get leaflets almost daily from plumbers, builders, gardeners, computer repairs anything and everything. Other than that and that no houses are selling at all, no-one seems to have noticed anything different. They all think I'm just a doom merchant because I keep harping on about the impending crash and ever increasing risk of recession. I'm taking lots of extra shifts at work while we are busy, ready for when we are not and everyone thinks I'm completely nuts.
  9. We've just returned from holiday and all the brits I was chatting to were talking about house prices dropping, state of the economy, nobody having any money and how this would probably be their last holiday for a few years due to the need to tighten their belts (or inability to mew lol). So I thought when I got back to work things would have been quieter. Oh no, first night back I was called into the office to see if I can work a few DAYTIME shifts to cover Monday, tuesday and thursday days because it's so busy. Tuesday night we were fully booked with no room for an walk ins (weather was fantastic though so would have helped). Wednesday night, room for a few walk-ins but at least an hour wait and it was drizzly outside. I had several people comment on the credit crunch and that's why they thought they wouldn't need to book because no-one has any money. Tempted to respond with 'well you're here'. So, has this whole thing not yet hit Kent and should I grab as much overtime as possible ready for a quiet restaurant later in the year, or is it just a regional thing?
  10. The restaurant I work in is still packed solid. Father's day was booked up weeks ago. Even on weeknights we have 8 waitresses and if you come in without a reservation on Tuesday or Wednesday when I work you'll have at least an hour wait for a table. The most common phrase I seem to hear from customers at the moment is - how come it's so busy, I thought there was a credit crunch and nobody had any money. I work for a very large chain of restaurants and in fairness my boss did say on Friday that we are the most profitable branch in the country. We are in a nice location, right on top of a river and the river boat goes from the town centre and stops outside our pub/restaurant. The biggest thing I don't get is, we have tons of regular customers that come in every week without fail (unless they are away on holiday), including some families. I'm sure the river helps, but we are rammed even when it's pouring with rain. I think my husband and I must be doing something wrong. We only eat out on special occasions, even with my large discount! I will add however, we went out with friends (10 of us) three weeks ago on a Saturday night to a lovely Chinese restaurant, stayed for over three hours and we were the only people there all night.
  11. When I think about it I get so angry and the seance and ghost comments have made me laugh so thankyou for that! I meant they are a married couple and it's his side of their family helping them out. We are off on holiday in two weeks, we go every three years because it takes us that long to save for it.
  12. I know exactly how you feel because a close member of my family has done the same thing. A fancy garden costing thousands, new cars, ripped out perfectly good kitchens and bathrooms and put it all on loans or credit cards. Remortgaged when the payments got too much, but another car and a couple more holidays saw them in debt again. Luckily it's not me bailing them out because I've always pleaded poverty (even when they've said I could have all my crumbling house done immediately instead of saving by getting a credit card). A member of the family on the other side is constantly paying for things, shopping, tyres for the car, cash so they can buy christmas presents! Now they have been handed a nice foreign holiday for two weeks with their spending money given because they have had a tough couple of years and they really need a holiday. Am I wrong to feel so bitter against someone I love dearly?
  13. How do you know the house owner wasn't paying someone to come in and do THEIR ironing? I used to work in a large house as a live-in nanny to two young children (I was 18 and had just left college). The man of the house worked abroad most of the time, but the mum did nothing but shop and lunch with friends. I looked after the children (night time as well) she had someone in to do the cleaning and someone once a week to do the ironing. If she had a dinner party she also got caterers in.
  14. The rental prices here in the south east are mad too. Our mortgage is £600 monthly for a three bed detached and there is no way we would be able to have anything like that in rental for that money. But I don't agree that all STRs are just like BTLers. I personally think that some people have no choice but to wait until prices drop to be able to buy a property and why not? That's exactly what we did in the last big housing crash and if that one hadn't happened we would never have been able to buy a house. I certainly don't wish any ill on anyone else and, having just helped some people close to us move out of their repossessed home, I hate to think of that happening to others. However, we also know of friends living in massive houses with brand new mercs etc every year and we have no idea how they have managed it. One in particular that we know what he earns comes off a fixed rate in October and we know he had a self-cert mortgage so we will see what happens then.
  15. I live in the south east and work evenings in a large restaurant (steakhouse type) and we are always fully booked all week. This week the place has gone mad which we've put down to school holidays. We take 'walk ins' without a reservation, but Wednesday we couldn't take any at all we were so full. House prices are definatley dropping on a daily basis here though.
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