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About A_Landlord

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  1. This looks to be the case in Norway and Denmark where I have lived for the last 4 years .... even though there are very high costs, very high taxes, the population seem happy that the regular paycheck allows an OK/god standard of life, they will not be rich, but they are protected by the state.
  2. I left the UK in 2010 and have been working in Scandinavia since - first in Denmark and now in Norway. I have loved it. Cities and towns not populated by aggressive chav scum, with good beers, beautiful women, nice summers, safe & respectful. You can go there and get a special tax deal as a "Foreign Researcher" and pay 30% tax if you earn over £75k a year. You just need to stay out of the UK so you do not get an extra tax bill from the HMRC. As a consultant, they give very high day rates, but I would not go staff though, as you are hit by lower standard income and high tax. I liked it and have been offered a 4 year contract there again .... but it looks like I will take a similar contract in Norway instead. But in Norway you pay over 50% tax, so no additional payments to make in UK and you can come and go to the UK more freely (no 90 day rule). Google Denmark and immigration .... they were closing the doors to this a few years back, plus to get into their system was a real pain in all the admin etc. you had to complete to get registered/accepted.
  3. We have a planning officer in our street who has done the same thing by building a block shed at the bottom of the garden with electric and water supply for his family to use. He has got around it by detailing it as a requirement for his hobby - diving and stating he needs the water supply and a bath with shower in his shed to wash his diving gear. The guy is in his late fifties unfit and a smoker. Do as I say and not do as I do!
  4. It's nice to see some evidence of Guildford going the same way. There has been a rush to offload the 4 & 5 bed houses from Jan 2011 and an accumilation of stock with buyers finally not willing to pay the fantasy prices.
  5. Thank you Dave for the information. I have been following some of the expat chat sites over the past 12 months about moving to Spain and they agree that renting is the way to go while doing your research. Yes, long term renting is cheap and in OK areas of the Costa Del Sol I was seeing apartments from 400euros/month and small villas from 650euros/month from just a quick look at the papers - why take on the risk/pain of buying!?
  6. This could be a massive hit to the property market. I know a few colleagues who went 'gung-ho' into Spanish property Buy-to-rent. When this news hits, I bet they will be looking to offload asap. I was in Marbella at Easter and spoke to a few estate agents plus expats in the bars as I will be looking to move down there in a few years and my conclusion was to take long term rentals, live stress free and watch the market continue to fall. I also read in the papers that the banks are fighting back against the jingle-post with threats to pursue debts.
  7. Landlording skills = having good tenants with no voids. A minor reduction in rent to have the same family stay for 3 or 4 years saves on voids (= no income) and saves on decorating/modernising costs. My point was that for the last 2 years I have made more increased profit/month due to being on variable rate mortgages (even with static or slightly reduced rent) when compared to +4 years ago. The properties I have are in a working class town which is characterised by the 3 points the article mentions so I cannot see rental demand dropping while house prices are propped up and their is no job security/high unemployment in the town.
  8. Sorry to disappoint, but in my experience it is mostly true. The only bit I would disagree with is that rents are increasing. They are not and I have dropped my rents (£5/week) on a couple of 3bed terraced properties. But my profits are good with the low interest payments and very low voids.
  9. I am 2 weeks into a new contrac where the IT helpdesk is run from India. Of course there are a lot of startup issues which have been followed by regular calls to India. No waiting, polite, intelligent people on the end of the phone who either give good instructions or take over my computer remotely to resolve. Sometime you have to listen a bit more carefully to understand the accents, but watching Rab-C-Nesbit I had to do that anyway. Overrall very good and I much prefer the rapid response instead of minutes of pressing multi-options to get into a queue for the right operator in the UK.
  10. Not happening on your doorstep in Guildford - my daughter started last September in a Kindergarten class of a prep school and they have expanded to 2 classes for the first few years, then will merge to a 30 pupil class for the rest of the primary age schooling. I wonder if portacabins/extensions will appear to keep the fees coming in. BTW, I choose to stay mortgage free living in a poor catchment area (north of the A3 for those in the area) and wait out the crash - but pay private schooling fees, rather than move and pay the premium of living next to one of the 2 good state schools. It looks like there are other families who have made the same decision as us - all about priorities.
  11. +£500k would be a reasonable number. I am also looking to retire at 50 too - for me, back of the fag packet numbers: 6 x £85k (todays price) 3 bed terraced houses (the type of properties I hold) = £510k Income (after bills, insurance, etc.) = approx. £425/pm = ~ £30k 5% voids - this is my experience = £29k annual income Deduct one large cost item/year (?£2k) = £27k/year After 20% Tax = approx. £21k/year net. The properties in my town will hopefully be down to £70k-£75k at the end of the year, and I plan to buy another handful then.
  12. I saw this in action 9 months ago in the private sector with 'At Risk' letters being sent out. This was the way the company managed to renegotiate with the chosen "'lucky' employees offering them new jobs/terms etc., then if they did not accept they were deemed to have resigned and the company can fall back on the "At Risk" people in the 11th hour. One of the chosen ones was not happy with the new deal and asked a relative who was a barrister to investigate constructive dismissal - the conclusion was that it was, but in this climate of no jobs, the courts would look on it as you are lucky enough to have a well paid job and get back to work and he was strongly recommended not to waste money/time pursuing this. So the 'At Risk' had to stay, so not to lose any redundancy package and were left in limbo for 3 months through the process, only being told of the final decision a day or so before. Of course the talented people just upped and left (even with the offer of jobs), leaving behind a demoralised work force with a significant number who know they were not really wanted and were only kept on because their colleagues walked.
  13. My observation as well. With the tiled floor & walls you have your very own wet room for 3 months of the year. The house set back on the hill in picture #1 is more my kind of place.
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