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House Price Crash Forum


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Everything posted by A_Landlord

  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.
  14. Go on play the agent at their own game - ask the agent what other properties they have on their books and say you are going to go around all the other agencies this weekend. Then say you will make your decision by the 25th November so they have a months notice. That will scare them - they will have potential 1 or 2 months void, maybe some re-decorating, a new carpet?, new finders fee to pay the agent, risk of taking on a nutter of a tenant and losing a good one who has paid on time each month and not pissed off the neighbours (I assume). I have posted something similar to this in the 'Greedy Landlord' thread. Have fun! and if you really want to be mischeavious - ask for a rent reduction based on your research of the local market on the weekend and that interest rates being lower than when you moved in ;o)
  15. I'm renting out properties in a working class town with a lot of unemployment - so maximising profit is at most an additional £50/month - so not big money. I am happy selling all my stock but at prices off peak prices - I'm running at better than 95% occupancy for all properties. My policy is that I have not increased rents while there are tenants in the properties. Note also, I did not drop the rent when the interest rates crashed so for the past few years more profit has been a lot higher and the tenant feels they are getting a good deal as well. I target families for tenants (properties are near to schools) and allow them to decorate etc. as they want (as long as it can be returned to original state when they leave). So it protects me more that they have turned the properties into homes and will rent longer while kids go through school and in a falling market may be happy to stay. But if a tenant leaves and I have upgraded/modernised the house then I'll be a bit greedier and try a higher end market rate - my rental agency knows they can take money off while negotiating as I give them a price not to go below - then its all down to the market at that time e.g. today there is high demand and there are no 3 bed town centre houses to rent and if I had an empty one I'd be making a very good price (£500-£525/month). If no interest in a month at that price then I drop the price - luckily, in the past, the longest I have had is a 3 month void.
  16. I was going to post a similar example. But you also have to include modernisation costs (paint, carpet etc.) that you need to spend on the property to the attract the next tenant. Another cost for me is the Rental Property Agent's finding fee. So for all my properties I do not put prices up while the tenant is in which is more economical in the long term.
  17. On the drilling/rigs side of the business - mix of onshore office & rig work. The oil industry and particularly the drilling side is very short termist in that lots of lay offs/no drilling and no graduate recruitment through the troughs, so it has breed a workforce dependent on contractors who get very well paid per contract and in my case, have been lucky to jump from contract to contract with no gaps.
  18. 42 and a contractor in the oil industry that has been flying to work in the Middle East, West Africa & around Europe for last 6 years after leaving a staff job since uni. Run my one-man-band limited company with gross income varies between £210k to £250k pa depending which country I work in & days worked per year. Will continue working abroad and start to build up cash away from GBP. Can not see any gaps in contracting ahead if I am flexible enough to keep flying to work. Own a modest 3 bed semi in Surrey with no mortgage - useful base near 2 airports. Simple hatchback car, no flash watches, holidays are UK or Med but low key etc. Did the sums last summer and if I sold everything (shares + isa 20% & property 40%) I have made my first million. I have stopped taking a salary, so live off my cash savings which are making no interest anyway. No pension contributions for last 6 years (but keep a full shares-ISA going each year). I could pay off all BTL mortgages, but keeping the option to buy more properties in the next few years for cash. Plan to retire at 50 and rent/buy in France or Spain to spend majority of the year away, live off rental income and maybe take a low salary as well. But as a workaholic, I'll probably take a 3month contract each year to keep my mind going. Still looking for my trophy wife, but maybe that is why I still have money in the bank.
  19. Next year I plan to buy for cash 4 x 3 bed terrace houses in my old home town (for £300k). For similar houses I am getting on average £450/month on my current batch of BTLs. So looking at rental income of ~£18k to £20k/year (including some voids, repairs etc.). I have not seen anything to suggest I have made a huge mistake in getting out of pensions 7 years ago. I also pay the maximum annual ISA contribution in stocks & shares to have a further pot when I will think about retiring at 50.
  20. I'm not buying in the southeast/cities - the prices in my home town for 3 bed terraced houses has fallen back to 3x to 3.5x LOCAL average wage. The property market is dead and every letting agent in the town is advertising for more property to let. When I get back to the UK, I'll be going around the EAs introducing myself as a cash buyer - I expect to get my hand bitten off. The reason I want to buy in 2011 is that I want to get my money out of the banks and will trade off the further house price drops & nil bank interest, against the rental income and peace of mind of holding something material.
  21. Sorry to disappoint, but I have been paying off the mortgages from rental & my own income. I will look to buy a few more in 2011 as well - but the next few purchases will be cash (better to get 7% to 8% return, than leave it in the bank).
  22. No surprise at all - that 's what I did. Plus you have something to leave to your family.
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