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Miss Madam

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About Miss Madam

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  1. Awww you softies.... am 8 months updiffed and your comments have had me welling up. Many congrats to the OP. Slightly concerned about the advice about not making any major decisions over the first few months given we're selling our place (currently with the solicitors concluding missives etc) and will be moving into rented in January... when Junior is err likely to be 2 months old. I appreciate we're not doing this the sane way.
  2. Well we've been on the market less than a fortnight and have had nine viewings, three second viewings, two more second viewings booked, three notes of interest and two parties wanting to make offers (cash buyers), so have been advised to go to closing before the end of the month. Proof - if I weren't already speaking to the converted that if you price something well and make a bit of an effort for the photos (not twigs in vases, but you know, put the washing up away!) that you can get interest in any house - no matter how 'bad' the market. A pal who has had her house on the market for three months, overpriced and with god awful photos is now looking a bit uneasy. It's easier to blame the market than your own greed / misreading of the market. For folks with an interest in market dynamics - who have our viewers been?..... Most viewings were not classic FTBs (only one party was what I would class as that i.e. under mid 40s couple), a fair few seemed to be divorcees, and a couple of downsizing boomers who haven't even put their houses on the market yet but didn't want to until they found somewhere to buy, as they 'just know' that their place will sell in a heartbeat - hmmm a £300k house in an area where the average wage is £20k and the second home market has died - good luck. Equally those downsizing boomers considered a two bed house with an acre of land far too small for them and would have to extend into the loft for another two bedrooms (ha we were planning on starting our family here! proof that some of the older generations have been far too used to far too much space and that their definition of downsizing still involves at least 4 bedrooms for 2 people). Most viewings seem to have been from folks who have money from HPI that is burning a hole in their pockets. I guess if you've made 100s of thousands on property a punt on a place which seems a 'bargain' compared to prices south - probably seems safe. One of those keen to put in an offer on our place lives on another distant island (I won't name as don't want to give away) and has never even been to Orkney let alone seen the place. I can't imagine having that much money that I could do that - can you? I was very surprised, the FTB as a young couple starting out on life together is clearly dead, which is a shame as I reckon I would definitely have favoured a bid from such a party. Will keep you posted. Closing (i.e. submission of blind best and final offers from interested parties) will be before month end. Will we get lots of cheeky offers? I really don't know. I think without the sanity of a mortgage valuer restraining people from their own exuberance - we might do alright (in a purely self interested manner).
  3. Here's a bit of an update from someone actually in the market in northern Scotland (well Orkney to be exact). We've just put our place on the market - it literally went on last Thursday. It's a first time buyer property in a part of the world where first time buyers can still afford to buy - the Northern Isles. Rural, nearly an acre of land, 2 bed, 1 bath, large outhouse. It's gone on for 'offers over' the home report value (£98,500) which was 5% more than we paid last year (but we've done a lot of work to it in the interim, not as an investment - what we did was more to make it a habitable home we enjoyed living in and as our first non-rented home it was really nice to be able to make somewhere our own), if we only got this amount we wouldn't recoup all of what we spent doing it up - and to be honest we don't expect to. I think because we're at a good price and in a market where prices aren't ridiculous and there still is movement - we stand a good chance of selling quickly, because FTBs can afford Orkney prices and Orkney deposits. Also the market has been really limited in supply up here - I think largely because of tight fisted Orcadians (most of whom are very old-school in their thinking, v Daily Mail) choosing not to put houses on the market whilst it's falling, believing instead that recovery is around the corner - we're probably less reactionary than most up here - so chose to avoid trying to catch a falling knife and cut our losses and get out now. I'll let you know how we get on but I'm more optimistic than I thought I would be as a confirmed HPCer. Well put it this way - we've got six viewings lined up (in the three days on the market), had two viewings already (who've both had a second viewing, and both lodged a note of interest with the solicitor) and who have both asked us formally if we'd accept an offer rather than go to closing (which is the norm where there is a lot of interest under the Scottish sealed bids system). The EA reckons its the busiest house on their books at the moment and we've not even advertised in the paper yet (lots of folks up here don't do internet, largely as it's so slow). I'm not making out that our place is different or special, but I do reckon that if you have a vague notion of how to dress a house to sell (not twigs in vases!) you stand a much better chance of sale. Some of the shit on Rightmove is just laughable - and had me wondering if they were squats or the photographer turned up unannounced! I don't think we'll make back all that we spent on DIY but it's been a cracking house to live in for a year (amazing views, amazing wildlife, cosy and happy) and making a profit wasn't our aim - I do think we will protect our deposit and have possibly maybe increased it a bit due to aggressive over-repayments. Anyway whatever we come away with is going straight into First Direct savings at 8% interest rates as soon as we sell, and then we are out of the market to rent for at least six months if not a year to be honest. What has struck me so far over this process has been A) how much interest we've had from the FTB end of the market - most of whom so far seem to be 40+ divorcees not classic 'young' FTBers (also some of the folks could potentially be second homers, I'll have to wait until the viewings tomorrow to find out about a couple, but that market was meant to have died on its **** up here according to anecdotes from those more in the know than myself); how surveyors are suddenly being very cautious in their valuations - particularly those who were the worst offenders for upvaluing during the bubble. There seems to be a lot of fear re professional indemnity insurance! The rebuild cost fell £15k between the two home reports and I had to fight for some things which we upgraded (like electrics) not to be marked overly cautiously (i.e. a 3!); C) how much happier I feel about the prospect of us going into rented - it's like a weight off my mind to be honest as we didn't want to be trapped in our FTB house with a new baby. Once (wishful thinking, but hey I'm 7 months preggers so have to be) the house has sold I'll put the details up and you can tear it to shreds! Sorry long post - but that's our view of the market up here on the Isles.
  4. Oh and my father in law - about as Daily Mail reading 'you can't go wrong with bricks and mortar' a stalwart as likely exists, anywhere, in the deepest darkest home counties, advised us on the phone last night that 'prices are falling, you're best to get out and wait for the crash. It's all been a bubble you know.' I nearly choked as we've been telling them this for years, to lots of patronising nodding and Kirstie and Philisms.... I think this definitely counts as my 'shoeshine boy' moment. Who cares if we are likely to end up moving into rented a week or two after my due date I do think we are doing the right thing by getting out whilst we still have a big slab of equity and have, if anything, pushed my husband towards this and away from his initial preference for a big silly mortgage on an 'executive house' (I think this is a common reaction for some blokes in the face of impending fatherhood as my brother in law had a similar reaction, but sadly couldn't be persuaded otherwise by his wife who he dismissed as 'hormonal and pregnant' but who since has been proved rather astute). So I think sentiment is rapidly changing too - was there anything in the Mail or Express this weekend that could explain my Father in Law's Damascus moment?
  5. I'm wondering if it's also to do with tighter lending restrictions on flats. We recently approached our mortgage company to see about a possible mortgage increase to get a bigger house (baby on the way - don't worry we decided to STR instead - the cost just didn't compare with renting, but I was curious to see a) what they'd offer us, and at what rate) and one of the comments that struck me was a warning that they could only offer a maximum LTV of 70% should we choose to buy a flat. I guess Virgin money / Northern Crock (good loans) expect the market for flats to fall 30%!
  6. As someone who lives on Orkney (and is partially here for TFH reasons, and also partially as I work in the wave and tidal energy industry) errrr we speak English up here. With an accent admittedly. I would counter the view that it might be the best place if TSHTF though as - we're at the end of a verrrrrrry long supply chain - even today an Amazon order will take 5 days+ to reach here, a Tesco Direct order will cost you £50 delivery and the local shops are shite - we travel south at least every couple of months to get stuff we just can't find up here (and not daft stuff either, sometimes really simple things that are pretty essential) furthermore much of our healthcare is dependent on incoming professionals flying up on a monthly basis. In a cash strapped NHS that is going to happen less and less. Also energy wise - we use more energy (bar Shetland) than anywhere else in the UK and our growing season is pish. Great local beef though (we grow grass well!) Don't get me wrong we love it up here - the community is great, house prices are super cheap (we could easily buy on one income) but it's too isolated for us and with a baby on the way - we miss family. We're relocating to the central belt (semi rural) as at present we feel that being this far out on a limb could be disadvantageous - especially during a slow crash.
  7. *facepalm* guys, yet again... I'll reiterate that you can be a MNer and an HPCer - and indeed most young MNers are very much in favour of prices falling as you guys aren't the only geniuses to recognise that high living costs = shit. The assumption that you can't be financially literate and female is I think what has led to slagging off of the OP on Mumsnet. And the fact that it was a fake post (written with the subtlety of a five year old who had an intended audience of three year olds, gee thanks) - trolling for reaction, when in fact such subjects actually are genuine thread topics pretty frequently on the MN boards and can be discussed without, sigh, reference to boden shoes, a vague disconnected concern that DH (dear husband) is working longer hours and financial threats to nail bar appointments. Some of you guys give this place a really shit misogynistic image and I'm just wanting to send a polite reminder, that alienating half of the population against the HPC message (by associating it with twattish behaviour) helps us how???? Falling living costs = good for everyone except those who were encouraged to buy during the peak of the bubble. Given no policy / economic trend can be good for everyone - we should be cheering on the greater good and trends which reward behaviour we want to encourage (i.e. financial acumen and saving rather than feckless herd following) and that, by and large, means falling prices. But putting fake posts on other forums and assuming that the average IQ on said forum is akin to that of a lettuce (basically because said forum consists of the women raising our societys latest generation of children) doesn't help get this message across....
  8. Limekilns is nice too. But I'd echo Aberdour as the nicest coastal spot . We used to rent there - the only decent landlord I've ever had!!!
  9. You can use any Post Office or branch of the Britannia building society (not that we have any on the island) to do all of your Co-Op or Smile banking for now and it looks like they will have a lot more branches in the future too as they seem to be at the front of the queue to take over lots of Lloyds / TSB branches http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18620084 - looking at the amount of folks I know who have moved to them in the last few days - I think they are going to need some new branches. New banking jobs I approve of? Must go and lie down....
  10. But Triodos aren't covered by the UK guarantee - if they went belly up you'd have to go to the Dutch regulator to try to get your money back. The last of our accounts are just being moved to Smile. Am very impressed by their switch service (including a £1000 free overdraft should any payments get stuffed up during the month of our account moves). Ta-ra pissy high street banks I hope you and your LIBOR fiddling 'big boys' are very happy together in a corporate death spiral / prison cell with 'Big Ron'.
  11. Wages just arrived - 8 hours late but hopefully they'll not disappear again.
  12. Well my t'other half's wages didn't hit his bank account this morning. His employer banks with RBS and noone within that major engineering company (500+ UK staff) have got a penny. I'm guessing that the major monthly salary runs (i.e. those that go on the last Thursday, Friday of the month) are now going to join the motorway pile up of shit within RBS' desperate IT department. Gosh this weekend is going to be fun on the high street isn't it! Before I'm accused of being a pathetic woman living off my husband's hard earned wages (not that this place's misogyny is legendary!!!), as a freelancer I'm not due to invoice until tomorrow and won't be paid until next week (my client banks with BOS not RBS thank god) - so it's we either pull cash out of long term savings policies and lose the interest - and also cope with the fact that this takes 3 working days (NS&I) or see if our current accounts will give us a temporary overdraft. It's all very well having a rainy day fund but to be honest - how many of us keep it in an easy to access place - given the current pitiful interest rates..(ours are in the NS&I, physical precious metals or in ISAs - none of which has proved useful now we need them). I think it's time to build up a tin foil hat fund - perhaps involving a fireproof safe (mindst the bank did tell us today that even if folks were to put cash in an RBS / Natwest / Ulster account to try to cover shortfalls - their payments could still bounce as the incoming cash wouldn't clear instantly due to the backlog). God this is a systemic cluster****** isn't it!? And if you look on the RBS website, everything is meant to be tickety boo - so much so they didn't even bother writing an update today. For a business that's based on consumer confidence - banking is on shaky ground at the moment isn't it. As soon as we move south to the Central Belt - that's it our accounts are going to the Co-op - sadly they don't have a branch anywhere near to the islands we live on, and this debacle has definitely taught me the importance of having a physical bank in close proximity - even if just to go and cause a run on....
  13. We're thinking of moving back to the Central Belt after a wonderful time in Orkney (where buying a house was a piece of piss!) and for a decent period family home with garden, we're increasingly drawn to Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy and also Burntisland - especially if the ferry to Granton gets up and running by next summer as seems to be the case. You could be in Edinburgh within 15 minutes and can get a nice 3 or 4 bedder with garden and parking for £150k. I know the talk about the ferry has been ongoing forever but the bloke interested now runs the Pentalina ferry up here and really gets things done. http://www.heraldscotland.com/mobile/news/home-news/ferries-on-forth-could-be-returning.17308852 other advantages of Fife are that prices are falling very nicely already. We used to live there and our commute to Edinburgh would be half an hour and season tickets £100 p/m so not bad at all - especially given that every £1 saved off a mortgage saves you £3 over the lifetime of a mortgage - I'd rather have higher commuting costs and a cheaper house.
  14. Damnit, I go out for ONE day and that is what happens.....
  15. Heehee and the fact that he constantly needs to call 'uppity' women "dearie" or some other diminutive form.... Am loving how f*cked up / all over the place this thread has become - weaning advice now (btw moving onto solids before six months risks allergies which I think is why the new guidance is later - my generation which seems to have been weaned pretty much as soon as we were wiped clean of afterbirth has the highest level of dietary ishoos for a reason).
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