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Everything posted by rex

  1. Cornwall isn't "just another county". It's akin to Wales, or Scotland, or Ireland. That's why the cornish were recognised this year as a national minority in the EU. The cornish are a different race to the English, with historically their own language, flag and king. Absolutely fair enough it you don't like the Cornish - they are often suspicious and unwelcoming of outsiders. But get you facts right at least about what you're living in. It's not "just another county".
  2. Actually, my old plumber in London earned/earns around 100k and he was a CORGI qualified gas fitter / plumber. He drove a top of the range BMX 4x4 and changed it every year. I know this because we used him so much over the years, he became a personal friend and we ended up sharing these details. He even comes down to stay with us in the South West now. I used think we were probably paying for his BMW's he charged so much blooming money. But then, what price a plumber in London who will come as soon as, and whenever, you call him and do anything you want him to do .....
  3. 39. Until mid 2008, when we were in London, combined household income was around £200k plus bonuses. Had to take a hit for the move down to South West though, so now down to £120k combined. Bonuses don't happen any more. Life is not any cheaper in the South West than it was in London. I am professional. Other half is Blue Light Emergency Services. £700k in savings/STR, roughly, but just about to jump back into the housing market and buying a house pre Xmas. Bought 1996 for 62k; sold 2000 for 137k; bought 2000 for 310k, sold 2003 for 510k; bought 2003 for 775k, sold 2008 for 1.35m; buying 2010 for 875k ..... Big salary increases through those years helped fund the big leaps in mortgage. New mortgage will be less that x2 combined income. Now spending like a frenzy in prep for new house - cars, TV's, Imac's ....... Risk. What risk ....... Hang on for dear life through inflation; long term fix; keep chickens and grow cabbages. If all else fails, turn it into a B&B ...
  4. Head over to east Devon and West Dorset. I am Cornish and proud it; but Cornwall is very poor and the poverty is visible in the houses and the people. Drive up the coast for 2 hours, and there is far more money around and everything is far better kept.
  5. You can fire them for gross imcompetence I think, and for getting a criminal record (including drink driving). You would have to change the law to allow them to be made redundant. If their employee rights are threatened in that way, then they would want the same right as any other group of workers - the right to go on strike. The quid pro quo for the police now is that they are not legally allowed to go on strike; in exchange for their protection from redundancy. Let them go out on strike, and the country falls apart in 2 years time when all the unions start demonstrating. You would have to introduce an army state in that scenario.
  6. Yes, we did go through with it. We have set up three savings accounts linked to the mortgage. You can operate them online so you don't have to go into a local branch. In fact, the savings accounts don't even have to be in your name - you could get dear old dad to link his savings account to your mortgage and, although he won't earn any interest on his savings, it will offset your mortgage so that you don't have to pay interest on the amount equivalent to his savings. Not sure about salary being paid in. Personally I would have my salary paid into my main current account and then sweep amounts across to the savings accounts online. The Yorkshire BS offset is not a proper "current account" mortgage like some do - if you had a proper current account mortgage you could certainly have it set up so that your salary is paid directly into the acount.
  7. speaking as a buyer who has just exchanged, our mortgage provider, Yorkshire BS was also inundated with work because of their rates. Although we live / are buying in the south west, they told me that they have so many mortgage applications churning through their system in the south of england, they had to refer me up to a mortgage adviser in Tenby (Yorkshire) to deal with my application. So that's who I've been dealing with over the last 6 weeks whilst getting the mortgage approved. The Tenby mortgage adviser told me that they are not busy in the North of England; its the South where they are groaning under the strain of applications. So I think there is a ground swell in certain areas of people getting mortgages approved (perhaps in principle); its another question as to whether they are actually putting offers in on houses yet. But we did of course. And, yes, I re-negotiated price after getting the survey done because the surveyor's formal advice was that we had offered too much money for the house. We took another 25k off price. Did I feel bad? Not really. When we sold our buyers did the same thing to us. Its business, not a popularity contest. I'd have gone with your higher offer - more room to re-negotiate later if needs be.
  8. Good luck. i get you. Oscar was a very grumpy but very loveable cat who died last year from awful cancer after 15 years together. Because we are renting, we couldn't even bury her near us. We've decided Sod It too, we just want a home. We exchanged contracts last week and we are completing on 15th Dec. Oscar will be dug up from her temporary home with the in-laws (buried specially prepared to be dug up again) and will be back with us in time for Xmas in a special spot in the new garden.
  9. Yes, and apparently L-C are direct mailshotting alot of people at present about Savills' claims that houses over a million in Cornwall are not shifting. They are sending out letters (including to father) saying that its rubbish and that they have completed on 12 house sales for over 1 million in the last month in Cornwall (I think its month; its definitely 12 over a 1 million, and I'm pretty sure its a month, or very near to that). PS - I dont have a vested interest in Cornwall. Just reporting what I'm picking up. We are possibly about to pull out of our own house purchase as our surveyor has just told us that we have agreed to pay far too much money for the house, which was a shock to be frank, given that it was cleared by the mortgage co's valuer and we agreed a price that was 250k less than their original asking price in May .....
  10. We are possibly in this situation right now. We agreed a price. We have a mortgage offer and a clear valuation (although the surveyor was an idiot). We sent in a second surveyor who is an expert in the local area to carry out the full building survey. And the main theme of the survey that we have received back from him is that we have agreed to pay way too much money for the houses, and it just isn't worth it. EA telling me that the mortgage co valuer has cleared it. I said well we are only taking out a 30% mortgage. he said, doesn't matter, the surveyor owes you a duty of care to give a reasoned valuation. I say, well the the first valuer knows little about the area, and is an idiot (eg his report says there is full gas supply and in fact the house can only get oil). The second surveyor is an expert in this area, and was in fact recommended to me by the EA himself as a said expert. Which one do I follow. Will I agree to buy a house if I'm told pre exchange of contract by my surveyor that the house just isn't worth that much, by as much as 70k? No. I cannot stick to my original verbal agreement in those circumstances. The verbal agreement is always subject to valuation, mortgage, survey and legals.
  11. So. Mortgage valuation was no problem. Valued at 900k. But had a second survey (simply because the mortgage company's surveyor was quoting too high a price for a proper survey, as opposed to a valuation), and the second surveyor gave a valuation as well as a survey. He SEEMS to be indicating that notwithstanding the 250k price drop from initial asking price, we are paying "at the top of the price range" for the property. So I take from that he means he thinks we're paying full whack. Need to call him now to work out what to do. Anyone know anything about "price ranges" - I've heard surveyors talk about that before.
  12. I think most of what you say is spot on. Except that people are still moving down there. And they're not public sector workers (at least not the ones I was talking about). The job I had waiting for me was in Truro. There's alot of professional activity in that area at present. And of course the "4-5 hours from family and friends" bit doesn't apply if you're actually going home. Most of my contemporaries at school left Cornwall for their careers up the country, and gradually over the years have gone home - 40 always seems to be a good turning point. ALL my family are in Cornwall. And my father has just sold his house 20 mins from Truro for over 800k. So I guess all I'm saying is that I hear what you're saying, I agree with alot of it; but despite all that sense, its still happening, and I'm relying on my own links within Cornwall as a basis for that info. As for the "job offer which pays SE wage", unless you are public sector, I don't believe that exists. I believe most people moving down will have to accept a significant pay cut. I did (until other half scuppered me). I'm significantly worse off in the SW, because I agree that everything is just as expensive as in the SE (if not more expensive because of the scarcity of certain services), but I'm earning about half what I used to earn in London. One point that you might find interesting is that, where we are looking to buy, it is easily just as expensive, if not more expensive, than Cornwall. In fact, I think I would have more value for money in Cornwall. Cornwall and where we are looking to buy, both fall within the "desirable area to live" area. Outside of London, that all seems to fall into the same price pracket. We're looking in East Devon / West Dorset, and I'm working in Exeter. To the other commentator re West Cornwall - I completely agree that is a different kettle of fish. Too far down and no decent jobs in Penzance - I lived there for most of my childhood. I'm thinking more of the commuter zone around Truro. I don't believe that I was trying to claim to be bright just because I made alot of money in London over the course of 15 yrs. I was simply setting the backdrop to my situation. Just as if I had several million quid because I won the lottery, I would have mentioned that. And I wouldn't have expected anyone to think I was "Einstein" for so winning .....
  13. thanks all. Got more than a 70% deposit. And really not interested in trackers. 5 yr fix minimum for us. I was even toying with Yorkshire's 10 yr fix of 4.99%, on basis that we can repay most of the debt by then ..... I don't much like the smell of the future landscape. Voice of R - yes, they'll let me take the mortgage and put it in the savings account (or, in opposite, using less of our equity for the house and taking more debt) - I think we may take a punt an do that, and save like mad afterwards .....
  14. Does anyone have any thoughts on offset mortgages in the following circumstances - Yorkshire have a 5 yr offset fix for 4.09%. It also has a 5 yr normal fix for 3.94%. Once we buy, we won't have any / much savings left until we gradually build up again. So the normal arguments for the advantages of offset over a normal mortgage don't hold very true for us. However, we are thinking of putting an extra £60K onto the mortgage over and above what we need to buy the house, to enable us to do some improvements on the house in the future. Now, until we buy and settle into our new monthly mortgage payments, I'm not going to know for sure how comfortable we will be servicing the debt on all or part of that extra 60k. My thinking is, with a "net" offset mortgage with YBS, that we put the 60k into the offset savings account, such that we will only effectively pay interest on the "required loan level", but not the extra 60k (the capital repayment element at this stage of the mortgage will presumably be negligible). After 6 months or so, once we are settled into servicing the original loan, we can gradually start to use up the extra 60k at the original 4.09% interest level, and increase our monthly payments, if we so wish. Or, if not, prepay the 60k capital element. So its like taking out a mortgage with an automatic "add on" facility up to 60k at the original interest rate. Now that sounds great and flexible to me. But I'm not sure whether the cheaper debt costs of the 3.94% simple mortgage is going to make a real difference. Would you go for the flexibility, or the simple cheapness? I'm well advanced into an application with Yorkshire, but now beginning to realise that HSBC has got much cheaper application fees; but no offset options ......
  15. Our top budget is 900k. Two houses have been on market for v long time. One at 1.2mill. The other at 1.15mill. Both houses dropped price a few weeks ago to 975k. We went to see both. I contacted both agents and said whichever house accepted my offer of 900k first, we would go with that seller. One seller tried to haggle but I explained my position again, that it was a take it or leave it offer. Both sellers accepted my offer. We chose one and we are moving forward with sale (we are in rented). The house we are going for has been on market since May; one other house sale they had agreed fell through. I'm comfortable with buying now given that its a 22% drop from their original May price; and an 8% drop from their recently reduced price. Yes, the market will fall further, but I'm comfortable that the reductions I have already negotiated will absorb some of those falls, and we'll be there for a good long time to come (assuming we actually reach completion) ...... One agent was very polite throughout and had no comment on my offer. The other slightly terse, but civil. Again, did not suggest that my offer was unreasonable; he did initially ask me if I realised that the house had already dropped significantly in price. I said yes, and that the other house I was offering on had also just dropped significantly in price. He had nothing to say after that. The interesting point is that both sets of sellers, of premium houses, were prepared to negotiate that far off their original prices .....
  16. Goodness me. That's harsh. We're "30 somethings" (well, just) with over 900k to splash either in cornwall or devon. 700k is cash. No I'm not dumb. No its not inherited. And I am in fact a farmer's daughter from Cornwall, although we made our money over the course of 15-20 yrs working in the City of London, buying, doing up and selling houses; started off with a 66k flat in 1995 with a 6k deposit; and now I want to try to move back home. There's a fair few people just like me, but maybe not quite the same financial levels; or maybe more, who knows. Lots of 30 and 40 somethings who left Cornwall/Devon after Uni and now want to go home. Jobs? Yes. I was offered a job in Cornwall about a yr ago for not that far off 100k. Had to take another one further up the peninsula though because of other half's job constraints; he's more specialist. In my line of work (business / professional), I meet a surprising number of other people just like us. I'm not trying to show off. I'm just trying to demonstrate that the cornwall / devon property market for over 500k homes is not driven by a bunch of OAPs. Certainly where we ARE currently looking (unfortunately not Cornwall right now), a heck of alot is going on at that level of the market. I think it has something to do with mortgage rates, if you can get one of course.
  17. Nice. Grows on you. Better than first impressions. Bustling market town. Good markets. I use the local gym on way home from work - v good council run gym. The Holt is a nice pub / restaurant. Cheaper housing than on the coast. If I wasn't set on living on the coast, I'd consider living in the villages around Honiton.
  18. Thanks. We haven't "decided" to buy now. In fact, there's nothing on the market that I want to buy right now. That's our problem. We are searching in a very, very small area where very few properties of the type we want come onto the market. I've come to the painful realisation, after the "6 cash buyer bidding war" 2 months ago, that if and when something we like comes on, we just have to go for it, no matter what is happening in the wider economy. I'm trying to prep myself to be in the best possible position in case the right house comes onto the market in autumn. If it doesn't I suspect we'll be renting for another year before another house "possibly" comes along. I withheld from buying the "perfect" house in late 2008, because I listened to everyone's views on this website. i wish I hadn't. Yes, everyone here is right. I agree that the market is heading down in the long term. But would I rather be "right" in the long term, or living in a long term home, having moved in nearly two years ago. The latter I'm afraid. Two years on, nothing even close to it has come on. All the doom and gloom in the press doesn't help me, because it means that the golden oldies I want to buy from, who will be downsizing, will decide to hang on another year and see what the market is like then. But if I were a first time buyer, I would certainly hold on. I, however, have ridden up the market since 1995.
  19. We've been renting for 2.5 yrs now. Only seen two houses come along in that time that would have prompted us to buy, but it never quite came together for one reason or another. One thing perplexes me. Everyone talks about needing to prove nowadays that you can afford to buy the house, because mortgages are so hard to come by. However, application fees for mortgages have also increased significantly. And over the course of the last two years, different lenders have been more desirable than others from time to time in terms of the attractiveness of their mortgage products. So I have never applied for a mortgage approval in principle during that time - because I've never found the right house, and I have no idea which lender will have the best products at the time at which I want to buy, and if I keep applying to lenders for mortgage approval in principle, I am assuming this could blacken my credit record because I will have had numerous credit searches carried out against my name by different lenders, as they undergo their checks to give me a mortgage approval in principle. I have no idea nowadays whether one has to pay any application fee to obtain the approval in principle, or whether that only applies when you apply for the specific financial product (eg 5 yr fixed rate at x per cent.). But still I keep seeing people talking about need to have mortgage approvals in place otherwise sellers won't take their houses off the market. What are people doing about this out there? Getting approvals in principle, and hope that they find a house before that "in principle" approval expires, or ignoring the whole "in principle approval" thing? PS - I do know what I can afford, based on our "most likely over 90% deposit", and a back of fag packet calculation by my own high street bank as to what they would extend to us if we applied (a ridiculously high amount based on 6 times joint income, on an "affordability" calculation basis, based on current day's interest rates). But that is different from providing formal "in principle" approval proof. And the last house I tried to buy, I got into a 6 cash bidder war over the property, with the winning bidder completing within 21 days.
  20. I think he should re-do the final year. What will have more of an impact on him is how his CV will look to potential employers if he gives up now: "I took a degree; I failed the final year: I gave up; now I'm looking for a job". Employers like to see that you have seen something through, shown perseverance. He won't be able to hide it - the potential employers will expect to see a paper trail showing what he has done with his life post school, and will query gaps in time.
  21. My comment is in support of the OP from the perspective of saying: it doesn't sound that off the wall based on my own recent experience. I think I noted elsewhere on this forum that I found myself in the middle of a bidding war / scrum just 3 months ago, with a property that had come onto the market in dorset: there were five bidders; everyone was stated to be cash buyers; the winning bidder completed the purchase within 3 weeks; I was one of the bidders and I had no reason to doubt the EAs; I was told that the "rest" were mainly city bankers with bonuses to spend. The house was a gem - whether in a recession or not, when a house like that comes along, you just go for it. The depressing thought is when the next decent one comes along, the other 3 will be back again ....
  22. Similar experience in East Devon/ West Dorset - good properties are subject to a buying frenzy price war between numerous different bidders, many of them cash buyers; asking price for some good houses recently coming onto the market are shocking - I would say possibly higher than 2007 peak. I think my area may be subject to a London ripple effect. EA's told me that there are alot of City bankers spending their bonuses, paid out in April, on houses in our area. We can't compete. Three houses we viewed recently were already under offer at full asking price, and the EA's keep the houses on the market for another few weeks "giving everyone the opportunity" to bid the price higher. And they do.
  23. Started off renting on a farm in Shute. I pass through Honiton alot as I work in Exeter and go to gym in Honiton on way home. Now living in Lyme Regis (other half got job the other side of Dorset after we left London). I agree with you that alot of properties have stalled around Honiton and sellers there do seem to be holding out. We are set on buying on the coast - that' where the market seems to be going ballistic, unfortunately for us. Why we can't just have a level market for a while I don't know. Now, if only I wanted to / was able to live in Torquay: there are some fantastic houses around there and there have been some great price drops over the last 18 months. If interest rates go up after the election, that's the area to find a bargain. Alot of "aspirational" home-owners with big mortgages, bling homes, all based on dubious figures from their "bling-era" businesses.
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