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Everything posted by rex

  1. Same experience here. I bought my first flat in London in 1996 - a two bed garden flat for £66k, with a 6k deposit, on a salary of 18k. I sold it in 2000 for £135k (having done nothing to it, and never having even heard of the concept of servicing a boiler). Apparently, that same flat is now worth well over over £200k .... I was lucky; I do feel sorry for first timers trying to get onto the ladder now.
  2. Until I left London last year, I earned over £140k pa (and I'm still a few years below 40). But that was not a huge amount of money compared to the earnings of most of my clients and many of my more senior colleagues, who could be earning up to a million a year; 300-400k was perhaps more normal for most though. Don't forget that you have an ivory tower in the midst of London that is called the City, where incomes are astronomical (and 140k+ is not astronomical). Since I left London and moved back down to the South West my income has almost halved, even though I am carrying out the same work at the same level of seniority within one of the top companies in its field in the south west. I am told by local bankers that my income in the South West is still amongst the highest in the region, but funnily enough nothing seems to be any cheaper down here - taxis; dry cleaners; supermarkets; restaurants; even houses. My spending power is thus a fraction of what it was before. So if my new income is nearly half, but houses are broadly the same as the area of London that I left behind, I do wonder who the heck is buying them .....
  3. They have recently obtained new council licences allowing them to open later at night; that's why. I live in Lyme now (still renting...) - honestly, the last two weeks have been absolute hell (for the locals) and many are saying that its busier than they've ever seen - we went to try and eat in the Harbour Inn on the weekend of the 25th - couldn't get a table; too nippy for the beach area; went off the (highly recommended) Tuckers Arms in Dalwood instead. Same "types" too - chelsea tractor brigade with Joules clad kids in many instances. I'm really not seeing a difference in terms of numbers down this neck of the woods.
  4. The streets are quiet where you lot are because they all seem to be on holiday down here in the SW. I live in Lyme Regis - it is absolutely chocca; you cannot move in the town. I work further down the coast, and I see the streams of traffic heading down the A30 every Thurs / Friday night. No signs of recession on the street where I live.
  5. I disagree. I think there is a huge difference between the abilities of different agents. The EA we used to sell our house in 2007/2008 (after moving to him from the previous EA) was brilliant. He knew how to "sell". He wound them in like fish. Then when they wriggled like hell to get off the hook, he argued his socks off week after week to reel them back in again. He earned alot of money in commission from our house sale, but boy, he earned it, and I bought him a decent bottle of champagne afterwards (SE London, office in Petts Wood). Once we'd sold, he privately advised me not to buy for at least another six months - that was back in March 2008. Now, the lot I am dealing with down here in Devon, speaking as a cash buyer, are a completely different bunch - disinterested middle men with an attitude; nothing more - they do nothing at all to try and "persuade" me to buy their properties, or give me a coherent argument as to why I should buy now.
  6. That was precisely my point to the bank man. Clearly, it wouldn't be a 25 yr fix with Nat West. It was probably a calculation of "affordability" based on a 3 or 5 yr fixed rate, with no thought as to whether we could afford the mortgage afterwards. It is absolutely crazy - there is no way at all that we could presently afford a 600k mortgage.
  7. Nat West offered us a multiple of over 6 times joint salary a couple of weeks ago. I don't know what the rate was. I was having a meeting with my bank relationship manager and I asked in passing how much they would offer us; he went back to office and calculated and came up with this. I said i was v surprised at the multiple. He said they don't base their mortgages on salary multiples but on "affordability". We have no debts and he was assuming a 25% deposit. We're not "young professionals" or anything - approaching 40. The mortgage they offered was well over 600k. We've already decided that as and when we buy, 100k will be our max mortgage level .....
  8. erm, no idea. Only been there twice in the daytime. Why go to Bridport when you live in Lyme. Lyme's lovely; reminds me a bit of "family home", Meva.
  9. Bump. Any views to add on what is happening in Dorset? Houses in Lyme Regis, where we are living now, are going under offer / sale agreed left right and centre, at all price bracket it seems. Houses that have been on the market over a year being sold. Cash buyers seem to be coming out of woodwork. People seem to panic buying almost. A colleague at work told me today "I don't want to panic you, but house prices are rising now so .... you need to get on with it before you miss the boat ..."
  10. West Dorset / East Devon - Houses that were withdrawn from market several months ago have all (well, at least 4 that I have noticed) come back onto the market in the last 3/4 days. Finally, fresh houses also coming onto the market (after very little new stuff in the over 500k category being advertised for several months). However, the new stuff seems to be drowning in a pool of piranhas. One house came on market a few days ago - we tried to arrange for a viewing late this afternoon (as cash buyers); was told that the house had already received one offer which had been rejected, that there are lots of people going to view the house today, and no, the sellers couldn't fit in a viewing for us today (although admittedly we could only do after 4.30pm),... We're not going to bother viewing it now; I don't want to get involved in that sort of frenzy, and it isn't even that great a house (on at 600k). I hope this doesn't go on for too long. Interesting point similar to another post above as well - the house that I really, really wanted to buy but couldn't agree on price, which then sold last month (clearly with cash because "sale agreed" to "sold" was 3 weeks) - those buyers also haven"t moved in yet. For a house that sold for 750k (current asking price was 795k, after dropping from 895k back in july 2008), a bit odd.
  11. So do my parents - Duporth. Im down there once a month at least (although the new housing development being built there is causing them a bit of trouble; the developers are a right bunch and treating my parents like senile old idiots). I think Charlestown is dropping. There's a batch of three houses on the market there (all holiday rentals by the looks of it) for about 795k for all three. Seemed pretty reasonable to me -?
  12. mmm. Well, I've found evidence of a couple of extensions to the house in 2006 (both ground floor and first floor, so that probably cost a fair sum), but I've got no objective way of trying to work out "fair value" when the price is built up on a basis of "purchase price plus cost of improvements / extensions made to house plus indecent profit mark up plus movements in market since date of purchase". It'll be interesting to see what happens with this one. I hate it when houses come on market on that basis. That's exactly why I never agreed to up my offer on the last house (setting aside the 30% discount based on anticipated market falls) - I didn't agree with their starting "value" based on the "improvements" they had made .... and the EA never came up with any convincing arguments to justify his "valuation", and in fact was offended that I dared challenge the "valuation" in the first place. Yup, Ex st Davids (pretty much central Ex) to Paddington - fastest train nowadays is 2 hrs and 5 minutes; leave at 6.55am and get into Padd by 9am. Ive got a friend who commutes up on a part time basis because part time pay (3 day week) in London is the same as full time pay in Exeter for the same job.
  13. This looks like a similar principle. So what do you reckon to this one attached. Just come on market at 850k. But I looked it up and it last sold in June 2005 for 250k. Looking at the pictures, none of he rooms seems to have any personal possessions in them apart from maybe the games room. Looks like a developer scenario who thought that some flat screens and lutron lighting would push it up to 1 mill. How much would you offer for this? And I'll be interested to see if it goes under offer soon.... http://search.knightfrank.com/EXE022406
  14. Well, you've been a member of this site for the same period as me, and so you will have seen the same comments that you have made above being made time and time again in this period, and then going back some ... Yet still buyers continue to pop out of the woodwork and pay amounts that just don't add up to my mind. If I hadn't come across this website early last year, I might have gone ahead and agreed to buy the house for the 750k mark that they clearly wanted. My daily "fix" of this site put paid to that. I just hope we're all right (as opposed to a steep bounce kicking in), because I've just lost dream house, and not a single other house come onto the market since last May that I'm even tempted to go view.
  15. Not sure why you say that - ? Nothing wrong with Falmouth-Truro; I lived in Falmouth for 15 years and I went to school there. But what's wrong with other areas like Mevagissey, Charlestown, Fowey, Mousehole, Penzance, St Ives etc etc. There's plenty of places to invest in property. Just not, I agree, around the Scorrier region. And I don't think Falmouth is too badly priced compared to many other areas of Cornwall. Truro is a bit over the top though. And Padstow is a joke.
  16. Anecdote: House came on market in May 2008 for 895k. A couple getting divorced and had already moved out. They dropped the price 6 weeks later to 795k. The house just sat there, and sat there, and sat there. We went to see it in September 2008 and made an offer of 635k (so about 30% off original asking price and 20% off the revised asking price). Full cash offer, no chain, no mortgage; said I could complete within 2 weeks. They weren't interested even in negotiating. Roll forward to January 2009 - I made the offer again, commenting that it was increasingly looking like a reasonable offer. No interest again, not even in negotiating over price. I did some background research to try and work out how comfortable I would be in increasing the offer to, say, 10% off current asking price (so just over the 700k mark). I found out that they bought the place in Oct 2003 for 480k. Other than a lick of paint inside, new carpets and a couple of new bathrooms, they hadn't done anything to the house. The roof looked dodgy and the electrics and fuse board looked like a complete rewire was needed, so that lick of paint was a bit pointless. I simply couldn't work out how they could inflate the value of the house from 480k in late 2003 to 800k in 2009 (passing through 900k in 2008). I sat back, confident that as long as we could get through Spring without another offer emerging, they would be prepared to start negotiating with me come summer. Well, 3 weeks ago, the house went under offer, apparently two separate buyers in a bidding war. The "winning" bidder agreed to pay over 750k for it. And now I discover that it must have been a full cash buyer because, three weeks later, the sale has completed. Im gutted. Ive been tracking the house daily for 8 months. But I still don't understand how the house could have been "worth" that much money given the 2003 sale price. And it doesn't help me in the long term in my area, because the buyers have now just set a new precedent in the area for the "value" of a 4 bed house in Q2 of 2009 !!!! Its now the highest price sale in the area, ever.
  17. I also expected vendors to come back to me with a counter-offer after my initial offer (just like we did when we sold our own house). But my experience so far has been that they don't; I've been getting flat "no's" as well, which surprised me in the current market. So its interesting to hear Adarmo's take on things. It would have been helpful if the EAs that I had been making offers through had made that point to me as well - I might, possibly, have raised my offer then.
  18. Quite possibly because everyone was down in the South West staying for the long Bank Hol weekend. Lyme Regis was heaving with the national waterski comp - never, ever seen it so busy. Had to wait an hour and a half to get a table in local pasta restaurant on sat night ..... Driving around Devon was like snail traffic.
  19. Investec High Five - they check everyone's rates every week I think and then average out the top five
  20. There's plenty of people on this site with well over 500k to find a home for; this point has been made many times over on many threads. We've got 750k'ish and are under 40 (I'm still not quite adding up Everready's sums to £1m that a number of people above are arriving at though). So the OP's post is not that bizarre. We have very different solution though. 1. Am not diversifying. Keeping it very simple. 2. Spreading the money around a number of different bank accounts, 100k apiece. Yes very tedious but there you go. Including Ulster Bank, ING Direct, C&G, Bradford&Bingley, Sainsburys Bank, Citibank, West Brom so far. Ensuring we open joint account each time. 3. All instant access (or nearly instant access); nearly all monthly interest to pay our rent; all paying interest of between 2-3% on monthly interest. Reason is that "deal of the century" is probably going to have to be done very quickly, so we need to be ready to move fast. 4. Don't want to just buy any old house now because 10% off a 750k house is 75k, and so on. We didn't fall upon this cash and we know we're bl**dy lucky / worked bl**dy hard to get it, so we're not going to throw it away. Not sure why you say this however. Notwithstanding property crash, "1m bracket" is not necessarily synonymous with "kicking around in a massive house". Not sure where you live, but you can buy a luxurious flat or "small house" for that amount in the right area. Notwithstanding my first comments above that everready's basic position should not be considered unbelievable, I do agree with Nomadd's reservations above. With that amount of money, you simply do not just leave it in one account because its too much hassle to do otherwise.
  21. yes, a number of houses gone under offer in west dorset / east devon in last few weeks; even bidding wars broken out (according to EAs). "Under offer" around here, esp for EAs like Stags, is what they mean when the price has been agreed, and it stays that way until the house is actually sold (until I asked them, I had always thought that "under offer" was the stage pre "SSTC", and meant that an offer had been made but not yet accepted...).
  22. two places rented in devon so far. Different agents. First one the EA fee (including for things likes reference checking and the like) was about 120; second lot about 180. Not alot you can do about it if there isn't much choice of properties. One thing that absolutely wasn't acceptable to me is that the second EA tried to charge a fee every 6 months, supposedly for re-checking our references at the end of each 6 month period. I told them to strike or we were off. They did. But I heard that for another tenant they refused (but haggled to once a year).
  23. Well I am also looking in East Devon, and just over the border in Dorset, and I'm currently typing this from parents' home in a Cornish fishing village on south coast. So I'm seeing quite alot across the region. Yes, seeing lots of "holiday home" type houses coming on at attractive prices (three v nice ones on the market in Charlestown being sold by savills, currently holiday rentals). BUT I'm also seeing alot of selling activity on houses that clearly aren't "holiday home" types (because they are large houses with big gardens which will need alot of ongoing maintenance, on the market for over 750k). As I posted elsewhere a few days ago, they certainly aren't selling with a 30% discount off peak - I've had a personal blow because the house I wanted to buy has had a price agreed at about 13% off peak price; it was on the market for over a year and apparently has been the subject of a bidding war between two bidders within the last week. So the landscape seems to be varied. A new housing estate near my parents in COrnwall seems to be selling quite a few houses (at around 400k per house) and they aren't dropping their prices on rightmove either.
  24. well, i just seem to have become a victim of the spring bounce. The house I have been watching for nearly a year, which has been firmly rejecting my repeated offers of 30% off (cash offer), without even any interest in trying to negotiate price, has just gone under offer at less than 15% off original asking price. And the agent tells me that there was a fight between two buyers at the last minute (for some reason he never even bothered to invite me into the fray) - and yes, I believe him: he's always given me accurate info before which I've subsequently been able to verify on Land Reg "sold" pricing. b*gger. Not even anything else on the market that I like
  25. I know many directors of structured finance in london. Firstly, he'll almost certainly be talking about cash purchases because no-one at that level will have a mortgage. Even 20 something bankers will have paid off their mortgage within a few years. Secondly, as for calling into question his job (and whether the email was genuine) based on his grammar and prose, this just doesn't work as an argument - when you are used to spending your working day arguing to the death over the different interpretation of a sentence based on the precise location of two commas (which is what a structured finance banker is likely to get involved in, depending on exactly which structured finance area he is involved in), you don't get too hung up about punctuation and the like in personal emails. Don't forget, the advent of the blackberry has turned many casual emails into something akin to text speak.
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