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About Let-them-Burn

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  1. We are in northwest Guildford. Our anecdote, we had our house on the market at what we thoght was peak prices in Jan/Feb 2009 for £300k and accepted an offer of £295k, but decided to pull out because we choose to put our child into private school and wanted to stay being mortgage free - rather than move to the George Abbott catchment area and have to pay +£500k for similar houses. I recently did a search and there is a house on the market in our street which has slightly smaller rooms etc. and on for £350k. So in this estate agents mind, prices have been going up at over 7% a year in Guildford. Looks like we have another 2 years to wait in this expensive town. At least with us being mortgage free we have a good life of enjoying holidays/restuarants instead of being trapped with +£20k/year mortgage costs.
  2. Thank you . If the company doesn't get closed, or the company sells the house and any profits return to the company - are there any issue then?
  3. I have my own Limited company for one-man freelancing in the UK. I have had 4 very good years and taken small annual pay & dividends so there is a large sum sitting in the company bank account. My feeling now is that Labour or Tories wil not allow a large houseprice correction, so we are in for many years of gentle decline. So I am thinking of making use of the low interest rates. I am interested in a property that may require GBP120-150k of building / modernisation work, to build an office in an extension, plus other home improvements. Can a limited company purchase the property and my family rent it off the company. This way I recover the VAT for the building work. My work is 60% 9am-5pm, but 40% 24hr cover with a lot of weekends worked, so the property is would be used for business a lot of the time, although probably only 20% of the building for business. I am not looking to move again (for atleast 15years anyway) and I don't see any large HPIs ahead for the next 5 to 10 years, so with this in mind, could mycompany sell the property later to me at a reduced 'near market price'? I'd be very interested in Tax views if this could be a way of reducing the tax paid and what are the main negatives. Thanks.
  4. Mike, Firstly thank you for put your story out there for us all to see and discuss. It sounds like I am looking for a similar quality house you have picked up. I went down a different route - 1997 - bought first house (3 bed semi) with partner for £85k in Surrey, married a year later. 2002 - job moved, but kept family home in Surrey and became a mid week commuter. 2003 - paid off mortgage 2005 - job went international, but short term in each location - we didn't know where we want to live, so stayed until a more permanent job came along. 2007 - still on shortish term international work, but need to move to get into a better school catchment area. Agreed an offer on our house for £295k but with nowhere suitable to move to and sale lost - then decided to stay. We decided against STR as we would be looking at over £15k / year in rent in the school catchment area and housing market wasn't going to quickly crash in this part of the SE. 2008 - Introduce the Mrs. to HPC.co.uk and it took a year for her to be happy with low debt over big house, big car and "keeping up with the Joneses". 2009 - decided to stay in same house, but put our child into private schooling (ca. £6k/year) and wait for the crash to finally happen. House revalued this summer at £275k (backed up by summer sales). In the meantime we are saving, but happy to keep a good lifestyle of restuarants, holidays etc. 2010 - child starts in private school and we continue saving and waiting for the crash. Private schooling is only a solution to being in a very bad schooling area and once we finally move, we would be happy to change primary schools. Life is a bit in limbo, but there are no money problems, and with me away 5 days a week, the house doesn't feel that small for the family.
  5. Exactly - I'm not seeing it either. There is so little quality stock on the market, the numbers of buyers competing against each other are keeping prices high.
  6. There is no HPC in Guildford! Guildford is still crazy. A house I am interested has 2 offers on it only a couple of days after hitting the market, plus a handfull of viewings arranged for today (Thursday) and with the weekend to come, god knows how many offers will be in on the place by Tuesday.
  7. That is my situation and I don't want to bring attention to myself by receiving a ridiculously low salary. I do however work for a second company every 1 to 2 years to try and avoid IR35 investigations.
  8. As a director of my own company there are a lot of efficiencies you can make, but this is taking it too far. I also know of other contractors that pay themselves <£10k to avoid NI as well. I would not like to be in their shoes when HMRC come a calling. For the record, I base my salary on my last full time/staff job in the same position .... then take the rest as dividends, so I also skew the average earnings statistics.
  9. I had an interview this week for a 1 year contract. As a contractor on short term projects I charge a day rate. The cheeky feckers at the interview were offering this short term contract on staff terms with pension, car allowance, holidays etc. I told them I was only interested in continuing day rating or a real fulltime staff position. Luckily I have work lined up for the next year so not in a rush to take it and leave a higher paid position (but with worse travel/working away). They will find someone though as my sector is starting to struggle, but I cannot see the more experienced in my line of work taking a pay cut.
  10. I am looking at it differently. I am in Guildford and rather than pay peak/just off peak prices at £750k to £850k for a 4 / 5 bed detached house, nice street in the catchment area of the best town state secondary school. I have decided to hold off and pay £6k a year for private (primary) schooling for the next 2 or 3 years, and wait for these houses to drop by £100k to £200k. I don't have a mortgage on my modest 3 bed semi, but I am much happy knowing I will not be strangled by debt for the next 20 years by buying at peak. So instead of £15k to £20k/year mortgage payments - all be it in a nicer house, I have payments of £6k and the freedom to enjoy holidays, meals out, etc. For what its worth, I looked at South Farnham where the state schools are slightly better, but houses were only slightly cheaper and came to the same conclusion to go private (plus South Farnham was a bit boring for us).
  11. Currently living & working in Norway and considering moving here. Most people speak English and there is plenty of work. Will make my mind up after seeing through the coming winter. Have lived in The Netherlands for a few years but at the moment prefer Norway.
  12. One of our neighbours is a planning inspector. He has built a brick 'shed' at the bottom of his garden to keep his 'scuba-diving' equipment in. This equipment needs a bath for washing it and electrics etc. Of course no inspection is needed as it is for the diving equipment - although in reality it is often used for housing the family.
  13. I am working in Stavanger and can confirm prices are high and can be anywhere from 50% to double to what we pay ... steak dinner and glass of beer/wine can be £25 to £30. I believe the Norwegians minimum wage is double to ours, so drinking in the quayside bars will set you back around £8 for 0.4l beer (~2/3rds pint). The Noggins are pretty smashed from drinking at home before they come out and everyone stacks up on duty free in the airport before passing through customs. I have got into the habit of having a few large G&Ts before heading out. I like it and thinking of moving there as it doesn't seem to be having any of the financial problems the UK has and I'll may spend a few years there untill we finally have property back to reasonable levels. Not encountered the long nights, winter snows or the heavy rains yet, so will make my mind up in January.
  14. I have been following sales in the GU1 & GU4 areas. For GU1, Rightmove currently has 60 house ads over 500k, but this includes several repeat ads and quite a few 'under offer'. I guess there are about 45 different houses currently on. For GU1, Rightmove currently has 95 house ads over 500k, again this includes several repeat ads and 'under offer'. I guess there are about 75 different houses currently on. We have just had the Spring bounce with a lot of houses going under offer. For what its worth here are the sale prices for the two postcodes over the last 6 months. Last Six Months (13 completed/registered sales in GU1 over 500k) Austen Road 760k Downsway 845k Fairway 1,150k Fort Road 950k Hilier Road 800k Horshoe Lane East 720k Lancaster Avenue 550k Pewley Hill 690k & 750k Three Pears Road 947k White House Drive 585k Woodruff Avenue 545k Wychelm Rise 680k Last Six Months (11 completed/registered sales in GU4 over 500k) Clifford Manor Road 1,512k & 1,075k Darfield Road 500k East Shalford Lane 875k Halfpenny Lane 1,650k Highcotts lane 850k Oak Grange Road 975k Rectory Close 530k The Street 530k Tilehouse Road 1,130k Whitmoor Lane 1,500k It will be interesting to see what the houses in the Spring bounce actually sold for (if their chains hold). I guess these figures will come out in the Autumn. For those of us priced out, hopefully the 1st half of 2009 sales will set the bench mark lower and the added redundancies/job uncertainties/lack of credit will finally get the price correction back on track in Guildford over the winter.
  15. Yes, own outright and still in our first house we bought back in 1998 - we never moved due to my work being international for the last 6 years along with the huge HPI in the town. We are looking to buy in the £800k bracket and had an agreed sale price of £295k in Jan 2008 on our house. But Guildford is very slow to correct, so we decided we couldn't be bothered with the hassle of STR and stayed. Our property is now worth £230k to £240k while our target properties are still coming on the market at the peak prices (>£1million). The one or two that have caught the eye have been sold within weeks, so quality Guildford houses appear immune to the HPC.
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