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Everything posted by sparkle-space

  1. I think there is a tendency on here to assume that if you are struggling then it's all your own fault for being profligate with your spending. While I agree that is often the case and get cross when I go to look at a house on for a ridiculous price and the owners have a great big camper van sat in the driveway that I just know they MEWed for, actually people do struggle because the UK economy is on the hard shoulder with its blinkers on!! Everyone I know is struggling to make ends meet - and they don't all have Sky, two cars etc. etc. I rent so can't grow my own veg because the landlord won't let me, and I've been on the waiting list for an allotment for three years! I buy pretty much all my family's clothes from charity shops, we get to work the cheapest way possible, we don't even have a TV license let alone Sky, I have a mega cheap phone contract (£10pm with free phone), I use the library extensively for all our family's books, I buy my food from our local market when I can, use Lidl, buy end of day cheap options, make stew and freeze it, check price comparison sites for deals compulsively etc. etc. I'm a manager in my company and my husband is an IT expert - and I have less money than when I first started out in my career! I've always lived carefully but this is crazy! As for saving for a deposit, hmmm!
  2. Indeed - and more than five pictures!! However, you could have this similar property (not quite as modern true, and they don't mention if the water wheel works), for a mere £595k, reduced from £650k - and they've been trying to sell this for a good couple of years with open days and all sorts - what a difference location makes! http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-25662754.html/svr/1713;jsessionid=5BAC5D372335C4B433C1E1933B59B95C
  3. In the 18 miles between the town where I live and the town where I work - a main trunk road but with only small villages along it - there were three petrol stations 2 years ago. Now there is one and they have been trying to sell for about the same length of time (they are also a thriving MOT garage/repair place/van hire etc.). One of the others was also a cafe and has been empty for a year. The third, the owners really struggled to sell it and now lease it I think, to a used car company. Pretty much everyone I know gets their petrol at Morrisons.
  4. We're actually looking to move to Cardiff from mid Wales as there are limited job opportunities here and even more limited affordable houses (3 bed council houses easily go for £150k+). There seem to be a lot of affordable houses in Cardiff in the £120 - £160k range, or are we just looking at really bad areas? Where are the decent areas to live or are they all just vastly overpriced?
  5. Emphasis mine - but 'hope' is the key word, and as others have pointed out, they won't necessarily get a mortgage. It's also a bit meaningless until they have actually bought a house. I'm sure 100% of people would hope for a pay rise this year or to win the lottery or become more attractive etc! Means nothing
  6. Several things wrong in this situation - for a start, he wasn't a proper council tenant, but worked for the council and wangled his way in to the property, before trying to buy it through the 'right to buy' scheme, so he was just a bit of an opportunist really. But no-one has pointed out the ridiculous rise in the price of a house in 15 years from £93k to £350k!! See: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1313610/Tenant-wins-15-year-legal-battle-buy-350-000-council-house-just-60-000.html#ixzz104Tf8ln5
  7. If the article was about one of the current flat owners trying to sell with massive negative equity I could understand it but am also completely puzzled as to why she's moaning about the thousands of pounds of profit merely be dint of buying at the right time, miserable cow! Someone should leave a comment...
  8. There are two houses now for sale privately on my route into work, plus one house privately listed on ebay, another I know of sold privately through a local email list and there are a couple of private 'to let' signs too. I live in a very rural area so this is a fairly significant number! But the questions is, what is this a sign of? People deciding that they can't afford estate agents fees, or people wanting more for their house than the estate agents are willing to sell it for? I've enquired about two of the properties and both seemed very highly priced to me - especially bearing in mind that the owners wouldn't be paying any fees. Anyone else noticed this and has any thoughts? s-s
  9. Actually, I hate to say this, but people do!! I was very depressed this morning to get my mouseprice newsletter - a house that last sold for £135k in 2007, was sold last month for £203k.... I remember this one being on the market and as far as I could see was nice, but hadn't been massively modernised to justify the nearly £70k increase at a time when house prices were pretty flat. And this isn't the only one that's made a profit in the last three years, although certainly the most significant. This is a small Welsh town btw, not inner London or anything. When will the HPC happen again, people round here don't particuarly seem to have noticed... ?
  10. We're currently looking half-seriously, with a view to buying either this year or next - we're fed up of renting, baby on the way, already got one child etc. We also want to move into town and can't find a decent rental property there (these are very small towns in mid-Wales we're talking about!). We have £20k saved but it's depressing how little that will get us. We are also one of the unhappy people who expected house prices to have become more reasonable by now. Especially when you see houses come on the market for £205k that were last bought for £40k less than two years ago - makes me want to write to the owner asking where they get their rationale from! To be fair, prices do seem to be very regional - for what you'd pay £250k for in the town we want to live in would sell for £100k less in a town 10 miles up the road. Depressed now... maybe we should talk about something else!?
  11. I don't have hard numbers but I do have some anecdotes which maybe illustrate the mentality in some areas of the public sector - mostly in councils, not hospitals etc. I do think that everyone should have a decent wage and working conditions, but as earlier posters have said, not if it's at the expense of everyone else and puts the country in hoc. My anger is mostly with the (w)bankers and why we didn't follow the greeks example I'll never know after what they did to the country! Anecdote 1: This is a family member, worked in his council for his entire working life, about to retire on full pension. Regularly manages to 'redirect' resources meant for council projects for his own use - 'everyone does it' he says, 'nothing wrong with that' when we point out it's our taxes paying for that. Takes regular sickies, doctor offered to sign him off long-term sick so that he didn't have to go into work until he retired as he was 'a bit stressed'. Anecdote 2: Family member part of a team sub-contracted to do maintenance on council houses. If they were called out to a job, and didn't do a proper job so had to be called back, they got paid _extra_. So of course they spent their whole time messing up jobs as a nice little earner. My husband used to work in the council and said he's never worked anywhere where people take the p**** so much - long term sickies (as someone said, a lot of workers feel like they are entitled to it), slacking off, someone whose job had become redundant but they couldn't sack him so he just played solitaire all day etc. So yes, these examples show clear inefficiencies - in my job I can't see me 'losing' expensive items and not getting a serious grilling over it! I also can't see it not being questioned if I have to keep redoing work as it wasn't done properly the first time. But lets get the bankers first before we deal with the public sector!!
  12. Yep, doom and gloom in our office too. For quite a few months now a major topic of conversation has been how expensive it is just to live, and how rapidly livings costs have been going up. Most of us are part-time and we are all taking on extra jobs to make ends meet. The office is split 50/50 between homeowers and renters. Our business has been doing better in the last year or so despite the recession but our suppliers costs have gone up over 100% so we're massively curtailing our budget and we are all a bit worried for our jobs. None of us has any particular faith in the coalition, we were all angry at the election results, for varying reasons, and none of us has any hopes for it getting better - I get the impresson we are all holding our breath for the emergency budget to see how bad it is going to be. Other than that we're a cheery bunch really
  13. omg I love it!!!! That's the funniest thing I've heard all day. I can just see other vendors jumping on the bandwagon: "and you'll find that the very reasonable price of £6 million reflects the diamond mine under the patio, which due to a bad back I am unable to prospect myself"
  14. Just had a quick look at other properties in that area in the price range, if you had half a million to spend: For £410k you can get this lovely 4 bed detached property: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-24361273.html?premiumA=true Or for a slightly pricier £440k you can get this 5bed double garage with a swimming pool delight: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-26791193.html Or down at the cheaper end you can get this 2bed flat with garden for just under £70k - 70% shared ownership mind you and no premium: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-14685822.html Shared ownership does seem to be the name of the game in that area so I guess this woman is just jumping on the bandwagon but taking it to the max (to mix metaphors somewhat). Maybe she MEWed her share to the hilt and is not trying to get it out of some other poor sucker?
  15. I was looking into this the other day as I was getting tired of it being trotted out as a reason for prices to keep going up ad infinitum. After a bit of basic research I found: • The population of the UK was 61.4 million in mid-2008, up by 408,000 (0.7 per cent) on the previous year and over two million more than in mid-2001 (from The Office of National Statistics (http://www.statistics.gov.uk), specifically: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/popnr0809.pdf) House building figures were much harder to come by and I had to rely on an article in the end, not the most reliable source, (http://www.24dash.com/news/Housing/2010-02-18-Number-of-new-homes-built-falls-to-lowest-level-for-64-years) but: 118,000 in 2009 (low) 168,140 in the year to March 2008 (peak) Taking an average (mean) of these two figures, that's 143, 700 per year, 1,437,000 over the 10 years. Now, considering that many of those houses will be occupied by more than one person it seems to me there are plenty of houses to go around. Anyone got any better and more reliable figures???
  16. Excellent post. If those suggestions were followed then things would change a lot for the better. There could even be caveats such that if people _had_ to move, and were way down in negative equity then a certain percentage would be paid off, or the interest rate on that portion would be zero for instance - tight enough regulations so that people couldn't take the p*** but helpful enough to minimise the suffering of massive house price cuts. There is nothing we can do about the past, a lot we can do about the future. Apportioning blame, although therapeutic (I won't even begin to tell you what I would do to any banker I met!), doesn't actually get us anywhere. Thinking of sensible fixes to the problem does - however harsh they are. And right now we need harsh otherwise the UK is going to slide even further down into a moral and economic cesspool.
  17. As I said, I don't really know Swansea, I was just shocked at how low the prices were compared to the Machynlleth/Aberystwyth area where I am. Those prices are half what a house on a dodgy estate here is. See my other post on the fact that house prices in Cambridgeshire are cheaper than round here, which seems utterly crazy to me. I'm about ready to throw in the towel, although not sure how. People here still seem to want prices that are beyond the means of anyone other than the very top earners here (and there are only so many doctors/dentists in the area!). One house that came on the market was bought for £80k in 2000, and is now on the market for £285k....
  18. A relative recently bought a 4-bed house in a Cambridgeshire village - lovely house, all mod cons, extra rooms (study, utility, posh kitchen etc.), nice estate, nice village within commuting distance of Cambridge. They paid just over £250k for it which is out of my price range but fair enough I thought, it is Cambridgeshire, it's bound to be pricey. But no, you too can spend over quarter of a million pounds on a house in a small village near you! Compare these two houses, one in a mid-Wales village (average income less than £18k, the least populated county in England & Wales, not many local job opportunites (ok ok there is a university and the Welsh Assembly), and the other in a Cambridgeshire village - much higher average income, much more job opportunities within the wider area etc. So why is the one in the Cambridgeshire village cheaper?? Cambridge: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-27425387.html?premiumA=true Machynlleth: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-14707365.html How on earth can people around here possibly afford these house prices? It's a crazy crazy girl boys and girls! Popeth yn dwl!
  19. Check out the next John Francis Swansea Auction (http://www.johnfrancis.co.uk/auctionswansea.htm) I have to admit that I don't know Swansea at all, but the prices listed seem incredibly cheap (compared to where I am in mid-Wales anyway). £130-£160k for a very nice family house in Mount Pleasant and £70-£90k to a former 5-bed student house. They both need work but even so, is this showing where Swansea house prices are heading??
  20. We had cupcakes at our wedding too - but paid around £1 per cake (incl. postage), spent £15 on decorations and borrowed a cake stand! (not that we are thrifty are anything and luckily I could rope in a couple of relatives to do the decorating). There are many many many cupcake businesses out there, I think this article is a bit of puff to make her stand out from the rest. I fully believe she is trying to make a business out of it and has just exaggerated the figures somewhat - better to say you are selling 1,000 a day, than a couple of dozen at your kids school fair! Personally I'd rather buy from an established business with a good record of service and quality than someone who is doing it because they are desperate!
  21. Plaid Cymru should also be listed (as they do actually have 3 MPS). See: http://www.parliament.uk/mpslordsandoffices/mps_and_lords/stateparties.cfm for the current composition of the House of Commons, should provide a useful basis.
  22. Indeed, and they don't help themselves either by proving themselves to really be the lowest of the low: "A Lloyds TSB risk manager, uncle of meningitis amputee toddler stole £315,000 from her trust fund to pay for holidays... leaving just £239" http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1231054/Uncle-amputee-5--jailed-stealing-315-000-trust-fund-pay-expensive-holidays.html You couldn't make it up.....
  23. It always shocks me how many of the people on here are closet racists, disguised as concern about immigration. How many of you are or have relatives who are 'immigrants' in other countries - sauce for the goose and all that? I'm sure they are not all highly skilled professionals, and many of them just went travelling etc. and never came back or fancied that being unemployed/a binman in the sun was better than being unemployed/a binman in the rain. Our local hospital/dentists/doctors etc. would be empty of professionals if it wasn't for people from other countries doing the jobs that people from the UK don't seem to want. I could also go on about proving that you are British more than five generations back and the English hordes invading Wales (past and present) but I'm a nice person so I won't :-) So c'mon guys and gals, don't be so blinkered.
  24. I know several people who jumped desperately into a house purchase in 2007, feeling that they would be locked out forever otherwise. They are all hanging on so far but the mood has definitely changed and those I know who have yet to buy are waiting as long as they can. As a ftb what I just don't get is that so much information is available on sold house prices etc. that people have no reason not to be informed - when I look at a house I automatically look at what it's sold for - and for the life of me I can't see why I should pay 3 times as much for a house as the owner did less than 10 years ago, even if they have not improved it in any way. Fundamentals and 'it's different this time' aside, I cannot bring myself to mortgage myself up to the gills just to pay for their luxury lifestyle of the last 10 years. What I'm buying is fundamentally little different to what they bought, just 10 years older, so why should I suffer because they happened to be able to buy it at the right time. And I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels like that - well, obviously most people on here feel the same
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