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Everything posted by sleepwello'nights

  1. I remember lots of complaints about how inadequate returns on pensions were during the recession of the 90s. Annuity rates have also fallen and certainly haven't kept up with the promises made by financial advisors in past years. Hubris can hit "cautious" savers as well.
  2. I used to love going to see an uncle and aunt when I was a boy of about 6. They had a colour television. As I recall it was quite a substantial piece of furniture, it was about four or five feet high with a six inch screen. The interlude was on lots of the time, or the test card. Oh yeah, colour, it was brown. There were also a number of articles in the newspapers of the day bemoaning how television was destroying the family and society.
  3. You can always ask the freeholder if he wants to sell the freehold. Often the ground rent is negligble these days, there's a market for selling freeholds.
  4. There is a similar arrangement on the development I live in. The owners contribute to the maintenance of the common parts of the development. It is maintained to a much higher standard than areas where the local authority is responsible for the maintenance of the landscaping. The highway authority is responsible for the maintenance of the roads and pavements in the development.
  5. I think it depends on what you're buying, branded stuff, electronics, where you can rely on online reviews are often more conveniently bought online. I agree with you about clothes though I prefer to try them on before I buy. though returns are easily catered for without too much inconvenience. Do you think that the closure of retail outlets simply reflects a shrinking of the bricks and mortar channel rather than a fall in total volume.
  6. Buy in small quantities, 20 sovereigns will be delivered in a small jiffy bag, nothing for thru burglars to notice. Unless the postman tells them
  7. That's how it works in Cuba. Education is free, even for the equivalent of a PhD. Graduates have to work in the public sector for a short period, 5 years I think I was told. After that they can work wherever they wish. Mind you most employment is the public sector anyway. Both our tour guide and driver were had PhDs. One was in maths and the other in physics.
  8. I would also say the price of land is manipulated by the house builders cartel. I've said before that around where I live single building plots are very scarce and when any become available they sell for very high prices. However if I wanted to build an estate, say 100+ houses, then I could have my pick from several locations. The unit price for a single house on one of these areas is a fraction of the price I would have to pay for one of the occasional single plots that become available. The major house builders tie in land owners with options that exclude other buyers and then sell off the bits they don't want to some of the other major house builders. All very cosy.
  9. How about if they charged the buyers a storage fee? Then they could leave the oil in the ground, save the costs of extracting it and then make money from storing it. Sounds like a winner.
  10. Doesn't that depend on who they are being built for. You're presupposing they're being built speculatively for resale.
  11. You should be pleased, both look like BTLs with landlords selling.
  12. And there I was thinking you enjoyed a bit of banter, oh well. I've no issue with the ethics or morality of providing homes for rent, its legal after all. Not that I feel a need to justify myself I don't think I was an exploitative landlord. The properties I owned were new at the time of purchase, repairs were minimal and when needed were attended to quite promptly. I complied with legislative requirements, deposits were protected and returned when the tenants left with only reasonable deductions. In fact I was generally quite lax with my check out procedures, I was often rebuked by my wife for overlooking issues that she tells me I should have made a deduction for. I became quite adept at cleaning carpets and ovens. I didn't use letting agents so that stripped out a layer of expense and communication that could be a factor for the dissatisfaction mentioned by some posters. As I advertised the properties myself incoming tenants didn't have to fork out fees to letting agents. Its quite simple why I sold my BTL properties, the price increases since I purchased them gave me in excess of 10 years rental income without any of the associated costs or risks of asset price falls and interest rate rises. I'm over state pension age now so I'm positioning myself with a different investment perspective. The BTL's more than achieved my investment objectives. I must confess I was influenced by the views expressed on this site to some extent and I know I was fortunate how my interests aligned with the steps taken to prevent economic collapse. Mindful of the disruption landlords selling could cause tenants I only sold when tenants left so I have a clear conscience in that I never forced a tenant to move. In fact I only ever gave one tenant notice, and all her neighbours were delighted when she left. I could have held on a bit longer and benefitted from the latest price inflation, but then a profit is a profit and better a Chinese loss than a real loss from holding on too long. In answer to your question I don't regret selling the houses I rented. I've considered buying a couple of houses to rent as I won't need a mortgage. Yields of around 5% are achievable which is comparable with stocks and shares. However I'm influenced by the cautious outlook on the global economy, so at the moment my investments are more heavily weighted towards cash, with the consequent low yield. If I do involve myself with property again I'd like to try and realise my ambition to build something. I've been looking for a reasonably priced plot for many years now and when the few plots become available someone always buys them for a higher price than I think they're worth. I might explore the houses in Italy for €1. BTL as a pension worked in the early 2000s, when I first considered it the typical two bedroom ftb house in the are I live was IIRC £50-£60k. I came across a local newspaper when unpacking some stuff a year or two ago I think rents were in the £6-£700 pcm region. With a 15 year repayment mortgage it wouldn't have been difficult for the rent to have paid for the house and have an unencumbered income after that. The sums don't work now, as you obviously know and the tax changes will make it even less attractive.
  13. So am I right in summarising that 30 years ago you realised that residential property letting was morally or ethically wrong? Your initial posts on this site state that you are one of the landlords that treat your tenants well and subsequent posts state that you are winding down your property portfolio as tenants move on. Why then have you continued with an activity that you consider morally and ethically wrong for 30 years?
  14. There are none so righteous as the newly converted. Pray tell your Damascene moment.
  15. So if I understand what you guys are saying about negative interest rates (which I don't think I do) I should borrow as much as I can so that I will be paid for holding a debt? The smart move then is to buy an overpriced house?
  16. Surprisingly enough someone I know with two children tells me a number of 3 bedroom houses he saw advertised when he was looking for somewhere to rent refused to allow tenants with children. A serious WTF moment.
  17. Provided they didn't deposit their money in a Greek bank.
  18. That's similar to the point I was trying to make about the hyperinflation in Zimbabwe, inflation is a symptom not a cause. The monetary units as SpectrumFXs' phrase neatly points out are just different scales on the ruler.
  19. From a cursory glance at the map it seems as if the happiest places are those with the least employment, hence the lower house prices.
  20. I can't agree with your assertion. Inflation is a symptom not a cause. An explanation put forward on "Khan Academy" is that inflation is caused by demand being greater than supply. The lack of capacity allows price to be bid up by those who want the goods or service. In a free market what will happen is that capital will be redeployed to take advantage of the higher prices to increase supply. Thus supply and demand will return to balance and prices will fall. As we don't seem to have free markets government intervention, regulation and barriers to entry conspire to prevent supply and demand balancing.
  21. No. Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe was a symptom of the problems caused when productive farming land was taken back by the state and redistributed to those who were incapable of working it. The resulting shortage of food caused an increase in prices that the government tried to counteract by printing money. So the hyperinflation was not caused by money printing.
  22. Was this the strategy you followed and are you now in cash? Keith Waterhouse always used to publish his budget predictions the day after the budget. So uncannily accurate.
  23. I expect when I start to contemplate that situation my living costs will increase dramatically. There will be so much work needed to keep my house in good repair. Repairs can be so expensive can't they. I also expect I'll develop a taste for a few bottles of fine wine every day, expensive holidays, a gambling habit. The worry of the state taking away my savings will cause so much stress that it will have an impact on my lifestyle.
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