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northeast Canuck

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About northeast Canuck

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  1. Received this yesterday from a local estate agent. They seem pretty excited about HTB.
  2. Heard on the BBC that there will be an upper income limit of £150k (although I cannot find it anywhere written down). If this is the case, then surely it makes a mockery of the whole thing - you can qualify and stress test but not be TOO good or you don't qualify? Seems to me that the upper range of the HTB would be almost impossible to qualify for as you would need the income to get a mortgage for £570k (stress tested), pay the £24k stamp duty, but not make more than £150k? Definitely not thought through properly.
  3. It will be very interesting to see what happens here regarding loan qualification. In Canada the system has the perverse effect of making it more likely to qualify (and at a lower rate) if you only put 5% down rather than 25%. Why is this? Because when you only put 5% down the government insures the rest so therefore far less risk to the bank to issue mortgages with low deposits than with healthy ones. With help to buy I believe it's only the 15% that is insured so maybe not so much of a problem, but if I were an EA I would be on the phone today to all those buyers who haven't been success
  4. The Help to Buy scheme is a big deal - not the new build part but the mortgage guarantee part. This has been in existence in Canada since WWII (known as the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) and its main purpose was to underwrite mortgages for returning servicemen who didn't have deposits but needed houses for their new families. A great and necessary thing at that time. In recent years it has become one of the main reasons for massive house price inflation there and it is only since it was capped and severely restricted by a government terrified about its $600 billion (CDN) liabilit
  5. I am Canadian, originally from Vancouver but living in the UK now. Left Canada in the 90's when jobs were scarce and walked into a permanent job here in the UK that I still have and is still better than anything I could ever get in Canada. It took at least five more years for my Canadian friends to get their starts and most have never caught up - some failed to launch completely. The OP moved to Canada 10 years ago - the early 2000's were the only time in recent memory when things were good for anyone starting out in Canada and it only lasted a short while (previous to this would have been t
  6. Sorry, let me clarify. I wouldn't quit my main job (skilled professional), but if I worked in the supermarket checkout then I might...
  7. I've done this a few times in the past - move into a crowded market - and it's worked every time. Getting the 'big idea' that translates into billions is extremely rare, like winning the lottery. Great if you win it, but disappointing and ruinous for the rest. Instead, find something that is easily and cheaply replicated and just do it a little better than the rest, in some way.
  8. Actually, individuals have been buying too, usually for parties of some sort, whether at work or birthdays etc. Corporate work falls into two categories - a) pre-paid events and invitations to come into HQ to sell during lunchtime, both of which result in the same amount of sales although the latter type takes more effort and about an additional two hours. Cost-wise from a corporate view it's a cheap option compared with other things and they can use it as promotional material (cupcake toppers with logos printed on) - there are loads of companies sitting on piles of cash who seem to be fine
  9. Chuffy, sorry didn't see your post there. Setup costs are almost nil - about £30 for the course (I think) and the kitchen mixer was about £350. Insurance is around £10 a month. We put it all through our existing business so there were no setup costs there at all. So all in all it costs around £400 to set it up, and of course the kitchen mixer is tax deductible. As far as costs go - each cupcake sells for around £1.75 but that will vary depending on the type. Average sell at a corporate do is 100 cupcakes. They take a morning to make and deliver. So all in all around 5 hours. Ingredie
  10. My wife did it/paid for it but I think it was around £30 for the online course and the inspection was free and very relaxed. Mainly looking for hygienic conditions, pets have to leave the kitchen during baking, keeping records of cleaning, baking etc. Really straightforward common-sense stuff and much of it is covered on the online course which you can do before the inspection. The main stumbling block for people is the sink layout - you cannot just have a single sink, I believe you can get away with a 1.5 configuration (ie one large one and a smaller rinsing one - this is what we have) but
  11. In defence of the humble cupcake, I have to say that you are all completely missing the point. My wife fairly recently started a little business making cupcakes, completely by accident. She had been making them as a hobby, and posted some nice photos on Facebook. The photos got liked by friends, then friends of friends, and then by loads of people who we don't know. Then, the requests for cupcakes started flowing in, sometimes from individuals but mainly from business. We started to think, hmmm... Yes, its a fad but there is clearly money to be made here. So, after a short environmental
  12. I agree with this completely. As I was watching it I just kept thinking that these people would have been in this situation no matter what the state of the economy was. Whether it was naivity, fecklessness, stupidity, or just plain bad luck there will always be people who are in terrible situations like this. The thing that really stood out for me was that it showed just how unable these people were to adapt and change their lives when faced with adversity. None of them appeared to be interested in trying to get a job, with the exception of the investment banker who really should be settin
  13. We moved to Vancouver in 2009 and returned last year. The main reason for our 'retreat' was the cost of living there was absolutely outrageous. Having sold our house here in Newcastle at the peak of the bubble we were off to Vancouver with high expectations only to return with our tail between our legs. The whole episode was a huge exercise in wealth destruction. The price of housing in Vancouver is beyond a joke. A previous poster was right when they stated that housing there was around 10x average income. Basically, Vancouver is like London in terms of housing costs, but without the ec
  14. Just because I don't take your bizarre perspective doesn't mean I am not "thinking". I just don't think like you do - because you are a nutter and I am not! Yep, the spruce goose is definitely the way forward. From what I recall it flew a few feet in the air for a few seconds and burnt tons of fuel with zillions of engines? Nice and efficient. I am sure that will handle mountain wave at 37000 feet no problem. I love how you suggest that because despite all the regulation and checks it would somehow be safer and better to have just loads of unregulated cheap systems all over the place (ye
  15. As a 737 Captain, I have read through some of the absolute crap written over the last few pages and at first I thought it was a joke but then quickly realised that it was for real. Wooden aeroplanes with non-retractable (but nicely "faired" undercarriage)? No autopilots? No windows? Holy god there are some total nutcases out there. Firstly, the simple one to deal with: No autopilots = very, very sick passengers. At 37000 feet the air is very thin and it a human being cannot possibly make the minute corrections necessary at the rate required to create smooth flight for long. Also, hand-f
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