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About hawthorn

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  1. Thanks for posting this it was really interesting. I live in the kind of area that Andres Duany would describe as multi-planned, that is, different income groups and types of housing/businesses mixed in with each other - from about over £500K to council tower blocks. One of the reasons some streets are seen as more desirable can be that they are in closer proximity to a posher pocket which might not be so obvious to non locals. A house on the periphery of a good area will cost more than one slightly further down the street which might also be next to a busier road. Estate agents will also market houses in the border area as belonging to the good area and the price increases - it's then seen as more desirable and the cycle continues. The posher areas will have a history and reputation of long term residents, wealth, (plenty of doctors/lawyers etc.), nice gardens, tree lined streets etc., so will be known as trouble free and desirable to live next to. Areas with high BTL's can be a bit more unkempt as tenants/landlords don't bother about the place and locals can get to know the places with high turnover and avoid those streets (or part of a street). The lines can be drawn quite subtly between different areas that don't look much different on the outside. As another poster pointed out there can be big differences in size inside. One tree lined street in my area attracts less traffic and is seen as quieter and more attractive - the rooms are much bigger inside and therefore the price is a good £20K+ higher than houses on an adjacent street - even if they look similar on the outside and are right next to each other. Being close to council housing is not a problem if the tenants are okay but it just takes a few bad families to move in and a once desirable street (and surrounding streets which are affected) becomes less so. People start moving out and the unaware move in - but eventually the street loses its good reputation. One end of the street may still be popular because it's far enough away from the trouble and next to something desirable - lively cafe/shopping/night life area. It works the other way as well and watching where cafes and pubs are springing up can be a good indicator of a traditionally more downmarket area that is attracting interest (i.e. if house prices are just too high in the good/popular areas people will move a little bit further along, businesses will get cheaper rates etc and the ball starts rolling). It can take a while though and nothing is certain. Having watched the video I think some of the appeal will be subconscious, i.e. a slightly more lively atmosphere, better light, possibly more attractive gardens. There are some streets (or part of a street) which I just don't like as much and I've never known why but now I think I am registering gaps,slightly uglier buildings, less cared for gardens, less light or people without realising it.
  2. Some very nasty comments but IMHO looking after 3 kids IS work and society benefits from 3 future workers/taxpayers so the work IS valuable. Is it her fault wages are low and childcare costs are not? If this family are forced into temp housing then the quality of life will decrease for all of them and they may end up under/ unemployed (and guess who will foot the bill?) Children benefit from a stable background and good housing so a long term view would be that it's better to assist them. People are stretching their finances to buy houses because the alternative is a short term private tenancy - high rents, crap landlords, dodgy flats, not much security. There's also the hope that you'll be mortgage free at some point . I don't know this woman's circumstances and whether hubby did a runner or not but marriage breakups, ill health, redundancies etc., happen and surely the government should be implementing schemes to take account of this. A buy up system where the house is transferred to the gov/local council in return for a secured tenancy could work. They're going to have to pay housing benefit in any case and this way they get a house out of it to build up the depleted social housing stock (if they acquire a few in London they can rent them out to MP's and stop the 2nd houses scam!)It would probably work out cheaper than paying for private rents and the excess could be used for maintenance/repairs farmed out to an insurance/repair company. It also stops people jumping on a 'get your house paid for by the taxpayer' gravy train - can't have the lower orders emulating their betters now can we?
  3. If he can't earn much and may not even be able to get a job isn't it better to stay on at school or go on to a college course or something? With a recession on it may be better to keep studying and build up qualifications than launch yourself out there. I commend you for being decent enough to offer your sister your savings but you might need this yourself. I worked as a CAB advisor for a while and life is full of unexpected thingies. If your sister downsizes your nephew can sleep in the living room and use storage space for his things (or she can). Better than being on the street - look upon it as a temporary measure. I know of one person who rented a 1 bed flat and curtained off a section of the LR for her son. The extra money saved went towards the deposit on their 2 bed house - the inconvenience lasted only for a few years. If you get a largish LR, a decent sized hallway or lots of storage space then you can spread the 'bedroom' throughout the house.
  4. Can I ask which EA you used and why you had to move agent after 4 weeks?? Was the home pack price roughly what you were expecting anyway? Nice to hear there are still some house sales
  5. hawthorn

    Glasgow Ea

    Clyde is one of the EA's I am considering. They are well represented in this area (but quite a few other EA's & GSPC are as well - hard to say who is leader). Clyde also seem to have a strong lettings side as well which I tend to think as a good thing in current market. A couple of estate agents have closed already so I'm a bit wary as I don't want to be paying hips & fees twice! Lucky you selling in 2 weeks - what did you do right? There are some flats around here that have been on for ages and not moving while others have sold for a reasonable price. I wonder if the ones that are not selling are expecting 2007 prices or need to redecorate or something.
  6. hawthorn

    Glasgow Ea

    I'm not having a go at GSPC. Just wondered if long term EA's such as Slater Hogg would have more expertise. Also some GSPC's don't seem to have diversified into lettings which might help to keep them afloat in difficult times. Your company appears to deal in sales and lettings - would you agree with this? Is the lettings side of your business increasing as sales slow down? If people don't want to buy they'll have to rent instead so I would think there would be an increase in that sector. By the way what have you got against Countrywide - I noticed you slated them on another thread - are they your biggest competitor ?
  7. hawthorn

    Glasgow Ea

    Thanks for your reply fflump - gspc have been selling a lot of property in the 'good' times when houses were probably selling themselves (roughly equal with EA's I think) but with a more difficult market I wondered if they would be at a disadvantage. Also gspc are mostly solicitor/mortgage consultant based and therefore possibly having a hard time of it with less demand for those services at the moment. Some estate agents on the other hand have diversity in the form of lettings which I thought may help them stay afloat. Sales are well down and I don't expect them all to survive - I hear that many are operating on a skeleton staff and have cut opening hours to save costs. The trouble is if they are in difficulty they are not likely to tell you! K
  8. hawthorn

    Glasgow Ea

    Have decided to put house on market in westend of Glasgow sometime this year (spring/summer). As its a difficult market I will need the best EA (am prepared to accept a lower price/redecorate). Any recommendations? Would it be better to use a 'proper' EA instead of GSPC? Also is there any way of checking out the financial state of an EA/solicitor - what happens if they go out of business while handling your transaction? I am assuming I will be just another creditor and will have to whistle for my cash in the event of a company going bust. Any advice appreciated K
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