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leftofcentre

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About leftofcentre

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  1. Hi folks, after many months of obsessively following the housing market I took the plunge and got a decent 3 bed semi in Belfast for 155k. At the moment I am busy getting it tidied up, but I am stuck as to what to do about heating. Currently the house has oil in it, but I was tempted to get gas in as we are in a phoenix gas area. I like the idea of getting rid of the boiler house, oil & water tanks, flue etc. but is it overkill if the oil is working ok? The downside of gas might be that the boiler takes up some space in the kitchen. I like the convenience of gas, and it seems we can convert for about £1,200 as phoenix are giving you £400 in a boiler scrapage scheme. The house is quite well insulated, and me and the wife don’t like a lot of heat, we tend to only put it on for an hour or two when it’s really cold. Has anyone any views on which heating system is better, or is it 6 of one half a dozen of the other? All opinions welcome. Thanks Brian
  2. The brother in law is a roofer. He does a lot of work for the housing executive and housing associations. Those guys put you through the ringer before they put you on their lists, so he knows his stuff. I will pm you his details. Ah it seems i can't message you? Must be a block on newbies. Anyway his site is: http://www.k.com best to call his mobile as he is out and about a lot. Brian MOD EDIT business name removed as per forum rules
  3. Hi folks, at some stage soon i shall be moving house. I was thinking it would be good to get some help and advice with decorating the house, and revamping the garden. Now i know i can read magazines for inspiration, and go round ikea etc, but my problem is I find it hard to decide when i have so many choices. Does anyone know any interior/garden designers in Belfast? Anyone any experience of prices/service? I had a quick google but most of the people scare me with photos of million pound house make overs. I have visions of scary ulster tatler type people pulling up in their mercs and suggesting 10k sofas. My house will be more your standard Belfast semi. I basically want a friendly approachable person who would go round the house with me and give me suggestions on what to do. More idea and b & q basically. Any suggestions? Brian
  4. I have some updates. Note consider this post as rumour, bloke in a pub stuff. They are offering people a 10% discount or there is a second offer where you get a larger discount (i forget the exact discount, 20%?) but you have to pay the money back after a few years. One person i heard who refused to completed, they threated to issue a a high court writ, she said go ahead as she has no assets but as yet she has heard nothing. I would imagine they will go after people with assets, but note even if you have an existing property with a mortgage, its not your anyway its the banks, so they can not take this into account as far as i know. Whats the current market value likely to be? 1 bed £125k, 2 bed £150? at best i would imagine. Brian
  5. A friend of mine is a sustainability consultant. They just build their own eco home and they went for a wood pellet border, underground heating, and a heating recovery system. He is running a workshop on all this stuff for people who are interested: http://www.sustainablehomeworkshop.com Its aimed a self builders and building industry types. I think the basic idea is too insulate like crazy, that way you will only need minimal heat. Heat recovery systems only work for new builds as the house needs to be airtight. I was at the self build show to, of all the stands i liked the idea of this one for existing homes: http://www.nuaire.co.uk/Product/Residential_Products/Positive_Input_Ventilation It pumps fresh air into your house so it covers the local obession with fresh air. Brian
  6. Thats because they are both built by the same company: http://www1.gcdtech.com/portfolio.php Personally i think it look oks, its functional. Brian
  7. I two have taken the jump. We are currently buying a standard belfast 3 bed semi, its got a garage and its in a good area. It would have been 300k in the boom, but we are getting it for 170k. Personally i feel the prices of houses like this will go to about 150k, but my logic is the house we are selling will fall correspondingly so hopefully we are not too far off. We are buying because we currently have a house, i would say if you are renting still hold off for a year or two. Brian
  8. If this is press censorship, its pretty bad press censorship and it was the front page story in yesterdays irish news They said he is getting some heart operation and is retiring. Brian
  9. I got the email to. To be fair propertynews do not pass on your details to third parties, if you look the email came from marketing@propertynews.com These are marketing emails they send occasionally to people who register on their site. If you do not want to receive them you just click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email and you will get no more of them. Brian
  10. Thanks for your view rideon, but you to be clear i am looking at living in this house myself not renting it out. I was only looking at rental yield as a measure of establishing what the realistic price of the house should be. Basically doing what everyone else here is doing and trying to guess where the market will bottom out. Brian
  11. Primetime this week was about trying to call the bottom of the market: http://www.rte.ie/player/#v=1062589 Most experts predicted falls of 50-60% from the peek prices. Interesting viewing. PS: I was able to watch rte online with my virgin cable connection in belfast, but depending on your ISP they might not let you view the content. Brian
  12. Hi folks, i was considering buying your standard belfast semi in a half decent area for £170k. This house would have been 300k in the silly times. I have recently discovered the concept of rental yield (I know economics was never my strong point, ironically i have an a level in it). Am i right in thinking that rental yield is a good indicator of what house prices should be? I would say this house would rent at £650 a month, so times 11 months gives you £7150 a year in rent. 7150 / 170k * 100 gives you a rental yield of 4.2%. Now here is my problem, what does that actually mean? Is it good/bad? whats the average for Belfast? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks Brian
  13. Hi folks, some real experience from the field. We were thinking of buying a house in Belfast, here is the experience of 2 houses we looked at. Both are typical 3 bed semis in Belfast. Both where on the market for £166k. House number 1 went on the market for 2 weeks ago, and today it seems to be sold for 165k. There was 5 parties interested in it. The second house is the one were are interested in but i was thinking of paying 140k, but the agent is saying there is similar interest in it, and it might go to 160k. Now i know some of this can be EA talking up, but i got a developer chap i know to ring up and find out the score, he confirmed it all. He also said property is moving and he personally is buying again, as are other developers/investors. To be honest I was stunned, even at 140k i thought it was a premium. So it seems buyers are coming back into the market. Personally i think this is a false rebound, i think i will wait till next year before looking again. It seems people never learn and some people are still keen to pay high prices. It probaully shows that in the property market there is as much emotion as economics. I personally think there is at least another 10-20% fall still to come. I know this is only my experience do let me know if you hear otherwise. Brian
  14. Hi rideon sorry for the confusion. I do not have 140k handy ( I wish) I meant we have enough savings to cover the difference between the price we sell the old house at ( I think 110k) and the price of the new house. 30k of a difference. I think you are right being a LL seems a lot of hassle. Brian
  15. Hi folks, re mortgage. We and the wife are prodigious savers so we are lucky in that we should not need a mortgage. I suppose my main decision is should i sell our current house or rent it out? We favour just flogging it as I have no desire to be a landlord (I never understand the buy to let obsession). If we rented it we would need a mortgage for the new house. I detest banks and debt with a passion, so we favour being mortage free. If I sell the current house, then everything is relavant, eg if we wait the price of our current house will fall in line with the prices of other houses. I suppose I am really just talking out loud as we have so many options, it does get complex. I can't help thinking that this whole housing lark is overly complicated by the legions of banks and solicitors screwing us all over. As regards would we be content there, i think so. We both have good jobs so in theory we good afford a nicer area/bigger house etc but we are not really the materialistic type, we like an easy life with little hassle. The main reason we are moving is we live in a terraced street and we get a lot of petty vandalism with our car being damaged, our main criteria is a quiet area. Brian
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