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Everything posted by montesquieu

  1. This would be plausible if supply and demand were the only factors. However it ignores the effect of 'confidence' - rising market sentiment - and the relatively short timescale. There simply won't be time for newly listing sellers to get properly disillusioned before support kicks in. Therefore no 'forced' price drops. I see nothing possible (barring black swan internal or external events) other than rising prices right into the election period. What happens after that of course is open to debate.
  2. I got that too though there wasn't any suggestion it was above their lending limits, just that they were going to insure the loan on their own behalf at no cost to me. Some kind of replacement for the mortgage indemnity insurance that used to be common.
  3. Socialism was an utterly necessary reaction to the unbridled capitalism of the industrial age and the abuses of workers that went along with the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a tiny ruling class. Essential rights like holidays, pensions, humane working hours as well as fairer wages for all are what came out of the socialist struggle. That very laudable impulse has been hijacked almost since its inception, unfortunately, by representatives of the elite (as well as class traitors of course) who just saw it as another route to power. I have no doubt that today's apparent triumph of the 1% will ultimately result in a battle between the rent-seekers and those whose goal is similar to the early socialists - to redistribute to the many the gains concentrated in the hands of the few. The discourse and methods will have to be different - economies and societies are no longer reliant on industries where 10,000 people can meet in a field or car park, vote to strike, and bring a company or a country to its knees. But ways will be found. The methods the state will take to support the 1% will be draconian and have already been put in place to deal with 'terrorism'. We don't have an ideology yet to provide the basis for this struggle but I'm pretty sure its emergence can't be far away.
  4. This. Advert-free content is worth every penny. Interestingly it's the same muppets who constantly bitch and moan about the BBC who are most likely to be paying hand over fist to Murdoch every month. I don't have a TV in the house and have no intention of getting one so I'm happy with the current situation. But I'd far rather have an internet tax than pollute the BBC experience (on iPlayer or whatever format) with adverts.
  5. I can't speak for London but I've been on here since 2005 (more of a blog than a forum poster though, I joined the forum pretty late). I'm in the process of completing on a place in east Berkshire. I'm at the opposite end of the age spectrum but also getting cheesed off waiting - essentially I have 15 years to buy and pay off before I collect a pension. Mortgage will be 2 x joint salary, 15 year mortgage with overpayments, so targeting payoff in 10-12. Crash or no crash I can't save enough to buy outright after 15 years while also paying my current level of rent. So mortgage it is. However, if I were your age, with time on my side, I suspect I would wait before buying a 1-bed flat, and buy a bigger one later instead. London is a bubble on top of a previous bubble and it must burst at some point. I really don't think it'll be 15 years. It may be very tempting to jump in from a lifestyle perspective but I would caution you to wait. Couldn't you perhaps go and work abroad for 2-3 years while you wait for things to unfold.
  6. The drunk driver analogy is spot on - when I had to move south for work in 2004 (having had great difficulty selling up in Scotland at the time) I could see the bubble all around me and HPC chimed exactly with my experience. I refused to get in the car. However I do think that not only has the world moved on, but I know that my personal circumstances certainly have. I'm not so sure, right now, whether the driver is quite as plainly drunk as he was in 2006-7. I need to buy now to have a house paid off for when I retire, when I don't want to be paying rent. We've built up a substantial deposit which we are shortly about to put towards a house (chain now complete, survey going ahead next week). In March I got what I think is a good deal from a motivated seller (not just under the 2009 price but probably around the 2005 price) after the house had only been on the market a couple of weeks. Yes the sellers are making a tidy profit (about 35%) after living there since 2000 according to land registry figures. But I really don't grudge them that. Sitting in rented I would not be able to pay rent for the next 15 years and still save enough to buy a house outright on retirement, even if there is a market crash of substantial proportions (a big 'if' given policy lengths taken to date, in any case). Hence the logic of buying now (much like the rationale of St Merryn of Somerset-Webb). If the market crashes tomorrow I won't really care, I'll have made my move, and I'll have it paid off in 15years max, 10 if I overpay as planned. If truth be told anyway, I've stayed out so long in part because it didn't suit me to by, as much as for any profound belief in the fundamental economics. When I could have purchased with the deposit I had available (pre 2007) the prices were madness. Then afterwards, credit was tightened and I couldn't get in even if I'd wanted to - the fact is I couldn't to buy afford the sorts of place I wanted and thought I should be able to have. Anyway I have no intention of waiting another 2, 3, 4, 10years just to be 'right'. The timing is now right for me. I suspect precious few people here are sitting on cash piles, ready to offer and purchase outright purely on economic signals. I would think most are either disenfranchised and angry by the level of the market which is denying them a place they would want to live in for the money (which is the situation I was in for quite a period) or in a reasonable position financially but also not quite ready psychologically to make the jump (as I have been latterly). To the first group - which as I say I have been in in the past - I would say put you anger to use changing your circumstances. Waiting for 'fairness' in the market is probably pointless. The house I'm buying was found after 2 years of looking and is only the second place we offered on in that period. It's a great place, extended (out and up) 60s bungalow in a lovely location in semi-rural Berkshire with a fantastic 200ft garden (wooded at the back) in a location that can't be built on. The rear of the house is not overlooked and we could go nude if we wanted in the garden. It has ample space for us, our stuff and guests. 10min walk from a railway station with services to Paddington in under an hour, 10min drive from the M3 and 20min from the M4. (Starting to sound like a Treasure Hunt clue here ) Frankly I couldn't have afforded this three years ago in terms of getting the mortgage deal we wanted (10year fix) with the deposit we had available. So the time, for us, is now Not anticipating any capital gains at all, this is purely a place to live in (or sell to enable relocation) on retirement. Not 'my house is my pension' but 'I don't want to have to spend my pension on a house'.
  7. Goldbuggery? Usually what these types are selling.
  8. London fantasy pricing bleeding out .. here's one in a nondescript strip redbrick hamlet in the flat and noisy badlands of the Heathrow final approach between Ascot and Windsor ... compact lounge that needs to double as a diner as the kitchen is tiny and there's no dining room ... three small bedrooms (one little more than a box room) ... a 'workshop' too narrow to be a garage ... and all for OFFERS OVER £550k. (At least £150k too much if you ask me and we are reasonably clued up on asking prices in this area). Seems to me the muppet who owns it overpaid wildly for it when it was a newbuild in 2004 (£400k). Rightmove link here Suppose not a total shithole really but in fairy dreamland land when it comes to pricing for such a poky little place ... (incidentally the Street View is a classic of its kind). BTW that's Next Door's Boxter casually cropped into the shot for a bit of kerb appeal. Needs all the help it can get.
  9. Had one accepted on Berks-Surrey border at £65k/14% off. Was accepted pretty much right away. Chain is dragging and we've been scanning again, but sticking with this property at the moment as, at anywhere near our asking it's looking like good value in this area - 4 bed 3 public large kitchen double garage, HUGE 210ft garden with it's own forest at the end, not overlooked by anyone at the back, 10min walk to railway station, 45mins to Paddington via Reading. There's a huge amount of rubbish on at fantasy/arm chancing prices not selling but a motivated seller will accept a sensible price when it's coming from someone making a serious offer. It's calibrating that correctly that's the fine art, not a blunt 'I'm offering x% off' strategy, there are quite a few houses out there I wouldn't even look at at 30% off.
  10. http://i.ebayimg.com/t/VINYL-OLD-CLASSICAL-RECORDS-retro-vintage-grunge-shabby-chic-JOBLOT-CARBOOT-/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/z/KLsAAOxyOM5RZDXI/$T2eC16R,!y8E9s2fjKjWBRZD(ICekw~~60_12.JPG Fromthe dreaded auction site
  11. Anyone got experience in removing a 70s brick fireplace? You know the kind that takes up 1/3 of the room. In this case it goes to the ceiling, narrow at the top but takes up the whole frigging wall at the base, there's a gas fire in place and a chimney. We had an offer accepted recently and are now planning the move. Getting on with things has been driven by circumstances, I want to have a house fully paid off before my retirement which is now less than 15 years away. Can't wait around for the hypothetical crash any longer. Trying to plan out what to do, we'll need to get people in to do this as it will certainly be beyond my DIY capability. Thinking possibly of putting a high-efficiency woodburner in, preferably inside a standard-looking fire surround. Anyone with a view on how hard/expensive this is to do? I've seen low-mess stoves for under £1k, surrounds from £300 or so but no idea what the demolition/replastering job might cost. Here's a pic you can't really get the scale of this though from it (and no we didn't pay extra for the twigs in vase, spectacular example though this is)
  12. It's another cockup in the making. If the banks have any sense they won't have anything to do with it. An accident waiting to happen.
  13. Schindler lifts? Wonder if they do engineering apprenticeships?
  14. Curious about this. What do you mean by 'manager' rate? BTW most of this is an inheritance her dad died in October, only sorting out the funds now.
  15. Looks like we may have an offer accepted soon. The wife has some of our funds in accounts in Taiwan (not a bad thing as it happens as GBP has sunk ) What's the cheapest/safest route to getting those funds here? (She banks with HSBC btw, 15 year customer). Can she expect to lose a chunk coming over (or a poor interest rate)? How long does it take? Will she get a grilling over the source of it? Excuse the noddy questions but we've never transferred anything substantial before (just small purchases really). It's a sizeable amount (large five figures).
  16. Quite a bit of stuff shifting at silly money right now, same here in Berkshire. Hold tight till supply improves later in the year. Last year around this time prices ticked up and the market was very quickly flooded by people who had been waiting for the market 'returning to normal' and the effect was to immediately halt the mini boom. Just hang fire.
  17. In parts of Berkshire this would behalf a mil (no joke).
  18. Fraser Nelson made a right twit of himself on Question Time last night ... 'we're running a feature in the Spectator on what wine to drink with horsemeat' when the actual story is food adulteration by criminal gangs ... but he almost made up for it in his article in the Telegraph on Slavery and food production. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/9870692/Slavery-not-horse-meat-is-the-real-scandal-on-our-doorstep.html It's increasingly the case that our low cost food culture is generating a lot of collateral damage and not just among the poor sods eating processed shitburgers.
  19. Up to a point. I bought at £270k, there was just too much competition at the time for the place to go for sub £250k (2002). I sold for £320k two years later though, so it wasn't entirely wasted money. I agree there are distorting effects but I'm not sure how serious these are in the grand scheme of things.
  20. Only a complete muppet would even CONTEMPLATE shared ownership, given how things have turned out for most of the poor sods suckered into it so far. It's a mugs game and the only winners are the builders and occasionally the social housing organisations behind some of these schemes. They are a nightmare to get rid of/out of and you risk all the downsides of a fall in prices with few of the up sides of a (rather unlikley in the short to medium term) rise. Do your research, if you find a place at an attractive enough place in your budget, and plan to live in it long term while saving on rent and paying down a mortgage at a decent clip, then do it. Even the most bearish here have largely given up hopes of large-scale drops in nominal values so you are unlikely to lose in the long term in this scenario. But as for shared ownership ... what on earth is the plus point here for you? I just don't see it?
  21. One we were watching in Sunningdale exchanged contracts this week at £410k. Still slightly more than I was prepared to offer (run-down Victorian semi very close to the railway line, though it had some decent space). We had watched it since it came on last March ... at £565k. http://www.rbbproperty.co.uk/properties/sunningdale-property/semi-detached-3-bedroom-house-for-sale/1315688/beech-hill-road-sunningdale-berkshire
  22. A few classics here from the Berkshire-Surrey border: A snip at £525k: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/new-homes-for-sale/property-36721411.html?premiumA=true Ascot this one, makes your proud every time you go in the door and only £549k: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-24750234.html Admittedly by the Thames, but a poky semi for £695k: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-37125973.html
  23. I just made an offer a couple of days ago at 20% off asking. Place has been on the market for nearly three years. Estate agent was very sympathetic (to me at least) and is pushing for out point of view (I set out lots of reasons why the price is the price I offered). No response yet. Expected instant rejection so there's hope. Would I buy at 2007+ x%? No ******ing way. Would I buy at 2004-5 prices? Probably. EDIT: location is crucial here, I'm in the south east, Berks/S Ox area. Stuff is selling 2007+ price if it's quality.
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