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Everything posted by montesquieu

  1. Mixed bag here east Berks, some price drops on stuff that's been sitting for ages, and some new listings clearly priced to sell. OTOH others coming on new are at real fantasy prices. I'm seeing £100k difference with no rhyme or reason.
  2. Sister works for HMRC. Numbers have been slaughtered progressively starting in the Broon as chancellor era. She used to work in complicance, compliance officer numbers were slashed she now works in Tax Credits, the only growth area of this sorry mess. Combination of venal, ignorant politicians and useless senior civil servants has us heading the way of Greece and Italy where the tax take is a fraction of what it ought to be.
  3. Is there really no interest in this topic? I thought it fascinating that he's bottled it already after such a short time in the job.
  4. Back in November the incoming housing minister Mark Prisk appeared to open himself to questions about Government housing policy on the Speccy's Coffee House blog: http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2012/11/grill-the-minister-mark-prisk/ Blog post was 12 November, inviting questions, with answers coming 'next week'. No sign of him making any attempt though to answer. I guess the questions weren't the ones he wanted asked I'm assuming he thought he would be writing a puff piece for the outgoing Shappy's 'Housing Strategy' ie bribe builders to build a few more shoeboxes by subsidising them with a nod they contribute to Tory funds for the next election. But it seems the assembled horde were having none of it. Still it's rather an embarrassing no-show both for Prisk and for The Spectator. Odd as it's generally quite well hooked in with Tory central office.
  5. Plans to build and run prisons in overseas hotspots are well advanced, starting with Jamaica http://www.insidetime.org/articleview.asp?a=707&c=british_prisons_to_relocate_overseas
  6. The Daily Mail doesn't employ proper sub-editors any more, certainly not in the online section. It's really interesting the salary when I was a low to middling hack in the 80s and 90s was about twice what a high school teacher's was. Now it's lower than a teacher's of similar age and experience, in fact it seems not to have gone up at all since about 1994. You pay peanuts you get monkeys (or in this case, media studies grads willing to live the dream and work for peanuts, until they get fed up with living on the breadline).
  7. I gave up on Propertybee I just could'nt get it to work.
  8. Something I haven't figured out at all. I'm happy to rent nearby but I honestly don't get the place at all, the town itself is a complete shithole full of tasteless chavs. On the plus side there's PLENTY of work around which I guess drives prices up. Train 25mins to Paddington is better than you get from anywhere remotely affordable in London itself. I'd much rather be in the area around Reading than in some god-forsaken hole inside the M25. But Reading itself? Nah.
  9. The margins on online software are obscenely high probably 60% or or more.
  10. Spot on. Reading is a dump. If it wasn't for the station I'd NEVER go there (and I only live 6 miles away).
  11. I fear this is correct. Joint income of £150k, savings of 20-25% of our budget, yet trying to buy something over a sensible period (10-12 years - I want to be paid off by my early 60s) I see no value whatsoever in the market. All I can buy is rubbish that I'd never consider if I was renting like I am at the moment. I'm also allowing for interest rates to rise at some point due to QE and general economic mismanagement, I think this is inevitable and what I'd like to do is either fix at the 4% or so available for lifetime fix or buy at a level where I can manage a mortgage interest rate shock for an extended period. You can talk about 'affordability' TODAY all you like but I recall the 80s and early 90s when things went into meltdown several times and I don't want to function without a margin of error (I can always overpay in the good times). This all constrains my budget to what I consider sensible which as I say buys me jack shit in Berkshire right now.
  12. Dragged out looking by the wife to as it was going to be a nice weekend. At least four properties we had our eye on have gone SSTC in the last few weeks, don't know what the sale prices are but asking is at least 10% above 2009, sometimes 20%, all way above early 2008 'peak'. I mean where is all the bloody money coming from? What's left is dregs, absolute rubbish, some of it being on for 2+ years but not necessarily any more overpriced than the stuff that's been selling. I don't think this is capitulation, not of sellers anyway, it's capitulation of buyers fed up waiting for a bargain. This is East Berks/S Ox/Hants/Surrey borders btw, across an area from Reading to Maidenhead, Henley in the North and Sanhurst in the South. If there was a high building in the vicinity I'd be nearly ready to chuck myself off it!
  13. I resigned my gym membership because of the shiit music they pipe everywhere. I tried several other gyms but the morons who run them simply don't get that not everyone appreciates Beyonce and all of those other widdling five-note attention seekers polluting every damn corner of the place.. 'But it's motivational, innit?' Only if you are a completely and utterly brain dead chav. Unfortunately that pretty much profiles the staff and management of these places. £80 a month and it sounds like a local authority sports barn. Brilliant marketing guys. Surely people who want their eardrums assaulted by this kind of thing can carry iPods? It's 30 years since the bloody walkman after all?
  14. Also there is the issue of Japanese demographics, it could solve its aging population in a stroke if it permitted immigration from Korea, China or other east or south east asian countries, but it essentially doesn't ... there have been Koreans living in Japan for generations that still aren't considered Japanese or have full citizenship status. We can piss and moan about immigration here (and god knows there's plenty to piss and moan about not least how we have selected many of the rabble we have allowed in as economic migrants whoops asylum seekers) but immigration is what will keep the tax revenues flowing in when todays chavs move from out of work benefits to pensions.
  15. +1 Simple-minded twaddle. And I'm no socialist.
  16. You know what would fix this? A good, robust landlord registration scheme. Something like the one Labour planned for 2010 but which Grant Shapps cancelled in his very first ministerial act. Something about cutting red tape, apparently.
  17. To follow up on that ridiculous 'offer' I posted about earlier I send the following to the offending estate agent Dear X... Just reflecting on these ... can you please stop sending me stuff? (And ask your colleagues to do the same). My wife is checking Righmove daily and will find anything work looking at. Frankly everything I'm getting from [Offending estate agent] at the moment is either complete rubbish (like the property below) or overpriced by anything up to £100k. We do know how to search on the internet. I have to say [Offending estate agent] do seem to have a more,shall we say, enthusiastic view of the market than many of your competitors. (Unrealistic would be a better word). We've been looking for a year, we've seen a small number of places go for head-scratchingly silly money (to complete muppets, presumably) but on the whole most we have seen actually sell (as opposed to quietly slip off the market or move pointlessly between agents) have either been sensibly priced to start with or been reduced by anything up to 30% from starting point to sale. We are in a decent position, with a mortgage in principle offer, sitting on £xxxk deposit and £xxx joint salary (looking at a 10-12 year mortgage when we do buy), budget up to £500k and have had two rentals sell from under us in the last 4 years one at at £100k, the other at £120k less than they originally started on at (one of them sold by your good selves after getting the starting price hopelessly wrong). We have been looking to buy for a year and know local the market as well as any estate agent, possibly better than some from the degree of amateurishness we have seen around the place. We are looking quite actively at the moment but have no plans to buy any overpriced rubbish. Please take note. best regards ....
  18. Not just london. Got called specially and offered this today. http://www.prospect.co.uk/property-details/wainwright-close/wokingham Apparently was on at £600k, sale has fallen through near to completion on the new place, has been reduced and will take offers of 'just' £500k. Oh and it's 100 metres from the motorway. £600k who do these people think they are? I think not.
  19. Haunted maybe? Still at that price I'm sure it'd be worth hiring an exorcist.
  20. Surely not a bad thing that people might have to think twice about buying useless shit they don't need?
  21. who the ****** wants to live in cultural desert like the midwest?
  22. Somewhat simplifies the colonial legacy of grafting the European idea of Nation State onto societies which didn't share European values, perspectives or legal systems. Most of the political units created by the Dutch, British, Portuguese et al in the various treaties paid no regard for ethnic or tribal boundaries, and were accidents waiting to happen. (Even in Europe we have had troubles over centuries with minority/majority ethnic and religious conflicts from Ireland to Bosnia) I agree that African societies will never move forward unless they take responsibility for mending their own problems (as, indeed many are now doing) but the starting conditions they were left with post-war as they moved into independence, added to the corrosive influence of the cold war which led to dicators being either stood up or feted by one side or other, have to bear much responsibility for the killings and corruption across the continent in the second half of the 20th century. As to this nonsense in Priddy these were close to where I used to live and I hope this BTL bandit gets sorely whacked for this.
  23. I think this is the correct vidwpoint. The crash is happening big time in real terms but frustratingly for people here, the nominal falls aren't there or aren't significant enough across enough areas to show in the national numbers. I have a sneaky feeling this will continue more or less indefinitely.
  24. In theory, but if the wife has no job, creditors only go after the husband. All she has to do is be out of work until the divorce settlement. I have a mate whose wife had a shopping and credit card problem, she ran off with her boss and left him with over £50k in credit card/consolidation loan debt. The relationship never recovered from him finding out about the debt and having to restructure it all. They'd bought at high LTV and were lucky to sell for what they owed on the house. The unsecured debt was held jointly and when she buggered off, he got left with it. In the divorce discussions his lawyer told him there was nothing he could do to get her to take it as she was on benefits, while he was in work. He emerged with all of the debt and a hefty monthly in child support. She moved in with new husband, slate wiped clean, and got a good job, joint income at least twice what he was on, while he had a hell of a time for 8 years paying it off, at the same time as child support. Aged 48 now he doubts he'll ever afford a house again with deposits the way they are and time running out to pay it off. Looking at his case I can really understand why some blokes go postal when this sort of thing happens and the implications become clear. There is, simply, no justice in these arrangements.
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