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About the_dork

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  1. the_dork

    I'm not entirely sure I understand life

    I identify a lot with the OP. My personality has changed significantly as I’ve got older. On Myers-Brigg I came up half introvert half extrovert but I’d say I’ve become much more the former as an adult. Like a lot of younger lads I responded more to peer pressure, now whilst I try to be agreeable I don’t care excessively about others’ opinions of me, especially people I don’t know. (Maybe I now have a lower view of ‘the masses.’ Much of my social life used to be based around sport and drinking, two things I’m no longer that interested in. Most of my interests are more solo now and whilst I like to keep in touch with good friends and family I don’t feel the need to be out meeting people every night. I think there’s some sexism here in regards to women who I don’t find noticeably more materialistic/image conscious than men these days. I’ve shacked up with a good one who doesn’t care about money , perhaps as she had it. Beyond a certain level (which for me is low: having the food I want, comfy accommodation and not worrying about emergency medical/safety needs), time and knowledge/self-development becomes more valuable than 'stuff' (eating out, gadgets, holidays, luxury goods etc)
  2. Thanks so much. Without a set registered address for either of them seems I may have some problems, as will have to go after a company address where he's sole director Fully agree it's a terrible idea to lend money generally, peer pressure/guilt and prospect of promised return immediately got me, feel a right twit but live and learn, not a life changing amount for me it's now more about the principle
  3. Yes, enough text and some email correspondence clearly showing promise of payment and clear what it was for
  4. Has anyone done this? I made the mistake of lending a now ex-friend 3k for a supposed business transaction 2 years ago (I know, I know...soft touch). I have been repeatedly promised payment until recently being blocked on phone. The loan was made to a family member of his technically but I have a full record of him asking for it, promising payment etc. He has directorships on registered UK companies (as well as many dissolved/struck off) who I presume I could claim against if needs be. It seems that getting the judgement is fairly easy and just needs the application cost, getting the cash obviously more difficult. TIA
  5. the_dork

    Did you get help from Bomad

    was never in a position to be significantly helped though I lived rent-free at my folks for 3-4 years which let me save up about 30k I will inherit half of their 500k house though at some point( bought under right to buy 1986 for 30k!) More signifcantly, my Mrs inherited a 500k flat which we live in without mortgage, her uncle having won the pools in the 70s and bought it for the equivalent today of around two year's average wages. I tell her she's lucky, she rightly points out a combo of Hitler and Stalin killed off most of her other relatives so these things balance out... Whilst personally comfortable, I'd take a hit for a sensible adjustment, not just on housing but the broader economic model. Harder to poll that here as actions louder than words but I bet many are similar
  6. the_dork

    Best London commuter towns

    I agree that MK is under-rated in terms of having some local amenity though too car based for my liking, I suppose that’s the trend everywhere though. My problem with it is that the trains seem very expensive (£40 a day) and a good chunk of it needs a bus to the station with the flats around the station being relatively more expensive accordingly. Travel time to Euston is great though, definitely one I’d consider.
  7. the_dork

    Best London commuter towns

    I agree that HS2 is madness, the concentration in London is already bad enough and out of kilter with other Euro nations. Objectively I would agree that the Southeast in generally is a mug's game, the Northern cities are cool and there's some nice spots in the Midlands and elsewhere. However many of us are fairly tied here, not just in terms of work (I am an above middle, non high earner but wouldn't get the same anywhere else in my field if I even got a job). Family ties and friends count for some of us more than others, it's hard to up and move completely after your 20s in my opinion. Hence the thread and thanks for the views so far
  8. I couldn’t see a thread but apologies if there is. London is grossly overpriced and it amazes me how it sucks people in (I know there’s a thread), but it remains where the jobs are even if partial home working is available. At some point, many middle class people want to become 'homeowners', (I'd take a secure tenancy on acceptable terms but again that's another topic), get a bit more space and become less bothered about bars/restaurants being on the doorstep. It obviously depends on precisely where you have to get to but for me, the Medway towns are a good combination of local amenity, travel time/cost and house prices (around £250-275 per sq ft for houses, a little more for flats). Obviously there are nicer spots in Surrey and Herts, basically at average London prices. Bits of Essex are cheaper but on the whole less character on their own terms. The average spots in Herts are a little more expensive with worse train links and Bucks as a whole is again grossly overpriced with fairly poor links unless you’re going into Marylebone. I don’t think I could face a journey time much over an hour each way, I guess longer is palatable if going in only 2-3 times per week. Any strong views on this?
  9. That's fascinating, presumably includes tax credits etc? Not everyone getting a benefit is a net recipient depending how you measure it
  10. The Tories are stuck. This is a small tokenistic policy responding to the zeitgeist but they'll never compete with the Corbynistas on changing the status quo so they have to target the voters broadly happy with existing system. Probably favour some small real terms reduction over 10 years with minor tax changes to encourage owner occupation, keep lending going with crazy new debt/loan innovations Whereas Labour are offering much more progressive tax, mass social housing, tenant friendly laws in private sector...these wouldn't particularly be my solutions but they have appeal to those with little stake in the current system. The Tories are stuck and they know it, interesting times!
  11. the_dork

    What is fair value?

    I can't see London/Southeast prices dropping significantly, there is global demand for prime London which filters out and plenty of business supporting them and others. I would say a 'fair' price is cost of building by a reasonably efficient company within the law using non-exploited labour, including their usual business costs (marketing, sales, finance) not just the basic construction costs some on here cite. In most of the world this is the case as land costs are minimal. Here land value is captured by existing owners. My guess is this would be about 200-230k for a good new house of circa 1000 sq ft with some outside space. Not far off the actual national average of all stock
  12. interesting thanks. Both models are obviously over-simplifications of the real market but I'm not sure I quite get yours. Surely prices would adjust as the 9 existing homeowners would compete with the surplus housing, ie. circa 10% adjustment not price collapsing? That ignores people selling to rent/leave country etc too
  13. But if interest rates/lending were such that those who could borrow against their existing wealth including property could bid more than those without wealth, would they not out bid them and rent out to them? It's fairly hypothetical so let's stick to 2.7m houses being built next year, though I refuted my own thesis slightly by focussing on the national stock rather than London/southeast. What do you think would happen in such a scenario with no other changes to current system and policies?
  14. Recent lurker, I used to post here a bit when I was considering buying and like many assumed the crash was en route. Like many I hadn’t realised the extent to which things could be propped up and waited…my own situation then changed dramatically when I inherited (through my now wife) a small but grotesquely expensive flat in South London (value circa 450k now). I have lived there since 2014 having been at home before that and briefly renting a couple of rooms in fun house shares around North London. We earn about 70k gross together which is about average for London but obviously perfectly comfortable with no rent/mortgage costs though we would like to have children soon. I will also inherit half a terraced house in Enfield (astonishingly also ‘worth’ 450k within 10-15 years based on current life projections), obviously I hope my mum lasts a bit longer. We are working in London but could probably find work elsewhere within our fields with fairly minor salary drop. Most of my friends have left London and indeed the UK so ties are limited and London becomes more unpleasant by the day. I’d happily take the capital gains tax hit we’d pay, and try to make 7-10% on the stock market from the sum with a view to buying a larger family property a bit further out in a few years or renting somewhere appropriate, at least in the short term. I use the above introduction not to boast (I’m embarrassed about it and don’t talk about my situation IRL other than with good friends), only to declare my biases and changing perspective. I don’t have the direct skin in the game than I used to but this allows me to analyse objectively I hope. I would still take a house price crash though as per below I'm not sure the national picture is as distorted as some will thinkl I think the UK housing market is grotesque by any measure and this, rather than some philosophical conversion to socialism is behind the rise of millennial Corbynism. I would just like to raise a few points as I see them before I get more involved in some of the specific threads. Feel free to shout me down and tell me why I’m wrong 😊 The housing specific crisis is primarily a London/Southeast issue. This is, not coincidentally where many of the best paying jobs are in finance, IT, construction etc as well as the more interesting positions that youngster try to break into in arts, politics journalism etc. Related to the above, single earner ratio to average house price wont come back, even in the lowest value areas. Dual earner lending is here to stay and to my mind, a ratio of 3-4 to that isn’t infeasible, given building cost (take out the land which is ultimately what house prices reflect and can ultimately be negative, say in Wales/North East England) of a standard terrace/semi-house is depending how you measure is probably 130-170k...the UK is the most unbalanced country in Europe and it wouldn’t take much in terms of tax incentives/govt direction to mitigate this though there isn’t really a political will for this as the current system ‘works’ on some measures. Building won’t much change house prices. We have about 27m residences, broadly defined. To get say a 10% decline in a year, ceteris paribus, would require 2.7m new buildings (10x the current rate). You are adding too small an amount to the broader stock that without addressing other issues won’t much change prices, though could arguably be a good idea for other reasons. Even doubling the stock (a disgusting thought in my view) wouldn’t cause a halving of property prices without considering the other factors. Low interest rates have driven capital growth in recent years. I know this is quite a common position on this forum but it rarely seems to be discussed in media or by otherwise quite well informed people I know. Not only has this made ‘property’ more attractive in relation to rival places for people to dump cash, it has changed the dynamics on renting and most importantly, made buy to let (for a time and before some relatively minor tax changes) easy money for those who could best access the loans, ie. speculators with lump sum capital. Again, there could be good unrelated reasons to keep rates at historic lows for such a long time (I’m inclined to think not), but from a property point view this is the main factor Demographics/Immigration. I think 4) is the main driver but I’m still amazed by the amount of people who don’t think this has an impact on housing. TBH, I’m inclined to support fairly open immigration within the EU at least but to pretend that adding a certain amount of people each year, whether ‘net contributors’ or low wage serfs (not something I personally care much about) has NO impact on values is madness to me. As I said to a friend of mine when trying to explain, would 100m people moving here tomorrow have any impact on demand/supply of housing? Would 10m? Then so would 1m? (I believe we’ve had about 3-4m over ten years. There are good and bad reasons for supporting/opposing immigration, whether French quants or Somali cleaners but don’t pretend it doesn’t affect the topic we’re discussing here. Linked to the above, I don’t think people have grasped the impact of capital inflow to London, though this ultimately derives from the above issues-no one would speculate/invest in a static capital growth market. We can’t all live in Nine Elms newbuilds but when for some reason prime London property has become the safest investments in the world (again, this is lunacy to me), this filters out. So top 1% earners who would have bought in Chelsea buy in Highgate, the next tier down look at Finchley instead of Highgate, to the point where average earners have to pay 450k for a terrace in bloody Enfield! Benefits/Tax. Social housing in my view would be a fair system for the masses with clearly defined rules and obligations, investment of surpluses over time. Unfortunately it has become a lucky lottery to arbitrarily gift a small % of the country secure tenancies at below ‘market rent.’ It is the lack of social housing that has led to growth in housing benefit, and whilst I believe in ‘hating the game’ not the player, the bill is astronomical and again represents an artificial forced transfer from a good chunk of the working population to another (often non-working, or part time etc thanks to Labour’s mad tax credits) The changes to BTL by the Tories were surprising to me but again shows how they have to at least pretend to compete with Corbynism in limited ways though dropping stamp duty completely would be regressive and awful. As per my introduction, I didn’t realise when I first signed up the extent to which our whole political/economic edifice depends on the housing market. I am not particularly left wing but it seems to me that the Tories are now a status quo party who won’t make any radical changes and will always be outflanked anyway now by the Corbynists. Clearly Brexit is the defining issue of the next couple of years but I can still see more chaos after that though it seems change is finally on the agenda. My own ‘solutions’ such as they are: Limits on immigration, at least for a set period-this has been public majority view for so long but it would affect businesses in the short term so the government has wimped out. Land Value tax. There are whole threads on it here, it’s not a panacea but it would help encourage ‘shelter’ markets rather than ‘property’. We also have a significant issue of under occupation which the current system doesn’t provide enough incentive to change. Densification around city centres and transport hubs. Without LVT this could be an arbitrary gift to existing landlords/property owners and I would like to move away from London/Southeast being the be all and end all. Normalisation of interest rates to C20 rates/models. Not going to happen any time soon Build to rent social housing. These units couldn’t be re-sold at ‘market value’ but the rent could cover build costs over say 15-20 years. As with all social/affordable housing I’m not sure how this could be done fairly without giving some groups an arbitrary benefit but if a good chunk of the population would benefit it’s a theoretically good system. Changes to tax/benefit system as explained above. Not directly related but I’m more in favour of a conditional benefits system than our current system allowing a small % to live not much worse than the bulk of the working population without working themselves. Sorry for the length, wasn’t intended but I haven’t posted for a while and some of this is a bit speculative! Looking forward to joining in again EDIT: just changed the worst of my abysmal wording, I'm not a natural writer sorry
  15. I am definitely noticing a slight shift towards anger from apathy by young adult. It's slow, imperceptible, but it's coming. There's also still a mad load of cognitive dissonance out there. A good friend of mine is a centre leftie Labour supporter, moaning about how his average office job means he's got no chance of staying in London in anything approaching comfort...he just cannot connect this with his ideas about benefits (basically the more the merrier) and immigration (ditto). Lots of people think there is a sinister cabal keeping the hoi polloi in place rather than my own view which is that we are a short-termist, zombified nation who don't understand trade offs, unforeseen consequences or long term goals and so get the ruling class we deserve.

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