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Posts posted by the_dork

  1. Hi all, apologies for lurking. I have had nothing new/of interest to say about HPC for many years though I do come here sometimes to keep up.

    My related query is on the above. Has anyone used a live/work unit (and lived in it 100%)  and then deducted as a cost from their limited company? Or alternatively tried doing this with a standard residential rental (where my understanding it is more difficult as you can only claim the proportion used 'solely' for work, ie likely 1-2 rooms max)

    Many thanks for any assistance

  2. 2 hours ago, ronpember said:

    love, love, love a play by mike bartlett deals with the issue. i think it was first performed in 2010. i heard it on radio 3 last year and i'm sure it will be lurking around somewhere on the web

    this was on in Hammersmith around 2020, highly recommend to most readers on here and I'm sure it will come back


    No spoilers but memorable quote "I want you to buy me a house"

  3. 51 minutes ago, msi said:

    30s on google showed up:



    You can leave contact details if you want updates. Even if they don't act on it, it is a red mark.  Collect enough of them and it triggers an investigation.

    yes, sorry for not posting link

    My understanding is they won't update you (not allowed). I guess providing your details as reporter is just contact info in unlikely event it was required.

    I do wonder how underreported landlord income is, seems an easy way to help the taxpayer pot but I doubt looking into any reported cases is much of a priority for the Tory govt

  4. 1 hour ago, spyguy said:

    Somerset Boy24 Jul 2020 2:20PM

    The value of a house is what the buyer will pay.  Estate Agents valuations are just finger in the wind estimates, always have been. 

    Not quite.

    The price of house is how much a bank will lend.

    Surveyors dont know nothing. A profession long over due for  rid; left overs from the old building societies days.

    The CS type do in to regular valuation meetings with the banks, who tell them how much they are likely to lend.

    If you want to know how much your house is worth then you need to find out what local people under 40 are earning and times that by ~4.



    My understanding is that surveyors definition of market value is simply the price paid at valuations date in normal market ie. not the owner next door who would pay more or the seller in a hurry who would accept less

    this is an entirely circular definition that just rubber stamps 99% Of the prices paid and leaves banks free to base their lending  decision on other criteria 

    unlike say a company valuation that considers income streams, likely market conditions in future , bit of sensitivity’s analysis etc 

    they will stick their head in a property and find a few in the area at a similar price to tick the purchase price box unless anything fundamentally wrong with the property or unusual sale eg not marketed normally 

    I had our flat valued formally for a family dispute where there wasn’t a transaction to go on. The guy valued low to limit his liability which was actually in our favour but was amazed by how little work actually done, just happened to be a basically comparable flat on at the same time at 400k when no other sales within the year below 450k. Could equally have ‘proved’ 500k, say if his instructing party had wanted this figure as there were sales around that level too. Basically very little rigour and only heavily caveated and safe report

    But what do you expect for a £600 fee with potentially ruinous PI cost?

  5. 1 hour ago, Sausage said:

    Average houses should align with average wages.

    This is a popular and common sense position but I just don't understand it economically (morally it does make sense).

     We had a few decades where it was true in this country  for various reasons (a key one was that at least 1/3 of families lived in social housing outside the market system BTW) but it's not a law of nature or history.



  6. I wanted to do this but was vetoed by my wife who has no interest in house prices/finances etc, again kids was a major factor too. My wife has the view of renting being throwing money away, I'm an 'opportunity cost' minded person.

    Called the top of our inherited flat a couple of years ago, it was at least 10% down in real terms at start of year so at least another 5% down now. The much smaller amounts I have in global diversified funds have returned at least 10% pa over last 2-3 years so we would be well up assuming a rental cost of 4-5%

    So in pure financial terms I was right then, now it's probably more marginal. 

    I am still planning to move from a high value area in London to a much cheaper commuter town in next couple of years so I guess that's a halfway solution (assuming London doesn't crash disproportionately)


  7. 7 minutes ago, Killer Bunny said:

    Actually Faisal Islam on bbc had a good representation of how they want us to believe QE works.  Search £100 Bns QE News

    It's all BS of course.  it's all about helping the 1%.  They need the help...

    I saw that and it was so obviously nonsense that's why I'm asking for a better source (I used to think Islam was a good commentator too)

  8. can anyone recommend an online source that ACCURATELY explains what QE is, its goals, effects and differences from plain old money printing? The scale of it dwarfs my mind but the left don't seem to go after the government on this, perhaps it's too complex for Joe Public to get a good handle on and use as political ammo


    To a dumb layman than me it seems the worst of all worlds, rather than just giving money to people who would spend it as they wish, it's designed to prop up specific asset prices through making it easier to buy them through set intermediaries unlike a UBI type stimulus


  9. 46 minutes ago, Orb said:


    Think about that for one moment. Five.. hundred.. thousand... that's around 15x average UK gross earnings for a house considered by many to be a bargain. 

    Scuse me jumping in and generally lurking but what do you think would be an accurate price for the average London home? It's such a special case in terms of (global) demand that I just can't see 3-4x even joint earnings being a law of nature there

  10. 1 hour ago, GregBowman said:

    One of the main reasons I privately educated my children at public school. They mixed with old money  who  know how to hold onto it having transcended this first stage. I could afford the school but didn't have the background - I probably have bit more now to be fair but their formative years are done

    They were very lucky as said they appreciate it. In a sense they have been brought up with money. It's no different to the manager who gets promoted late markedly different to someone who has been managing since their early twenties - the truth is when you see an experienced manager who is good they are comfortable around 'power' and show grace


    That's interesting but has not been my (limited) experience of the upper classes who have been just as grasping and avaricious as anyone else.

    Though perhaps not all with 'airs and graces' actually have that much net worth. It takes about 3m household wealth to be in the top 1% of UK now and many of these are probably immigrants. So anyone 'comfortable' with say £1m to split is likely to not be rich enough NOT to argue/fight over bequests

  11. My wife's grandfather won the football pools and bought two small flats in now fairly desirable Zone 2 parts of London with the winnings in the 60s, worth around 500k each today.  He lived in one and family in the other. 

    My wife inherited both as her father couldn't accept her brother's gay lifestyle. She gifted one straight to him around 10 years ago and with hindsight the father made the right decision on how to bequeath as the money (MEW powered) has been frittered away on substance abuse and transient consumerism.

    It's very sad and she has no choice but to be judgemental about him having previously been very close. The family were not well off in terms of income and had been mainly killed off by a combo of Stalin and Hitler, all wealth and security came from the flats.

    I've seen another thankfully more distant family member spend a considerable inheritance on lawyers arguing over how to split what was left, the lawyers ended up the only winners.

    TLDR Moral of story: it's natural to help your kin but will always lead to judgement at best, and vicious arguments at worse. Money means power and this will generally bring out the worst side of humanity 

  12. Thanks for taking the time to explain to a simple lad like me!


    2 hours ago, BorrowToLeech said:

    Yields alone don’t tell you anything about prices, they only tell you about the relationship between paying now, and paying monthly over a period of 25 years. 


    As you say a yield is just a ratio, income v price. By this comment do you mean they capture the implied capital growth over the 25 year period? Hence why London's yields have dropped so much?


    Author says : property yields have collapsed by a third in London over the past 14 years. The main driver of divergent prices around the country therefore appears to have been growing global demand for London (and potentially other major UK city) housing assets, but not growing demand from people to live there.


    but this surely just begs the question, why would there be such global demand if not based on underlying fundamentals which does ultimately include 'demand from people to live there'? People don't invest/speculate for the sake of it

    Why would there be such a different yield across regions, say on similar student lets as you mention? Surely this shows that whilst IRs are a key factor, the supply and demand of other things (namely properties and people/households) also has some impact on prices and explains why both rent is higher  AND disproportionately the  capital values are higher in say Surrey than Burnley just to use my example. This would factor through with IRs at 5%, 10% etc too

  13. I am sympathetic to the main argument of the report and for reasons of inelasticity curves, don't think building will make the impact politicians sometimes claim.


    However, for those that buy this guy's thesis in full: Why do prices differ so much in say Surrey (not picking the harder example of Kensington & Chelsea say or London more generally) to Burnley? IRs are the same nationally

  14. I don't normally watch stuff like this but I watched the first episode and it was interesting, only one family I would actually label as poor. The Welsh family were probably fairly typical earners, just the guy getting into wrestling made for good TV. They were a nice if simple family, good luck to them.

     Felt particularly sorry for the homeless man and son who amazingly retained a great positive attitude (although cameras do distort behaviour), all problems stemmed from him losing his cheap caravan linked to his caretaker job. Prime example of the 'deserving poor' who many would no doubt label feckless scroungers. Again fairly simple people obviously not the brightest but seemed genuine and likable, why has our system screwed people like this so hard?

    Couldn't help feeling there was more to the story of the Uber driver who had been a musician, photographer and raised £1.5m for another venture that was skipped over ...to  then end up at 60 with no savings, property or pension and driving 60 hours a week though seemingly with secure housing assoc rental. He was a charismatic seemingly intelligent guy though so you felt his relatively poor position was more self-inflicted somehow.

  15. 8 minutes ago, wish I could afford one said:

    Towards the top of Maslow's Hierachy there are esteem needs around prestige and feeling of accomplishment.  I now realise my career, when it was providing meaningful work, was filling that gap and I suspect others might be the same.  As that work became a job I ended up with a gap here that I still need to fill.

    Yeah I get it, it just seems a waste of that instinct to me to channel into what are often objectively fairly meaningless positions, "******** jobs" to use the current term. Stuff like being in sales/marketing or middle management just doesn't seem interesting to me, especially when it's for firms that sell stuff we largely don't want and that you yourself avoid buying. Different if it's a cause you are into.

    You interested in politics at all? Im not party political but if I had time there are a few causes (mainly around environment but also economic reform) I'd like to get more involved with. Anything like that you would find satisfying, or mentoring/volunteering kids in your area?

  16. 9 minutes ago, wish I could afford one said:

    But what if you own your property?  Plenty do and aren't FIRE.  Or what if you focus on first paying down your property as part of an overall FIRE plan?  Or what if you use geographic arbitrage?  It's about choices.  Also FIRE doesn't have to mean retirement at 31.  In my case I'm 47 as I was a late starter to the idea.  How about 50 or 55 instead of when the government tells us we can via access to State Pension.

    Just to be clear of course high earnings give you an advantage.  It's why I always talk about savings rate which is earnings minus spending.  It's also why my strategy specifically involved increasing earnings.  I'm just saying you don't have to be rich in earnings to FIRE and also if you're rich in earnings you won't necessarily FIRE.

    Not many millenials own property...but I have a similar mindset to you and respect your strategy a lot.

    It's baffling to me how many people get status from their mid-upper mid corporate jobs, having had hippie parents this wasn't something I ever picked up, it has probably cost me employment wise as I just don't have that motivation.

    Also clear that some people derive more utility than you or I from spending on stuff they may not need. I went out with a retail worker who regularly spent equivalent of at least one weeks salary on a dinner/drinks out with cab home (!) or handbag and bought her lunch/coffee out every day. At some level she must have valued those things more than saving for an unknown uncertain future, clearly from the average savings rate, many are in the same boat

  17. 12 minutes ago, wish I could afford one said:

     For example the person who earns £20k and saves £10k while having the life they want will get to FIRE far faster 


    Let's call that 20k after tax so not miles off the average salary. Whether renting or buying and as all on this forum will know 25 to 30% of that on accommodation is not unrealistic. Let's say 1 k per annum unavoidable bills, in reality this is also conservative. 2 k per annum on food for a single person again highly conservative. Again let's be conservative and say 1k on travel, not many people are going to bike everywhere.  I've also not factored any spending on kids considering fertility rates this is not actually so unrealistic but many people do do hope to have a familyo saving all the rest i.e. no entertainment, household goods, insuranceor other spending on clothing food etc they may save 10K. After 20 years of this ie in their 40s most likely  that's a 200k pot to play with, let's be generous and call it 300k compounded far from retirement level for most and you can see why people just blow their are extra income on things that make life marginally easier and more pleasant eg socialising holidays. There is a reason that average salary in this country is around 25k and the average adult is only worth 100k remember this includes your property etc!!

  18. I'm interested in this debate and by nature am a frugal person, instinctively recoil from food out flash cars clothes etc. However the the idea that this lifestyle is achievable by reasonable age for most people even in the rich world is pretty unlikely. 

    What is true is that the lifestyle and thinking behind it says much about our nature to work.most people want to do something they enjoy and that they contribute to the world with their days rather than sitting around watching Netflix all the time, this doesn't have to mean writing a great symphony etc but plenty of people take satisfaction from their lower level contributions. The fact that so many jobs are other boring, stressful or in other ways unpleasant says a lot about our society and power within it, doing things for money really is an inherently low motivation.

    I feel that basic income combined with a more progressive tax system particularly on land and inheritance would alleviate many of the issues that those in the article righly identify in a fairer more socially just way

  19. 50 minutes ago, wish I could afford one said:

    I've assumed that for a long early retirement that an annual withdrawal rate of 2.5% of wealth at FIRE + circa 0.2% of investment expenses with the rate then uprated annually with inflation is 'safe'.  If you're interested this is my musings on it from way back in 2014.  Using that as a guide £500k would give you an annual 'income' of £12.5k. 

    In my case I also bought some personal psychology into it which also brought dividends into the mix.  This was how I thought about withdrawal rates as I went into retirement in November 2018. 

    The Accumulator over at the excellent Monevator had a look at it more recently using a number of puts and takes:



    After working those 2 posts he settled on the much publicised 4% Rule including expenses but there are definitely some puts and takes with that.  Using his methodology you might be closer to £500k sweating £20k annually.

    Of course this is not advice, DYOR etc etc.

    Sorry for hijacking thread but thanks again for the really interesting links.

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