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mcskiver

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About mcskiver

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  1. Been renting in St Albans and looking to buy for over 2 years. Post 2008 prices rocketed, but it seems now that most property just isn't selling. Lots of crazy asking prices followed be either reductions or temporary removal from the market. One prime example is a house currently on Upper Culver Road (or Culver Street?). I think it's about £450-470k at the moment. It's actually been for sale for over 2 years, but occasionally gets taken off the market and brought back on at a different (sometimes higher) price. Obviously trying to give the impression it's just come on the market. Seems to be getting them nowhere so far... From experience with friends I think the only thing that keeps the market here ticking over is people moving from London who think these prices are good value. They're the ones who pay the daft prices for small houses in crap areas. For the most part the market is moribund, and unless something happens to force people to sell they're just going to keep their houses at ridiculous prices and simply not selling. If you look at the figures on sites like Rightmove then supply has increased dramatically over the past 12 months, but prices have stalled, and the same property is staying on the market for long periods.
  2. Thanks for all the replies. To be honest I daresay condensation did contribute to the problem, but the fact that there were no extractor fans, there's no wall or loft insulation, and that it's on the coldest external walls would suggest that it's not all our fault. We've come to a similar conclusion that in reality we're just going to have to move, for the sake of our son if not ourselves. We owned a stone-built property in the north-east for 3 years before we moved here, and never had any of these problems, so I don't think it can all be attributed to our poor upkeep... Anyway, thanks for the advice. We're looking elsewhere, and we'll have to step up our efforts now I think.
  3. Hi, We've had a problem in our rented house for around 2 years with black mould in the bedrooms caused by condensation. Our landlord is very slow at reacting to any repair requests (or rather, the letting agent is. Not sure how much is them vs the landlord to be fair), but eventually we get things done to some extent. We had an extractor fan fitted in the bathroom and kitchen and we thought that might be the end of it. Around a month ago, I discovered that in my baby's room (he's 15 months old) there were still 2 large patches of mould on the walls, behind the furniture. I've now cleaned the areas with bleach and then a fungicidal spray specifically for treating internal walls, but now the wallpaper is peeling (because of the mold, not the treatment) and the room still smells damp. If anything it seems worse. I've tried further lifting small areas of the wallpaper, and there are still damp spores on the back of the wallpaper. Without discussing the details of what they were going to do with me, the letting agent arranged for an electrician to fit some kind of extractor on the landing, but of course it's the symptoms that need treating as well as the cause. I sent them a polite email last week following my wife's 'phone call, asking them to urgently treat the actual damp in this bedroom, but they still haven't even bothered to respond. So after that long preamble (sorry about that...) my main question is, how long should I wait for them to act? What can I realistically demand that they do in this case?
  4. Didn't know that was Bedfordshire, that's interesting. As for the price, I agree it's quite high, but for me this is quite a unique property (God i'm starting to sound like an EA) so personally I would take more of a risk on a property like this rather than wait until next year and hope that something like this comes on the market. But it's all a personal thing. I've been renting for 2 years now and although I expect prices to drop further, I don't expect to see many properties like this in such a rural location yet close enough to commute into central London. Thanks for the information though, I hadn't seen any of the links you posted and would certainly think twice now if it came up again!
  5. This is the one: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-23677660.html?minPrice=375000&maxPrice=400000&maxDaysSinceAdded=14&minBedrooms=3&displayPropertyType=houses&radius=0.25&oldDisplayPropertyType=houses&includeSSTC=true&_includeSSTC=on&pageNumber=1&fromSummary=true&backToListURL=%2Fproperty-for-sale%2Ffind.html%3FlocationIdentifier%3DREGION%255E597%26minPrice%3D375000%26maxPrice%3D400000%26maxDaysSinceAdded%3D14%26minBedrooms%3D3%26displayPropertyType%3Dhouses%26radius%3D0.25%26oldDisplayPropertyType%3Dhouses%26includeSSTC%3Dtrue%26_includeSSTC%3Don It's Kinsbourne really, but a great location. £400k for this doesn't compare with the other properties around that price. Maybe those higher price brackets are selling more like you say? Not a price range i've really looked at in a while (and certainly couldn't afford it... ).
  6. Bit baffled by these comments on Harpenden. I've seen a property just last week that was so dramatically underpriced I was going to go for it, but it sold the same day. Seemed like a deliberate ploy to me as any idiot could see it was going to be extremely desirable. Apart from that, most of the properties on my radar (£300-450k) have been hanging around for months, and some with price drops in the last few weeks. No sign of desperation according to Rightmove.... This one recently knocked 25K of the asking price: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-22570207.html?minPrice=325000&maxPrice=450000&minBedrooms=3&displayPropertyType=houses&oldDisplayPropertyType=houses&pageNumber=1&fromSummary=true&backToListURL=%2Fproperty-for-sale%2Ffind.html%3FlocationIdentifier%3DREGION%255E597%26minPrice%3D325000%26maxPrice%3D450000%26minBedrooms%3D3%26displayPropertyType%3Dhouses%26oldDisplayPropertyType%3Dhouses The next one 10K: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-13195401.html?minPrice=325000&maxPrice=450000&minBedrooms=3&displayPropertyType=houses&oldDisplayPropertyType=houses&pageNumber=1&premiumA=true&fromSummary=true&backToListURL=%2Fproperty-for-sale%2Ffind.html%3FlocationIdentifier%3DREGION%255E597%26minPrice%3D325000%26maxPrice%3D450000%26minBedrooms%3D3%26displayPropertyType%3Dhouses%26oldDisplayPropertyType%3Dhouses The 5th one has been on since at least July: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-22690006.html?minPrice=325000&maxPrice=450000&minBedrooms=3&displayPropertyType=houses&oldDisplayPropertyType=houses&pageNumber=1&fromSummary=true&backToListURL=%2Fproperty-for-sale%2Ffind.html%3FlocationIdentifier%3DREGION%255E597%26minPrice%3D325000%26maxPrice%3D450000%26minBedrooms%3D3%26displayPropertyType%3Dhouses%26oldDisplayPropertyType%3Dhouses I agree most of them are not the most desirable properties, but there's certainly no panic-buying, unless there's a whole market of properties just not even getting advertised...
  7. Thought i'd post a quick update on how i'm seeing things around St Albans. I recently viewed a property that had been bought in 02 for £220k, and was now on the market for £375k. It was clear the place still needed work and had barely been touched since it was bought. The EA was dismissive when I said it was at least £75k overpriced, but it subsequently got taken off the market. A similar house on the same road went up at the same time for £475k!! Surprisingly enough that was taken off the market too. I still get emails from various EAs about new properties, and of course keep my eye on Rightmove. Prices aren't budging, and in most cases are above peak levels, but most aren't selling as far as I can tell. Many of the better properties on my shortlist have gone under offer, but then often come back onto the market, and those that do go under offer have been there for at least a few months, some more than a year. So it looks like everyone's still sitting tight and being optimistic with regards to prices, but not many people are biting....
  8. I've found that, for the most part, properties stay on the market for at least a few months. In most cases they're dropping massively from their initial asking prices too. However, most EAs are still being really bullish about asking prices and increasing them, as you've found. This seems to be working with the very best properties because there's so little supply. I'm hanging on though - as you can see from the Land Registry, you're not missing out on anything by waiting, it's only the asking prices that are going up, not the sold prices! However, the bonus might be that the increase in asking prices will entice more sellers into the market...
  9. What a bunch of charlatans these EAs are. I've been watching a few properties in south St Albans, and despite properties being for sale for over a year, and a couple being sold at almost 20% below asking price, new properties are still coming on at higher prices. They're not selling for ages, and when they do, it's at these massively discounted prices. Of course you'd only get this info from the Land Registry, so it doesn't get very well noticed or reported, but the fact is that there's no basis for prices going up at the moment in St Albans. They're just chancers.
  10. Had a call from Hamptons offering me this house for £400K a few months back, now they've put the price UP by 50K.... Hilarious.... It's a nice enough house, but if it isn't selling for £450,000, why would it sell for £500,000?? http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sa...3Ftype%3DBUYING
  11. Absolute lunacy. 2007 price for this house in St Albans that's in some kind of 70's time warp. Maybe you're paying for the nostalgia factor?? This is the kind of property that makes me want to call the EA and berate them for the sheer cheek... http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sa...en%26index%3D40
  12. Jesus, we're renting a 3-bed semi with a garden for less than that at the moment. We obviously live in the "wrong" part of St Albans...
  13. Erm...the market is dictating where the price lies, that's why they're all still for sale. I agree the odd property still gets a good price, i've seen it happen a few times over the past year, but the overall trend remains. Anyway, my point was just that the media suggest something is happening in the market, whereas my anecdotal evidence shows that what they are reporting is people's "desires", which aren't necessarily related to real transactions. Therefore it isn't news - except for those trying to talk up the market.
  14. This talk of increases in asking prices just makes me laugh. I keep an eye on a particular band of properties on Rightmove (300-400K, 3 bed houses with a garden and parking). In the last 2 weeks 9 properties have gone on the market. True enough, their prices are high compared to much of what's already out there, but that's the point. There are over 100 other properties in that search, and probably 50% of them have been on the market for at least 6 months, many of them have been on the market for over a year. I know i'm preaching to the converted, but it is ridiculous that the media report stuff like "increased buyer interest" (in other words, I called the EA to ask about a house - once) and "increased asking prices" as if they were real news...
  15. I had a call from an EA the other day about a property that was on the market for £450,000. He told me that they'd consider offers 50K below that and "to ignore the asking price", which was interesting.... I suppose what we're seeing mostly is just a lack of movement, precisely because people aren't dropping their asking prices.
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