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Ducky

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  1. How did they manage to have so many properties to sell under the scheme, by the way? Does anyone know?
  2. Good morning! I have just checked property prices in Reading and I have noticed that the houses that are being sold under the Homewise "scheme" that had been discussed above for people over 60 years old have all been reduced recently. Maybe that was a wrong business model? Not a lot of people over 60 might want to move to Reading or simply they understood it was a bad investment. It is a shame that they managed to get hold of so many properties which are not available anymore to other buyers. However, please don't laugh, there is a barge for sale for the moderate price of 155k
  3. That was probably me, streamingfreedom and it really looks like someone is trying to dump properties and/or not really managing to sell at the price they want. Or... they have found a way to try to cheat people by playing the odds that someone will die earlier than expected. Just imagine someone buying a property at 250k and then dying after just a few years... that's not a bad return while keeping ownership of the property. Ridiculous that these things are not considered at the same level as usury.
  4. I am checking the are where I used to live (area off Southampton Street) and there are only 6 properties for sale with a maximum asking price set for 450k. in my former road there is only one property for sale, which is very low because it is a popular area despite the atrocious parking problems. Average price for 2 bed seems to be 280K, which is a whopping 100k more than when we left in 2012. Absolutely astonishing. Not sure if they manage to get these prices or not, but it is still a massive increase, not only in terms of raising a deposit, but also raising the stamp duty. I don't know what to say... I read the news from the UK practically every day and it seems that everyone but the truly well off (and those who managed to have good timing in their decision to buy) have been completely shafted. I feel for young people very much.
  5. Good morning everyone, Back on the forum after a while to check how crazy things have become in Reading. I still miss it sometimes (I know it is hard to believe...), miss my former job, the possibility to find everything I need without wasting my time in traffic going aimlessly around town, people driving better... Anyway, enough commiseration already. I was checking Rightmove and I was wondering what are these properties that are marketed to over 60s only. http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-39974046.html is it a new government scheme? It sounds like absolute madness to me (actually, it feels like a con) but I guess people must live somewhere. Revealing though that there are so many properties under this scheme, maybe they are struggling to sell at higher prices?
  6. Damn... I arrived in the UK in 1998 and started working in 1999. Well, I paid this bad timing ever since to the point that I actually had to leave the country and my job last year because we could not return permanently as a family. I am glad other people did very well, though. It is good that just a couple of years of difference can affect lives so much and in such a negative way.
  7. I feel for you! I used to work in Nottingham and I was staying in the West Bridgford area. I thought it was a lovely area and the fact it was relatively near the Peak District was a huge bonus. I left because I didn't know anybody and all my social life was in Reading. Shortly before leaving, the estate agent asked us if we were interested in buying the house we were renting - 3 bed semi - for 80k. We said no... and we were idi*ts, it would now be worth double of that. But such is life.
  8. Hi longgone, sorry for the late reply, I couldn't log back in... First of all, as I said in my previous post the property market in Cyprus has suffered terribly since the crisis. I am talking about massive discounts, sometimes 50% less than original (inflated )value. Nicosia is still expensive, but in other areas you can pick up a small flat for 40k euros. Cypriots and Russians love Limassol, it is probably the liveliest town on the island but it might be more expensive. The Famagusta area (which includes Protaras and Agia Napa) has got a lot of properties for sale in a wide range of prices. Many houses are repossessions, although this information is not always available and the law on how repossessions are managed at auction has actually changed recently (or they were about to change it and then someone realised their cousin would suffer and put pressure on a politician so they are still discussing about it.... you know, this sort of thing). I don't know Paphos at all, unfortunately. It really depends on what you are looking for. The main thing is to have a local honest lawyer who can help you navigate through the nightmare of title deeds. If you part with you own money, you should make sure you have your title deeds.
  9. Prices in Italy never went as wild as in the UK. Even with the property boom of the early 2000s prices didn't double, they went up a good bit but nothing like in the UK due to people going mad and paying whatever price is asked. What really skewed prices was the introduction of the euro, because as you know the Italian government was very lax and prices almost doubled overnight. I really don't know how things will go in the UK. It seems to me that prices are really getting out of bound even of people who have good jobs. It seems unsustainable and as you asked in another one of your posts, what will happen when people will retire and will still need to rent a place to live because they never had the chance to buy? There is also the issue of losing skills: since I left the UK I have been called by recruitment agencies every couple of weeks, because apparently there are not enough people with my set of skills. What if even more people with essential professions will leave the area? Using the housing market as a massive prop for the wider economy without a thought about the consequences is quite short-sighted. However, I am not an economist and as you said, things could get much worse.
  10. Oh my... when we left in 2012 our landlady was selling her 2 bed terraced house for 199k. we toyed with the idea but then we thought that since we were leaving it would have been impractical to buy and then let out straight away. The house was sold for 194k but I think that in that area the prices have not gone up that much. Last time I looked it was an increase of around 20k. In the university area, though, prices really seem crazy!
  11. In the sense that even if you don't earn a lot, you can still have the option of buying a cheap flat and delay unnecessary refurbishments. In Reading you cannot do that, there are no cheap flats or houses anymore.
  12. Of course you can! I am Italian, not too far from Bologna. The towns are beautiful but have suffered badly with the recent financial crisis and the hosuing market is in a dire condition. Services are still good but there is a lack of jobs. House prices vary wildly: you can get a traditional basic detached house on the hills for 50k euros, or a huge variety of flats in the various town and villages. The flats built in the 1970s or 1980s are usually cheap but you can find a flat that needs some work for 50k euros. You are looking at another 30-50k for complete refurbishment, and due to the type of building techniques, there is less DIY than in the UK. The rental market is competely shot due to the legislation, mainly, which is quite strict and favour the tenants. Buying is also difficult, due to ownership taxes and more restrictive mortgages then in the UK. However, those who can buy can really find bargains. Now I live in Cyprus, another country where the housing market is in freefall. Prices have fallen massively, you can get a holiday flat for 40k euros, a villa with pool for 150k euros. Apparently, it is even worse in Spain. You see, there are reasons for lower prices, but at least there is some choice of prices and type of building.
  13. Yes the M4 corridor job market is good and you have the option of London but really the actual quality of life is hardly worth the hassle. Traffic is awful in Reading and Wokingham where we live. I have tried my best to explain to my wife that despite having what I consider a good salary we probably will have to move back up North if we want to get out of Renting. We've managed to find a decent 2 bed to rent for £1050pcm. I can totally relate. The traffic is awful and you feel like you are in one of the most crowded places on earth. I remember driving for work and taking hours to go from Reading to Swindon because of constant accidents and lane closures. Last summer it took me 6 hours to go to East London and return. Slowly, we stopped driving around unless absolutely necessary. We even stopped going to museum exhibitions in London because it was just not enjoyable anymore. I don;t like where we are living now, but the lack of crowds is refreshing.
  14. Indeed, I did question the sanity of staying in Reading and because of personal circumstances, I decided that after spending 2 years abroad, we could not return. I liked living in Reading and I had a job I enjoyed, however with two young children and a husband on renewable contracts, my relatively secure job just didn;t pay enough to cope with a possible mortgage, nursery fees, council tax, bills, food etc. For me it was very difficult to give up my job and I still regret it, but we had little choice. Where we are now, my husband has got a well-paid permanent job that supports the whole family and we can put some money aside every month. Being a foreigner, I can see how crazy the housing market is in the UK. I come from a town of a similar size to Reading, and at least there is a choice of prices: you can buy a two-bed spacious flat in need of refurbishment for 60K euros, or you can splurge for an attic in the town centre at 250k euros. In Reading, there is no such choice, there is nothing acceptable below 150k GBP at the very least. Unfortunately our circumstances did not allow us to buy when prices were lower, so we paid the price for something that was out of our control. Our friends who did buy at the time now live in houses that are worth 300k at least. But what can we do? Maybe if life will become more affordable in the future we will move back, but for the time being we simply cannot afford it. So, if you are just slightly better off financially but far from family and friends, think hard about whether it is worth it. Best of luck!
  15. Hi all, in the end I left Reading again. Looking from the outside, this housing market is just crazy and we could not afford to be back permanently. Pity, because Reading has a lot to offer, but at the same time it does not feel right to have such a huge mortgage for such little space. True, the job market in Reading is excellent but you really have live to work to pay back the mortgage and the extortionate nursery fees. All the best to those of you who are still looking! PS where I am now, a detached house on the hills costs about 50,000 euros. I know, I know....
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