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Bear Necessities

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Everything posted by Bear Necessities

  1. Assuming you don't go investing in yellow stuff or other assets of that nature, then you might be able to manage around 3% in various ISAs and savings accounts. If your wife isn't working right now then, if the savings all go in her name, she can apply to have the interest paid without tax because the interest will be below the tax threshold) then you are looking at around 3.5K in interest each year. Which works out as around £300 a month. I'd be tempted to treat that as a rent subsidy for now, that's a handy £300 a month you wouldn't have coming in if you blow it on a deposit. Yes your savings will be reduced by inflation, but realistically if houses do drift downwards (or even plunge) then you are still ahead of the game as the house you buy should be lower however long you decide to wait for, and when you do jump in and buy you have the massive deposit (or perhaps by then enough for a mortgage free house outside of London?) which is a big advantage over those scrambling to meet mortgage criteria. I only say all this because it is an identical situation to the one I find myself in. (Although thankfully outside of London). Our current rent is £600 a month, which is probably more than if we had a mortgage, but the savings income means effectively our rent is £300 a month)
  2. Does anyone else remind that bit in the Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy series where he mentions a planet which ends up only having shoe shops. Douglas Adams might have gotten the shop type wrong, but the rest sounds bang on! EDIT - Found it:
  3. If you are of the impression that Starbucks is a nice shop then I'm afraid I can't be of much assistance.
  4. It's worth noting that Dellingpole is a total c**t. So anything he says should be taken with an ocean's worth of salt.
  5. Saw this today and was really really tempted. Not. Looks like a riot, should have bought it to play over Christmas! (Strangely no mention of property snakes, just lots of focus on the ladder and mentions Ms Beeny but doesn't have a photo of her assets!) For added humour, the game was in a charity shop (perhaps it was no longer wanted in an age where the "ladder" has had all the rungs removed and chopped up for firewood!) The cherry on top was that it was made for M&S
  6. If a mother can't breastfeed (again remember it is a very very small percentage, much smaller than the percentage of women who SAY that they couldnt) then of course formula milk is a good option. I think in those situations it should be provided on prescription for free (as it's not the mother's fault, she couldn't possbily have known that she was unable to lactate until the baby was born). I don't think anyone here is suggesting that babies whose mothers can't lactate should be left to die, just that formula milk is a luxury good that is unnecessary for the vast majority. obviously some people are in situations where bottle feeding is preferable (they might be on strong meds, or have a career that doesn't enable them much time to express or breastfeed) but in a lot of cases it is the same choice as choosing ready meals every day instead of home cooking. It's a choice they have made. So I have little sympathy if they then plead poverty (or steal the milk)
  7. I hear 99.99% of women are provided with functioning milk ducts, a free supply with no vouchers required. (not to mention the fact it helps with post-baby weight loss, cancer prevention and better immunity for the child.) I couldn't believe it when someone told me how much they spent on formula. Utterly mental. (lots of women say "oooh I couldn't breastfeed, I wasn't producing enough milk" (a problem for less than 0.1% in reality) whereas what they really mean is "ooh I couldn't be bothered and I want to get pissed at the weekends" Mind you, it's probably a good thing that the type of person who steals baby milk doesn't breastfeed. Not sure 40 proof milk (with added nicotine and trace quantities of heroin) would be much good for a baby.
  8. wow those "double bedrooms" don't look big enough to swing a cat. Ridiculous.
  9. I have sweeping set up on my current account so that when it dips below £500 it's auto topped up from the instant access savings account. That way I can always use the card without worrying if there is enough in there to cover it. Worth seeing if you can do that although you then have to keep an eye on your spending as when you ask for a balance statement at the cash machine it usually says £500!
  10. I'm not qualified to say what legal status you have, but one would assume that if you signed a 2 year lease then they can't touch you for two years. Otherwise why would a two year lease be an option? When you signed it you thought you were getting security for 2 years, and they were getting security of having a guaranteed tenant for two years. If they really really want you out and aren't happy to sell the flat as already tenanted, then I'd suggest to them that they refund ALL of your rent for the last 7 months. That might go some way to appease you and cover your moving costs and the hassle of it all.
  11. Me and the wife are both in our 30s and have a soon to be three year old son. I slightly resent the implication that somehow we can't possibly get on with our lives if we don't buy a house NOW. Doing just fine thanks. Perfectly possible to bring up children in rented accommodation. Millions of people manage it. Yes I'd like to own a house eventually, but in a choice between a manageable rent with some savings to fall back on vs stretching to a mortgage at current prices and be forever living in fear of missing a payment (with no savings left in the bank) I know which I consider to provide the more stable home environment!
  12. Uh, yeah a few years ago they were a kilo. Now they are down to at most 850g (so at least 15% less) (Inflation anyone?) They get smaller each year but they've changed the tin designs to make it look like you get the same
  13. In my opinion, if you buy now, you'll be stuck in negative equity if you do have to sell up and leave in 6 - 8 years. You'll be stuck with a house you can't shift at a time when you really need the money and don't have time to try and sell for a year or two. Everyone seems to think that you can only fulfil your dreams if you buy, and that people who rent are "on hold" but I'm pretty sure it's possible to rent a 3 bed house with a study and a garden if that is what you want. (and it might also be possible to negotiate about decorating it to your tastes, especially if you plan on being there for a few years). It is possible to enjoy a rented house, I especially enjoyed not having to pay for the new boiler when the old one packed in, not having to pay for the new damp proofing in the kitchen, not having to pay for the new bed in our old furnished place, and for the new washing machine and new hob in this one! So what if you don't "own" it? (and by "own" I mean "rent it from the bank"). If you do have to leave on a quickish timescale in a few years time then you will be glad of only having to give a month's notice and having £90K plus whatever else you have saved up in the bank by then, rather than a house worth less than you paid and no savings left. A lot of the cost of buying comes at the start of the mortgage (fees, surveys, the largest part of the mortgage payments) so if you are planning to move on a third of the way through the mortgage, just remember how much it will have cost up to that point and how hard it could be to sell. Just another opinion to add to your list! Best of luck, whatever you decide to do.
  14. around the end of 2007 beginning of 2008, I had a (sadly not very full) savings account with a rate of 10% locked in for a year with the rest in an account at at least 6.5% I wish I had been confident enough to lock it away for 5 or more! But at that time I thought I would really need access to that money. Now I look at the rates and can only dream of those heady days!
  15. Plenty of food for thought here - thanks everyone for the contributions. Some of the links to existing videos are great too. Hope I actually do something with all this input rather than just leaving the ideas festering in my head. Procrastination is my sworn enemy, but he's so much fun to hang around with...
  16. @Lennon - the tulip idea is great. I can see a couple of characters chatting about that. One telling the other about how all these things work in cycles and he's discovered one that's "well overdue to rise again. Can't fail. make ten times your money. You in, bro?" and then the other one asks what it is, and turns out the guy has sold everything, gone to Holland and put all his money in tulip bulbs. Then later he's sat in his tulip bulbs, trying to eat them. then later he's a skeleton with tulips growing out of his eye sockets.
  17. @GinAndPlatonic - good lines! @Democorruptcy - thanks for the link, I'll check that out now.
  18. Great points wonderpup. Regarding how to make it entertaining and funny - therein lies the rub. I want people to share it because it's funny, but for it to plant a seed in their mind, rather than smashing them over the head with the Big Book of HPC. It's a really tricky thing to do. I reckon boiling these concepts down to single sentences is the way to go. So for example: 1. Lower house prices benefit everyone. 2. If the value of your house goes down, so does the one you want to buy. 3. Banksters inflate prices to take more money from the public. 4. We aren't a crowded country. 5. Our houses are the smallest in Europe. 6. Can't buy anything because my rent is due. 7. You don't own your house until it's paid for; mortgage holders are renting from the bank. 8. Professional BTL has inflated the price of "starter" homes to put them beyond the reach of young families Each of those could be a 30 second - 1 minute animation, with nothing but that concept demonstrated either literally with moving infographics, or metaphorically through squirrels and owls fighting over a tree, or I don't know what! Sorry this thread is a mess and the bits I post are just spewing out of my head, but I'm appreciating the input from everyone else!
  19. Thanks for those links OnlyMe and winkie . Will have a look at those (although listening to the first 10 seconds I'm now certain I want to avoid voice overs entirely, or perhaps just robotic ones! @repetitive bleats Yes I think the "cheaper prices = better for us all" thing will be my first attempt. I'm thinking make it a conversation about something else, and referring to house prices at the end. It is often said on here that if the headline "prices are going up again!" seems to be considered a good thing when referring to houses, but bad when referring to gas, petrol, food etc. so I'm thinking perhaps the characters are discussing prices of things and how much they've gone up and how bad that is (Have you seen the price of Cheese/petrol/bread/gas) and then at the end one of them has a copy of the express and says "Well at least house prices are going up, so that one good thing!" I haven't worked it out but that's the sort of idea I'm thinking about. Also a sketch involving the line "I'll only sell it for what it's worth, I'm not giving it away" would be good. Can anyone think of any classic lines that are ripe for subverting in some way?
  20. OK, so this is an unusual topic but I think it is very relevant to the site. I'm a freelance illustrator and animator (whether or not you think that a useful profession or a waste of time is a topic for another day) I've been thinking of putting my down time between projects (which is currently used to train and to create portfolio work), to better use. Was thinking of perhaps creating a short animation or possibly a series of shorts for sharing on the net/social media *shudder* that would educate people about the need for a HPC and inform them about the direction everything is heading in if we don't have one. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas or suggestions (apart from "don't bother, it's a waste of time") I'm thinking they need to be: Funny (people are more likely to share things that they find funny) I'm thinking a dry Blackadder wit rather than Jackass Short (people won't sit and watch anything much online that is longer than a minute or two) Not Preachy (nobody wants to be lectured), but getting a point across through wry humour and cartoons rather than calling everyone else stupid. Quick to produce (no point in me making something beautiful that takes 6 months and is out of date by the time it's finished, much better that it's simple and quick and topical) Enjoyable by people who don't come on HPC. Much as I like this forum, a lot of it is preaching to the choir, would be great if "mainstream" people would share it and perhaps actually think about this stuff for once. Possibles I have so far are: something about the fact that cheaper housing is better for everyone something about how BTL is fecking evil and drives up prices for everyone how being born in a certain decade means the difference between a BTL empire and a life off servitude a house is a home, not an investment how high house prices mean less money to spend elsewhere how estate agents are unqualified and unregulated how the housing ladder is actually a snake how modern slaveboxes aren't big enough to swing a cat in So....anyone have any thoughts, characters or concepts in their head that they would like to see reach a wider audience? I'm not saying it'll work but I think it's worth a try to help push the message. Thanks.
  21. Of course to me (living on a single income with a wife who looks after our 2 year old son - our decision of course) that £745 still seems like a hell of a lot. You can get similar houses a little further from town (in the not quite so nice parts) for about £100 less, and in the towns around Chester probably £200 less. (Chester is a little bubble of madness) I think it is not so much that this house is cheap, more that the price of this too high but prices in London and the S/E are totally mental, so this looks OK by comparison. For example if I were to rent this then it would be half of my take home pay each month. Yes it could be argued that my wife should work a full time job too, but I really hate that argument, as it's clear that 40 years ago this sort of house was well within the means of a single income household, with the other partner looking after the house and kids. Now with the expectation that both adults should have full time work, rents (and house prices) have rocketed upwards to hoover up and spare money in a household. (as you say the price is set by the ability to pay). It certainly would be good if london prices could come down to this level, and Chester prices could come down proportionally, then we might be able to get a family house, for our small family, on a single wage (I'm not a fan of dumping kids on their grandparents for half the week, or a child minder, nor the idea of having two adults too tired from work to bother making decent home cooked food etc. (Hence our decision to be a single income house, and live within our means) Sorry for rambling on
  22. Driving licence!? classic. Breach of data protection act certainly. I get the impression that most lettings/estate agents would make even the woeful morons on "The Apprentice" look almost competent by comparison.
  23. Looking at houses to rent (not that I can find anything at a reasonable price). Checking the 6 photos (more than you usually get) Exterior - check Interior - check Garden - check Kitchen - check Man feeding a Baby????!!!! - what the hell?!!?! http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-24565521.html
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