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House Price Crash Forum


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Everything posted by N1AK

  1. When we were buying ~18 months ago we put the room dimensions of each place we saw or were interested in into a chuffing great spreadsheet. That would show us the total space for the rooms (bedrooms, dining room etc), extras (loft, basement, utility, conservatory etc). Total floor area is only an approximation of space and knowing whether individual rooms were big enough was important to us.
  2. I bought about a year ago. Mortgage rates are so good at the moment that even if house prices were dropping £5k per year we'd be no worse off. I bet that interest rates would stay low for a couple of years and that would be enough to protect me from any likely nominal price fall.
  3. I still to this day haven't been able to work out why the Conservatives and Lib Dems formed a government rather than letting Labour do it or having another election. The British people don't want to see cuts and the ConDems are taking the heat for bringing them in. The only chances they have are that they can pull off a recovery in time for the next elections or that the public continue to think Ed Milliband is entirely inappropriate for the job of PM. An economic car crash in Greece if they refuse austerity is another possible winner for them. It's a bit like talking to a heavy smoker. You can tell them how much damage it is doing but it's too theoretical, happens to other people etc. However once the health issues start they change their mind. When a close friend dies of lung cancer they reconsider their mortality etc. Human beings need to face consequences clearly or see someone else do so to want to adjust behaviour.
  4. A thousand times this. At some point we'll be looking to get a larger place, spending in the region of £250-300k. In much of Europe, Australia, Canada and the US what you can have built for that money makes what you can get in the UK look like a joke.
  5. The issue is that all of those schemes are controversial. Road building is unpopular with enviromentally minded voters. HS2 is hated by core Tory voters near the route. Building new houses anywhere brings out NIMBYs and nuclear is a push button issue for many. If the government funded via supporting apprenticeships/training the building of 50k houses a year for 5 years it would provide thousands of jobs, make housing more affordable and deal with some of the public housing shortfall. It could invest some of the foreign aid budget into training for young unemployed people to go out to Africa etc and help build infrastructure/teach there.
  6. The landlord definitely didn't have the right to enter without permission for that reason. That said, I would ask how much your friend would benefit by making a big deal of it. Personally I would suggest reminding the landlord politely that they may only enter the property with your permission, that he realises that the landlord was just trying to get the boiler checked and he needs him to follow the correct procedure in future. There's no point getting the landlord on your wrong side without a very good reason.
  7. Here I was hoping for an insightful piece on how increased staffing improves customer satisfaction and would lead to improved performance; an argument similar to that made by the net promoter score school of thinking. Sadly it's a Daily Mail dross piece. Obviously supermarkets will see increased customer theft with self-checkouts. They'll have budgeted for it and still think it's worth the expense. Personally I prefer self checkouts and haven't felt the need to stoop to the level of using them for theft.
  8. Are you saying that you hold their ability to spell against them? If not then you're spelling of unpasteurised was particularly well timed.
  9. I'd be gone by now if it wasn't for my partner's reluctance. I can live with the tax, the services etc and there are so many things I love about Britain. I just can't abide the attitude of some many of the people. The dislike for foreigners, successful people, educated people; NIMBYism; Faux outrage about human rights while claiming that weekly bin collections should be one. The only thing I hate more than the stereotypical daily mail reader is the pond scum that we've allowed to live as parasites for so long, which I hate having in common with the aforementioned group.
  10. Surely she must of known that no one would be happy with her writing this unless she fully disclosed her tax details? There was no chance that giving a couple of topline figures was ever going to cut it. Personally I think requiring anyone to disclose their tax details is wrong. I think that people who want to propose it or campaign against tax avoidance should probably expect to publish their own details just to avoid claims of hypocrisy. What my neighbours earn or pay in tax is between them and HMRC and there is simply no need for me to be able to see it. If the government thinks that tax avoidance is an issue it should be simplifying the tax rules and removing loopholes.
  11. Exactly my view of what the current 50+ viewpoint seems to be. What's interesting is that I expected the idea of not giving pensioners everything, regardless of what they've earned, would remain unassailable for at least another 5-10 years. I was shocked to see some of the earliest questions on question time last week were highlighting that exact issue and getting some support. If you're going to pop your clogs in the next 5-10 years you'll have done very nicely. For people who will need the state to support them for longer than that I'd be worried. Anyone who is currently 50-60 needs to have a long hard think about just how much they are relying on the state to support them and whether it'll still be willing to in 10-15 years time if public sentiment changes.
  12. If you were young, educated, decent and hard working why would you stick around to fund those who aren't and the older generations who built up such a massive deficit? Either move to the continent and pay high tax to get decent services (France/Germany/Netherlands also Canada I suppose) or to a more recently westernised country where you'll pay less tax and buy world class services (Dubai, Brazil, China!?, Singapore).
  13. It's a difficult situation. On one hand I feel sorry for the buyers. They bought a property (and assuming the information in later posts is right) with no idea there was an issue like this hidden. I can fully understand why they expected that the between having a homebuyers report and insurance they'd be covered if something like this happened. That said, the insurer is right that this was a pre-existing issue. The homebuyer report isn't a full survey and almost certainly is worded to ensure the surveyor isn't liable. It turns out that someone who might reasonably believe they are protected in this situation isn't in practice, which is a problem. Firstly, the pre-existing issues terms are a real risk to home owners. Many major issues could easily be dormant/building over a decade without it being easy to detect them. People don't expect to find out that damage to their foundations isn't covered 8 years after they moved in because a tree started to damage them a decade ago (and aren't in a position to fight their insurer often). I'd be inclined to think there is a market for home insurance, which does cover pre-existing conditions, if there is a detailed enough independent survey. Secondly, if I was the new owner I'd be seriously considering a lawsuit against the seller or whomever produced the kitchen floor. I would expect any tradesmen to be liable. If the work was done by the previous owners they may well still be liable given the clearly unsafe and potentially life-threatening nature of the floor.
  14. In my direct experience the people who complain about ability not being related to promotions are the people who aren't being promoted. It's hardly surprising that, as most people believe they are worth more than they are paid, people persuade themselves that they would have done well if the system merited 'ability'. The most effective counter to this nonsense is the fact that an organisation that did promote people to roles they couldn't do and overpaid their senior staff by 500%+ could be effective in the marketplace. The only way this could be true is if no one ever set up a competitor that didn't do these things. The only way that this wouldn't have happened is some kind of universal conspiracy to stop it. The only way you'd believe that is to be nucking futs.
  15. Replace Alex Ferguson with a greyhound and United will still be near the top of the premiership. The only way they'll stay there is to have someone good at the helm. You're right that it's not, just, envy. There's plenty of ignorance as well. People who are either to stupid or lazy to understand anything about what it takes to effectively manage a company, let alone a company that employs 150,000 people, like to imagine they could do it when they aren't even remotely near capable.
  16. Firstly, I doubt many here will accept the premise that £50k is a 'reasonable' salary. As someone who knows 4 well educated people who work in London I can assure you that £50k is still a 'good' salary. Two work for multinationals managing product programmes for medications (a high paying sector) the roles require PHDs (both to get the job and actually be able to do it) which means they have done 9 years of further education to get that role. I doubt training for a tube driver takes a decade? One is a solictor and the other is a senior editor at a biomedical publication (again requiring 9 years further education). One of them is paid in excess of £50k, the other three are paid ~£40k on average. They are all more than able to live reasonably on that level of income. Secondly, by no plausible definition is it required that you live in London to work there. In fact, of all jobs working on the tube should be one of the easiest to commute for. Of those four earlier examples two are commuters, one travels from Northamptonshire. If there are people who are capable of doing the job and willing to do it for (for example) £30k then it makes no sense to be paying £50k for it. The extra cost is additional burden upon commuters, most of whom will be doing work, at least, as demanding and being noticably less. It also makes the cost/benefit calculation for automation more attractive. Given the risk of strikes, pensions and all the additional costs of having staff etc then replacing drivers for automation at a cost of £65k pa becomes beneficial.
  17. Until recently I sat next to a finance director, her hubby is a well paid accountant and their net income will be in excess of £200k. She's seriously against the idea of her son going to university unless he has a specific reason to. As someone who went to uni in the last decade, with low income parents, I found the experience to be incredibly beneficial. Aside from teaching me to question, rather than just regurgitate information, it also provided an environment where I met different people from different cultures and with radically different beliefs. I think attending university is of massive benefit, and the fact that people from high income families are starting to avoid it clearly shows that affording it is getting harder. I find it especially ironic that a generation which was provided with grants to go to university, has left the country in such a shambles that it can't do the same for today's younger generation.
  18. Less pensioners means lower government spending, lower government spending requires lower taxation, lower taxation makes hiring people more attractive to companies. Overly simplistic, but you asked. I'm not defending the above argument. I also believe that there is a long term negative consequence to this action, alongside the positive effects. That said, I doubt that the high unemployment in Spain is because no one can think of any jobs to give people, it will be because no one can afford to pay someone to do a job that they can think of. If employing Spaniards was less costly it would 'help' create jobs. They might not be high quality, desirable jobs, but producing those requires time and high expenditure which a country like Spain can't afford until it deals with it's unemployment and deficit issues.
  19. A safe seat is very often not held by someone with >50% of the vote. Even where it is, AV provides people with a reason to reconsider their party 'allegiance'. Once Granddad who's voted conservative for 15 elections straight realises that it's actually possible to vote for someone else without risking the bloody communists getting in he might start voting with his mind.
  20. Seat with 55% Labour votes 40% conservative conservative votes 10% UKIP 5% Lib Dem Currently it's a very safe labour seat. Under AV a large number of those labour voters might actually prefer the Lib Dems, or even a different party, but realise that Labour is the only way of keeping 'the Tories' out under FPTP. In that situation the Labour MP actually has to put some effort into persuading those tactical voters to actually 'want' labour to win. Not that the anti-AV lot can appreciate something this obvious.
  21. Then you'd be wrong. Beyond that, you'd also cause massive damage to the economy and decimate job numbers, and if that sounds hyperbolic it is only because you haven't fully thought through the consequences. I work for a company employing ~5,000 employees. Many are 'unskilled' and the pay is near or at minimum wage. I've seen sites close, and staff be laid off because it's still more cost effective to automate some tasks. If you increases the minimum wage to £20,000pa equivalent then you'd see an immediate increase of ~25% on the staple food product we produce, and investment in further automation to drop ~1000-1500 roles over the next 2-4 years.
  22. Reducing the minimum wage encourages the creation of jobs that don't justify better pay. It has very little to do with competition between better and worse competitors. In an economy with a large number of employed people, making more people unemployed (which is what happens when companies can't continue) should be avoided unless the reason is extremely strong. The minimum wage has succeeded in doing two things in the UK: Drive low skilled manufactoring work out of the UK Increase the wages of low skilled workers in geographically fixed roles (store staff etc). The minimum wage ensures that someone stacking shelves in a supermarket is paid better, it also puts more pressure on the them to employ fewer staff. It might have been cost effective for Tesco to employ an extra 5-6 check out staff per store, rather than install self-service checkouts if the wage they had to pay was slightly lower. I'm not entirely pro- or anti-minimum wage, and I find it amusing to watch people debate the issue as though either option has no benefits or negatives attached.
  23. I can't speak for everyone, but I am confident that an MP has the potential (and on average) makes better decisions than either you or I do. Not because they are more intelligent, or have more data available, but because we aren't able to spend the time required to be informed about the issues at hand. The best I could hope to do is cast my votes based on the advice of a group dedicated to analysing and proposing legislation, that closely matched my personal preference, or even suggested positions based on my preferences. This then effectively puts power in the hands of a small number of 'advisory groups'.
  24. We have the technology, the question is whether it would produce better decisions. The first thing to consider is that we as individuals have nothing near enough time to make informed decisions about all the issues which require decisions. We would be voting on laws, bills etc without any chance of having read, let alone understood them. People would then either vote based on blind ideaology, or on the basis of advice from special interest groups. Secondly, it seems odd that on a forum where we regularly berate the government for protecting proprty prices, a direct democracy is so popular. Most people want property prices not to fall, a vote on measures to maintain property prices would almost certainly pass. Governance by representatives, at its best, allows for informed representatives to make decisions that are unpopular in the short term, but vital for the future. Can you imagine the joke that a budget created by direct democracy would be?
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