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    Happy renter

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  1. Here an update after 3 and a half years of no posting on this threat. I am still renting and gosh did I travel the world. I decided the take kids out of school and home school for two and a half years. Rented in Bangkok, Hoi An, Ho Ch Minh City, Tuscany plus did lots of travel. Back in Andorra again. I would not have done all this if it was not for the flexibility of renting and AirBnB providing so many short term rental choices, which can be reasonably cheap outside school holidays.
  2. Having lived in Malta and rented extremely cheap 1- 2% of purchase price. I would not bother buying. Rent first and if you still love island living after 5 years then buy.
  3. Having lived in many places Holland (born there), UK, Malta, Australia, Andorra I can't say one is better than the other. What I can say is that each one of them has enriched my family. I am love the fact my kids are fluent in 5 language by the age of 9 and are very flexible. They do struggle a bit with the concept of home country and where do they belong, there is zero patriotism. I am worried with the move to nationalism and the whole Brexit anti immigrant, anti Polish moves I have seen. It is not only a UK thing, after 2008 crisis people have become more xenophobic around the globe. As a world citizen with no true home it is worrying trend. On the other hand the world is more open than it has ever been.
  4. Renting in Andorra for the last 6 years. Rents are decent (€2000 for 4 bed house) and fixed for 5 years, however they have gone up lately due to influx of French and Spanish escaping local taxation and information exchange on undeclared money in Andorra. Property prices here have to be taken with a grain of salt. There is zero transparency here so you get no idea of what things sell for. Me with my feet on the ground know that on some properties the difference between advertised price vs sold price can be as high as 50%. Due to information exchange on money in the bank there are 2 huge movements. People moving into Andorra to be tax resident, most tend to rent for the moment. People taking their dirty money out and selling up before the deadline. Bargains can be had but no one advertises these and you got to be in the know.
  5. This is not fantasy world. The telegraph is just getting paid by these local estate agents to promote these luxury "out of the normal peoples price range" properties in France. That is all, just a pure business decision.
  6. Update here. With zero percent interest rates for the foreseeable future and a deflationary environment like Japan had for 25 years to be the new norm. I expected this as I have the word deflation in my profile for the last 10 years on this forum. It is starting to make sense to buy property instead of renting it. I am also more grounded than ever with my kids. I am still a sharer though, so will Airbnb my house, do home exchanges or house sits. My kids have 18 weeks school holiday so there is plenty of time to enjoy other areas. Since I have started this thread 8 years ago the sharing economy has grown tremendously. Rent or renting out long or short term is all about sharing and having flexibility. The world is your oyster....
  7. I am researching the Spanish market that seems to have bottomed out. I have the following tips for would be buyers. Do your own research and look at a lot of properties - The market in Spain is notoriously non transparent, there is no open registery where you can find sold prices. You have no idea what a good low price is. Only by visiting many properties and tracking them you get an idea of where the prices are. Some houses easily sit on the market for 2-3 years and now that the economy is going slightly better the first thing they do is raise the prices (are they nuts). To give you an idea I have seen 2 properties next to each other one is in slightly better condition, both houses are huge, 8 bedrooms. One is selling for 400k the next door one want over 1800K. Lots of sellers are not forced and still live in 2008 dreamland pricing. Advertised sqm mean nothing and are a total made up number. When you visit a house take an electronic measurement device and measure yourself. You will be surprised how small it is. Homes before 2002 may have bad wiring or electrical systems as there was no proper certification. Homes can be poorly insulated, If you stay only in the hot months that is OK, but winters even down south do get cold. Back repossessed property is not always good value and banks still keep valuations high as not to take a write down on their books. You should certainly negotiate with them and not be intimidated. Back it up with what your research says. When it comes to flats or houses with a community ask about the community fund and if every owner has paid up. Spend money on getting good legal advice upfront it can save you lots of money later on. Identify at least 5 to 10 house or flats you would want to buy, now make low offers of 30-35% discount and use the knowledge that you have gained with your research. A recent report says that average asking prices are 21% higher than the final sale price. These are averages and boom towns like Barcelona, Madrid, Balearic Islands and Marbella are seeing less of a discount which means other areas see even higher discounts than the 21%. Good luck and feel free to ask me a few questions.
  8. I thought after 1 year lets check again and do an update. You can follow my post on this thread back to 2006 when I first invested in Leipzig. The characteristics then were: High unemployment Very Cheap prices Difficulty with finding finance Everyone was negative about house price growth 10 Years later Leipzig has grown from just under 500K to 570K population. Unemployment is 9% still higher then rest of Germany. We have seen a boom in prices in Munich, Hamburg and Berlin. Tier 2 cities have been picking up and this has gone to Leipzig & Dresden as well. I am out. I think I have seen a pretty decent return. I might try other places in Germany that have not got caught onto rising prices. Tier 2 cities 300K to 700K population wise. Good infrastructure, university, low unemployment, rising population but unloved.
  9. The house I put pictures up a few post ago, sold 3 months later, I think that was a good deal. In the end the area was just not prime enough for me to weather another crisis. So still looking around and still seeing striped down places for way too much money. Oh and do I love google maps where you can go back in time to see what has happened to the area. Here is another home way too expensive and stripped down - http://www.habitaclia.com/comprar-casa-carrer_del_migdia_6_buen_estado-roca_del_valles-i9417002111806.htm On the market for €550K, I think it would need to go to under €300K for me to be interested. I am researching Barcelona and surroundings, so if you have any questions feel free to ask.
  10. Here are the facts. Leipzig also known as hypezig is the fastest growing town in Germany. Most of it comes from other areas in the east where population is shrinking. If you invest in the East I would stick to Berlin, Leipzig & Dresden. The time to invest in this part was 2005 2006 since then property prices have doubled. Germans don't buy houses and are long term renters. However Germans do like a good yield and are weary of QE and are looking for investments with a return. As far as unemployment, yes it is higher here but it has come down a lot.
  11. Holy [email protected] that is not a place a would want to rent. Great find though..
  12. The euro crisis was a while ago. But what we have seen at the European elections that Europe's problems are far from over. Spain is fighting with high unemployment and deflation. So what would leaving the euro do to Spain. Here is an interesting read. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/5/26/european-crisis/what-spanish-exit-euro-would-look
  13. Keep up the posts. Love reading what is happening in France.
  14. Here are some pictures. Advertised for €230K needs about €30K spending on it. so €260K before purchasing cost. I am tempted by €200K for the finished article. Land price alone (1100M2) is about €60K in current market after heavy discounting Any comments welcome.
  15. Gosh, That looks barren and remote. I am not so confident it is a good price. I think you are right about discounts in prime stock.
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