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Everything posted by CrashedOutAndBurned

  1. Masses of new Bradley Stoke style doll's house development around nondescript Patchway/Cribbs area in South Glos, which should make for lots of extra traffic whizzing around. Pockets of small part-buy stuff being crammed in on odd gaps here and there. Some expansion to the Harbourside area too, which was pretty under occupied after the credit crunch. Still big office blocks building built without any real need considering the huge glut of offices. Overall, though, wouldn't say it's a building boom.
  2. Yes. Definitely a small boom underway with swift sales pushing up prices. Definitely a big gentrification push into Easton, St George, Eastville too by priced-out 20 and 30 somethings and anywhere still just about 'cheap' within the city proper. East Bristol the new North. People genuinely nervous about Home Buy pushing prices further out of reach means grimier borderline up-and-coming areas now acceptable. Couples/families want closeness to work, one car (or no car) not two. Getting enough mortgage to buy still tricky but now enough people around with the deposit saved to gobble up 150-200k homes as FTBs. I predict trendy coffee bars on even notorious Stapleton Road within 12 months. Seen the pattern in the South East plenty of times.
  3. I have slightly older friends that left Uni in the mid 90s and then, even if your pay was modest, you could buy a 1 bed flat if that was your thing. I know loads of people just 3 to 5 years older than me that did that.. A girl I knew was a retail assistant, had saved a little, and bought a flat for £42k in 1999 in an area close to London where they've now be £170k. I'm no longer in touch with her but, assuming she's still single and still living there, she'd be paying an almost negligible mortgage probably 1/3 of what some 20-something pays to rent a room in a shared house. Now, shared house party living is kinda fun when you're in the early stage of your working life - feels like a sort of continuation of the Uni experience. But it's when there's no real avenue to leave it it's depressing. The chalk-and-cheese experience of 20 somethings now compared to 15 years ago is so vast I'm surprised there hasn't been a revolution. In fact, the people most likely to be shafted by any manufactured mini boom from Home Buy and other schemes are supportive of them! One 37 year old teacher I know thinks the government have finally done something to help her.
  4. Certainly the propaganda is working in that sense that people in their late-20s and 30s we know ARE suddenly piling in. They don't have the deposits or generous mortgage offers to buy the kinds of places commensurate with their education and employment so are buying small homes in cheaper, rougher areas that are just showing the first signs of gentrification. Some want to use Help to Buy, others are merely fearful of the boom H2B may bring pushing them yet further from their long-term goals, while others are facing such high rents that buying a cheap house somewhere gritty is a way to halt evermore gouging increases in living costs. Of course, this influx will get other chains moving. So I'm in no doubt the government's engineered mini-boom will happen/is happening.
  5. Why does every trendy conversion in London have a glass box stuck on it somewhere? I know London trendies love their iPads but isn't building a Apple Store on the side of your house a bit extreme?
  6. £400 for an AS level? Can't you just get a syllabus from one of the exam boards and a textbook from the bookshop?
  7. Eat loads of dirt-cheap starchy carbs and refined sugars (white bread, chips, crisps, etc.) and you'll balloon. There seems to be a trend by the supermarkets to back food banks. What better way to bump up customer spends than have them all buy a little extra for the 'food bank'? Of course, it'd be much better if Tesco, ASDA and the rest just died and we had proper markets in every locale. Much, much cheaper way to get food and healthier than the almost entirely processed fare of the supermarkets..
  8. I've been in some nice squats over the years where occupants have redecorated and there's electricity, running water and furniture... and most occupants were economically active or going to jobs. In fact, they better quality accommodation than many dank BTL holes rented for exorbitant fees these days. The inherent insecurity of that life wouldn't have tempted me but good on them for getting on their bikes and finding a home. Likewise, 'alternative types' have frequently built low-impact solar eco-homes on land they've actually purchased. So there's no more of a shortage of gumption out there among the hoi polloi than their was in this writer's granddad's day. But I don't think the rentier class really like the homeless using the homes or folks accommodating themselves on land they own, do they?
  9. Yes. I remember a piece on Radio 4 a few years back about this process. Local people that every year used to get temporary work picking fruit suddenly found those jobs were no longer accessible to them as buses were arriving from Eastern Europe. Remember, pre no borders immigration, all those news stories about fruit unpicked, jobs undone, massive labour shortages across the economy? No, me neither...
  10. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23662668 I worked once for a company that laid off a whole bunch of full time warehouse workers (fair enough, stuff happens) but then Eastern European temps were brought in. Same number of workers - cheaper wage bill. There's no real limit to this, is there? Seems the political class have pushed the 'hard working immigrants vs. lazy Brits that don't want the jobs' line far too hard. Nothing lazy about being sacked and replaced to cut costs or or not even in the running for jobs due to your nationality. No wonder poor working class people are voting for hardline neoliberals like UKIP.
  11. London seems to be fuelled by billionaire foreign investors and bankers alone. People deep into their careers with what should be enviable salary can maybe scrape a 1 bed flat in Hackney for £250k with some help from the bank of Mum and Dad or slog in from places like Milton Keynes. With the non-money down self-cert days long gone the London market continues to baffle.
  12. If it's a 100 year old house it could be a crack from previous movement that's now moved as much as it's ever going to. A lot of Edwardian terraces can have wonkiness from initial movement that often is't a big deal. A bit of repointing if that. Of course, only a full inspection will let you know for certain. Suffice to say a full structural survey on most older houses, especially those that are obviously dated, will basically suggest everything needs further investigation, so they can seem a bit useless.
  13. I can sympathise with NIMBYism to some degree. In most regards the standard of living and quality of life was better for the majority of people 30 years ago. Less traffic. Less job insecurity. More space. Lower housing costs. We had fewer consumer products but they tended to be more durable and something you would repair rather than throw out. Where I lose patience is when middle-class boomers start making life impossible for people who can't even remember those more laid-back times and just need a half-decent affordable home in the tougher, fast-paced world we're now forced to live in. Millions have to suffer for someone else's fond memories. Nuts. As for fracking, though. That's just plain bonkers. The fact it's even being considered, quite out the blue, probably reveals the desperation over peak-fossil fuel.
  14. https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Glandwr,+Whitland,+SA34+0YD+&hl=en&ll=51.92794,-4.63387&spn=0.014132,0.038581&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=6.881357,19.753418&hnear=Glandwr+SA34+0YD,+United+Kingdom&t=h&z=15&layer=c&cbll=51.927848,-4.633821&panoid=O_saktEKoa2rtB_wt0NZtg&cbp=12,62.77,,0,8.91 Here are the surrounding roads. There's barely a NIMBY in sight. If a tree falls in a forest....
  15. http://naturalhomes.org/save-charlies-house.htm Fabulous home. So sad that young people's spirit, resourcefulness and desire take care of their own affairs is being crushed by the need to enslave them in dull low-paid jobs tied to high rents or brutal mortgage debt.
  16. So the planning permission-free 'plot' is basically the width of the shed and a terrace on the street can be had for £100000k? I remember reading years back about a row of lock-ups at the end of a street and a bidding war between neighbours breaking out when one of them changed hands. Maybe someone on that street wanted a garage at any cost.
  17. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23549534 The thing is, working across the UK, there are relatively few towns and cities I see that really look prosperous or the kind of place that one might enjoy living in. Even in an allegedly affluent provincial town the majority of employment is low-paid and does not match living costs without the usual fat top-up of tax-credits. Instead of buying up bad debt from banksters in QE, debt-free money could have been spent into such areas. Even in depressed communities there are naturally innovative and resourceful types, but starved of any sort of access to resources they are hamstringed.
  18. Go to most European towns and cities and people of all social classes can be found living in and around the centre in buildings several or many stories high. Shops are seen at street level selling day-to-day goods at fair prices. The UK followed the yank model of constant sprawl, cloned city centres and total car dependency. The former makes so much more sense.
  19. In the 80s growing up there were kids in big post-war councils homes more spacious than the mortgaged home where I lived. Friends that lived in them always had all the latest tellies, VCRs and HIFIs because the rent was b'all. Lower-middle class people like my parents would effectively have a big mortgage and not much spare money for the cachet of not living in a council house/estate. Now even that's gone as the private house next door with the hefty rent could be rented to people on benefits via HB for free. Or your big mortgage could be on an ex-council flat. The neoliberals have really scammed us. Surely the mixed-economy model where a bus conductor could raise a family in London in a nice spacious council home was a sort of utopia? The megarich had better watch out else millions are going to conclude a mild form of communism could probably suit them better. The 'calm life' as some Eastern Europeans refer to their parents' existence under such systems.
  20. Investment? Spanish people must fear a Cyprus-style haircut. They may steal your bank balance but they'll never take your Rolex.
  21. Android isn't much of a Linux. It's a Linux Kernel with a sort of Java-derrived layer on top. Java code are compiled to Dalvik, Android's own virtual machine. Hence the excitement over a phone based on a proper, fuller Linux distribution. Having seen a Nexus running the alpha Touch it's a brilliant interface already far superior to Android. There's definitely at least a large niche for this thing in the market from the kind of people that thought the N900 was the best thing ever. Google is king of search and maps but gets undue reverence. A lot of their products are dire - Google+, Chrome OS, etc.
  22. Crowdfunding is great if you already have access to an audience. I know some people that have had no resources but that been able to record records, make products or publish books, sometimes looking to raise just a few grand. Means people are no longer at the mercy of gatekeepers, bank loans or rich investors. It's a great development. I'd love an Ubuntu phone for the geekfest. Seems a bit defeatist that it dual-boots Android as standard, though. Why make Ubuntu apps?
  23. For a while we lived in an area where we used the local supermarket as local markets and small shops didn't exist. It's amazing how you can spend £30 on a tiny basket of nothingness in those places. Our food bill went from barely worth thinking about to a sizeable chunk of money in a month. Must be even worse on poor estates where only convenience store mini markets are easily accessible. Go near the end of the day at one of your our local market and there's great food at virtually giveaway prices.
  24. In the mid 90s is looked as if Windows variants would allow no room for any other platform aside from commercial UNIX on high end servers. Now if someone accesses a company database that has a web front end it's very likely they're doing it via non-windows devices - iOS and Android in particular but Mac OS and Linux desktops and laptops too. Microsoft is a curious odd man out these days. Mac OS, iOS, Android, Chrome OS, Ubuntu, FirefoxOS, HP-UX, Solaris and anything else with a claim to significance - all *nix variants. With so much internet traffic served and now consumed on non-Windows devices where should the kids be building their skills base? I can see MS dying off sooner than some might think.
  25. Ironically, it was founder Henry Ford that realised if you want to create a market for goods you have to have well paid workers. We keep on shedding them and celebrate the opening of a Lidl for providing a few tax-credit supported slave jobs..
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