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Everything posted by whiterabbit

  1. Anyone only making 50k a year living in a 600k house is an idiot. Its hard enough to buy a 400k house on a 100k income and live ok these days in the SE. Melanie also looks like she has high expectations of herself, she may want to consider doing some "escort" work on the side to enhance the families earnings..........
  2. This is old news and I am surprised the number isn't higher. Unskilled immigration is the number one problem in the UK and directly relates to lower wages and higher rents. This is fact. As to skilled immigration this is being used too much by companies to lower skilled workers wages in IT (for example) by exploiting loopholes and pretending shortages exist. We need a complete stop on all immigration right now while we sort out a new system. While this is in place we need to actively hunt down companies abusing the law and fine them an amount that actually matters.
  3. They also for got to mention that 3 million immigrants (thanks to their mates the Labour party) have overwhelmingly hurt lower and middle class incomes while at the same time causing rents to rise.
  4. Well let me add some things here. A lot depends on what people want to acheive. Any short term monthly profit will be next to impossible but........... If you are earning in the US it can be smart move to buy a rental in the UK especially if you are already visiting the UK once or twice a year. Reasons are the house can be set up as a US LLC and depreciated against your US income and also all your trips to the UK can also be written off against your personal US income tax. Using this strategy even allowing for a monthly loss on the rental and a potential 15% drop in value I think long term you will do OK. As for a mortgage thats easy as long as your US income is good, I have done it before and so have many co-workers. My co-worker is running a loss of about $20k a year on a 1 bed in Peterborough which in reality means the mortgage payments are free. Having said all this if you are not visiting the UK often and are not moving to the UK eventually I wouldn't bother and instead would buy in downtown Atlanta GA near the rail-line/airport and rent to section 8! Should be a relatively easy 8%-10% return plus cap appreciation.
  5. I am surpised some of the large US apartment firms such as post http://www.postproperties.com/ havn't built blocks in the UK yet. As others have posted in the US its easy to get an imaculate place to rent for a good price and be treated well by the company. Plus in most states the laws mandate new carpets/paint etc every year. So much of this is the way people are brainwashed here to thing they "have" to buy to get on the ladder. With the coming drops in prices I think sentiment will change.
  6. I only took issue with the fact that you said I was a VI which I am not. This is a good article and FWIW I totaly agree its much better to rent especially right now. Lets move on please.................
  7. Thats lower than I was thinking, I was assuming way more for things like insurance. 3k a month mortgage sounds about right.
  8. I know its hard to be exact but what do you figure the holding costs are for people trying to sell a house of this value? I would guess its got to be in the 1200 euro a month range if maintenance, insurance, utilities and all taxes are added even when empty. Just wondered as the higher these are the quicker people will want out and accept lower offers.
  9. Do you seriously think someone with the money for a share of Sophia Antipolis business Park or maybe the chariman of IBM is posting on here to promote their business................... I don't have any vested interest in anything in France or some business park. Should be pretty obvious as I have been posting here for years about waiting to buy something when prices drop. Also I was recently near Lyon and just in Sarlat and posted about massive price drops. All I said was that the area around Sophia Antipolis seems to be going down less % as many expats there actually have professonal jobs. Its an area I know well and you obviously don't. If you did you would know that in IT for example most large organisations have a prescence there. As for Americans living and working in the Sophia area, right now as I look IBM for one are advertising in the US for staff so are Accenture, Agilent, Cisco, Dimension Data, Fortinet, HP, Honeywell, SAP and Thales in IT, so are L'oreal in Grasse. These jobs are also specifically witten in English to hire British or Americans so I guess they will sponsor papers PDQ. This to me shows more support for the local housing market than say a small village in the Dordougne. Redwine I do think you provide a good service to this board with your postings but please stop the attacks on anyone who says something you don't like. Its as if you feel threatened and hate to hear that everyones life isn't going to s**t and not everyone body is going back to the UK with their tails between their legs.
  10. No question it isn't Paris or Geneva. To move to the SOF is a lifestyle choice and not a career one but the impact can be minimized by good tax planning and having a job before you arrive. What Sophia is IMHO, is a good transition area for someone who wants to eventully retire in SOF. By that what I mean is lets assume you have a great career in a major hub (NYC, LAX, LON, etc) and are looking to get out/move to SOF. Rather than jack it all in you can instead have the option to maybe get a lower paying/remote postion in a smaller regional office and bring your move to SOF forward a few years. I have seen a good few people do this lately in the area we are talking about. How many people doing it? havn't a clue but enough for all the international schools to be doing well. My own company has 5 or 6 vacancies in Sophia and are advertizing internally in the US and UK to fill them. As for American owners, annecdotally there seem to be a lot in this specific area. Its hard not to hear US and British accents wherever you go. Apparenty two more international schools are in planning stages. A lot of the Microsoft and Cisco bigwigs have houses in the region, and it used to be a right of passage to buy one there once you got your final tranche of stock. Also there are a bunch of US real estate agents in the area who only advertize in the prime US markets. Again I am talking about a small specific area and I am in total agreement prices are falling in this area. I just don't think as much as other areas. Personally I wish they would fall further.
  11. I am actually living in the US and work for an IT company with a lot of European business. Its actually often the same here, British expats with no experience. papers or money buying houses without researching things. I go over to the Sophia Antipolis offices pretty often. A lot of French work for us and live in the US but own very nice houses in the SOF. Also quite a few Americans have also bought houses as retirement investments/vehicles etc. Of course all this is concentrated within a 50km radius of Sophia Antipolis in specific towns and villages. One thing worth remembering is that anyone working/earning in the US can write off their whole mortgage (unlimited), all house expenses and flights to France so canny expats have bought knowing that even a large drop will still leave them ahead as they are already getting a blended 31% discount due to tax savings. Most of the wealthier smarter people will also set up tax structures so they are paying very little tax where ever they live. Once you reach a certain level of earnings its pretty easy to play the non dom game etc. On another note I would also like to see some drastic drops in prices in the areas around Grasse. I have yet to see any big drops, more the 10% kind. As mentioned before most of France is totally dead in the water and value less but the areas being discussed near Nice/Cannes seemed to be holding on.
  12. Everytime I read stories like this I have to laugh. If somone/anyone cannot make money or be successfull in the UK or US in a business then how in the world do they think they can in France where its so much tougher., and rural France where it is tougher still. I wish them well but with no language for him and a gite business I think 95% likelihood of failure. Most all successful expats I know in France, Spain or US already had a company transfer/or job before moving and an in demand skillset. Thats why its so crucial to live in an area close to commerce IMHO. My company always has jobs near Sophia Antipolis not so much near Saugon.
  13. Noise? There can't be more then 10 flights a day out of there.
  14. Only 32 houses for sale there? It looked way more to me. I assume the 32 doesn't include all the "by owner" ones with signs in the front gardens or windows. There were also a lot of houses that looked more like ruins with vendre painted on them. Good point about the airport as I am not sure if it is possible to comute to London easily a few times a month like some people do from Nice or Marseille.
  15. I was in Eymet a couple of months ago as I wanted to drive thru to check out the town as its known for such a large UK population. To me it seemed empty, a bit run down and no where near as nice as the villages closer to St Emillion. Having said all that its pretty close to the airport so I would say a nice house for 150k would be ok. In other words about a 50% price drop...........
  16. As per my post last week (884) this area is having big problems right now. All agents inventories are up and viewings prices down. The village of Loumarin has always been very well know and is hardly an unearthed gem. Most days you would be hard pressed to hear a French accent there. This article is close to fraud IMHO. Every single "fact" is incorrect.
  17. Just had drinks with a friend who works for an agency that represents the golden triangle in the Luberon (Vacluse). She said they have triple the houses on the books they did two years ago and nothing is selling. In a village called Saignon 50% of the village is on the market. Also "farms for rennovation" are becoming available again. A few years back you could not find a rennovation property in this area anywhere. She is expecting drops of another 20% as we head into Winter. Also apparently rentals have been the worst on record....................
  18. I have just been renting a house with the family in the Dordogue near Sarlat, seems like the whole place is for sale. Every agent I have been by has been empty and there seems to be less tourists than usual everywhere. On a personal note the house we rented has had a sewer problem which took a week to fix. The British owner refuses to compensate us in any way and the letting agent is powerless to do anything. What are my options: Report the owner in France and try and sue him. Report the owner in the UK and try and sue him. Not bother with either and just report him to the French and UK tax authorites. I am sure he isn't reporting the income. If we go this route who do we report him to in France? Its not so much the money as the fact that the owner thinks he can get away with charging us good money for a home with known sewer issues and now is basically telling us to go and f**k outselves in terms of any compensation. He isn't apologetic in any way and we have now found out the previous tennant had the same issue.
  19. Location is all in Florida, there are nice parts and very cool areas all over the state including towns such as St Agustine in the NE. It really is a varied state. I spend a good bit of time there and am working with people who live there remotely. Here are some observations. Wages are high in FL compare to most places, there is no state income tax, examples being we are paying Cisco engineers between 75k and 145k US. These guys have the highest standard of living in our company compared to equals in the UK, Europe or NE US. In FL they can afford 4 bed houses in nice areas without going into massive debt. Property tax depends on location but most I know in houses a few blocks back form the beach worth 300-500k are paying between 4 and 6k which is tax deductable. Same people are paying about 1.2 to 1.5% of the value of the house on insurance. Mortgage interest is also tax deductable. Before people think condo fees are high look at the facilites. Most monthly fees include insurance, untilies, maintenance, internet, swimming pools, gym etc. If you add up the costs of these at your individual home then the fees are not so bad. Overall I agree as a BTL FL is not so good unless you have a house in the keys etc but as an investment for personal use or as somewhere to live and work or retire its pretty attactive compared to Spain or similar. I also think now is a good time to buy and do not think things will go down any more.
  20. Thanks for the link, I will contact them. BTW here is what I was talking about:: http://www.telestial.com/data.php
  21. I am a very heavy user online and like to go to France on occasion for a few weeks with work or holiday or a mixture and normally I need to be very responsive to client emails. Just wondered if they was a way to purchase a plan or similar that allowed unlimited data usage for a month or similar. I had heard that some companies (orange maybe) offered a dongle with an internal sim that you could plug in to a laptop, connect to the internet. You purchase a specific amount of data flow or time I believe but can't see where to purchase so wanted to see what others were doing. I am wondering if I should just buy a blackberry in France and try and find a company with a month to month plan. Cheers,
  22. A bit of topic but......................out of interest is anyone moving to the country concerned about comunications? We are staying near Cahors for a month this year and I am having a terrible time trying to get internet access for a reasonable cost. Seems like its not easy to get a pay as you go dongle or similar and even cell coverage is sporadic. Has anyone figured out a solution as it seems I will be potentially faced with a bill in the thousands if I use my UK phone or data plan.
  23. Out of interest I normally rent in Provence in the summer but for a change this year we considered the Dordogne. I am staggered at the rental prices people want for so so houses. If you look at the actual value of the houses then people in the Dordogue are expecting twice the rental return as Provence. Is this just "trying it on" or are they really getting such high rents? I mean who in their right mind would pay 2500 euros a week or more for an average 4 bed with small pool in the Dordogne?
  24. 500 a day isn't that much if you have to pay to live in London plus the other income/self employment taxes plus no benefits or security...............
  25. Yes I also wonder what its like year round. Very boring or very busy with touristes and traffic I would expect. Thanks for the link on Apt, I also think if I were looking in the Luberon area that "over the hills" closer to Aix, towns such as Loumarin or Cadenet would be a better bet for full time living. I have also heard there is a very nice suburb of Aix but am not sure of the name. Having said that I think that whole are is crazy overpriced even at 25% off right now. I actually looked at this house for sale near Apt in Gargas nearly 2 years ago, the greedy English owner wanted 400k Euros at the time for it plus all agents fees and thought it was a great bargain, it was rented to a British builder and his girlfriend, now its listed at 440k!!! It look sway better in the pics than in reality, where it has a shared driveway etc. is down in a dip with no sunlight etc. http://www.rhf1.com/details/3/Pretty-spacious-3-bedroomed-villa-with-pool-near-Apt-2519/Apt/euro-440000/2519.html
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