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FedupTeddiBear

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Everything posted by FedupTeddiBear

  1. The best way to help her to see reality is to ask her to "help" you to look for a house to buy on rightmove. Most boomers agree with the idea of a 10% deposit plus 3x salary mortgage limit because that is how it was for them. This worked for some members of my family and they no longer drop those "hints." Also, a friend of my mum's with this attitude, who was living in the E. midlands, decided to downsize and move to the SE, closer to where her children live and work. When she started looking for a 2-bed bungalow in her chosen area of the the SE she was shocked to find them costing more than she could get for her 4-bed detached. She eventually gave up and stayed put.
  2. Try looking at Twyford in Berks, between Reading and Maidenhead. It falls within Wokingham district so relatively good services, good schools etc. It has a nice village feel, surrounded by fields, a few nice restaurants, one supermarket. There is a station in the village with trains into Paddington about every 20 mins. If you get a fast train it takes under 30 mins but slow trains can take up to an hour. Quite easy to get onto M4 or M40. The surrounding villages are nice but some are very expensive. Woodley nearby is cheaper, but uninteresting, apart from a nice country park, no station - you would have to drive/cycle to Twyford (Paddington) but easy access to M4. Bracknell is also cheaper, has a station (but slower Waterloo trains, 1hr?) but easy to get to both M4 and M3. Bracknell has a history of a bad reputation but is improving, good town centre, also lots of trees and forest nearby - a few of the Bracknell villages like Binfield, "old" Warfield and Winkfield are really nice. Edit to add: Going into London from Berkshire, Paddington trains (FGW) can be crowded but usually a fast, reliable service, better than trains to Waterloo (SW trains) that are equally crowded and seem to stop everywhere, even though tickets are about the same price for a similar distance.
  3. And cycling! Edit: Oops - just noticed, Bear Hug already mentioned this one. It's late!
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/sep/12/we-are-in-danger-of-sleepwalking-into-a-crisis-gordon-brown?CMP=fb_gu
  5. Getting in touch with shelter is probably your best bet to get the correct info about what to do about all of this.
  6. This has happened to several people I know. For that reason we have kept everything - there is a paper inventory with notes about the tiniest holes in the carpet next to the fireplace, the grubby walls in the bathroom, broken glass lying around in the garden, etc. Last time they renewed the rental agreement they seemed to have no record of it so I don't think they realise we still have it. We have lived here for several years and have done small things to make it look vastly better than before. But we have also kept ALL of the detritus that was lying around when we moved in including broken 70s lampshades, moldy blinds, a disgustingly dirty table with one leg hanging off, faded and perished curtains, a broken ornament - EVERYTHING. In the loft. Just in case they try it on when we move out.
  7. Yes, definitely feel that the tide has turned. A friend said the other day that if we really wanted to, we could start a reversed bidding war!
  8. Yes, it is very stressful, so thanks. I have been to only 2 viewings where the seller is present, and not with the agent in question, so not sure how they could have a negative impression if they have not even met us. I am also definitely no "hard-nosed businessman" - probably come across as quite the opposite. But, as I mentioned, there has been only one out of about 6 EAs that has behaved negatively and I will try to avoid them in the future. Most are falling over backwards trying to get us to put an offer in on the property they are selling - some even appear quite desperate. There are now 4 properties we are trying to decide between. All of the EAs selling those have been very eager to arrange extra viewings and find extra information for us. Maybe this is my naivety but when they have asked I have told them about the other ones. They are becoming quite competitive. Two of them have looked their "competitors" up and is each trying to put me off the other properties, (e.g. by warning me about the HUGE amount of work needed on one of them.) A few days ago, the asking price of the most expensive of the 4 dropped by £25k to match that of two of the others. It's been interesting to say the least, but the pressure from all of them to make an offer ASAP is becoming annoying.
  9. If you deposit is not held in a protection scheme, you may be able to make some money out of your LL. He would also have trouble evicting you if he decided to do so. https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/tenancy_deposits/tenancy_deposit_protection_rules If this is the case, I would also question whether he has declared his rental income to HMRC, which would mean further trouble for him - might be worth investigating this too. Finally, he should definitely not be charging full market rent if the housing he provides is substandard. It looks to me as though you have plenty of ammunition to either avoid the rent increase or to get him into some costly trouble.
  10. The viewing did go ahead and the gent who took us around was quite polite and friendly, so who knows... Either way, we decided that house wasn't for us so won't arrange a second viewing for it. Rockerboy, I'm not sure what you mean by "someone who has power", but from the way the other EAs we have been dealing with have been behaving, I certainly do feel quite powerful! There is definitely the scent of desperation in the air.
  11. Are the fees that high? Different agents have different fees so maybe some lower ones about. Last time we took out a new tenancy it cost about £300 - about 7 years ago. This was with a large agency with branches across the SE.
  12. Sorry, I'm not sure on that - we did all of this through the LA. I have found this, though. https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/private_renting/how_to_challenge_a_rent_increase
  13. You should have the right to appeal - especially if you are renting through a letting agent. Even if you lose the appeal, it will buy you some time - perhaps even enough until you want to move. Even though our rent is way below "market value" for the area (by about £400 pcm!) the last time they gave notice of a rent increase we put up a fight - the house was shabby, peeling paint on the stair railings, 70s kitchen with rotting cupboards, etc. Also the rent was going up by over 10% which was much more than our wages had increased in the past 3 years. It worked to some extent - the rent did go up, but only after they had refitted the kitchen and repainted the whole interior of the house, which took over 9 months to achieve. Edit to add: After the rent increase, they also found us slightly less forthcoming on the "goodwill" side of things. Whereas before we had been happy to carry out minor repairs ourselves (fixing small plumbing problems, broken door to the shed, etc.) they found the plumber started being called in far more often than before.
  14. They finally did arrange a viewing and it looks quite good. Haven't heard from the EA yet for follow-up. At the viewing they gave the idea that they want at least asking ?. I think this lot are stuck in the past.
  15. Most EAs seem desperate to sell something. This one doesn't seem to care - it's more about seeing their mortgage advisor than anything else.
  16. Not sure about that one. Not keen to use their mortgage advisor as although the first appointment is free, he charges for subsequent appointments - I think they said something like £70 per session.
  17. It certainly seems that way with this bunch. So far we have ticked none of their boxes and they obviously did not approve of our low offer. They have finally arranged a viewing on a house we are keen to see - after I sent a snotty email and made a pest of myself by calling several times. We'll see how it goes now... It is odd though, that out of about 6 different EAs we have dealt with so far, this is the only one that is behaving like this. All the others seem desperate to sell us one of their properties. Only one of the others "offered" an appointment with their mortgage advisor, who called me himself and agreed within 2 minutes of me telling him my plans that I was not going to get a better deal that the one I had already arranged myself, ending the conversation. Janch is right - they are not doing themselves any favours.
  18. We've been looking around at various houses over quite a wide area - need to move to about an hour away from where we are now as the commute is set to become very long otherwise. The vast majority of EAs have been falling over backwards to book viewings, phoning several times a day, trying to push us into making offers - one has been trying to encourage us to put in multiple offers on several houses at once (??!!) and "Try any offer, you never know..." Another agent "added" several properties on to our viewing last week. I asked to see one, and we ended up being ferried round to see 4, all within 5 minutes' drive of each other. Have to admit it was worth it though. This is in a supposedly high demand commuter area in the SE. One has behaved very differently. I refused to book an appointment with their mortgage advisor when I registered. They then set up an appointment anyway, saying that we must call to cancel if we didn't want to meet him. I did just that and cancelled. We went to see two of their properties and put in an offer of -15% on one of them (the one that was applauded by the mortgage advisor at the bank in my other post), which was rejected. Since then, it has become difficult to arrange viewings with this EA. They first said they were very busy so couldn't arrange a viewing until about a week later (the others are jumping around to set up same-day multiple viewings,) Then when I called to ask for the address the day before the arranged viewing, they said they had no record of the appointment in the diary. Finally, when a viewing was finally confirmed, they called about 2 hours beforehand to cancel it because the owner had accepted an offer (it's still showing up as available on RM.) And finally, "We have very little available in your price range" - I have been very vague with them about what our price range is, and if they are basing it on our last offer, they are wrong.
  19. Believe it or not, there are actually some very expensive areas, mainly north of Bracknell - Binfield, out-of-town parts of Warfield and Winkfield are all nice. Bracknell has a bad reputation but I would say Reading and Slough are much worse places. Many people who live in Winkfield say that they are in "Windsor" and won't admit that they are part of Bracknell Forest ?. https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-73595795.html https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-53672429.html Bracknell Forest. Stretching the truth a little. More "normal": https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-66483532.html On the other hand, there are parts of Bracknell that live up to the bad reputation and and one or two terrible schools.
  20. The second hand HTB properties are really obvious - not-quite-so shiny, newish 2 or 3 bed terraces or semis that sit on the market for months on end at the same price as older houses with an extra bedroom and a larger garden. Only difference is that the next buyer can't use HTB so no chance of selling unless the price drops by 20%. Developer has long walked away with the profit, leaving the owner and taxpayer with the loss.
  21. Well, the building is just a stone's throw from the (ex)prison! Not the most salubrious part of Reading, not that Reading has any particularly salubrious areas. ? Some very dodgy blocks along the Kings Road.
  22. Mods, please move to Anecdotals if needed. We recently arranged an appointment with a mortgage advisor at one of the big high street banks and a very sensible lady she was. We told her that we were enquiring after a possible mortgage as we are looking to buy within the next few months. So far we have put in one offer (15% under asking) that was met with derision by the EA and the vendor and she firmly replied that we must NOT be tempted to increase our offer and should continue putting in offers with similar or even larger discounts as buyers are now in control. She quite openly told us that their surveyors have recently been valuing properties at up to 30% under "market value" as house prices in the area are falling and the bank in question is expecting further price falls. She said that these low valuations are being applied to almost all remortgage applications. This is around Berks / Hants / Surrey border, so a relatively expensive part of the SE.
  23. London will probably look like Moscow & St. Petersburg do now - full of old people begging outside the churches.
  24. Mr Teddi works in the building industry. At least 3 of the projects he is currently working on are huge blocks of flats all owned by one company, being built expressly for renting out privately. More and more of these are starting to appear. Some of these companies own lots of these blocks and continuing to develop more of them.
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