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craggy

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About craggy

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    HPC Newbie
  1. If your employer is contributing at least as much as you are to a pension, then it is worthwhile saving, in spite of all the disadvantages, taxes, fees, and lack of control that pensions bring. Unless you are a high rate tax payer there is no advantage tax-wise, but at least you get the employer contributions. It's a shame that employer schemes don't give employees more control over how their funds are invested, and often charge quite high fees. If you are self-employed, or do not have a company pension, and are considering a private pension, the sums are very different - private pensions ar
  2. Gold has been nothing like stable over the last few years, the increase in price has been parabolic. Unfortunately for you what was a safe bet up to now is looking increasingly like a bubble, and like any bubble it is subject to harsh corrections. You cannot account for the huge rise in gold price with the drop in the value of fiat currencies alone - part of its recent rise is speculation, and as the fever mounts in the mainstream press you can expect it to go sharply upwards, particularly after a stock market crash, and then correct savagely soon after that, as people pile back into equitie
  3. On the contrary the the UK can afford the NHS. The UK can't afford to continue spending huge sums on global wars, can't afford a new trident, can't afford to continue devaluing their currency, can't afford to guarantee gold-plated public-sector pensions with an ageing population, can't afford to continue borrowing more than they earn to spend on public services in general, but they certainly can afford the NHS if other things are cut. The US (which has the same kind of system you're recommending, i.e. insurance funded healthcare) spends more on *public* healthcare alone (medicaid etc) than t
  4. I don't see why searches on a 1 mill property differ from those on one for say 200k, but agreed that estimate might be a bit low, say £500-£800 then. I think on our last purchase we paid around £700 total before VAT and were happy with the service, but then the solicitor wasn't based in London so if you're used to London prices perhaps that explains your astonishment. £2000 seems way over the odds to me frankly for what is not a particularly onerous task.
  5. Get another quote from somewhere else. Solicitors fees + searches etc should come to around £500 + registry fee of £500 for that sort of property. http://www.home.co.uk/guides/buying/one_off_costs.htm
  6. The density of housing can change dramatically over time (from tenement slums to flats owned by one person), expectations of home ownership (as opposed to renting) also change, affecting demand for buying homes, so the population figures don't tell the whole story without considering other factors. That said the population has been rising since the end of the 70s, which will put some pressure on housing if all other things are equal. I suspect there will be spots with far too much housing where new blocks of flats have been built, and some in-demand areas (near good schools for example) with f
  7. No he's not writing utter nonsense. He's reporting the market as he has experienced it in London, which is far more useful than your vague prognostications citing zero facts (while accusing others of not providing them) all garlanded in casual insults (insults like 'utter nonsense'). Since presumably you don't follow the London market in detail as you don't actually live there, perhaps he just knows more about it that you do? His reports chime far better with my actual experience of the London housing market over the last decade than your self-assured ignorance. The London market has so far b
  8. Is your friend undead? If so the mobile phone mast should present no problems.
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