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Everything posted by shark99

  1. 18% of gross income, 28% of net income. Not counting council tax. Renting in West London.
  2. A mapping project to work out who owns every part of Scotland is to be completed within 10 years ... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-27555854 Apparently this is one of the less controversial recommendations from the Land Reform Review Group - full report (200+ pages!) at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0045/00451083.pdf [PDF]. Seem to remember reading that fewer than 500 people own most of Scotland somewhere - perhaps this will confirm it.
  3. Well, this rental price crash doesn't seem to have reached Brentford in outer west london yet - modern 2-bed flats seem to be going for £1500 to £1650 per month. An increase of £100 per month compared to a couple of years ago. This despite plenty of new similar flats being built in the area. Typical example: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-41060194.html . To buy a similar flat would probably be £320K - £380K, giving a rental yield of just over 5% though once you deduct service charges at around 2.5K / year that drops to more like 4% ...
  4. Maybe I'm missing something (did the advert change?), but £1,385 per week / £6,000 per month for a 7 bed house in a so-so part of Ealing doesn't seem that much of a bargain? That's still £850 per bedroom per month ...
  5. Hmm, thanks Starla, that's interesting. I'd always assumed Chiswick was out of my price range, might need to expand my Rightmove search area when our tenancy renewal comes up
  6. Yes, 561 sq feet is absurdly small, and yes, it is right next to the M4/A4. In absolute terms, £235K does seem pretty crazy. But a decent size (say 750+ sq feet) 2 bed flat in Brentford with a river view will set you back around £350K to buy, so it's not overpriced compared to the rest of the market. Besides, it is handy for the Piccadilly Line and trains to Waterloo, the area is safe enough, and there's a fair bit of greenery around - Boston Manor Park and the Grand Union Canal are nice. Perhaps I've become too used to crazy prices - I'm renting an admittedly much bigger 2 bed flat in Bren
  7. Here's one example I found recently that proves that money (or at least £1.35 Million) does not buy taste ... http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-40731470.html
  8. It's been on the market for a while judging by this thread from Nov 2011 ... http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=172278
  9. Yes, that would be interesting. I guess the problems for someone trying to do something like that as a serious business are: you'll fall under the scope of some sort of money laundering / banking / money transfer legislation, which is probably an expensive hassle the price is crazily volatile - the "float" bitcoins you hold could change in value by 25% in a single day (though perhaps it will steady down eventually)
  10. Ah yes, this confused me at first. Here's my understanding having bought and sold on localbitcoins.com a few times ... Don't forget that technically, there is no one true "current exchange value" - there are £1000s of bitcoins being traded all over the globe every minute for various prices. But since the MtGox USD exchange is so big, people tend to rely on the price there as the nearest thing to the current exchange value. When offering to buy or sell bitcoins on localbitcoins.com, you can choose: a specific price a percentage above or below the latest (last) MtGox USD price converted i
  11. Church's shoes look quite cheap compared to John Lobb (UK) - their prices start at £2960 + VAT http://www.johnlobbltd.co.uk/main/pricelist.htm Mind you, they are unique to you and are entirely hand-made in the UK - which takes six months!
  12. Here goes with a quick play at devils adocate ... I've heard that the average cost of an unfair dismissal tribunal (whether successful or not) to an employer is about five thousand pounds. Often employers will try to settle with the employee for a little less than this figure to avoid hassle. Presumably Oldham is going to be laying off lots of people shortly as a result of central government reducing their funding. Suppose that without a compentent People Change Officer, the council manages to seriously piss off 30 of those laid off employees, who go on to bring unfair dismissal claims. If
  13. Looking for 2 bed properties for rent on Rightmove today, I can see: 126 properties going for more than the LHA Rate 10 properties going for around the LHA Rate no properties below 95% of the LHA Rate (!) The 10 properties going for around the LHA Rate all seem to have some huge flaw (e.g. underneath the M4 flyover, next to a fried chicken place, never renovated since the '60s, not really available at that price - just there to drum up business for the EA). I've never seen anything appear on Rightmove for much less than the LHA rate. However, I'm not sure that Rightmove is really the who
  14. Surely the next step is to pretend to deport the elderly to Asian "granny" camps, but really to send them on a short, final one-way trip? With their organisational skills, the Germans could even arrange for relatives to regularly receive detailed updates on how their elderly relative is getting on in their (non-existent) care home in Thailand. Photo updates might be tricky to keep going over the years, but the lack of aging could be explained by the climate - and the excellent care from all those smiling carers. Meeting the demand for in-person visits could be tricky, but you see, the imagi
  15. Inner West London - 1% increase from £290 per week to £295 per week for a 2 bed property. Incidentally, is it just me or does anyone else think exclusively in terms of per-month figures and find per-week figures annoying? £295 per week is £1285 per month, which on one hand is a lot of money to dole out for free - but on the other hand, there's not many 2 bed flats around my neck of the woods for less than £1500 per month.
  16. I agree - I looked around a flat in Ferry Quays and there wasn't even room to have both a sofa and a dining table in the flat at the same time! It looks even smaller in person than in the photos. To make it worse, the architects seem to have used a large part of the limited floor space for the bathrooms. I can't even imagine buying them as an investment - I'd feel too sorry for the tenants. The ones on The Island didn't seem so bad despite only being 50 sq ft or so bigger on paper. Shark99.
  17. FWIW, I've been looking at two bed flats in Brentford (West London) and the difference between asking prices and prices achieved following a reposession is huge. For example, in "The Island" (which is a nicely done modern development as these things go) there's three basically identical properties: On market for £399k (was £415k) since Jan 2008: (!) http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-18512009.html On market for £349k since June 2009: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-22377136.html Reposessed Oct 2011, offered at £335k, then £300k, look like it will
  18. Small nitpick - if something goes down 10%, then up 10% then you've lost money! e.g. start at 100, down 10% (of 100) is 100 - 10 = 90, up 10% (of 90) is 90 + 9 = 99.
  19. Classic pyschology experiment re: whether the clinically depressed are actually more realistic: Judgment of contingency in depressed and nondepressed students: sadder but wiser? by: L. B. Alloy, L. Y. Abramson Journal of experimental psychology. General, Vol. 108, No. 4. (December 1979), pp. 441-485. http://www.citeulike.org/article-posts/4012127 Basically, put a person in a room with a light and a fake light switch. The light is set up so it's turned on about 75% of the time - it turns itself on and off at short random intervals regardless of whether you press the switch or not. After
  20. I don't really see why more estate agents don't think like the one in the article, especially since they're paid on commission. Given the choice between: arranging a quick house sale this month for £500,000 and getting £1000 commission in this month's pay packet waiting in the hope of arranging a house sale next year for £600,000 and maybe getting £1200 commission next year I know which one I'd choose! It is of course true that the estate agents interests are more aligned with the seller than with the buyer, but I don't see that they have much incentive to get the best price for the sel
  21. Hmm, not sure about that, there is a perfectly good Chinese word for efficiency - 效率 (pinyin: xiào lǜ). It's composed of the characters 效 (effect) and 率 (rate). However, there may be some cultural truth in what your acquaintance says - my experience of working in China leads to me think that there are two areas where China could improve productivity; firstly, there is a culture of "the boss is always right" which means that no-one ever suggests a better way of doing things to their superiors (or even points out that an idea is catastrophically bad!), and secondly that there is perhaps too muc
  22. Hello, only discovered this site last month, interesting reading, very high signal-to-noise ratio unlike most web forums - definitely helping me get a balanced perspective. In case anyone is interested or wants to offer advice, here's my property story ... Been living and working in West London since I graduated in 2001. Don't drive and can't stand commuting so always preferred to live near my workplace. Started out in flatshares, worked abroad for a bit, got married, rented a small 2 bed place in Isleworth for a few years. Now renting a large, well-located 2 bed flat in Brentford for arou
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