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About Jumbojet

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  1. Thanks - got to admit when it was first suggested I dismissed it, then I thought about it a bit more and how much I wanted the house. It was a pleasant surprise when the CEO replied within 8 hours ! Actually no - Saffron are in Essex, we are in East Midlands. I initially wondered about that too but it didn't seem to be a problem.. Thank you ..
  2. Update - the top cat at Saffron was as good as his word. He discussed my mortgage with the underwriters and they have come back with an offer of 70% LTV. The human touch does work - great customer service ! Thanks for the advice guys, JJ
  3. He did listen !! I wrote an email to the CEO last night and lo and behold I got an answer at 6am this morning ! He is talking to the underwriters to see what can be done - no promises obviously but you never know. Thanks for the advice guys - it seemed like a longshot as I never expected to be able to talk to the top man at a bank ! I'll let you know how it goes....
  4. You know what - I'm going to do this. He might just listen ! Thanks for the advice Garf :-)
  5. Writing to the CEO ? Is this seriously worth a try - not heard of this approach before ? I am thinking of ditching the broker and approaching several of the smaller building societies personally. Is it a problem to do this - ie. going through several credit checks for an agreement in principle in a short space of time ? I've got no problems being checked for my ability to repay as I've got decent earnings and an unblemished history - its the property that is causing the problems !
  6. Thanks the mortgage offer we have just received was from Saffron but they wanted 35% deposit. We can only stretch to 25% :-( Will have a look at some of the smaller ones however. Cheers...
  7. Hi - we are looking at putting in 25% deposit max.
  8. Hello I am going through a very frustrating time trying to secure a mortgage on a property we have agreed a sale on. The property is a normal residential house upstairs however at ground floor level it used to be a workshop and was zoned commercial. Our plan is to convert the downstairs so it becomes one large 2 storey house. A broker advised that they had found a bank who had said they could lend the money providing we got planning permission for change of use to change the ground floor status from commercial to residential. (Halifax) We went through this very detailed and time consuming process (and expensive) and finally were granted change of use so then provided evidence to the bank and waited for our mortgage offer. After about 3 weeks we were notified that they could not lend on the property - the only reason being given was that the underwriters did not feel it met their lending criteria. Feeling distinctly pissed off with the bank we bit our collective lips and made further enquiries whilst the patient but increasingly nervous seller waited for news. Another bank made some positive noises but after thinking about it for a week again came back and said No ! (Clydesdale) Another 2 weeks later and we have been offered a mortgage but the lender (Saffron B. Soc) wants a much higher deposit which means finding an extra big lump of money we simply dont have. So - before the seller puts the property back on the market I though it might be appealing to you guys in HPC land to see if there is anyone who has been through similar and can point me towards a suitable broker or lender who is more open to this type of deal. Thanks JJ
  9. There is never a truer saying than the Grass is always greener ! I first left the Uk to travel long term in 77. Six months of that gave me the travel bug. Couple of years later I went to NZ and Australia and ended up staying for nearly all of the 80s. Got citizenship in Oz, married, responsible job blah blah.....however life was pretty much the same as here except the sun shone more. You still had to work, pay the mortgage etc, there was plenty of crime and government scandal..... But the sun shone. The biggest difference was friends and family not being part of daily life. I did make some great friends there but they are never as close as the ones you grow up with. Actually, I didn't mean to emigrate, it wasn't planned as such, it just happened and I went with the flow. I came back to the Uk to do some work and had intended to stay here for a year then return to Oz - that was 11 years ago ! I've also lived in Cyprus and Africa for several years. All of these places were great, exciting initially, and I had wonderful experiences... But, I also experienced the same old shit that everyone here describes About the Uk. They all had social problems, dodgy politics, bad infrastructure etc.. The fact is there is no utopia on this planet. There are good and bad points about every country. We complain here about crappy wet weather, well, in parts of Australia and Africa they have constant hot weather, very little variety in the way of seasons and just scorched earth. I gues what I'm trying to say is that in my experience there is a big, wonderful exciting world out there and if you've got the money and the desire go and try it - some may never return here but the majority will. What you will find though is that once you've experienced other places thoroughly over a decent amount of time you will realise that maybe the grass is a bit greener and the UK maybe has problems, but it's not that bad and better than most.
  10. The cheeky offers is something I was thinking of. As you say - might get a bite ! Presume you've had a place in France for 10yrs + ? Are you living there full time or 50/50 with UK ? What has changed with your requirements - I mean have they been changed because of French red tape / taxes etc or just a need to upsize/downsize ? I'm looking primarily at the Charente region - main considerations for that were borne out of familiarity: a. good weather b. easily commutable from UK from regional airports in midlands with short flying times so possible for a long weekend initially c. really like the geography, the towns, markets, activities etc. d. good value property Overall - there are lovely places all over Europe but the one thing for me that France has is its closeness to the UK - and that's never going to change !
  11. Hi Alba - good points well made. As much as I would like to get something now I will be keeping "my powder dry" till I'm more confident of where things are headed. My only concern really is getting the best possible price and I will judge that based on market pressures and exchange rates/economics etc. Once made I am certain it will be for the long term and not something to trade on after a couple of years. It is primarily something to enjoy life in and not something to make money out of. Once I have bought it for the best price possible I will focus on enjoying it and not wether it has gone up or down in value every year. I smiled when I saw your comments about hankering for a water mill project. I get great enjoyment from creating a home having done several build / renovations both in the UK and in the Med. Yes -you sometimes need a level headed wife to counter your straining at the leash wanting to dash off and do another crazy idea !
  12. Thanks RedWine - useful links. I notice in your post on French Property that there is a downturn in prices due to the new CGT rules coming in. You specifically mentioned the Charente which is the area I'm specifically interested in. I have been tracking several properties there for about 6 months now and have not noticed any fall in the advertised asking prices recently but imagine from what you say that owners are starting to consider offers greatly below the asking as they become anxious to sell. As you say could be a good time to get a good price ! For me the purchase is not about a financial investment that I can make money off but more having a place to call home that I can enjoy in the long term. I can see the sense in renting if I were to be going there for long periods immediately but for the next few years whilst working I want a project to improve on and use as a bolthole whenever the fancy takes. Also my price range will be definitely be below Euro 100k - nothing expensive.... Presume from your comments that you live somewhere near Charente yourself - I would hope that you enjoy living there - any general advice on that area ?
  13. Thanks Alba - very sound advice. In my case this is not a rush purchase but a decision made over a long period of experiencing France. The purchase when it happens will be cash from savings and any improvements that will be required will also be cash fed in over a couple of years - in other words it will be 100% equity and no borrowings. It will be initially a project and to provide family/friends holidays and then later a bolt hole for retirement purposes. My family have owned over there now for near 20 years also. You're right about the exchange rates - I just cannot make out what is happening so am just asking in case there's any strong opinions out there ! Thanks for the response...
  14. Hello experts Ive just joined HPC and this is my first post on forum. I've been researching buying a property in France but am trying to make sense of the current turmoil with the Greek situation to work out where Euro/GBP exchange rate is headed. For example - currently €100k is worth roughly £86k - €1 = 0.86. If the current scenario of financial chaos in Greece and possibly Italy threatening the Euro continues could you see the rate heading to 0.7 or lower ? I know you haven't got crystal balls (or you would be v rich) but just interested in opinions. Thanks JJ
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