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House Price Crash Forum


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Everything posted by Imp

  1. Lewis Sheridan, You say you don't know the landlord's contact details. I believe this must be in the contract for it to be an AST contract. If it isn't then get legal advice. If it doesn't comply with AST requirements, you may be in a very very strong position. Any lawyers on here like to give a view?
  2. This statement is first class tripe when it comes to a difficult subject. In my final year at university we were always given the full years worth of lecture notes in advance. Text books were useless because the subjects covered weren't yet in text books. Even though the lecture notes were very well written, if I missed an hours lecture, it would take me a day to work my way through the notes so I had the required understanding to follow the next lecture. Lectures are used because they are an effective method for getting difficult information across to many people, and to check understanding. This wasn't me being thick. It was typical of all students on these courses, so no-one missed lectures.
  3. I have a mechanical engineering degree which was a similar work load. We also had to do humanities subjects to broaden ourselves. The hardest and most fulfilling course I did on four years of a mechanical engineering degree was Art. I also use my degree as part of my work. The single skill a degree should give you is being able to construct a rational, sensible arguement. You are given background knowledge to help you do that. In my case that was mathematics and physical science, but the most important skill I have is being able to argue my case. Non-graduate engineers tend to be great for everyday work, but because they have not been schooled in the fundamentals of a wide range of disciplines, they are likely to make mistakes when they move away from their area of expertise, especially when things are counter-intuative. Graduates should go back to fundamentals and so avoid mistakes.
  4. Remember the DotCom boom and bust? I would say Amazon is the exception rather than the rule. Countless non-profit making companies went under as soon as people stopped giving them money.
  5. In my limited experience of business, there are some basic rules which should be followed. These have been gleaned from people experienced in running businesses, both large and small. 1) Cash is King. For any small business it is important to maintain a positive cash flow. It is very easy to have a profitable business which runs out of cash. More small businesses fail due to cash flow than any other cause. 2) The business must be profitable from day 1. You need to start getting returns on your investment straight away. If you start off making a loss, it is difficult to turn it round to making a profit. 3) If you are selling something at a loss, the quickest way to make a bigger loss is to sell more of them. Current buy to let businesses (as that is what they are, even if the landlord only owns a single property) seem to be breaking all these rules if they are buying now using a mortgage to buy the properties. In this case, we can expect to see landlords going belly very shortly.
  6. Its better to be rich and miserable than poor and miserable
  7. Funnily enough, I posted something similar saying that high house prices has encourage people to invest in houses and therefore improve the overall quality of housing in the country. The first reply was somebody agressively disagreeing and stating how stupid I was. But yes, all your improvements will either improve the quality and therefore value of the house, or stop the value of the house from deteriorating. People think houses only go up in value. Try spending nothing on your house for 15 years and see if it still has gone up in value.
  8. At Moginie James there were two partners, one running the letting side and the other running the sales side. The gentleman running the letting side of the business was a former chairman of the Association of Letting and Management Agents. Maybe this is why they were better than average.
  9. If we are discussing good letting agents, I had a very good experience with a letting agent in Cardiff - Moginie James. I was renting through them for about 2 years (right through the boom). They inspected the property once (a lot more reasonable than the 3 monthly inspections other agents make). I occasionally went into their office and they were always friendly. When the washing machine blew up (enormous bang, sparks, smoke, bits) they replaced it within 24 hours. It may be libel to name and shame bad letting agents, but lets advertise the good ones. I have already recommended them to someone looking to let a flat. After all, a happy tennant leads to a happy landlord.
  10. All the best with getting a job in Scotland. I had the misfortune of living in Swansea for a year, and was glad to leave. The city itself is grim, and the locals hear your accent and brand you as "English." (Until I moved to Swansea I had always refered to myself as British.) Then based on this title they give you they hurl abuse at you constantly. I have lived throughout the country and have never been anywhere like this. It makes you empathise with people who are racially abused, except it must be harder for them as I only came out as English people heard my accent. On the plus side, there are some of the most beautiful beaches I have seen on the Gower penninsula.
  11. The bridge doesn't fall down because the civil engineer who produced the programme got his sums right. The fact he did a bit of programming doesn't detract from the fact he is a graduate, professional engineer. A mathematician would have produced the methods for solving the equation and a computer scientist would have produced fast algorithms to run those methods. Then a coder would have implemented the algorithms because they are cheaper to employ than engineers, mathematicians and the computer scientists, all of whom could have done the coding because writing computer code is the easy bit.
  12. I always thought the concept of time value of money was that money you have now is worth more than money you will have in the future. And if you have an asset worth £100k now and liabilities of £100k now, you're worth nothing. In ten years time if you still have an asset worth £100k and liabilities of £100k, you are still worth nothing. You only make a gain if the asset appreciates. Will it, won't it, may as well throw a coin.
  13. The owner is responsible for the maintenance of the PIPE. The water company is responsible for the WATER, so they alter the water so the lead pipes are not a problem.
  14. I believe the water company are responsible for the quality of your water from your tap. If there are lots of properties in your area with lead piping, the company will probably be dosing with phosphoric acid to reduce the solubility of the acid in water, so the water will be safe. If in doubt, contact your local water company and if that fails contact the drinking water inspectorate or Offwat.
  15. Really simple reply. By investment I mean putting real money in to do something, such as build new oil rigs, plant fields of potatoes etc. If something is expensive, people will invest in it. Expensive oil, people invest in oil. Expensive tobacco, people invest in tobacco. Expensive potatoes, people invest in potatoes. Expensive houses, people invest in houses. Victorian terraces need to be invested in to keep them habitable. Therefore they have to become expensive - boom. During a bust part of the cycle, I can buy one which is still habitable to live in, but it is only habitable because it has been expensive in the past. During this boom part of the cycle, lots of developers have improved the houses I will be buy during the bust part of the cycle. Happiness all round.
  16. Your maths is wrong. You should have used a weighted average.
  17. Many people on this forum seem upset at the idea of either the house price boom we have been seeing, or the fall (in real terms) of prices which we may see in the future. If we didn't have this cycle, the quality of the housing stock would deteriorate, especially in impoverished areas. A house is not only an asset, but also a liability. Every year householders spend thousands of pounds upgrading their house. Without doing this the value of their house would fall compared with similar houses. Examples of this include creating indoor bathrooms, upgrading kitchens to fitted kitchens, installing a TV arial, installing plumbing for a washing machine/dishwasher etc. All this costs money. Many home owners, especially the old, don't spend money regularly to update their homes. In a market where prices are stable and low, a house will eventually reach a state where the cost of upgrading it is greater than the value of the upgraded house. There is no incentive for anybody to buy these houses. Just a few years ago this was the position ofor houses in Welsh valleys. A dilapidated 4 bedroom house could be bought for £19,000 but one which had been kept up to date could be bought for £25,000. Nobody will buy the £19,000. Even given away it would have cost more to update it than just buying a maintained one. Then we have a house price boom. Owners MEW to upgrade their homes, and developers buy run down houses and refresh them. The overall quality of the housing stock goes up. The prices cannot be sustained, so either they stay the same or fall till we are back at square one, but updated houses are affordable. So in summary, a boom is good for everybody.
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