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About Credulous

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  1. I was born in the QE2 hospital in WGC and raised in Hatfield until I was 11. Used to live on Ellenbrook Lane, and had a lovely childhood in that area. Left in 1992/3 when the BAe factory shut and my Dad's job was relocated to Woodford in Cheshire. Returned for a visit a couple of years back having not been there since the 90s. Galleria was still a complete waste of time. Surprised to see the 'modernist' swimming pool still standing. Town centre had not had any investment since the 90's, and three bed semis in the Ellenbrook area were circa £350k. I'd imagine given the above worth a lot more now. I'd be scared to find out what my parents four bed detached was now 'worth'. Not sold since they left (pre-data on LR). I think they sold for £130-40k. Made me sad to think that the life I took for granted as a kid seemed pretty inaccessible to all but the richest now. And as other people have pointed out, Hatfield is hardly St Albans! Would be very undesirable moving back to the SE now given the drop in living standards my family would face (no plans to just interesting that relocating back to where I was born is not a feasible option for me). All was interesting food for thought.
  2. For me its about the declining level of 'wow factor' in games. When I was growing up in the 90s it felt like every second week there was a genuinely innovative game coming out with something totally new to offer. Games that totally blew my mind like Doom, Half Life, Unreal Tournament, UFO: Enemy Unknown, Tie Fighter etc (Ok so 3 of those are FPSs - so shoot me, oops I've just punned). Was a golden era of innovation and development (through my nostalgia tinted glasses anyway). These days all games seem to be rehashes of something old, although I recognise there is still some innovation out there. Other factors are having one kid with another on the way, and also getting into boardgames, which seem to be going through a similar golden age at the moment, and are a much more sociable and less time consuming distraction. All combining to mean a PS4 is the first PlayStation console I have not got....
  3. Primary school catchment area is Gatley Primary which is an Outstanding school and I believe very much as good as Hursthead in Cheadle Hulme. It is one of the reasons we were attracted to the area. High School is Kingsway as another poster suggests which is a 'Good' school I believe in current Ofsted rating. Cheadle Hulme High is 'Outstanding' I believe by comparison. Hence probably the main reason Cheadle Hulme seems to be about £100k more expensive or so for an equivalent house (although there are other reasons as well I'm sure). Our little boy is 14 months so we have a good ten years before high school is a consideration anyway. Other things that attracted us to Gatley were the centre has a more villagey feel and isn't as dominated by big brand shops (or Estate Agents!) as Cheadle Hulme. Less under the flight path compared to Cheadle Hulme. The whole area around Styal Road is also very nice and semi-rural. The big negative is of course the traffic with the bottleneck at Gatley lights being much worse for Gatley and Cheadle than Cheadle Hulme. All in all they're both nice areas in our view.
  4. Thanks Venger. We shall do our best to continue to meet targets although a growing family might kybosh that! Best of luck with your plans for the future too. On the London point I genuinely believe that the quality of life in London is now significantly lower than elsewhere in the country. Sure you earn more, but ultimately you are still much worse off. It makes me quite angry and sickened to see the young people down there at the company I work for who have done everything right, are working their a***s off, but have zero to show for it, despite being in very good jobs. They still don't believe you when you try and shake them by the shoulders though (metaphorically speaking of course!) so its partly their own fault.
  5. Well an update on our situation. Earlier this year we decided to respond to the 'rapidly rising' market by putting our house up for sale. The thinking was the downside risks looked pretty massive, but we had pretty much paid off our mortgage on our existing place, and the flip side of the coin was if things carry on the way they are we might have never been able to afford the big family home we wanted. So basically we were driven by classic fear mentality! Sold it pretty quick but then got messed around by a number of vendors so fell through. Sold it again (again pretty quick) although it was noticeable the second time round that the market had cooled down substantially. By this time it was late summer. We then set our eyes on a nice detached in Gatley which we exchanged on recently. Main motivations were more space and a big garden for the kids, and both those boxes were ticked. We now have our family home (although only the one child at the moment - more planned!). The mortgage is larger than I would like at about £250k but we do have a five year fix with unlimited overpayment capability to help us make that a bit more manageable over the next five years. We'll aim to trim it down by about a third in that time.... I'm still expecting housing market Armageddon at some point in the future, and fully expect to never make any money, or lose money on the current house, but that's ok - its a house to enjoy with the family and not an investment. Exactly as a house should be. I'll still be lurking on here fairly regularly, and I wish all the fellow Stockport residents out there good luck in finding their dream house. I'm working down in London at the moment fairly regularly, and we've certainly got it a lot better than people down there.... Cred
  6. Well that's progress isn't it! Shame its in the wrong direction.....
  7. Hello again. Actually £165k dead on.... every little helps. I'm looking at 4 bed detached Cheadle +1 mile (just to track) as that's what we'll hopefully be looking to buy in two years when paid off this place. About the cheapest you seem to be able to get a decent 4 bed detached for (without venturing into Wythenshaw) is about a quarter of a million. Pretty depressing that we'll pay off this place, and then just take out another (likely even bigger mortgage) for the privilege of an extra bedroom and not having to share a wall with anyone.... Mr Osbourne's 'Help to Buy' is certainly a curse for someone like me playing 'Equity Catch Up' with the housing market. Still recognise I probably have it better than most of my generation. Which is a sad indictment of modern Britain. Ho hum. At least its Summer.
  8. Hasn't most of the developed world got insanely low interest rates and stupid debt levels? But they're still having/have had crashes? One Housepricecrash argument I've never quite bought in all my years of lurking here. Is it not more that we're adopting similar fiscal policies to other nations, but due to chronic shortages of housing (compared to US, Spain etc), we're seeing different effects from all that cheap money? (i.e. a distinctly more 'propped up' housing market). i.e. the shortage of housing is more important to high house prices than the loose fiscal policy. Could be wrong and happy to be corrected, but there does seem to me to be a bit of a paradox in that age old argument....
  9. No need for an apology. I'm in full agreement with you that most housing is ludicrously priced compared to actual incomes. That one to me just seemed slightly more reasonable than most in that area. The adjoining house (I think) seems to have gone on at Offers Over £190k today: Link Hill Top Avenue is really nice, but I don't think I'll be shelling out £750k for a house there any time soon.... The parents of one of my childhood friend's live there. Enormous semi. Massive garden. Cellar. Lovely people. They're a good demonstration of the generational differences though as they had fairly ordinary jobs (although comfortably middle class), and I doubt similar success today would equate to a house like that. Ho hum - suppose all you can do is the best you can with the hand you are dealt....
  10. Just noticed your Heathbank road was a 4 bed....
  11. Thought you might appreciate this one - prime Cheadle Hulme off Ack Lane and near your £315k three bed semi from the Wilmslow thread (For a cool £140k less). Of course its already under offer as on at a reasonable price: Romsey Drive, Cheadle Hulme Not a big fan of Dormer windows, but I'd take it at the price for that area of Cheadle Hulme....
  12. I think you're right that a similar approach wouldn't work now - Looking at that entire list of houses I put in front of you I wouldn't really of considered any of them, except the 3 bed detached maybe. On the other hand though bear in mind we spent more than your suggested price range even back in the dip. I've looked at Streetview and you're right. Bear in mind that pebbledash can be painted white/cream (very cost effectively!), and would then look a lot better like the two houses just up the road on Streetview (although I still prefer just brick). Fair play to you, and I think steering away from commitment is probably a sensible place to be given the general uncertainty that prevades, but I'm glad we've had this discussion. I'll keep an eye out for new instructions in the area, and post them if they seem better value than the current crop (probably in the Cheadle Hulme thread rather than continually taking the Wilmslow thread off tack....). I certainly think there has been some better value stuff in the area since we bought, but at the moment that clearly isnt the case. The housing market really is a mess isn't it!
  13. I have indeed read you are fond of Cheadle Hulme And it sounds like for many of the same reasons we are. Interesting question as to whether you could find a similar house now - a quick Rightmove 'draw a search' highlights these houses in similar price territory in the same area although to be fair none really represent equivalent value (although I would think that wouldn't I!): Bruntwood Lane (if you can stand pebble dash!). Been on for ages so a cheeky 135k might just get it Again Bruntwood Lane. Terraced and actual looks like three bedrooms with an illicit loft conversion adding the third. Extended 4 bed on corner plot on Llanberis Road. Been on since the dawn of time and started at 225k if I remember rightly. Just reduced from 199 to 190 Penrhyn Avenue. Again actually a three bed with an 'off the charts' loft conversion I suspect Long Croft Lane. Detached 3 bedder. Not bad in my view if you could get for 145-150k Turves Road. Again been on for ages. For a laugh: Turves Road itself (maybe Etchells). Ludicrously overpriced in my view There are also some link detacheds on Henley Avenue which are about 50-100k cheaper than they would be if you moved them 500m up Turves road towards the centre of Cheadle Hulme. But overall sadly - I think the answer to your question at the moment is 'no'..... although many of the houses I've highlighted above are in better nick then the one we bought (which says a lot about the state of ours when we bought it!). The ISA idea is something I've been considering for a while - quick trip onto money supermarket this afternoon to see if any offer a rate greater than 3.59%... I agree attempting a similar strategy now might be risky given how long interest rates have been so low already, but unless you are loaded I guess there is always risk in buying a house. I do remember picking up the keys from the estate agent and him saying, "What? Are you going to live there!". I think I replied "I was planning on it....". When I went round there to look around again the first thought that came into my head was "What have we done?!". Boy did we learn a lot about DIY over the next few months! On Gatley - not as desirable as Cheadle Hulme, but there's a lot of big houses at non-stratespheric prices (although admitedly still far too dear for us....). Good luck with getting the house you want in Cheadle Hulme.
  14. Well you've finally convinced me to stop lurking and post. Been lurking since the start of the mini upturn in 2009. The reason is this was exactly me and the (now) wife's strategy. We had both been saving for several years (about 5) and so put down a 25% deposit on a 3 bed semi at the cheaper end of Cheadle Hulme (down Turves Road way). The house in total was in the 120-140k bracket. The house ticked the following boxes: It was an absolute dump so we could do it up. In doing so we hopefully offset future falling house prices which at the time we believed were likely. It didn't put us more than 100k in debt, which meant it was very manageable compared to our combined salaries of about 70k (we're now on about 90k combined). Any more than that would have been too risky for our conservative tastes at that point in the recession. It had three bedrooms and also a (ropey) loft conversion meaning it was actually fairly sizeable for the house. This meant if all else failed and we never reached a position to but the 'next rung' we could just about raise a family there (although by no means in the same size of house as we were both brought up in). As a bonus it also had a separate garage. It gave us some debt which we thought was vital as an inflationary hedge. As we put down a 25% deposit we were able to get an offset mortgage which was fixed for three years with First Direct (with hindsight this was a poor decision on the fix, but again the security was valuable at the time). Getting an offset mortgage was the best decision of our financial lives. We have absolutely blitzed the mortgage from the point we finished the majority of the work on the house (about a year and a half into the fix period) due to the unlimited over payment facility , meaning that we have now paid off half the mortgage with this months recently received pay check. This is 3 yrs and a half years into owning the house. On completion of the fix we transferred to a base rate two year tracker (still offset with First Direct) reducing our monthly interest payment still further. We now pay about £150 interest only a month plus 2-3k of the capital depending on other spend during the month. All being well we should have offset the entire mortgage balance within 2 years. This should hopefully be before interest rates go anywhere and we will then be living in a fully paid for house, which we can hopefully sell for £150-160k (we spent 20-30k doing it up) and use that as a 50% deposit on a 4 bed detached in Cheadle Hulme, Gatley, Bramhall, Cheadle or similar. Alternatively houseprices tank (most likely due to rising interest rates) we sell ours for 80k and buy a 4 bed detached for 150k (I'd much prefer this option). We've had to live a fairly frugal life as a result to put the vast majority of our income into the mortgage, but we did still manage to get married (which wasn't cheap!) and a couple of foreign holidays including our honeymoon to Thailand during that period. We are now also expecting a baby. I'm posting this as my view is that a small flexible mortgage which you pay down quickly is one of the best hands to play in the current environment. It allows you to pay off the mortgage at a rapid rate (we're looking at a payback period of 5.5 yrs for the entire balance from the point we bought the houseand 4 yrs from the point we actually started paying it off), survive if interest rates go to 10%, take advantage of rising house prices should the government continue to rig the market, and build up a big deposit for your next house , whilst effectively 'earning' interest (due to the offset) at whatever the rate is (currently 3.59% for us - yes I'm sure we could get a higher return if we locked into a bond or gold or something, but 3.59% will do us). The fact its one of the few ways to now get an interest only mortgage is also worth noting - used the way we have an interest only mortgage is in my view a less risky product as it minimises the amount you are required to pay monthly in the event of a financial calamity such as a job loss. My final point would be to anyone looking in the south Manchester area to consider this area of Cheadle Hulme. It has the advantages of: Being about half the price of most of the rest of Cheadle Hulme (it makes me laugh that there are houses on Highfield Road round the corner from us going for twice the amount of money, despite being only 500m away!). Transportation access is superb (as naive FTBs we hardly even factored in how useful it can be to be on the M60 within 5 mins outside of rush hour). The railway station also has free parking, and many many trains due to being where the Macclesfield and Crewe lines merge. The area really isn't bad at all but because a lot of the housing stock is ex-council everyone seems to steer away from it.
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