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House Price Crash Forum

IsThisRealLife

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About IsThisRealLife

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  1. “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful” When most of the population are panicking and rushing to sell in fear of big falls, just remember, most of the population have no idea what they are doing.
  2. As much as I believe we’re due a crash, I finally caved in towards the end of last year and bought a house. With a baby on the way we didn’t want to be stuck relying on a landlord. We bought somewhere small and affordable, much to the dismay of the estate agents involved (you can afford much bigger so why is your budget so small?). £170k for a 3 bed semi, no work needed to be done, small garden, driveway with room for 3 cars, 10 minute drive from the city centre. Will do us perfectly for now and we only had to borrow 1.5x our joint salary to buy it. Unlike many other homeowners (mortgaged up to the hilt), I won’t be living in fear of a crash, I’ll be looking forward to it, knowing I’ll be able to afford to upsize fairly easily even if I end up in huge negative equity. No sleepless nights for me! This probably wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t moved back to the North West, and if we hadn’t made the jump we’d have had to spend double what we’ve paid for a similar place.
  3. The only help I got from my parents was encouragement from an early age to do well in school. My parents earned enough that I was not entitled to the bare minimum when it came to maintenance loans at uni etc, but not enough to support me financially. Once I turned 18 and went off to uni I was on my own. Went to university and worked pretty much full time to pay for my living costs, used student overdraft to make up the difference. Graduated, got a good job (in a different city, I strongly recommend being geographically flexible when it comes to finding work at a young age) and worked hard for 4 years and saved up c£60k. Now my wife and I have just had a baby and bought our first starter house (3 bed semi for about a third of our budget), living close to home again. What I found strange when looking for houses, was that we were a young couple who had saved up a lot and had a joint income probably in the top few percent for our age. We viewed some properties that we could just about afford, before deciding we’d rather just get somewhere really cheap and invest or money elsewhere. When viewing, there were dozens of other couples, younger than us viewing these same properties. I really didnt understand how all these people could afford a property at this price. I asked an estate agent and they told us the vast majority of these young buyers had large deposits gifted by their parents. I spoke to a colleague about it and he told me his parents had given him £100k to buy his first house. Was a bit of an eye opener for me!
  4. I can confirm. I am an actuary and have done some work on with profits. They can be very complicated and not very transparent due to the high level of discretion involved. I disagree however with people that say with profits products are a scam. Although they are not for everyone, the products are managed in the policyholders best interests and there is a huge focus by the main providers on treating customers fairly.
  5. Some interesting headlines on there. This one looks familiar: FRI 29 JUL 1988 - The Times Action on gazumping;House prices The professions involved in house transfer have set up their own working party to consider estate agency and issues including gazumping. The working party, initiated by Mr Michael Clark, former president of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyor...
  6. The problem here is that nobody knows when those "deep lows" will be. We could get another 5 years of growth, even though we seem to be at the top of a big bubble. Your cash sitting on the side misses out on 5 years of growth + dividends, and when the crash finally does come around there's no guaranteeing that prices will fall below today's levels. Of course it's easy to say in hindsight when the best times to invest would have been, but it's very risky to make those decisions prior to the events.
  7. I think many people are just obesessed with being in London and think anything outside the city is a wasteland with nothing to do. Im in a great position financially. 3 years out of uni earning £60k. I had a call from a recruiter a couple of weeks ago. Usually I just ignore them (I guess they have my details from when I was applying for grad jobs) but this time thought I'd answer and see what the market is like. After finding out my salary, he proceeded to tell me how much I was being underpaid. "I'd be able to get you at least 70k in London right now". His reaction was priceless when I told him there's no way he'd get me to work in London on anything under £120k. "Why would anyone not want to live in London?". Currenty working 9-5 in a relaxed environment, casual dress code, 10 minute walk to and from work. Why would I want to give that up for an extra few hundred a month. Over an hour commuting every day to a small flat, working London hours is not my idea of an upgrade. The effect is even bigger for those earning less. A couple earning £15k each in the North can live a good life, can afford to buy a small house and bring up a family. The equivalent jobs in London probably still pay less than £20k, and there is no chance of ever owning anything bigger than a shed. It can't be long until the public realise they are being brainwashed.
  8. Having had the long commute in the past, which varied massively depending on what time the train decide to arrive, I've made the decision to live within walking distance of wherever I work. Im happy to pay that little bit more to live close to work, and currently have a 10 minute walk each way to work. I can tell that colleagues with the longest commutes are always the most stressed. My boss travels 90 minutes each way, turning an 9 hour day to a 12 hour day. I don't usually take a lunch and so in a normal day I'm out my door and back in around 8.5 hours - this changes in busy periods, but if always happy to work long hours because I know I don't have a long trip home. When something goes wrong and my boss has to stay late you can see the dread on his face when he realises he won't be home until past 10pm. In my previous job, the manager sat us all down and said she would like us all to take one day to work from home, unless we had a strong reason not to. I liked this, as although the company tried to encourage remote working, you could tell nobody wanted to be the one to take them up on the offer because it kind of felt like they were just offering it to be nice. As soon as we had that meeting, the whole team agreed to take on day from home - apart from one guy who was old fashioned and didn't agree with it. It gets hard when you have a family, buy a house and cAnt afford to move house every time you get a new job. I'm very happy renting and being mobile and can't see myself changing that in the near future.
  9. I haven't really looked at the data as a whole, but I can speak from my individual experience. Growing up, I was very good at maths. I had a friend from primary school who was at a similar level. I went to Grammar school, but he went to a local comp (I think it was because his cousins went to that school). We both did equally well in our first few years or secondary school, but then it changed. At the grammar school, in the top set we did our GCSE in year 9. My friends parents asked his school whether this would be possible. Though they recognised he had the ability, they didn't have the facility to offer the fast track for just one person. We finished our GCSE in year 10 and then did half an A level in year 11. At sixth form we finished our A level in the first year and then did The full Further Maths A level in the second year. We also had a lot of extra classes teaching university level maths. We were well prepared for Oxford and Cambridge entrance exams (STEP for Cambridge). My friend was only allowed to do the standard maths A level (across 2 years). I suggested that he move here for sixth form, or even self teach, but he didn't want to leave all of his friends and didn't have enough free time to do another A level outside of school. On top of this, our school allowed the top set to sit the Math Olympiad exam every year. A few pupils got quite close to the selection camp for the International Math Olympiad. My friend's school did not offer this opportunity because they had never had anybody talented enough to sit the exam. It's easy to say "if they are smart they will do equally well at any school", but at a young age, even the smart students are influenced by choices of friends, and are often not mature enough to realise the benefits of going the extra mile to teach yourself and make the most of your education. I am 100% sure I would not have done as well as I have if I went to my friend's comprehensive.
  10. I'm fortunately in a good position and could buy if I wanted to, but the majority of people aren't and I find it hard to believe how crazy the situation is! I'm a newly qualified actuary, planning to move jobs soon for a big pay rise!
  11. Yes, you could get a 3 bed terrace for less than 400k, but you could also get a 3 bed semi detached for less than Half of that up north. I think renting is the better option for me in the short term, maybe in 10 years or so If I really want to own I'll pick up a cheap semi in the north west (my homeland) for cash.
  12. This is exactly how I felt. All of the questions were based around how much I can afford. Nobody wanted to know what type of property I was looking for. From what I can tell, the average buyer finds out how much they can afford and then searches for the most expensive property within their budget. The right way to do it should be to decide what you need, and then decide whether or not you can afford it.
  13. Not quite, The calculation also included the 15% bonus I got at the start of the year - it works out around 4.5x the total salary + bonus figure.
  14. So my girlfriend and I thought we'd do a little look around to see if we could buy anything that we'd be willing to pay for. With the cut to the base rate, it looks like the BoE are going to stop at nothing to keep the bubble going, so we thought we would do some shopping - mainly out or curiousity. We went into a bank on Friday to speak to a mortgage adviser. We're both 24, my salary is £50k and hers is £25k, so we were both very shocked to have been offered a £375k agreement in principle! The young girl was very happy for us (great time to buy, prices will only go up etc) Next stop was an estate agent. We asked them what was available around the £200k range (Preferably central, Bristol). She showed us a couple of studio apartments, and then asked whether we had financing - we mentioned our AIP and she told us that we should be looking higher up in the market, because we can afford a lot more than 200k. In fact she explained that they had a new build 2 bed flat for just under £500k that we could buy, with only a £25k deposit and a HTB loan from the government. We humoured her and booked a viewing for the same day. When we got to the marketing suite, we were quizzed on our financial situation (pretty much just asking us "what is the most debt you can take on?), and shown a few apartments. All I can say is wow. People are paying upwards of half a million pounds for a small 2 bed apartment (well a double bedroom and a study in my opinion). Despite the sales agent's canned monologue, I could tell from her expression that she felt uneasy telling me how great they were and how good value they were. This one viewing was enough to remind me that I am right in not buying. I just don't know how much longer this can go on!
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