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Everything posted by pmsbony

  1. Not till next year there isn't. That said, there definitely appears to be an Ebbsfleet effect on local property prices with Swanscombe and Northfleet prices holding up better than those in Dartford and Gravesend as far as I can tell.
  2. As a teachers husband and a school governor I would agree that teachers do indeed get around that much holiday. Although a better way of describing it would be 13 weeks non-teaching time. Whilst the unions negotiated the PPA time (essentially time out of the classroom for paperwork during the normal school week), many teachers do not get their full allocation nor does it cover the amount of paperwork (marking, planning, reports etc) they have to do. I would be confident in saying that at least three weeks of that 13 weeks is taken up throughout the year with work, if not more in some cases.
  3. I would counter that with information I got directly yesterday from one lender (I am looking to remortgage in the next 6 weeks) they have just chopped 0.2% from their fixed rate deals. They also said they were very very quiet at the moment, although i have had to wait about a week for an appointment with the other lenders I am talking to, which does not suggest they are without potential customers.
  4. Purely anecdotal, but I am involved in a local primary school and the information I get is that kids are coming into the schools with a very poor vocabulary. This is being blamed on parents not talking to their kids. This makes it hard from the start and with limited resources those at the bottom only get further and further behind. Unless you concentrate on those students, if you do that it is generally to the detriment of those at the top who do not progres as quickly as they would be expected to. Coupled with large number of children with learning difficulties (especially those with various flavours/levels of autism) who in the past would have been taught in specialist schools you have a huge range of abilities in a classroom and none of the resources to deal with them. For example one of the year groups has had an influx of children who do not speak English (15 out of 60) with no history of this happening before the school has no resources on staff to deal with it. The council will not provide them, as such these children take more and more of the teaching staff's time to the detriment of others. It is not one thing causing the standard to slip (and they are slipping, I have seen the national trends for reading in Key Stage 1 over the last few years and it is not upwards) but a general plethora of initiatives that staff have to implement without having the resources to do so effectively.
  5. A guy I speak to on another forum just posted this little snippet, he is based in south London (a relatively nice bit) "...I was really surprised how little interest we got on her place (nice mansion block/good road) and eventually we had to take an offer which was a fair bit under asking price. The real eye opener was when it came to finding the new place, vendors were falling over themselves, eventually got a beautiful house for a very big discount, fixtures and fittings thrown in..."
  6. just adding to the other contributions but the percentage of teachers earning anywhere near 100k/year is miniscule. I am a governor on a finance committee at two schools and not one of our staff is on that figure, not even the head (who is well paid but still earns a hell of a lot less that 100k). my wife has been teaching for about 9 years and her fulltime pay would be around £33k.
  7. This statement by Mr Darling didn't worry me too much until I heard the interview with ming the merciless on radio 4 this morning. From what i have heard the government has announced they will guarantee NR's savers cash and it amounts to around £20bn The lib dems want to cut 4p of the basic rate of income tax. They say that will cost around £20bn they will find elsewhere. A guarantee of that size worries the hell out of me.
  8. Maybe you can confirm if my former boss - the esteemed Mr Riddick still has a head shaped substantially like a balloon?
  9. The egg website is down because, they say, of an issue with the telecoms provider - C & W they have to sit and wait for them to sort out the issues.
  10. Maybe I am missing something but my reading was that they had removed the home condition report from the pack, everything else would stay. I realise that is where the bulk of the cost came from but it does at least pass the cost of the searches on to the seller and make it quicker for a buyer to notice possible issues with regards to drainage, building works to the property and that sort of thing. The cost of the packs may be lower but there is still an upfront cost that may deter the opportunistic seller just sticking the propoerty on the market but not really wanting to sell. Pete
  11. I am in Swanscombe a few train stops from Dartford. Looking at the propoerty pages yesterday prices in dartford appear to have dropped slightly. The Greenhithe, Swanscombe, Northfleet area is holding steady for the most part (probably held up by the Ebbsfleet effect) although it was clear yesterday that the price of the new builds has dropped. especially in the next phase of the Waterstone Park development next to Bluewater. Prices at Ingress Park have also dropped I think, but not by as much.
  12. The Ordnance survey have data that maps postcodes to specific areas (I have used the data in the past). I think you can get them in hard copy form. However postcodes do not link up exactly to geographic areas so any maps will have a certain margin of error in them. Address databases are available but they are not cheap to get hold of in my experience. In both cases my advice is speak to Ordnance survey, they will sell you anything, but can be very very expensive.
  13. It is good fun because he tends to upset the idiots selling the house, but after a while it gets a bit repetitive. Essentially the advice given every week can be summed up by the following: 1. Paint it white 2. Replace doors and drawer fronts in kitchen 3. paint it white 4. remove all personal crap 5. paint it white 6. get new furniture then finally just for good measure 7. paint it white
  14. I have seen this sort of ad before, I think those I have seen were for properties repossesed by the mortgage company. the property next door to my parents was repossesed and was advertised like this in the local paper. pete
  15. The large development near me has just had a big problem with this issue. The fairly top end houses only have one space each so people were parking on the road. This has caused problems with delivery/service/emergency vehicles gettings past so the company managing the estate have stopped on street parking and are clamping anyone that they catch. p
  16. My take on the IT industry is that wages are not too bad at the moment, compared to about 2/3 years ago. However the outsourcing of jobs is a worry, however I think it is mainly a worry and the big corporate entity end of the industry. There are still challenging jobs around if you look at the SME's end of things. Those companies cannot justify any mass outsourcing of work, and whilst some with subcontract their work to external consultancies they will still tend to have small, flexible teams in house. These jobs tend to rely on the ability to turn your hand to most things rather than specialise in a specific area. However if you have lost interest in IT, which is not hard, then a change of career is the best thing anyway. I am in a similar boat. I will be off to retrain to another career once the kids are a bit bigger and the wife goes out to work a bit more to subsidise the drop in salary.
  17. I would agree with that. The areas nearer to Ebbsfleet (Swanscombe and especially Northfleet) are closing the gap with the more desirable areas of either borough. The gap between prices in Swanscombe and the central Dartford area is much less pronounced that it has been (comparing like for like properties - mainly the Victorian Terraces). the thing to watch is to see if people start punting houses around Ebbsfleet as a good location to get to the Olympics in 2012 as the station will be one stop from Stratford. Personally I am staying put in my victorian Terrace for a few years yet. Prices are insane currently, with the studio flats in Swanscombe going for around 90-100k, despite the fact they are complete crapholes. Pete
  18. From what I see from Swanscombe prices seem pretty stable in the area, i think there was a drop in dartford at the back end of 2004 and into 2005. Northfleet seems to be doing quite well (possibly ebbsfleet effect). I think the older Greenhithe properties may be being crowded out by the supremely hyped developments at Ingress Park and Waterstone park. Pete
  19. hi, came across the site a couple of days ago and found the content interesting. I bought a house in 1998 that in the current market would command a price around 3.5 times more than i paid for it. I am amazed considering the area i live in is not that great and can't understand how the prices can remain this high. Pete
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