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About Snicks918

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  1. This one comes with a Mini Cooper... https://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/44016474?search_identifier=c94e370e545ffa3e1e54d4b9de291eae
  2. My in-laws are thinking of selling their 3-bed semi in the Southeast to retire to a cheaper area of the country. They had an EA out to value the property last week. According to him, sales of of 4 and 5 bed houses are on the floor ("no one wants them because they can't afford them") but 3 beds are selling very quickly. (Although I looked at the land registry data and in their town only three 3-bed semis had sold since August. I guess that's "quickly"?). This matches what I'm seeing on Zoopla. Very few 3 beds for sale at all, but the ones that have been on for months and months are all 4 and 5 beds, many which have already dropped their asking prices by 10%. If these homes have motivated sellers pretty soon they're going to be approaching the asking prices for 3 beds.
  3. My husband is British. But I did do a Masters in the UK a few years ago and was able to work on the Post Study visa before they got rid of it.
  4. http://www.wsj.com/articles/luxury-apartment-boom-looks-set-to-fizzle-in-2017-1483358401 Foreshadowing of what will happen will all those "luxury" flats in London? I listened to their podcast on the topic this morning and they said that many young professionals who could afford to buy just don't want to because of the choice of rentals available. I'm about to join my husband in London next month but am currently living in the DC area. An apartment complex just opened up with a salt water pool and a pet spa, and it's one of many similar complexes. Not only are there so many developments with empty flats, but as a young professional why on earth would I buy when I can live in luxury (for $1100-$1300/month for a 1 bed) and have the flexibility to move wherever I need to for my career?
  5. There is an obsession in my generation (millennials) with property. They've been told house prices will go up indefinitely, it's the only way to acquire any wealth or savings (because we all know wages aren't going up anytime soon), and they've rationalised taking on huge amounts of debts because if they don't "get on the ladder" now, they never will. A friend of mine recently told me that her partner doesn't want to get a huge mortgage and doesn't think the properties for sale are worth that amount of money, but feels like he's not successful if he doesn't own something. He feels like he's "fallen behind" his peers. Another bought a house in Brixton last year and were distressed that it had lost x% of value since (why are you tracking the "value" of a house you just moved into if you purchased it to live in?). A lot of them truly believe the value some EA told them is actual money in the bank and so feel comfortable splashing out on holidays rather than saving. We can't underestimate the panic that will set in if prices start to drop and people try to sell in order to salvage some of their "wealth".
  6. I don't know, I'm 30 and all the couples I know who bought a 2-bed house (Southeast) and are ready to start a family are cashing in their equity to add an extra bedroom since they can't afford to trade up to a bigger property. Most of the homes are small with tiny gardens. Maybe they will be happy with it for a few years, but as soon as they are ready for baby #2 they are going to be in a position of trying to fit a family into the living and garden space of (what was) a 2 bed FTB home and will probably want to move. (Plus they all seem to feel like having a spare bedroom is a status symbol) The extension costs have already eaten up their equity. A HPC may cancel out the added value they were anticipating from the extension.
  7. A few years ago I was renting a room in a flatshare in London. It was a 2 bed flat and then the 3rd person lived in the lounge. He wasn't the landlord but I assumed he was either a friend or family member of the landlord since he collected all the payments from us. I found out later he had come to the UK years before to do a degree, any degree, in order to over stay and claim asylum. His visa applications kept being denied but he was able to stay in the country for years by constantly appealing (I have sympathy as he was Syrian and I wouldn't want to return there either, but as someone who went through the legal immigration process this bothers me a little. Plus he was just an awful person). Right before I moved out I also found out he was on housing benefit (probably not his housing benefit since I don't think it was his flat) when he told me he needed to raise my rent due to the implementation of the bedroom tax. I'm pretty sure the rent the other tenant and I were paying was funding his life in London while he waited for his asylum request to be granted.
  8. I do wonder how well these extended houses will sell once prices start to go down. I have friends who are about to break ground on an extension in the new year. They purchased a 2-bed/1-bath semi with garage in the South East for about 225k in 2012. (This was including a 70k deposit from their parents since their salaries were too low to get a bigger mortgage). The house is quite small. Just one reception room which isn't very big and must hold the dining table as well as their sofa since the kitchen isn't large enough to fit a table. Their plan is to extend the kitchen to create a kitchen diner which will eat into their already small garden. They will also add a loft extension that has a third bedroom but the only place for the stairs is through one of the existing bedrooms, which will either make it a very large landing or a single bedroom rather than a double. They are of course using the equity due to HPI to pay for this. Up until now the thought process has been "I'll just extend it and someone will buy it. Doesn't matter if it has a tiny garden or is really 2.5 bedrooms rather than 3. Buyers are desperate for anything they can afford". But we've already seen people becoming more picky lately. It will be interesting to see the reaction if these homes with ill-thought out extensions don't end up being quite so desirable and the owners suddenly have an even higher mortgage than what they started with.
  9. Well we have President Trump now And the Democratic Party seems to be imploding with Bernie Sanders and other Progressives attempting to lead (with resistance of course). The upside of this is we get to elect someone else in 4 years. I was dreading 8 years of Hillary.
  10. There was a great segment on MSNBC this morning about the Trump victory and all the factors behind it, including the shenanigans of the Democratic Party that refused to accept any other candidate than Hillary, despite her being incredibly unpopular. (I mean, she spent $2 billion and still lost to literally the most unpopular candidate in US history) Michael Moore was the guest because he is from the blue collar midwest area that flipped from Democrat to Trump and he accurately predicted this months ago (http://michaelmoore.com/trumpwillwin/). The segment was supposed to be 7 minutes but they cancelled all the commercials and just let them go for 45 minutes. They completely shut down the "everyone who voted for Trump/Brexit is uneducated or racist" discussion. http://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/michael-moore-joins-wide-ranging-election-talk-806604867876
  11. I wouldn't say the left voted for her in droves. Many of us would have preferred Bernie Sanders, who had a similar trade message and momentum to Trump. He won 22 out of 50 states despite the media's effort to give him as little coverage as possible (cutting away to an empty stage at Trump rally in the middle of his speech, giving minimal coverage to rallies that attracted tens of thousands in a primary!), and the DNC's blatant collusion (CNN moderators being fired for feeding her questions before debates, DNC Chairmain resigning amidst accusations of a lack of neutrality only to be given a position in Clinton's campaign). And the states he defeated her in during the primaries were the very same Democrat strongholds that flipped in the general election. She lost Michigan by 11,000 votes. 90,000 voters in Detroit voted for every question on the ballot except for president which they left blank because they were so furious over the White House's lack of reaction to the crisis in Flint. They were never going to vote for Trump but couldn't stomach voting for Hillary. The Republicans didn't get many more votes than they normally do (around 60 million). But she lost millions of the votes Obama had because people disliked her so much they just stayed home.
  12. Well, as an immigrant, I can say that I never thought the restrictions would get lighter, nor do I know if I even want to be a British citizen. Quite proud of my American passport, thanks. I don't know anyone else who expected restrictions to change either (our experiences are equally anecdotal, before we even go down that road). If the goal is to increase migration it wouldn't make sense to lighten restrictions, unless it's for a specific skill category, such as engineering, that would benefit UK business to do so. It would just be preferable for everyone to be held to the same high standard. And honestly, it's pretty offensive that you are portraying immigrants like they all are stupid and desperate to be British, as if they all come from some godforsaken hole. Attitudes sure have changed since 2012. I wonder where all those unskilled workers were coming from?
  13. The requirements I listed are for visas, not passports. It takes years of residency in the UK (which requires a visa) before you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Then after that you are eligible for a passport, provided you pass the Life in the UK test. So I don't think anyone is talking about a 'passport club', just the ability to live/work/study.
  14. There actually used to be a points system - the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme. You received points for knowledge of the English language, savings, level of education, etc. If you reached a minimum number of points you were eligible for a visa. There is also a "shortage occupation list" that already exists. It is updated on an ongoing basis. If you can perform one of these in demand jobs (I suspect many NHS positions will be on this list so the idea that the NHS will not have any employees is questionable) you can work in the UK without going through the normal visa process. The HSMP was ended in 2008, when pressure from EU immigration began forcing the UK government to reduce non-EU immigration as that was the only population they had control over. We now have a tier system, which requires you to be sponsored by an employer. I believe there may also be an entrepreneurial route, but I haven't applied for that myself, so I'm not 100% sure. In the years since 2009 the UK has also scrapped the Post Study Work Visa, which allowed graduates of UK universities to work in the UK for two years. Now those who are trained in the UK, to UK standards, are taking their skills, and contribution to the economy, elsewhere. In 2012, the restrictions on non-EU spouses were increased. You now must earn a minimum of £18,600 to bring your spouse over. This increases to £22,400 for a spouse and a child, and £2,400 for each additional child after that. It is estimated that 43% of British citizens can not meet this requirement. The income can only be earned in the UK by the British spouse, so you if you move abroad and the British spouse is a stay at home parent, for example, they will have to move back to the UK alone, earn the minimum salary for six months (unlikely if they have been out of work for awhile) and then their family is allowed to join them. Or they are essentially exiled from their own country. If you are an EU citizen moving to the UK from another area in the EU, with a spouse from outside the EEA, you are allowed to bring your spouse with you without having to meet any of the income requirements, paying the application fee, or the non-EEA spouse paying the annual NHS surcharge that is required of family members of British citizens. You also don't have to repeat this process every three years. In April, the Home Office enforced a new rule: any non-EU immigrants working in the UK must earn £35,000/year after five years of residency, or leave. Many people who have built a life here will be forced to return home. Sounds similar to many of the stories that have come out after the vote. These people include teachers and charity workers who contribute to society but don't work in high paid careers. The school system is in need of qualified teachers, aren't they? Many of these people who add true diversity to the UK - diversity that goes beyond different European nations. Where was the So is the EU literally saying 'we only want white European. Everyone else keep out"? Of course not. But these restrictions have gotten tighter as the UK struggles to cope with the amount of migrants coming from Europe. With no ability to control European migration it indirectly forces the UK to discriminate against non-EU immigrants, including spouses and children of British citizens, and Commonwealth citizens.
  15. I have a family member who lives in the UK as well although we are both from outside the EU. She is posting all these photos on Facebook0 that have the NHS workers holding up signs listing their nationalities. The captions always say something about how we will lose all this wonderful diversity. No one is going to be deported. And the absolute worst case scenario is that any new immigrants will have to go through the same visa process every other non-EU immigrant has been going through for years. Most of the NHS positions will probably end up on the shortage occupation list, so anyone working in these fields won't have to go through that process anyway! I understand other people who haven't had to deal with the visa system not understanding how it works and posting this kind of stuff, but she's gone through the process four or five times. She knows the rules. Stop fanning the flames! Although she is obsessed with the idea of being "cultured" and "European" so she's been very distraught over how the UK has "embarrassed itself on the world stage".
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