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A17

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Everything posted by A17

  1. It's the casual offering of several times the average salary above the asking price to "make sure we got it" which is scary to me. Because you are nobody if you don't have a spare £80k down the back of the sofa. My view is that if you are paying £1.6m for a London terrace you should rethink your life choices. You could buy a larger nicer house in most of the country, and still have £1m left to play with. You could give up work with that sort of money still with careful investing!
  2. I always think the plan to downsize if there are financial issues seems dangerous. In an ideal world you would want one income to cover expenses (albeit cutting out fun spending). If one half of a high earning couple loses their job, the first plan is probably to find a new job. However, this takes time, and do you take a lower paid job if offered, or wait for one at the same level as before? How long can savings plug the gap? If you decide to sell, how long does it take to sell your house and find a new house? By downsize do you go to a similar sized property in a cheaper area, or a smaller one in the same area? How can you realistically downsize from a London terrace? All the time knowing that your problems will disappear if a new job can be found, so is it worth toughing it out?
  3. To me, that is part of the reason for the red wall collapsing. The north of England has swathes of youngish people earning £50k household income, who can afford comfortable new 3 bedroom houses at £250k. The mines and Thatcher have never really featured in their minds. They can settle down early and have an adult lifestyle, and become good homeowning conservative voters, whilst their contemporaries in London are stuck in flatshares.
  4. If they had said things like that about people of a different nationality they would have been shot down. "A load of them turned up". "Hearing all their parents accents at the school". "Acting like they own the place".
  5. I also seem to remember councils buying hotels as investments. I wonder how they are doing now.
  6. Exactly. I can't use my neighbours pool, home gym or cinema room, even though we are on the same street. Even if I offer to pay each time I use, or even offer to buy an annual pass. How is this any different?
  7. He says he makes about $300k a year. After maxing out all the retirement and college funds, he will be seeing about half of that, so over $12k per month, which should cover his monthly expenses (before you account for the rental income). Not sure if the $300k was his old job, or his new job. Some people have difficulty understanding that you are only earning what your current job is paying. He also said that he has no debt apart from his primary residence, but then says that he has mortgages on his rental income. Also a little confusing between the "I earn" and "we save" - is the new wife working? My guess is that he has tied himself down to high outgoings based on the supposed certainty of a high salary. Having to pay his ex-wife high alimony. The 11 year old twins will be in private school, and he will have to fund private school for the babies until he is in his mid sixties (the new wife won't let her kids be treated any differently). Almost certainly he will have two expensive cars leased (a lease isn't debt!). And of course, the general high spending that comes with a young family and younger new wife. Vacations, eating out. He mentions Colorado so I imagine skiing. No sympathy for the guy. He has the problem that he can't simply have it all on the salary he is earning. He can't have the lifestyle AND the trophy wife AND the retirement early. Not many people can.
  8. It's the stupid novelty of offering a free meal to parents and grandparents who are regulars in his restaurant if their child/grandchild is hired. Presumably they are already wealthy enough if they can regularly visit the restaurant!
  9. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/columnists/mark-hix-despite-high-unemployment-still-having-problems-finding/ Restaurant owner goes to the Torygraph complaining that he cannot find the staff. Try paying higher wages.
  10. I'm starting to see people on ArseBook looking to get rid of their lockdown dogs. The novelty has worn off, and now that people are starting to go back to work they are realizing the full time needs of the dog. Especially since the dogs are now boisterous teenagers who haven't been trained properly. Naturally, they are very unlikely to get anywhere near the prices paid for a lockdown puppy.
  11. I am an "accidental landlord" - I moved overseas in 2017. Since then I have used a letting agent to manage my old flat. He is an independent person in South West London and charges about 10%. Probably money for old rope for him. However It gives the tenant somebody local to call if there is a problem, rather than me trying to arrange plumbers and electricians from the other side of the world. It gives me some sort of peace-of-mind about the flat, in that there is a pair of eyes on it. It is unfair on everybody to try and rely on a friend or family member to deal with the donkey work. Unlike some of the national chains, there is no surcharge to me for repairs. They are invoiced to me at cost. Foxtons etc will charge a 20% surcharge on the plumber/electricians bill. I think having a local independent person involved is far better than a national chain.
  12. Unfortunately there isn't enough money in the economy to give a enough for people to live on - even in a cheap part of the country, hence Option 2 would turn into Option 1. How can disabled people or the elderly be expected to earn their own additional money, and hence benefit from a negative income tax? A UBI cannot realistically replace all benefits, which defeats the point of it. Interesting idea. Instead of free education, give parents an educational voucher worth £6000 (source) each year. They can exchange it for a place at a government school, or use it to partially cover fees at a school of their choice (making up the difference out of their own pocket). Initially this would obviously see private school fees jump by £6000, but it could lead to the development of high quality schools that make the most out of the £6000 voucher with a limited parental top-up (another few thousand). Similarly with the state pension. No idea what it would cost to obtain a similar annuity in the private sector, but that money could be given as a voucher too each month when you are working. You could either turn it over to the government in order to secure the state pension, or invest it yourself and take your chances.
  13. Back to the original news article, it seems to be entirely speculation that the vandalism was caused by second home owners. It's hard to imagine the Guardian printing a similar story about crime where somebody was blaming foreigners outright without any evidence.
  14. Yes, but the vandalism tends to get left behind once you get past the university rugby team social events. Do you really think that the sort of person who puts on a suit and tie every day and goes to work in an office, and has presumably done so for several years in order to reach the stage in their financial life and personal life to buy a second home in a Cornwall fishing village, will creep out at night to vandalize fishing boats?
  15. I doubt London banking types are smashing up locals boats in Cornwall. And the thugs don't want to buy holiday homes there (Dubai, Spain or Florida more likely).
  16. Something doesn't make sense about this story. I know there is the cliche of the rich person moving to the idyllic country village and complaining about the 800 year old church bells and the smell of cow dung, but vandalizing fishing boats seems like way beyond what anybody would do.
  17. Exactly. Nowadays it is not unusual to have a parent still living when you are in your 60s, and even your 70s isn't unfeasible. For me the downwardly mobile middle class is exemplified by people relying on parental handouts as adults to give their children the lifestyle that they experienced as a child. Grandparents paying the school fees for the grandchildren (as the middle generation can't afford it), grandparents paying for the holidays at Disneyland. I don't know what will happen when it moves onto the next generation, but it won't be pretty.
  18. When it's your own earned money (as opposed to gifts, benefit payments, inheritance, partners income) you are far less likely to piss it away on crap.
  19. It's depressing. I know people in their 30s in reasonably well paid professional jobs whose whole financial plan seems to be wait for their parents to die. Their expectation is to get the equivalent of a 10 year salary lump sum inheritance*. The argument is why bother to earn or save when there is an inheritance coming that will dwarf anything you can reasonably do yourself? *Conveniently ignoring care fees, parents living until they are 100, secretly leaving it to the cat's home etc.
  20. https://www.theguardian.com/money/2021/may/01/mortgage-prisoners-distressed-and-betrayed-as-mps-reject-interest-cap People who are stuck on legacy mortgages at high interest rates from collapsed banks will not have their interest rates capped. The question is never asked in detail as why they cannot move mortgage providers to one with a more competitive rate. The Guardian glosses it over with "Issues, such as negative equity, having an interest-only mortgage, missed payments or changes in circumstances, have prevented them from switching to a new lender.". Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley collapsed in 2008 - 13 years ago! Surely by now you would have paid of enough mortgage to have built up some equity - even if your house had dropped in value. The same for an interest only mortgage; they should have a minimum of 13 years worth of savings/investments to pay it off now. As for those who have missed payments and have changed circumstances - the best thing to do would be to sell.
  21. That's the exact point - stimulus infrastructure spend would be spent on vanity projects that take years to complete, with most of the money being siphoned off. The word "stimulus" implies that it would be a quick shot.
  22. Borrowing to invest? This isn't the 1930s when the government can tell all unemployed men who want a job to turn up Monday at the new autobahn route or at the dam site in the Colorado River. To organise any major infrastructure project will take years and years of planning - look at Crossrail and the Heathrow third runway. If the government borrowed to invest the money would flow straight into the pockets of consultants and companies like Carillion, and would be used to dig up perfectly good roads before actually flowing into the regular economy.
  23. Like most things, it is very poorly thought out by the government due to their inability to look any deeper than the superficial surface, apart from "will it raise house prices?, and believing whatever story they want to believe. My understanding that British National Overseas status could only be obtained by those living in Hong Kong before 1997, so the youngest people who could come to the UK would turn 24 this year. This stops most of the younger population from arriving. The wealthy in Hong Kong already have their money spread around the world, and so there is unlikely to be a huge transfer of wealth to the UK. They won't be bringing their money in their suitcases. Similarly, most of the wealthy in Hong Kong already have residence and a bolt-hole in more attractive countries already, such as Canada or Australia, so would have no need to go to the UK. The fact that they are now changing the message to be supporting immigrants suggests that the government has realized that the majority of Hong Kong BNOs are not bankers or accountants - they are older people, without good English and poorly educated.
  24. The expenses scandal was before that - 2009. Look at a house price graph and it shows prices steady from 2010 to 2012.
  25. My impression was that from 2010 to 2012 house prices were generally stable in nominal terms. If they could have kept this up it would have allowed (wage) inflation to gradually shrink house prices in real terms, but without the stigma of sticker prices falling and negative equity.
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