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Posts posted by hra

  1. Death says thanks for the laffs.  And the business. 

    Webmaster, please please move this to the off-topic forum.  If I see this thread again it will be the death of me.

    If it doesn't pass over to the Other Side pretty soon, perhaps we'd better bring it back on topic?

    The housing boom is well and truly dead and buried and BTL-ers are all haunted by the spectre of a crash. They've dug their own graves, now they can see their investments go up in smoke.

  2. One possible source of so-called "demand" ... A couple of snippets from the Government's response to the consultation on their shared ownership scheme "HomeBuy", which came out last week:

    HomeBuy will have only a marginal effect on house price inflation. A large part of the programme will constitute newly built properties and so will increase housing supply. We estimate that, if we help an extra 100,000 people into home ownership by 2010 through our schemes, that the inflationary impact of HomeBuy would be between 0.04 - 0.06% per year.

    Government's response to consultation


  3. "Litigation, litigation, litigation"

    Follow the fortunes of a procession of somewhat less than financially savvy recent homebuyers finding their properties have dropped by 20%, as they all try to sue their surveyors for "overvaluation". Maybe Tony and Cherie could go first.

    "Evasion, evasion, evasion"

    Beset by a horde of irate ex-fans and maybe facing "litigation, litigation, litigation" themselves, Kirstie and Phil hastily book a one-way ticket to Rio.

    "The Muppet Show"

    In an effort to get round restrictions on the amount of repeats they're allowed to show, the producers have taken the prudent and perhaps timely step of renaming this re-broadcast of "Location, location, location".

  4. It would be interesting to know how much this downshifting uber-frugalist is spending in terms of money and resources every day in commuting from the wilds of Oxfordshire to his London workplace.

    Enough to pay for a very low-budget house-share within a few miles' jogging distance of work (so he'd save on his gym membership too) ? Or is this too sensible?

    And if not, don't they have ditches anywhere a bit nearer London these days?

  5. If people become too cautious, she will lose business, i suppose.

    maybe this is why she is always encouraging people to buy.

    I think she wrote a book last year with the same message

    Do you perchance mean "How to Buy a House" Spencer & Allsopp, 2004? Well, I just so happen to have a copy of it right here. A few choice quotes:

    "Be very, very nice to estate agents ... We realise this is a revolutionary concept"

    "Home buying isn't all bad. It's like having a baby."

    "... when faced with a spreadsheet I want to weep"

    "no sooner does a single man purchase a property than he has a girlfriend ... there's nothing more attractive to a woman than a man of property."

    "They [ solicitors ] make teenagers in love look sensible"

    "it's essential to keep everyone on their toes and leaping around like the cast of Riverdance"

    The hypothetical scenario about wanting to pour cold coffee into the radiator of an estate agent's flashy car was quite a good read.

    Actually to be fair, the book does have some plus points, especially tactics to keep the whole process moving along (Riverdance excepted).

    Oh and they did have one erudite financial insight: "Opinion is always divided as to whether the market will go up or down"

  6. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4182644.stm

    Looks like second-home buyers are going to be getting upto 40% tax back on their second-homes.  So they can use the second-home to boost their pension.

    Yes, somehow in the Independent's colourful and enthralling saga of global warming, flash floods, forest fires, indulgent parents, Victorian regeneration, aspirational cohabitants and even terrorism, they didn't quite get round to mentioning SIPPs, did they?

    Do you get 40% off shotguns and someone can do us all a favour with Gordon Brown?


  7. STR-ed summer last year (2 simultaneous property disposals - a home and an investment property).

    Very happy with the decision, not only financially (especially in the case of the investment property). Other positives are:

    - Not having to worry about maintenance in new home.

    - Not having any responsibility for leasehold property issues e.g. dealing with in residents' association / management company, leasehold extension etc.

    - Having an exit strategy if things go unexpectedly wrong

    - Being chain free, in a much stronger position if and when I do buy again.

    The (few) downsides are

    - Worry when tenancy renewal came up - the exit strategy can work both ways

    - No real freedom to change decorations though this is only a very minor issue

    - Constant temptation to get back into the market too early.

    Re. de-cluttering, disposal of DIY, garden stuff, I found the following useful

    - Furniture recycling charities, will take practically anything

    - Local allotment society, again for garden things you are prepared to give away

    - Rental storage, can work out cheaper than renting a larger property just to house your spare equipment and furniture

    - Limited use of garage space, loft space and spare kitchen cupboard space possible in new property.

  8. Boom in second homes is next big thing in property


    Looks like the Independent's having another bad bear day:

    "Britons could be about to embark on an unprecedented spree of second home-buying over the next 10 years."

    "A report by the Future Foundation forecasts that the market for a country pad or pied-a-terre is set to rise by 24 per cent by 2015"

    "The once-fading resort of Southend is also hotly tipped as an investment area because of its 12 per cent house-price growth, proximity to London and high quality of life."

    "It is estimated that Britons will be 73 per cent richer over the next 20 years" ... "We are becoming better off and people throughout the UK are beginning to realise that they need more than one home to reflect their lifestyle and meet their needs. They will also realise that they can afford it"

  9. Well for one, I'll certainly be one band better off - currently paying over £1500 Band 'E' council tax before discount on a flat probably valued at £200-£210K. According to the article's figures it would drop into the lower end of Band 'D' (£195,001-£250,000).

    Thinking of the 2 properties I sold last year, even the Central London flat which tripled in value in 10 years would stay in the same band (just) and the other one (Reading house which 'only' doubled in value in 15 years) would drop from 'D' to 'C'.

    Almost too good to be true? Well the figures are only "illustrative" and "the government hasn't yet said how they're going to apply the updated valuations" and my guesstimate valuations are based on actual sales figures rather than the official valuation with all its caveats ... Be interesting to see how many people are actually better off when the real re-assessment comes out.

  10. "What do you think the prospects for a Nurse and a Computer programmer (been in web development the past 12 months) are in Canada, US, Australia, New Zealand?"

    Anecdotal (re. nurses / Australia anyway): relation of mine who is a paediatric staff nurse in her early 20s went to Sydney on a short-term placement and the hospital there has just spontaneously offered her a permanent job, including sponsoring her immigration application. Seems she has been snapped up!

    Back to Gordon Brown's next crazy idea - maybe he should offer Perplexed a job? Just a thought.

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