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Posts posted by hra

  1. Back to "Smallpox in the water" ... Hasn't anyone pointed out to Kirstie that she hasn't even got her medical facts right? It wouldn't even work as a means of spreading the disease:

    Generally, direct and fairly prolonged face-to-face contact is required to spread smallpox from one person to another. Smallpox can also be spread through direct contact with infected bodily fluids or contaminated objects such as bedding or clothing.

    (source Ozonelink)

    What exactly does she think we've been getting up to here on Housepricecrash?

  2. Point taken, Adam Bear (about VAT), excuse me for misunderstanding. Actually the point about mortgage kick-backs is quite interesting and it may explain a good deal about why they're (again in my experience) blasé and offhand when a cash buyer walks in. You'd think they'd jump at the chance of getting a relatively hassle-free sale through even if they didn't get their mortgage arrangement fees. I wonder whether personal jealousy has something to do with it.

  3. I would rather see a graduated scale, where they get 0.5% for selling more than, say, £10K below asking, 1.5% for selling in the standard range, and 2.5% for getting significantly more.

    I negotiated something broadly on those lines when I sold a house in Berkshire earlier this year: they got the full 1.2% commission if I got the full asking price, and a reduced commission if not.

    But those relatively small differences in percentage points make a mockery of the fact that only 50 miles away in central London, estate agents are charging a minimum of 2% and some even more - and for more expensive properties too. That's just for sole agency. The word "cartel" springs to mind.

  4. Estate agents also increasingly employ "naggers": a dedicated someone whose job it is to keep chasing all the various parties to get the transaction through to completion. They chase up solicitors, mortgage brokers, eachother, surveyors, vendors, purchasers etc. etc. because the quicker the transaction goes through, the sooner they get their hefty percentage and in some cases the less likely the transaction is to fall through too.

    I think it's a sign of the times:

    1. transactions are taking longer;

    2. more of the various parties get things wrong through sheer incompetence;

    3. there's more red tape in the first place;

    4. buyers realise they can afford to procrastinate and even lose a property they've offered on and perhaps paid for a survey on, knowing that in a few months they could pick up something cheaper and better and more than recoup their outlay.

    BTW in my experience, most established estate agents do charge VAT.

  5. Beatles memorabilia?

    As their roadie, Evans' duties included cleaning up after the band, gathering discarded lyrics which now sell for more than the cost of a house.

    How much will an authentic HPC transcript of Kirstie Allsopp's "lyrics" on London Tonight be worth in 20 years?

  6. Bubble P. (I think) posted this at the beginning of August:

    1. Gold Bullion Securities, traded on the LSE, Symbol: GBS. It trades at the same price as gold itself within a small margin. There is a very small annual management charge, which will be reflected over time in the price of the security. This security gives you a share in an actual stash of gold deposited somewhere. It therefore gives you unleveraged long exposure to Gold.

    2. Gold derivatives traded through any UK discount broker who offers derivative trading such as mybroker.com. With these you can get leveraged exposure.

    Copright someone who isn't me (I don't want to get sued).

  7. I'd much prefer to have a debate with a few people rather than trawl through endless posts about Nathans anatomy.

    Agreed - or even a whole slew of posts about certain portions of Kirstie Allsopp's anatomy and some rather insalubrious commentary on what to do with it (all deleted).

    I'm not generally in favour of censorship even if I get upset or offended by certain posts but I have had a concern for a while that material like that could be used as an easy pretext simply to get the whole site banned and discredited for good.

    I'm also not aware there are any rules on this site, other than the usual kind of service providers' Terms of Service which prohibit obscene, defamatory etc. material.

  8. There's a vast amount of very well-informed, literate and knowledgeable people out there, including genuine "property experts" who most of the bears on here would obviously disagree with though still respect, so yes "in fact they have a good grasp of the facts yet simply disagree with us?" I'd go along with that.

    However, a good many such people are misusing or mis-applying their knowledge. Reading the market is often a matter of gut feeling and commonsense rather than an analysis of facts which might be partly irrelevant anyway. Loads of people on this site have commented that the market is driven by sentiment and hype, I personally am of the opinion that it's also driven by practical reasons such as rising base costs and quality of life, and it's a matter of opinion how important these are in relation to economics. People often also like to believe what they want to happen; then there's also the vested interest which comes into play as does herd instinct. Some people, including knowledgeable ones, even believe TV propaganda.

    The financially astute and knowledgeable people who advised people to invest in the stock market in 2000 (I didn't) obviously know a lot more than the average member of the public yet still got it wrong.

  9. Are you (Webmaster) the only moderator, as it appears from the list, or are you going to look around for others e.g. volunteers to help out? Clearly there could still be an issue with out-of-hours posts even if people report them - yesterday I noticed quite a few postings of an er, less than appropriate nature had appeared in the early hours, though they obviously got removed en masse pretty soon in the morning. I just hope Kirstie Allsopp's legal advisers didn't see them first.

  10. Gavin, I applaud your courage in going on the programme in the first place, and I entirely sympathise with the way you feel about the outcome. My own initial reaction to Kirstie's rage (whether real or tactical) was "comical". HPC must really have hit a nerve and in the long run, I wouldn't be at all surprised if she and what she stands for, has lost a good deal more credibility than was perhaps evident at the time.

    One thing I've not been too clear on is: how did it come about that you and Bubble P. were invited on the programme to start with? Was this at the HPC Pub Meet? Who approached whom?



  11. Robbutterfield, are you also interested in collecting examples of misleading sales particulars? I appreciate this isn't as dramatic as some of the other dodgy dealings you're investigating and is seldom completely clear-cut, but it seems to me there are some pretty blatant examples around and estate agents don't even seem bothered (or even defend themselves aggressively) when these are pointed out by potential purchasers or even by vendors anxious not to be misrepresented.

  12. It looks as if it's been extended and perhaps as so often happens that's a source of serious trouble. E.g. maybe it's not tied into the main structure properly and/or is subsiding and/or its flat roof has let damp in and there are major problems with rot. Or maybe the extension hasn't got planning permission.

    I'm not sure what the position is over selling a property with an existing tenant with an AST. I didn't even know it was allowed unless the tenancy is due to end, but if so, why mention it in the particulars? Presumably as a minimum it means the purchaser won't have vacant possession for up to a year.

  13. With all the recent announcements that interest rates are at or near their peak rather than set to rise further, can anyone tell me what's happened to interest rate futures? Have they fallen?

    Lenders are still offering high-yielding fixed-rate bonds e.g. a new 1-year issue at 5.7% which came out as recently as 11th August. I'm just interested to know what view the markets are taking of interest rate trends.

  14. Thanks Webmaster for posting the video.

    I thought the first half of the coverage (before Kirsty came on) was fairly balanced and informative, and even during the interview of Kirsty, the presenters were making valid points e.g. challenging her at one stage by asking - surely it's OK to play the market in this way if people want?

    As for Kirsty, it was really comical. But I'd pick out the following points for any followup, including a legal one.

    • She called housepricecrash.co.uk "irresponsible".
    • She also said it was the kind of site likely to "start a panic" and cause untold misery for millions of people.
    • She came up with an analogy of a rumour of "smallpox in the water" being cynically started for the benefit of the makers of a smallpox vaccine To imply that housepricecrash.co.uk would fall into the same category of amoral scaremongering purely for the vested interests of the website's owners is surely defamatory (but I'm not a lawyer).
    • Finally she came out with some house price predictions of her own. She said it would take a 20% crash for the STRs to break even, given stamp duty and estate agents' fees. Couldn't an irresponsible statement like that cause panic and untold misery for millions of STRs?

    Sue her.

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