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Everything posted by hra

  1. Perhaps we could suggest this storyline instead? Casualty staff to become new property gurus? Just a bit of fun from a Casualty forum. I did post it last year at one stage but before a lot of new people joined.
  2. Thanks for all your efforts in making the programme available online: I've just watched it and now feel gratifyingly prescient rather than just lucky that I sold off both my properties last summer and decided to rent! It was particularly good that they portrayed the sheer 'hassle factor' of property ownership these days as well as the economic factors.
  3. Buy one of those (Huf Houses) and you could become famous. One of these was put up not all that long ago in a South Oxfordshire village near where I live. Trouble was, it was in a conservation area inbetween substantial Edwardian houses (although there are some less than substantial and certainly not Edwardian blocks of flats there too!) It apparently caused quite a stir, judging by irate correspondence one way and another in the local press. Next thing we know, it's featured in the latest local history quiz in a question along the lines of "Which controversial artist has been commissioned by the Tate Modern to do a painting of the Huf House in [xyz road]". A wind-up? Remains to be seen.
  4. Are you just looking at the credit rating summary (free), or the full credit report (which isn't)? I think the summary probably doesn't take into account your real credit history at all but only looks at age, postcode, type of occupancy etc. Incidentally it isn't good news to STRs - I put in 'Renting - unfurnished' for 'less than 1 year' and got 3 stars. I put in 'Owner occupier' for 'more than 10 years' (my status a year ago before STR-ing) and got 4 stars. So they penalise people for making good financial decisions too.
  5. What a nice quote: "Everybody now agrees that the boom is truly over." And apart from the commentary from Capital Economics, the other two main sources in the article are the head of research at Savills estate agency and the Halifax's chief economist. Not bad.
  6. - The Independent today That would be a shame wouldn't it. Bliar/Bush would have to go to all the trouble of producing a new dossier before launching military action.
  7. 0% - for a property I recently sold. Heh heh.
  8. Sure they can. What about the 1m people who marched against the war in Iraq?
  9. Pleased to say they have published it. And also this rather good one: BTW When I referred to others setting up in the "property investment coaching business" I was partly thinking of Inside Track, who have suddenly been heavily promoting their property investment training seminars recently on radio. It would certainly signal the end of the housing bubble if we saw its main beneficiaries resort to merely selling the concept instead of doing it.
  10. My reply: You [the BBC] have a curious definition of "Property Success" and an even more curious idea of someone who you apparently view as a good example to new investors (and charge £7,000 fees for the privilege). Losing £300,000 on a bunch of flats - and worse, then being subject to court orders and reposessions? Mistakes can happen, but why, with a £9m portfoliio and rental streams elsewhere, did your "developer" not better manage to budget for and absorb rental voids and capital losses or even refinance elsewhere? Surely she couldn't have been geared to the hilt ... What an example that would set! And by the way, is she really a "developer", or just a speculator? Back to one of the main questions this article posed: has the property bubble burst? I don't see any real attempt to address the question here but significantly her £300,000 loss is described as "recent". And she isn't the only one to bail and set up in the property investment coaching business instead. If the main thing she learnt from her mistake was to do just that, then caveat emptor.
  11. Don't tell anyone, but tonight's innocent starry-eyed punters are actually a couple of HPC trolls in disguise.
  12. Why? I assume they mean 30 grand over the 4-year period (rather than each year) - if so the pair have been paying perhaps £600 pcm jointly. Exactly in what way will they benefit by jettisoning their snazzy, carefree lifestyle and taking a £120,000 mortgage in a falling market (assuming any property can be found at that price point with "potential" to do anything other than collapse) plus all the other costs and responsibilities of home-ownership?
  13. How about some more negative ones, since there's quite a bit of the decade left yet to have a crash? 1. Hassle factor - mainly for BTL-ers but owner-occupiers too. A whole lot of the mechanics of owning a property have simply got so much more difficult and risky over the past few years, ranging from the increasing headaches and cost of getting maintenance done, all the way through to all the new regulations (including new proposals) governing buying and selling. Even keeping a routine tenancy going can be a nightmare if you are unluckly enough to fall foul of one of our wonderful bureaucracies, their call centres and their toothless consumer watchdogs. 2. Increasing base costs - there are certainly plenty of threads on this forum on this topic already but to pull a few of these together: council tax, utility bills, insurance, service charges, security, maintenance (again), DIY mania resulting in increasing minimum standards for a property to be considered saleable, and of course lawyers'/ accountants' fees. 3. Rising crime, particularly anti-social behaviour.
  14. This site has been mentioned a few times on HPC but in the last few days or so suddenly seems to have become the subject of a vast and presumably very expensive radio advertising campaign: Inside Track I just wondered, how many fellow HPC-ers were thinking of going on their free training seminars - to learn ever-more-ingenious ways of making money out of the property boom, of course. (Not to put a spanner in the works and ask awkward questions about the fragility of the market, or spiralling debt, or even the morality of pricing out FTBers, or indeed why anyone would run classes about property speculation instead of just doing it. Or even to volunteer their services as "property experts".) Interestingly quite a few of the courses are in Bristol. Something for Cherie, perhaps. I looked at their case studies, and suitably inspired I quote: "I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who wanted to take control of their life and feel that property might be the answer" Makes a change from yoga, Tantric meditation, and assertiveness training? "I came thinking I had no money to work with but would like to know how to make it and left realising I had quite a lot of money and was about to make a great deal more." Brilliant for anyone living in a cardboard box or worse, then. "... how profits can be made so quickly and easily in comparison to the traditional methods." Something perhaps a little in common with the infamous Peter Baring quote of 1993 "... it was not actually terribly difficult to make money in the securities business" parodied with obvious relish by Nick Leeson in his book "Rogue Trader".
  15. There's a rather nice doll's house for sale in our local toyshop for around £120, and you won't even have to pay council tax on it (yet).
  16. Perhaps one major reason we don't see so much activism these days is the sheer complexity of leading a normal life within all the rules, regulations, and fines which have crept in under New Labour, with increasingly flimsy pretexts. It's not about preventing things like fraud, accidents or even collecting money but soaking up intellectual energy and instilling a subtle climate of conformity and fear - draconian fines and stigma for any minor transgression . Even a simple task driving a car from A to B is fraught with all kinds of things you have to worry about and can so easily and innocently do wrong (speeding obviously, parking, stopping on gridlines, congestion charging, etc. etc). People who are forced to spend so much of their spare time worrying about the minefield of rules and regulations and the sheer incompetence of many of our major bureaucracies, are not going to have much energy or imagination left to sit up all night debating, or go on a protest march . Of course the 4 million surveillance cameras of one kind or another - here to "protect" us of course - are hardly likely to encourage a culture of healthy public protest.
  17. True but they're usually partly funded by Council Tax (in addition to other grants and donations and volunteers' time, of course). Many bureaux are under severe funding pressure simply due to the explosion of debt problems, and are having to cut back on services and even send people away just at times when they most need to set up outreach and money advice centres. When free services fail the public, where will they go? More debt = more Council Tax?
  18. I have yet to see any specific evidence of price reductions myself. BTW as a double STR (sold 2 properties, May and July 2004) I have no vested interest in saying so. A very nice bungalow I looked at in June is still on at the same amount (just over £300K) and I have had my eye on a few other local properties more out of interest rather than to buy them, and the same applies. I concede I have not systematically watched a representative selection of properties over this period and that it is quite possible for prices to have been quietly reduced without any form of "new price" incentive advertising but in that case, that does not smack of desperation on sellers' or estate agents' part. Having said that, the "leaf index" does show almost all the properties in the paper having been photographed during the summer, and the estate agents *were* rather quiet during the weekend ...
  19. I agree with the comments about Reading, particularly the over-supply of overpriced newbuilds in unfanciable areas, ridiculously low yields for BTLers, and the dependence of the economy on IT. However there seems to be quite a contrast with the situation not all that far outside the Reading urban area, in villages such as Goring for example, where factors such as rural quality of life perhaps offset the economic trends and media BTL frenzy. Looking at the local paper and the estate agents' windows over the past few months, there are plenty of good-quality properties which have stuck on the market since the summer yet without any price reductions being advertised (including genuine ones).
  20. Other (please specify) = from someone's ISP log.
  21. It's all probably spiked (or worse). Be rather interesting to see what kinds of things the poor punters end up signing afterwards.
  22. Well said. That's the kind of reason I gave up my TV and TV licence 6 months ago. I haven't looked back.
  23. Which areas are to become less "fashionable" and balance the equation then, with plummeting Council Tax demands?
  24. Heh heh heh ... I expect that the someone was of course merely trying to protect the users of this website against being taken in by such misinformation though, and never dreamed of suggesting anyone actually did anything like it themselves Someone might potentially produce a short, very official-looking leaflet to be left in the display racks in branches of one of the major national building societies (one which announced bumper profits on the news this morning, for instance). The theme would be Responsible Borrowing . The leaflet would start with a lot of blurb about how the building society - unlike its competitors - was launching a new initiative to protect the public against the perils of spiralling debt and negative equity. For the cynical reader, the subtext would obviously be that the building society, foreseeing a market crash, was trying to head off a slew of mortgage defaults and reposessions. There would be a fairly standard homily on sensible borrowing and budgeting for the sake of authenticity e.g. suggesting a max 3.5% salary lending limit, reporting one's income accurately etc among other things. Then there'd be a rather patronisingly laid out step-by-step "Preparing for Adversity" section or somesuch, advising the public to plan what they would do if - They bought a new house and its value fell by 30% within 2 years; - Their job or pretty much their whole industry got outsourced to India; - Crime, particularly anti-social behaviour, rose to a level where the quality of life in their area unacceptable (as well as the knock-on effects of security measures and spiralling insurance premiums); - Council tax on their class of property went up by 3x on their class of property due to the proposed revaluation; - Other assorted red tape pushed up the complexity and base cost of living to an unacceptable level (e.g. congestion charging, lots of extra regulations to get fined for breaching, new and highly expensive ID requirements); - They wanted to emigrate but couldn't find a buyer or tenant for their property. The leaflet would close by saying that all new mortgage applicants would be required to produce evidence that they had given careful consideration to all these points effective from some particular date (a date adds authenticity). Of course, this isn't the kind of thing I'd do myself ...
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