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Everything posted by hra

  1. Thanks Bubble P for adding these: My vote is 6) and therefore 5) as well.
  2. I rented out my garage for several years and all I can say is there were a lot of upsides apart from the money, though I only charged them a fairly low rent. Above all I got to know 2 near-neighbours who proved to be good friends. Whilst renting they put in blinds on the garage windows and something to keep the floor fairly clean, and a door-stop. They also watched out for my house while I was away. I didn't answer any leaflets but just happened to notice their own "garage wanted" advert in a local newsagent's window before I'd ever considered renting it out.
  3. Gal Bear, it would also be useful to know a. what kind of age of property it is, and in what condition? If it were a relatively newly-built property, I think this news would have a lot more significance than it would for an older property with a few maintenance issues where there seems to have developed a trend of sticking on the market, in a lot of parts of the South-East anyway. b. Also has she had lots of viewings and no takers, or simply hardly any viewings, in which case her complaints about the photos might be an issue? c. Any particular reason why that "posh" and presumably expensive area might have become less attractive to live in?
  4. No planning permission for "150,000 affordable executive studio apartments" is what they actually meant (unless you happen to be a developer friend of one of the councillors or the local MP). Forget it, knock down the shack, let the plot get even more overgrown and plant marijuana.
  5. Despondent, just to recap on what I tried to put across, I do think you could gain a lot from this site by asking for anecdotal evidence on the particular area you're living in, or looking it up from previous posts about what house prices are doing in various parts of the country as the situation is very patchy and also changing in many places and sectors of the market. Considering that your whole scenario is founded on the premise that house prices will go up much faster (15-20%p.a.) than your earnings, what if you were pleasantly surprised to find a quite different situation on the ground away from all the media hype? As you'll see elsewhere on the board, in parts of the South-East, prices have been static or "stagnant" or even falling in terms of vendors taking offers as well as in advertised price reductions for some time and obviously the bears expect that to continue, to put it mildly ...
  6. The curious paralell between the two people's outbursts (the taxi driver and the hairdresser) struck me too. Two people who've been fed propaganda and probably acted on it, can only respond by spouting it back, and when challenged to think for themselves, clearly feel extremely threatened. Maybe they should change jobs and become property pundits.
  7. Surveyor and TTRTR I agree and this is partly the reason I suggested looking away from properties which obviously fall into the category of needing development/remodernisation, which attract professional investors, dodgy auctions (and dodgy estate agents). A property which doesn't need *quite* so much work as to make it worth a professional's while, i.e. one which might be merely tatty or dated or even need a good garden clearout, could represent much better value for money and still be got at a sizeable, maybe even equivalent discount if the vendor has not been able to shift it for months. Even the estate agents would probably pressure the vendor to get it off their books. Pod, if your aim is simply to find a way of getting a cheaper property to live in, rather than to set up as a property renovator, this might be a reasonable approach, bearing in mind the point I made that there are plenty of other reasons a property might be available at a discount but which might not be a problem for you, often some quirk of location or layout.
  8. Also look out for properties which have obviously been on the market for a long time (the photos can be quite a good giveaway if you don't keep old copies of the property rags). Some of these, though not needing extensive renovation, might have obvious maintenance issues which have put buyers off. Or other supposed flaws which have deterred other buyers (poor condition isn't the only one by any means) but which might not be an issue for you at all.
  9. some more for Starcrossed's list of debt factors: 8. Clever marketing 9. Rising standards of living where former luxuries are now deemed essentials (rightly or wrongly). 10. Mindset which thinks of affordability in terms of monthly payments rather than overall cost (but that could be covered by your point on poor financial education). 11. Background rising cost of living (council tax, utility bills) pushing people on low incomes into debt whether they like it or not.
  10. Are you sure prices in your area are still increasing by 15-20%, if at all? Which part of the country is this? Perhaps some of the people on here can help out with anecdotal evidence or trend records. Also concerning the £21,000 salary you mentioned: how much are similarly qualified people earning after say 5 years in the industry, taking into account promotions and job moves as well as inflation-based pay increases? Perhaps you are being a little pessimistic. Anyway the advice to wait seems well-founded and you probably haven't got any realistic option anyway if buying alone unless you move jobs or move area. Let's hope prices in your area level off (or have already done so) while you clear your debt.
  11. Rod Jane and Freddy: surely if you have a firm basis to consider something to be non-impartial or inaccurate (under the non-BBC guidelines) then isn't that by definition "unfair" under the above general criteria which govern BBC programmes too? Obviously the fact that such broadcasting may arguably mislead people such as FTB-ers, may well also qualify as "offensive". I'd pursue it if I were you. What have you got to lose? Even if the end result were merely to expose a watchdog (or regulatory system) without teeth, it would be worth it.
  12. 5. Her obvious success and popularity in the media however stupid she makes herself look - it's almost as if she's inviting criticism to demonstrate that she's impervious to it.
  13. Cornish Pasty, I know I'm not one of the star posters from whom you solicited an opinion, but even gremlins occasionally try to help. Reading your initial message, it struck me that in anything other than financial terms, you don't particularly like the prospective new property "not a dream home". Prince Charles may have approved it on aesthetic terms, but do you or your family?! It must have been exciting for you to have had this offer more or less out of the blue, and it must be tempting to rush into what seems to be an attractive and packaged solution to your problems. However in some ways, an overcrowded property such as the one you currently live in might be less of a headache than the constant nagging worry over finance, property values, job prospects etc. which you seem to foresee. I have a couple of friends who've moved from Cornwall and tell me that property prices there are pretty much the same as in Reading. Given what you've said about wages in your area, I can hardly believe that property prices are anything other than over-inflated. You're not forced into a move according to any specific deadline: why not wait? Perhaps your housing association will come up with something else - not necessarily a newbuild for which you're probably paying a premium. You might be better off with an older property with more space for the money. One last thought: do you have the option of extending the property you live in at the moment?
  14. Don't be surprised if they don't post it all for quite a while (if ever); some of their discussion forums haven't been updated by the moderator since yesterday evening though they vary.
  15. My valuation is £99,000 provided that 1. the 4th bedroom isn't some kind of jerry-built extension and; 2. the end terrace position does not make it a lot more susceptible to vandalism or traffic noise. Is this like one of the property programmes where the person who guesses nearest the experts' valuation gets the property?
  16. In a case like this where a misrepresentation has clearly been made to you (even if unintentionally though I'd hesitate to believe that) don't you have legal or professional recourse against the bank concerned? Does the RICS have a mechanism where you can at least report this and get backup if you have strong evidence? As far as the banks' motive is concerned, I suppose at a minimum they're trying to justify the size of their loands and make them look a safer bet against the value of the property, but then there's always the suspicion of outright collusion with developers etc. too.
  17. I thought that was very well put. There can also be other pressures to re-invest in property: family expectations, the risk of insecurity of tenure in renting for the long term, and the loss of independence in what gets done to the property you're living in e.g. redecoration and renovations. However, from the investment point of view, having cashed in as an STR I've found I've become much more risk-averse and am happy to stick with high-yielding fixed-rate bonds or internet accounts (carefully-chosen ones of course). For now.
  18. Very interesting. 2 questions: Which part of Essex? Are newbuilds there still being snapped up at exorbitant prices even if older properties such as your friend's aren't selling?
  19. Back to Glad someone else found it amusing ... Almost as good as this latest on the off-topic HPC Censorship thread:
  20. Another adage to be taken metaphorically rather than literally, I hope.
  21. House of Sand (Words & music by Grant - Baum - Kaye) Oh you can take a whole lot of sand And build a castle on the beach And though you mold it and you plan Still you got nothing in your reach (at least not for less than £350,000) One little slip and it tumbles down One wrong step and it crumbles all around Like a house without love, that's sure to fall apart A house of sand is an empty work of art Says a lot for modern building techniques. Should have had a full structural survey before rushing in with that 5x income self-cert mortgage. You can build a tower of clay But if you ask my advice Well it is worthless as I say I got no heart it's cold as ice Was it Kirstie singing that last line?
  22. I think that's a common and an increasing trend in many areas, and one which makes it very difficult to interpret the direction the market is taking. People still seem to be prepared to pay a premium for convenience, just as they are still prepared to pay a premium for certain property hotspots despite the overall market trend. In my former area near Reading, older or less fashionable properties even in good locations, including those with a lot of land and privacy, could stick on the market for a year, whilst newbuilds were mobbed if not bought up off-plan, even though shoehorned into stupid locations with obvious flaws, and selling for getting on for twice the price of a much larger - and still modernised - '60s 3-bed semi. And all within in the same geographical area. Anyway, for any desperate FTBs out there, you can still get a large 3-bed semi about 40 minutes from London for about £180,000 to £200,000 if you don't mind having a nice big landscaped garden.
  23. I generally agree but I don't think it necessarily has to be something which destabilises the economy. What will probably happen is that once sufficient people who need to sell for reasons such as family ones (births, deaths, divorces etc) or environmental ones (rising crime in their neighbourhoods or planning blight) suddenly find they can't, they as inviduals will panic and word will spread, and once this reaches a critical mass with or without the aid of the media, then we'll see a real downward trend if not a crash.
  24. I hope you're making these remarks purely metaphorically.
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