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chiefduffer

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Everything posted by chiefduffer

  1. Windsor update...August 06 I keep an eye on Rightmove every now and then to see what new houses come onto the market in Windsor. Most of the time the price seems comensurate with the market "value" but every so often I see something that beggars belief. Yesterday I saw a terraced house outside the centre come on the market at £435K- this has to be at least £50K over the normal asking price for something in this road- even if its in good condition. Windsor Terraced Not sure what's going on here but as I own a house nearby I will be watching this one with interest. Could it be that supply is so low that the market has risen this much?
  2. Thanks for the thoughts. Have around 200K equity in the house. Long term tennants have been there 2 years. Very reliable. Probably would only sell if they left. Slowly chipping away at the mortgage. Primary residence- owned 4 years so not sure if I have capital gains tax to pay. Could sell as is. Low maintenance but could invest around 5K for new bathroom/extra bed. Don't have anything I'm burning to buy- don't really need the money either. Main reason would be to get off the ladder at peak and re-enter market in a couple of years. May take the boring, slow route and hang on as I don't fancy having to pay all the taxes and fees further down the line. Reality would be that I would need a >10% price decline to really be better off.
  3. In a nutshell, I am currently abroad and renting my house in Windsor. Its paying for itself at the mo. At the moment I think first quarter 2007 would be around the right time to put it on the market as I don't think we'll see a sharp downturn in house prices before next summer. Basically I think the trough will occur in the UK shortly after US market has taken a plunge. Unless there's another 9-11 I think it will hit around May-June timeframe. Historically I think this is when Dow Jones normally takes a plunge. Thoughts anyone?
  4. If you want to get into the Windsor market, you could do worse than look in west windsor as an entry point. This is what I did a few years back. Basically, if you can find yourself a reasonably priced period property in some of the lower price areas (try Clewer Hill or Oakley Green to start with) then you can use this as a stepping stone. I know the appeal is lower in these areas but the fact remains that the price difference between West Windsor and other "less desirable" areas is negligible. Last time I checked it was virtually identical with many areas of Slough. Although bargains are few and far between in today's market, I think you still see some good deals here and there. As a long term investment, I think Windsor will continue to outperform its neighbours- especially if they get the transportation links sorted out. Since Eton is an olympic venue in 2012 I would anticipate some improvements in this area in the next few years.
  5. That's fine as they long as they look at new jobs created at the same time & try to keep it in perspective with the total size of the working population.
  6. Just to resurrect this one. I've had a Mortgage with Intelligent Finance for the past 4 years and I am very happy with them. While I could have got a more competitive deal on traditional mortgages, the main reason I stuck with them is the convenience. I moved abroad 2 years ago and have been renting the property since then. Key benefits for me are the ability to make regular overpayments over the internet and borrow extra money at short notice and with no hassle. I did do a check with an independent broker six months back but the basic conclusion was that in my position there weren't a lot of benefits (being overseas, potentially wanting to sell in the next two years etc. etc.). Do I have savings worth 20% of my mortgage? No, not exactly- more like 10-15% at any period but I have managed to pay off around 15% of the mortgage in a very short space of time- this equates to something like paying the mortgage off 4 years early. It may be psychological but this is something that is very satisfying and encourages you to save more. Agree that it only makes sense if you are able to spend within your means and if you can make regular contributions to your savings or mortgage overpayments. Fortunately I'm in this category and hope to stay this way even if I return to the UK.
  7. I started another thread on Windsor & Maidenhead not realising this was already out here. Having lived in Windsor (central & west), Stoke Poges, Chalfont St Peter, Gerrards Cross and also Oxford suburbs, I moved abroad 2 years ago. My parents and several family members live in Chorleywood (South Herts). This has given me a bit of perspective on what is good and bad about the SL4 region. Here's my thoughts... Pluses Good transport links - yes I know everyone says it but you don't really appreciate it till you live in an area where the transport sucks. Airport connections are the best & most competitive in Europe. Good Schools - if you want or have kids this is a big advantage for this area. Proximity to London- Lots of employment opportunity. Negatives Environmental Pollution- It really is bad. Combination of air/water quality and noise is apalling. Housing Affordability- If you didn't get on the ladder before 2001 you're basically screwed. Unfortunately this seems to be the case with most of the UK and Europe. Problem is that our salaries in the UK are much lower than many of our european neighbours and cost of living is higher. Additional comments on Windsor- aircraft noise in central Windsor is far worse than West Windsor, Ascot, Bracknell etc. This is made doubly bad by the poor noise insulation of the Victorian properties. On the plus side it has the great park, long walk, good restaurants, ok train connections (though could be better), and of course the castle. Basically Windsor has a good image and lots of pluses which probably give it a bit of an edge over some of its neighbours. Sorry but its true. When we moved from West to Central windsor in 2001 we did look at Maidenhead, Ascot and Bracknell. Reasons we didn't move to those places. Traffic- I worked in Slough and the transport time doubled when you moved further out. Basically if you're driving from Ascot you have to go through the Windsor bottleneck. From Maidenhead you have the A4 bottleneck. Entertainment- Basically there is nothing to do in Ascot. Maidenhead is a little better but its a bit yob-ish. Environment- Great Park, Long walk, Riverside are fantastic places to go for walks. You just don't have this in other places. In Bracknell area you pretty much have to drive everywhere as it is so spread out. On balance, if I were returning to the area, now I have a kid I might be tempted to re-look at Bracknell area as we could get a bigger house and garden than we currently have but really would prefer to stay in Windsor for the schools.
  8. Thanks for your feedback. Interesting comment about the pricing vs London- it challenged me to do a little research of my own. I had a look at average price of terraced properties in the closest three London postcode districts on upmystreet.com sold this year (Hanwell & Ealing- W7, W13, W5). Here is what I found. Average price of Terraced, freehold property: Windsor SL4 £320,538 Hanwell W7 £308,230 Ealing W13 £327,692 Ealing W5 £353,559 It looks like prices in Windsor are fairly consistent with outer London then. Given that prices in Ealing rose by a modest 2.6% in the past year- compared with 1.1% for the Royal Borough, I would argue that there is still growth potential. Even more interesting are the growth numbers for some of the neighbouring London districts: Hammersmith & Fulham 13.5% Richmond 8.9% Given this, I think I'm going to risk it a little longer. Have a look at this link on the BBC if you don't believe me: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/in_d...html/houses.stm
  9. I own a house in Windsor not too far from the town centre- 3 bed terraced. Bought at 220K in 2001. Subsequently did it up and converted the loft. Got overseas assignment in May 2004 so I tried selling it then. Put it on the market at 330K. Didn't sell at asking price (offer at 320K) so I decided to rent. Have had good tenants- getting 1150 PCM- covers the mortgage and then some. So I've had 2 years of renting the house, slowly paying off the mortgage. Thing is in the past 2 years prices seem to be rather static. Might have moved up to 350K but a lot less than in previous years. Looking from abroad, it seems like the house market has almost maxed out but not really in danger of crashing just yet. Interest rates remain low, economy is stable etc. etc. At the moment I'm thinking of hanging on to the house for another year and then selling in Spring 07. If I were a serious investor I might have considered selling a couple of years ago and buying in an area with more growth potential but I didn't. With prices in London continuing to rise at higher rates than the rest of the country I figure in next 12 months Windsor will benefit from the overspill of those priced out of the London market. IMO If a crash happens I think it will be the result of a global economic trough (starting with crash in US property market) rather than a local financial crisis. I reckon we're still a year off from this however. Any Windsor locals have an opinion on this?
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