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crash-and-burn

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About crash-and-burn

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  1. I know nothing about economics, so I'm sure somebody can enlighten me, but surely Europe isn't totally immune to what's happening in the world markets? At some point won't the sticky mess creep across Europe and have the euro tumbling (even if not to the same degree) and as a consequence they'll be some sort of balancing out, or seeming 'recovery' of the pound or dollar in the years to come? I was fortuante in a few respects in my very recent move across the channel, as I only needed £1500 to get me started, and cover my initial expenses until I started saving in euros. If I'd commited myself to the purchase of a property too I would be one very miserable individual.
  2. I'd go into the wild and live on a magic bus in Alaska, living off the land and wildlife, but avoiding the poisonous wild sweet pea.
  3. Problem is, even when they get a certain price, they don't know all the in's and out's of how law and tax works in that country. I was reading a sad post yesterday, although this person would have saved themselves much grief simply through hiring an accountant or doing some simple research on the Net: http://www.totalfrance.com/france/forum/vi...pic.php?t=40303
  4. Or have the frontage as a tool shed above ground, but with a secret opening at the back, which leads down into a subterranean dwelling.
  5. Because Munro I know plenty of people who have bought run down terraced houses (on low wages) in the past 3 or 4 years, and they're facing some of the same hardships and difficulties as some of the people back then. I appreciate the situation is tough now, but the market seems to be going through a readjustment phase. All we can do is adjust to circumstances, and either rent and weather the storm, buy and be in debt, or emmigrate.
  6. Yeah right! If they're that desperate they can pop out some sprogs and go live on benefits and get given a house. Believe it or not, there were moments in history where things were not all roses.
  7. I'm 31 and my parents found it desparately difficult to get onto the housing market a year or two before I was born. Just a year or two previously many of the terraced houses in Norwich in those days had been around 3000 pounds, but then had gone up to around 4000 (a lot of money back then). They tried to get 100 pounds knocked off, because even though they were both working, they couldn't quite afford it. In the end they did get it (although the owner didn't budge on the asking price), but were mortgaged up to the eyeballs. They couldn't carpet the floor, they had to wallpaper the ceiling temporarily because they were moldy, and they had constant dripping leaks. The toilet was at the bottom of the garden, and there was no bathroom, so they had to go to their parents for a bath. Financially they couldn't afford to have kids, but they reckoned if you ponder too long about the finances, there would never be a good time to have children, and at 24/25 they were old compared to most, when contemplating starting a family. I think it's all too easy to assume everyone had it easier back in the day. My folks are still paying off the last of their mortgage now - they didn't take out the best of policies (they had an endowment mortgage shortfall).
  8. Whoa, lots of replies. Thanks again everyone. I certainly do love the rustic charm of France and when I do buy a house, I'm thinking it might be down in the Pyrenees. Fortunately I'm not out in any of the dodgy suburbs of Paris, but in the posh (yet slightly boring) 16th arrondissement - the metro's just outside the house so I can get to the Eiffel Tower (I only use it as a mark of reference because it's what most people associate with Paris) in 5 minutes or so, or walk it in 20. I don't think I'll ever quite warm to the Parisian mentality (I recently had a waiter tell me to 'vamoosh' because I was blocking up an aisle whilst waiting to get back some change from the waitress who'd short-changed me), but I look forward to the challenge of speaking the language fluently and embracing a change in culture. I certainly would never stick two symbolic fingers back up towards the UK - I'll always remain fond of it. I also plan to write up my adventures, including my experience getting through all the red tape, but I don't think I'm allowed to mention any websites in these forums. I paid a visit to the chamber of commerce in January (which is a very daunting building!), and a visit to a French bank, but still have much to sort and organise.
  9. Thanks all! It's nearly past my bed time, but stopped by and would like to thank you for the good wishes. I'll be moving my own stuff (I only have a bedroom's worth of material to take (still a lot unfortunately! I collect junk) but the professional european removers want 1000 - 1300 pounds to do it (and I got 4 quotes). Seemed like a no brainer to do it myself (I'll eat those words when I've driving a large van round the Arc de Triomphe roundabout in a LWB van). I'm driving back to the UK to dump the van and am getting a flight from East Midlands back out to Paris. I don't like polluting (although I hate all this 'carbon-footprint' baloney), but the flight's £2.04 (£20 when you include tax and a debit card fee) - the airport's 10 miles from where I'm currently living in England; I can't see why I'd ever use Eurostar. Like I say, I will check in from time to time. We have the Internet at the apartment - seems to be faster and cheaper than the service here in the UK, plus free calls to the UK any time of the day or night (thanks to Darty). I'll keep an eye peeled for La Monge market on Rue Mouffetard - haven't been there before.
  10. I've been following this forum for at least two years now, and despite some of the occasional melodramas, I've found it extremely informative and educational. It's also been a source of solace when a majority of press readers (my own accountant included) laughed at the prospect that houses were due for a downturn (along with the economy in general). As a person with no head for figures of finances, it was simple commonsense and a little insight into the cyclic nature of markets that made it an inevitability in my eyes. Anyway, as circumstances have taken the reigns on my future, I find myself emmigrating to Paris in a month's time. It's not that I want to live in Paris (albeit a beautiful city in my opinion), but a long-term relationship, alongside my flexibility in where I can work, is seeing me move into the heart of the city. I've spent the past few years of my life renting a small terraced house and saving well - I always thought I'd be a FTB in Britain once the madness subsided, but I will now be much more privileged in that I can live mortgage and rent free in a Paris apartment, effectively courtesy of my girlfriend's gran, who lives a few hours south of the capital. Even with these changes in circumstance I will still follow the HPC forum. I'd like to see a correction here in Britain for all those screwed over by our ridiculous predicament, if not only for the sake of my younger siblings who scrape by with only pennies to spare, despite (or because of) a university education. One day I will be a first time buyer (possibly at the statistically age of 33 or 34 - still a few years left, but not many!), although possibly not here in the UK, so I won't be too free of having the mortgage noose around my neck - hopefully it won't be tied too tight by then. I have realistic expectations about my transition and don't expect it to be a bed of roses, and I'm sure I'll have some pangs for the homeland, but not too many. I want to wish my fellow Brits at this forum all the best. May house prices continue to tumble along with anti-social behaviour (the latter may be impossible, but I've a feeling the former is a good step closer!). À bientôt
  11. I'll be mortgage free as of April, but only because my girlfriend has her gran's old place whilst her gran is living out in the countryside for the rest of her days (she's 84 and is fit and lively as a fiddle). No idea what the long term will bring. Neither of us earn a fortune and would have a big mortgage if we weren't in this very fortunate position, however at some point we'd like to start a family and will need a larger place of our own, so within the next 5 years we will have to take out a mortgage and buy a bigger house probably somewhere in the south of France. I can't think we'll be permitted to sell the Paris apartment, but can rent it out, so that should also help us out a great deal. I'm sure come April I would normally be feeling the mortgage/rent free relief, but to be honest, the planning and organisation for living and working in another country is overriding that just at the moment. I also need to save hard to brace myself for an inevitable mortgage several years down the road. I'd imagine I'll be around 35 before I get to buy my first house.
  12. I caught some of this and thought they were a thoroughly horrible, snooty couple. No wonder Kirsty thought she could relate to her - they're both a bit up themselves. That 200k cupboard was incredible! I hired a long wheel-based removal van the other day and the interior of the van was larger than this place. How depressing!
  13. I like Grand Designs, but think that was probably the worst build I've seen yet - I'd be so depressed if it was mine, and it was wholly inappropriate to its surroundings. No wonder they had problems selling that Georgian house with that monstrosity in the back garden. If I was in their shoes, and wanted a better lifestyle I would have sold the house, and found a nice Georgian house half the size, and I would still have plenty of room, probably no mortgage, and would live in much better style in a well built secure home.
  14. I have 8, including 3 in France, and 2 paypal accounts as well (10 if you include these), although if I have any money in these, I transfer it to the savings account right away. It is a pain keeping track of everything, and I hate accounts, but it's a position I've had to adopt.
  15. I went to Uni, got a 2.1 degree, was unemployed for a year (partly due to my despondency about work and the nature of work), and my first job paid 10k a year (that was in 2001). Despite that I still paid into a pension, and saved hard. By 24 I got a better job that started on 17k and went up a bit after a year. I'm now 30, earn a very average salary (am self-employed these days), and spend plenty of holidays and flying around each year, and still save hard and pay into a pension and have a very healthy level of savings. I can understand when people want to go out and spend on themselves now and then, but I don't have much sympathy for anybody who lives beyond their means and gets themself into debt due to their own short-sightedness.
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