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Sean

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  1. My wife is a hospital dentist. Qualified just over 15 years ago. It then took her about 10 years to become a consultant and earn a decent wage. Works full time 5 days a week and lots of paperwork in evenings, often past midnight. Very senior. Earns about £80k gross and no chance of big rises that I can see. She has lots of professional costs to maintain including CPD which she often pays for herself (over £3000 out of own pocket so far this year). Took her 10 years to pay off her student debts as the course was 5 years long and the summer breaks were too short to earn much. She drives a 6 year old crappy diesel. She is brighter and harder working than anyone I know. She feels well paid for doing a useful job and would never consider going private. These are all facts so I dont understand some of the numbers in this thread. Meantime, I'm not as well qualified as her, work in insurance, have an easy job and get paid more. I think she is underpaid and more important to society than me. As for her private dentist friends, well, that is different. They do the job for the money, they get lots of it, they drive very nice cars and they are very good at golf. They dont do as good a job as nhs dentist because they measure their success on money rather than good dentistry. Not to worry, the insurance companies seem happy to pay for it and once a year most of us tick the right boxes when we're asked whether or not we want private dental insurance. I dont.
  2. Its a while since I've logged on. Been too busy sorting out disastrous investments elsewhere. Funnily enough my worst investment ended up being my best - it went bust and I got everything back plus 6% interest. Funny how it works out. All that money was originally destined for 2 villas on VVT8 until I pulled out at the last minute due to lack of deposit guarantee. Popcorn and co, good luck with your investments. I haven't been following closely but the photos on various websites are incredible when I compare them against the sand I saw in 2006.
  3. I was in a similar position (though worse) in 1993 - small flat, crappy area, met wife, kids coming, mortgage £61.5k, flat valued at £38k. I took on a 2nd job, saved like hell, moved out of the flat and rented it out, bought somewhere else bigger in a cheaper and nicer area using only my wife's salary. It seemed like the only option to me at the time. The other option of course was to rent somewhere else but at the time the rental yields were so high that it felt cheaper to buy. I do not envy people going through this now. It was hell.
  4. So here's a question, how come my son's current school teacher describes the new private school as full of kids that are "rich and thick" but the new school is way way ahead in the exam league tables despite being full of thick kids. On top of this, the new school is the best around for most sports. Surely there is a positive somewhere.
  5. I could write a lot of things here regarding my choice of choosing private education for my eldest but will bite my lip, mostly to protect him. Things are complicated and very personal (me working long hours, recent death of his mum, autism,...). I am very aware of the potential bullying and I HATE snobbery to the extent that I look down on snobs, if you know what I mean. He will get a better education although I doubt it will be worth the £200k extra. Since posting on here this morning and reading this thread, I've decide to say no to the first ski trip. Let them talk. In fact, I've got an older really crappy 2nd car, might take that to the parents evening this week. The other parents will of course get their Aston Martins out of the pawnbrokers for the day.
  6. My eldest has just been accepted into private school. A year ago, they wouldn't touch him. This year, the two best ones locally rolled out the red carpet despite me turning up in a dented Ford people carrier. Must say it is a very painful financial experience. Before even starting, I've had to decide on the half-term trip abroad and the ski trip in March as "numbers will be limited". Its all a bit new to me and I can totally see why people are giving notice to pull their kids out when state schools are OK in the area. Its not that my monthly finances have changed (yet!) but the whole economy-house price-employment thing does make you think twice.
  7. Esmerelda, sounds like you did all the right things (such as research, hard work and taking control) and have every chance of making a success of it over the intended timeline. Well done. That's the sort of thing I used to do in the UK when I had the time and when the rental numbers actually made sense. Just as an example, I would always put dummy adverts in Loot and see if the phone rang at the right rental price before I'd even exchanged contracts. In doing so, I made my last UK residential purchase about 7 years ago because it no longer made sense to buy. Going back to Morocco, most of us can't put the time in to renovate our own overseas properties and most of us dont do our research as well as you. I also agree completely that Morocco does not equal Saidia (or any other resort) and would add another comment to that - I work in the pricing of "risk" and if you are talking about property development to insurers the last word they will want to hear is "resort". Your experience when compared with the difficulties being experienced at Saidia is a good example of why that is.
  8. Soup, thanks for the warning. I signed the contracts some time ago and was pretty sure I could sell on at the end and that it was at my choice. Having said that, the amount of paperwork was huge and all in French so I would not be surprised by anything in 11 years time. Probably saying too much here about it as it is a Morocco thread. Rondy, I think you sum up the investment situation well. I too think and hope that the resort will be great. Its just taking longer than expected and the global economy hasn't helped.
  9. Soup, I'm embarrassed to say that the Nimes property is one of two leasebacks I've bought. I find it irritating enough managing an ever-decreasing number of properties in the UK and just decided to go for the easy option. I was completely aware that I was being lazy at the time and paying a premium for the laziness. In some ways, it has worked out OK. I must also admit that I've done a bit of a Dogbox on the investment (ie bought without seeing the site) although I've been to Nimes and things are progressing well. It will be let to students and I hope to convert its use at the end of the term and sell to locals so I bought a parking space too. Re the posting on Saidia thing, I'm not sure what you don't understand so am not sure how to say it differently. Here's another try. When sales were going well, there was a great forum with a wide range of opinions. Now that things are not as positive as before, rightly or wrongly, I get a sense that investors feel it is not right for non-investors to say so. I could be misreading this and am happy to be corrected. Meanwhile, over on the main board, anything goes!
  10. Soup, I am just saying dont be so sensitive. For most people, the main (if not only) decent investment they will ever make is in their home and many of them are openly being negative about the future prices of their homes on this site. Why does posting in the "Overseas property investment" section give you a right to escape the opposite so-called negative opinion? I have investment properties in the UK and France which I am concerned about and I don't think that saying so on here will make that any worse. For example, I reckon my flat in North London will fall by about £50k this year and I overpaid by about €100k on a property in Nimes about 18 months ago. In fact, I decided not to move job recently because I want to sort out my overall LTV and feel a bit more secure first. For me at the moment, its a case of staying on the log. I go to Ireland a lot and last year they bored me senseless about the property market but now when I ask they either dont hear me or answer in whispers. They are too scared to talk about it. Going back to topic, I genuinely believe that the investors in Saidia are terrified of posting negative stuff on here and, if true, it says a lot about the fragilty of the whole thing in the first place. As an investor, I dont expect you to agree.
  11. FWS, I do not agree that most people bought a holiday home rather than an investment. Surely an off-plan investment in Saidia has to qualify as a high risk investment rather than a holiday home purchase just yet. I think you are using the holiday home argument to stop the posters with opposite opinions to you. Even if you are right, so what. Most people buy their main home to live in rather than as an investment but this website is dominated by thousands of posts about how far UK homes will drop in value. This section has no right to be any different. If your purchase is not an investment then dont let it bother you so much. After all, most people have no idea about Saidia and what is really happening there. I visited 2 years ago and was completely blown away by it but that is a long time ago and I have no real sense of progress sense then. I enjoy reading updates from people who have been since and I want to take a holiday there in a year or two. I would say that I am surprised about the LJDF website going into hibernation for quite some time and dont understand why they would do that as communication and progress updates are so important to investors as Saidia is a long way away and not yet practical to visit personally. Can any agents explain this? Dogbox?
  12. We all have a tendency to think the good times will go on forever and then when they turn bad we think the world will end. I agree with the comment that we will only know how good a recent Moroccan property investment really is in a number of years time. It is often commented that we (the UK people) are so small-minded to think that if we are feeling the pinch then the rest of the world is. Obviously, one doesn't follow from the other although there is some connection. What I would say is, yes, 75% of the holidaymakers may end up being French or German but what also matters (to investors) is who has been buying the properties and who will be the secondary buyers? I may be mistaken but I feel that the original marketing of properties has been aimed at UK/Irish investors and that this marketing took place quite successfully when our economy was good, we all felt wealthy and credit was easy. This would have been reflected in the prices we paid. If the secondary market is also to be UK/Irish buyers then it will be interesting to see how we feel in two years time about investing in Morocco. I could be wrong in my assumptions about the original buyers - please put me right someone. Once up and running, the resorts will have a global (or certainly European) appeal and the secondary market buyers will simply be from whoever at the time has the best economy, feels the most wealthy and has the easiest credit. Further, the buyers will be a very different bunch of people too as they will be buying real properties with real rentals and real holiday potential, rather than artist impressions and a range of projections. I could now say that I think the resale prices will be lower in a few years time but to what extent would I be tripping myself up on my opening sentence?
  13. Last month Halifax said the SA index moved from 635.2 in April 07 to 611.8 in April 08, giving an annual fall of 0.9% after smoothing out for short-term fluctuations. Ignoring their smoothing (or fudging of the numbers), the annual fall was actually 3.68%. Oh and did you know that the denominator was changed at the last minute to their advantage in this calculation. So let’s take a look at what the annual fall might be in May 2008. To start with, the index figure for May 2007 was 636.7 (assuming they don’t smooth it of course) so the fall will be starting from a higher point than it did last month. The fall in the SA index over the last 2 months has been from 635.9 to 620.1 to 611.6. Optimistically, if the index only falls to 600 in May 2008 then the annual fall will be 5.76%. More realistically, if Halifax follows the same general trend as Nationwide, the May index will be around 595 and the annual fall should be 6.5%. It will be fascinating to see how Halifax manages to smooth its way out of the next 3 months as the index rises in June, July and August 07 fall out of the system. Just to emphasise how difficult their smoothing task is going to be, if prices fall a further 2.5% a month in each of June, July and August, the annual fall will stand at 14.6%. Having said all this, my prediction is that the monthly fall will be fudged at about 1.5% and they will make up an annual fall of 2% and feel no need to explain it.
  14. Catara, I don't for a minute think your carefully selected comments are simply curious. Equally, Soup, as an exposed investor, doesn't want to be too critical of events at Saidia. I have been surprised at the lack of typical HPCers (who are always on the look out for anything negative on housing) contributing to the Saidia threads. I am very glad that I did not invest in Saidia (although I did invest elsewhere instead and wish I hadn't bothered). My reasons to pull out of Saidia were to do with the lack of bank guarantees and concerns about whether a secondary market would develop in which to sell my property at a reasonable price. I did not see the credit crunch coming, the delays being so severe, the difficulties with Fadesa etc but what has surprised me most is the speed at which normal/amateur investors appear to have ditched overseas property investment as a pastime and can barely be bothered to argue about it any more on forums. This will change in time but for now the name of the game for investors is to hope that their developers can stay in business and that a secondary market then develops for their properties. It was always a risky investment at Saidia but right now (if the prices are still where they were 2 years ago) I think the risks far outweigh the rewards.
  15. Upward, I am familiar with insurance backed guarantees and what they do and don't offer. The right protection should involve escrow plus insurance backing. If you want to paste a few more details in, I'll take a look and get back to you. Chances are though that you will not be able to get hold of enough info for me to say it is "safe". Further, the rating of the insurer is key and I'll be surprised if this is a decent one. Also, the ratings at the moment are nonsense anyway.
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