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Austin Allegro

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Everything posted by Austin Allegro

  1. Haha good one! I stopped watching 'Enders years ago. Badly written, atrociously acted claptrap pushing the BBC's social(ist) agenda for all it's worth. Mind you, it's nothing new - the Archers was started in 1947 specifically to push government propaganda on agriculture.
  2. That's £24.62 per person per week, which I'd say is a bit steep! - I spend about £12-15 a week on my groceries and I'm single so don't have the economies of scale, but I don't eat much meat, which helps keep the cost down.
  3. My thoughts exactly. Higher education is, to my mind, mainly an industry designed to employ academics and all the peripheral employees - porters, cleaners, bartenders, booksellers etc. The more students there are, the lower the unemployment statistics - this is one of the reasons the government wants to raise the school leaving age to 18. It is also a good way of attracting foreign money into the country. I was fortunate enough to go to university when tuition fees were not charged, but I had to provide living expenses which I got from working. I don't claim to be super intelligent (I got a 2:1) but there were a lot of people at my university who just did not seem to have a clue why they were there or what a university was for, and who spent most of their time kicking footballs against the walls of their halls of residence. So if tuition fees help keep out people like that, it will be a good thing, but conversely there are likely to be poor but bright people who will also be held back.
  4. Another great episode! For those who didn't tune in, it was about a very large Irish lady who earned about 20,000 euros a year but was around 50,000 euros in debt, to the point where she was being threatened with prison by some lenders (didn't know they still had debtors' prisons - is it an Irish thing?) Her main expenditure was on designer clothing for her 6 year old daughter, who had a different designer swimsuit for every day of a two week holiday! She also bought large amounts of food, most of which got thrown away (though a fair bit must have been eaten too...) The two presenters (can't remember their names) managed to get her to curb her spending, but she fell off the wagon big time and spent 700 euros on a birthday party for her daughter (she gave the usual spiel about her kid not going without etc etc) I missed the end as I had to turn off when that baldy presenter started droning on about it all being caused by her not being loved enough as a child (he says the same thing every week). The lady presenter is always pretty clued up though.
  5. Aye. Many children I knew when growing up had dads who had sold their kidneys - sometimes even both of them - to pay for a one room studio flat. And there was none of this wasting money on jumble sales or buying shoes from Shoe Express every five years like young people today - you went with cardboard soles or you went without. And if these kids didn't spend all their time on the internet in public libraries trying to keep warm, maybe they'd earn more with a second job. Young people today see actors on Eastenders living in squalid bedsits and think everyone's entitled to one....
  6. Indeed...I have a very dear friend who, up until recently, lived what appeared to be the life of Reilly: new expensive car, skiing holidays, etc etc...in the last few months however he's been cutting back more and more and was talking about selling his car etc. I got started on a rant about people living off MEWing...and he dropped the bombshell that that is what he's been doing - and he's MEWed £250,000! OK so some of that is being ploughed into developing his business, but still, I was in shock!
  7. Rightmove had a classic EA euphemism when describing a 'studio'. It said it had a 'family bathroom'. I assumed this meant a big bathroom with a tub big enough for washing two children in or something...but it turned out it meant you had to share a bathroom with the family that owned the house!!!!
  8. I've read about that village, and whilst I wouldn't go that far (I suspect the political views of the residents would annoy me) I certainly do like things like the Good Life and lead a fairly frugal urban life, and eventually hope to have a more self sufficient life in the countryside. The problem is it's very difficult to do this due to the ridiculously high cost of property in the UK. Even to buy a basic smallholding in somewhere like Wales or Scotland would cost well over £100,000. There's also our high population. EG, it's all very nice Dick Strawbridge or whatever his name is tapping into a stream for electricity, but what happens when a few people upstream decide to do that as well? I don't worry about the super rich, to be honest. What people forget (which was pointed out in the book 'The Millionaire Next Door') is that those with high net worth tend not to live like the Beckhams - they live frugally. What happens if/when Mr Beckham's earning potential goes down? (his wife has none to speak of at the moment anyway) He'll still want to live the same lifestyle, but will have a dwindling pot of money to do it with.
  9. Whilst Rigsby may have been a terrible landlord, he wasn't a BTL landlord - he was an owner occupier (he had the bedsit downstairs from Miss Jones, if you recall) - and I think in one episode he said he had inherited the property from his father. I don't think he had any other properties either. 'Miss Jones, er...you do, er, have a, a, a, bikini, Miss Jones, do you?'
  10. House prices are crashing! Don't panic! House prices are crashing! Don't panic! Mr Mainwaring, I'd like to volunteer to take my bayonet and stick it up that house price bubble! The VIs don't like it up em Mr Mainwaring, they don't you know! I remember in the last house price bubble sir... Repeat ad infinitum for 83 episodes...
  11. A lot of donks on that site but some interesting points raised that I'm not quite sure about. Would appreciate some explanations! 1. Lots of HYS posters saying it's nothing to do with interest rates, it's all supply and demand... 2. Some saying that if rates go up, people can't afford to sell (negative equity) therefore fewer houses on the market, therefore higher prices 3. Some saying HPC won't benefit FTBs 'waiting in the wings' because there are so many of them waiting, therefore HPC = higher demand My brain hurts!!
  12. Just remembered another one: went to see a studio flat in Archway with a nice sized kitchen. It had a big space for a washing machine with all the necessary plumbing fixtures etc. ME: Ah, I see there's space for a washing machine. Would you be able to provide one? Chinese LL: (slightly shiftily) Ah, no. ME: Oh well - that's not a problem, I can always get one myself. CLL: (panicked) No, no, you can't, it make mess on floor. Just use launderette across street. ME: But you have all the fittings, there must have been one there recently CLL: No, it make mess on floor, you can't use. ME: So if I rent this flat, you won't let me use a washing machine, is that correct? CLL: Yes - just use launderette across street. ME: Thank you. I'll let you know.
  13. LOL! you may joke but I can just imagine the property pages in the papers saying things like 'Wayne Chavling of Premier Properties, Acton, brushed off the rate rise. 'In a way it's a good thing, as this will sort out serious buyers from those unwilling to make the effort to get on the ladder...blah blah blah...prices increasing by 30% in London...blah blah blah...'
  14. London Lite newspaper yesterday had an interesting VI spin article . It examined the new 'fashion' for 'de-hubbing'. This is basically a trendy term for living miles and miles outside London! It showed smiling young couples buying properties in Oxford, Wivenhoe and Leatherhead, like it was some amazing new concept. Everyone was happy and smiling - long expensive commutes were glossed over as being a necessary part of getting on the 'ladder'. Eg two bed flat in Oxford (at least 90 mins commute and c.£3K a year in fares I would think) bought for £172 - 'it felt like a snip' LOL! Included the usual guff from estate agents about booming prices etc. It was almost as if Kenny Craig off Little Britain was trying to hypnotise people 'look into my eyes...house prices are still affordable...even if you live 200 miles from work...they'r not overpriced...3-2-1, you're back in the room!'
  15. You can laugh all you want but as armies go, the British are probably one of the best, being a small, highly trained volunteer force. A lot of European armies have moved to this model instead of the older system of large, poorly trained conscript armies. I did feel sorry for 'our boys' especially the RSM who had to stop the Afghan soldiers trying to shoot the Taliban prisoner. Then after risking their lives to save a bombed out village they're told to pull out and leave it to the enemy! One thing puzzled me though, I thought British troops were not permitted to wear beards, for hygiene reasons and because they affect the seal on a respirator. But a lot of the soldiers had full beards, not just stubble. Is this so that they blend in with the locals?
  16. "Everything she said sounded like she was blaming me." There, there. It's not your fault, it's society's.
  17. Surely we are only relying on fossil fuels now because they are more cost-effective than most alternatives. The harder oil becomes to find, the more there will be investment in alternatives. It won't necessarily be easy - foreign holidays and private car ownership will probably become a thing of the past, but our society has only got used to those in the last forty years or so - but I don't think we'll turn into the world of Mad Max.
  18. I was shown a 'studio' and the agent pointed out the shared lav on the landing. ME: Oh, I assumed as it was a 'studio', it would be self contained. HIM: Don't worry. The other tenants are Japanese - they're a very clean people.
  19. I used to live in the next street, Maygrove Road, about seven years ago. At that time it was an ok area although the atmosphere did change depending on whether you were on the east side (near Kilburn) or the west side (near West Hampstead). You'll find West Hampstead far more pleasant. I had no major problems there, there were one or two chavvy kids hanging around but nothing serious, it was a mixture of well off professionals and bedsits mostly. I used to regularly walk home late at night from Kilburn tube station and never had any problems. I was back there a year or so ago and it hadn't changed much. Hope this helps.
  20. Sung to the theme of 'Only Fools and Horses'. Stick a quarter mil in me pocket, I'll fetch the house keys from the van. Cos if you want the best 'uns, but you don't ask questions, Then brother, I'm your man. 'Cos who actually buys them is a mystery, It's like the changin' of the seasons, and the tides of the sea. But here's the one that's drivin' me cra-zy, who buys these dumps for 10 times average salary? La-la-la. La-lala-la. La-la-la. La-lala-la. We’ve got some ex-council pied a terres for buy to rent millionaires There’s a crack whore next door but there’s a lovely wood floor Don’t faint, it looks quaint, with a lick of cream paint And if you’re short of money, what to do?, Why don’t you MEW MEW MEW MEW MEW MEW MEW No tenants’ rights, no sleep at night, no money back, no guarantee, Black or white, rich or poor, we'll inflate prices even more God bless HPI, Viva HPI, Long live HPI, Long live HPI Lie to buy, HPI, Lie to buy, HPI….(repeat to fade)
  21. Yep, once everybody moves to Oyster, the fares will just shoot up again, plus TfL will know all our movements! (For 'security' purposes, of course). It's now a year since I decided enough was enough. I now cycle to work and to most social occasions. It's actually quicker than the tube most of the time. It costs nothing and the bike paid for itself after about six months. However, I am sure Ken is plotting as we speak to find a way to make money out of cyclists - perhaps he will set up oyster barriers on every road into London (for 'security' purposes of course).
  22. Yes, and anyone earning less than 50k is just lazy and should consider working harder/getting educated etc...
  23. I bow to this lady's superior wisdom: Whilst we want to have discipline in schools, we certainly don't want to be bringing up a generation of Nazi youth I am sure I could never have come up with something as dazzling in its insight. She is well worth her salary - in fact let's double it!
  24. The only advantage of the 'old skool' landlords, as far as I can see, is that most of them are in it for the long term and less likely to kick you out than the BTL laminate-and-spotlight brigade who realise they've got to sell off because they did their maths wrong... Anyway, just remembered some more. Got shown round a TINY (about 9' by 7') 'studio' in West Hampstead for something daft like £160 a week. The landlord said 'this property benefits from a microwave and...(proudly) a chest of drawers!' (opened drawer on 12 quid Argos reject laminate glue job to demonstrate). A batty old lady showed me a 'studio' (a single room) in her house in Highgate. When I asked why the previous tenants had left, she said 'I broke my wrist, so they all had to go!' When I started to write out a deposit cheque to a landlord, he stopped me and said 'er...could you make it out to my other name'?
  25. For a bit of lighthearted fun about the mad crapness of the rental market, how about a thread on the funny rubbish that Landlords come out with, anecdotes etc...some of the ones I've heard from various landlords/ladies.... 1. ME (on phone to LL about a 'studio'). What sort of size is it? HER: Look, I don't know a lot about it. ME: Does it have a kitchen, for example? HER: Well, look, you'll just have to come and see it. ME: Does it have a washing machine? HER: (shouting) IT'S JUST A SINGLE ROOM! (slams phone down) 2. LL: I'd like the £500 rent in cash, if you please. You see, I need it for petrol (I assume he travelled around in a tank) 3. ME (looking around self contained attic studio flat in family house). It's very nice. But this door's locked. What's in there? LL: Oh, that's a little study. ME Oh great, that will be useful for me to work in. LL: Erm, well, you can't use it, as my son will be using it when he's back from university 4. ME (on phone to prospective LL) OK, I'll meet you at your office to pay the deposit. Where is your office? LL. Erm...just meet me at Southgate tube station, on platform 4. 5. LL (staring intently at my crotch) I was hoping for a female tenant, to be honest. 6. ME Is it alright to hang up pictures? LL (in shock) What do you want to do that for?? 7. ME I'm afraid the washing machine's broken (referring to rusty, second hand machine) LL (angrily) It can't be! That machine was NEW! ME I'm sure it was, at one time
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