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Austin Allegro

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Everything posted by Austin Allegro

  1. Unfortunately with this property the right of way can't be fenced off because it would mean blocking out most of the light from the sitting room. It sounds like you did the right thing but in this case, the house is actually quite overpriced in comparison with similar properties. Asking price is also about 20% in addition to what it sold for three years ago.
  2. I guess there's always the potential of neighbour disputes with small terraces. Also, the neighbours have access rights through both the front and back gardens of the property, from some sort of covenant (quite common in old terraces apparently) which doesn't thrill me too much.
  3. I've seen a mid-terrace cottage which ticks all the boxes. The only downside is one of the immediate neighbouring houses is in pretty poor condition, ie overgrown garden with junk in it, bits falling off the house, broken unmended window etc. The chap who lives there seemed reasonably normal and polite when I said hello to him - he seems a rather frail elderly gentleman and may not be physically able to do much to the house, but my concern would be things like party wall/chimneystack/drains/trees issues etc. Any thoughts/experience etc?
  4. The UK is a terrible place to live if you still believe hard work = good lifestyle. That was the norm for most of the twentieth century but by the 21st that went out of the window. It's not such a bad place if you're willing and able to opt out of the consumer madness and live frugally.
  5. Do you mean to tell me Luton is actually a town as well as an airport? You'll be telling us people live somewhere called 'Heathrow' next!
  6. The problem of British education is that it has reached the end game of socialism, which is absolute dependence on the state. There is no point doing well at school because the state will provide from cradle to grave, so why bother bettering yourself? Contrast this with somewhere like India (where I briefly taught English) where children will literally sneak into schools they are not enrolled in, in the hope of learning something, because an education can mean the difference between living a decent life or starving in a mud hut. I too support the lowering of the school leaving age to 14. Academically from what I can see most people in Britain don't develop much beyond that age anyway. Exams and assessment from 11 to sift out the academically minded from the rest. Get the practical/technical ones into trade apprenticeships, technical schools etc where they are paid and can be sacked if they step out of line. Military style boot camps for those who don't comply. Of course it will never happen, as everyone's 'equal' these days. However, there are some hopeful signs such as technical schools for 14-19 year olds run along industry lines being set up.
  7. During the bit where she is sitting in the tiny bathtub crying, I laughed but also felt sorry for her. I went through pretty similar experiences in the London rental market and that was over a decade ago. Lord knows what it's like now.
  8. I do wonder what aggressive young men will find to do with their time if we get automated cars. How will they be able to tool up and down the north Circular every night in their modded up, matt black Subarus at 9,000 rpm? How will Terry the Sales Rep be able to tailgate people on the motorway and flash his lights at them if they fail to get out of his way? How will the Kensington Mummies be able to show off their debt without the latest 4x4?
  9. You have to remember that these changes do not occur overnight. Big changes happen over the course of one or two generations. Take phones for example. For most of its history for most of its users in Britain, the telephone was something in a box on the corner of the street that you used occasionally when it wasn't worth writing a letter. (remember those?) Then it became the norm to have a phone in the house, and Bob Hoskings told us we should all be using it more. Then, you could have a phone in your pocket! Tell someone in 1940 that by 1990 that it would be normal for everyone to have a phone in the house and they wouldn't have believed you. Tell someone in 1980 that by 2010 everyone would have a phone in their pocket, again, similar disbelief. It'll be the same with driverless cars. Look at all the little changes that have already happened towards automation. Power steering, cruise control, ABS, satnav, laser parking guides, auto stop, stop/start, etc. The one-upmanship, envy, snobbery and greed endemic in car ownership will just get transferred to something else, probably, as someone pointed out, detachable pods for a transport system, or perhaps 'first class' and 'second class' travel routes, etc.
  10. Air bnb seems to me to be approaching global bubble levels. I suspect it will either: a. be clamped down on massively by the authorities, or, b. reach saturation point so that it is no longer worth doing.
  11. Thanks - what's the problem with Walton though? It's always seemed quite nice and quiet when I've been there, a slightly downmarket version of Frinton, but without the real chavviness of Clacton.
  12. Some people do manage it though. Obviously it's difficult, because the system is set up for it to be difficult. If all the slaves could just walk off the plantation, there would be no slavery left. I suppose it can be done in a slightly lesser way with children. Eg, someone I know 'downsized' their family home to a very small 2 1/2 bed house, got rid of their car and just used the van from their company, etc. The kids seem just as happy as they were in their big McMansion beforehand.
  13. 'Debt is the slavery of the free' - Publilius Syrius. I don't write that lightly. It's absolutely true that debt is a form of modern slavery. First, there was traditional agrarian slavery, in various forms, up until the 1860s in developed countries. Then came industrialised proletarian wage slavery and indentured servitude. Finally, we got 'freedom' through universal suffrage, welfare states etc but slavery was re-instituted, ever so stealthily, in the form of consumer debt. In fact it's so subtle that most people don't realise it. Modern PC Britain likes to weep and wail over the black slaves, despite the British Empire emancipating them in 1838, yet the average modern British office worker or social justice warrior undergraduate would laugh if you told him he is just as much in hock to his masters as they were. At least those who have eyes to see, can still opt out of the system.
  14. Excellent points. I've done something similar myself, 'semi-retiring' at 39. I agree that this is why housing is kept expensive. I don't think any one group or individual sat down to create this conspiracy, but its something that has been growing since the sell off of council housing in the 80s. It's the dark side of Mrs Thatcher's dream of a property owning democracy. Are you familiar with the website Mr Money Mustache? It's intended for people like ourselves and has lots of interesting information about early retirement, albeit from a US perspective. The key is, 'be frugal and free'. If you can set up an online business or invest to give yourself passive income, you could spend 11 months of the year living in a holiday camp in a chalet or static caravan, camp wild (in Scotland) or live as a continuous cruiser on the canals, doing temporary work to top up your passive income. Charles Long's 'How to Survive without a Salary' has good info on this. Of course, this makes having a wife and kids a bit tricky, but I think it is do-able if your wife is on board (although good luck with finding a woman who can see through the consumer-slave bullsh(t of modern Britain.
  15. Thanks, I'm assuming you mean Bradwell? If so then yes, I'm aware of it. The nearest town, Leiston, looks pretty grotty and I'm avoiding that area of the county.
  16. I'm looking for places to live between, roughly, Maldon and Harwich on the Essex coast, along the route of the A12. My ideal place would be a detached or end of terrace cottage with garden, preferably within walking distance of some shops and a pub, with a railway station as a bonus. Max price £170k Any suggestions? I know to avoid Jaywick on Sea but that's the only place I've seen that's a no-no so far. Places that look good include: Walton on the Naze St Osyth Brightlingsea Maldon Mersey Island Manningtree/Mistley
  17. It seems to me that we are going back to the era before cheap mortgages and mass social housing, when even relatively well off people lived in rented rooms in private lodgings/boarding houses/private hotels etc. In the old days, single people lived in digs somewhere quite central, but when they got married and had children they would be able to get a mortgaged house or perhaps a council house somewhere a bit further out. My own father did this in the 1960s; he lived fairly centrally in London in a boarding house but when he got married, moved out to the suburbs and bought a terraced house costing about 2x his annual salary. The difference is that now, there is nowhere affordable left to 'move out to' because prices have reached maximum levels everywhere where working people actually want to live.
  18. The only trouble is that was when wages were on average one farthing a week.
  19. One thing I've noticed about 'Spoons is that the staff are always polite and helpful. One barman even spent a long time discussing beers with me and offering me samples etc when he had absolutely no need to. By contrast a lot of high-end wine bar type places in London seem to specialise in lackadaisical, offhand staff. Is it because the Spoons staff like their jobs, or do they have a lot of secret shoppers? I know Mr Wetherspoon goes round his pubs checking on them quite often.
  20. I've heard of people who save huge amounts of money by living cheaply in holiday chalets in the UK for most of the year (which are cheap because you can't live all year round in them) but then spending 2 or 3 months of winter abroad cheaply in Spain, Portugal, Malta, etc where you can get amazing cheap long term deals. So one benefit to put to your wife is financial.
  21. They may have branched out into running refugee camps. I hear they're big business in that part of the world these days.
  22. I find it odd that two people can be frugal enough to save huge amounts of money, and yet not be intelligent enough to realise, along the way, that if they can live frugally for many years, then they don't need to live in London as cubicle-slaves paying a huge mortgage. After a few years of living frugally to save for a deposit on a flat in London, my whole mindset changed and I realised the futility of the work/consume/debt cycle.
  23. Yes this is my approach...save more, spend less and create more income streams.
  24. I guess it's because in the BBC mindset, stock market = champagne swilling elitist capitalists, but housing market = roofs over hard working families and extra money for teachers etc via BTL.
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