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Little Miss

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About Little Miss

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  1. I've lived it, and have worked in the housing sector and I think it is a very expensive option, and yes I see it as a con, but only after experience. Despite the buyers percentage of the property that they don't own and pay rent on, being subsidised (I don't know how much the subsidy works out but it can't be much going by the rent levels that are out there on the shared properties), the outgoings are often as high as the 100% equity outright ownership option. The only difference is that many people who move into shared ownership may just fall short of qualifying for the full mortgage and therefore cannot get the funds to purchase the same property without the shared ownership option. Once in residence many realise that their outgoings on shared ownership match, if not exceed what they would have been on the full 100% ownership mortgage. Having some unprofessional HA involved in your home is a noose around the neck that most would prefer not to have. There is a lot of misunderstanding about shared ownership - and that is not surprising as the HA's are pretty poor at selling themselves and are useless in the property market as much as the government is at promoting the schemes with clarity. Shared ownership is a very costly experiment. But shared ownership does give an opportunity for those that want the security to be in what they refer as to their own home but can't get the financing due to their salary levels, and at least gives the opportunity to start paying off some mortgage in the process and hopefully make a bit of money in the process of sale. It's horses for courses, but not a cheap option by any means.
  2. No, that is incorrect - unless the policy has changed shared ownership buyers have the option to pay stamp duty on the equity they purchase, or the whole property. Of course most would be mad to pay stamp duty on the whole property as the chances of them actually being able to afford it, barring a win on the lottery or doubling of salaries is pretty slim.
  3. Shared ownership properties do mostly allow you to have a lodger - the requirement is that the owner must still live in the property - that is the owner cannot rent the property out wholly. Yes, it is a con, it is an expensive way to get first time buyers on the ladder - and the comments on here about it propping up the current market - yes I agree with that 100%. It is this obsession in the UK of buying your own home which drives individuals into these hair brained schemes.
  4. As a daily reader of the Evening Standard, (and as much as I enjoy it), if you are an objective reader you cannot help but notice the growing bias of the Evening Standard to the wealthier groups within the city and of an ongoing concerted effort to spin on the property market. They just love to promote the ever increasingly healthy property market. Lets just consider that The Evening Standard runs a very lucrative property supplement every Wednesday - from which it earns rather a nice income from the various developers and estate agencies in London. Another consideration: the Evening Standard is not interested in printing stories which indicate the stagnating or deteriorating markets and conditions in some of these huge developments they advertise. Is that because they feel it is of no interest to Londoners in general or is it indeed because they may just upset a few of those developers marketing departments and lose valuable income? What is more, a price crash will not affect the very wealthy individuals, nor those properties in the same way as the standard market and standard earners. It needs to be kept in perspective 80% of UK wealth is owned by 20% of individuals, most of those living in London, but now this is complemented by the mega rich oligarchs from Russia and wealthy Indians. The health of the property market in the top value layer is not a gauge to which you can measure the health of the rest of the property market. Food for thought.
  5. Hi there, our mortgage tracker deal just ended a month ago - we have gone for a 5 year fixed rate at 5.34% - we are going to concentrate on making extra payments into that as I think the main thing is to get the debt down as much as possible in an uncertain economy like ours. It is reassuring that you know that you will be able to meet your mortgage payments for the next 5 years without worry. I can't help feeling that there is real doom to come in the housing market. I work in finance and had a conversation with a big business chain owner - sales of his products to the 19-40 year olds (homeowners) in his sector have tumbled, he sees this as the start of something bad - there are a lot of people already struggling and we have only seen a small increase in interest rates so far. I saw the rates are predicted to get up to 7% in the next year - let's hope they are wrong. I'm recommending all my home owner friends to get themself on a fixed rate asap.
  6. Danski - I personally think you would be better off looking at Greenwich - you are then looking at a more established, mixed community where you are far less likely to get any sudden unpleasant 'social problems' that can come into the new developments where a community has not had time to establish itself. Greenwich is not perfect but I think it is pretty good as far as south east london goes but there are plenty of nice, character properties and it has a lively centre and good transport links. (just don't be tempted by Deptford's lower prices or the PR spin about it being up and coming - it is good for the DLR connection but it is not a pleasant place by any means!). Whenever you buy a property it is a risk - either due to a change in your circumstances or the economy. If we choose to buy we have to take that on the chin, and hope we are lucky - after all negative equity is only a problem if you want to move in the short term - if you are happy to stay in a property for a long time - then it isn't an issue. That is why it is important to buy in an area that you really like and one which you want to put roots down in - because then it doesn't become such an issue. Good luck with your search - I hope you find a snug pad which you will be happy in!
  7. Hi Danski My husband and I were first time buyers when we purchased here two years ago. We moved our mortgage just a short while ago (I started a thread West Thamesmead - leading in negative equity' on this forum) and the property was valued at £200,000, this is a drop of £20,000 (initially the surveyor had said 169-189,000 to our horror!). We have the most beautiful, 2 bed, 2 bath flat which is very large and has an amazing view with a large balcony. We knew that prices had gone down because of the mass mortgage fraud and reposessions that followed - the area was targeted by West African crime rings and it has affected property values massively. Nobody would believe the extent of this fraud unless they lived here. I do not believe that this is an issue on the Berkeley development at all though. The Royal Arsenal is exceptional in my opinion, the people there are mostly decent people from what I can see, - it is mostly them that jump on the boat to work - a mixture of young professionals getting on with their lives and earning a living. But as soon as you exit those walls or leave the riverside it is a different world. So the short answer is our prices have dropped due to the problems in the area. We have to stay for a while, at least until we get back the price we paid and then I suspect we will be out of the area very quickly - I've only ever lived in South London - but I have now had enough of it after here. So for now we are depressingly trapped but heartbroken too. It is really sad as there is a very good side, and a very bad side to the area - the river and wildlife is fantastic - the rest just makes you feel like you are living in hell! I get the boat to work sometimes - it is such a treat and I think how lucky I am to be able to do that - then I sit on my balcony and look out over the city, docklands, post office tower and the huge breadth of the river. If we had more decent people in our area life would be better. I think the comments on here about Docklands are very relevant though - I remember reading of all the huge problems over there in the 1980s. In the longterm things will be good - perhaps in 6 years things will improve - who knows, but it is all down to whether you think there are enough positives to make up for the negatives.
  8. Hi Danski I moved just a 15 minute walk along the river from the Berkeley Home Royal Arsenal site two years ago. I would say that of all the river developments,including the one I live in, that the Woolwich Arsenal one is the best. My concern in the long term would be how well will such a large estate be managed when Berkeleley finish up there (that could be 10 years away though) and of course the prices. I know there are a few problems there, but nothing to be concerned about from my community contacts (we have community groups that work together and also know people who have moved in down there). I am very sceptical of relying on the so called regeneration plans to turn the area around - they have completely messed it up where we are and it is a nightmare. The DLR will be good, and the riverboat service is excellent (but not frequent enough) but at the end of the day you have to question if you think you can live there, and also do you think others like you will too, in the future. We have seen a huge exodus of good people in our area and the bad come in - I don't know what it is about this side of London - I have never seen so much bad behaviour and truly vile people who make it like a ghetto. I dislike Woolwich and the whole surrounding area immensely - I cannot tell you how much, and lets face it, if we are honest the whole area is a dirty, run down place, with high deprivation rates and some really, really bad people around. No you would not go to Woolwich at night - it is unpleasant enough in the day let alone at night. Then I look at the river and the wildlife and it is lovely. Before everyone thinks I came from Highgate or something - I didnt! I lived at New Cross for 8 years - not glamourous but not as challenging as out here. I cannot wait to get right out of this Thames Gateway corridor. The Royal Arsenal could be the crown jewel - but when the put the retail in there - if they put poor quality take aways etc in there and another dreaded suburban Wetherspoons on site then the whole nature of the development will change. We are hoping to see that development keep gentryfying as it is so handy for us to walk to.
  9. No offence, but poorly managed buy to let properties have been one of the main factors in driving prices down out here - there have been some very unscrupulus landlords en masse. I for one don't want more buy to let investors here, we would like to see more owner occupiers - or certainly a higher proportion of those to buy to let properties. You need a good proportion of owner occupiers to create community and economic stability in an area, especially newly built areas. So with any luck, the auction 2 bed flat I saw last week with a reserve of £169,000 will go to an owner occupier who hadn't been able to afford the previous new build price. Flooding - we will be going under water the same time as the rest of all of London's low lying areas (huge swathes of them which run well away from the riverside!) - I am thinking of investing in a boat so we can float right out of this country just on the offchance it happens in the next 5 years!
  10. Try these - they are the Barratts Builds - there are three other developments too: but you can get the location details from these links: http://www.hotproperty.co.uk/sales/propert...archString=se28 http://www.halfapercent.com/details/proper...=11387&pu=1 http://www.hotproperty.co.uk/sales/propert...archString=se28
  11. Hi there. Plans..hmm well they have all changed since discovering the negative equity! Now we have to stay where we are for possibly the next 5 years or until prices go back up to at least what we paid for the property, whichever is sooner. If it doesn't happen well - we will just have to cut our losses I guess. The Olympics and DLR may bump the price up a bit-though I am not a great believer in those things having huge effects on prices in reality. Our plan is then to move out of the country to Europe - this experience has finished us off in terms of the love affair with London I have had for 10 years. I am trying not to be too negative - but we have lost a lot of money - but there's nothing we can do but sit and wait so we have just got to make the most of it in that time. The flat is lovely, the view amazing- but we now greatly regret buying (we were first time buyers). I never really wanted to buy, despite coming from a family of home owners - the prices in the UK are a noose around your neck - and how much is brick and mortar really worth? We've learnt a lesson though - we would never buy in a 'new area' again, mixed, old and new or established areas are much more stable in terms of community and economics.
  12. I've been looking at prices in our area SE28. There's been a mass of building along the banks of the river Thames, under the umbrella of the Thames Gateway - the oldest homes in the area are 7 years old, but the largest concentrations are 1-2 year old properties and more developments to come. In 2 years approximately 2000 dwellings were built which were very slow to sell. We paid £220,000 for a 2 bed, 2 bath river facing flat 2 years ago, recently it was valued at £200,000. Initially we were told £189,000. There's a lot of problems in the area which the authorities have ignored up till recently, and haven't managed it well at all in the past. Overseas bulk buyers of flats (some whole blocks) have turned out to be fraudulant - of 84 flats in one block - 82 have been reposessed. Buy to let properties were/are at the centre of the fraud. The negative equity could be a unique bubble due to the problems - but I also believe that the buy to let market may be about to experience a big townturn. The Thames Gateway is clearly somewhere that home owners who have a choice are not fighting to live in - however right now if you want a good deal on a riverside flat, if you can put up with the problems until they are dealt with, then it would be a good buy. The reposessions mean that you can buy a 2 bed, 2 bath riverside flat for approximately £160,000.000. They were possibly sold at their peak for about £260,000 - £300,000 just a year ago.
  13. Hi there - Docklands is quite a large area and is north and south of the river. There are a lot of new builds happening and about to happen to the East of Docklands on both sides of the river. Woolwich Arsenal by Berkeley Homes is the nicest (do a search for them online) with the added benefit that the development is well managed and is by Woolwich Arsenal Pier which has a Clipper service going to Canary Wharf in just 15 minutes. You can also look at other developments along that part of the river - you may find a real bargain - but the downside is transport and infrastructure - also that the are has little to offer socially - and the nicest thing is the river and the local waterways and wildlife (though they are good). I would personally purchase as near to Canary Wharf or the City as I could. If you are buying a new build I would make sure it is in a good area - or from a progressing development that has a good track record - there are a lot of problems in the less desirable areas that are being regenerated - even those with lovely riverside settings. They have too many buy to let properties being poorly managed, many the object of fraudulant mortgages. Make sure you do your homework on those kind of things because I have seen my development go from being a beautiful riverside one, that you couldn't believe anyone could de-value, to it having negative equity due to criminal behaviour and fraud. Negative equity in London - I suspect we maybe the only area in the UK with it? Sorry I can't help with specifics of deals - mine is advice more about the areas - and the quality and cost of management - they are very, very important aspects. Good luck in your search!
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