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About LMD

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  1. Law at Cambridge in the days when tuition was £1k a year. Run my own IT firm for the last ten years - never went into the law, but the degree was useful in that it taught me to think critically.
  2. As a resident of that particular baliwick, I can confirm that shop is a weird one - devoid of customers and plenty of staff doing busywork whenever I go past, but suspect they got a deal on the rates to avoid yet another charity shop springing up. Picked up a jumper in the sale online and had it delivered to the store to save on postage - have found the quality of their clothing, and the consistency of their sizing to have gone markedly south in the last 18 months. Would no longer dream of paying full price for their stuff.
  3. I popped in to Morrisons in our northern market town (I believe DurhamBorn knows it well!) an hour before closing today. It was much quieter than anticipated and I hoovered up a pile of yellow-stickered goodies for the freezer - best of which was a lovely joint of beef reduced from £14 to 69p and four cod loins at 60p a pop. Total spend <£10 and will slash my food bill for the next month. Happy Christmas indeed!
  4. There is definitely an element of that. I was born and brought up in central London, but neither me nor my 3 sibs could ever afford to live there. I first moved to Herts, within commuting distance to London, but realised that there was an awful lot of man hours being spent just to service the mortgage and two travelcards into London for work. Lightbulb moment came and we moved near to family in the North East. We ended up settling in an enormous 5 bed detached house which we got at auction and are doing up slowly. Anyway, was back down south a couple of weeks ago, introducing toddler sprog to friends and family in London. Went for beers with mates one evening and was struck by how tied they were to the idea of London, despite the huge restrictions it placed on their lifestyle. Explained that neither me nor my husband worked more than part-time - that we both got to spend time with said sprog, and do things that mattered to us. We have time to cook, and grow our own food - the air and river is clean etc. We're working towards FIRE in 10-12 years, even on part-time incomes not much above minimum wage. While being very envious of the lifestyle etc. not a one of them seemed to appreciate that it was within the reach of all of them - my monthly outgoings here, even with some childcare thrown in, are a third of what they were in the SE. Hey ho - brothers have both snapped and moved to the NE, albeit to the big city. Again, they have lifestyles here that they couldn't dream of where we grew up... [No BOMAD here btw, and no benefits (child benefit excepted) claimed.]
  5. I live in Apsley - and those flats aren't bad at all - they actually bothered with things like sound-proofing and the like when they were building them. Whether they are worth as much as £190k though is up for debate. Local flat prices are taking a bit of a hammering because the old Kodak building is just about done now and they've released gawd-only knows how many rabbit hutches in the sky onto the market, less than two miles up the road. The commute is OK, and not too eye-watering for the distance, and the area is nice. Ticked all our boxes when we moved 4 years ago (I called top!) and my sister' and her husband have just followed us out here to bring up their young son.
  6. LMD

    Just Made An Offer

    Awwwwww - don't think I've ever been called savvy before. Except by my accountant... It's a shame, because the place was more or less just what we wanted. Still - with the distance of a few hours and a few miles (am back dahn sarf now), it's probably a blessing in disguise. Have already fired a shot across the barrels of the next generation above me - they're removing the aged one's house listing with crap EA next week on the experience I've had over the last week or so. That was just a happy coincidence that the EA screwed up a potential buyer, *and* lost-a sale, all in one swoop. Also convinced family that property listed with crap EA was at least 10% over -priced, so we're dropping the price to go with the next agent. Every little helps...
  7. LMD

    Just Made An Offer

    I think by "qualify" I really only meant finding out what I claimed my budget to be (no questions yet asked) and how much of it was mortgage/deposit. If they knew what my deposit was I have no doubt that I would be pushed to looking at properties in a higher price bracket (again, assuming they bothered to ask what I was looking for and why). From their point of view, I claimed to have mortgage, solicitor and surveyor lined up and ready to go. I would have thought it would become rapidly apparent were the offer accepted and any one of those prove not to be the case, at which point I would assume the house would be placed back on the market. For any of that to occur though, there has to be offer and acceptance. Interestingly enough, it is the same estate agent who is selling aged relative's house - I will be pushing the generation above mine who are handling the sale to be shifting EAs toute flipping suite.
  8. LMD

    Just Made An Offer

    If it's the case that he doesn't *need* to sell, then he can hang on for asking until the cows come home. The fact that the property is sat empty (so at the very least is a lost opportunity cost in my book) and that he's recently dropped the price told me he was coming around to being realistic. I went round this morning with a builder friend of mine, and identified a few things which would need sorting reasonably soon which will cost about £4-5k in our estimation anyway. I stated this when I made the offer, and said that the offer reflected my early evaluation of the property. (Also stated that I'd be getting a full survey!) The vendor doing the viewings admitted we were the first people to show any interest since the last "sale" fell through. All should be telling him something I would have thought... What annoys me more though is that I went into the EA to attempt to arrange the second viewing, and asked the EA then and there whether the vendor was open to negotiations, as there was little point in wasting everyone's time if not (obviously didn't phrase it *quite* like that!). She said that in this market, everyone was open to offers. I intend to sit back and wait for contact from them. As previously mentioned, I don't *need* to buy - it would just suit my circumstances at the moment to do so. What will not suit my circumstances is to pay over the odds for what is essentially a second home. If they'd bothered to ask any questions of me, they would realise the longer they leave it, the more chance they have of an aged relative pegging it and removing one of the main motivations to buy!
  9. LMD

    Just Made An Offer

    Point taken I do understand that. Maybe she just sounded whiny. Or my predisposition to dislike EAs got the better of me. On a sidenote, on the whole "trying to get [me] to pay as much as possible" part - I would have expected, when I made the initial enquiry to view (which was difficult enough in itself), that they qualified me as a purchaser and asked what kind of property etc. I was looking for. Maybe even suggest a couple of others I might be interested in. Nope. Nada. I walked in, off the street, did two viewings and made an offer on a place, and they haven't even bothered to find out what I want the house for, or what my budget is or anything. I just found it all a bit surreal - last time I bought a house I was harrassed by 'phone and email daily.
  10. LMD

    Just Made An Offer

    As expected the offer has been rejected: "He's only just dropped his price. He wants close to asking price." Politely thanked agent for her time and hung up - not before she asked whether I'd be making another offer though. My response of "I'm not sure our valuations of the property will ever meet, so it would be a waste of time at the moment" left her somewhat speechless.
  11. I've been looking to buy a second home in the North-East for a number of months now to have a base for me and my siblings to use to be near aged relatives. Having sat back and watch the crash unfold, my husband and I finally dipped a toe in the water and went to view a little 2 bed cottage last week. I went back today for a second viewing and have just put in an offer of 82% of asking price. Cue the agent giving me a load of guff about how the property market is picking up etc. and that the offer would be rejected. "So be it" says I. I know a chain fell through reasonably recently (as I know the local area very well and know some of the people of the periphery of the last "deal"), the property has been on the market two years and he's only dropped the price by 8% last month. We are chain-free, and due to personal circumstances, are in the fortunate position of requiring a very small mortgage in order to complete quickly. Will be interested to see how this one pans out. For various reasons, I won't be increasing the offer greatly - not least of which we don't *really* need the house - we can continue to bunk in with friends/b+b/relations as we do now. My main selfish motivation is it's just a faff to run my business from dodgy wifi and someone else's living room.
  12. We didn't have direct written permission for the painting, but we did it the same colour that was already there (as it was pretty shabby) and I have a qualification as a painter and decorator. The woman who came round to inspect after six months of us being there said it was fine (she was more concerned about the general state of the property - the dodgy gas cooker, the tetanus trap in the garden, the leaky loo...). Given the over-all state of the place, I am not overly concerned about the paintwork! We have had no dealings with the landlord as he lives in New York. All our dealings have been through the letting agency, whose staff I have found to be rude and, on occasions, aggressive. As far as I am concerned, no money should be withheld - I was prepared to pay for a professional cleaner to avoid the above scenario (when I got quotes, they said that letting agencies often add 150% for their "admin"!) until I realised there was no official standard, so it may well be money down the drain. Thanks for your response though.
  13. My husband and I rent a flat in Brixton, but we intend to move out at the end of our tenancy (October), probably slightly before, as we have bought a house and expect to complete in a few weeks' time. We are happy to pay the rent right up until the end of the tenancy, even though there will be 3-4 weeks overlap between rent and mortgage, and have budgeted for this - we aren't trying to avoid paying what we owe, but I have been a little concerned by the idea that we won't get the £1300 deposit back. The deposit will make the difference between whether we can buy extra furniture when we move in or whether we have to wait for a few months (I refuse to buy on credit!). The letting agents have slightly over 6 weeks' rent as a deposit. The house is in poor repair (though I have done some repainting) but we will leave it in better condition than when we took it on. We have a detailed check-in report. A couple of questions then: Should we with-hold the last TWO months rent? (Won't they cause hassle for me in the meantime?!) We would then issue a cheque for the remainder of the rent and ask them for a detailed list of any extra charges to be made. Does anyone have any experience using Haart as their letting agency? How good are they about refunding deposits? Many thanks for any advice... LMD
  14. They have my NI number and everything - I've chased and chased. I've got about £13k, a large sum of which I could pay off in one fell swoop if I needed to. Reluctant to though, as it's a fairly cheap way of borrowing... Second inflation heads north in a serious way, I'll be getting out that cheque-book though... I understood when I first took out the loan (1999) that if I hadn't paid it back within 25 years of graduation, the remainder was written off. A previous poster seemed to suggest that that's a more recent thing. Can anyone confirm/deny? Do they split the debt (i.e. pre- and post- 20xx) if there is a different date? I thought I was clear in 25 years, not keen on the idea of being saddled until I'm 65... Not keen on being saddled at all, to be honest!
  15. We live in a first floor flat just off Brixton Hill, renting for £200 a week. We enquired about buying the flat (2 bed - the second only a single, with garden and rooftop patio, large loft space) and were shocked and appalled to find that these flats were going for upwards of £300k. In my naive view, I had anticipated about £180-£190k... Hugely over-priced IMHO... We decided to bail on the London madness and head for the somewhat cheaper madness in Herts...
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