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Once in a lifetime

Why Are We So Obsessed With Ownership?

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Why are we so obsessed with ownership?

Benita Bray, 32, is currently suffering from appalling home-ownership problems that all too easily set in when mortgage troubles arise. Since her marriage split up in January, she has remained in the three-bedroom family home in Spalding, Lincolnshire with two sons, aged five years, and 15 weeks.

As an unemployed joint mortgagee with a £23,000 loan plus a mortgage of £118,000 secured against the house, Benita has fallen into repayment arrears and her home has been made the subject of a repossession order, which is due to take effect later this month. She says: "Owning your own house, I don't know how to put it… it's like a family thing. You have your own home. It's settled. You're secure."

Now, her views are changing. She has been told by South Holland District Council to look for private rented accommodation, and at this point the problems inherent in the rented market have become clear. Benita says that social services will pay her rent, but she has been told to try and find two-bedroom accommodation because it's cheaper, though ideally she would like a room each for the two boys.

There's also the more basic problem of finding someone prepared to rent property to a mother with two young children. "In the local paper you see houses to rent but it's 'No DSS and no children'. I'm on income support."

Benita is worried by the predicament she faces. "I still don't know where we're going to live," she says. "I do regret buying. You see these people in council houses and they haven't got a care in the world." She has been told that she faces a wait of 18 months before her own local authority may be able to offer her a home of her own.

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She says: "Owning your own house, I don't know how to put it… it's like a family thing. You have your own home. It's settled. You're secure."

maybe if she really OWNED it, she would be secure.

She doesnt. She has a mortgage to pay, and so the bank owns it. Or most of it at least

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Hmm, tis indeed an interesting one.I, for one, would like to re-enter the market eventually because I really don't like having to answer to a landlord.Many landlords assume a paternalistic/benefactory role, expecting you to be grateful to them for paying their retirement fund. :ph34r:

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Hmm, tis indeed an interesting one.I, for one, would like to re-enter the market eventually because I really don't like having to answer to a landlord.Many landlords assume a paternalistic/benefactory role, expecting you to be grateful to them for paying their retirement fund. :ph34r:

Yeah, my landlord has just attempted to increase my rent by £100/month!!! Needless to say we told them to shove it and actually found a surprising ally...the leasing agent!

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Hmm, tis indeed an interesting one.I, for one, would like to re-enter the market eventually because I really don't like having to answer to a landlord.Many landlords assume a paternalistic/benefactory role, expecting you to be grateful to them for paying their retirement fund. :ph34r:

How much would you pay for that privilege of "not having to answer"?

Merryn has an article quoted here today that says it costs £5000 per annum extra

to own. That's alot to get your landlord off your back

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How much would you pay for that privilege of "not having to answer"?

Merryn has an article quoted here today that says it costs £5000 per annum extra

to own.  That's alot to get your landlord off your back

Totally agree, which is why I'm taking 'time out' until at least 2007/8.I have revised my feelings about buying a house quite a bit since I actually did it then sold.Renting does feel much, much freer in a lot of ways, but there's still that niggling doubt that you could be moved on at any time, that you can't just do what you want with your home, and so on.Fine when you're in your late teens and twenties, gets a bit more tiresome after that though.Pros and cons to both eh?

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Hmm, tis indeed an interesting one.I, for one, would like to re-enter the market eventually because I really don't like having to answer to a landlord.Many landlords assume a paternalistic/benefactory role, expecting you to be grateful to them for paying their retirement fund. :ph34r:

as an STR, my slant on renting is that this is a "Time Out" and I'm actually really enjoying the freedom that comes with renting. I've owned four houses over the past 20 years so I can tell you from experience, home ownership is not all its CRANKED UP to be.

For example, first property was an inner terrace and neighbour on one side had people calling all hours of the night (banging on door at 4 in the morning etc) turns out this blokes a dealer and these were his customers!

second property bought with my ex, this time a terraced cottage. nice couple next door until they split up and then he stayed and had his mates round partying nearly every night. he kept a CEMENT MIXER in his front room the other side of my wall and liked to do his interior building work until the early hours. (he actually made a big hole through to my kitchen whilst trying to fit sockets!)

When I split with the ex it was a NIGHTMARE getting her off the mortgage/life policy etc..

eventually sold prop no.2 and went into rented - a lovely converted barn in the country. I look back on this period as some of my best years.

Anyway, to keep it short, bought prop no.3 bought in 1997 (detached this time!). This place needed work and was high maintenance (loads of bloody hedges!) Every weekend I was either up to my ears in plaster dust or scratching round in the loft, or down the DIY store.

Similar story with prop no.4, and here I am today, renting and HAPPY TO RENT for the forseeable future.

All you FTB's out there, owning is not the Holy Grail you are being told it is. If you are renting a nice place and have a good landlord (there are some!) then enjoy it for now. In a few years when houses become more affordable, then you can think about buying, but not at the cost of QUALITY OF LIFE. :)

SOTT

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Totally agree with you. We had to sell due to my ill health which I have thankfully recovered from.

We were lucky FTB's and bought a 3 Bed semi, however it soon turned to living knightmare. The surveyor must have walked around with his eyes shut failing to pick up on major alterations which planning hadn't been applied for. The maintenace of the property was constant requireing plumbing, roofing, electrical work and general grounds work. Getting builders out was a knightmare with 50% never turning up and the majority of the others ripping us off money wise or failing to do an adequate job.

The nieghbours sold to an amatuer landlord who failed to be able to rent the place in a year so looked towards social housing. Soon we had one of Kent County Council's problem families terrorising the neighbourhood. They constantly broke into our house or had drunken parties till the early hours. The kids partied in the garage all summer with loud music and some questionable characters hanging around. We couldn't leave our house because it would get burgled. The property soon went into disrepair with old furniture stord in the front garden. Took a year to get them evicted.

Then as formentioned I got very ill causing me to become incapacitated from work. My insurance soon ran out and we quickly learned without children if you own your own home there is no help at all.

Home ownerhip you can keep it especially at these prices.

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If you have children and they grow up and meet partners they want to marry. You will naturally want to meet your inlaws. Would you prefer your future inlaws to live in rented accommodation or to own their own property? For me it would be no contest. If they own a property and your children can expect to inherit this one day. It might be a long time but it is nice to know. If your inlaws rent you can expect when they retire to receive benefits to pay their rent and council tax. They face a futue of dependancy on the state just to pay their rent. If the inlaws own their own property by the time they retire it will be fully paid and they will have no out-goings for rent or mortgage and maybe can afford to indulge their grandchild.

Edited by Padiham

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Why are we so obsessed with ownership?

Because one day you will be old and retired. Generally speaking most pensioners will not be able to afford private rented accommodation when they retire.

Someone retiring today who bought a house 35 years ago probably only paid £4k for a house. They also finished paying for it 10 years ago. They now have a decent roof over their head AND they get to make the most of what little pension they get each week.

They also have the option of equity release (value today £200k?) from their property.

In 20 years time things will get even tougher for people retiring due to the looming pensions crisis.

If you want to avoid being rehoused to a tiny flea pit when you retire then try to buy and pay off a property well before you are 65. (or 70?)

Sorry to keep posting about the same gloomy scenario but that is what awaits an awful lot of people who didn't buy property during their working life.

If you are renting a nice place and have a good landlord (there are some!) then enjoy it for now. In a few years when houses become more affordable, then you can think about buying, but not at the cost of QUALITY OF LIFE.

This is very good advice in 2005. The best time to buy is a few years away if you can afford to wait.

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This is very good advice in 2005. The best time to buy is a few years away if you can afford to wait.

I agree its good advice to carry on renting for the time being. As for the 'best time to buy' it seems probable that prices will go lower for the next 4/5 years at least so the best time to buy may be 'a few years away'. However looking back at the last crash which started in 1989 I remember that in most parts of the country the biggest falls came in the first couple of years and then drifted lower upto 1995 before slowly starting to rise again.

When sentiment changed and the sh>t hit the fan in 89/90, panic set in and price falls were quite rapid so if history repeats itself we may be seeing some quite large reductions in many parts of the country as early as next year.

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If you have children and they grow up and meet partners they want to marry. You will naturally want to meet your inlaws. Would you prefer your future inlaws to live in rented accommodation or to own their own property? For me it would be no contest. If they own a property and your children can expect to inherit this one day. It might be a long time but it is nice to know. If your inlaws rent you can expect when they retire to receive benefits to pay their rent and council tax. They face a futue of dependancy on the state just to pay their rent. If the inlaws own their own property by the time they retire it will be fully paid and they will have no out-goings for rent or mortgage and maybe can afford to indulge their grandchild.

This is interesting as the state of affairs you describe has only been possible in the past 10 - 20 years when property ownership took off in the 1970s. You make it sound like it is the natural order of society and oe which has always been the best.

Do you not think that perhaps it is all a lot more complicated? For example - it is apparent that as we live longer so we are becoming more dependent on health care and nursing care in old age. We are also relying more on retirement funds to support us, which are failing to do so. Also some of the worst housing conditions are those of elderly owner occupiers - and a significant amount of money from Central Government is spent on grants to elderly persons to repair and renovate their homes (Care & Repair etc.).

Turning to "council housing" this did not initially have the "slum" prejudicial image which is currently rife. Post 1945 many people were desperate to live in council housing and cherished their homes. As property ownership became more accessible - those who could not afford to buy became separated from those who could and of course it was poorer members of society who eventualy ended up in council estates. Hand in hand with poverty comes other forms of social problems - and I don't need to tell you what these are - it is inevitable that "problem" families would have ended up in council housing.

People have their own prejudices. I have mine but towards the beginning of the year I had a client whose mother had died in her council house. She left £50k in her will.

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If the council tenant had £50k in her will she surely would have been better off buying her council property instead of renting it. She has probably been in it a very long time and would have got a massive discount. She probably would have had some of her 50k left after the purchase and the property she was passing on to your client would have been worth more than 50k. Also, with 50kin savings she would get no help from the council with rent and council tax. If she had bought the property she would have no rent to pay and if she had a low income she would get help with her council tax. Buying in this case would have also been better than renting.

I daren't think about how complicated things can get. There is no such thing as one size fits two people never mind a whole population.

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If the council tenant had £50k in her will she surely would have been better off buying her council property instead of renting it. She has probably been in it a very long time and would have got a massive discount. She probably would have had some of her 50k left after the purchase and the property she was passing on to your client would have been worth more than 50k. Also, with 50kin savings she would get no help from the council with rent and council tax. If she had bought the property she would have no rent to pay and if she had a low income she would get help with her council tax. Buying in this case would have also been better than renting.

I daren't think about how complicated things can get. There is no such thing as one size fits two people never mind a whole population.

Perhaps she didn't want to buy. You never know she may even not have been bothered. Or even agreed with selling social housing off cheap.

Is that her children's loss?

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There is now a 'cap' on the level of discount given when buying a council house and the council house is valued at the current local asking prices before the discount is taken off. It is very possible that given the growth in house prices £50k was not enough to buy the house.

In areas where house prices have rocketed many council tenants can no longer afford to buy their council house - priced out of the market!!

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Someone retiring today who bought a house 35 years ago probably only paid £4k for a house. They also finished paying for it 10 years ago. They now have a decent roof over their head AND they get to make the most of what little pension they get each week.

For pensioners with capital i.e. a property there is no pension top up benefit. And if they have to go into residential care they have to pay. This is the case with my Father. He paid for his house when he was 30 over 40 years agom but has no other savings.

However flippant live for today renters will get more from the state. In this pathetic society their is little reward for 'prudence'.

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I think there is a good chance she couldn't be bothered to buy her house. There is a garage near me that sell's petrol for 99p a litre. I often see people in there buying petrol. They cannot be bothered to go down the road to buy from a garage that sell petrol at 89p a litre. I'm in a shop and the person before me pays with a store I know must be charging about 29 % interest rate. They cannot be bothered to get a credit card that charges 16%. Some elderly people have large sums in Post Office accounts or bank account that pay almost no interest. They can't be bothered to find an account with a better rate of interest.

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For pensioners with capital i.e. a property there is no pension top up benefit. And if they have to go into residential care they have to pay. This is the case with my Father. He paid for his house when he was 30 over 40 years agom but has no other savings.

However flippant live for today renters will get more from the state. In this pathetic society their is little reward for 'prudence'.

kewl!

i'm a cash-rich renter and when i get really old the state will house me and wipe my a$$!

oh wait, i'm a smoker...

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Guest wrongmove
That's alot to get your landlord off your back

No-one should put up with a landlord on their back. We (as tenants) pay them. Therefore we are the boss. There is a clear contract, which a tenant we must agree to, but a landlord cannot step outside of it.

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She says: "Owning your own house, I don't know how to put it… it's like a family thing. You have your own home. It's settled. You're secure."

maybe if she really OWNED it, she would be secure.

She doesnt.  She has a mortgage to pay, and so the bank owns it. Or most of it at least

that is such a good point holland.

most people just don't realise that unless the debt is paid in full,then they DON'T own.

having extra collateral helps,but if the sh1t hits the fan you have to pay up!

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Once upon a time you dressed so fine

You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?

People'd call, say, "Beware doll, you're bound to fall"

You thought they were all kiddin' you

You used to laugh about

Everybody that was hangin' out

Now you don't talk so loud

Now you don't seem so proud

About having to be scrounging for your next meal.

How does it feel

How does it feel

To be without a home

Like a complete unknown

Like a rolling stone?

Bob Dylan

Like a Rolling Stone

Highway 61 Revisited

1965

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After a good few days break from this site I've returned to read the replies to this topic.

I can't believe 'Padiham' who says that they would select their partner on the basis of their in-laws' assets (ie as homeowners)!!!If that isn't cynical, conniving and money-grabbing, I don't know what is.I expect you are the kind of person who only marries someone on the basis on their salary/profession, too.

Home ownership is absolutely NO guarantee of high times in old age, as several people have pointed out on this thread.Yes, you'd have no mortgage to pay back, but you still have a lot of outgoings in terms of upkeep of the house etc.If you have no savings, that wouldn't be funny, especially if your partner pops off earlier than you expected - which has happened to a few people I know.Most people downsize and end up spending a lot of the equity on their care, as you won't get the state to pay for it unless you're virtually penniless.So you would deny your parents/in-laws their care?I have talked to quite a few retired people (grandparents included) who have advised me that savings and home-ownership are no guarantee of comfort in older age, and in fact, it is often people who aren't home owners who haven't been able to save for retirement (ie people who are typically on a low income) who are better off in terms of pensions and other benefits.

People who are waiting for older generations to die to bail them out in life because they haven't been ar**d to do it themselves make me sick.

Edited by Homebird

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All good ideas initially sound unpleasant. Like when you were told to eat 'greens'. The idea of eating greens is horrible but when someone explains how healthy and nutrious they are it quickly becomes a good idea. If you are single you would probably be better off finding a partner whose parents' (and grandparents as well) own a house. A woman I know is 36 and she has just inherited a London semi. She is the sole heir and the 300k she is getting is better than a punch in the nose. It is like earning extra take-home pay of £10k every year for 30 years. I am 100% certain she, her husband and children are not saying, I wish my parents lived in rented accommodation.

Once, when I was of a certain age I am sure every woman I met wanted to marry a millionaire. And those who had not married a millionaire would say they regreted not marrying a millionaire. To me it seems almost routine for many women to select a partner according to wether he has money. In London unless you choose a partner who has money you ain't going to ever have your own house. One way a man can counter women's fussiness about a man's wealth is for a man to select a partner according to her family's assets.

Another advantage of owning your own house is when you retire you can sell it and retire to France or Spain where you can pay cash for a good property on sale at a relatively low price. I know many people who've done this. Try doing this when you are living in rented accommodation.

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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