Sunday, August 24, 2008

Times journalist comes out as a BTLer – who would’ve thunk it?

A landlord's tale of woe

It all seemed so easy. I decided to let out my two-bedroom flat in Edinburgh when two years ago, when I moved to London. I enlisted the help of a letting agent – the one who said it could achieve the highest rental income. I was sanguine: this could put me on the road to riches. Since then, the rent has increased by a meagre £25 per month to £775, from which the agent takes a meaty 15% cut. That is unlikely to improve anytime soon. Supply has surged, as a vast number of sellers decide to let their property instead. Costs have mounted. Maintenance, repairs and factoring fees have set me back something approaching £5,000 in the past two years. Simply breaking even each month is a fortunate occurrence. House prices are plummeting at their fastest rate since the 1990s.

Posted by little professor @ 12:46 AM (1449 views)
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7 thoughts on “Times journalist comes out as a BTLer – who would’ve thunk it?

  • History repeating itself ? You can surely hardly be surprised at the present chain of events ?
    Why did you want to get on “the road to riches” in the first place ?
    Put it all “down to experience” and just concentrate on being happy and contented. jr

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  • So, let me get this straight. The deputy editor of the Times Money Section has an ‘investment’ that in reality is losing her money if you do the maths, and that is without taking falling house prices into account. There is no suprise here, as she could very easily have done here homework beforehand.

    This woman is in a position such that whatever she writes will be perceived as quality advice. Really drives home the point that you have to think for yourself and not just trust what you read in the papers.

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  • @#1 “I think I’ll put two signs outside: “To Let” and “For Sale”. That way, fate can decide. ” Or she could put another sign outside “Help!”

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  • Yes – the Vis have been talking the market up, now they are beginning to squeal. Most are still just in denial. There will be a lot more squealings over the next few months for sure.

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  • it_is_going_with_a_bang says:

    I wouldn’t say she comes across as a complete BTL lunatic! But the problem is that anything she says is likely to be trying to paint a rosy picture for her own personal reasons.
    At least she has come out and said it. Which is more than you would expect from some of the others.
    Should she sell? Well if she believes in any way that prices are set to reduce by another %20 then there is her answer.
    But then it’s only one property so if she can take the hit on monhtly losses and the fact that half the value in cash is making NO money then I guess she can keep it ongoing.
    Although I wouldn’t call that investment advice!!!

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  • The idea that the ‘bank’ of a property’s ever increasing value has now faded away is becoming accepted. Normal losses will not be compensated by equity value and the wealth shrinks. This reality is hitting home fast and this is a very typical story at least brought out into the open by a major newspaper. The denial factor is in the hope a way can be found around this circumstance,but I think there is a real acceptance emerging from those who really ought to know and have known better.
    This should put pressure on those who have ultimate control to allow HPC in it’s entirety and thus pave the way for proper and decent business to flourish.
    OR face the danger of a complete economic collapse.

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