House Buying - Advice?

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Trainee neophyte

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Perhaps also worth noting that the average salary in Greece is less than half the UK. A crude comparison which ignores weather, culture, food, etc etc - but goes some way towards explaining differential house prices.

Planning controls inhibit development - new build tends to lag the requirement. IMHO - local communities have too little control over what happens locally vs that which is imposed.

In France and Spain (don't really know Greece) relatively uncontrolled development leads to a blight on the edge of many towns and villages where disused and decaying industrial units are an eyesore - it is obviously cheaper to build new than restore or demolish..
Greek towns are mostly deeply ugly. There is no esthetic in the culture, and most of the old building have collapsed from constant earthquakes. The modern building technique is municipal car park as apartment block. However, it comes down to personal choice: you get to build the house you want, on your land. There are earthquake and insulation requirements which are suprisingly well enforced, but no planning committee deciding that the beer tastes nicer only once they have peed in it. The idea that the government can decide what windows you install, or the colour of your door, or refuse to allow you to build an extension because your house must remain as it was 200 years ago, is all anathema (greek word, by the way). At the end of the day, if you don't have control, is it your house? If you don't have the right to do what you want with your property, is it really yours?

Of course if there are property taxes to pay you can reasonably say that you are just renting your land from the government, and they will take it back if you stop paying your rent.
 

Trainee neophyte

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Perhaps also worth noting that the average salary in Greece is less than half the UK. A crude comparison which ignores weather, culture, food, etc etc - but goes some way towards explaining differential house prices.
I would suggest that almost one house per person is more important - supply outstrips demand in most places. Obviously there is an upper limit to prices, but if there were only 5 houses in the country, the price would be bid up to whoever could afford them. Easy to find 10 multimillionaires to drive the prices well above affordability for "normal" people.

Don't forget that rent assistance also drives house price inflation: it subsidises the private landlords and allows all rents to be increased. UK Government largesse at work again. No such thing in Greece. If the government didn't tilt the playing filed so drastically, the free market would supply demand. If only there was such a mythical beast as as free market.
 

Wayside2020

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You get a job to earn money to pay rent or buy a house. You swap many, many hours of your life for bits of paper, which are then swapped for a mortgage or rent. (It's ironic that the bits of paper are actually someone else's debt, created by a bank out of thin air, which you slave to earn, and then give back to the bank as your mortgage payment, thereby destroying said debt note).

Why not use the hours of your life to build your own house? Use low cost high labour techniques as they did back in the dark ages - cob, stone, straw bale, etc. Modern techniques such as clay slip straw are also useful, and cheap/virtually free. Work less (or not at all) for other people, but invest your hours in yourself.

Working for someone else means the employer take the risk instead of you, but in exchange for that security you give up about a third of your life. Half if you don't count sleeping as being "your" time. Seize the day, take the risk yourself. Use your own life for your own benefit.
You are sort of correct. But you still need the land to put the house on in the first place and possibly would need a mortgage.
 

Glitch

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The U.K. does depend a lot on consumer spending.
Low interest rates makes people borrow more.

Having an increasing lump of equity in your property makes you think you are far better off than you really are. It encourages people to borrow/spend/remortgage.
Thinking: 'We can always downsize'

My brother-in-law has finished paying off his 'right to buy' council house (which is small but very nice) and thinks he is loaded. He has his state pension, another small pension and needs to keep working, as does my sister (part-time) at least until here state pension kicks in another 2-3 years time. She is desperate to retire. Savings and a small inheritance have gone, mostly baling out my younger niece who married a philandering, thieving gambler. The older one married a conman but he's made a few quid by selling unbelievable investments.

BiL thinks they can move to the coast and downsize to release a bit of cash (that won't last long).

Asset rich, penny poor is a common state for people to get into these days. Very little savings and insufficient pension but they've usually had a good spend up to keep the U.K. economy going.
 

baldkev

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This has turned into a great thread

Working for someone else means the employer take the risk instead of you, but in exchange for that security you give up about a third of your life. Half if you don't count sleeping as being "your" time. Seize the day, take the risk yourself. Use your own life for your own benefit.

Im self employed. I get more than i did working for someone else, but, by the time ive done the yearly bookwork, quotes, invoicing, viewing jobs and meeting customets, finding info or ideas for the various jobs, jeeping tooling etc up to date, i am no better off. Its not even like i can really do 'what i like' as a self employed person..... whatever happens i have to earn enough to pay the mortgage, vouncil tax, insurances, phone, vehicle costs etc etc...... so it actually is an illusion, im just a busy bee earning money for the tax man 🤣😆

How can you stop? We have to live somewhere and the mrs doesnt do camping 🙃

You are totally right about the supply and demand situation driving prices, especially in certain areas, and the housing market must be the uk's biggest spend?

Asset rich, penny poor is a common state for people to get into these days. Very little savings and insufficient pension but they've usually had a good spend up to keep the U.K. economy going.

I get this. Is it worth saving up? 🤔 If property increases are generally the best way to make money, that means over time the pound in your bank doesnt keep up. For instance 20 years ago, 40k would buy a house in devon. 1 million was a colossal amount. 1 million now is a lot but not so much that you are joining the elite in barbados and owning a few properties etc.
The same 40k house is about 250k and up now. But the earnings and by extension, your hourly wage, hasnt kept up. And it would have been better to buy as much property as you could.....

Its difficult to 'get ahead' if you dont earn a good surplus over what you need. Most of us work to live, so how can we change that? Anyone got a good idea, without moving country or living in a tent?
 

Blackswanwood

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Its difficult to 'get ahead' if you dont earn a good surplus over what you need. Most of us work to live, so how can we change that? Anyone got a good idea, without moving country or living in a tent?

It is only difficult as ”society” has got hooked on the drug of having what it wants now with easy credit. Klarna and the like springing up encouraging people to have it now and pay later is just one example.

The answer to your question in my view Kev is that people need to make the choice to save and the earlier it starts the easier it becomes. Saving needs to be a habit. Martin Lewis offers a lot of good tips on how to save money - most people would make a saving if they swapped energy supplier, downgraded their Sky TV package to what they actually watch etc etc.

I’m not trying to make out it’s easy but for a lot of people I think it really is just down to having the discipline.
 

Jacob

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.........
Its difficult to 'get ahead' if you dont earn a good surplus over what you need. Most of us work to live, so how can we change that? Anyone got a good idea, without moving country or living in a tent?
History shows that the most effective way to change that is to join a union and fight for better wages and conditions. Sorry to state the obvious but most of the improvements to our working lives are directly due to union activity, even if taken up by government eventually.
 

Jacob

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I've become a perpetual student.

I quite like it to be honest.
Unions, and access to free education and training for life! My 81 year old sister has just got her fine art degree - she could afford the fees but there must be millions of talented people out there who don't have the means.
 

Adam W.

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Indeed. I always considered going to work to be an unwelcome intrusion into my personal time.

I have to do lots more DIY than a normal DIY'er and have cut the house/car maintenance bills way past the bone.
 

RobinBHM

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Greek towns are mostly deeply ugly.

I think its a shame the Greek government never controlled development -especially in the islands

I remember staying in Acharavi, Corfu -and a taxi driver was saying it was a tiny fishing village in the 70's and people bought land for peanuts.

the typical ribbon development has allowed it to turn into a bit of a sprawling mess.

I think Corfu is lovely, which had the potential to be an upmarket resort, but ended up as a low end Costa Del Sol chav destination.
 

RobinBHM

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Its difficult to 'get ahead' if you dont earn a good surplus over what you need. Most of us work to live, so how can we change that? Anyone got a good idea, without moving country or living in a tent?
its very hard if you are trapped in rental -that sucks out the money that should be saved for a house deposit.

most people these days rely on bank of mum an dad or inheritance to get them that deposit.

once on the ladder, mortgage is usually less than rental cost.


the only way out is to become totally driven to save every penny for a deposit.....which is very hard
 

Glitch

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It is only difficult as ”society” has got hooked on the drug of having what it wants now with easy credit. Klarna and the like springing up encouraging people to have it now and pay later is just one example.

The answer to your question in my view Kev is that people need to make the choice to save and the earlier it starts the easier it becomes. Saving needs to be a habit. Martin Lewis offers a lot of good tips on how to save money - most people would make a saving if they swapped energy supplier, downgraded their Sky TV package to what they actually watch etc etc.

I’m not trying to make out it’s easy but for a lot of people I think it really is just down to having the discipline.

Saving a regular amount, no matter how small is good advice. Saving into a pension is tax efficient. A stocks and shares ISA better than cash over the long term. There are life strategy funds that make investing very simple.

Building equity in your home can work as a savings strategy if you can achieve your target then pay off remaining mortgage and/or release cash to boost savings and/or pension. Unless you do move the equity is just wooden dollars that you can't spend.

The pension forum on the MoneySavingExpert.com (Martin Lewis sold it but still fronts it) is fascinating. There are other great forums on there for other subjects like saving and another for becoming debt free. Well worth a look.

Remarkable how little money people can live a comfortable early retirement on. Makes me realise how frivolous I have been in the past.
 

Blackswanwood

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I've become a perpetual student.

I quite like it to be honest.
There is certainly nothing wrong with that at all - in actual fact it’s a really refreshing approach. Whether it’s through what you do at work or how you choose to spend your time otherwise I think it’s really healthy to prioritise doing something that makes us feel fulfilled.
 

clogs

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Robin,
Corfu, Cornwall eyc and everywhere else come to think of it was a nice quaint place ONCE.....
but a few local Chaves saw easy money to made from foreigners....selling land a property at inflated prices......this is called good business...or greed depending wether ur a commie or not.....
In France for a fact theres a saying dont sell to the French when u can screw a foreigner for more money.....another reasonto leave that place......
I have always worked abroad and would never return to the UK for many reasons but the weather is just one.....
you can make a living anywhere it's just the add on's that take ur money.....
as for pensions and insurances they are all [email protected]
better to buy and sell anything than trust the "A" holes in suits....
after getting raped by the system I just bought the machinery that I wanted or could make money on....and the odd fixerupper.....lived cheap until I got married....
then things changed, still bought what I wanted but had to have decent 3 peice and curtains plus no motorcycles in the living room....hahaha.....
always been self employed and worked hard which has given me almost all the toys I want and the chance live somewhere that's warm and pleasant.....
but it's not for everyone......
My wife and I have mostley held down 2 jobs each and worked all hours planning for the future which has worked out well....luckily....
better to work for a few quid than none at all....
I was bought up to take work where u can and ur next meal just might not be there.....
U just gotta work SMART ....
 

baldkev

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Some great replies above

most people would make a saving if they swapped energy supplier, downgraded their Sky TV package to what they actually watch etc etc.

Yep, i do shop around to keep costs down. I avoid sky etc, we have netflix though.
In the last 20 years we also have been converted to the digital age, phones, tablets, smart tv and more things to buy than ever before ( including tools ).

My bad habit is tools. 😔

Mind you, it used to be strippers and fast cars, so i must be getting better with my money 🤣😁
 

baldkev

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Now ive got a mortgage and kids, i cant afford fast cars or strippers 🤓

I was of course helping the economy......
 

baldkev

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:ROFLMAO: :LOL: i just looked for it, found these quotes instead:


In 1969 I gave up women and alcohol – it was the worst 20 minutes of my life.
* * *
I once said Gazza’s IQ was less than his shirt number and he asked me: “What’s an IQ?”




The beetles were great at being funny too.... in an interview they asked the beetles if ringo was the best drummer in the world, one of them replied
'ringo isnt even the best drummer in the beetles'
😆😂
 

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