House Repossession Hotspots

Surprising as it may seem, home-owners in the South are far more likely to lose their homes than their Northern counterparts. National charitable organisation Shelter have analysed research, presumably drawn from reliable testing, and claim that the boroughs of Dagenham and Barking are at higher risk of suffering from house repossessions.

Interestingly, most of the rest of the top ten so-called hotspots are made of the more usual candidates, those being locations in the North, in particular areas of the North West. Still, three of the ten are given over to areas in and around London and that does but a different spin on things.

Generally those living in the South are viewed as being more affluent that those living in more Northern climes, and whilst many a politician and spin doctor would try to convince you otherwise, the North/South divide does exist. Southerners have always been thought of as better off, as being financially solvent, with access to a higher standard of living than residents anywhere else in the country.

However, Shelter’s current thinking sheds a slightly different perspective on the whole repossession debacle.

In a nutshell, what Shelter are trying to point out is this: no matter where you’re from, or where you live, your mortgage is still your single biggest outgoing. Unfortunately, despite lower interest rates and various attempts by the big lenders/ Bank of England to help out home owners, the cost of living continues to rise. This has a knock-on effect with regard to how far the average wage packet now has to stretch.

Once the tax man’s had his cut, he continues to dip in and out by way of stealth taxes, fuel duty, VAT and interest on loans. Then there are the utility companies, all upping their pricing bands despite warnings to the contrary. And let’s not get started on the rising cost of the weekly shop.

The beleaguered home-owner is left with an ever-dwindling pile of cash, and this then leaves him more open to repossession. Shelter’s advice? Don’t put off the need to discuss your mortgage if you’re starting to struggle. Our advice? What Shelter say.

House Repossessions In The South East

Current property repossessions are at an all time high in the Kent region of Thanet, provoking even more worry and misery for those that are currently struggling to keep their heads above water. Or rather a roof over their heads.

Despite the combined efforts of charitable organisations, bank-led schemes and of course the home-owners themselves, house repossession numbers remain far too high for many, and too close for comfort for others. What’s truly frightening is the fact that one home owner, under threat of eviction, turned to a local mortgage rescue scheme for help.

Due to the fact that the rescue scheme’s wheels turned far too slowly, the home owner found himself despairing, until he turned to the Citizens Advice Bureau. Thankfully, with some help from the CAB, he managed to rescue his situation at the 11th hour and has managed to keep his home and has got his finances back on track.

Unfortunately that’s not the case for everyone in the region and Thanet residents continue to struggle to meet their mortgage payments, and arrears abound throughout the area. Another area of the housing market that’s massively struggling is the rental one, with hundreds of individuals finding themselves evicted due to rent arrears.

According to recently published figures, rental repossession crept up around 27%, and it’s believed, in part, to be due to the 10% year on year increase in rental prices. Looking back over the last few years, demand for rental properties has continued unabated and landlords have reacted accordingly.

Unfortunately the persistent rise appears to have left many renters out priced, thus leading to the inevitable – evictions and the more house repossessions up and down the region. Of course there are some that claim the figures to be disproportionate to the actual number of residents, rental properties in comparison to other parts of the county.

However the figures are what they are and there must be some cause for concern as the recent spate of repossessions have cause the CAB to look into offering a new service to those living in the local area – they’re looking for funding for a project that will allow them to inject direct help to those that need it the most.

If you live in the Thanet region, and you need help in relation to mortgage or rent arrears, or you’re simply looking for some solid financial advice, you can contact your local CAB direct, or visit their website in order to make an appointment.

Property Repossessions – How Are We doing?

There are many things in life that are stressful, and property repossessions has got to be one of the worst. During the last 3 or 4 years, foreclosure procedures on both sides of the Atlantic has caused countless families to lose their homes.

Whilst recent reports in the US state that repossessed homes are on the downturn, a closer look at figures would suggest otherwise. The recent figures are de facto but the speed with which properties are being processed is more the deciding factor re the numbers than an actual slow down in repossessions.

It’s no different in Europe, with vast numbers of Spanish home owners losing their homes on a daily basis. In the heart of the financial mess is Mercia, an area widely advertised a few years back as being some kind of Mecca for overseas property developers. Ordinary home owners were also targeted, with many a UK resident jumping ship and buying what they thought would be their Spanish Shangri-la.

Fast forward to the Spring of 2012 and disaster abounds. Properties are unfinished, complexes deserted. Beautifully constructed blacktop stretches for miles, then simply terminates. Manicured and lovingly tended golf courses are little more than expensive, ornamental landscaping and hotels, stores and bars remain unused.

The Spanish banks are groaning with the effort of trying to sustain a weakening economy and the rest of Europe has averted its eyes whilst praying for a financial miracle. Elsewhere, in the UK reports were published (at the end of May) that stated that house prices had fallen below those enjoyed during 2005.

In seven years, the UK householder has seen a significant drop in the value of property, and just like their American counterparts, it doesn’t look as though things are going to change anytime soon. Property repossessions continue to increase, despite the fact that UK banks have tried to create a better relationship between themselves and their borrowers.

Ireland fares no better, with house prices continuing to fall, and looking elsewhere in Europe it looks as though the entire continent is barely managing to keep a roof over its head. What does all this mean for the average home owner? Simply that you’re not alone, and that the world continues to struggle to regain the financial foothold it enjoyed prior to the 2008 crash.

What can you do to avoid going through a property repossession?

  • approach your bank/lender and discuss your future options. Banks aren’t gaining anything from foreclosures, so see what they can offer by way of support and negotiation. Ask for an extension, see if you can alter the terms of your mortgage; in short explore your options with your lender
  • if it’s possible to do so, try and sell your home. Better to off-load debt that you can’t manage, than to hang on for grim death
  • consider renting. There remains a high demand for rental property, and it may well be worth you moving out and renting your home out, whilst you (in turn) rent somewhere for yourself
  • seek financial advice elsewhere. There are a variety of charitable organizations around the country, make an appointment

Whatever you do, don’t hand your keys over and walk away, Turning your back won’t solve anything in the long term, and you may well find yourself before the court for more than just the mortgage debt itself.

Link: need realistic mortgage advice? Click here.

Voluntary Repossession

For many people, voluntary repossession becomes the last (desperate) alternative prior to bankruptcy. Are they one and the same? No, they’re not. When you volunteer repossession to your mortgage lender, you’re still liable for the shortfall between what the property will be sold for and what you owe.

Bankruptcy, a severe option for many, largely wipes out the debtors need to repay debt to creditors. This shouldn’t be viewed as the easy option as going bankrupt does have its negative consequences. However when there’s nothing more to lose (after all … you can’t get lower than ‘nothing’) it can become the more attractive alternative to remaining in debt for years to come.

Voluntary Repossession Of A House

The voluntary repossession of a house involves (pretty much) the handing over of the keys and ownership of your home. However that doesn’t mean that you can then walk away, worry free. You’re still expected to pay the mortgage until it’s sold. Repossessed houses usually find their way onto property auctions, as a means of a rapid turn-around.

This often results in your home being sold for considerably less than its (current) market value. That then leaves you with a larger shortfall to pay out than if you’d successfully sold your home through private means. You will also need to check out your mortgage indemnity guarantee (if you have one) as insurance companies are within their rights to seek redress (i.e. being repaid by you what they cover via the indemnity) once the dust has settled.

The mortgage company can also claim back costs associated with the resale of your home. All auction houses charge a fee, there may have been costs generated from securing or repairing the property, the list goes on. There’s also capital gains tax to consider. Has your home increased in value since you bought it? Do you live in it? Both will need due consideration, otherwise you can just add more money onto the overall debt.

In essence voluntary repossession doesn’t look too good on paper. However, despite the above, it may well be the better alternative than dragging yourself deeper and deeper into debt. For many, volunteering the possession of their home relieves some of the worry associated with defaulting on their mortgage.

Generally, individuals don’t default lightly and it’s largely as a result of a change in financial circumstances. If you’re currently at a crossroads with your home and financial situation, seek help and advice. For general financial aid, contact the CAB. They’re all capable of delivering sound guidance relating to money management and debt related issues.

With regard to the potential house repossession, contact Shelter. Singularly they’re the most robust source of information with regard to housing legislation and problems related to communication between lenders/borrowers. They deliver an effective service to those that need it, and they will do their level best to provide you with the most current, relative advice regarding your needs.

Property Auctions And Cheap Houses For Sale

If you want to buy at property auctions in the UK, a good starting point is to know which regions have cheap houses for sale. Despite the fact that many houses are now selling for less than their market value, there are still some areas that outsell others in terms of sale prices. I use property auction houses as a sounding board for no other reason than generally that’s where the real bargain are to be found.

As the fiscal year trudges on, despite the fact that things ain’t looking up any time soon ( re the global slump/crunch/recession, call it what you will), the desire for the buying of houses doesn’t appear to be on the wane. I won’t bore you with the figures, as I prefer not to have to wade through quant’s and stats any time I’m reading up on something I’ve little knowledge in but suffice to say that the UK house buyers market remains pretty buoyant.Conwy – North Wales

That’s supposing that you have the readies to do so in the first place. However, some do, that much is clear and the areas that appear to be benefiting from cheap houses for sale at various property auctions and estate agents are:

  • Wales – Conwy
  • Scotland – East Dunbartonshire
  • West Midlands – Dumfries and Galloway
  • South East – Hampshire
  • East Midland – Derbyshire

So, now you now, are you willing to buy a house in any of the above five regions? I guess that would depend on whether you already live there, want to live there or fancy your chances in the rental market. Whatever you think of it, it is good news. It does support the fact that 2011 is a buyer’s market, despite how gloomy the general financial outlook is for most of us.

Nottingham. The Forest to be exact. No cheap houses for sale in the forest,
used gratuitously due to the stunning vista.

Of course buying a house in one of the top five regions isn’t mutually exclusive with finding yourself living in an affordable town or city. Is Conwy cheaper than say the North East? Is the North East cheaper than living in West Wales? That’s a whole other board game. According to the stats (once again) some of the cheaper areas to live in (that don’t meet the cheapest house price list) are places such as:

  • Staffordshire
  • Nottingham
  • Warrington
  • Cumbria
  • Bedford

The above are but a few of a list of ten and of course you can do your own research and find out for yourselves. It’s always worth testing the market way before you drop a huge wedge of cash into anything significant. Scan the property auctions in the UK – there’s plenty of them, and get onto the mailing lists of the estate agents. A couple of phone calls or a shufty on the internet will get you the details.

It’s always worth checking further afield when it comes to wheedling out the bargain properties that currently litter our suburban melting pots. Let’s face it, the way our current Government is going it’s likely that more of us will be handing our homes back to the banks (read: relinquishing ownership under sufferance) than ever before, and we know what that means don’t we? Yup … even more cheap houses for sale.

Pictures: Wikipedia Commons - Users: Dbenbenn, Fuz

House Repossessed? In Debt? Tough Luck!

I got an interesting news letter into my inbox this week, something which may be of interest to those on the verge of a house repossession or for those that are generally in debt and sorely need help and advice.

The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is about to go decidedly pear shaped, due to a large funding cut that’s being put as high as 45%. The cut will effectively put an end to a variety of CAB centres around the UK, the knock on effect being that those who need them the most may now find ourselves batting completely alone.

Back in 2010, Gov Inc. stated that they were looking at abolishing around 200 quangos (Quasi-Autonomous Non-Governmental Organisation), as a means of covering some of the monies they were hoping to recoup by way of nation-wide spending cuts.

Three of the quangos that were up for wipe-out were Consumer Direct, OFT and Consumer Focus. Gov Inc decided to sit their caseloads onto the shoulders of the CAB. Presumably someone somewhere figured that the CAB were able to cope.

Oddly, Trading Standards were also roped in to take up the slack along with the CAB. In the interim, Trading Standards have found that they cannot cope with consumer need, and having prioritised, those that are deemed not important enough are simply not dealt with.

Fast forward to the poor, beleaguered CAB 2011 – who have just discovered that, despite all the guff about spending cuts not affecting front line services (etc etc) and the recent announcement that there would be 27m allocated for ‘face to face debt service’, funding’s being cut anyway.

Here’s a very recent little snippet, presumably delivered with pride (real or imagined, I guess it seemed sincere) and delivered with good intentions that does, in fact, mean absolutely nothing in the face of local governments cutting back on CAB funding:

“It’s vitally important that everyone has access to free debt advice, and I am pleased to announce that the Department for Business will provide the £27 million necessary to maintain the programme of face-to-face debt advice” – Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Feb 2011

Oh … ok.

So let’s see. Gov Inc said that they wouldn’t cut funding for front line services. But they have. Gov Inc said that they wouldn’t allow bank bosses to pay themselves bonuses that exceeded £2000. But they have.

Gov Inc said they would be abolishing around 200 quangos as a means of saving money. But they haven’t. Crikey. In debt? Facing a house repossession? Worried about the future, your career, your prospects?

So long as you don’t expect Gov Inc to actually help you, so long as you realise that lip service is all you’re ever going to get, all will be well. Not for you. Not for me. But at least those at the top, that don’t need help, that already live in a manner to which most of us don’t even have the time to dream about, will be alright Jack.

You are on your own. Don’t say no one told you.

National Debt And House Repossessions Go Hand In Glove

In the final quarter of 2010, house repossessions levelled out at around 7,900 for the closing period. That’s a drop of around 11% on the previous quarter. Good news. However – if the planned cuts as per the coalition manifesto go ahead it’s unlikely that the numbers will continue on the downward trend.

According to the economics and financial experts – the guys and gals that spend their days watching and analysing various markets, national and global spending and determining mid-term predictions – if inflation kicks in right alongside the spending cuts, more repossessed houses could well be on the cards.

The fact is that inflation will have to rise again at some point. As of today (Feb 14th) the inflation rate remained unchanged at 0.50%. However the likelihood of that staying as is was always an unlikely prospect. In many ways, enjoying a successive 23 months of ‘no change’ – whilst welcome – it’s also beginning to feel a little … frightening.

Of those among us that haven’t yet hit the financial wall – the coming year is going to be nothing short of a trial. Just because we haven’t hit it doesn’t mean we won’t with the slightest tip of the scales. Judging on the coalition’s spending cuts (that are now underway) and the likelihood of a rise in unemployment for those hit by the cuts – the future certainly isn’t orange.

Between what Gov Inc have in store for the UK as a whole, the proposed Big Society (getting off to a great start with Liverpool already backing out of being one of four targeted areas to spearhead the campaign) and the potential for more price hikes, pay freezes and benefits cuts the future of the ordinary working man (and woman) is looking ever narrower.

National and consumer debt is spiralling out of control – currently climbing above and beyond the really scary and likely to morph into the super scary in the next couple of years: 65% GDP as of now – predicted to rise to 79% by 2014 at the current spending rate.

Explaining national debt would make for a really long article and right now is not the time but – the biggest cause of debt in the UK is how our government spend our money. Labour doubled our national debt from 40% in 1997 up to the predicted forecast of 2014.

Unless the coalition stops spending and starts repaying the whole country will eventually go bankrupt. This kind of puts our position as the man at the bottom of the pile into perspective. If Gov Inc raise (nay – demand) ‘x’ amount in taxes – and yet spends double that amount – the money comes from investors.

In 2009/2010 £496.1 billion was raised from taxing the British population. The government spent £671.4 billion. That’s an overspend of £175.3 billion. 2011 isn’t going to get any brighter. So – can we expect to feel the strain even more – will there be rise in house repossessions, despite persistent statements from the experts to the contrary?

The simple answer is – yes. Inflation will rise, probably around May. It should rise (it will need to) at least twice more before the year end. Gov Inc need to spend to withdraw – despite the massive cuts they’re implementing, money will still go out of the pot and foreign investors will need to be repaid this years interest on national debt – as well as borrow more to bridge the gap between taxes raised due to the fiscal policy – and the amount need to keep the UK afloat.

How can you help? By not living beyond your means. Debt is debt – even at the lower end of the scale. The more you tighten your belt now, the quicker you move away from what you want and nearer to what you actually need, the quicker you’ll get a realistic hold on your finances.

How much is your mortgage? How much do you spend month to month? What do you owe on credit cards? Do you live in your overdraft? It really is time to take stock. Denial won’t help, waiting won’t help, and the way that the UK national debt and the banking systems are operating – you may well find that there’s no one left to turn to in a few years time.

Do your bit now. Stop spending what you don’t have. Make positive changes, realistic changes. Take your future into your own hands. The more you understand what’s going on around you – the more you will realise that the quicker you take stock, the less chance there is of losing it all in the future.

House Repossessions Of The Rich And Famous – Nicolas Cage

It would seem that the financial crisis is hitting more than just the little people these days. In the last year or so there’s been a marked increase in house repossessions of the rich and famous – Nicolas Cage being the most talked about. Presumably this relates to the fact that he either:

  • A – appears to have been on a cyclical journey of spend some, spend more … spend it all (hell yeah!)
  • or B – he’s had bad financial advice from his financial advisor (oops)

Nicolas Cage

Across the pond – where most of the better known celebrities dwell – a repossessed home is known as a foreclosure. The deal is about the same – you borrow money to buy a property, you don’t keep up with the mortgage repayments, in swoops the bank and … it’s all over. You’re foreclosed, repossessed, sans house and absolutely sans your hard earned rep.

If you’re Nicolas Cage that is. For the likes of you and me, no one really cares about where our millions have gone or what we’ve done with them because – well … we didn’t have millions in the first place.  And even if we did – we wouldn’t have blown it on fast living, thrill seeking nonsense and homes so large you could house enough people and animals to fill Noah’s Ark … twice over.

A modern replica of Noah’s Ark. And no Mr Cage – it’s not for sale.

No – we’d have been a bit more sensible. We’d have bought a nice, fashionable detached suburban home, in a leafy, picturesque street. We would (we’ve got millions right?) have filled with all the latest modern conveniences, installed under floor heating (the UK weather is unpredictable so … justified) and probably stretched to a few little unnecessary luxuries in keeping with our bank accounts.

Four washing machines are definitely classed as unnecessary. Still – what’s good enough for Nicolas Cage. These are in his Spanish Trails home.

What’s unnecessary is his kitchen? Those three stools. Way over the top.

Maybe a hot tub for six, a solidly stocked wine rack and (whoop whoop) one part-time house maid. Not a full-timer mind – that’s a step too far for an Englishman but you know … wandering down to the local and dropping ‘sod the housework – that’s what we employ Mavis for. You know … our house maid?’ into conversation over a pint of good red wine is absolutely the right way to crow about our good (though imagined) fortune.

That kind of thing. We’d have stayed away from anything ostentatious (bright red Ferrari’s and crystal chandeliers) or anything too – obvious (£50 notes and a hair weave) simply because we’re sensible, we’re British – and we’re not bloody stupid.

Nicola Cage isn’t British – he’s American. Being American  isn’t mutally exclusive with being stupid either. That appears to be a trait that trancends culture – it’s entirely dependant upon nature. By nature Nicolas Cage got looks, charisma and the ability to act his way to global recognition, millions in the bank – and a rather unhealthy (I presume) attitude towards value for money.

Nicolas Cage was blessed by Nature – he’s pretty, talented and … brim full of ‘hell yeah!’

It appears that he’s blown millions on living it large. We’re talking huge – mind blowingly huge. Now – why he’s done so is anyone’s guess – his financial advisor Samuel Levine has been reported as saying that he advised Mr Cage against his penchant for spending money like he owned the Federal Reserve.

However, the rich and famous live ostentatious lives at the best of times and – judging by the global recession – at the worst of them too. Does that qualify as being stupid? I’d say it’s at least very silly and incredibly frivolous.

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Nicolas Cage denies he’s going (or gone) broke. Bit mean IMO – he was nice enough to sign autographs then someone got personal. The down side to celebrity – folks think they know you well enough to … talk to you. When I hit the big time I’m not talking to no one – no how.

It’s also what makes us judge celebrities as being just a little bit foolish. We’ve all heard the saying – a fool and his money are soon parted. I reckon it’s time to bring the well known phrase up to speed, give it a little polish in keeping with modern times …

a tool and his money are soon parted – especially when he takes bad advice and buys more homes that a man needs hot dinners

Long winded I know but – you get the picture. At one point Nicolas Cage owned a whopping 15 homes. Now we all know that you can only ever (truly) live in one at a time – it’s impossible to be everywhere at once.

I base this upon a divine analysis. Of God. For all the omnipotence He’s supposed to possess He doesn’t hang out in all the homes he’s got dotted around the globe – no matter what the faithful believe.

Let’s face it – we’re mere mortals and the best we can come up with is dark, atmospheric buildings full of symbols, cranky organs and really uncomfortable seating. God wants Peace On Earth and don’t forget that he said:

Let there be light – God

Of which the average church is sadly lacking. And the peaceful part is subjective – according to what denomination you follow and how you interpret it. So if God ain’t doing it – I’m figuring we of the mortal state don’t stand a chance.

Similar to the average Church Sacristy. Only this is an interior shot of one of Nicolas Cage’s former homes. God probably has more taste.

Devine analysis aside; I do believe Nicolas Cage to have been a property investor, rather than a complete idiot. Unfortunately – and this goes for the rich and famous and the likes of you and me – home ownership requires the owner/s to pay taxes.

Forget Devine Analysis – house repossessions occur when you ignore Levine protagonists.

The UK and the US both require that certain levies are paid for the privilege (gone are the days when a house kept the wolves from the door – now they don’t bother knocking, they just enter by way of a bill on the door mat) and the bigger the property – the bigger the burden taxes.

It’s the taxes – and presumably his carefree spending – that have tripped Nicolas Cage up. That and the fall in property values. Now – depending on who you believe – he either thought he could afford his lifestyle (because his financial advisor advised him that he could) or he just went crazy.

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This is what it sounds like when Nicolas Cage goes crazy. A little different to spending money but you know – crazy is as crazy does. As for what he says (it’s a little fuzzy) it amounts to several ‘get the f*** off me’ rants, one about ´respect my f***ing eyes’ *shrugs* and a few more threats relating to what he’s gonna do if …

Over the last couple of years he’s found himself taxed to the point that he’s had to offload his homes as a means of repaying what he owes. Unfortunately – most folks don’t have film star bank accounts.

Hell most folks don’t have bank accounts that match the D list guys. If we’re lucky we have the kind of money that the guys that tell Nicolas Cage he’s wonderful possess. So saying that when some of his homes have been up for sale, they haven’t sold.

That led to the Men In Banks foreclosing on the properties. Why? Well that’s the easy bit – he owed money, they wanted some, and don’t forget the Tax Man wanted his cut. Just like the Grim Reaper – the Tax Man never lets anyone bargain his way out of the inevitable.

The Men In Banks – they exist, they want their money – and they’re coming to a house near you – soon.

Now – I don’t know about you but I always figured guys like Nicolas Cage were raking it in. Making enough moolah to buy outright. I based this opinion on how much I get charged everytime I go down to the Odeon. For the price of a good bottle of wine and a loaf of bread you get to watch Nicolas Cage in his latest movie.

But – then again – perhaps Orange Wednesdays are having a bigger impact than they were supposed to? The wrong kind. Maybe throwing around two-for-one tickets negatively impacts on box office takings – which ultimately reduces what the rich and famous get in their pay-packets every Friday?

Perhaps Nicolas Cage should also take issue with Orange? They’re undermining take home pay and … and … maybe I should shut up. I like Orange Wednesdays and I don’t give a rats ass if Hollywood A listers are down a few bucks. Last time I looked they’re weren’t cutting me any slack so …

Maybe Orange are partly responsible for house repossessions? Nah …

Anyway – here’s the irony moment – one of the last properties that Nicolas Cage had for sale didn’t do so well with the estate agents. Realtors if you’re American. From what I picked up the guys appointed to take the houses to resale weren’t overly impressed with what it was that they had to sell. Apparently Cage had turned the interior of his (former) home into a ‘frat house bordello’.

That’s American for ‘no taste’. Having seen the pictures – I have spent some time wondering just who who was responsible for the  interior decor.

The house looked like a group of bachelors, desperate for some action – had run amok with a carte blanche card, a blind interior decorator and an invitation to spend whatever they wanted down at Camden flea market. Really – it’s frightening what money can buy you. And just as frightening what it can’t.

Stunning exterior. But wait – that’s the outside.

There are no words … Oh yes there is – Magnolia!

Lose the Dragon, the furniture, everything else and you’ve got an … empty room. Bad taste sucks.

Just when you thought is was safe to enter the water. No escape.  Sheesh.

Having failed to sell by way of the usual route, the Tudor pile turned up at a property auction. And even then – it didn’t make the sale it was pitched at. The actual figure hasn’t been disclosed but – instead of selling for somewhere above 25 million, it’s reported that it  didn’t quite make 10. That’s some reductionand a lesson to those that think purple velour and whacky dragon sculptures are what sells houses for stupid money.

I’m assuming that Nicolas Cage is now languishing somewhere minus his Bel Air home. And his New Orleans one. And the one he had in Las Vegas – not to mention the castle In Bath. It seems the words (not the) National Treasure and Leaving Las Vegas (because he had to) have come home to roost. According to his former financial advisor unfortunately Cage is not known for his … financial restraint.

Over the years preceding his fall from financial grace, he blew money on crap goodies such as:

A gulf stream jet. Gimme another hell yeah!

Milford Castle – not one bath in a Castle … one whole castle in the city of Bath.

Four yachts – like this or similar. We’re not talking rubber dinghy’s here.

Nine Rolls Royce models. Almost one for every home.

  • jewelry and art work totalling millions of dollars
  • unbelievably good parties
  • and other … stuff

See – no modesty in this shopping list. Not a hot tub or a half-time house-maid in sight. No Sireee … Nicolas Cage goes large. He goes huge. He goes … stratospheric. Awesome.

So you see there’s a moral to this story. And I’m not talking about overspending (too obvious), being silly (lol) or even … I told you so! No – I’m talking about assertiveness.  Samuel Levine’s (I reckon he probably wasn’t clear enough) – and those that have managed to mess up the world’s economy. If you’ve got something to say – say it like you mean it. Don’t hide behind spin or psycho babble or BullS**ters Anonymous.

YouTube Preview ImageTell us the truth. We can handle the truth. We have a right to know exactly where all this spending has gotten us. We need a little direction. We want to know what it is we’re heading for – because most of us really don’t have a couple of million stashed in an off shore holding facility bank account – just in case you guys decide to crap on us just … a little bit more.  We have the right to plan ahead – sensibly, knowledgeably … effectively.

Just how far are the guys sat behind the desks at Whitehall and the Big Banking Institutions going to push us in order to redress their mistakes – their overspending – their big bloody global cock-up? I wish I had the answer. But I’m not the men In Banks, I’m not on the Whitehall payroll.

If I was – I wouldn’t be blasting the clowns running the banking systems and the like of Nicolas Cage for being so damn silly. I’d be telling you guys what it is you want/need to know … what the hell really happened behind closed doors that caused the likes of us to have our homes repossessed, our financial credibility left in ruins – and our futures’ so messed up that it looks like there’s a one helluva storm heading our way.

Pictures:

Wikipedia Commons – User BetacommandBot, JasonAQuest, Daily Mail UK, Realtor, WEbShots – User JenMars23, Everett Fenton Gidley,

House Repossessions And Buy To Let Rental Market

According to the Paragon Group – a mortgage buy-to-let company – the rental market is about to experience an increase in rents.

As many as 40% of landlords are about to hike up their charges by as much as 8% in various regions around the country. Is this due to the current trend related to house repossessions – or something else?

The truth is it’s related to a combination of factors: there are more students looking for rental properties, there are more and more incidents whereby people cannot secure a mortgage and the influx of migrants are all influencing the trend.

When you also add in the fact that more homes are being repossessed – it’s clear why landlords are in such a strong position – demand is rising at a faster rate than supply. Is this good news for the housing market? That depends on which side of the fence you’re on.

If you’re a landlord, or you’re about to break into the property market by way of buying at property auctions in the UK – then the answer is a resounding yes. If you’re looking to rent a property, then it’s an equally resounding no.

As a matter of fact my sons have just discovered (as they’re about to renew the lease on their jointly shared apartment) that their landlord has hiked up their rent by a whopping 10% … which of course is 2% higher than the predicted national average.

Obviously the decision is not one they want to hear – just because they’re renting does not mean that their bank accounts can cope with the potential increase. In fact – renting and being financially secure are not mutually exclusive. Often it’s quite the opposite.

This is more likely the case in the event that a prospective tenant has just gone through the house repossession process. Losing your home isn’t always cost free. Plus the reasons surrounding the loss are related to an obvious lack of financial stability in the first place. In short – it sucks.

For my son’s part, they’ve only been renting their apartment for 12 months. If their landlord keeps hiking up the rent by 10% a shot, within another two years they’re going to find it really difficult to meet with the increase.

Like most young people their annual income won’t rise even halfway close to 10% increase – over a two year period. What then? Buy? Singularly that’s an unlikely prospect. Together, a stronger one. But – where do they turn to for a mortgage?

Mortgage lenders are growing increasingly cagey about lending. Although the current leaning is for said lenders to deny that they’re tightening up on the lending criteria, those of us on the street aren’t stupid.

Currently, unless your last name is Gates and your dad’s first name is Bill – most people are finding it extremely difficult to secure a realistic mortgage offer. But then – if Bill Gates was your dad, you wouldn’t need a mortgage anyway.

So – whilst the rental price increase may not be strictly due to the house repossessions going on around the UK – it’s certainly an important factor. Landlords are finding themselves in a very strong position – one which it would appear many are exploiting.

And we understand that. They’re running a business and businesses only exist for one reason only – and no … it’s nothing to do with supplying a great product or helping folks’ out – and everything to do with making a profit.

And let’s not forget the fact that the Government is about to start reducing housing benefit. Could things get any worse for the poor, beleaguered ex-house owner to be? I’d like to think not. However looking ahead – I think things are going to get just a little bumpier for all of us.

House repossessions are not going to flatten out anytime soon. Migration levels are unlikely to drop enough to significantly affect the market. Young people are going to continue on their quest for higher education – despite knowing what they’ve got coming re spending cuts (the EMA grant for example) and raised fees once they head into uni – because they’re entitled to want more from life.

But that’s a whole other story.

Buy My House Fast But Please Don’t Rip Me Off – A Guide to Selling Your Property Quickly and Safely

Letters from the mortgage company are piling up….in fact you’ve stopped opening them. The bank is calling on an almost daily basis….you don’t pick up. You can’t get to sleep at night and when you do, you find yourself tossing and turning. For many suffering from financial difficulties this is a familiar situation. If you’re feeling that you’ve got to the end of the line with your bank, with mortgage arrears and the threat of repossession is looming, for many their only thought is, “Buy my house now and make it snappy”….oh yes, “and please don’t rip me off”.

Selling your property quickly is definitely one way to keep both you and the bank happy. There are various ways of achieving a fast sale and we’ll consider each option carefully further down the page, but one aspect of trying to sell quickly that you’ll be aware of, is that there are sharks circling out there hoping to capitalise on your financial vulnerability and buy your home at a very large discount. You say, “Buy my house” while they rub their hands together and say, “Where do I sign?”

For those who don’t want to move home it’s tempting to go for a sell and rent back scheme but wonder how legit they are. In a moment we’ll look at your options for a fast house sale, including the positives and negatives of the choice to sell and rent back and selling at house auctions, but before we do remember that even though things are not going very well for you right now, you can take control of your financial situation.

Due to the recession, job losses and the rise in inflation, times are tough for many of us and tough decisions have to be made but there are options and all is not lost. Instead of jumping right into finding someone to buy your house as soon as you can, there are some other options which I highly recommend you consider first. So if you haven’t read it already, check out this comprehensive guide on the variety of services and options available to help with mortgage arrears, including current government schemes designed to help you keep your home.

No I’ve Tried all That – I Really Do Want Someone to Buy My House and Fast!

For those of you who have read the guide, have considered every option available and are still thinking, I really do need someone to buy my house quickly, I’m going to explain the various places to find a buyer for your house, so that you can make an informed decision about what’s best for you and your family, and decide which quick house sale option is the right choice for you so that you can pay off your mortgage lender, avoid repossession and finally get a good night’s sleep.

Option 1 – Sell your House on the Open Market

In general, putting your home on the market with an estate agent is considered one of the slowest methods of selling a property, but it’s still worth considering because it’s not always that way. If you can afford to put your property up for sale at under the market value then you may well be able to get a quick sale.

Bargains are frequently snapped up quickly by property investors who are looking for buy to let properties or if you’re lucky, your estate agent may find a buyer who already has the money in the bank and has been holding out for a good deal.

Option 2 – Sell to an Estate Agent

Estate agents often buy properties to sell on, especially when they can get them at a good price. So call all of your local agents and ask if any of them would like to buy your house from you. Estate agents will buy cash, so again it’s a lot quicker than waiting for someone to sell their property, arrange their mortgage and have all the potential issues of being in a chain. Estate agents will usually offer between 20-30% less than the market value of your home, but if the offer price covers your debt to the bank it’s an excellent way to avoid repossession and start anew free of debt, stress and worry.

Option 3 – Sell Your House at Auction

This is one of the best ways to find someone to buy your house swiftly. Property sales at auction go through very fast when compared with other methods of selling (within 28 days from the auction date). In addition, there are no chains and no hassles. The downside of selling at auction is that you could receive up to 40% less the market value of your property but if you can still earn enough from the sale to pay off your mortgage then it’s well worth going to auction. For a links to some of the bigger property auctioneers, scroll to the bottom of the following article on house auctions.

Option 4 – Sell to a Private Company

Aside from the estate agents that we are all familiar with there are companies that will be happy to buy your house for cash. Again they will offer 20-30% less than the market value (can you see a pattern here?). They will understand your need for a quick sale and will usually offer a speedy service, with the sale taking just 1-28 days to complete. These companies will normally pay all of your legal costs too. To find companies that offer this service check out the property section in your local paper.

Option 5 – Sell and Rent Back Your Property

Sell and Rent back is a way of getting a quick house sale which involves a company buying your property at less than the market value and then you paying rent to them for as long as you live in the property. Over the last few years sell and rent back businesses have been subject to tighter regulations because many companies involved in this were behaving like the sharks we mentioned previously. They were throwing people out of their homes after 6 months or hiking the rents up to unaffordable levels.

Regardless of the latest legislation to make sell and rent back companies treat their clients better, of all the options given here for a fast house sale, sell and rent back is still, without doubt, the most risky option.

There have been many cases where sell and rent back companies could not keep up their mortgage repayments, leading to the properties being repossessed by the banks and tenants being evicted. Sell and rent back looks like an attractive option, saving you the hassle of moving out, but it’s definitely not the safest.

Option 6 – Equity Release

If you’re over 55 and have paid off the majority of your mortgage then equity release is an option to consider. This factsheet gives a good overview of everything you need to know about equity release and also provides information about how equity release is different from sell and rent back.

Option 7 – Sell Your House Privately

There are many websites popping up nowadays that offer property sellers the ability to sell privately without estate agents (you can even advertise your property on eBay if you choose). If you’re lucky and the right buyer comes along you could get a fast sale – this method also increases the likelihood of getting the market value of your property. If you offer your property to only cash buyers you will not have to wait in a chain and the process will be a lot quicker than normal.

There are various reasons for wanting to sell your house quickly and releasing the capital it holds. Maybe you’re moving abroad or relocating. Maybe you need to move quickly to look after a relative or have suffered bereavement. Maybe you’ve been made redundant or lost your job and you can’t meet your mortgage payments.

Unfortunately, in the current financial climate, it’s usually the threat of house repossession that is forcing you to think about finding a buyer for your house. Hopefully, for those of you with the constant thought,” I need someone to buy my house fast,” running around your head, this guide on the ways to sell your property quickly has helped you make a decision on the best option for you.