Excerpt from “Downsizing your home with style and regain your freedom’
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In just about any currency its going to cost about 1,000 something a month to rent a half decent place with a double bed.
If its about 1,000 Euros, USA a $1,000, £1,000, its won’t get you a great deal, in fact may God help you find a place for
£1,000 a month in London.
“Ahh,” you might say “the sub-continent is very cheap”???????
Not if you want to live with the posh folks with pools, air-con, parking and security! If you are willing to do
corrugated shack in back street you will pay less but try finding a realtor to take you to one…..and they are not
so cheap either.
Convert their currency into ours, and a decent pad is still near about £,$, Euros 1,000 a month plus bills.
The days of New Zealand or Australia etc being so disconnected from the worlds pricing are long gone, and they will
probably never be ‘cheap’ again. China might be, but Ive never been there, and there are fewer expats.
As for purchasing it’s the same principle nothing less than 50,000 in ANY currency and this might get you into a studio.
More luxury amenities and you will pay more BUT you will have to start factoring in the service charges/dues every
year which can only rise…like school fees.
There is a reason for this:
THERE IS A PROBLEM out there with the management companies and no one seems to talk about it!
The larger blocks are ‘run’ by very slick professional firms who bid for the contract of usually 3 years. Bidding low
satisfies the Landlord /Head Lease Holder and they will endeavour to run several blocks for one client. They will then have
to resubmit the bids after 3 years and have force their (real) fee down. Cost have all risen but the landlords are not
prepared to take them on. So what do they all do? So they all turn to the tenants whose agreements sate their property can
be foreclosed on due to unpaid service charges. A very dangerous position to be in and one the middles classes are
increasingly facing in a silent terror.
But simultaneously they (management companies) make about 20% on top of all/most of the billed repairs/works/costs on that
building during the year. That extra 20% can also unwittingly be passed onto the tenants and occupiers under their lease
So its in their interests to look and fix problems especially nice big jobs like boilers, roof, exterior wall/cladding
cleaning, lifts, window replacements etc etc its endless and especially in their second term! They probably won’t get a
third term and they know it so they make hay and fix, fix, fix!
Meanwhile The Landlords building/plant increases in value and their portfolio value rockets.
Its custom now for some management companies to ‘serve notice,’ along with the quarterly Service Charge bill, just to save
on time and incase the tenants are late with Service Charge payments.
You can own the property outright, have lived there all your life and be ‘served notice’ letter in with your next Service
Charge Statement. We all had it on our London block with every bill, for over 5 years.
The only defence is a good strong organised Tenants Association but London (par example) is full of overseas folks who have
no interest, won’t rock the boat, complain or linguistically can hardly read the small print.
Great houses in Florida, gated golf communities, are going cheap because the dues are now a fortune. Try budgeting for that
out of a pension!
Don’t even mention Dubai, whose developers never really factored in, or fully estimated, the servicing cost of those
gigantic modern blocks when half the tenants don’t pay on time, and the other half don’t exist.
To ‘downsize’ you also have to reduce your outgoings on a monthly basis which is why renting might be cheaper.
Yes, you can also rent out your property peak season and live where? Have you seen the price of a caravan these
days? Take a trip to St Tropez and see what they get for Kon Tikki Beach when its open, and anything in driving
Stay with relatives or friends during the season? You sure…?
Converted town houses, small purpose built blocks with out pools, lifts, porters (who steal) etc, older properties
sometimes have great locations from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s etc when land cost was cheaper are worth looking at to rent or
Its your pocket and its your money and the mistakes are endless. I constantly change my mind, reevaluate, notice more and go
back to plan B.
Bottom line is;
Downsizing has to work financially for you. Its the primary reason for doing it.