Found by: ScarletMarble

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Marty E.
Naked Loon Editor-in-Chief

7 Comments on "Enter the Vortex"

  1. Yes, why? Why the British predilection for outrageous wallpaper? It’s usually floral, but apparently not always. Does it have anything to do with overcast weather? I dunno, cloud cover feels oppressive, crowding you. So the appropriate counter-measure is wallpaper that does the same thing? Huh. You’d think the kitchen with red cabinets and variegated butcher block counters would be the strongest visual impression. Or the bedroom wall with wide horizontal stripes. Maybe the rooms are having a contest…

    What neither bedroom needs is a striped wall. With barely enough room for a bed, what they do need is more square footage. In fact, the whole place has less than 600sqft, given the listing’s room sizes plus an approximate bathroom size. And they want $165K? What?!

    And it seems this isn’t entirely outright ownership, either, as the listing cites “a long lease.” Either way, the cost of housing in Britain is beyond steep. At least there’s “no upward chain.” Found this about that: No… the chains here are all about how much you’ll owe. What’s that famous quote? “Never has so much been owed by so many to so few.” Defeated Nazis? Check. Defeated serfdom? Maybe not so much.

  2. In the UK, there are two ways of buying housing – leasehold & freehold. It’s a bit complicated but, as I understand it, if you buy a freehold property, you own the property outright, the way you would own an American home.

    If you buy a leasehold property, you aren’t technically buying the house — you’re buying the lease on the house for what seems like some stupidly long amount of time (I’m fairly sure that I’ve seen leaseholds of 100+ years being sold). When you buy a leasehold, you have all the same responsibilities for upkeep, etc., and as far as I’m aware you can do whatever you want to the place as far as decorating/renovating, and you can sell the leasehold whenever you want, but you don’t really own the place.

  3. @MsWildhack: Huh. That’s rather odd, but it does sound sort of like the condominium concept here (which I also consider odd). So who pays the property tax? The property owner or the lease holder? Does the property owner have to pay income tax on the lease payments? S’kay if you don’t know, I was just curious.

    Thank you for explaining this part of British housing to us! Can you tell us also if all housing is as expensive as what we’ve seen here? I simply don’t understand how anyone can afford to buy or lease. The same is true here, but to my sense it’s not quite as extreme, at least in some areas. I feel for anyone wanting to have a decent place to live in your neck of the woods when the prices are (seemingly) so astronomical.

  4. Oh, I’m not British — I’m American. But I lived in the UK for a couple of years and would go back in a heartbeat if I could. I don’t know about the taxes, although I’d imagine both the property owner and the leaseholders who live on/in the property pay some sort of tax. I think the UK rough equivalent of our property tax would be what they call coucil tax and that would almost certainly be paid by the leasehold owner.

    As for prices, it varies wildly throughout the UK, but yeah — I think owning a home is pretty expensive everywhere (because, in the relatively “cheap” areas, the prevalent wages are also lower). London is just ridiculous these days and it’s a serious social problem — only the very wealthy can afford most of London proper and even much of the outlying area is too expensive for many people.

  5. council, not coucil. Argh. Proofread before posting.

  6. @MsWildhack: Not only that, there’s the enormous fee to drive into London. I don’t know if that’s on only a day-to-day basis or if you can “economize” with some sort of “fast-pass” deal. The point is, you can’t just drive into London without paying some huge amount of money. I suppose they have better public transport into London than we have in general here (most countries have something better that what the average American non-major metro area has). Still, only those wealthy enough to live in London have the easiest access to its many attributes. Mayhaps it’s time for another Peasants’ Revolt?

  7. Oh, it’s way past time for another Peasants’ Revolt. :-)


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