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This is a spare 'blog in case my main 'blog at markwadsworth.blogspot.com isn't working
I must admit, I blather on about the rental value of land being created by ‘society’ or ‘the community’; the notion that if the government spends taxpayers’ money wisely, it channels the gains in the direction of landowners; and the assumption that the value of your particular plot of land is largely influenced by what the occupants of surrounding plots do and not what you do, etc, but as a fair minded sort of chap, let’s have a look at what the hard core Home-Owner-Ists have to say…
According to Channel 4 – who broadcast a lot of Kirstie Allsop’s programmes, and she should know – if you want your ‘investment to show capital growth’, here is what you should look for when deciding where to buy:
1: What’s The Area Like?
If you’re worried about whether or not you’ll feel at home with your new neighbours, fear not. Discovering everything, from your neighbours’ incomes to what paper they read, is a cinch with a neighbourhood profile from http://www.upmystreet.com. Similar concerns about crime? This site will also provide the latest statistics.
2: High Street Hints
It’s true that newly opened coffee shops, delicatessens and especially estate agents suggest an upward shift in an area. Unfortunately, shops tend to follow shoppers, so you may have missed your chance to get in early and snap up a bargain. However, it’s still an encouraging sign that the times (and area) are changing.
3: Smartening Up
Many post-war town centres have become concrete wastelands, but planners are realising that braving the urban jungle is not what we want. Some quick enquiries at the local council may reveal if there are plans afoot to redevelop a town centre, which will make the area a more pleasant place to be.
4: Architectural Delights
Sought-after building styles – Victorian terraces or well-proportioned 1930s semis, for example – can push one area to the fore if surrounding neighbourhoods are less architecturally strong.
5: Mapping It Out
You’re not the only refugee from gorgeous but unaffordable areas. Take solace in the ‘ripple effect’ – places on the boundaries of good areas often become desirable, so the best advice is to get out the map and look for likely candidates around your dream location.
6: Look To The Future
Thinking ahead is a must when buying, so don’t just consider what you want from your house now – factor in what future buyers might want, too. Even if you don’t have kids, your future buyers might, so try to pick an area with good schools. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a gym-dodger – potential purchasers may want one locally. No car? No matter – inadequate parking in an area will discourage car owners, so remember to bear this in mind too.
7: Home Improvements
Look out for any new developments and skips outside private homes, as they’re signs of new blood moving in. Large disused buildings are also prime candidates for refurbishing into flats for professionals.
8: What Are Local Schools Like?
Check performance tables at the Department for Education and Skills and Ofsted inspection reports to see how schools are performing – marked improvements are a good sign. Also, see if there are universities in the area, giving you the option of future rental income, either for the whole property or just a room.
9: Quiet Life Or Night Spot?
An area that is peaceful during the day can turn into a swinging hotspot by night, so it’s always a good idea to visit at different times, both during the day and week. Gangs of unsupervised kids hanging around are not a good sign of an area on the up.
10: Are Transport Links Decent?
New transport links signal investment, so investigate planned improvements on roads with the Highways Agency. To find out about existing travel links, contact National Rail Enquiries for trains, or Travel Line for buses.
Maybe I’ve missed something, but isn’t that exactly what I’ve been saying all along?
It’s just that I think this through to one logical conclusion, that it is better to tax community-created land values than to tax incomes; and the Homeys and Faux Libs draw the opposite conclusion, that skimming off the profits made from the efforts of others is a good way of making money. I don’t think there is any disagreement on the actual facts, is there?