January 8th, 2010


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Flat update

Ok, so the pipe has been replaced and everything's been put back together and painted.  It looks great.

This leaves two things:
1) A bit of crumbling concrete on the outside.  This is being inspected next week to see how much work it'll take to fix.
2) Replacing the carpet in that room, as Julie's asthma isn't too fond of spore-laden carpets.

The insurance is covering the floor, and the cheque is in the post (presumably to be eaten by polar bears on the way to me).  However, we'd quite like to get wooden flooring put down rather than carpet.  But....

The boiler is dying.  And by dying, I mean it hasn't worked in two days now for heating.  It's fine for hot water, but the heating is giving up the ghost.  It's an old boiler, and not a good make when it was originally bought 15 years ago.  And it's noisy, goes out intermittently, and frankly needs to be thrown away.  Oh, and the radiators are all full of rubbish and need to be flushed.

Flushing them is part of installing a new radiator anyway, so it makes sense to get that all done in one go.  But I don't want to put down the flooring until after the flushing takes place, in case it causes a pipe to explode - which wouldn't surprise me, given the quality of work that's generally been done on the flat.

So the remaining work seems to be:
1) Get new boiler installed in the kitchen (which is a much better place for it to be anyway).  This means that the flooring in there needs to be replaced.
2) Replace the flooring in the kitchen and the now-sorted bedroom.  And probably the study, as I've hated that carpet since I moved in.  And possibly the hall, as the floorboards there are _shit_ and it's cheaper to get them all replaced at once.
4) Spend all our time there, as that's our money gone for the year.  Oh, and that includes my bonus that I won't get until March.  If I don't get it, then expect me to be selling my kidneys on ebay.

Two numbers I would like to see

1) Average age of first-time home buyers as a graph covering the last 50 years.
2) Average monthly mortgage repayment over a similar time period - adjusted for inflation.  Because this would adjust (somewhat) for house prices going up while interest rates are low.

Between them these would tell us something about the affordability of housing over a long period.

Useless numbers

According to the Match.Com dating advert I just saw, "Someone meets their Match every 10 minutes."

Which is a completely useless number unless you know how many people are on the system. If there are 100,000 users then for all of them to find partners would take a million minutes. If you are the median user, this means you're going to have to wait a year to find your partner. If there are only 10 users then you'll find you'll find your partner in 50 minutes. Which one is it?


Thanks to marrog I discovered this government page o' stats which gave me what I wanted - albeit not adjusted for inflation. So I used the Bank Of England site to do so.
Year Median Mortgage - £/month Median Mortgage - £/month
(adjusted for inflation)
Median Mortgage as a % of Median Income
Median Mortgage as a % of Median Income
(£1500-2000 income)
2001 312 386 16 16
2002 320 390 16 16
2003 319 378 16 16
2004 340 391 16 17
2005 400 448 18 19
2006 450 488 19 21
2007 482 501 20 23
2008 547 547 21 24
Sadly, what I don't have is figures for before that point. I'd love to push this back to 1970 or so. Anyone got any useful links?