beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
It is a good thing that the house moving plan fell through
since subsequent changes to assorted rules mean it would have stopped working anyway.

I mean, that's if I understand a lot of long reading about benefits.

It's hard to consider it a good thing that i'm stuck, but if the alternative is to be out of money, homeless and stuck, well.


Jun. 27th, 2015 01:59 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
my flat I was hoping to buy now says Sold STC.
Which it did to me before in March and you never know how they'll feel about it after they see a survey etc etc
but probably means bye bye flat.

I still haven't heard anything about a mortgage. And after that there'd be a need to apply for a bunch of fundings all over again from the beginning. so the flat was a rather distant dream at this stage.

it's just the way it had been hanging there unsold for so long was all tempting and stuff.

I really need an actual good plan that will actually work and makes actual progress.

that would be nice.
beccaelizabeth: lion Prince John sucks his thumb as his crown falls down (thumb)
Deadlines happened. Deadlines I didn't know about. But apparently the plan hadn't reached a necessary milestone so half the funding has gone away for this financial year.

There's a vague possibility of trying again next financial year, but that's... not quite square one but a very close neighbour.


Jan. 12th, 2015 04:04 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
On the one hand I am learning I have actually quite a good eye for things that might be borked about properties, even when other people are all oh no don't worry.

On the other hand phrases like 'original to property' turn out to be sodding expensive in the context of 'full rewire'.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
There is wallpaper in the roundels and columns design color matched to the TARDIS console room of the 1980s.
I want.
Rolls are 52cm wide, and the TARDIS console room pattern they demonstrate it with goes like:
column roundel roundel roundel column roundel roundel column roundel roundel roundel column
12 widths of wallpaper, so you'd need 6.24m for that whole pattern.
(Which would need 2 rolls of roundel and 1 roll of column, £35 each, for a £105 wall.)

My long term plan for a house has different folders for Living Room and for Dining Room, because about half the houses I've looked at do that, but the other half are just one long living/dining room.

So the flat I'm fiddling with numbers for today has a living room that both estate agents reckon is 6.40*3.63m

The window is in one short wall, the door and radiators on one long wall.

So that's one short wall and one long wall that are only interrupted by plugs.

I could do the whole console room pattern. With a couple of inches to spare at the edges that could need filling in with color matched paint or could do something colorful or shiny to mitgate the grey.

... that would look grand.

Read more... )

Okay, boring hour before people get to the office is all done, now difficult hours of phoning people shall start.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I looked up building regulations about stairs. Well, I started out looking up staircases, because making a plan for the new house I hope to buy, but the websites list the relevant building regulations.

In a private home the bit you put your foot on can be a minimum of 220mm deep, but in the sort of places many lots of people go like shops and schools then stairs are a minimum of 280mm. Also the maximum rise in a home is 220mm and in public is 180mm.

So I've been thinking I'm fine with stairs, stairs are good, I'm a little clumsy but stairs are okay... and then I start visiting houses to see if I want them and the stairs are not okay, they are tiny steep things of doom.

So now it makes a bit of sense, because the rules are different, so stairs does not mean stairs everywheres.

I still think Norwich stairs are even steeper and skinnier than that. Read more... )

I don't know if the place I'm going to view next will have big enough stairs or anything.
If it doesn't I just keep looking for more places.

That's a bit more difficult when there don't seem to be any being listed lately.

mortgage and HOLD rules and so forth says 2 bedrooms, bathroom that is not en-suite, freehold or minimum 70 year leasehold, not new build flats. I say no gas (or removable gas, which means no gas in flats) and stairs I can get my feet on, if there are stairs. That doesn't sound complex but then there's a lot of looking to do.

Cleaner day happened while I was learning about stairs.
My vacuum cleaner makes a big squeak noise. We think it's where the hose goes into the machine. Hopefully it don't mean the whole thing needs replacing.
I was going to try duct tape but I ran out. Don't know if it's wise, anyway.

So now it should be my turn to vacuum my half, but the cleaner squeaks loudly. So I don't know if I should use it. Except it is the scheduled day.

I tried to figure this out last week too but it is still making the noise because progress is tricky.

I wonder if there are still repair shops...

Home safe

Oct. 13th, 2014 04:20 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I'm back from the convention.
Time of Angels was pretty good, there was dancing and I did my best impression of a human. There was one whole conversation and everything.

Got home to messages the maybe house is a definitely not. Sold to someone else.
Is kind of frustrating because I spent all weekend trying to stop thinking about numbers and things that needed fixing and how I could make it work, and it's all a waste of brain space.
Back to searching.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Cleaner has been and gone, and now I have three bins arrange in the corner of the kitchen, because the new intended to be bigger bin was in fact the same size. So that's getting a little silly, but I will get to test the new bin for practicality.

I have been reading house magazines, and they seem to fail on practical a bit. I mean, they're great at telling you to buy the new bathroom suite and possibly have two basins to not get in each other's way, but they do not mention 'put some storage and a bin in arm's reach of the toilet'. If they do mention storage tis all slatted sides 'to show off your best towels'. I don't especially want to show off my sanitary towels. But none of these designs have anywhere for them. Only once has a loo brush been mentioned, where a clever bathroom unit has a loo roll holder and loo brush holder built in. But none of the photos of finished bathrooms have any cleaning materials or loo brushes or ANYthing. Sometimes there's a soap dispenser. But there's actually more often floral arrangements than anywhere to put your toothbrush. Not very helpful at all.

And I have at least a dozen magazines now of more than half a dozen sorts. So it's not just one being snooty. But how is a bathroom any use at all if you haven't got somewhere for loo roll, including spares, panty liners, including rubbish, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner, and bathroom cleaning products, all in reach of where you'll need them while more than half asleep? Towel storage and a laundry bin is also nice, but could be more airing cupboard and washing machine located. Not having the other things in reach when you need them is an actual problem. Yet the only way these advice on planning your new bathroom magazines are any help at all is if you imagine every flower or candle swapped out for something actually practical.

I've not once seen a feature on 'best ways to store your bleach and spray cleaners so small persons don't get hurt'. Only one of these magazines ever cares about accessability (which is Your Home, which is £1.99 and also the most useful so far). Though I guess this magazine did just mention that it might be difficult to climb in the bath to have a shower, but it was in the context of why you should buy both a bath and a shower, not 'so here's a handy arrangement to help you in and out'.

I guess I'm getting grumpy about capitalism. I know buying magazines that tell you what's 'on trend' and what you should buy this season to do a home makeover is going to be extensively about 'spend money for more happiness', but it's such frivolous irrelevant stuff to spend it on.

Like, desks. Any time they show a desk they show it covered in paper and craft supplies. Which is all very well, but wouldn't it be helpful at least once to show how to make your electricals and electronics blend with your so minimalist or skandi or vintage or whatever the heck theme?

But then they very seldom include bookshelves. Designs that assume bookshelves are clutter and getting them out of your bedroom is soothing have seen print.

I've been looking at all the sorts of magazine hoping at least one of them has anything of these sorts in them, but no, they're all paint and frills and big money, and then you're supposed to fit your actual necessary life stuff around the edges.

Except in kitchens. Kitchen design is very different. And kitchen design is serious business, where even a small kitchen apparently needs storage for... every gadget you've ever imagined, and all the baking supplies, and, and, and. In the kitchen it is acknowledge that you will in fact use the room. I wonder if that's to do with how there's cooking recipes in most of these magazines? Like, they know their particular readers are about to go use that room right now. They'd probably noticed if 'minimalist' layouts meant they couldn't follow the instructions.

... I'm going off on one again, I know. But home magazines are just fashion for your walls, they're not handy at all.

Maybe there's boy versions with the equivalent of pockets...
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I am rubbish at photos. I have a bunch of sideways wonky photos that I can't always figure out which way is up. I don't have photos of half the stuff in my head I thought I took photos of. And some of them are very dark or have fingers in. I am super rubbish at photos.

But there was an open house for a place in the right bit of Norwich so we went and looked. It had stairs I could get up and down, unlike the vast majority of places with tiny skinny stairs, they'd made them L shaped and much bigger. It had two bedrooms and a kitchen and a bathroom off a lobby like I was looking for. Mum says I should try to imagine it all clean and new plaster and painted whites and with nice carpets and see if I'd like it then.

It says 'in need of modernisation', which broadly translates to, 'looks like where bad taste went to die some decades ago'. Read more... )

I think it wouldn't be easy.
And if it's expensive I wouldn't have the money to fix things with.

But I wouldn't mind living on that street at all, that's quite nice, and quite close to familiar places, so I know I can get where I need to.

So now I am pondering.

The money people will be back on Monday anyway, so I guess I have a couple days of pondering to do.


Jul. 31st, 2014 05:08 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I have used the phone and found that mostly things are sold before I phone up about them.
I feel this is unhelpful.

But I am also getting practice at stuttering my name at people. (I guess I can see why people won't just take a last name, but I can't flippin say my first name, at least not properly, which is... unhelpful.)

My rightmove list is down to one house which I know isn't suitable unless we redo the kitchen and bathroom, which I cannot afford to do.

Clearly this is because the universe is clearing the decks ready for an awesome new property which will be sent to me by either rightmove or one of these nice estate agents I've left my details with.


... *sigh*
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Any time I think 'maybe I wouldn't mind so much living in a flat again' a day like this happens: awoken first by neighbour awaking very early, then by fire alarm going off (briefly, long enough to spring out of bed, not long enough to be an actual fire), followed by a morning of neighbour music, 'discussion' in the hall, and the subsequent yelling match about keeping it down.

I would like a house next time. Yes. Much less neighbours. Possibly walls you can't hear through? Posh people houses have those, right?

people are difficult
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Today I did the Monday jobs (contact people, order food for delivery tomorrow) and also went in to Norwich to pick up books and look at a house.

The house is not The One. Which is sad. If it was better built or somewhere nicer then it might be quite good, but it's a bit not done at the moment. They're going to have to redo the floor in the living room, for instance, because it's all wavey with a big bubble in the doorway from not quite fitting. And we couldn't find how to turn the radiators on or up or anything. Which was puzzling. If there were controls for the underfloor heating they were hid very good. And the unfinished floors upstairs had dark patches of unknown origin. It seemed quite nice in lots of ways, but mum says it should be built better, and also finished by now. They started selling it saying it would be finished 'Spring 2014' and today they said it's not quite done, maybe 4 or 5 more weeks, and I figure that means 'eventually' in a hazy sort of way. They say there will be a warranty when it's done. But right now it is not done and there's big holes with big pipes in not connected to anything. But if it was in a nice place I might like it anyway? But the place is far from the big library, and some of the houses have smashed doors or gardens full of junk and a great need of maintenance, and there's graffiti on the post box, and the crime mapper had some stuff. So, even detached, not the house.

Soon there will be The One. Because that's how houses work. Right?


Three of my five books had arrived :-) So now I have sequels and ends of series.

Also today I remembered to eat breakfast and then had some soup for afternoon food same like last time I went out. I win at meals.

Then I listened to two Doctor Who adventures cause someone asked a thing about one of them, and played many more levels of cake making games.

Excellent day then. Full of many. :-)
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I'm trying to use google maps to figure out where the buses go from near potential houses in Norwich
but I suspect this is a bad way to do it
because it says there's three different stops on the same route around a corner where I just can't see how a bus would get there from there
and also it will tell me a bus route one minute and not the next
and not because it's stopped for the night, just because it decided I should walk a mile instead.

I'm fairly sure that the house that looks Too Far is in fact around the corner from the bus into the town center, meaning I can use my bus pass any time
but I'm not proper sure, because google.

I'd like to get a phone that can do maps and routes and things, but if it's only going to be this much use, then it's not worth it. So far routes are kind of okay in a car, maaaaybe worky on foot, but not so great on a bus.

I have a daydream about this house though where I get a tricycle with a big basket on the back and go up the nearby bike path to the nearby supermarket and do my shopping on a trike and come home on a trike and be all mobile. I couldn't do that on a road on account of being me. But being next to a bike path made me daydream.

Only mum says bike paths are actually Bad because you can't get out and there's nobody looking and they'd be made of crime. So that's not a daydream place.

I don't know how much crime on the crime mapper, or how nearby, would be acceptable. I mean, for a while it looked like there was only Antisocial Behaviour round there, but now there's violence and I looked at more months and there's more violence and that's annoying. But if you look wide enough there's always violence? I don't know. There's the one super good bit of town where all the crime is vehicle crime, but there's no houses listed there as are in excellent condition at the minute.

I'm going to go stare at a house on Monday. Mum says it's a turkey and new build houses should have a warranty and also that if it was any good someone would have bought it already. Also it is not clear from the photos if it is finished now or if they just said sod it and left electrics poking out the walls. But I'm going to look at it anyway.

I don't know, what I look for in a house is it existing, there should probably be more criteria.
I mean I need a particular layout of rooms that is proving hard to find in Norwich, that being a bathroom off a corridor or lobby, and I would very much like No Gas, though mum says I could buy something with gas and fix it though I can't see how I'd afford that, but if it has enough rooms and a bathroom in the right place and I can get to the library from there then, you know, sorted.

It's hard to check how late at night the buses run. Some of these seem to stop at five and a half or sixish, which wouldn't be useful for interesting things of an evening. But taxis would still be much cheaper from inside Norwich to inside Norwich.

It would be more best to be in the area I found the demonstration houses in when the housing place wanted to see what sort of thing I was looking for. But at the moment there's only the one, and it has three different sets of description and measurement from three different estate agents, and no inside photos, plus one description says 'needs some TLC' and another says 'vendor is replacing windows' and it doesn't sound promising at all. And it probably has gas.

Housing is hard.

I shall continue looking for things.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
The next step in my move to Norwich plan is to find the perfectly perfect home. It has to be in excellent condition when it is bought, and I will be living there for years and years and years, so I have to get it right.

And I get to choose it. Choice is weird. Also new.

I am hoping to get a house with as few neighbour-walls as possible.

There's a lovely looking new build detached house, but it is 1.5 miles walk from the library, and the library is my reference point for places I want to be able to get to. It is not an easy walk with green man crossings everywhere neither. I mean, there's an easy looking version, with a bike path and no cars at all, but apparently it is not a good idea to use nice looking leafy walking places that aren't all houses on all sides, because danger. Which is sad.

But closest to the library there are only apartments, and I'm not enthused. I've had many many neighbours. With one front door between us. This seems to result in shouting, crunching, weird noises at three in the morning, and sometimes fire. It is possible apartments that cost more money are less problematic, but I don't think I want to risk it. Also I don't think living above a restaurant is a great plan, which actually rules out a bunch of places. Also I am not enamoured of the idea of living in the mall. I'm sure it has many nice features, but not so much as a residence.

So somewhere between 0.5 and 1 miles from the library there are usually a couple dozen houses listed, so there's probably one of them that I'd quite like. They're mostly terraced houses and they're all on a very similar plan. I'm looking for a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom place, second WC optional but nice as long as its not directly attached to the kitchen, upstairs rooms all off a corridor not just each other. I have logics for these requirements, like, who puts a toilet on the kitchen? That's just not nice. And given my random sleeping hours it's not very helpful to have anyone need to go through a bedroom to get to the bathroom, so en-suite is no good. Even though the second bedroom is for an entirely hypothetical person. If it was just going to be my study then it wouldn't matter, but there's rules to do with the funding, so it's for an imaginary person instead.

A lot of places seem to consider things features that I think of as bugs. Like en-suite bathrooms, they're really keen on them. Or balconies. I do not want a balcony. Or most places are much keener on windows than I am. I want plenty of wall to put bookshelves on, not windows to have to cover with blackout blinds. Similar problem with fireplaces, they're all 'period features' and I just see somewhere that is still not books. I also do not need parking, and actively do not want to be above a garage again, on account of crashing, crime and fires. And having a garden would mean having an ongoing maintenance problem I'm allergic to. Mum says it can be covered over but that seems to be missing the point a bit.

There are things that can make a house not be worth as much, like, neighbourhood of crimes, or being on a flood plain, both of which there's maps for. There could be ick like bugs or rats or something, that needs checking, but there's not a map for that. Or there could be knotweed in the garden, I was reading about Japanese knotweed and how it wrecks everything and you can't get a mortgage on places with that stuff around. There's probably other things. What needs checking?

... I really like the look of the 2 bed detached place.
... so I guess I want that, only about a mile closer to the library, in one of the bits with much less crimes and of a nicer nature.

Once I get a place I'd like to get furniture. Debenhams satellite or saturn stuff seems nice; the best looking bed is on sale at the moment and if I could figure out a place to store it I'd probably buy it. It is not perfect though, with the pointy sticking out corners. I will need to buy a bed though, mine won't manage the move. Habitat Fleur has drawers with some pretty handles. And Ercol has much very swish stuff, especially bits of the Artisan, Romana, Chiltern Bow and Pimlico sets. I reckon the different sets could mostly mix and match.

John Lewis Stride range has similarities but I don't think I like it quite as much. But their Burford table has stayed my favourite for a while now, and they have a nice range of fabrics for upholstering dining room chairs that includes rainbow stripes on white.

I'm going to be saving up for this stuff a bit at a time for pretty much forever, if I decide to really go for the new furniture plan.

I would like a house that can fit in a new bed and new table and six chairs. And a lot of bookshelves. A LOT of bookshelves. Also some shelves.

But I also need to be able to walk to many more interesting places. So, location probably beats having lots of room. Probably.


Mar. 31st, 2014 02:13 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I am looking at wallpaper. Not because I want wallpaper in general, but because I like my wallpaper I have in this house, and I'm planning to move, and cannot take wallpaper with me.

(It looks like the background on my DW. And on my geocities page. I like my wallpaper enough I decorate my online world the same way.)

I cannot thus far find my wallpaper.

But I have found that there is wallpaper out there for £150 per roll. £150. I can't imagine a roll of wallpaper worth £150. I've looked at the rolls that think they are. I'm unimpressed.

There's more wall coverings too, murals, and I was unimpressed with those right up until I found


The actual TARDIS.

10ft x 8ft of actual TARDIS interior.

I could, if I were to acquire a room with a 10ft x 8ft wall, make my house be an actual TARDIS inside.


... buuuuuut, everywhere I own ever and always becomes, basically, a library. I can't see much of the walls in here. The odd inch, sure, but I can't really imagine having a 10ft x 8ft wall and not covering it in books.


Also it would mix poorly with my 'design a bedroom to look like I'm an actual grown up' plan. Which is an overly optimistic plan in that it assumes said bedroom would ever be visited by someone who cares, but.
... that plan keeps bumping into the assumptions of wallpaper sellers today. already I found the perfect clouds and dragons thing and then all the examples were of kids bedrooms. Who doesn't want a clouds and dragons bedroom?

I think it would be best to turn the living room into an actual TARDIS. I could put it behind the recliners and have the TV in front and be watching TV in the TARDIS. That would be awesome.

... but, books.

If I get a two bedroom house like the guy from the mortgage place reckons I could then I would have twice as much wall as I've ever had. Maybe sufficient wall?
But already I have twice as much book as wall, I think. I mean, they're all doubled up on the shelves, at best.

... also the mortgage place hasn't been talking to me much lately. Something about waiting for the new financial year. So I guess in the new financial year I might find out the plan isn't going to work.

Or it might work and be shiny. I won't know until then.

But, TARDIS mural!

Something to aspire to.


Oct. 23rd, 2013 08:22 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
It's a weird world where one of the main reasons I would like to have enough money to choose where I live is I'd quite like a bit of peace and quiet.

I mean, peace and quiet is the default state of all the bits of the world where nothing happens, but then you put all these humans on top of each other, and boom, n o i s e.

Read more... )
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I've been watching house building and buying shows all day, so I'm back to playing fantasy house.

I would like a flat with a fire escape and fewer neighbours per front door. Read more... )

I need a room for me, a room for my computers, and a room for the washing machine etc. Also a bathroom with an actual bath that can have a shower over it. Read more... ) I was thinking if there was a kitchen-diner with room for a 6 person table then I could invite people round for games nights. Read more... )

But my other plan that I really like is the Quest Tavern. Then I wouldn't need a games space at my flat, because there would be a whole games themed Tavern to play in instead. Read more... )

I have other fantasy themed ideas, like the Superhero Supplies shop is for NYC, Norwich has a castle and a dragon hall and we should have a fantasy quests theme. I like the idea of a shop for making stories. There would be help for creative writing, and also selling things that stories could spring up around. Also I like the idea of finding small odd things and figuring out what their stories are and making a little story card to go with the odd thing and selling the cards, and possibly the items. Plus some shelves to sell second hand books could tuck in a corner somewhere. Also I use RPG rule books to help with creative writing stuff often, so a set of those would be dual purpose with the games times, but they'd have to have different shelves so they didn't get muddled with for sale books. (Selling RPG books, obviously also yaay). And there are games in boxes, tabletop and card and dice games, but I know not so much about those. But all these things could fit in the same sort of space, maybe, or maybe like at the Ribs there'd be more than one room and different things in different areas. A bunch of pubs are like that. Instead of a pool table or those blinky games machines there would be dice corners and RPG corners.

Physical space for this would need to be somewhere people could get to easily in daylight times and dark times, so near the middle and on the bus routes. There's a bunch of pubs for sale on rightmove and I know pubs close a lot so probably you could buy a pub and just not sell alcohol? Read more... )

Near the door there should be a sort of community notice board, where people would put Quests that need doing or what their skills are. Like small tasks that they could use a hand with, or if someone will happily dig someone else's garden for them or do sewings or whatever. I don't know. For me the fun part is looking at ordinary problems and writing them up like they're Quests, like there's fantastical dangers and heroic achievements involved. But I don't really know what people need doing. But there could be a Quests board and maybe a Wizard, or a wizard staff that people could hold when acting in the capacity of Wizard, and they could find the right volunteers for each small achievable task. It would be useful.

Elsewhere there could be a room with some display surfaces. Whiteboard is easy, or projector screens, but there's some cool things you can do with projecting things onto a table, like dungeons that build new bits when you look round the corner. Not that I know how to do them, just that if the equipment was there and flexible enough it could be cool. And that room would be for writing sometimes and for RPGs other times and would be more quiet than the main room. But you could still eat pizza while you play, that's a key part of the RPG experience.

If there was a Quest Tavern full of food and with space for friends in it that I could visit, I could live nearby and have a smaller flat and have somewhere to go more often.

It irritates me that I'm supposed to get good at all the things and be Independent. I'd rather team up with people who can cook and they can do their thing they're good at and I can do mine.

... the only bit I'm good at is thinking up the ideas in the first place though, I wouldn't be very much help with any part of it after that, so it's a bit impractical. Also it probably isn't a money making idea, but that isn't what I think of, I thought of things that would be good to do. But that leaves another rather large practicality gap.

But it would be glorious even if a failure, would it not?
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
As I may have mentioned a time or two, I have been trying to move for a really long time now. But because I'm disabled and all my income is benefits my options are very limited. I'm grateful that I have a roof and all, but I'm frustrated I can't move closer to, you know, food I can actually eat, etc.

The government will tell you that their policies mean housing benefit can pay for the lowest 1/3 of the market.
This ignores the thing where most landlords simply won't take housing benefit in the first place.
But it's also just plain wrong.

I go looking for flats that are within budget, I just don't find them.
Norwich Local Housing Allowance for a single person (over 35 I think, old enough to live alone by benefit rules) is £91.15 per week.
... ignore that they list it per week when rent is per month, that's just helpful, but if you times it by 52 and divide by 12 you get 394.98 per month.

A quick check of Rightmove... well, you have to tell it £400 per calendar month, which is a teensy more than is actually covered, and then it will give you back house shares at that price, or studio flats where studio means a bed in the kitchen, but there's 110 of them. If you want an actual bed room in your own place, which is what the money is meant to cover, there's maybe 45, probably less if you read the descriptions. In the whole of Norwich. Which is quite big. But Norwich has 321 non-commercial properties to rent right now, 292 that don't say they're flat shares in the categories, so that looks like 1/3.

But the BBC have a 'Where can I afford to live' page. Type in the precise rent, choose the lowest 25% of rents - which is even cheaper than the government's 1/3, so should totally work - and see that Norwich... is in fact not affordable. Their lowest 1/4 is £400, half way price £465, so 1/3 will be in between somewhere. That local housing allowance does not in fact cover it. According to the BBC.

Somebody's numbers do not add up.

As far as I can find, most of Norfolk and Norwich have the same LHA. Since the lowest quarter of one bed rents goes as low as £395 (basically that £394.98 a month) in several of the districts of Norfolk, maybe, if Norfolk calculated it once for everywhere, it makes some sense... but probably not, and even if so, not terribly helpful for people trying to live in the city, even if they can afford the coast. Yarmouth is £375, but their LHA only covers £368 of that, so that's not massively helpful. Especially since these are 1/4 figures, not 1/3.

So I go back to the articles again and I find the exact quote is "housing benefit provides a safety net which ensures that up to a third of private properties in most areas are affordable".
Up to? Well that weasels out of that one. Anything can be 'up to' as long as there's even one place where that works.

*glares daggers*

Poke the numbers how you want, the housing benefit just doesn't pay for a decent place to live, or even a crappy place to live in a great many places.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I'm playing on rightmove again
really I think I should quit it until I find some way to get the means

I tried drawing a complicated wiggly edged map to say all the places I've seen I reckon I could go, and then I just tried telling it to be within 1 mile of The Forum library, and they got basically the same places. So that makes it easy to say. I'd like to be within 1 mile of The Forum library, in a nice quiet area with proper road crossings between the library and me. There's routes where I can get lots of places just on the zebras and green mans and pedestrian tunnels. I'd like that best.

Read more... )

The reason I spend so much time on rightmove playing what if is that from here I have options 'go to the supermarket' and, er, 'go to the supermarket'. Oh, or bowling, the library where the science fiction section is one spinner made mostly of tie in novels and there are no (none) book groups or writing groups, or a pub. I don't do pubs. There's an ongoing shortage of things to do then.

Norwich has all the things to do, but they are far away.

So, move to Norwich.

As has been the plan the entire time I was at college.

Now I've done college I could in theory move to anywhere.
I'd have to start building Area Knowledge over again from scratch though.


Jun. 4th, 2013 08:45 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I have been looking into options for moving house again. I've been thinking about what I would want to get.

Read more... )

I need to move somewhere in walking distance of the Forum library so I can go to book clubs and also lots of other things. There's nothing here, I need to go to Norwich for the social. Everyone agrees except the Norwich housing people. *sigh*

In terms of actual house I need a room for the washing machine, a room for the TV + computers, and a room for the bed. No two of these sets can share a room. Wet things do not go with complex electronics, and neither goes with sleep.

The flat of my dreams has Read more... )

I've seen places advertised as 1 bed open plan flats, or studio flats as they ought to be called but don't always bother, and sometimes they're just a bed in the kitchen with a toilet behind a door. Granted that has your basic survival necessities, more or less, but it's not a home.

My flat is pretty good in lots of ways. If I was better at going places it would maybe be better.

Change is difficult and I fear getting somewhere that goes worse. But there's so much that could be better.

I don't feel greedy, wanting this much stuff, place for my books and somewhere safe for electric and quiet for sleep. But government rules seem to reckon this is greedy. Like, for people any younger than me there's only money for a room in a shared house. I couldn't share. I don't know anyone. People are scary. I can't sleep in hotels, let alone places with no locks. But I can see how people might not want to pay for all everyone to have their own box.

If I was dreaming big I'd buy a sharing place but all the parts would be big and pretty much self sufficient and people could use the communal areas for social and fun and religious ceremonies and role play games.

Or I quite like the Ponds place with the two bed flat and the two display window shop and the basement. I don't know what I'd do with the shop, I think it would cost more in business rates than I could possibly cover, but in theory it would be neat to have shops made of big windows and put art things in the windows and have dress up competitions and put cosplay up on dummies and have story workshops with artefacts and to sell crafts and shiny things and invite people to do interesting stuff with the space. ... beyond my ability to control or cope with, but, you know, interesting. I don't much want to make a profit, just get along okay, and do something fun sometimes. The Forum has fun things happen, and the Castle. Maybe I could think of things and make them happen there?

My big dreaming quickly founders on the difference between 'someone could' and 'I could'.

I still like the vegan Quest Tavern that organises superhero teams to practice being a space colony.
... vegan food, community notice board, encourage skill swapping and cooperative work on things like sustainable self sufficient food and other necessities.
... only with more imagination and a story wrapped around it.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Just found this gem:
"An application charge of £100.00 (inc. Vat) ispayable on completion of an application form for each applicant. If yourreferences or funds are deemed unsuitable or you simply change your mind, thenthe fee will be retained to cover our administration costs."

Deposit is six weeks rent and first month is payable in advance. So this is neither. It's just £100 they'll keep if you don't get the flat.

How is that even legal? Pay us £100 for the honor of being considered?
Wait, do I have to try and spot such shenanigans a lot?

Read more... )
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Today did not involve going anywhere. Or doing any college work.
But I did do all the laundry and dishwasher and bath jobs, so that's progress.
Haven't hung up the laundry to dry yet, need to do that before I sleep.

I keep reading the news. I think this is a mistake in terms of mood and ability to come out from under blanket, but it's important things to know, and people are not being fully informed by useful channels like letters that tell you things directly. Also the government are flat out lying about things, which they aren't allowed to do and they get told off by lots of places like their offices that are meant to keep track of how they use numbers but they just ignore that and lie some more. I don't mean small differences in interpretation, I mean flat out saying the opposite of the truth.
It's quite difficult to know what to do about a government that does that.
Some people are taking them to court about some things, but so many things keep being changed so quickly.
Including legal aid for taking them to court about things.

There's stuff about this 'spare bedroom tax'. I keep reading up on it even though I only have one bedroom. This is because they keep changing the rules. They keep making rules about how old you have to be and still share accommodation or they won't pay for you to have your own flat. I am over 35 now so I don't have to keep up with that until they move the line again, but there's a rule. I couldn't share a flat, I'd never sleep, I've tried it with hotel sharing and even with nice people I share interests with I can't sleep because there's people around and it sucks. Actually come to think I can't sleep when my mum is around when we go places. But when mum is there I wake up and she's staring at me and saying how I haven't changed since I was a new baby and she stared at me then, and really mum? This is not helping my insomnia. Or paranoia. Yeesh.

BUT. The point is: The government keep changing the rules to say people have to share a flat. Because housing may be necessary but housing of your own is a luxury? I don't know.

The thing with 'spare' bedrooms is the same thing: the rule is not what you think it is. They don't mean 'spare' just as in a room that is empty and has no person in it. They don't even mean 'bedroom' in the sense of a room you could reasonably put a person in. There's a lack of definition of 'bedroom' and it can mean rooms you couldn't fit a full size bed in, let alone a double. But the big problem with 'spare' is that for the purposes of counting to see if you have a 'spare' room, all children must share a room. All. Gender matters after the age of 10, but up until then mixed genders is a okay. After that only matching genders have to share a room. But if your kids have one room each, then one of those rooms is 'spare'. Read more... ) This government is making too many changes all at once and even devoting time to following the news every day I can't bloody keep up. They all stack up and they'll all hit together and they'll all hit the same people together.

They'll hit the young people, women, single mothers, and disabled people. Especially disabled people. Every which way all these changes they hit disabled people.

Read more... )


Jan. 18th, 2013 08:49 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)

If you have spare spoons and any interest in British people trying to keep a roof over their heads please to read that one.
There's a new rule that if you have more bedrooms than you need housing benefit won't cover it and you have to pay it yourself or move to a smaller place.
There aren't smaller places to move in to.
And most people in social housing don't have any spare money to pay for the extra room.
The government reforms are going to cost more and make people more miserable.

That's kind of a theme actually, that things done in the name of austerity are going to cost more and make people miserable.

The only way the saving money logic works is if they expect people affected to just stop existing.

There was another article today that said 43% of people ATOS judge fit for work are a year later neither in employment nor on benefits any more. With no income, what happens to them?

All these reforms are making it more difficult for disabled people, who get more ill, need more support, and therefore cost more money. If money is the only thing the government care about they're still not bloody making sense. Unless they expect those needs to simply not be met.

I don't want to be paranoid, I really don't, but the available options for interpretation are either official insanity or evil. They either make no sense or the adverse consequences for millions of people are deliberate.

I'm going back to watching Doctor Who.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I've been playing with Right Move (rather than doing any of the dozen more urgent things, *facepalm*)

Read more... )

The more I look at other flats, the more I like mine. If I could just move it to Norwich in a nice neighbourhood that'd be lovely.
beccaelizabeth: Zatanna's hand, in fishnet glove, reaching out with fingers spread. (hand Zatanna)
If I win sufficient money on the premium bonds, I promise to buy not only a house for myself but also one to rent out to disabled people on housing benefits. I wouldn't have to worry about making a profit because I'd have just won all the money to buy it anyway. I might give it to a housing association to run actually, they would be better at it than me.

But I would not put up listings for a crappy 'open plan studio flat' which actually means it has one room being the bedroom, living room and kitchen, plus possibly a toilet behind a door, and then say 'No DHS' or even the slightly more up to date 'No Housing Benefits'. Neither would I list a house share in the 'one bedroom' section seeing as there is in fact a house share section and a tick box and people who can't share a house aren't going to look at the stupid mis-described thing and think 'hey, secretly I always wanted to move in with some students and lose all my privacy!' so it isn't any help to making money anyway, just repeatedly inconvenient. And I would pay some attention to accessability features while listing things. Not that I personally need to worry about how many steps there are, mostly, my worries are all about how quiet it would be and if it tends to get set on fire, but I understand nobody writes that stuff down however useful it would be. (Though it would also be nice to make it obligatory to have the listings say Where Does The Washing Machine Go.)

I do not understand how anyone manages to acquire housing. There would need to be somewhere cheap enough that doesn't say No Benefits. Winning large amounts of money seems to be the only way.

I wish to make more housing for more people so they aren't stuck somewhere unsuitable and so they can get to the places they need to go.

... also I want to make it part of my long term 'how to build a space colony' experiment, but for that I need to do more studying and probably acquire quite a lot more money, so *shrugs*. It's just it would be nice to plan new buildings to be self contained self sustaining units as far as possible, like if you were going to drop it on another planet, Read more... )

Anyways, Dear Universe: it would be nice to be able to do this sort of thing. Small progress that scales up into interesting epic endeavours. Something to dream on, starting with a nice place to live.

And if I can't win a lot of money to get started with, I guess the government deciding to do the sensible thing and build a whole lot more good places would be a good thing too.


beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)

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