The Mortgage Mole

Digging the dirt in the mortgage world...

Wait for it

A sound engineer from Exeter re-cently had to re-sort to desperate measures to get his foot on the property ladder.

Ryan McLean was so keen to get hold of a flat in a new-build development in his home town that he decided to camp outside it for eight days.

The 30 year old’s determination paid off as he was first in line to put down a deposit on one of the flats, which were up for grabs on a first come, first served basis.

His persistence allowed him to snap up a 150,000 home – the cheapest in the 225m development at the Princesshay Centre in Exeter.

Crack down
Soaring house prices in cities are not only deterring first-time buyers – drug gangs are also having a tough time finding premises for their shady dealings. Last week, the Metropolitan Police released a report revealing that drug factories are becoming more common in the suburbs. The Met thinks up to 700 factories could be hidden away in the sticks thanks to shrewd dealers snapping up cheaper properties.

Mole advises brokers to be extra-wary of burly Colombians with guns looking to buy quiet country cottages and terraced houses.

Cool guy
Stingy landlords should take note of the case of Richard Naumann. Last week, this particularly cruel landlord in Cleveland, Ohio, was sentenced to house arrest in one of his own apartments with no access to heating or hot water as a punishment for inflicting similar indignities on his tenants after he failed to pay his gas bill.

Whitney Ashworth and her boy-friend had to endure the cold for two months in the middle of an icy spell of weather after they found they were left without hot water or heating.

The real-life Rigsby has been tagged and must remain housebound until he can pay the gas company the $22,300 it needs to turn the gas back on. Naumann owes the Dominion East Ohio gas company $114,000 in total.

Penitent
Accustomed to an inbox full of fan mail and press releases, news editor Rebecca Atkinson was somewhat surprised when she returned from lunch on Wednesday to find an email from Catholic group Opus Dei.

Andrew Soane, the director of Opus Dei’s information office, wrote to Atkinson to put her right on all things Opus Dei.

In last week’s Mortgage Strategy, Ruth Kelly was hilariously portrayed as Silas, the evil self-flagellating assassin from The Da Vinci Code.

Soane corrected Rebecca’s caption, reminding her that the group is neither a sect nor ultra-secretive. He then invited Strategy to Opus Dei HQ to show there is nothing cloak and dagger going on.

Rebecca tells Mole she is sorry for the way she referred to Opus Dei and the team has rescheduled its Illuminati obligations to be able to visit Opus Dei Towers.