CHISWICK, WEST LONDON – Greetings from my childhood home…
My family and I have arrived in London to deal with my late mother’s estate. We’re in quarantine, so we’re not allowed out for any reason. And we’re not allowed visitors. For 10 days.
Actually, it’s great. I love being stranded with Kate and the kids in a big, comfortable house with high-speed internet and a garden. The weather’s beautiful and the local supermarket delivers to our front doorstep.
Besides, we have tons of work to do…
Selling Mum’s House for Gold
This is what Mum’s house looks like. One of her friends painted it after she died…
Mum’s house in Chiswick, West London
We love this house. We’ve been here for 36 years and have so many memories. So why are we selling it?
The bottom line is, we can’t afford it. First of all, I only own 30% of it. My brother Jo owns another 30%. And the government gets the final 40%. (Inheritance tax in the UK is 40%.)
We don’t have the money to buy it.
Also, even if we did have the capital to buy it, we couldn’t afford the carrying costs. The bills, the taxes, and the cost of capital are all beyond our means.
If we really wanted to raise our family in London (we don’t), or I thought London property had a good chance of appreciating (I don’t), or if rental yields were higher (nearer 10%), then we might see things differently…
But alas, we don’t. So it’s going on the market and we are just going to have to say goodbye to it.
I’m going to put the proceeds into gold.
Locked Down in London
We did the first of the two COVID-19 self-tests all UK arrivals must do in quarantine. Here I am trying to get a sample from Penny (8)…
Penny isn’t a fan of the COVID-19 self-tests
A neighbor adopted Tessa, my mother’s orphaned black Labrador. Tessa came over today to visit. (Do dogs count under the COVID rules?)
She seemed really happy to see us and immediately made herself at home. She even went upstairs and jumped in my mother’s bed…
Tessa, our first visitor
– Tom Dyson
P.S. If our thesis about the future is correct, inflation is going to be a big problem. Over the weekend, I received this email from a commercial hog farmer in Sioux City, Iowa…
One year ago, a 4’x10′ sheet of 10-gauge galvanized steel was $105. Last Friday, the quote was $300.
Talking to a heating and cooling dealer, he said for 10 years, manufacturers sent out their price list, good for a year. Starting last summer, the list was good for a month. Now, if the manufacturer gives a quote, “it’s good for 3 days.”
Their prices are rising at 10% per month, if you can find any products, that is.
Took a long ride Saturday, delivering parts to a customer. Noticed on the way down and back, trees in the road ditches are being cut down and logs are being stacked on the shoulders. This went on for 50 miles.
Tom, I have never seen this in my life in this part of the world. Additionally, I’ve seen more trucks hauling logs locally than I’ve seen in my life. Skyrocketing lumber prices are definitely the driver. Give my best to Kate and the kids.
Readers are concerned Tom might forfeit sentimental objects or memories as he and his family handle his late mother’s estate…
Reader comment: It will be a sad time for you to deal with the disposition of your mum’s personal treasures. It is likely that her treasures were special to her and may not be so to anyone else. Why not keep as many as possible for now. There is no urgency to get rid of them.
At some future time, you, or one of your kids, may be thrilled to be the new owner. Her treasures would likely require only a small storage space. Perhaps your brother would be able to accommodate them. If not, I’m sure that you can rent a suitable space for a small amount of funds.
You could also donate them to a non-profit thrift shop. I personally donate to a local one, and purchase treasures at two. They are run by volunteers and donate their profits to our local charities and worthy causes. Everybody wins.
Reader comment: Be sure to keep what you want of her possessions as well as ask your wife and children if they would like to choose something from their grandmother’s that they would want to keep.
Reader comment: Thank you for your writings. No matter how much traveling you constantly do, finding and keeping peace within your heart will sustain you and your children no matter where any of you are with or without each other. Having a diet to keep calm, with exercise and some sort of spiritual path, will help keep all of you balanced in a world of increasing turmoil. Pray for the right community to live or be near when you choose to go that route.
Tom’s note: Thank you for continuing to support me and my family while we handle Mum’s estate. We read every message you send us, and they keep us going. Please keep writing us at [email protected], and I’ll do my best to respond in a future Friday mailbag edition.