Property: Stepping Stones - One Woman's Property Story
Saturday 01 May 1999
A year later, with a new partner, she bought out her ex-boyfriend who moved back into the Forest Gate house until its sale in 1988 for pounds 75,000. "It was bizarre, but he needed somewhere to go so he went back." Candy used pounds 40,000 of her profits to start her own company and in 1990, after having a daughter, "exchanged homes" with work colleagues: selling them her flat for pounds 75,000 and buying their three-bedroom maisonette in Camden for pounds 115,000.
In 1991, disaster struck. BCCI, where Candy banked, went bankrupt and with it her company, investment and entire savings. "We saw it on the news and immediately went to our branch to find it closed. They took all our money." Nine months after buying they had to sell their Camden flat to the first person who made an offer for pounds 124,000 to avoid repossession - despite their son's birth two weeks before completion.
They stayed with family until Candy found a job and somewhere to live. "I drove down the A1 and bought the first place I saw that was cheap enough." For pounds 75,000, she got three bedrooms in Barnet, but the move to suburbia was hard: "I missed London and it took a long time to acclimatise."
An idyllic holiday in Norfolk inspired the purchase of a weekend retreat - "Shangri-La", an unmodernised, 400-year-old thatched cottage with a quarter of an acre, bought at auction for pounds 35,000. "It was to cheer myself up after finding I'd get nothing back from the BCCI scandal. It was symbolic as it was exactly the amount I'd lost - what you'd call divine justice."
They lived in Barnet for six years, spending their holidays in Norfolk, but the threats of an ex-client of Candy's social worker partner drove them out: "It was a nightmare. He fire-bombed our car and tried to burn down our flat." They sold in 1997 for pounds 85,000 and got pounds 6,000 from Social Services to help move. It was a low point: "We were disillusioned with London life, property and jobs, and I'd just suffered my third redundancy in three years."
Their holiday home became permanent: "It was just what I needed - recuperation and a little bit of peace." Candy recently had another baby and this year paid pounds 65,000 for a granary store "sitting abreast a broad with four bedrooms, potential and plenty of boating" to rent out. She has no regrets about her moves and loves "Shangri-La", but the grand plan is to eventually sell both homes and buy somewhere with land to restore or build herself. She describes her story as "many moves and redundancies, three children and still hankering after a barn to convert".
Those moves in brief
1983 Bought Forest Gate house for pounds 20,000, sold in 1988 for pounds 75,000.
1985 Bought north London flat for pounds 58,000 (bought out ex at pounds 62,000), sold as part of exchange for pounds 75,000.
1990 Bought Camden house for pounds 115,000, sold for pounds 124,000 nine months later.
1991 Bought Barnet flat for pounds 75,000, sold for pounds 85,000 in 1997.
1991 Bought Norfolk cottage for pounds 35,000. Now worth pounds 80,000.
1999 Bought granary for pounds 65,000.
If you would like your moves to be featured write to: Nic Cicutti, Stepping Stones, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. pounds 100 will be awarded for the best story printed by 31 June
Life & Style blogs
Miley Cyrus' VMA outfits spark copying controversy
Huawei Mate S and Huawei Watch: new products take on iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch
What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
Overly-controlling parents cause their children lifelong psychological damage, says study
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 200,000 back our campaign
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
- 1 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 2 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 3 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 4 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They have been providing local ...
£6000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for smart, orga...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: The role is likely to be 4on 4 off, days and ...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Do you enjoy bus driving and are looking for ...