Property: Stepping Stones - One woman's property story

MANAGEMENT consultant Ellen Collins has bought three properties since 1986. She now lives in a five-bedroom house in Ealing, west London, with her husband Paul, also a management consultant, and their two sons.

Ellen Collins had no ties with west London but chose it for her first purchase: "It's easy to get to Heathrow and I was born in Holland." As well as airport access she wanted an investment: "Why give your money to someone else?"

Ellen trawled the area's estate agents and soon found a one-bedroom Victorian conversion with access to a shared garden in Chiswick. She paid pounds 50,000 with a 95 per cent mortgage and lived in the flat for seven years. "I loved it and it was fine until I found Paul," she says. They sold in 1993 for pounds 80,000 making a "pleasing" profit in a less than buoyant market.

For their next purchase Ellen and Paul wanted a spacious but affordable house in the same area but this proved difficult. Eventually they found an Edwardian three-bedroom, two-bathroom purpose-built flat with "effectively more space than a house". They beat the vendors down by pounds 10,000 and paid pounds 105,000 in December 1993.

The couple enjoyed their "features-filled" home until the arrival of two sons bought new priorities. In 1997 they had their flat valued at pounds 200,000 but instead of selling it, they decided that its location - a three-minute walk to the tube - made it an attractive proposition to let out.

Using the rental income as finance, they found a five-bedroom Edwardian house in Ealing, which Ellen calls "a quantum leap in terms of space and finance", but with a complication. They viewed in June 1997, exchanged in September at the agreed price, but only completed in August this year. Why the delay? "An elderly couple were retiring and moving away. They didn't want the trauma of worrying about their sale so agreed to sell on condition that we accepted a long period between exchange and completion."

Was the lengthy deferral a gamble? Andrew Grice, director of sales at Winkworth, Ealing, calls the Collins' move "a bit of a belter". "They took a risk and it paid off. During that time the market rose by more than 20 per cent."

THOSE MOVES IN BRIEF

1986 - bought one bedroom Victorian conversion for pounds 50,000 sold for pounds 80,00 in 1993.

1993 - bought three bedroom Edwardian purpose built flat for pounds 105,000, valued at pounds 200,00 in 1997.

1998 - bought five bedroom house for pounds 305,000, now worth pounds 400,000.

If you would like your home moves to be featured in Stepping Stones, please write to Nic Cicutti, Stepping Stones, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Intruder Alarm Trainee Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This friendly and fast growing security compan...

    Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

    £23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

    Recruitment Genius: Administrator

    £14500 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Administrator

    £14500 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

    Greece elections

    In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
    Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

    Holocaust Memorial Day

    Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
    Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

    Magnetic north

    The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
    Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

    Front National family feud?

    Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
    Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

    Pot of gold

    Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
    10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

    From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

    While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
    Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

    'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

    Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore