Property: Stepping Stones one woman's property story

NURSERY MANAGER Hazel Taylor has bought four properties since 1979. She now lives in a Victorian three-bedroom house in Sidcup, Kent with her daughter Rachel.

Getting married prompted Hazel Taylor to take on another commitment, a house which she bought in 1979 for pounds 25,250. She was renting a flat in Kennington, south London, but wanted to live nearer her family so chose a 1930's end of terrace in Blackfen, Kent. The Taylors were fortunate. They got a low rate mortgage, Hazel's husband worked in a bank, and quickly found somewhere they liked: "It was before things took off, prices were low and there was a lot of choice."

The three-bedroom terrace was in good condition but they knocked out some walls and created more space. It was fine for a couple but in 1982 Rachel was born, prompting them to find somewhere "with larger room sizes".

In 1985 they sold for pounds 45,000, and bought "literally around the corner" for pounds 43,000. "We'd had no intention of staying locally and were looking as far afield as Tonbridge but my father-in-law told me about the house which we saw and liked."

The semi-detached house, although of a similar period, "had more potential", with its spacious rooms and garage and the family lived happily there for 10 years. They didn't outgrow the house but the time came to stretch themselves: "We were approaching 40 so it was now or never if we were to get a 20-year mortgage before we were 60."

In 1995, they sold for pounds 82,000 and, with an eye for investment, bought a 1920s semi-detached house in Petts Wood, Kent, for pounds 140,000. This house had larger rooms and the period features - big bay windows, fireplaces and coving - that Hazel loves.

"It was the house I thought we'd live in forever." Sadly it was not to be and a year later, their decision to divorce meant another move.

In the heart of commuter land, 10 minutes from the station and near the M5, the popular area meant a quick sale, at pounds 152,000, for the Taylors. Hazel made a discovery: "Our purchasers tried to buy the house a year before but we'd beaten them to it."

Now searching for a house for herself and Rachel, there were new priorities. "Being on my own I wanted somewhere that was easy to maintain but with features and a decent-sized bedroom for Rachel like the one she'd left."

In January 1997, Hazel bought a Victorian, three-bedroom house for pounds 78,000 in the area she grew up in, Sidcup, Kent. The fully-renovated house has sanded floors and is painted white throughout. Local agent Julian Curry of Andrews says the popular area is "filled with good, solid housing stock" and estimates Hazel's house is worth pounds 110,000.


1979 - bought terraced 1930s house for pounds 25,250. Sold for pounds 45,000.

1985 - bought three bedroom semi for pounds 43,000. Sold for pounds 82,000.

1995 - bought 1920s Petts Wood house for pounds 140,000. Sold for pounds 152,000.

1997 - bought Victorian house for pounds 78,000 now worth pounds 110,000.

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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Teaching Assistant in secondary school Manchester

    £11280 - £14400 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Teaching a...

    Primary teaching roles in Ipswich

    £21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education re...

    Science teachers needed in Norwich

    £21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Science teachers requ...

    Semi Senior Accountant - Music

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful, Central London bas...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits