One Woman's Property Story
CRAFT SHOP owner Beverly Madley has bought six homes over the years. She began back in 1974 when, with her first husband, she paid pounds 4,875 for a one-bedroom cottage in Stroud in Gloucestershire.

With a mortgage of pounds 2,200 they made no improvements to the tiny property, and sold two years later for pounds 5,100.

With a 100% mortgage they then bought a two-bedroom Cotswold cottage for pounds 9,000. It needed pounds 3,000 worth of improvements to live in it, but four years later they sold for pounds 24,500.

"We kept moving up in gradual stages," says Beverly. Her next purchase, another Cotswold cottage, but this time with three bedrooms, cost them pounds 28,500 with a pounds 16,000 mortgage in 1980. After "minor improvements" they sold for pounds 36,000 four years later.

In 1984 Beverly parted from her husband, but their smart property moves enabled them to each come out of the relationship with pounds 10,000 equity. With her share Beverly bought a two-bedroom flat back in Stroud for pounds 18,000 with an pounds 8,000 loan. "I was only there 16 months but it went up 22%."

She later found a strange series of coincidences about her first husband who went on to buy four further properties: "We did not take the same course with our houses, but found we had remarried on the same day at the same time and his bride had worn pale yellow the same as me. On the same day in 1994 we bought identical cars in the same colour, make and mileage."

By 1985 Beverly had married Keith, an AA patrol man, and together they bought a two-bedroom cottage in North Wiltshire for pounds 42,000 with a mortgage of pounds 26,000: "We immediately extended it to three bedrooms," says Beverly. This got them pounds 101,000 when they sold six years later.

Beverly and Keith then bought their current home, a 17th century three- bedroom Cotswold cottage "in a stunning location" for pounds 124,000 with a pounds 60,000 loan.

Beverly and Keith have "constantly improved and extended" their home which now has four bedrooms. They've increased their mortgage to pounds 89,000 and she says: "The budget has been very tight at times." The house is now worth a pounds 250,00 and Beverly says: "We cannot boast `no mortgage', but we've pension schemes and an endowment for 2020."

Those moves in brief

1974 bought one-bedroom cottage for pounds 4,875, and sold it for pounds 5,100.

1976 two-bedroom cottage for pounds 9,000, sold for pounds 24,500.

1980 three-bedroom cottage for pounds 28,500, sold for pounds 36,000.

1984 with pounds 10,000 equity, flat for pounds 18,000, sold for pounds 22,000.

1985 two-bedroom cottage for pounds 42,000, sold for pounds 101,000.

1991 17th century detached cottage for pounds 124,000. Now worth pounds 250,000.

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