How the experts have fared at home

Two men in the know reveal their personal experiences of dealing with the housing market

At the height of the 1980s housing boom, everyone you met seemed to be an expert on the housing market.

It seemed impossible to get through 10 minutes conversation - let alone a whole dinner party - without some self-appointed sage telling you how he (normally) had managed to buy his flat at just the right moment, and how much it was now worth. A few years of rollercoaster interest rates and a thumping dose of negative equity soon took care of that.

But how have the real experts fared? We asked two people whoshould know what they are talking about - for details of their own experience on the housing market.

Ronnie Macauley, senior manager at Bank of Scotland Mortgages Direct, has enjoyed 21 years of near-perfect property deals, more through good luck than good judgement, he says.

It all started in 1975 when Mr Macauley bought the family's first home - a flat on the south side of Glasgow - for pounds 5,000. Within a year, they had sold up for just over pounds 10,000.

Next, a terraced house, also in Glasgow. Mr Macauley says: "We saw the property on the Tuesday, surveyed it on the Wednesday morning, had an offer in on Wednesday afternoon, and by the evening, it was signed, sealed and delivered. We sold about four years later and, again, almost doubled our money."

The family sold at this point because Mr Macauley had been reassigned by the bank to work in Chelmsford. Once again, their luck held. They bought their Chelmsford house for pounds 47,000 in 1985, and sold for well over pounds 100,000 four years later. Mr Macauley has since gone back to the area and seen some houses there that have lost a third of their value and been on the market since 1989. "I think we were probably the last people [who got] out," he says. "From there, I bought a new property in Scotland, and that immediately went up in value as well."

Mr Macauley now has a four-bedroom detached house in Linlithgow, West Lothian, within a half-hour drive of his relatives in Glasgow and his work in Edinburgh. Couple this with the very attractive mortgage deal he has had with the bank since 1972, and the rest of us could be forgiven a brief spasm of envy.

Simon Tyler, marketing director at mortgage brokers Chase de Vere, bought his four-bedroom house in Cobham, Surrey, for pounds 78,000 in 1984, and has been busy extending the place ever since.

His original pounds 60,000 loan, with the Woolwich Building Society, was a variable rate one, but he has had a succession of fixed-rate loans with a variety of lenders ever since. These have included an 11 per cent fix with First Mortgage Securities (1987 -1991), a 10.5 per cent fix with the Portman (1991-1994) and a 5.5 per cent fix with the Portman (1994- 1996). He is now on a 4.99 per cent fix, with the Portman.

Meanwhile, the house has gradually grown, adding a bathroom, a playroom for the family's three children, a study, a dining room and a much bigger kitchen. Mr Tyler estimates the house is now worth about pounds 220,000, and is confident his collection of endowment policies will comfortably pay off the pounds 140,000 mortgage.

He says the attraction of the fixed rate is its predictability. "When you've got children, you've got lots of expenses relating to them, including school fees. You want to be sure all your accounts are in order as best they can be. I dare say we could have moved in the past and bought a larger property, rather than expand the one we've got.I'd rather be living in a rather more modest house and be able to make sure the educational costs are covered. The school fees are bigger than my mortgage, and that's a significant chunk of anyone's budget."

Of all the extensions to the house, Mr Tyler seems to appreciate his en suite bathroom the most. "You get fed up getting into baths full of toys," he says.

All the fixed rates Mr Tyler has enjoyed on his mortgage were available to the general public. But he acknowledges that the volume of mortgage business Chase de Vere puts through with the various lenders may have helped him get particularly good service. "They've eased the way," he says.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine