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
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright and Mark Wright
tvStrictly goes head-to-head with Apprentice
footballPremier League preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's clashes
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.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Carlton Senior Appointments: Private Banking Manager - Intl Bank - Los Angeles

$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer – Office...

Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advisor – Ind Advisory Firm

$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Finance Manager

Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Sheridan Maine: Regulatory Reporting Accountant

Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas