Property: Stepping Stones

ONE MAN'S PROPERTY STORY

STARTING WORK at a small Lloyd's brokers in London back in October 1983 made Paul Glean keen "to fly the proverbial nest". He looked at studio flats in Wapping, just 10 minutes from his office, but, even with his girlfriend's salary, found prices out of reach.

A "chance comment" from the site manager led the couple to a more affordable development in Plumstead, south-east London, where they bought a one-bedroom house after seeing an artist's impression. They watched it rise from the ground and completed in September 1985 with a 100 per cent mortgage of pounds 29,995.

After a brief spell of living together, the pair split up and sold in March 1987 for pounds 43,500. While "back home with mother", Paul enjoyed a hedonistic 18 months but admits that the surge in property prices made him worry that he would never get back on to the property ladder.

At the market's height Paul made an instant decision that was to have lasting effects: "I viewed a property with a friend and after 10 minutes we bought it for pounds 60,000." The result of the snap decision was a small, "newish" mid-terrace in Bletchley, North Buckinghamshire, which proved to be costly: "Over the next 18 months interest rates rose steadily to a point where our monthly repayments had virtually doubled."

In 1990, Paul met his future wife and made plans to set up home together. While property prices had fallen nationally, Paul's area had seen "more of a crash", leaving his house with a value of just pounds 40,000. Neither Paul nor the co-owner could afford to sell but Paul was desperate to set up home with his wife. "After much agonising - I seriously considered handing back the keys - my wife took over the other share of the mortgage."

They lived in the small house for five years and began their family. "It was crazy. I was doing well at work as an assistant director but was living in a tiny house with, what was for us a huge amount of negative equity hanging over our heads."

They were bursting at the seams by 1997, with two small children giving them no alternative but to sell quickly "at a knockdown price of pounds 38,500 and a loss of pounds 21,500". They did, however, find a three-bedroom detached house outside Milton Keynes costing pounds 79,500, which was in poor condition but with potential. They found a lender who would accommodate negative equity - although with a prohibitively high rate of interest - and have since switched to a 90 per cent mortgage at a more sensible rate.

Paul's home was recently valued at pounds 100,000, which "just about covers my losses and moving expenses" and his story acts as a warning to all: "It's taken almost 10 years to return to the point where I began."

Those moves in brief

1985: purchased one-bedroom terrace house for pounds 29,995, then sold it for pounds 43,495 in 1987.

1988: bought two-bedroom house for pounds 60,000, sold for pounds 38,500 in 1997.

1997: three-bedroom detached house bought for pounds 79,500, now worth pounds 100,000.

If you would like your moves to be featured write to: Nic Cicutti, Stepping Stones, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. pounds 100 will be awarded for the best story printed by 31 March

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sale...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer (Trainee) - City, London

£25000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A large financial services company...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Assistant - Financial Services Sector - London

£20400 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and highly reputable organisat...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future