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
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
News
A bartender serves beers
news
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Craig and Rory Kinnear film Spectre in London
film
Life and Style
The finale at Dolce and Gabbana autumn/winter 2015
fashion
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

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor