Many years ago (18 to be exact) I bought my first property. It was an unoccupied mid-terrace, 2 up 2 down near the centre of Belfast. I had just qualified as a teacher and was looking to get on the property ladder. I was earning £9,600 a year and I borrowed £11,000 to acquire this bijou little house, £9000 asking price and £2000 to make it habitable. As part of the renovation work I had to put in a kitchen (it only had a sink in a scullary), install central heating and fit a bathroom as opposed to the outside toilet the house came with.
Six years later, I had the opportunity to buy the house I now live in. At that stage it was a bungalow and needed a bit of refurbishment, so in order to finance the project I decided to sell the mid-terrace. I was delighted to sell for £20,000 - a profit of £9,000 in just over 5 years!
Five years later again and we are doubling the size of the bungalow to accommodate a growing family, but at least this time I have someone else on board to share the costs! At the same time I noticed that my little mid-terrace was on the market for a whopping £89,000. A profit of £78,000 in 11 years! That would have covered the cost of our additional building and knocked a generous £30,000 of the original mortgage as well.
Today, in the local paper, I see my little mid-terrace is on the market yet again. Not only would this have completely cleared my current mortgage and the payments on my beloved Mini convertible, it would have paid for that cruise round the Pacific Islands (3 or even 4 times!) and meant I never had to sub again!
I think I dealt a round or two too early