FRUSTRATED with the faltering property market, an innovative house hunter wants to swap her £330,000 country home for a new one.
Hilary Phillips came up with the idea after being unable to sell over the last year, and has now decided to cut out estate agents and other middlemen.
Set in a County Durham village, her four-bedroom 1970s detached home comes complete with a private green, en suite bathroom and a classic Juliet balcony overlooking more than half an acre of gardens.
It has been home to the Phillips family for more than 20 years but now they have decided to move to be closer to family in Northumberland.
However, with confidence in the recession-plagued housing market at an all time low, Mrs Phillips has not been able to strike a deal since putting the house up for sale 12 months ago.
She is now appealing for anyone with a house of similar value in North Northumberland – preferably by the coast – to do an exchange. The council worker, of Esh Village, just outside Durham City, said: “It just seems to make sense. I know exactly where I want to go so why not?
“I thought it’s one way of tackling the credit crunch. No one is looking to buy at the moment, so perhaps by advertising the house myself I will have more luck.
“I’m looking for somewhere of similar value. If there’s a small difference then we can always talk and come to some arrangement.”
Mrs Phillip’s upmarket home is in a quiet cul-de-sac popular with families and retiring professionals. From the Juliet balcony attached to the master bedroom, sweeping views of as far away as the North Yorkshire moors can be seen.
Mother-of-one Mrs Phillips, who lives with her husband Chris, a retired teacher, has also spent thousands on extensions and modifications over the years.
She said: “It’s a lovely place. The village has got schools and its own pub and shop, and it’s only a short drive from Durham City.
“We only want to leave for family reasons.”
Mrs Phillips came up with the idea just months after a study by the Council of Mortgage Lenders revealed almost one in 10 homes in the North are in negative equity.
Nationally, around a million homeowners are thought to be in negative equity as the credit crunch continues to bite.
There were fears the situation could become as bleak as during the last major recession in 1993, when 1.5 million households were estimated to have found themselves in the red.
Hilary Phillips would like to hear from anyone interested in swapping houses with her. Contact her on 07775826503.