11 Nov On the Ladder: young professionals find their forever home in Holmfirth
Welcome to our new series looking at real property moves. This month, Lorna from West Yorkshire describes how she and her husband have stepped up the ladder by moving from a small semi near Wakefield to their forever home: a large detached property near Huddersfield
Who: Lorna, Gary and the cat
Our previous property was our first home together. It was in Wakefield, West Yorkshire and was a fairly standard 3 bed semi on a 90s estate.
Features: 3 beds (one was a small single), bathroom, lounge, kitchen, garage and garden.
5-bed 1970s dormer property in the rural location of Holmfirth.
Features: Double garage, utility room, conservatory, kitchen–diner, lounge, downstairs WC, 1 single bedroom, 3 doubles and a master with en suite and walk-in wardrobe.
We are very fortunate to have lots of parking and a huge garden as well as being lovely and private down a drive serving just two properties.
Asking price: £345,000
Purchase price: £340,000
Why did you decide to move?
We deliberately held off doing a “middle move” and stayed in our first home until we could afford to move to a forever house. This avoided the upheaval and, more importantly, the cost of unnecessary moves. We wanted to be a in a more rural location and move closer to my family in the Holme Valley.
Why this location?
We love the outdoors and wanted to live minutes from green, countryside spaces where we can mountain bike, run and walk. This area is famous for being the home of Last of the Summer Wine (an old TV show); those familiar with the show will understand the scenery in this part of the world. We have fabulous views from the back of the house and feel very calm and relaxed when at home thanks to the quiet, peaceful nature of the area.
Despite how quiet and rural it is, we are less than 1 mile’s walk from Holmfirth centre, with its plethora of independent shops and cafes. There’s always something happening, with many festivals held in the town, such as the Folk Festival and the Food and Drink Festival.
For me, this area is home. Having my family all within a 10 minute radius was really important, as well as the years of memories growing up around here.
Why this property?
We bought this property within 3 days of it going on the market! We had already viewed and disregarded, or unsuccessfully offered on, every property in our search area that met (or could meet, with work) our criteria. Having done a lot of viewings, we knew what we wanted and we were able to act with absolute certainty when this one came up. We knew it was right for us and we knew it was very well priced. It also had plenty of space – the entire footprint of our first house would fit in the kitchen of our new house!
Did you have a survey?
Absolutely. This is the biggest financial commitment we are ever going to make so it was a no brainer to get a full survey to assure us that there were no hidden nasties we hadn’t planned for. We also wanted to ensure that we understood any issues that needed prioritising.
What did the survey find?
Luckily, no major issues! It highlighted that the windows needed replacing and that there is a dip in the ground floor caused by some historical settlement from when the house was originally built. However, these were both things we had spotted and were prepared for.
The survey gave us some good guidance on things to keep on top of. For example, we have tall hedges and it’s important that they don’t get too high, because the roots could affect our foundations. When you are renovating, it’s easy to neglect things that feel like “nice to have” options – like cutting hedges! – but this helped us understand that this kind of maintenance is not just cosmetic. It also highlighted some areas where we could negotiate on the price, if we wanted to.
A huge renovation that will probably be ongoing for the next 5–10 years!!! We started with some cosmetic changes like decoration, changing light fittings etc. We found, however, that because we wanted to do this properly and make it a forever home, we had to be really thorough with everything. For example, if the walls in a room were uneven, we took the plunge to re-skim. We have replaced sockets, skirting boards and carpets throughout.
We have started to remodel the upstairs by adding half the hallway and the single bedroom into the master suite. This will create an incredible area with a large bedroom, an en suite, a “hers” dressing room and a “his” walk-in wardrobe. We felt really confident doing this knowing that, should we ever sell for any reason, this layout gives flexibility for using the dressing room as a nursery or personal office. We are making the master suite perfect for us but without personalizing it so much that it doesn’t add value to the property.
After the internal renovations we will move onto an extension, new windows and cladding, a complete re-roof and extensive external landscaping. Good job we want to stay here forever!