Should I stay or should I go? Things to consider when deciding whether to move house or extend

There has been much talk over the last year about how important our homes have become in our lives. Of course, homes have always been important – but suddenly spending ALL our time there, whether for work or leisure purposes in a lot of cases – meant those little niggles and things we’d been putting up with seemed so much worse.

We realised that actually we really needed space for a desk and to work comfortably, away from the kitchen table or sofa. We needed somewhere to exercise. Gardens became more important than ever before. And although Kirsty and Phil have always known it, Location, Location, Location was vital. We needed lots of pleasant walks we could take from our doorstep – and some great little local food shops we could pop into to stock up on staples. All that’s not too much to ask surely?!

The property market ground to a halt for a little while due to lockdown, but by last summer it was up and running again and busier than ever. Properties are flying out of estate agents’ windows as soon as they hit them. The Stamp Duty Savings definitely helped give the market a boost – but actually things don’t yet seem to be slowing down, despite the deadline for the end of the scheme looming. Certainly as a removal firm in Leeds and York, the diary continues to look very busy moving customers for weeks to come.

So, if you’re pondering how to best achieve the home you want (or need), what questions should you be asking yourself?

  • Will an extension get you what you need? If you want a bigger garden or a different location, moving is really your only option. If, actually, it’s an extra bedroom or a knocked through kitchen/diner you’re after, speak to an architect to find out if it would be possible in your current property.
  • Weighing up the costs. If you were to move home, what would your budget be? Remember to work in costs such as stamp duty, solicitors’ fees and removals firms. Can you get the house you want within the budget? Time to check out Rightmove and to get some valuations on your current property! But don’t expect an extension to be a ‘cheap’ option – typically they cost around £1,500-£2,000 per square metre. Consider all the related costs, such as planning fees and inspections, and then factor in some additional budget for unforeseen expenses (which there always are!) Remember you may need to put some of your belongings into self storage. Will you have to move out for any of the work to be done, and what costs may that add?
  • Don’t get hung up on making your money back. Of course, it would be galling to extend your house and find it cost more than it added to the value of your home. But apparently 73% of house extensions do make their money back. However, if you’re making these changes so you can continue living in the property longer term, at this point the value of the house doesn’t really matter. It’s estimated that an extra bedroom can add more than 10% to the value of your property, and an extra bathroom or extended kitchen/diner 5-6%.
  • Will an extension be allowed? Look at what other properties in the area have done to gauge whether you think you’d be likely to get any necessary planning permissions. But bear in mind there’s no guarantee until planning is granted!

If you decide moving is the right option for you, get in touch with us to find out more about our removals’ services in Leeds and Yorkshire. Wherever you might be moving to, our friendly team can help get your belongings safely packed up and transported from your old home to new. If you’d like to get a quote for a removal, fill in a few details here or give us a call on 0113 269 0000.

As Yorkshire property prices boom, is now the time to make your move?

When the Chancellor announced the introduction of stamp duty savings last year, the ticking clock started for the countdown to it ending on 31st March, creating a lot of pressure in the system. Many people thought if they hadn’t put their property on the market by the end of last year, they were probably too late to sell in 2021.

So, some may have been surprised to see the latest stats, which seem to show the market is likely to remain buoyant for the foreseeable – particularly with the news of the extension to the stamp duty holiday and the launch of the mortgage guarantee scheme.

Yorkshire in particular is due to experience a strong market, with Savills predicting a 28 per cent increase in average house prices in the region by 2025. That’s 7 per cent higher than the national average and 15 per cent higher than London. The rises are predicted to be steady year-on-year – with even 2021, despite starting with a lockdown, seeing a 4.5 per cent increase. It seems our desire to move home outweighs the uncertainly brought about by the pandemic. With more and more people seeking nearby countryside, outdoor space and the ability to work from home, things look positive for house moves in Leeds and its neighbouring locations.

Estate agent Linley and Simpson is also predicting a post-Covid city living revival for Leeds too, particularly as shops, bars and restaurants begin to reopen. With a shortage of properties on the market leading to higher asking prices – is now the time to make your move?

If you’re looking for moving companies in Leeds, we have almost 100 years of removals’ expertise. We can help you with everything from packing to…well…unpacking! And everything in between – which is just as important.

It’s vital when looking for a Leeds’ removals company to ensure that you find one you can trust. Always look for membership of the British Association of Removers (BAR) as reassurance of the quality you should expect – you can check this on the BAR website. You’re trusting this company to move everything you own, safely and securely, so it’s something you don’t want to cut corners on.

With things being so busy in the Leeds removals market, it’s worth getting in touch with your preferred company as soon as possible to try and secure the date you need. Even if you don’t have a date yet in mind, you can get a quote (which can be done remotely for Covid safety reasons) and get your details on our system, ready to push the button once the completion date is agreed.

If, for whatever reason, dates don’t end up aligning – perhaps you have to move out to maintain the chain below you, but your new build isn’t yet ready – don’t worry. We can offer safe and secure storage for all your belongings. We can load up the removals van as we would with any move, carefully placing the items in large crates, which are then safely unloaded at our storage location. We’ll keep them there, unopened, until you’re ready – and then we’ll deliver them back to you. It’s also something to consider if you’re moving into a property which needs some work doing before you’re ready to take up residence!

So, if you’re looking to make the most of the Yorkshire property price boom, and you need a Leeds’ removal company, get in touch! Don’t worry about asking too many questions – we appreciate we know this inside out, but most people don’t move every day so it might seem a bit daunting. We’re always happy to help!

Let Holdsworths make 2020 the year of your move

2019 was an uncertain time for the property market. Brexit and a general election meant people put off moving home until things were a bit clearer. Of course, people do still move – for jobs, good schools, to be nearer family, downsizing or to get some extra space, but the figures show there were less houses on the market and less activity than previously.

But it seems that things are definitely on the up. December 2019 showed the number of mortgages being approved jumped to its highest level in over two years. According to the Bank of England 67,241 loans got the go ahead – the highest figure since July 2017. Good news indeed.

Other research from Zoopla took a look at how first time buyers are faring and which are the most popular locations for those buying their first property – and how much buying a home there will set you back. All the areas across the country have some things in common – being within reach of a big city (or cities) but in a more affordable location. In Yorkshire Bradford is the most popular area with those buying their first home – covering areas such as Bingley, Shipley, Thornton, Keighley, Silsden, Howarth and Ilkley. The average price those taking a first step on the property ladder will pay in the area is £110,000 with a deposit of 15 per cent. That will get you a three bed semi in many cases.

So, with things looking on the up for those wanting to move, how can we help at Holdsworths?

With almost 100 years expertise in home removals, we can help make your move a reality – getting your things safely from your old home to your new home. We can even help with packing if required – our expert team are pros at getting you packed up with the minimum hassle and ensuring everything makes it in one piece, exactly as it was packed. It doesn’t matter where you’re moving to – whether it’s your first home in Bradford, or your fifth home in the highlands of Scotland. We can even help with overseas moves, if your plans are taking you to a different country.

Just contact us to get a quote as soon as you know you’ll be moving – that way we’ll be ready to go once you know the estimated completion date. We recommend at least six weeks ahead of time if you’re able to – but don’t worry if an impending move is creeping ever closer, we’ll always try help out if we can!

We can also help with storage requirements – including container storage if for some reason you need to move out of your old property before you have the keys to the new one. We’ll load everything into containers within our removal van and secure them with you, keeping them locked and safe at our storage centre before delivering them to your new home when needed.

Whatever moves 2020 has in store for you – we’re happy to help any way we can!

Decluttering top tips to get you on the move

Whether it’s Marie Kondo or Mrs Hinch, there’s many an expert you can follow on social media to help you get to grips with sorting, organising or cleaning your home. With the peaceful and pristine properties they create, it’s easy to feel yourself almost getting enthusiastic for a good Spring Clean!

For anyone considering a house move a good declutter, freshen up and deep clean is essential. You want the photos to sell the property at its absolute best, as spacious, light and airy. If you’re moving because it’s starting to feel too cramped, you certainly don’t want potential buyers thinking that!

‘Quality over quantity’, ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’ and ‘a tidy desk equals a tidy mind’ – all sayings we’ve probably heard hundreds of times – but that’s because they’re true!

So, here are some top tips from us here at Holdsworths to help you get sorted before putting your home on the market:

  • Be honest – It’s easy to become blind to clutter in your own home. Force yourself to really look around – or even ask family or friends to be honest with you about any areas of your home they think look cluttered!
  • Don’t get overwhelmed – Start with a room at a time or even a shelf or a cupboard every time you have five minutes. Break it into manageable chunks so you don’t get overwhelmed.
  • Create three piles – Much of the stuff you have in your home you probably use rarely, if ever. Sort things you don’t need frequently into three piles:
    • Chuck – bin things which have no further purpose for you or anyone else
    • Donate – consider whether you could donate the items to a friend, to charity or to something like a school or nursery
    • Store – consider self storage for items if you will need them again in the future. That way you can access them whenever you need to, but they’re out of the way day-to-day. It’s also preferable to piling stuff in a garage or spare room – you don’t want to give an impression of a lack of space or storage to would-be homebuyers coming for a look round.
  • Don’t drown in paperwork – Paperwork can quickly pile up, even in this electronic age. Make sure you sort through any papers and recycle things where appropriate – but if it’s got any personal details on it, it will need properly destroying. Use a home shredder, or if you’re looking at paper mountains why not get in touch about our shredding service?
  • Don’t get sentimental over clothes – When sorting clothes be realistic. Are you likely to wear the item again? Do you even like it? (as Marie Kondo says does it spark joy?). If not, pass it on.
  • Declutter surfaces as much as possible – It will really help for cleaning purposes, as it will be much quicker to wipe round ahead of a viewing.
  • Sort out the kitchen cupboard and surfaces – We’re all probably guilty of having a lot of gadgets in our kitchens which we never use, making the room look cluttered. Smoothie makers, popcorn makers, bread machines – sound familiar? If you don’t use it daily it needs to be in a cupboard rather than on display on your work surfaces, and if you don’t currently use it all consider donating or storing it!

It may seem like a daunting task at first but getting organised is always worth it. Imagine life not having to fight through a wardrobe to find outfits and being able to make a sandwich without having to clear a space on the work surface! And if you are planning a move, it might just have you selling up and calling us about removals services in no time!

Dream screen homes – what it would cost to buy our film and TV favourites

A snippet in our fantastic local paper, The Yorkshire Post, caught our eye a few weeks ago.

It being around Christmas, no doubt lots of us had spent many happy hours watching our favourite films, catching up with repeats of old classics and enjoying the Christmas specials, cuppa (or something stronger) in hand and tin of Quality Street on the go.

Many of the homes in our favourite shows and films become so familiar to us, we can almost feel like we’ve been there. Take the famous New York apartment belonging to Monica in Friends – so loved it’s done its own tour here in the UK!

Estate agent comparison website GetAgent.co.uk had the clever idea of doing some investigations to work out the value of some of the best known properties which will have appeared on our screens over the festive season.

One of our favourite Christmas films is Home Alone – did you know the suburban detached house in Chicago would cost around £1.2 million now? Not that different from Buddy’s dad’s apartment in New York from Elf at £1.05 million. Susan Walker’s detached family home at Forest Lake in Illinois from the Miracle on 34th Street would cost around £2.75 million if listed today. If you’ve watched The Holiday this Christmas, the small but very pretty Surrey cottage owned by Iris would be worth around £528,000.

Another well known property in Surrey is No 4 Privet Drive – known by every true Harry Potter fan as the Dursley family residence. The estate agent particulars would have to mention that roomy under the stairs cupboard when they market it for around £348,000.

If budget is no object, of course why not aim big. Downton Abbey’s Highclere Castle estate, home to the Crawley family, should do nicely and would be worth approximately £137 million if it was to hit the market today. If you fancy a pad in the capital city instead (or as well) perhaps try Bridget Jones’ flat in Borough Market, which would cost an estimated £1.44 million. Natalie’s terraced house in the ‘dodgy end’ of Wandsworth in Love Actually would cost around £1.02 million.

If you’ve been treating yourself to some sitcom classics this Christmas, if you fancy the look of the Vicar of Dibley’s country cottage you’d be looking at around £580,000. Gavin and Stacey’s terraced house in Barry, South Wales, would set you back a much more affordable £174,000. Del Boy and Rodney’s home in Nelson Mandela House, on the other hand, would now be worth just short of £400,000! Maybe this time next year they really will be millionaires after all…

Wherever your next move is taking you, we can help get your belongings there safely, efficiently and with a friendly and stress-free removals service. So, if 2020 sees you planning a move, get in touch – we’re always happy to chat through how the process works and can get you booked in for an estimate. Happy house hunting!

Giving winter moves a warm welcome

As reports started coming in last weekend of the first snow of the winter (although there certainly wasn’t any round us in Leeds!), it was that first reminder of what the weather can do this time of year.

So far, in the main, it’s been a wet one, with endless rain. Which doesn’t always make for a fun house move, but it’s not usually much to worry about. But, what happens when rain becomes ice or snow? Should it be something you’re worried about? (to add to the no doubt extensive list of things you’re already worrying about when it comes to moving house!)

The simple answer is – NO! Of course, there are occasionally freak weather occurrences which leave us under four foot of snow, but it’s not very frequent in this country. Rest assured in almost 100 years of moving experience we’re well used to moving in all kinds of great British weather. If it is in any way possible, we’ll get you moved safely into your new home.

Some people are put off moving in the winter with worries about being stranded or dealing with slippery drives. But you often can’t predict when a house will sell or how long a sale might take – so don’t delay booking a removal firm thinking they’ll be easy to get at short notice ‘out of season’. We get booked up all year round, and particularly when there’s bank holidays to work around, so it’s always worth getting something confirmed sooner rather than later.

The best advice for a winter move is to chat through any concerns with our team, and we’ll hopefully be able to reassure you. We’ll be keeping an eye on the forecast as much as you are, but we’re used to dealing with all kinds of situations so try not to worry!

There are simple things you can do on the day to help the move go as safely and smoothly as possible, for example:

  • There may be ice, especially early in the morning. Try to clear any ice and spread some grit. This will be safer for the team – and your belongings which they’ll be carrying!
  • You may want to protect your carpets as people will be in and out with wet shoes. It won’t be practical to keep removing them whilst carrying furniture so consider laying something down to cover flooring. Just make sure it’s not a trip hazard.
  • Use good quality packing materials to protect your items within. We’ll bring furniture covers to protect larger items from the elements.
  • It may be dark when you’re moving out or moving in, so make sure you have spare light bulbs to hand in case they’re needed and maybe a couple of torches. Especially for the new house, which will be unfamiliar.
  • Have an ‘essentials kit’ with you in your own vehicle, which should include winter coats and clothing, de-icer, shovel and grit – just in case! You can also include other items like toilet rolls, a kettle, food, chargers and any medicines you might need, and numbers for the utility companies. It’s also handy to have your bedding clearly labelled and ready to go – so if it’s late by the time you get into your new home and you’re all exhausted, you can get warm, comfy beds ready in minutes.

If you’re planning a winter move, why not get in touch for more information?

Top 5 tips to help your move go without a hitch

When you’re moving house there can be hundreds of things to think about. Liaising with vendors and buyers through estate agents and solicitors, mortgage arrangements, packing, thinking about the move itself… it’s no wonder it can start to feel overwhelming at times. It doesn’t help that much of the moving process is out of your hands – there isn’t much you can do to speed up waiting for searches or for other parts of the chain to get sorted.

That’s why it’s good to get the bits you are in control of organised and ready to go, so you feel like you’re getting somewhere! We have a full step by step guide to moving house here, which is really helpful to make sure you’re on track.

But we thought it might be handy to put our top five suggestions for things you can get sorted in advance, which you can tick off your checklist and feel good about!

  1. Speak to a removals company – we would put this first of course, but make sure you have a removal company sorted as soon as possible. We can get very booked up at certain times and Fridays are always the most popular days. Get in touch to organise a quote and we can discuss getting you booked in – even if you’re not sure about move date yet. Best not to risk missing out by leaving it too late. Remember to always choose a BAR (British Association of Removers) registered removal firm for peace of mind.
  2. Let everyone know – it can take a while to change your address on everything. Some you may not want to do in advance, so make sure you have a list with contact details to include financial organisations, insurance companies, government bodies, healthcare providers, utilities, phones, work, schools, friends and family. Get a mail redirection service organised at the Post Office to ensure if any are missed, you’re not caught out. Make sure utilities are aware and you know what to do with final/initial meter readings.
  3. The big clear out – there’s bound to be things you don’t need to take to your new home. So, start having a clear out as soon as possible – wardrobes, kitchen cupboards, lofts, garages and under the stairs cupboards included! Don’t forget things like starting to use up food in the freezer and cupboards – you won’t be able to transport frozen food and so you don’t want it going to waste. Don’t leave the clear out until you’re packing when it all becomes more stressful.
  4. Start packing – or at least start thinking about packing. You might decide you want to use a packing service such as the one we provide. If so, we would come and take a look and advise you how it would work. A packing service can save you a lot of time and stress – we’re super quick and make sure everything is packed safely and securely. If you’re doing it yourself, start early – pack up items you rarely use as far in advance as possible, such as those in your loft or kitchen equipment, to spread it out. Make sure you have all the packing materials you need – get good quality moving boxes. Remember to label boxes clearly.
  5. Think about move day plans – if you have pets and young children you might want to think about what will happen with them on move day. It’s often easier if they can be looked after elsewhere so they don’t get upset or underfoot – or bored! Think about other things like whether it’s likely to be wet and muddy (we do live in the UK) – have you got some way of protecting your carpets? What items are being left for the new owners, and will it be clear to a removals team? Will any furniture need dismantling or white goods need disconnecting?

With a bit of planning and professional help, a move needn’t be so stressful after all!

Planning for four legged friends on move day

For many of us our four-legged (or two winged, scaled or furry) friends are as much a part of the family as the people in it. But there can be one slight issue… clear communication.

While Fido might understand “walkies” and Tiddles may understand “dinner time”, neither is likely to grasp “We’re going to move house. It’s absolutely fine and nothing to worry about, but there’s going to be a lot of strange activity going on for a few weeks. Please don’t get upset as you’ll love our new home!”

For our animal friends the build up to move day can be stressful enough, with strangers looking round the house, packing boxes appearing and things being moved around. With that heightened sense that ‘something’s not quite right’, move day itself can all be too much for them.

Here at Britannia Turnbulls in Leeds, we have years of experience helping people and their pets move home – more than 150 years to be precise!

Here are our top tips for making sure your move is as stress free as possible for your ‘fur babies’:

  • If at all possible, keep your pet out of the way on move day. See if a family member or friend can have them, or if needs be consider a kennels or cattery. It will be very stressful for them to see so many strangers in the house and boxes and furniture being moved around – and it’s easy for them to get underfoot and accidentally get hurt or cause some damage. Doors will be open, and you don’t want to risk them bolting and not being able to find them as your removal van is sat waiting to depart.
  • If there is no option but for them to be at home, keep them confined to one empty room. Put a sign on the door and make sure everyone involved in the move is aware that door must not be opened. Make sure they have a comfy place to sleep and food/water and visit them regularly to give reassurance and to sort toilet trips.
  • If your pet gets really stressed in the run up to the move, talk to your vet about things which might be able to help like pheromone diffusers or sprays.
  • Make sure your pet is microchipped if appropriate – just in case they do somehow go walkabouts at your old address or your new one.
  • Pack anything your pet will immediately need at the new house in your vehicle, or in a clearly marked box. You don’t want to be scrabbling around to find their food, bed, medicine or favourite toy when you reach the new house. Don’t wash things immediately so they retain a familiar and reassuring smell.
  • Pets of all kinds should travel with you, not in the removal van. Make sure you’ve considered or sought expert advice on how to best transport them safely. Don’t feed them immediately before travelling in case it makes them car sick.
  • Be patient with your pet – they may act out of sorts for a while in their new home. Just give them plenty of reassurance and take it slowly, introducing them to the garden or local area safely whilst on a lead – dogs and cats alike!

We’re always happy to help with any removals related questions – give us a call if there’s anything we can help with. And if you are moving we wish a very happy new home to you and your faithful friend!

Five top tips on how to choose a removals firm

If you’re going to trust all your worldly belongings to a removals firm, you want to make sure they’re the very best. It’s not an exaggeration to say they’re going to be looking after everything you own!

A competitive quote is obviously important, but it’s never the only thing you should judge a removals company on. Just like every industry, there will always be those who under price and fail to deliver (which could literally mean in this case not getting your belongings safely from A to B!)

So, what advice can we offer those thinking about moving home when it comes to choosing a good removals company?

  1. Reputation and track record

How long has the removal firm been in business? The likelihood is if they’ve been established for many years they have the experience you want – and should be able to provide plenty of testimonials from happy customers. We don’t want to brag or anything, but have we mentioned we’ve been in business for almost 100 years?! Also, ask your friends and family for their recommendations (or for any tips on who to avoid.)

  • BAR membership

BAR membership should be a non-negotiable. The British Association of Removers is an industry body which regulates members and can act in situations where a customer may be unhappy. Members adhere to a code of conduct so it gives you reassurance of the quality of the company you’re working with. Don’t just take a removal company’s word for their membership – you can check yourself online on the BAR website.

  • Gut feel

Gut instinct is there for a reason. If something seems a bit off about the company you’re looking at, or there’s any warning signs, don’t ignore them. Try to meet them face to face, which should be necessary if they want to do a survey, to see what items you need moving. If a service is priced very cheaply compared to competitors, there’s probably a reason why. Also, look out for things like no landline or address to contact the company. If all you have is a mobile number and they don’t turn up or answer the phone come move day, what would you do?

  • Customer service excellence

You should feel confident that the company knows exactly what they’re talking about and that they have the expertise to deal with any number of tricky situations should they arise. No one plans to have problems on move day, but you never know what might happen. Many of our removals’ teams have been working with us for 25+ years and have dealt with any number of issues confidently and calmly for our customers.

  • Everything you (might) need

Does they offer accompanying services which might come in useful? For example, can they provide a packing service or storage? You might plan to use storage as part of your move, or it might be needed if something unexpected happens. For example, if your purchase gets delayed by a few days but your sale can’t wait, what would you do? At Holdsworths we can pack your items straight into container storage on the removal van so it gets safely and securely stored until you’re ready for us to bring it to your new home.

If you have any questions about removals, we’re always happy to help, with no obligation. Why not get in touch?

Beating the winter blues with a move to the sun

So, summer is nearly over…and stories of an arctic winter have already started coming in! According to news reports we should be bracing ourselves for the worst winter in a decade…yay… (although to be fair we wouldn’t mind the chance to do a bit of sledging and snowman building, but we’d rather it was limited to a day or two when there’s no moves booked to interfere with!)

If all the talk of winter has you feeling like The Grinch, and you’re still firmly in flip flop and sun hat territory, you’re not alone. Seasonal Affective Disorder is thought to affect two million Brits according to the NHS. Add in some post-holiday blues after a fantastic summer getaway in sunnier climes and you’re probably starting to re-pack your suitcase as you read.

But for well over 300,000 Brits a year, living in a different country isn’t just a pipe dream or restricted to a short term holiday. It’s a change in lifestyle which sees them going to life abroad. Whether it’s for work or study, for family, for retirement, or just because you want to, it’s a big undertaking – but an exciting one!

Here at Holdsworths Removals we can help you plan your international move, making sure we think of every last detail to make getting from A to B (Alwoodley to Barcelona? Adel to Byron Bay?) as hassle free as possible.

If you’re planning a move to mainland Europe a move by road, door to door with a dedicated team, is entirely possible, just like you would do within the UK. And if you’re moving further afield the move can happen by ship or freight plane.

If you’re moving the contents of an entire home with you, you may have enough for your own shipping container, which is a cost effective way to transport your belongings. If you’re only taking a few important bits and pieces – anything from a prized piece of furniture or a few suitcases to a garage full – we can offer a shared container. That way you only pay for the space you need, sharing the costs with others, making it great value for money.

Air freight is the most expensive way to transport items but is ideal for those things you need quickly, or for smaller items.

Whatever you’re taking and wherever you’re heading at Holdsworths we can offer our advice and expertise built up over almost 100 years of being in business. We’ll ensure your items are transported in the safest, most efficient way possible to suit your needs. We can even help you pack them to make extra sure they arrive in the best possible condition – they will need to be ‘export packed’ and inventoried to be suitable for their long journey. We have a network of trusted partners across the world which we can call upon if needed to help complete the journey.

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