Upgrading older house with part-exchange

Posted 02/07/2021

People move for a whole host of reasons. While it is often to increase the number of bedrooms, sometimes it is because older houses can no longer provide the lifestyle that house hunters are looking for.

Peter and Sharon Ward had lived in older properties all of their lives. With three grown up children all having left home, their three-bedroom semi-detached house was no longer serving their requirements.

“We wanted a more modern version of what we had to better suit our lifestyle,” says Peter. “We also wanted a bigger garden and an en-suite bathroom. It’s quite built-up where our old house was so a quieter and more rural location was definitely more appealing.”

Making the decision to move was a fairly quick one due to a number of different circumstances. Peter’s father sadly passed away in February and after the last lockdown, his son and girlfriend moved out to buy their first home. “While my dad was alive, we wanted to stay close by but when he passed, he left us some money and we decided that it was time to move to a more rural setting for a better quality of life,” says Peter. “We also wanted to be closer to our daughters and grandchildren. Although we had actually spent a fortune on the old house, having replaced all the windows and a large extension with brand new kitchen, it wasn’t what we ultimately wanted in terms of layout or location.”

This is the couple’s fifth house and although they had never bought a new build property before, they liked the idea of having nothing to worry about. “We had viewed a few new developments but weren’t really keen on anything until we found Coggeshall West and decided to buy the three-bedroom Blackwater house type,” says Peter. “We were immediately impressed with the quality and although it is also a three-bedroom house, it offers much larger rooms and a bigger garden than our old home. We also have three bathrooms compared to our one toilet in our old home.”

Coggeshall West is a boutique development of just 29 three- four- and five-bedroom houses built by multi-award winning and local housebuilder, Higgins Homes. This semi-rural location with great transport links to London made the couple decide to move now, rather than wait until Peter’s retirement. “It was always the plan that when I retire we would move further out to northern Essex where our daughters and grandchildren are, but financially it was a good idea to move now so we thought we should just go for it,” adds Peter. “Although I’ve conveniently lived close to work for the last 30 years, this location means that I can still easily commute, so we get the best of both worlds.”

Peter is a Commercial Director for the Port of Tilbury in Essex and is occasionally required to travel. “The station is just ten minutes away and I can get into London easily and when I need to fly to Scotland, Stanstead Airport is just twenty minutes’ drive away,” Peter adds.

This historic village boasts modern transport links with the journey time from nearby Kelvedon Station to Chelmsford in 17 minutes and London in only 53 minutes. By road, the A120 offers swift access to Colchester and Braintree, the A12 provides a direct link right to the centre of London and out to the coast of East Anglia. The M11 offers you a quick route to the M25 and the national motorway network.

Coggeshall is one of the oldest towns in Essex, with a distinctly village feel. In keeping with its surroundings, Coggeshall West combines the modern style and smart technology that is typically associated with a Higgins Homes development with sensitive architecture that is in keeping with its historical surroundings.

“This was our first time buying a new build and we really liked the idea of not having to worry about the property for a long time,” says Peter. “We don’t need to do anything to the house or spend any money on it. There’s plenty of space so we can both have our own areas; Sharon is a Reiki therapist and runs an online business selling crystals and I collect Formula One memorabilia. Plus, there is plenty of space for the kids and grandchildren to stay.”

The couple took advantage of Higgins Homes’ part-exchange option and found the whole process was very straightforward. “This took a lot of the stress away from the move,” says Peter. “I’ve been in property chains before that are seven or eight long and it’s been a nightmare. But we found dealing with Higgins Homes really straightforward and have been very impressed.”

Although the couple have only recently moved in, they are already establishing themselves into the local community. “Sharon has started a yoga class and is talking to a local shop owner about selling her crystals and I am planning on getting a season ticket for the football club next door,” says Peter. “We already feel that we’ve made the right decision and have a good sense that we are going to enjoy living here.”