If you’ve outgrown your first home, need to move for a lifestyle change or just fancy living in a new area, you’re officially a second-stepper. But even though you’ve done it once before, the house-buying process can still have its challenges second time around.
People hoping to buy their second home already have a good idea of what they’re facing – after all, they’re conquerors of the first-time-buyer battleground with its highs, lows and occasional stresses. But we’re here to provide some helpful guidance for anyone who’s moving up another rung.
You may be looking at homes priced from around £220,000 to £320,000, so chances are you will need to borrow more money. It’s a good idea to put in the time to research the best deals available to you.
And you may need to ask yourself some important questions too. Does your chosen property have enough space for a growing family? Is the garden secluded and safe for small children? Are there good schools nearby? Are you prepared for a quiet country life compared to the buzz of a busy city, or vice versa?
And is it future-proofed so that it can support the entire family at all stages of their lives?
Kevin Aitken, Branch Manager at The Cumberland, said: “Second-steppers are vital to a thriving housing market. People selling their starter homes boost the supply of first-time properties for those coming along behind them…
“But in many ways moving up the property ladder can be an even tougher process than getting on it in the first place.
“Yes, you’ll have experience of being a property owner, so you know all about the costs of running a house, but chances are you’ll need to remortgage to buy a larger place.
“You’ll also have the costs of selling your existing property, you’re likely to need a bigger deposit – at a time when your family is growing, which makes it harder to save – and there’s a high chance you’ll enter into a house-buying chain.
“Having said all that, moving into a new home is a fantastic experience and as a second stepper you can be proud of yourself and what you’ve achieved. You’ve made the move to a house that will provide a haven for you and your family for as long as needed, and that is no mean feat.”
If you’re ready to progress up the property ladder, we’ve chosen five homes that are suitable for second-steppers. If these homes are no longer on the property market then you could search for something similar in your chosen location.
If you want more outdoor space…
Acorn House, Tallentire
Here’s a comfortable family home with beautiful gardens, set in a quiet rural area that’s close to good schools and employment hubs.
Its large L-shaped living room is kept cosy with an Aga housed in a stone fireplace. There’s also a separate dining room, a conservatory and a galleried landing leading to three bedrooms while the loft is accessed via a drop-down ladder.
Acorn House provides plenty of space but in case it’s not enough for you there is room outside for an extension.
In summary: At the higher end of a second stepper budget, this would be quite the investment. But could be a real opportunity to make this into a forever family home with some structural changes. More outdoor space doesn’t necessarily mean more room for garden activities – consider this as room to add on an extension or build a garden office. These kind of changes can’t be made overnight, but if you see yourself in a property like this for a while it could be a good long-term project to plan for.
Property details: On offer at £320,000 from H&H Land & Estates
If you want to walk straight in…
Helmsley Drive, Barrow
It’s an attractive home which looks to be offered in turnkey condition, with a smart kitchen and conservatory used by the current owners as a dining room, fitted furniture in the master bedroom and neat, well-kept gardens to front and back.
It may be lacking the fourth bedroom which many second steppers are looking for but has the benefit of parking space for several cars as well as a garage. The driveway is laid with attractive red-brick block paving.
In summary: This is ready to move into but could be seen as compact and with only three bedrooms. However, there’s still lots of space to expand – especially if you’re moving from a one or two bedroom property.
Property details: For sale at £230,000 from Ross Estate Agents
If you want great kerb appeal…
Midtown Farmhouse, Beckermet
That proves to be the case with sash windows and ceiling beams throughout the ground floor, original cupboards, a snug and boot room.
The bespoke country-style kitchen is charming and there is also a delightful garden room. Upstairs the three bedrooms are complemented by an eaves storage room with roof lights that could easily be converted to a bedroom or playroom.
The large space offered inside this house is echoed outside with sizeable gardens containing stone-built stores, summer house and patios.
Kevin Aitken said: “If they’re well-maintained and have modern kitchens and bathrooms, like Midtown Farmhouse has, then period properties can make ideal family homes.
“They tend to be larger than average, with quirky features and big gardens, but if you plan any structural changes, you should ensure the local council’s planning department will allow you to do this.”
In summary: You can get a truly original home if you choose a period property but you might not be able to develop it to suit your tastes.
Property details: For sale at £299,950 from Grisdales
If you want a recently-built house…
Maxwell Drive, Crindledyke Farm, Carlisle
These include a large family kitchen with a wealth of integrated appliances and three sets of windows which let in plenty of light on the dullest of days.
Outdoors there is parking for two cars at the side of the house, a garage and a back garden mainly given over to the lawn.
Kevin Aitken said: “Buying a recently-built house can mean less maintenance for a few years but room sizes can be smaller – make sure your furniture will fit in your new home.”
In summary: Properties built in the past few years tend to have better energy efficiency, and hence lower running costs, than older homes.
Property details: For sale at offers over £260,000 from Vicinity Homes
If you’re looking for The Cumberland’s property of the week…
Kalimna, Gasstown, Dumfries
It has been designed, built and finished to a high standard throughout with the gardens providing the space, privacy and security that many young families can be looking for.
Why is this The Cumberland’s property of the week?
Kevin Aitken said: “This house really is something special. It is beautifully presented with contemporary fixtures and fittings, requires no work and has a fabulous ambience.
“For families that are fans of the outdoors, they will also love its position close to a range of country pursuits such as sailing, horse riding, mountain biking, fishing and golfing, plus there are numerous coastal and woodland walks nearby.”
Property details: For sale at offers over £325,000 from Your Move
Finding out how much you’re able to borrow will give you a clearer understanding of the price range of homes you can start searching for.