The A-Z of mov­ing house – as a re­sult of the Ds

Death, di­vorce, debt and the dog. Why do peo­ple re­ally move house? Es­tate agent Ed­ward Stoyle re­veals that pro­fes­sional ex­pe­ri­ence has pro­duced some il­log­i­cal an­swers.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

“THERE was an old woman who lived in a shoe. She had so many chil­dren she didn’t know what to do”.

You’d think she might have moved to a larger shoe but the nurs­ery rhyme sug­gests she just beat the chil­dren and stayed put.

So why do peo­ple re­ally move? The rea­sons range from the in­vol­un­tary to the down­right il­log­i­cal.

As any­one in the prop­erty busi­ness will tell you, the three Ds are al­ways with us – death, di­vorce and debt.

You could say, with some jus­ti­fi­ca­tion, that death does not in­volve mov­ing, ex­cept to an­other world, but it is con­stantly feed­ing a sup­ply of houses to the mar­ket.

Di­vorce usu­ally cre­ates two house­holds and if the mat­ri­mo­nial home is sold, each of the par­ties will be look­ing for a new house.

Debt, sadly, is the big­gest sin­gle threat to con­tin­ued home own­er­ship, with re­pos­ses­sions fore­cast at 40,000 in 2011.

That is a lot of in­vol­un­tary movers, and the fig­ures don’t in­clude the es­ti­mated one-in­twelve bor­row­ers strug­gling to pay their mort­gages.

Hand in hand with debt goes un­em­ploy­ment, where a new job may mean mov­ing to an­other part of the coun­try or world.

Age and in­fir­mity are be­com­ing more rel­e­vant as pen­sion­ers be­come squeezed and home own­ers trade their most valu­able as­set for some­thing a lit­tle smaller to raise funds and move nearer to fa­cil­i­ties.

You might think that in­vol­un­tary moves form the ma­jor­ity but in fact most are dis­cre­tionary.

A grow­ing fam­ily is of­ten cited as ne­ces­si­tat­ing a house move but it is sur­pris­ing how many you can squeeze into a small house if you have to.

We re­cently sold a three­bed­room cot­tage near York which 80 years ago ac­com­mo­dated no fewer than 17 peo­ple. So per­haps moves to ac­com­mo­date a grow­ing fam­ily are as much an as­pi­ra­tion as ne­ces­sity.

There was a time in the early 2000s when mov­ing house be­came a busi­ness. Peo­ple lost in­ter­est in hav­ing a roof over their heads and thought of lit­tle else than the tax-free profit they could be mak­ing.

With house price in­fla­tion run­ning into dou­ble dig­its, it is not sur­pris­ing so many peo­ple be­came greedy.

For­tu­nately that el­e­ment has largely dis­ap­peared, as a house re­turns to be­ing a home.

Now let’s look at some of the more un­usual rea­sons for mov­ing house.

Some peo­ple just love mov­ing house, I knew of one es­tate agent’s wife who changed houses al­most as fast as her clothes. Ev­ery three years she in­sisted on a move. At least her hus­band was in the right pro­fes­sion.

Tricky neigh­bours can drive even the most rea­son­able peo­ple to the brink, and the ultimate so­lu­tion may be mov­ing house.

One of my friends re­calls buy­ing his first house, only to dis­cover that the pre­vi­ous own­ers had got fed up with the Peep­ing Tom next door.

We have had our fair share of lot­tery win­ners, to whom buy­ing a large house seems to be a pri­or­ity.

We have also seen many of them come back a year or two later hav­ing re­alised that lots of money and a large house do not al­ways bring hap­pi­ness.

You would also be sur­prised what con­sid­er­a­tion peo­ple have for their pets when it comes to mov­ing house.

Per­haps it is un­der­stand­able with horses that need their acre or two of graz­ing.

Less un­der­stand­able was one client with a large coun­try house whose wife re­fused to leave while the labrador was still alive.

With im­pec­ca­ble tim­ing, the dog paid his fi­nal visit to the vet just a few months be­fore the 2007 prop­erty crash, be­queath­ing his own­ers a pre­mium deal at the peak of the mar­ket.

Fi­nally, spare a thought for the York­shire woman who took a £100,000 hit on mov­ing out only a year af­ter mov­ing in.

“I just made a mis­take” she said philo­soph­i­cally.

CELEBRITY COU­PLE: Di­vorce is one of of the main rea­sons for house moves – as Peter An­dre and Katie Price dis­cov­ered.

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