Demand for 'lock up and leave property' rising

A new survey has revealed a growing trend among older homeowners for properties that allow them greater freedom and flexibility to pursue their own interests.

Related topics:  Property,  Retirement,  Later life
Property | Reporter
9th February 2024
pensioner 562
"One of the main concerns people have is their home security while they’re away. Leaving a remote property unattended for significant periods can be risky while properties within communities, whether that’s a town, village or estate, are much safer"
- John Lavin - Cognatum

New research from Cognatum retirement estates shows that over 25% of their residents expected to spend two months or more away from their homes every year. Less than half of Cognatum residents expected to spend less than a month on their travels.

John Lavin of Cognatum says: “Extensive travel is something that many people plan for their retirement years, and cruises and golf trips are being swapped out for later-life gap-year type adventures that are likely to extend beyond the usual one or two weeks in duration.

"Many of our residents have second homes in the UK and overseas, while others have family and friends that they like to visit regularly. Others simply like to holiday, some extensively, and to experience new cultures or just better weather. So it’s no surprise that there’s a trend in the property market for a good lock up and leave property that allows for worry-free globetrotting and spontaneous trips away.”

What makes up a good lock up and leave property?

John explains: “Good transport links make frequent and spontaneous trips much more attractive, if being able to do things last minute appeals then the easier it is to get away the better.

“A property with good infrastructure, modern wiring and plumbing, that’s easy to maintain and will keep your home warm and dry in your absence offers peace of mind. Old and leaky doesn’t sit well with switching off and relaxing.

“One of the main concerns people have is their home security while they’re away. Leaving a remote property unattended for significant periods can be risky while properties within communities, whether that’s a town, village or estate, are much safer. Neighbours are one of the best deterrents to unwelcome visitors. Houses set around squares or circles rather than in straight lines mean neighbours are more likely to be aware of unexpected activity.

“Making the most of smart technology that allows you to ‘check-in’ remotely brings added reassurance.

“Knowing that your property will be looked after in your absence adds another level of reassurance. For regular travellers, a company or freeholder who manages the shared elements such as the exterior and the gardens is a big benefit, but even better is a manager who will proactively ensure that all is well inside and out while you are away.

“Estate managers’ responsibilities include overseeing the day-to-day running and long-term maintenance of grounds and buildings, being available at all times in an emergency, a weekly property check, and a monthly alarm check – all great things on a day-to-day basis but particularly attractive if you may be away from your property for extended periods.”

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