A week? A month? A year? Or, as 1 in 70 admit, the next day? It can be a tough call to make and as the latest research from SunLife reveals, for some at least, there's no letting go.
A new survey of 1,010 homeowners over 50 found that of those whose children had flown the nest, 17% said they’ll never reclaim their children’s bedrooms, even though they have moved out.
Simon Stanney, equity release service director at SunLife, says: “We know that keeping the home in the family is really important to people, and this research backs that up. It is common for parents to want their grownup kids to be able to come back to the family home, and many feel so strongly that they keep their child’s old bedroom for them even though they’ve moved out!”
Of those that do redecorate their kid’s rooms, most (60%) wait at least a year, with one in five waiting at least two years before doing anything new with their children’s old bedrooms.
But more shocking than those who never redecorate., are the ones who redecorate while the bed is still warm! SunLife’s survey reveals that, of those that do repurpose their grown-up children’s rooms, one in 70 claim they did it the day after they moved out!
Guest rooms, offices and junk
The most common uses for a child’s old room, once they have moved out, is a guest room, with more than half (51%) of those who have redecorated saying they have used their kids’ old room as a guest room. Overall, almost one in five (18%) use their children’s old room for the grandkids.
Top five uses for kids’ old room
1. Guest room
3. Junk room/storage
5. Hobby/art room
Simon says SunLife’s research shows that family homes hold a huge amount of happy memories: “Most of our respondents have been in their homes for at least two decades, and it is understandable that they want to stay there.
“Our research shows that one in six never change their kids’ rooms, preferring to leave them as they were and that those that do are most likely to redecorate the room as a guest room, most likely one specifically dedicated to their grandchildren. This further highlights the importance of the family home.”
The research also shows that many are struggling financially and have concerns about the future with one in four saying they are worse off than they expected to be at this time in their lives and worry their money will run out before they die.
Simon concludes: “This is a generation that are generally property rich and cash poor due to a healthy increase in the value of their homes, but inflation eating away at pension pots.
"Downsizing is an option, but as we can see from our research, staying in the family home is really important for many. A solution could be equity release, as it allows homeowners over 55 to stay in unlock some of the value but stay in the family home."