Renovation revolution: 15m decide to stay put and create their 'forever home'

Warren Lewis
24th January 2020

January is usually the month of change. Resolutions after overindulging during the festive break are common and usually involve a shift in perception and a strong desire to improve your health and wellbeing.

The same is also true when it comes to your home. The start of the year is a popular time for homeowners to think about a potential move or make updates to their current property.

For those unsure about whether to move home or stay put, newly released research from LV= General Insurance, has found that 86% of UK homeowners (equating to around 15 million people) decide to make improvements to transform their house into their ‘forever home’, such as redecorating in their own style (58%), refurbishing the kitchen (50%) and landscaping the garden (39%).

Three in 10 (28%) homeowners living in their ‘forever home’ have stayed put and renovated their current home instead of moving further up the ladder, because they felt it was too expensive to do so.

The top changes to make to your home this January, to transform it into a Forever Home:

1. Redecorate the house to a style that works for you (58%)
2. Refurbish the Kitchen (50%)
3. Landscape the garden (39%)
4. Extend the house (24%)
5. Paint the exterior of the house (24%)

Heather Smith, Managing Director of the LV=GI Direct business, comments: “When looking to buy a property, especially one where you intend to stay put, it’s important to consider which factors are most important to you. With house prices continuing to rise and uncertainty in the market, our research shows that the vast majority of homeowners are choosing to renovate their current property to create their ‘forever home’.”

Buying your Forever Home

More than half (53%) of homeowners say the house they live in now is where they plan to stay put. Those who don’t currently own their ‘forever home’ – a home which somebody owns and intends to live in indefinitely – think they will buy it at an average of 49 years old.

If you are looking to take your next life step the year, encouragingly, LV=GI’s survey of ‘forever home’ owners found they bought theirs at an average of 41 years old. With the average age of first-time buyer now 31-33 years old, homeowners may not have to wait as long as they think for their ‘forever home’ after getting on the property ladder.2 LV=GI’s new tool will help homeowners gain a better understanding of when they could be in their forever home based on their region, and what to expect in regards to price and property type.

There are a number of factors that buyers consider important when finding their ‘forever home’, however, two-fifths (38%) of those that currently live in their ‘forever home’ said it was love at first sight.

The most important factors for a property to be a forever home’:

1: Garden 59%
2: Number of bedrooms 38%
3: Access to amenities (park, shops, etc) 30%
4: Parking spaces 30%
5: Access to transport links 26%

Don’t be caught out this New Year: Protect the home you love

With the number of homeowners improving their existing property on the rise, almost half (47%) of those who have renovated their homes admit to not alerting their home insurers before they started construction, leaving them at risk of potentially not being insured should anything go wrong.

Data from the ABI3 shows that one in four UK households – some six million – have no home contents insurance to cover their possessions leaving them at risk if something happens to their home. LV=GI research supports this, showing that 6% of homeowners currently don’t have home insurance.

Heather concludes: “Renovations can take up a lot of time and money, and with your home being your most valuable possession, it’s important to have the right protection for your home and its contents. We’d encourage people to tell their insurer about any planned structural work, such as an extension, loft conversion or new roof, to ensure that cover is in place.”

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