The onset of lighter evenings is often what prompts people to think about doing a bit of redecorating or a spring clean, but for almost half of people over 50 it is home repairs and how to pay for them that people need to focus on.
While the most common things that need fixing in the over 50s homes are gutters (14%), many are in need of more essential repairs, 1 in 9 say their roof needs repairing (11%) and the same number say their heating or electrics need to be fixed. Furthermore, 1 in 10 say their plumbing needs some attention and 8% say their insulation needs looking at. Typically, people in their 70s are more likely to be living in a home in need of repair.
However some people are struggling to pay for these essential repairs out of their wages, savings or pension. Over 420,000 are considering using some sort of credit such as a loan or borrowing from friends or family in order to fund their repairs.
Around 150,000 people aged 50 to 59 say they will take advantage of the pension freedoms and use their lump sum to fix the essentials in and around their home, which may leave some struggling to fund their retirement.
However, one in five over 50s say that they will not pay for the repairs that need doing. An intrepid few will attempt to fix the repair themselves, but 300,000 over 50s say they simply can’t afford to fix it.
Gloria Barker, head of product for Saga Personal Finance, commented: “For many people who have lived a lifetime in a property and have become very attached to their home, it is very upsetting not to be able to maintain it, particularly if it also causes them discomfort with leaky roofs and not being able to keep as warm they want to. If people are worrying about how to pay for essential repairs it’s worthwhile exploring all their funding options as soon as possible to make sure the situation doesn’t get worse.”
Over 60% of people who use the Saga Equity Release Advice Service use some of the money they release from their home to repair or improve their property. On average people say they use £14,000 for home improvements.