A ‘forever home’ by 40 is the goal for both homeowners and renters

Posted 21 July 2016 by Helen Christie

Wherever you hang your hat may be your home, but how old will you be before you buy your ‘forever home’? According to new research by first direct, the most commonly stated age is 40...

New research from first direct finds our homes may no longer be our castles, but they must come with a large kitchen, a private garden, and easy access to a supermarket.

With the average age of first-time buyers now at 30, this means once they’ve put the first step on the housing ladder people are giving themselves just ten years to find their forever home. The implications of this are highlighted by the fact 60% of homeowners expect to own more than one home before buying their forever home, whereas just 19% of tenants agree.

What’s in a (forever) home?

The first direct research pinpoints what our view of the modern forever home looks like and finds the top two features people demand in their dream home are a large kitchen (52%) and a private garden (47%), ahead of an en suite bathroom (28%), an actual bath (24%) and a conservatory (19%). 

A ‘forever’ home doesn’t need to come with all these features though, as 98% of those who are now living in their forever home have spent a further £20,000 on average on perfecting their home. First direct have created a tool to help you find what makes your forever home.

When it comes to essential amenities practicality is the name of the game, and the top three are: a supermarket (32%), good transport links (27%) and friends and family (26%). While men and women agree on the most important amenities, lower down the list there are some stereotypical differences. Women are nearly twice as likely to consider local schools when selecting their perfect home, and men sneak a good local pub onto their list of priorities.

Tracy Garrad, chief executive of first direct, says: “The saying used to be life begins at 40, but with more people buying homes later and also working and living longer we need to reset the dial. There’s an obvious impact on mortgages, but also on savings and loans too. The research highlights a need for more innovation in products and services as millennials demand solutions tailored to fit in with lifestyles which are very different to that of their parents.”

Almost a quarter (24%) of homeowners report having to ‘work more’ in order to purchase their first home, with 13% saying they took out a loan. And despite headlines over the ‘boomerang generation’, just 8% said they’d moved back in with their mum and dad in order to buy (this rises to 15% for 25-34 year olds).

Among those currently renting just 6% would move back in with their parents – with 22% preferring to rent a really cheap property, and 38% planning to work more. Among renters, saving for a deposit is the biggest concern for both women (34%) and men (23%), just ahead of getting a mortgage (women 30%, men 21%).

While 71% say they bought with a spouse or partner, men were more likely to have taken out a loan to help them buy their first home (15% vs 12%) with women more likely to have given something up such as hobbies or habits (16% vs 11%).

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