From what the weather is going to be like tomorrow to how the housing market will perform next year, life is full of challenges that are difficult to predict.
But an unpalatable truth about the future is that, as we age, we are likely to get poorer and less active – and the kind of home we need will change accordingly.
Smart homebuyers don’t wait until their living arrangements reach crisis point to make a move. Instead, they are investing in properties which work from them today and – they hope – will also see them through into old age.
These last time buyers have much to consider – from how manageable the back garden will be when they are older, to gauging how community spirited a new location might prove. And experts believe homemovers will need to start thinking about these matters sooner rather than later.
“Rather than making this decision in their late 60s, we now encounter buyers in their 40s wanting to find a property that they can grow old in,” said buying agent Nigel Bishop, of Recoco Property Search.
“Professionals in their 40s tend to have the security of a fixed income, which allows them to budget for costs like stamp duty. Many feel that they might not be able to accommodate such costs as they get older and rely purely on their investment income.”
Bruce King, director of Cheffins estate agents, which covers Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex, believes these buyers are on to something: “The main piece of advice I would give last-time buyers is to not leave it too late,” he said.
“In my mind, it’s important for people to leave their family home on a high, while it’s still full of wonderful memories – rather than waiting for so long the house becomes a liability and a noose around their neck.”
For buyers mulling over their last-time moving strategy, these are the key points to consider:
A level playing field
They are certainly not fashionable, but the single-level lateral space offered by a bungalow makes them hugely popular for last time buyers.
“Bungalows often offer a very light flexible space, which can be used in different ways as your needs change. Ground-floor bedrooms and bathrooms mean that when you do get older or less mobile there is no problem of having to cope with stairs,” said Carol Peett, managing director of West Wales Property Finders http://www.westwalespropertyfinders.co.uk
Flats can also offer good lateral living space, although to future-proof a purchase you need to look for either a ground-floor property with step-free access, or for a building with a lift.
If you do want to stay in a traditional house, then look out for a property with enough ground floor space to add a bathroom suite if necessary, or one with a straight, wide staircase which would accommodate a stairlift.
“We have advised clients on several occasions to turn conservatories into garden rooms and do them in such a way that they can be transformed into a downstairs bedroom when required, and to turn part of a utility room into a downstairs shower and loo to make the house future-proof,” said Ms Peett.
“This has proved extremely useful 15 or so years down the line.”
Wide doorways, which could accommodate a wheelchair, are also worth seeking out – whatever sort of property you opt for……… cont.
The Daily Telegraph – Sunday, 10th December 2023 – https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/property/buying-selling/choosing-forever-home-retirement-last-time-buyers/
If you are looking for a forever home in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire or Ceredigion, give West Wales Property Finders a call on 01834 862816. We can find your perfect property for you whilst saving you time, stress and often money too.