Is There Such a Thing as a Forever Home?
Everyone’s heard of the “forever home” – when someone finds that house, flat, or boat (or castle) and they realise that they’ll want to stay there for the rest of their life.
It seems that this home might just be a castle in the sky however, as most so-called forever homes change hands after a few years – eight on average.
Window dressing company Hillarys asked almost 3,000 British homeowners who claimed to have bought a forever home and found that only 35% – just under a third – of them were still living in that home.
On average, the forever home buyer is aged 31, which may have a lot to do with the phenomenon – the most common reason for leaving a forever home is to upsize. Some people moved on because they needed to relocate for a job, or to downsize. Sometimes people couldn’t afford to live in the house anymore, or their personal circumstances changed due to events like divorce.
Occasionally, according to the respondents, the property didn’t suit them as much as they imagined it would. Others had problems with neighbours or found that the character of the area changed. Pets sometimes made the decision, if they didn’t settle in as well as they could have.
What this means
This survey shows how rational, calm and patient house-hunters need to be. Just jumping for the first property that appeals, or overlooking obvious problems, can mean another upheaval just a few years down the line.
It also demonstrates that there’s no such thing as the perfect property for everyone, no bricks-and-mortar soulmate, so it’s important to compromise between holding out for a dream and being pragmatic about what’s affordable and available.
It’s good news for sellers and estate agents, though, as most people don’t buy their forever home and stay there – they start looking around within a matter of a few years. It also means that buyers aren’t as fussy and demanding anymore as they may be anticipating another move once that promotion happens, or that third baby appears…
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