Dreaming Big with Colin Cloud

 

Almost everyone dreams of winning the lottery. But in today’s world of celebrity aspiration, how do you get the life you want if you don’t have those lottery winnings in your back pocket? Colin Cloud shows us that dreaming big is possible – it’s just a matter of taking control.

Finding the ideal home is often one of our most common dreams. But even if you’ve done everything right and have saved up the money to move, is it the right decision for you? How do you know when is the right time?  Our mortgage team reveals all…

In search of the ideal home: how to know when to move

Every year fewer and fewer new homes are built – in 2015 40% less were built than in 1980.

But watch enough daytime television and you may get the impression that everyone in Britain is busy moving house. Property programmes encourage the idea that everyone has an ideal home, but the increased competition for housing makes finding it much more daunting. 

Relocation can be expensive, exhausting and emotionally taxing, and it can sometimes make sense to stay put. The new dilemma certainly seems to be should you move or improve? Here are four key moments when going for your ideal home may well be worth considering.

ideal home
habbits

Habits need changing

Moving home offers a golden opportunity to change more than just your surroundings. Research from Bath University suggests that people are more open to altering their habits when going through a major life transition, such as moving. So if you’re keen to change your career, start your own business or even give up smoking, a new home may provide the impetus.

The study into the “habit discontinuity hypothesis” was led by Bas Verplanken, professor of social psychology. He says: “in the context of life changes like moving house, people may actually want to change other things as well.”

Don’t wait too long after getting your keys to make changes, though: the window of opportunity closes after around three months. Professor Verplanken says: “What happens after a while is that people settle in, and they either pick up their old habits again or keep the new ones. They’ve been through a lot of change and want to consolidate.”

It’s better for the children

Sometimes the driving force behind a move will be the kids. You may want to be nearer to grandparents or relatives, or provide a child-friendly environment with more green space. However, the top consideration is often getting an address in the right school catchment area.

One in four families has relocated to get their children into a certain school, says a recent survey by Opinium Research on behalf of Santander Mortgages. They were willing to pay a big premium for this advantage – an average of £23,707 on the cost of a house, or £71,539 in London. A fifth of these parents had to change job, and 15% even settled in an area they didn’t like just to be eligible for a school.

There has been conflicting evidence on whether moving has a negative impact on children. But most recently, a substantial study by the UCL Institute of Education found little evidence of any adverse effects on under-fives, unless the move is accompanied by other stressful family circumstances so it could be a good idea to make the move.

downsize

Something smaller would suit you

Many older people would like a smaller home. According to “Generation Stuck”, a 2016 report by the International Longevity Centre and housebuilders McCarthy & Stone, 48% of homeowners aged 55+ who have not already downsized would consider doing so.

Unfortunately, they’re faced with significant barriers. Brian Beach, the study’s author, says: “There are questions of cost, such as stamp duty, and there’s a lack of supply. We know the households interested in retirement housing far exceed the capacity that exists on the market. You can’t downsize if there’s not a suitable home available.”

The conclusion is that if you’re thinking of downsizing and a viable opportunity presents itself, you may need to seize it straight away. Leaving a move until you are too old may also restrict the opportunity to re-invigorate your retirement and use the new energy to develop new interests and contacts. The Office for National Statistics reports that the 40-59 age group is the most anxious – moving may be an opportunity to take the initiative and start a new chapter.

It’s time to get on the ladder

There are compelling reasons to own rather than rent your home, if possible. Instead of lining a landlord’s pocket, you’ll be paying towards owning a valuable asset.

However, it’s becoming more difficult to make the break. The percentage of young people (15-34) living with parents has gone up from 36% in 1996 to 40% in 2015, according to government figures.

No one could pretend it’s not a challenging time for first-time buyers. Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that on average, they need to lay down a 21% deposit to obtain a mortgage. And with the average house for first time buyers in the UK costing £192,147, that means scraping together a deposit of £40,000.

It’s no surprise that many first-timers are turning to parents or relatives for help. Research by economics consultancy CEBR for Legal & General suggests that in 2016, the “Bank of Mum and Dad” will provide more than £5 billion to help with that first foothold on the property ladder. So if home ownership is your ambition, it’s best not to forget those Mother’s Day or Father’s Day cards!

But if that’s not an option, why not take a look at our First Time Buyers Guide to see what you need to do to get that first foot on the ladder.

How to get the edge

In most cases, the final triumph of home ownership makes all the trials and tribulations along the way worthwhile. There’s no escaping the fact that it’s a complex financial undertaking, and the move itself can be stressful. But you can at least simplify part of the process with our dedicated comparison service – from mortgages, to home insurance and utilities. It may not be able to find you your dream home, but it could make the journey a little bit easier.

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