The idea of children flying the nest as soon as they get the chance is long gone, as these days a lot of people find themselves staying attached to the family home long into adulthood – with some still not truly cutting ties until at least their 50s.
Research from Post Office has revealed that, even though the average age for moving out is 22, a fifth (20%) continue to use their parents' home for storage – with 13% still doing so well into their 50s. For 36% of respondents, this is simply because they don't have the space to store everything in their current place, with many finding they're priced out of the market and are unable to afford a larger home.
The most common items are kept for sentimental reasons (38%), such as childhood toys and memorabilia, but a lot are saved for purely practical purposes. This continuing reliance on the family home means 11% of parents haven't been able to reclaim their child's room for their own use, while 1 in 20 (5%) feel unable to move or downsize.
John Willcock, head of mortgages at Post Office, commented on the findings:
"Space remains one of the biggest challenges facing homeowners, with many struggling to find enough of it in their first or even second homes.
"For most people, it's simply easier to rely upon Mum and Dad for storage – which in some cases has stopped them from reclaiming the family home and forced them to put their own property plans on hold."
There's an emotional attachment too, of course. One in five (18%) of those surveyed still consider their parent's house their home, with 13% of those in their 50s still feeling this way. A fifth believe that people never really stop, while 12% still refer to their childhood bedroom as "their room", even though they've long moved out.
A further quarter (23%) think that you've got to be a homeowner yourself before you can fully fly the nest and move on from your childhood home, so if you're thinking of taking the plunge and getting on the ladder (or even if you're considering downsizing after your children have flown), getting the right mortgage is key.
But, so is getting the right home – so just what type of house will you go for? According to research from Ocean Finance, it would seem that a detached house tops most people's wishlists, with 19.3% of respondents stating that this is the type of house they hope to call their own one day.
Lifestyle and location have a huge bearing on that decision, however, with 17.2% opting for a little cottage in the country – compared to just 4.7% that would ideally choose a city townhouse or terrace. The majority of respondents had fairly modest aspirations, with only 6.1% dreaming of owning a castle or historic mansion one day, and with the right mortgage and savings plan it hopefully means that most will be able to achieve their goal and can truly fly the nest.
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