In 2020 we’ll have been in business for 20 years! To celebrate, each month we’re sharing 20 top tips about topics that are closest to our heart. Our aim is always to provide you with the best possible information so you can make informed financial decisions. This month we’re talking about how our home buying team of estate agents, mortgages advisors, and solicitors can help take the stress out of moving…
20 Reasons to Find Your Dream Home in 2020
There are many excellent reasons to move home and 2020 might be the year for you to finally take the plunge – despite the pandemic – to find the perfect dream home. Downton and Ali Financial Advisors can help you assess if now is the right time for you.
Life-stage Changes are Still the Biggest Reason Behind Property Buying!
While property buying can be stressful, the factors that drive it remain the same. When major life-stage changes beckon, moving to a new property is often the best solution to make your lifestyle viable. Some can be postponed, and others are not so easy to delay. If any of the following life-stage changes are happening to you in 2020 then there really is no reason to hesitate in buying a new property.
The Upgrade – Whether spurred on by a growing family, the need for guest rooms or just being able to afford a more luxurious home, upgrading to a larger property will make most of us move at some point in our lives.
The Downsize – When the kids leave home, sometimes all that upgraded space becomes unutilized space. Smaller homes can be easier to manage and in later life, a downsize can save money and time on home maintenance.
The New Job – One of the common reasons for moving home is accepting a new job opportunity in a new location.
The First Venture onto the Property Ladder – Having rented for some time, eventually most people crave their own home. There is more stability in owning your property. It could be a good investment for the future and it gives you the freedom to create the home you really want.
The Schools – If you have a child, you’ll know how important it is to live in the catchment area of a good school. This might mean you have to move to get yourself into the best position to have your children accepted at the school you want.
Divorce or Relationship Breakdown – Unfortunately, divorce and relationship breakdown are common impetuses for buying a new property.
Retirement – Retirement can prompt a move, perhaps to be nearer family, or to a bigger property thanks to the accumulated wealth in a pension or to a home in a new area that offers a more relaxed pace of life. It can be a downsize or an upgrade depending on the lifestyle you want to enjoy in your golden years.
The Pandemic is Driving a Desire to Move Home…
2020 may have become the year to move for many more people because of Covid-19. The pandemic has changed circumstances and lifestyles for most of us. Some feel this shift more than others, and it is unclear how long the effects will be. It has caused large numbers of people to reassess their living situation and consider a home move this year.
More Interior Space – If there is one thing lockdown taught us, it’s that space is a premium. You didn’t know how small your current property was until you couldn’t leave. Desiring more rooms for privacy in a crowded family home or larger more luxurious rooms is a natural reaction. This has already been a major driving force for home moves in 2020.
Gardens – In addition to interior space, the desire for gardens has increased dramatically. You may not have thought you were at the stage in your life where a garden was necessary. A 4th floor flat seemed fine for your lifestyle. Yet suddenly, when you had to spend all summer at home due to Covid, that feeling changed. It’s been a wake-up call for many others as well. 2020 is the year many people decided they needed a house with, at least, a small garden.
Countryside Access – Similarly, many people abruptly decided this year that getting away from the city was a must. It doesn’t take much sleuthing to understand that Covid is going to spread more easily in crowded cities. The virus spreads less easily outside, in wide open spaces. Going on solitary nature walks is one of the few truly safe activities these days, so it is little surprise people are swarming to buy new homes outside of city centres in 2020.
Reunite with Family – Pre-Covid a car or good train links meant you didn’t need to live near family to see them often. The pandemic changed all that. Going for a quick, safe socially distanced garden visit is easy if you live around the corner. In those circumstances, you can easily visit older or more vulnerable relatives without harming them. However, if you live hours away, Covid has made seeing your family safely more difficult. Wanting to be nearer family has often been a motivation for moving but the virus has sped up the timeline for many.
A Better Digital Life – The internet was already an increasingly prominent presence in most of our lives. Thanks to lockdown and Covid, it came to play a much bigger role in many more people’s day to day existence. It was transformed from simply a life enhancement to a necessity, and not just for work. It became everyone’s primary source of communication and entertainment almost overnight. Although, as many crackly, frozen Zoom conferences have revealed, the internet was not created equal everywhere. Some parts of the country have slower internet and less optimal connections. While some are desperate to move to a remote farm in 2020 to avoid the pandemic, others are lamenting their rural patchy internet connection. Choose your locations wisely.
Safety – The end of lockdown meant back to business as usual for plenty of people, yet not everyone has the luxury to be carefree. Older people, and thousands of young, working age people with asthma, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, immune disorders and other health concerns, now don’t feel safe out in the world. If you are at higher risk from Covid and live in a densely populated area, the desire to move in 2020 may be due to a desire for greater safety.
More Choice – The pandemic has shifted our culture and one key change is in the way we work. Not only did lockdown force many to work from home, it also showed employers that a large proportion of us could work from home and easily do our jobs. The more that remote working is embraced, the larger the pool of talent which companies have to choose from, and the more choices home buyers have. With remote working increasing, you aren’t tied to a specific location for your career, and have a greater choice when it comes to where you want to live. One of the very few silver linings of the pandemic.
Second Homes – If you have the capital, a holiday home has always been a popular choice. Whether it’s a holiday cottage in the country or a townhouse in a chic city, a second home can be a great lifestyle improver. In 2020 buying a second home within the UK became a lot more appealing. The popularity of the “staycation” exploded, as travelling abroad looked riskier and more fraught with difficulty in a post Covid world. Particularly remote second homes away from busy populated areas are seeing a peak in interest.
Stamp Duty – Initially the pandemic had a negative impact on the property market. Potential future lockdowns will also make key aspects of the buying process challenging. To combat this the government has suspended stamp duty in England and Northern Ireland on properties up to £500,000 until March 2021. This has already influenced people and may create a surge in house buying in the latter half of 2020. Listing viewings on sites like Rightmove were up by 22% in the wake of the announcement.
Other Unexpected Benefits of Moving…
Cheaper Cost of Living – It’s common knowledge that some areas of the UK are just more expensive to live in with the cost of travel, house prices, groceries, bills, and more all playing a factor. Moving to a less expensive area can improve your quality of life and enable a more affluent lifestyle by reducing the cost of living. It is one reason why many move out of London as the necessity to work in the capital lessens.
Swapping to a New Build – Moving from an older property to a new build can bring many unexpected benefits. New builds tend to be more environmentally friendly, cost effective when it comes to energy and bills, and designed around modern living. For example, new builds often follow more of an open plan aesthetic, which is better for high quality, strong wi-fi, as thick walls and old chimney breasts interfere with the signal.
Undesirable Change to Your Area – Things change, it’s a fact of life. It isn’t only your life-stages that change but a location can change. Increasing urbanisation, more house building, a slow cultural shift in the types of leisure, shops, and jobs around you can all go into changing the character of a neighbourhood or town. You may find a multitude of the reasons that you loved a place have vanished and it is time to find those qualities somewhere else.
Downton & Ali’s Home Buying Team – While 2020 might be the right year for you to move, the pandemic might make the process feel more stressful. Luckily, our home buying team can make property buying easier for you.
We have created a one-stop-shop for property buyers. This removes much of the painful research and admin that comes into property buying. We’ve crafted a team of knowledgeable property specialists to take you through the whole process.
We will give you access to our top Estate Agent, Scott to help you find your dream property.*
Next our mortgage advisor, Brian will make sourcing a suitable mortgage for your property straightforward.
Finally, the solicitor, Joan is on hand for your conveyancing needs.*
Thanks to the Home Buying Team, finding a new property in 2020 just got easier.
Contact us to get started! Brian Downton, DipFPC, CertCII(MP and ER) is Practice Partner and Financial Planning Consultant at Downton and Ali Associates 0203 0210075.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
*The services promoted here are not part of the Openwork offering and are offered in our own right. Openwork Limited accept no responsibility for this aspect of our business. These services are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.