Older owners don’t downsize and many don’t touch kid’s bedrooms when they have moved out

Share this article

The majority of home owners aged 55 and over would never consider downsizing and many remain so attached to the family home they don’t change their children’s rooms when they move out.

New research reveals that 62% of older home owners say they would not consider selling and moving to a smaller home despite the fact they could free up a lot of cash by downsizing.

The study from equity release firm SunLife, suggests that it may be because of attachment as it also found that 75 either never redecorate their kids’ old rooms or wait at least a year. But one in 50 wait less than 24hours before changing things.

The survey of home owners in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s shows that of those over 55s whose children had flown the nest, 30% said they’ll never reclaim their children’s bedrooms, even though they have moved out.

‘We know that keeping the home in the family is really important to people, and this research backs that up. It is common for parents to want their grownup kids to be able to come back to the family home, and nearly a third feel so strongly that they even keep their child’s old bedroom for them even though they’ve moved out,’ said Simon Stanney, equity release service director at SunLife.

Of those that do redecorate their kid’s rooms, some 46% wait at least a year, with one in 14 waiting at least six years before doing anything new with their children’s old bedrooms.

The most common uses for a child’s old room once they have moved out is a guest room, with 34% of those who have redecorated saying they have used their kids’ old room as a guest room.

Overall, one in 10 use their children’s old room for grandkids and of those over 55s with grandchildren, 61% say they are most likely to dedicate their spare room to their grandchildren. Other uses include a junk or storage room, a study, and a room for hobbies and art.

‘Most of our respondents have been in their homes for at least two decades, and it is understandable that they want to stay there. While almost a third never redecorate, those that do are most likely to redecorate the room as a guest room, most likely one specifically dedicated to their grandchildren. This further highlights the importance of the family home,’ Stanney pointed out.

He also pointed out that on average, people over 55 have seen their homes increase in value by around £135,000. ‘For people over 55 who own their own home and are looking for a cash lump sum but don’t want to leave the family home, unlocking some of the value in their homes via equity release rather than by moving, could offer a solution,’ he added.

Share this article

Written by: Houseladder