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Would you go without food, clothes and heating to furnish your home?

Alex Johnson

601b960e1b69572c35eeecccc5f9c82127cf93fd 300x200 Would you go without food, clothes and heating to furnish your home?Home Economics, a report by national charity Family Action and Lloyds Banking Group as part of its Money for Life project, reveals that a quarter of 2,338 adults polled admitted that removal costs came as a financial shock, with 23% unprepared for the costs of buying new furniture, and 23% considering the cost of essential household items such as fridges, washing machines and cookers to be “surprisingly expensive”.

To pay for the cost of furnishing a new home, almost a third would consider going without new clothes, 17% would cut back on food spending and 13% would cut back on heating. Meanwhile, half said they would sacrifice a holiday so they could afford to furnish their new home.

David Holmes, Family Action Chief Executive, said: “Moving to a new home may be a life changing experience for some but it is also one which brings with it a range of unforeseen and unexpectedly high costs for many. We know that good homes are a key building block of a good family life but with the cost of everyday essentials rising faster than income and squeezing family budgets, it is hardly surprising that many people do not consider investment in maintenance and household furniture to be a spending priority.

Money for Life is Lloyds Banking Group’ s personal money management programme which aims to improve money management working with young and vulnerable people.

Solar Home open day
There will be an open day this coming Saturday from 11am to 1pm at the Solar House, which claims to be the first house in the UK to be entirely heated by the sun’s energy all year round. On the edge of Stackley Park, at Stretton Road, Great Glen, Leicester, collects solar energy via its
solar panels on a roof canopy and bronze metallic solar panels down the side of the building – this is stored and then used (thanks to a heat pump) in winter.

One interesting element of the sale. The sellers are developers Caplin Homes who specialise exclusively in low energy, timber frame houses and they reserve the right to monitor the performance of the house where possible remotely over the first year of full occupation (they are keen to analyse its Zero Carbon potential). And as part of this process the buyer will not be allowed to use the wood burning stove during this period…

South East ‘brain drain’?
New research from Cluttons suggests that 53% of first time buyers who feel unable to buy in the next five years would relocate from the South East to secure their first home. Sue Foxley, Head of Cluttons research said: “Anxiety over future price rises is one of the primary emotional drivers for those seeking to get onto the first rung of the housing ladder, who are subsequently looking elsewhere for their first property. Employers may find themselves paying more to keep certain staff and attract them back into the region. Others may simply look to move their operations to a more suitable location where the provision of housing is less of a financial constraint, which would undoubtedly prove detrimental to the capital’s and surrounding area’s economic growth”.

Look out for the first in our new property stat watch feature on this blog on Friday.

National Empty Homes Loans Fund update
A month since the launch of the National Empty Homes Loans Fund (NEHLF), the scheme has received enquiries for funding worth over £1 million. The scheme aims to bring some of England’s 710,000 empty homes back into affordable use and says it has been “swamped” by enquiries as owners of empty properties apply to borrow funds to renovate their houses. Paul Ellis, Chief Executive of Ecology Building Society which is part of the joint initiative, said: “I’m thrilled but not surprised that there has been so much interest in the scheme.  At a time when there is increasing demand for homes but an acute lack of supply it makes total sense to bring new life to existing but neglected properties.”

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