According to the Equity Release Council (ERC), the over-55’s are taking advantage of the opportunity to extract some of the wealth from their properties without having to sell and move, ‘encouraged by confidence in the wider property market’- comments the ERC Chairman.
Helping children and grandchildren to fund their own first home purchases, taking a post-pandemic world cruise, buying a beach hut to share with family and friends, or making home improvements are just a few of the reasons for wanting the extra cash, without raiding hard-won savings.
With Cop26 addressing climate change and measures likely to impact future lifestyles, protecting the environment is high on the agenda, and anyone with a garden – large or small – can make a contribution. You don’t need to be Capability Brown, with a revolutionary agenda; modest changes can enhance your outside space. But beware a recent report claiming that knotweed is not necessarily as damaging to property as expected; check out www.gov.uk/guidance/preventing-japanese-knotweed-from-spreading for advice.
As plants die back, and the trees shed their leaves, now is a good time to just sit with a cuppa and plan: trees are key, and there are a range to suit even the smallest garden. Allow the grass to grow a bit longer, sprinkling wildflower seeds, and avoid too much paving; plant flowering shrubs to attract bees, and never use pesticides but try to have some fresh water available for birds and other wildlife. Where appropriate, introduce ‘hedgehog highways’ by cutting small holes in fences, allowing them to move through gardens, and create safe places for them to hibernate (small dog kennels with entrances level with the ground are ideal, packed with leaves and straw). The RSPCA website has lots of useful information.
Adding a greenhouse will revolutionise the way you can grow and retain fruit, vegetables and flowering plants, protecting them from frost, and enjoying early crops – even during the winter. Growing your own benefits the environment, as well as friends and family!
A greenhouse is an investment, so researching the best options for size, location, and your ambitions is crucial: shelving, heating, insulation, easy access to water/electricity. Costs can range from around £4,000, rising to £15,000, so take advice from people who understand the issues, before committing.
In the last couple of years, gardening has attracted millions more people, taking advantage of the benefits to wellbeing for all ages; TV channels have responded with a range of programmes illustrating the delights of maximising the space to meet individual needs. It is worth remembering that attractive, well maintained, gardens add value to your property.
Skilled and knowledgeable garden designers can help you plan all aspects of your outside space, guiding you to the best value for money, whether selecting plants or a greenhouse. There are a number of websites identifying landscape specialists, just google ‘Find a garden designer’. Always ask for written quotes so you can fix your budget.
Equity release could be the opportunity to redesign and provide years of pleasure in your garden – throughout the year – and our team at Premier Equity Release are available to assist you. Just give us a call.