If you are a homeowner of any stripe, whether buying your first property or settling down for your retirement years, you will be intimately familiar with the work that goes into making your house a home. But many are not making the most of their home.
From financial issues to physical demands, it is often the case that our homes aren’t fully fit for purpose. What can we do to improve our homes, and make the most from them?
Getting the Most Out of Your Home
Auditing Your Space
Any top-to-bottom approach to making your homework for you should start with a re-reckoning of your spaces, and your relationship to them as the occupant. We often take our spaces and their functions for granted, working around layouts as if they are set in stone. But by examining your rooms with a more critical eye, and engaging more ruthlessly with the make-up of each space, you can create fundamental change for the better.
This can start with a simple de-cluttering exercise. Audit everything you own, and be unburdened by a sense of duty to keep things. Create piles for donation or landfill, and whittle down your clutter until you are left with only the things you truly want to keep. This goes for furniture just as much as it does for items and trinkets!
From here, you can rethink the layout of your living spaces from the ground up. Were they working for you, or were you putting up with certain arrangements out of convenience? This is a time for experimentation, and you may be rewarded with more space and freedom.
Addressing Costs and Accessing Value
Of course, your home is not just impactful emotionally. It is also a financial burden of sorts, from the cost of your mortgage to the day-to-day costs associated with heating and electricity. Considering your home is meant to be your most valuable asset, how can you make that statement truer for you at the moment?
One increasingly popular way in which people are engaging with their home’s value is through equity release; an equity release mortgage enables an eligible over-55 to access some of their home’s equity, either as an annuity or a lump sum. The interest on the mortgage is paid back over time, and the debt itself is paid off in the event of the home’s sale. This enables a home’s value to become useful in the short term.
Meanwhile, quality-of-life changes with regard to insulation and energy efficiency can cut costs dramatically. Government grants exist to enable shifts to eco-friendly heating solutions, that also promise cheaper energy in comparison to gas rates over time.
Safety and Accessibility
Of course, there may be some more fundamental ways in which your home isn’t working in your best interests. These ways can creep up over time, through changes in circumstances, or simply due to growing older. For example, a new life coming into your home may bring new challenges in the form of safety risks, or new body challenges might make it harder for members of the household to access upstairs.
By introducing new interventions and fixtures to improve safety and access, your home can become more fit for purpose even as things change. At some point, a stairlift may become a useful fixture to enable ease of travel around the home. Likewise, baby gates can be crucial in keeping your younger ones safe.