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What are the seven ages of property-buying man?

Date online: 14/01/2016

According to Amanda Ake of Stacks Property Search, it's not a question many of us ask ourselves, but there are enormous financial rewards to be gained for those buyers who plan for the future at an early stage of the house-buying process.

Amanda explains: ?The cost of moving is phenomenal, anything from 3% to 10% of the value of the property. When you consider that the average person moves seven times in their life, the costs start to look eye-watering. If you have any respect for your equity, think outside your immediate lifestyle, and try to anticipate what your requirements will be as your life progresses."

Stacks have identified (and they apologies for generalisation and stereo-typing) seven ages of house buyer.

1. Young independents looking for heart of city / town apartments
2. Young marrieds, looking for a quieter, more suburban, lifestyle
3. Young families, with babies' or toddlers' education at a local school taking priority when it comes to location choice
4. Families with young teens whose biggest desire is a paddock for ponies, or a field and party barn for teen parties
5. Families with older children who are reluctant to leave home but have an overwhelming requirement to have easy access to a large town or city
6. Empty-nesters who have a desire for the peace of the countryside but a yearning for a bit more town life
7. Retired downsizers who covet an easy to keep, lock-up-and-leave pad in a cultural city

Amanda says: ?An appreciation that, give or take, this list will almost certainly have some retrospective resonance, may help you reduce the number of times you buy and sell.

My first recommendation would be to try and hang on to your first home. Unless you are very lucky, the chances are this property will be in a non-prime area; but if you manage to hold onto it and rent it out, you will almost certainly find that the location becomes a great deal more attractive, possibly to the extent that it meets your needs at the other end of your property-buying life. Or failing that, will have shown a very useful capital growth.

If possible, try to combine stage 3 and stage 4. It's difficult to believe that your gorgeous babies will ever grow into adolescents, but their primary school years will quickly pass, and you will encounter a whole new set of property priorities. Try and focus on these when your little ones are still little. Some straight talking advice from friends who have older children may horrify you, but will be very helpful.

Stage 5 should be avoided altogether. Once your children are no longer children, their property requirements shouldn't influence your choices. If they don't like your house, or its location, then it's a good moment for them to find their own nest!

Stage 6 and 7 can potentially be combined by swapping one property for two smaller ones, for instance, a coast or country cottage, and an urban pad. Size at this stage of life has become less important, and there are many advantages to two properties. Variety for those whose work hours are becoming less onerous is a good thing; the potential for some degree of separation for early retired couples who may be struggling to come to terms with spending every waking hour together; the sheer fun of being able to have some lifestyle choices that you haven't had for years. As stage 6 kicks in, one property can be rented out or sold to provide extra income.

So while life rarely sticks to the rules you've laid down for it, some degree of planning and understanding of the future will help you reduce your number of moves, allowing you to spend more on property and less on stamp duty, estate agents, solicitors and moving fees."

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