From Gadgets to Gardens

From Gadgets to Gardens


Whether you’re a first-time-buyer or upscaling to accommodate a growing family, moving home is as exciting as it is daunting. From small fittings and furniture to top-to-tail renovations, it’s no wonder that the expenses of making a house a home can quickly start to soar. But just how much are we spending on renovations in England, and are we adequately prepared should unexpected costs suddenly arise?


Nearly £7 billion spent on renovations in England per annum

In a recent survey, Aviva found that homebuyers in the England will typically spend an average of £10,000 on renovations and furnishings within the first 12 months of buying a new home. This puts the first-year home makeover tally at around £6.8 billion across the whole country, with around 679,000 homes purchased annually. However, with such generous investments being made in home-improvements, an alarming one in three of those surveyed found they underestimated the cost of moving home, with first-time-buyers missing the mark by almost £6,500.


Furnishing a home inside and out

There are a number of investments which top a lot of makeover wish-lists. Two of the most popular being renovating the living room and bedroom, with almost 50% of homebuyers willing to invest around £1,950 for a room.

New furniture was another preferred investment, with over a third of homebuyers spending up to £2,900 to furnish an entire home. Other popular renovations include a new kitchen or bathroom, with some spending almost £4,000 to install a new ensuite.

The focus of spending seems to be largely directed at the interior of the home. That said, while fewer homebuyers invested in a new roof (8%) or garage (2%), those who did decide to push the boat out with 4% spending an average of almost £7,400 on a new conservatory. However, many of England’s homebuyers are still happy to invest in a garden makeover, with nearly one in three dedicating almost £2,000 to the age-old hobby.

Although a new conservatory or kitchen might be high on your home makeover list, you might be low on budget if you’ve just moved into your first home. Find a few tips on how to make it as homely as possible here.


Home security is low on the list of priorities

With the excitement of putting a personal stamp on a new home, it seems that homebuyers in England are far more likely to invest in cosmetic upgrades, than home security. The study found that while thousands of pounds are invested in renovations, only 8% of new homeowners invested in a home security system within the first twelve months.


Expect the Unexpected

It’s not always possible to anticipate every expense involved in renovating a new home. In the excitement of a new move, it’s quite common for homebuyers to get carried away with renovations. There’s also the possibility of an unexpected DIY disaster, which could send your overheads soaring. The study found that around a third of homebuyers admitted to spending more than they anticipated in the first twelve months. Although it’s natural to map out a budget for planned renovations, it’s clear that it’s also important to be prepared for unexpected setbacks too. While most homebuyers (64%) dipped into savings to pay for their renovations, thousands put their expenses on credit cards or opted for ‘buy now, pay later’ schemes. Whilst this can lessen the immediate impact of expenses, it can potentially lead to years of paying instalments after the move.


Comfort over caution

With a third of participants going over-budget in the first year, this begs the question, how aware we are as homeowners of the value of our contents? The survey revealed that 32% of homeowners did not know the value of their home’s contents, while a further 7% said they had no idea whatsoever. Adding to this that only 8% are investing in home security, it’s hard not to question our priorities as homebuyers. Moving can be a very exciting time, and it’s natural to want to get stuck into renovations to make your house a home. But with such a large proportion of homebuyers going over-budget, and so few of us prioritising home-security, do we need to re-evaluate our home-makeover wish-lists? After all, your home is your castle, and you may enjoy it all the more knowing that it will be protected should anything happen.




Research carried out for Aviva by ICM research in November 2015 with a sample of 989 people who had purchased a house in the UK in the last five years.

English Housing Survey 2013/14 shows that 679,000 owner occupiers moved home in the last 12 months.


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