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Many ‘Empty Nesters’ Choose Not to Downsize

Around 43% of adults whose children have ‘flown the nest’ intend to remain in the family home rather than downsize, new research from Bank of Scotland has revealed. 

However, although most are enjoying the extra space and freedom, a quarter (25%) say that they don’t enjoy being an Empty Nester, with 16% saying that it’s difficult to live in the property now that it feels empty.  

Despite living in an ‘over-sized’ house two-fifths (43%) say that they will not consider moving to a smaller property as they have built strong ties with the community that they live in.  

Over a third (38%) say that they are ‘financially comfortable’ so have no pressing reason to downsize and one in three (34%) say that moving would be too much of a hassle. 

Looking after grandchildren is also a major reason for Empty Nesters not wanting to move as over one in four (25%) say they need the extra space to look after them. Scottish parents are also more reluctant to leave a home full of memories (24%) compared to the rest of the UK (20%). 

Empty Nesters typically have two spare bedrooms as a result of their children moving out. These are usually kept as spare bedrooms (63%) or home offices (30%), but there is also some desire to use the extra space for recreational use, with a hobby room being most popular (13%). Surprisingly, almost a fifth (18%) said that their kid’s bedrooms remain unchanged since they’ve moved out. Over half (53%) have also made improvements to their home since their children left; mainly to kitchens and bathrooms. 

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