Over 50s struggle to find cash for home repairs

The challenge of austerity and the pressing need for home repairs are leaving many with a home headache.

As many as 2.5 million over 50s say that their home is in need of repair, but they cannot afford to do the work, according to research for the Saga Equity Release Advice Service.

The most common things that need repairing are gutters (13 per cent), roofs (10 per cent), insulation (nine per cent) and heating (eight per cent), which can be expensive.

Some people could however be faced with an even bigger bill as a fifth of over 50s say that more than one area of their home needs repairing.

This year, half of over 50s plan to dip into their savings to cover the repair costs, while almost two fifths will use their regular income (wages or pension) to get their house back into shape.

The majority of those who can’t afford the repairs say they will learn to live with their home’s imperfections, leaving the rest taking out loans, using credit cards or even borrowing from friends or family members to get things fixed.

Londoners are the most likely to need Nick Knowles’ help as half (46 per cent) say that something in their home needs repairing, whereas people living in Yorkshire and Humber claim that their homes need the fewest repairs (36 per cent).

Saga chief executive Roger Ramsden said: “For most us our homes are our most valuable asset therefore it’s important that we maintain them the best we can. It’s important for people to explore all the funding options available to them, before allowing their home to get into a state of disrepair and therefore eroding the value of their biggest asset.”