Across a new generation of homeowners, the phrase lock up and leave has become far more ubiquitous. It is leading to a shift in the value of various properties and is influencing which homes will perform better on the housing market.
Firstly, we should establish what it means for a property to be lock up and leave. This phrase indicates that the home can be easily and quickly left unoccupied without the need for regular, or even any, upkeep and maintenance. There are a number of qualities that may compromise or influence this characteristic of a home, with gardens being a common culprit as they generally require ongoing oversight to ensure they do not overgrow or become damaged.
Other qualities could be related to security. Homeowners who live in an area that is considered to be unsafe or who own a property that is currently susceptible to being broken into could not easily be left unattended without considerable concern, which would limit residents to lock up and leave. While this might suit some residents who are less interested or able to leave their homes for extended periods, a property that is secure and requires little in the way of ongoing maintenance, would be far more suitable to many.
Properties are even being designed in ways that reduce their upkeep too. Gardens, for example, which have long been assets of responsibility due to their exposure to the elements, are now being designed in ways that minimise or entirely eliminate regular maintenance. Outbuildings, such as log cabins, are being celebrated for their utility and low maintenance, as are robot mowers that can maintain lawns automatically.
There are a number of reasons as to why lock up and leave properties are becoming more popular, especially among the younger generation. One of the most common reasons is that it enables trips away and extended vacations to be enjoyed without the feeling of being anchored to a property and its responsibilities. As travelling culture becomes more celebrated, with weekend trips to Europe becoming more affordable and efficient, there is a growing interest in being able to own a home that enables spontaneous travel.
Airbnb, alongside other short-term rental and hosting opportunities, are also having a considerable influence. Homeowners are seeking new opportunities for income and flexibility, utilising their home when it isn’t occupied or wanting to earn a significant return on their investment. A property that can be easily locked up and left makes for an ideal Airbnb experience since guests can come and go without issue. Aside from cleaning and replenishing between stays, a lock up and leave property can then very easily become a source of income for homeowners.
So, whether you are hoping to sell your own home or are looking for a property that might become more valuable in the future, being aware of these qualities can be advantageous. Estate agents and online search engines are already seeing significant growth in demand for flexible and low maintenance properties, with their market value growing.