A whole new take on moving home

New research shows that 42% of over-50s have found that everything but the kitchen sink is missing when moving in to their new home.

Nearly one in five over-50s say previous owners walked off with the light bulbs – maybe because modern energy saving light bulbs are so expensive – while one in 10 found trees, plants and shrubs had been removed from the garden and even the washing line had gone, according to the study by by Saga Home Insurance. Perhaps surprisingly, one in eight say that the previous owner has also ripped up the carpets.

However, older homeowners leave helpful items for the next owners such as personal notes on how things work (42%). Their kindness and thoughtfulness extends even further as one-fifth have left welcome or good luck cards (21%), and an extremely generous one in eight (13%) left gifts such as a bottle of wine or a plant.

The most thoughtful people are in the south-east as they are the most likely to leave things to help the next owners, whereas people living in the south-west take the most when moving home.

Roger Ramsden, chief executive of Saga Services, said: “In cash-strapped times it’s nice to see many householders are making thoughtful gestures by leaving cards or takeaway menus for the new owners. I’m sure they appreciate not having to cook on their first night in a new home – even if they do have to eat off a cardboard box.”