Would Solo Living Suit Me?
A Place To Call Your Own
Living alone has become a way of life associated with affluence and is rarely frowned upon nowadays. It has many merits; no-one will shift your possessions around; no-one will keep you awake with their snoring or hog the duvet all night and no-one will expect you to clean up their mess. There's no argument over which TV programme to view and your favourite chocolates won't disappear unless you eat them yourself. Anyone can have more control over their own life by choosing to live alone and the independence this brings has made the idea of solo living more appealing than it was. The stigma of the solitary spinster or bored bachelor has long gone.
People often confuse being alone with loneliness but the two aren't necessarily related. If you make a conscious decision to be alone, you aren't going to be lonely!
The benefits living alone can bring are manifold. Whatever their age, people often find they can live more productive lives without constant distractions. Creative types such as writers, artists and musicians who may view the continual presence of others as a hindrance choose no other way to live. But it need not be a repeat of the proverbial tale of the artist in the garret as nowadays house builders specifically cater for the needs of those who wish to pursue a solo lifestyle. There's far more choice of property available for first-time buyers or those wishing to downsize so there's no need for the unattached person to put up with a dingy bedsit in a run-down area.
Solitary living appeals to people of all ages and circumstances; including those just starting out who need to devote their time to carve out a career and thus require a property which is easily maintained and economical to run. The same applies to divorcees, the widowed, the childless, mid-lifers whose families have flown the nest and the elderly who can still care for themselves.
More Single People Can Afford to Buy
Property To Suit The Single Occupier
Most towns and cities and even semi-rural locations have a selection of apartments and ‘quarter’ houses specifically aimed at the single buyer with attractive sales incentives to get a foot on the housing ladder. Some builders even offer sales incentives to help you downsize from a larger family home. Compact properties hold their appeal and are quick to sell or part- exchange, if and when the owner decides to purchase a larger place or move in with someone else. Such properties are usually incorporated into normal housing estates which feature a good mix of other property types; this forms the basis of a sound community and dispenses with ghetto type blocks so lacking in variety.
And for those not wishing to purchase, there's still the same variety of properties available to rent. Any search on a property portal such as Rightmove will bring up a selection of these homes available in any given place both at home and abroad. For instance, in UK cities like Leeds, there's a wealth of studio and one-bedroomed apartments which are purpose built for single occupants. Garaging in the form of underground car parking is standard, along with dramatic views of the cityscape. Some apartment blocks even have their own gym and leisure facilities. Streamlined kitchen and living areas are sometimes combined to provide spacious and stylish living - and all this in the very heart of the city to make commuting a thing of the past. Inexpensive furniture packages are available even for the smallest apartment, to ensure that space is utilised to the full.
A Home Of One's Own
You Don't Have To Be Young
Retirement apartments for the over 55’s are becoming more popular, providing ground floor living or developments with lift and disabled facilities. There are often communal gardens and designated areas where residents can socialise with one another if they choose. Warden controlled flats also give peace of mind to the older person who wishes to maintain their independence through living alone. Worries over security and safety commonly associated with running a larger property are never a cause for concern in these single person units. Some can even be adapted to the needs of the disabled and come equipped with wet-rooms, wide doorways and grab rails placed in strategic locations throughout the flat.
Downsizing to one person accommodation for the recently bereaved or divorced means that they can have more money to spend on holidays and leisure pursuits without the burdensome costs of running a larger home. Builders have grown wise to the fact that they can cash in on the 'Silver pound,' and are more willing to provide single-person accommodation because of this.
Many family-sized homes are also being built with the addition of a 'granny flat' which can also double as a teenage den or guest annexe. Such homes offer the 'nuclear' family a number of options to suit their ever-changing needs over the years. There is the choice of interlinked or separate accommodation but both will be self-contained.
You can even buy flat-packed, luxury 'pods' to install in gardens of family properties if it's large enough so that grandma or the teenager who's reluctant to leave can enjoy their own space. These pods are fully-equipped, self-contained units that come with everything included - even down to the wallpaper and artwork on the walls.
Tips For Single Buyers
Advice To Single Ladies Buying Their First Home
Does single person accommodation appeal to you?
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Keep Love Alive
With peoples' lives more subject to frequent change nowadays, it's wise to preserve the independence that living alone allows. If a relationship breaks down, it's easier to deal with the break-up if you have your own accommodation and thus don't experience the sheer acrimony in putting up with each other until a property is sold.
No-one has to forsake a relationship if they live alone. Many a romance can still blossom and grow even if both partners live apart. Indeed for some, this is the preferred option. You maintain your own territory and don't become so familiar that you take each other for granted! Keeping some distance between you keeps love alive. You can knock on each other's doors with a bunch of flowers occasionally, so the relationship still holds an element of mystery - and for the really romantic, a double bed is always superfluous to requirements!
You Don't Always Need A Bed!
Whatever your age and circumstances, living the solitary life can have many plus points, allowing you to do your own thing without having to put other people’s needs first or compromise your living space. People who prefer solitary living need no longer be labelled as grumpy, old hermits or unsociable - it's a wise lifestyle choice that works perfectly well for them.
Another advantage to living alone is that you don't have to receive any guests or throw extravagant dinner parties. You can enjoy your own space and tell your visiting friends or family they can eat out and spend the night at a cheap motel nearby! If you still live alone in a vast house that you're rattling around in, your grown-up family will no doubt descend on you from all four corners of the world whenever they want a cheap break - along with all their offspring - so downsizing to single person accommodation certainly has more pros than cons.
© 2016 Stella Kaye