We love to outdo our neighbours with the latest in-home technology and home
improvements but how much is it costing us?
Keeping up with the Joneses is major pastime for many of us these days. Recent
research conducted by insurer More Than, found one in five people admitted
updating their home just to keep up with the neighbours.
And this desire to look as good as the neighbours is costing us dearly:
were cluttering our houses with so many of the latest gadgets and gizmos
that the contents of the typical British home are now worth more than
Which rooms are the most valuable?
In total we are spending £18.4 billion a year on items for the home.
The living room is the most "valuable" room in the house, with an average
of £5,000 in gadgets and furniture, ranging from state-of-the-art home
entertainment centres to sofas.
The kitchen, containing about £4,000 of items, comes in a close second.
Here well find the latest cookers and equipment such as espresso machines,
bread makers and ice cream makers.
The average garden shed is bursting with £2,000 of useful
stuff. Typical items include a selection of power tools and a barbeque.
Although owners keep cookers and fridges for 11 to 12 years, items such as
computers, phones and fax machines are replaced every four years, whereas
toys last no more than two. Manufacturers marketing efforts to persuade
us to buy the very latest version of their must-have products appear to working.
The most prized items among survey respondents included plasma TV screens,
DVD players, American-style fridgefreezers, garden equipment, and kitchen
gadgets. Large amounts are also being spent on conservatories, home extensions
and new cars.
"Neighbour envy" may also be one of the reasons that British borrowers are
so deeply in debt; many gadgets for the home will be paid for with credit
and store cards.
Steve Kingshott, head of household insurance at MoreThan, said: "Homeowners
are more easily able to finance purchases of high-value goods. We often find
a TV and stereo in each bedroom, even the kitchen. In homes that appear to
have everything, people are tempted to replace items with later models".
Are you sure youve insured your homes contents for a high enough
amount? If not it may be time to review your policy and see if you
can find a better deal too.
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