THE perfect ‘forever home’ for a resident in the South West is a four-bedroom, detached house in the country, worth £478,663 – and just down the road from the kids, it has emerged.

A detailed study of 2,000 homeowners carried out by Origin, a British manufacturer of aluminium doors and windows, also found that must-haves include a large kitchen and breakfast room, an ample lounge, utility room and dining room. A double garage and conservatory are also high up the list, as is a study and cloakroom.

Ideally, we want to live in a location just 10.5 miles from the office. Good transport links and a popular local pub within a mile and a half are also considerations.

An ambitious one in three even went as far as to suggest their ‘forever home’ would include a swimming pool and sauna.

An interesting find was that homebuyers dream of living in a street where they are surrounded by friendly neighbours, four of whom they can be on a first name terms with.

According the study, a lucky third of Brits already reside in what they profess to be their ‘forever home.’ Another third are actively saving, hoping to make it there. 

The age at which we believe we’ll own our forever home emerged as 53, but just four out of ten are convinced they will, at some point, purchase their dream pad.

Despite this, 84 per cent of UK adults are happy with their current home and around eight in ten think it’s likely they will try to improve or renovate the house they currently own.

Ben Brocklesby, Director at Origin, said: “We wanted to find out more about the concept of the forever home and whether it still existed. 

“Years ago it was not unusual for people to live in the same house for their entire lives, but we’ve certainly seen a shift in this trend as we now live in an average of seven homes throughout our lifetimes.

“Interestingly, more than three quarters of people in the region still believe in the concept of a forever home, which shows that the clear majority of homeowners are constantly climbing the property ladder, striving to find a home to live in for the rest of their lives.

“We carried out the research to find out exactly what people want from their forever homes, and if any of the features on their wish list could be added to their existing properties. 

“Among the most sought after elements were a power shower, big windows, a bath and bi-fold or sliding doors – all of which can be incorporated into any home, without the need to move.”

A checklist for the ideal ‘forever home’ includes:

  • The property has a value of £458,000.
  • The house should be detached with a large garden.
  • It is no more than 10.5 miles from work and has transport links.
  • There are four friendly neighbours who owners can be on a first name basis with.
  • It features a large kitchen and ample lounge.
  • The home has two reception rooms, four bedrooms, two family bathrooms, two ensuites and a playroom.
  • Outside there is a front and back garden, a driveway, a double garage, a patio and a summer house.
  • The property overlooks a view of the sea, rolling hills or a field of cows.
  • The location is close to local amenities including a pub, school, supermarket, medical centre, off-license, park, farm shop, library, cinema and vet.
  • If we're feeling ambitious – a pool and a sauna!