It’s lovely to dream about owning your perfect home, but how realistic is your idea of the perfect home? And if you can’t find it, what elements are you willing to compromise on?
New research from Post Office Money found that many first-time buyers (FTBs) compromised on something when searching for their ideal home. One of the most common compromises to make was on location, Property Reporter revealed.
Some two-thirds of the FTBs who were questioned said that they ended up moving somewhere different to their original chosen location. On average, they ended up moving 5.5 miles away from where they’d first thought they’d like to live. That equates to a 28 minute journey.
Only 13 per cent of the FTBs surveyed said that they moved more than an hour away from their first choice of location.
The main reasons cited for choosing a different location were because they had family living there (14 per cent), it was closer to work (14 per cent) or because they knew the area by reputation (13 per cent).
Just seven per cent of FTBs made no compromises whatsoever when they were purchasing their first property. Aside from compromising on location, the size of the home was another key area where some FTBs had to manage their expectations.
14 per cent revealed that they’d purchased somewhere smaller than they initially wanted. The news provider noted that 11 per cent also said they’d found a property they liked but that it didn’t have a garden. 7 per cent were even happy to buy a home that required structural work to be carried out.
Depending on the nature of the structural work, this could be a good way to get a home that ticks all your boxes, even if it takes you a bit of time and expense with renovations to get there.
For instance, if you don’t like the plastic-framed glazing on a property, you can replace this with timber windows in Buckinghamshire, or wherever you move to, once you’ve settled in. Changing the front door, adding an extension or converting the loft are all other options open to you.
Ross Hunter, from Post Office Money, told the news site that compromising on your first property isn’t always a bad thing. “Considering somewhere away from your preferred location can open you up to more affordable properties. Recent FTBs who compromised on location were often happy with their chosen area,” he stated.
And it’s not only the property and their location that FTBs are prepared to compromise on. Many make a lot of sacrifices while they’re saving up for a deposit and to improve their credit score ahead of applying for a mortgage.
34 per cent of those questioned said that they were prepared to compromise on their lifestyle while they were saving up for a deposit. A similar number (33 per cent) even said that they’d worked overtime to get some extra money towards their property savings.
One-quarter sold items on eBay to raise additional funds, while 18 per cent sought out a higher paying job. Many FTBs also gave up luxuries such as going on holiday (34 per cent), having takeaways (28 per cent) and eating lunch out (26 per cent).
Anyone who’s buying a home that needs some work doing to it may want to take a look at an article from Property Reporter that recently picked out some of the home improvement projects that can add the greatest value.
One thing that the news provider pointed out is that the value of an extension varies considerably depending on which part of the UK you live in. For instance, in the City of London the average home is valued at £285,566 per square metre, which means extending a property here could boost its value considerably.
Contrast that to somewhere like Burnley, however, where properties are valued at an average of £1,147 per square metre and you can see how building an extension here won’t boost how much you can sell your home for by anywhere near as much.
But extensions aren’t the most common home improvement project. In fact, the news provider noted that bathrooms are at the top of the list, with 63 per cent of homeowners opting to renovate their bathrooms in the past decade.
In second place, perhaps unsurprisingly, was the kitchen, with 52 per cent of people having made changes to this part of their home. Installing a new boiler or central heating was third and doing work on the garden was in fourth place.
The fifth most popular renovation was installing double glazing, with 23 per cent of homeowners opting to improve the energy efficiency of their homes with this addition. If you choose the right style of windows it will also make your property look more appealing.
Renovations to the living space, to add extra bedrooms, to install a new roof, to create an office and to create more storage or a garage were the other projects that made up the top ten.
Range cooker specialist Leisure carried out the research on homeowner renovation preferences. Marketing manager at the firm Gino Grossi said that it’s good to see homeowners aren’t always focusing on an extension and are opting for other home improvement projects.
“It’s also great to see that more and more homeowners are getting resourceful and turning their creative eyes to renovating their homes,” he stated.
It also goes to show that making a compromise on one element of your home initially doesn’t mean you can’t still end up with your dream property in the long run. Sometimes it may simply mean that you need to take a little longer to save some more money to carry out the required renovations.
With Brexit looming, many homeowners are adopting a wait-and-see attitude rather than choosing to move before the end of October. This Is Money recently pointed out that home values in the UK have been gradually creeping up since the Brexit vote three years ago.
The newspaper cited the latest figures from Nationwide, which showed house prices rose by an average of 0.2 per cent in the past year. While this is very minimal growth, it is not the substantial crash in property values that some had feared before the UK voted to leave the EU.
The article also shared research from Royal London, which found that three million Brits have postponed buying a home this year because of Brexit. Some property experts believe that if a Brexit deal is struck before 31 October, there could be a sudden push in the sector as people have the confidence to put their homes on the market.
Of course, there are some parts of the country where house prices are climbing at a very healthy rate. Yorkshire and Humber was named as the region with the highest annual price growth, hitting 3.2 per cent in the year to July. The north-west is the area with the second highest climb in property values, boasting 2.3 per cent growth.
Some smaller markets are seeing considerably higher growth though. While property prices across the whole of the south-west of England were only up by 0.7 per cent, certain areas have experienced much more dramatic price growth.
North Devon, for instance, has seen house values increase by 14.84 per cent year-on-year, while in west Devon growth of 8.82 per cent was recorded.
It just goes to show the importance of thoroughly researching your local housing market before you take the plunge. Knowing which areas are on the up could help you find a bargain, or give you the confidence to move or buy your first home in the coming months.