WHEN DREAM HOMES BECOME NIGHTMARES…
One of the less stressful aspects of moving house is often the fact that, as well as leaving one place behind, you’re likely to be arriving in another.
Choosing your new home can actually be exciting and, although we’ll make wish lists and promise ourselves we’ll only seriously consider somewhere which ticks all the boxes, the place we actually end up buying is often the one we simply fell in love with almost as soon as we walked through the door.
We’ll forgive it a few foibles; we’ll vow to complete the refurbishments or DIY jobs needed to bring it up to scratch as soon as we’ve moved in.
But some new research done by interior designers Hillarys suggests that, while we may fall in love with property in a matter of minutes, we can fall out of it almost as quickly as well. Indeed, of those who have bought homes over the last two years, it seems as many as a third have later regretted their choice. (https://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/third-uk-buyers-realise-not-dream-home-within-months-moving/)
If you read the research, it’s often the “unseen” which leads to disappointment. Noisy neighbours or relentless traffic are not always going to be immediately evident or something a seller is going to own up to during a viewing.
Nevertheless, the research underlines the importance of trying to keep our emotions in check when we’re on the cusp of making one of life’s most significant transactions. Of course, it’s important that we love our new home – but not to the extent that we end up hanging a millstone around our own neck.
If we have any advice to offer it would simply be to make sure you do all your homework (if you’ll pardon the pun). Do some research on the property portals first to find out what homes have been selling for in the same area and use the street and the district as a search term on Google to see what comes up. Entering the street name as a search term on the local newspaper’s website may also throw up local issues if there are any.
If there are jobs that need doing, ask the seller if they would be able to get a quote and then knock the amount off the asking price or even complete the job themselves before they leave. As long as it’s not simply cosmetic, most sellers will be happy to oblige, especially if it means they can put their Sold board up outside.
Don’t be shy about asking for a second viewing. If your first visit was after working hours, see if you can come back during the day to see if there are any marked differences in activity around the house. Why not ask a friend or a family member to come with you too? They may see things you hadn’t noticed and a second opinion could be useful.
But, perhaps most importantly, don’t make an offer on a home which is going to leave you on a financial knife-edge. It can be tempting to stretch your budget to secure a dream property but it could turn into a nightmare if a hike in interest rates means you have no cash for life’s little luxuries – or not even enough just to make ends meet.
If you’d like more advice on buying or selling property, why not browse earlier posts on our blog? However, we’re here if you need us so feel free to give us a call or drop us a line and we’ll do our best to help if we can.