Of all the purchases you make in your life, a new home is probably the most expensive — and with that comes a lot of pressure to get it right.
From the house structure, layout and garden to the neighbourhood, there’s just so much to consider. Combine with the fact that you usually only get one or two short viewings before being expected to make a potentially life-changing decision and, simply put, house-hunting can be a total nightmare!
Property Viewing Survey
We were interested to discover the key things that put people off buying a property, so we quizzed 1000 potential new homeowners to discover just what would have them running for the hills. Some of the answers we expected — some were a little surprising!
The 10 Biggest Property Turn-Offs
Coming in straight at the top of our list of property turn-offs is one you can probably guess — damp and mould issues instantly turn away a huge 80% of potential buyers. With signs of rodent infestation coming in second at 73.2%, and smells of drains, general bad odours and cigarette smoke smell scoring 63.2%, 60.8% and 48.8% respectively, it is clear that the cleanliness and quality of a property has a pretty huge impact when it comes to potential buyers.
Moving down the list, we were interested to see that external factors actually have a much bigger influence than we could have originally predicted.
After the obvious issues of mould and rodents, rowdy-looking neighbours were the next biggest turn-off for a property, with 68% of people telling us that undesirable neighbours would stop them putting in an offer on a house they liked. Surroundings also had a big influence: 67.6% wouldn’t buy a property near a nightclub, 46% would stay clear of properties near student residences, 43.5% wouldn’t move close to a train line and 43.2% would be put off by a nearby pub.
We see the point; a home is about much more than the physical house — it is potentially a whole lifestyle change. It’s always vital to keep an eye on the bigger picture, as your dream home may not seem so dreamy at 3 am when you’re being woken up by students, trains or noisy nightclub revellers!
Other Interesting Results
Looking at the remainder of our results, we were surprised to discover what a superstitious lot you can be when buying a house!
⅓ of you would be put off if a property ‘felt haunted’, and 27.2% if someone had previously died in the property. Properties near a cemetery were also a no-no for 26.4% of you, while a surprisingly high amount (23.6%) would even be put off by strange current owners.
The decor was the final thing that influenced potential buyers. Those classic 70s olive green bathrooms we all know and loathe would turn off 30% of people — understandable, considering the cost of replacing a full bathroom suite.
Things To Look Out For When Viewing A Property
We found from our survey that 60% of people wouldn’t move into the first property they viewed, instead preferring to get a good eye of the market. We also found that 64% of you wouldn’t say yes after viewing a property just once.
It makes sense — there are so many things to consider when buying a house that a second viewing is ideal for catching things you may have missed the first time around.
With 93.6% of you telling us you found moving house stressful, we thought we’d lend a helping hand. For extra guidance, here are our 5 top property viewing tips:
- Focus on the structural. Look at whether you can work with the structure of a property — a lick of paint or sheet of wallpaper once you’ve moved can easily sort the rest! Our own Ben Williams, Marketing Manager at I Want Wallpaper, recommends “Try not to be put off by bad decor when house-hunting — the foundations of the house are far more important! We find that, once you’ve found the perfect structure, fresh paint and new wallpapers are a quick and easy way to instantly make a new house truly feel like home”.
- Go in with a clear vision. Consider what you need from your new home to fit in with your lifestyle. Who are you living with, and what are your work schedules? Maybe two bathrooms is a must? Perhaps you’re big on entertaining and need an open plan kitchen, dining and living area? Or perhaps you regularly have guests, so need a suitable spare room? Know what you’re looking for ahead of time, and keep a clear vision throughout your viewings.
- Look closely for damp. Damp is the main turn-off in a property, as fixing it can be a lengthy and costly process. Look out for a mouldy smell and watermarked ceilings or walls. Flaking plaster is also a key giveaway, as some sellers may paint over damp in an attempt to cover it.
- Try everything. It may feel unnatural, especially if the owners are the ones showing you around, but a home is a huge investment and you need to be 100% sure you’re happy. Try light switches, taps, plumbing, windows and doors to make sure everything is in working order — those small issues you may not instantly spot can quickly add up once you’ve moved in!
- Consider the area. Our survey found that things such as train lines, pubs and student residences can be a deterrent — but do you always notice these things? Be sure to explore and research the area of any potential new home to establish whether the local area is to your taste too.
Happy New Home
Of course, despite the stress and pressures of house-hunting, buying a new home is an ultimately satisfying and exciting endeavour.
Don’t lose sight of the end goal, and remember it will all be worth it in the end. Once you’ve got through your fair share of nightmare house-viewings and discovered your perfect property, you can begin to plan and look forward to the next chapter of your life!