Research conducted by AA Home Membership has shown that 1 in 5 people ‘fall out of love’ with their property once they’ve moved in – either due to nuisance neighbours, a lack of space, or having to settle for a property within their price range.
1 in 4 who compromised over some aspect of their home – either price, location, size or style – were unhappy about doing so. The most dissatisfied age group was the 18-24 year old bracket, with 31% feeling begrudged over making a compromise.
Helen Brooker, head of AA Home Membership, commented on the report’s findings: ‘It’s pretty common for people to have to compromise when looking for somewhere to live as after all, not many people can afford their dream home. Even if you find your ideal property, the housing market is so competitive there’s no guarantee you’ll get it.’
According to the survey, homeowners and tenants became unhappy with their property due the following reasons:
- 29% were are unhappy to discover problems within their property, requiring repairs or renovations they had not expected;
- 29% had trouble with neighbours;
- 25% found their property too small;
- 21% struggled with the upkeep of their home;
- 26% chose a property because of its affordability rather than it being their first choice;
- 27% had to compromise on some aspect of their home, such as location or size, due to cost;
- 19% discovered their property needed more work or maintenance than they had anticipated;
- 18% had to settle for a property with fewer bedrooms than they wanted;
- 13% found their home became unsuitable duet o a change in circumstances, such as having a baby, children leaving home, or separating from a partner;
- Those who rented were more likely to be unhappy with their home than buyers – 26% compared to 17%
It’s easy to take a rose-tinted view when looking for a new place – or rush the process due to necessity, meaning you have to compromise on a property that isn’t everything you want. It’s very easy to overlook certain details when viewing houses, and most people discover at least one issue they hadn’t previously noticed once they move in.
‘It must be quite disheartening to find that your home is not all you hoped it would be,’ says Helen Brooker. “Some issues such as property maintenance and anti-social neighbours may only become apparent over time and may not have been a cause for concern when the householder chose the property.’
So how do you stay in love with your home – even if it’s not quite what you were after?
When looking for a new home, carry out thorough structural checks and visit several times to view the property, preferably in all weathers and at different times of day. Check for outdated fixtures and fittings, such as electrics or the boiler, and make note of anything you’re unsure about to check later with the estate agent. It’s worth getting a decent, comprehensive survey to check for structural issues – it might cost you a little more in initial outlay, but it could give you vital information about future maintenance or renovation, meaning you can then negotiate on price with the vendor.
Spend a little time doing your research of the local area if you’re not familiar with it – knock on the neighbours’ doors and introduce yourself, take a walk to scope out nearby shops, pubs, schools, parks and transport links, and pick up a local paper to get some insight on what life is like in the area.
And if you find yourself having second thoughts about your home – put the effort in to make it your own. There are plenty of low cost cosmetic changes you can make to a property to give it a sense of your personality – whether it’s a lick of paint or some new artwork. And if your home is lacking in space, consider renovating or extending your home to suit your needs instead of selling up and moving on.
The best place to start with any relocation is a free online conveyancing quote from Frances Lindsay & Co. Based in the Thames Valley and offering coverage across Windsor, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and London, our expert property solicitors can get you on the track to finding a home that you can fall in love with – and stay in love with.Tags: property and conveyancing, property lawyer Windsor, property solicitor Thames Valley