Location, location, location? Home-owners regret compromising on preferred area

A quarter of home-owners who compromised on location when buying their current property say they now regret it, a survey has found.

One in five (20%) people surveyed said they compromised on the preferred area of their current home, Which? Mortgage Advisers found.

Of those who had done so, 25% said they later regretted it.

Families with children were particularly likely to feel remorse over compromising on location, with 38% of those who had chosen a different location now ruing their decisions.

More than 1,200 home-owners who had bought their property within the past two years were surveyed.

The research found that the price paid (26%), the decor (23%), the size of the rooms (20%) and the garden (17%) were also factors people had often made compromises on when buying their home.

People who compromised on their garden were particularly likely to regret it, with 26% of those who did so now kicking themselves.

The structural condition of the property was also something people were particularly likely to regret making compromises on.

One in seven (13%) had made compromises on the structure of the property when they bought their home – and three in 10 (30%) regretted it.

Meanwhile, nearly one in five (19%) of those who paid more than they had planned now wish they had not.

David Blake, principal mortgage adviser at Which? Mortgage Advisers, said: “Buying a home is a very emotive purchase. In an ideal world, we would be able to find our dream home in a great location, ticking everything off our list – but for most of us, some compromise is to be expected.

“But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for somewhere that will leave you unhappy.”

Here are the most common compromises made, with the percentage of home-owners who made them in brackets, followed by the percentages of people who later regretted it, according to Which? Mortgage Advisers:

1. Price (26%), 19%
2. Decor (23%), 5%
=3. Location (20%), 25%
=3. Size of rooms (20%), 23%
5. Garden (17%), 26%
6. Structural condition (13%), 30%

Here are some tips from Which? Mortgage Advisers when looking for a new home:

1. Use a house viewing checklist as a reminder of the issues that matter the most to you to help keep you on track. You can download one free of charge at which.co.uk/viewingchecklist.

2. Try to keep your emotions in check and do not let excitement make you overlook any problems or make allowances over matters that are important to you.

3. Think ahead to the future such as changing jobs or starting a family – and how your new home will support these.

4. Consider how the location might develop. Regeneration projects could transform an area in a few years, meaning an initial compromise may pay off in the long run.

5. Compare your options. Consider your options together, creating a list of pros and cons to help assess what the best decision is for you.

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