Buying your own home is probably the biggest financial commitment any of us will ever make.
Yet many people put in an offer without doing their research.
From spending little time viewing a property, to not asking the important questions, a shocking 60% of Brits have found issues with their properties that they weren’t aware of until after they had purchased their home.
How Much Time Do People Spend Viewing A Potential Home?
According to a survey of 1,000 people carried out by Terry’s Fabrics, 22% of home buyers spend less than half an hour viewing a house before putting an offer in.
25% spend more than half an hour but less than an hour. Eighteen percent spend an hour, while just 35% of potential homeowners spend more than two hours viewing their preferred property.
Over half of all Brits spend longer choosing a holiday than a home, 24% spend longer choosing furniture, and 10% longer deciding where to eat than where to live. Ten percent of men actually spend longer choosing an outfit.
Why Don’t People Spend Longer Viewing A Property?
Potential homeowners gave a variety of reasons for not spending longer viewing a property.
Thirty percent said that they caved in to pressure because of other potential buyers, while 24% said that a lack of properties in their preferred area was a major factor.
Another 20% put in an offer because they’d already sold their property and needed somewhere to move to.
Fourteen percent needed to upsize their home urgently, while financial difficulties were a factor for 7%. Five percent needed to relocate for work, and so needed to act quickly.
Asking The Important Questions
In addition to asking about viewing times, the survey also asked what homeowners wished they could have asked or could have known before buying their home.
While Brits are unlikely to ask to use a stranger’s toilet almost a quarter of homeowners, or 23%, said they wish they could have used the toilet, or even had a bath, to identify any plumbing issues.
Other issues that people wish they could have checked were how warm the house was in the winter at 30%; the condition of windows, doors and the roof at 24%; 16% would have liked to have spent the night in the property to find out how noisy the neighbours were; and 10% wished they could have checked the electrics, including all plug sockets.
Why Aren’t These Questions Asked?
It is unclear whether the failure to identify such issues in advance is due to the culturally reticent nature of the British, or whether it is down to failings in the how the property system in the UK works.
However, buyers should be aware that it is perfectly legal for potential buyers to ask about these problems, and even check a number of them out, for example roofs and doors.
Yet 12% of those surveyed stated that they did not think that they would get an honest answer from the house sellers.
Buying a property remains one of the largest decisions people make, so it makes sense to do your research before making an offer to avoid being one of the 60% who experience buyer’s regret.
Remember, you may even need to view a property multiple times before putting in an offer.