If you are house hunting or looking for somewhere to rent this year, then no doubt you have drawn up a list of all the key features that you desire in your new pad. Sometimes these might be essentials such as being near to transport links or amenities, or nice-to-haves such as a spare bedroom or a large garden.
The priorities of home movers can also be influenced by the current state of the housing market. For example, Landlord Today reports that a new survey has revealed that ‘do-uppers’ are currently a top priority for those looking to make a property purchase.
This increased interest in refurbishment projects has been partly attributed to the higher mortgage rates, which have made it more difficult for first time buyers to get on the property ladder.
A house that is in need of renovation is on average £29,000 cheaper than modernised properties, so first time buyers have been snapping up bargains that they can refurbish as a long-term project. This option is also appealing to buyers looking for somewhere to do up and rent out or sell on at a profit.
The second most popular feature is a new boiler, which is unsurprising given that energy costs are high and old inefficient boilers are more expensive to run. The next three most in demand features include storage space, a loft conversion, and a cellar; this reflects the premium that is placed on space for both belongings and guests or to work from home.
Chain free properties are also in demand as the smaller the chain, the more smoothly the whole moving process tends to be. Large chains that involve several buyers and sellers having to move on the same day can be fraught with complications and delays. Finally, properties with gardens and that are near stations are also popular.
How to work out your priorities when house hunting
New buyers can sometimes be fixated on buying a ‘dream home’, but in today’s competitive market all but the most wealthy will need to make some compromises on their wish-list. It’s helpful to make a list of all the features that you want in a home and then sort them into two categories of ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves.’
This will help you to balance what you need with what you can actually afford. Location is generally the most important initial consideration. Prime areas that are near to good transport links, amenities, and highly rated schools usually have premium property prices.
However if you work from home or don’t have children, then you may consider buying in a less expensive area. Focus on things that cant be changed, such as parking availability and lack of outside space, rather than things that can be changed in the long run, such as a modern kitchen or bathroom.
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