When you’re looking around a property, some things are guaranteed to make you think twice about buying. Obnoxious smells, damp patches, sagging roof – any of these things could be an indication you will have problems further down the line if you go ahead and buy.
But not everything is so black and white. There might be problems that don’t present themselves on your first visit. There may be things you hadn’t even thought to look out for.
Ocean Finance, wanted to find out more so they decided to look into this to inform and help prospective buyers and commissioned some research on what factors put people off buying*.
There is no guarantee your future neighbours will be in the first time you view a property, so you should come back again at different times (in the evening, for example, or at the weekend). It’s always a good idea to see what the neighbourhood is like on a Friday or Saturday night – you might discover someone in the block has a thing about loud parties.
Other things, like mould (number 2 on the list) or unpleasant smells (6), might depend on the weather to some extent. Arranging a visit after a rainstorm could help you get an idea of the property at its worst.
Top 13 off-putting factors:
1. Noisy neighbours (55% of respondents said this would put them off)
2. Mouldy rooms (49%)
3. Property in a generally poor state of repair (43%)
4. No central heating system (30%)
5. Untidy neighbours’ gardens (28%)
6. Unpleasant smells (cigarette smoke, for example, or animals) (27%)
7. Badly kept communal areas (shared houses / flats) (16%)
8. No double glazing (14%)
9. Partly completed decorating / building work (8%)
10. Stone cladding (7%)
11. Green or brown bathroom suite (4%)
12. Overgrown or untidy garden (4%)
13. Decorating ‘not to our taste’ (2%)
Everyone has different priorities, of course. You might be happy to make a few compromises if it means you can afford a home that seems just right for you.
But forewarned is forearmed. There might be something listed above that you hadn’t considered, which may help you negotiate on price or warns you off the property altogether. After all, buying a home is a massive commitment. You might be there for decades, so it is well worth putting in the time beforehand – and trying to make sure you won’t run into any unpleasant surprises once you have moved in.
*Consumer Intelligence carried out online interviews with a representative sample of 2,202 UK adults between 31st July and 5th August 2013.