Wednesday, 13 December 2017

£16k price of falling in love (with a house)

£16k price of falling in love (with a house)

It doesn’t have to be February the 14th for there to be love in the air when you’re buying a property, says LUCY BOON

WE’RE often told that when choosing a property it’s all about location, location, location, but research indicates that it’s a little more emotional than that.

More than half of homebuyers purchase a property because they’ve fallen in love with it, and the top three reasons for such amorous feelings are location, price and the garden.

Everyone’s favourite property princess Kirstie Allsopp says it could be about even more.

“It is a given that it’s about location,” she says. “Location is everything. But once you’ve got the location, what often makes people choose one property over another is perhaps something people don’t even acknowledge themselves — and that’s aspiration. It could be a holiday picture or a book, something they want to do or be, and that often seals the deal.”

In fact, it seems that if we fall hopelessly in love with a property we’re likely to spend more than we can really afford in order to make it our own. According to online property portal Zoopla, home buyers who let their heart rule their head when purchasing a property end up blowing their budget by an average of £16,193.

Zoopla research revealed that in 2016 one in three (34 per cent) admitted their heartstrings won out over their purse strings when it came to buying their home.

About 44 per cent of those who had gone over budget after finding a property too attractive to resist said it was love at first sight.

Fireplaces were the property features most likely to sway purchasing decisions, with nice neighbours and good decoration second and third.

Bay windows, original features such as floorboards, walk-in wardrobes and free-standing baths were also seductive to buyers.

But they could also lead to rows, with one in 12 or eight per cent of couples saying they argued when putting in an offer due to one person being more besotted with a property than the other.

Property expert Oliver Symons at Henley agency Ballards in Hart Street offers some timely advice. “Buying a property is a significant financial commitment and all house-hunters want to find a home that they love, so it’s understandably a process often fraught with emotion. In a competitive property market where stock is low, demand is high, prices are rising and interest rates are at an historical low, it’s hardly surprising to see original budget levels creeping up. The key to the process is to strike a balance between the heartstrings and the purse strings.”

TOP 10 TEMPTATIONS

Zoopla found certain features helped make people fall in love with a property. These ranged in order of importance, with a fireplace or stove in the number one spot

1. Fireplace

2. Nice neighbours

3. Nicely decorated

4. Original features, eg cornice

5. Bay windows

6. Original floorboards

7. Parquet flooring

8. Walk-in wardrobe

9. Range cooker

10. Free-standing bath

Property

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