Not getting the dream home isn’t the end of the world.
‘Compromise’ isn’t a word that most homebuyers want to hear. However, the reality is that when you’re buying a home in a country like the UK – where the housing market is still growing by more than 4% a year – compromise is inevitable. For most of us, compromise seems like the ultimate failure. However, that point between budget and dreams is where you might well find your ideal home.
No home is ideal if you can’t afford it
We all have an idea of what a dream home looks like. And maybe you could pay for it if you never went out, gave up all your extra curricular spending and took a second job. But what would life really look like if you did that? Never seeing your partner, not doing any of the things you enjoy and rarely seeing your friends isn’t exactly a dream lifestyle. When you’re working out what a ‘dream’ home is, it should be one where the mortgage repayments don’t leave you crippled. If you've had to borrow to raise the deposit don't forget to factor those repayments in too – even if your parents have helped you out either by lending you money directly or helping out with one of the increasingly popular guarantor loans, you will still need to pay those loans back.
The compromises we make when buying properties
According to consumer group Which? 70% of us end up making compromises when we’re buying our first home – or moving on to the next one. In a survey of homebuyers Which? established exactly where we are happy to make compromises – and where we’re not.
The area – location, location, location still applies to a certain extent as, there were specific aspects of an area that many home buyers were not prepared to compromise on. 90%, for example, did not compromise on local crime rates and 86% refused to compromise on proximity to schools. However, around a third of people were prepared to compromise if an area was just ‘preferred’ for no particular reason.
The structure of the property – According to the Which? survey we’re least likely to compromise on essentials such as the number of bedrooms and the number of bathrooms. 79% refused to compromise on the overall size of the property and 78% on the parking arrangements. However, factors such as the lay out of the property didn’t rank quite so highly.
The interiors – the overall condition of the property and repairs required to bring it up to scratch was one of the compromises homebuyers were most inclined to make according to the Which? survey. It seems that we’re less bothered about the perfect finish than what’s underneath.
But are we making the right compromises?
According to the experts, yes and no. For example, if you’re determined to have a third bedroom but there’s no practical reason for it then it’s just not worth digging your heels in. Gardens are an area that should be compromised on particularly when you factor in the British weather and the lack of sunshine for three quarters of the year. However, parking is one topic on which both experts and buyers agree – if you need a parking space and the property doesn’t have one then either you’re going to have to find a home that does - or start taking the bus.