Buying a house can be one of the most stressful things you will ever do, and for most people it will be one of the biggest decisions in their life. There are so many different things to consider and factors to tie into your choice that it can be a long, drawn-out process that has to be carefully undertaken.
But what are the most important factors involved with buying a home? With more and more people now able to buy houses thanks to the increased affordability of mortgages and the increased confidence in personal finance among young professionals, we take a look at a few of the most important considerations, according to buyers surveyed by Santander Mortgages.
The importance of location may have been diluted by other factors in recent years, but it remains by far and away the most important aspect of any home. There are a number of different reasons for this remaining the case.
First and foremost, among young professionals in particular, is the ease of getting to work. This has long been the most important thing people look for in a home, and it remains so. Some 33 per cent of respondents to the Santander survey said they would be looking to move to a house that is closer to their place of work, while 28 per cent said they would want to live in a property that is near to a tube station or other transport hub, making the daily commute far easier.
More people are also now willing to move to an area that is considered to be safer or generally a better place to live. On average, buyers said they would be willing to part with an extra £7,000 if it meant they were able to live in a safer neighbourhood, while they would also spend £5,900 more if it meant being able to be located next to nice neighbours.
As well as work and safety, though, more people are considering leisure when it comes to the location of their home as they seek out a strong and healthy work-life balance. Compared to 2011, the last time Santander surveyed buyers, it said there has been a significant swing towards this reason for buying a home.
Examples of where lifestyle has become a more important consideration for buyers can be seen in both nightlife and leisure. According to Santander, people are considering these aspects of life far more in 2015 than they were just four years ago. It is probably little coincidence that this comes as people are better off and can afford to have a much richer social life than they could just a few years ago.
Santander's survey shows that in the space of four years, the number of people looking to live near sports facilities, for example, climbed from two per cent to five per cent. Meanwhile, the number who wanted to buy properties near good restaurants climbed from six per cent to eight per cent.
Miguel Sard, managing director of mortgages for Santander UK, said: "We are becoming a recreation nation as we look to minimise the amount of time we spend travelling to and from work, and maximise the time we can spend enjoying ourselves playing sports, enjoying green spaces and socialising in bars and restaurants."
People buying homes are also increasingly looking for more now than just a few years ago. If we look back even a decade, although the internet was very popular, very few people would have given it a second thought when it came to buying a home.
However, in the age of connectivity, this has become an important factor for as many as ten per cent of buyers, who would not even consider a home if it was not in an area that had a fast reliable connection. Given the emergence of remote working and the rise of the handheld connected device in the past decade, this is hardly a surprise, but is still an interesting development and indicator of just how the market can change in a few short years.
Out of style
While some things are becoming more important to those who are buying homes across the UK, though, there are also other aspects that are becoming less important all the time, some of which are quite surprising.
According to Santander, fewer people are now counting extra space in a home as important, for example. It said that the proportion of buyers who see this as vital has fallen in the space of four years from 29 per cent to 27 per cent as other factors start to take precedence.
Similarly, the volume of people looking to buy a home with a garage has dropped from 18 per cent to 15 per cent, while the importance of gardens has fallen as well, with only 11 per cent looking for this rather than the 15 per cent who said the same four years ago.
This shows just how the market has changed in what is a relatively short space of time. But what do you count as the most important factor when you are moving home?
Are you buying a home in London? We believe that you should be able to buy with minimal stress and the best advice around. For more information about how we can help you in your purchase, visit our buyers' page or call us on 0203 355 0819.
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