State of neighbouring gardens more important than interior decoration for home hunters

Buyers in the UK are more concerned about the state of a potential neighbour’s garden than the interior of a new home they are proposing to buy, new research suggests.

Location is still the top priority when it comes to house hunting followed, by property size, outside space, parking, having a garage, transport links and council tax, according to the research commissioned by estate agents Foxtons.

But next on the list is the state of neighbouring gardens, followed by the size of the bathroom. The interior decoration is only tenth in the list of priorities.

‘While this may come across as an unexpected finding, it could be attributed to the fact that we can easily change and improve our own house, but what a neighbour does or at times doesn’t do is out of our hands,’ said Greg Nickson, Foxtons Guildford sales manager.

But it is still a case of location, location, location with 85% saying it is the most important consideration. However, Foxtons’ own data shows that as many as one in three people buy or rent a property in an area that they didn’t initially look in, suggesting that while this factor is one of the most important, people are also prepared to be flexible.

‘Every buyer has their individual checklist of priorities for their new home, usually revolving around enabling the lifestyle they seek to have in the new place. But whether it is proximity to good schools, workplace, nature or good range of amenities, location does always come top of the list,’ explained Nickson.

Over 70% said property size is one of the most important factors with 62% emphasising the importance of having a garden, over 50% wanting an allocated parking space or a garage and one in three saying that closeness to transport links is the most important thing when finding their perfect home.

This percentage is likely to be higher in the UK’s large cities, where more rely on public transport to get to work and school. ‘It is usually perceived to be a priority for the city buyers, but for those based outside of London, it’s just as important. Having a train station nearby or access to an A road or a motorway that will connect them to the capital and other parts of the country is essential for those who have distance to travel to work or to visit their family,’ Nickson pointed out.

Almost a quarter, some 24% take into account the state of the neighbour’s garden when making a decision about a property and 23% the size of a property’s bathroom while only 19% think the interior decoration is a significant factor.

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Written by: Houseladder