Why do some first-time buyers regret their property purchase?

Why do some first-time buyers regret their property purchase?

Why do some first-time buyers regret their property purchase? Tepilo takes a closer look, suggesting ways buyers can avoid regretting their purchase.

The last thing you want, when purchasing a home, is to regret the decision at a later date. But for one in ten first-time buyers that is the reality, according to research carried out by comparison website money.co.uk.

Getting on the property ladder - seen by so many as a defining moment in their lives - is a decision that 10% of first-time buyers later regret because they believe the sacrifices made to purchase a home outweigh the benefits of owning one.

Now, with affordability such an issue – particularly in the first-time buyer market – people are having to move further afield to get a first foot on the property ladder. Rather than factors such as the ‘Waitrose effect’, good transport links or access to local schools being the main influencers, most first-time buyers are now focused on finding a home that is affordable, no matter where it’s located

The research, which spoke to 750 first-time buyers, found that 40% had to move further away from family, while 31% had to move away from friends and 28% further away from their place of work. In fact, nearly a third of those surveyed moved, on average, 37 miles away from family, with one in four now feeling extra levels of stress because of this decision and highlighting it as one of their biggest regrets when purchasing their first home.  

While moving away from friends and family is the biggest regret for first-time buyers, some 29% increased their commute to work when buying their first home, adding up to an extra six hours per week to their journey. What’s more, a further 13% had to reduce the length of their working day in order to cope with the extra travel, while a fifth said the extra time spent travelling has had an impact on their quality of life.

For one in ten, properties with a flood risk took precedence – with such homes often being cheaper because of the threat of damage. While buyers saved on the initial outlay, three-quarters are paying up to 75% more for buildings and contents insurance and 17% have already been the victims of flooding.

The research also found that 40% of first-time buyers with children had to rearrange their priorities when it came to local schools, with people choosing to move to areas with fewer higher performing schools but more affordable properties. As we pointed out in a previous blog, however, the population is now much more mobile and better transport links means the need for a good or outstanding school on the doorstep is less pressing.

While the sacrifices being made by some first-time buyers – and the regret they later feel about such decisions – is worrying, it’s important to remember that this is just one survey with a fairly small sample and can’t therefore be taken as representative of the first-time buyer market as a whole. What’s more, careful planning, research and sourcing good advice can help you minimise the chances of making decisions you later regret.

Although some compromises are needed in any property purchase, too many sacrifices may well be to the detriment of your wellbeing and your dream home may soon turn into a nightmare. Affordable homes in good locations are at a premium – although political parties of all persuasions, currently out on the campaign trail for June’s snap general election, say they will address this issue and ‘fix’ Britain’s housing crisis. However, government schemes designed to help first-time buyers are already in place, such as Help to Buy, Shared Ownership and Starter Homes. While these schemes divide opinion, many first-time buyers have benefited from them.

Equally, first-time buyers should shop around for mortgages to ensure they are getting the best deal. The mortgage market is a complicated minefield for the uninitiated, but with record low borrowing costs there has never been a better time to get a favourable mortgage deal. Work with your lender, your estate agent and mortgage advisers to ensure you get the right package for you.

Additionally, the bigger your deposit, the bigger your pool of potential homes – so it may be worth your while holding out a bit, saving as much as you possibly can, and increasing your levels of choice.

If you’re a prospective property seller, the first-time buyer market is one you should definitely consider targeting. It’s arguably the most booming buyers’ market of all – something that is backed up by the Bank of Mum and Dad recently being announced as the UK’s 9th biggest lender (first-time buyers, in particular those bracketed as millennials, rely heavily on funding from this source). As such, you should have little difficulty in finding willing buyers.

Like always, a clean, well-kept, attractive home will have the most appeal and will increase your chances of achieving an excellent price for your property.