All I want for Christmas is... a bigger home
Space is what we all crave according to a new survey of UK homeowners
Forget ?location, location, location?, new research published by bridging loan lender Market Financial Solutions reveals that size really does matter for British homebuyers. According to a survey of more than 1000 homeowners, the size of a property is the single most important consideration, with 90% of people polled saying it was ?important? or ?very important? to them when they bought their current home.
Homeowners were asked what mattered to them most when they were looking for a new house or flat. At the top of buyers' wishlists were size, outdoor space and quality of finish. Location came fourth, with 87% of us caring most about the distance of our home to the nearest town or city.
Other key factors were:
- Garage or off-street parking (86%)
- How ?built-up? is the local area (83%)
- Transport links (83%)
- Broadband and mobile connectivity (82%)
- Whether the property is detached, semi-detached or terraced (81%)
- Local shops, cafés, bars and restaurants (81%)
- Proximity of public spaces and parks (79%)
- Proximity to good schools (77%)
- Age of the property (74%)
- Potential for extensions and conversions (71%)
- Culture of the community and proximity of cultural sites (67%)
Despite only coming in fourth in the survey?s rankings, location is still a key factor but the quality of broadband and mobile connectivity is deemed marginally more important than easy access to local amenities or the proximity of parks or good schools.
It comes as a surprise then - with homebuyers putting size as their first priority - that the potential to extend a property came so far down the list. The price of an extension is often considerably less than the cost of moving and it can add considerable value if done to a high standard and with careful planning.
Extending a home is inevitably harder for leasehold flat owners than for freeholders but it may still be a possibility. So if size matters to you, it?s well worth talking to a chartered surveyor before you put your home on the market. Of course, permissions will be needed. These could include planning consent as well as (probably) a licence to alter and a lease alteration but it may turn out to be a viable ? and potentially less costly - alternative to moving.
Author : Mary-Anne Bowring
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