12th October, 2016

What should you compromise on when buying a property?

Finding the perfect dream home is not always easy. According to consumer body Which? when moving house, seven out of 10 people have ended up making compromises when buying. Some of our agents have some advice about what to compromise on and what is vital for happy living.

The most common compromises buyers make

Many people will compromise the condition of the property. A neglected property can be transformed and turned into a beautiful home in no time. Often, the work from refurbishing a home can lead to an increase in value when it is time to sell the property.

According to the Which? 2015 national house-moving survey, the condition of a property is one of the most common compromises that buyers tend to make, with one in four people agreeing with this.


Colin Shairp from Fine & Country South Hampshire suggests that few things demand more of our attention than buying a house or a car. Property buyers seem all too ready to ditch what they viewed as essential features when they become smitten by a property that catches their eye.

But is the compromise worth it? He also says, “There are times when you can see a house and also see what it might become with judicious upgrading or extension. But just how far should you go down that route, bearing in mind that often what you spend on an upgrade or extension is not reflected by a lift in market value”.

Whether you want a small house with a big garden, a big house with a small garden, or something in between there’s no sense at all in making a compromise and buying something different.

“That compromise, after all, doesn’t last for just the buying process. It’s something that you have to live with for the duration you have the house. It may eventually become a real obstacle to enjoying your new home, which might not be the dream home you had anticipated on,” concludes Colin.

So when you are planning your next house move, draw up a list of non-negotiable features that it must have and accept nothing less. If there are other features that are optional, still be wary of deleting too many from the list. The house you want does exist, or can be built, somewhere. You just have to persevere to find it.

The grass is always greener with a garden

If your budget can only stretch to a flat but you wished for an attractive garden too, there are other ways in which you can get your ‘dream garden’. One in five (21%) of respondents to the Which? Survey stated that they would compromise on the external space surrounding the property. This might be because Britain tends to only get a few months of good weather to enjoy the use of their gardens.

Renting an allotment nearby would allow you to tend to a piece of land where you would be able to grow your favourite flowers or fresh vegetables. Otherwise, helping an elderly neighbour who may not be able to tend to their garden would be a great way to help with its maintenance.


Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise

There are other compromises such as underfloor heating or parking arrangements that could be reconsidered when buying a property.

Linda Erasmus from Fine & Country South Africa suggests that it is good practice that you look you or your family’s requirements before you even start looking for a property.

She advises that, “when we are baking one of the most important ingredients is flour. However, we are able to compromise the amount of sugar or butter needed, depending on your preference. It is the same when buying a property. Your list should include the essentials. This way of thinking enables the buyer to understand what he or she is willing to give up. There are items such as underfloor heating or storage space that might impress you at the time of looking but unless it is essential for your climate, do not get carried away with additional features.

Location is key

Location is always a priority when buying a property. Many of us prefer a property close to local amenities as well as good access to travel links. However, properties in a convenient location almost always have a higher value than those further from amenities. It is helpful to have a list of comprises when it comes to location, whether it is being closer to a school for the kids or having a train station within walking distance; these are all things to be considered.

Simon Bradbury from Fine & Country St Neots recommends that buyers need to brainstorm everything and create a list of the top three things that are most important before looking at properties. Whether it is prioritising to be near a prestigious school or having a large kitchen, a list of things can make it easier when viewing a potential property as you will already know what you are willing to comprise.

Finding a good agent is fundamental in selling or buying a property quickly, too. Contact one of our agents who will be happy to assist you. Click here to contact your local office or for a free valuation now.

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