Nearly half of UK homeowners and renters suffer from buyer's remorse about their properties after moving in – with the list of regrets only exaggerated by us all spending so much more time at home due to lockdown.
Yes, we might find our dream home, find a mortgage and move in quite happily... but it doesn't take long to discover that something isn't quite right, and that that something is actually quite major. This is how the story goes for 12.5 million households in the UK, according to recent research by the Home Owners Alliance.
So, what are we hating about our abodes? More than half of renters (52 per cent) and four in 10 homeowners (42 per cent) regret not having quite paid enough attention to small details that over time have turned out to be significant issues with their homes.
The problem that tops this list of regrets is insufficient storage: both those who own their home and those who rent wish they had considered where they were going to keep their stuff once moved in.
Another 21 per cent wish they had paid more attention to the condition of the property and the maintenance that would be required as a result, such as the condition of the roof, electrics, boiler, plumbing, heating, damp and insulation. Noise from neighbours or traffic they hadn't noticed before bothers a further 21 per cent of respondents.
Paula Higgins, Chief Executive, Homeowners Alliance, says:
'Staying at home 24/7 is making a lot of homeowners reconsider their choices. The things we didn’t get right from the start are really starting to nag us.
'Our research shows that while we may get the big things right when choosing a home, we often overlook the smaller, less glamorous considerations like storage, how well insulated a property is and the condition of the roof and boiler. These are issues that are difficult or expensive to put right but if ignored, can negatively impact our lives on a day-to-day basis.
'If you have a problem with your roof, heating or have penetrating damp that can’t wait then you shouldn’t live with it – not even during lockdown. The government has advised that work carried out in people’s homes, such as tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and follows social distancing guidelines. Many plumbers and gas engineers are still operating but some have closed until further notice so be prepared to phone around.'
- Choose wisely – with our guide to buying a house