Instagram-perfect home feeds set up first-time buyers for a BIG disappointment, says research

First-time buyers confess that looking at interior Instagrammer profiles gives them unattainable property goals

open plan kitchen diner with large bifold doors by brayer design
(Image credit: Brayer Design)

Anyone remember the Facebook thread 'Disney gave me unrealistic expectations about love'? Well, now it turns out that Instagram gives first-time property buyers unrealistic expectations about what homes they can afford. 

While as first-time buyers we should probably all be thinking about finding a mortgage and the affordability of the homes we're searching for, there is – understandably – an element of romantic daydreaming about that perfect home involved in every house search. 

But what if, for some of us, looking at beautiful pictures of other people's homes leads us to reject properties we can realistically afford in favour of chasing that elusive perfect home?

Recent research into the house hunting habits of 21to 30-year-olds* reveals that young property hunters reject on average 5.4 properties before they are satisfied (or before reality kicks in, perhaps). 

The vast majority (74 per cent) of the respondents agreed that they were very fussy when looking for a home, and 34 per cent admitted that some of that fussiness stemmed from hours spent looking at Instagram photos of beautiful homes and then being unable to visualise a similar effect in the properties they were viewing. 

Over half (53 per cent) were disappointed not to see a large kitchen with a kitchen island during property viewings, while 38 per cent had hoped for a working fireplace. Dreams of standalone bath tubs were dashed for 22 per cent, and 14 per cent had coveted a laundry room. It also seems that we're increasingly daydreaming about a very specific type of luxury home, one full of period features. 

These responses raise interesting questions about how our concept of the perfect home is evolving. While in the past, most people would have been unlikely to dream about luxurious properties because they'd never seen the inside of one (unless they bought a specialist magazine or knew someone who had one), the advent of the internet and Instagram has meant that seeing images of luxurious homes are part of many people's daily lives. 

*Poll of 2,200 Uk adults conducted by Hillarys

Anna is a professional writer with many years of experience. She has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. She covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design.