Half of Britons wouldn't buy their home again

Plumbing woes, size issues and troublesome neighbours are putting us off our own houses

young couple being handed the keys to their new home
(Image credit: Getty)

Buying a house is probably the most expensive purchase you're ever going to make (unless you're a millionaire, in which case, good on you). But a study has revealed that nearly half of homeowners in the UK wouldn't buy their home again if they had the chance.

The reason? Well, top of the list were common house issues like plumbing and heating – which, we'll admit, can test even the most patient of people. House size and troublesome neighbours also scored highly.

The survey by Hillarys (opens in new tab) quizzed 2,000 homeowners about their feelings towards their house, and shockingly, over two fifths of the homebuyers admitted they'd never repurchase theirs.

When asked if they'd buy their current home again if they could go back and do it all again, 44 per cent said they wouldn't.

After heating and plumbing issues, size and neighbours, the other top responses when asked why were: 'I don't like the area' (29 per cent); 'Would prefer to live closer to family and friends' (25 per cent).

Those living in terraced houses were most like to not want to buy their home again at 39 per cent, with semi-detached (29 per cent) and detached (25 per cent) following respectively. Only 13 per cent of bungalow owners regretted their house choice.

There's a running theme for those unhappy homeowners, though. An astonishing 56 per cent felt they'd rushed into buying their home, whether that's because they felt pressured from family or their partner, or that they hadn't seen any they loved – so they bought the one they liked the most at the time.

The results demonstrate the often under-discussed negative motivations and emotions behind buying a home – and could serve as a lesson that it's important to take your time, especially over such a huge decision.

On average, unhappy homeowners had lived in their current home for between three and five years. Unsurprisingly, 37 per cent admitted they were looking for another house, while 34 per cent said they couldn't afford to move. A further 20 per cent were waiting to see how Brexit will affect the housing market.

According to Zoopla (opens in new tab)'s last survey of how long people had lived in their homes on average in the UK, we only move every 23 years – as opposed to every eight years in the 1980s. So, if you don't want your 'forever home' to also be your biggest regret, think carefully before you take the plunge.

Ellen Finch
Deputy editor

Joining as features editor in 2017, Ellen now looks after the day-to-day running of Real Homes magazine as deputy editor. She also commissions and writes many of the real case studies you'll see on the site, and loves speaking to people about their homes and get the details on the hacks they've tried and loved. She's currently gearing up to buy a home of her own in 2023 – hopefully with a garden to plant veg and wildflowers – and has a special interest in sustainable living, clever book storage, and cats.