Buying a house is the most important and, for many of us, the most expensive decision we’ll ever make but people have wildly differing views about how much research they’re prepared to do before purchasing.
Scots, it appears, are the most impulsive in the UK when it comes to choosing a home, with one in eight of us prepared to put in an offer after viewing a single property, according to a new survey for Which?
This compares with only 4% of prospective buyers in London where 40% of people will view up to nine properties before deciding.
People in the north-west of England, it seems, are the most cautious with 6% admitting to viewing 30 or more properties before deciding to buy.
Across the UK as a whole, 40% of homebuyers viewed fewer than five properties before buying their current home, the research found.
Some 9% viewed only one property, while 7% viewed 20 or more, according to the January survey of more than 1,200 recent homebuyers.
The comparative impetuousness of Scots might be explained by the different system of buying north of the border where sellers are obliged to provide a home report containing key information about the property, including a survey, up front.
Archie Love, Director of Scottish Property Centre Motherwell, said: “Some people are spontaneous and will make a decision to buy based on gut feeling, while others will research the local area and will only buy if a certain number of boxes are ticked.
“If you fall in love with a house on first sight, it can be tempting to make an offer without seeing anything else but there are advantages to viewing multiple properties.
“Doing your homework gives you a better idea of what it will be like to live in the area, not just the property. For young families, local schools and leisure facilities will be important while older people will want to be near shops and access to public transport.”
Archie added: “Then there’s the home itself. Most people start out with a fixed idea about what kind of property they’re after, including it’s the layout, number of bedrooms, whether it has a garden etc. But viewing several properties can open your mind to possibilities you hadn’t considered.
“For example, some people might like the idea of a garden but are not keen on the prospect of maintaining it, so buying a property close to a public park can be a nice compromise.
“Similarly, you might have ruled-out properties with fewer than three bedrooms but then you view a two-bedroom home with a convertible loft, and you might rethink your red lines.
“Another advantage in viewing several properties is that it helps you understand how much homes in your area are worth.
“Once you’ve seen a few places and compared their specifications and asking prices, you’ll be armed with much better information when it comes to making an offer.”
For more information contact your nearest Scottish Property Centre branch or visit https://www.scottishpropertycentre.net