20% of UK home buyers admit to making mistakes


A new report from the Consumers' Association (CA) says that 20% of house buyers in Britain regret mistakes they made while purchasing their home.

Conveyancing Solicitors

According to the survey, reported in the consumer charity's Which? Money magazine, 1 in 5 house buyers consider they made fundamental errors during their transactions. Such mistakes included the arrangement of inappropriate mortgage deals and overlooking the importance of house surveys.

Not doing all the right checks

Which? Money asked more than 1,000 members if they had regretted anything when they bought their home. Many said they had paid too much, under pressure from estate agents keen to close a sale and in the euphoria of finally locating their dream house.

Overlooking the all-important structural survey was another frequently-expressed challenge. 'Rogue' building work that proves unfit for purpose can lead to substantial extra expenditure on remedial repairs, with even more worrying problems like subsidence potentially leaving a property uninsurable and impossible to sell.

Some survey participants acknowledged that they had agreed purchase too hastily, without conducting adequate searches on properties or surrounding areas.

1 contributor regretted not checking on local planning regulations after a football club relocated close by. Another discovered that a supposedly non-operational airstrip in the vicinity was actually being used and had to put up with gliders being towed past the house by noisy tug planes.

Choosing the wrong mortgage

Taking out an 'interest-only' endowment mortgage was also identified as a cause for regret. This is where buyers contribute to a discrete investment policy which is meant to pay the load in full at the close of the term.

Such products were actually missold to many, with buyers left unaware of the risk that low interest rates can lead to an endowment payout not meeting the original loan, with high bills being forced unexpectedly upon the buyer.

Although they have fallen out of favour, regrets about endowment mortgages show the importance of choosing the right loan and being aware of all potential risks.

Avoiding house buying mistakes

As buying or selling your home is such a stressful experience then it is important that you get it right.

Mark Kelly, Head of Conveyancing at Simpson Millar, said: "The key to this is not rushing a transaction or going for the cheapest option, but instead ensuring that all searches, surveys and legal work are carried out and to a high standard. Don't take shortcuts and make sure that you have everything you need to make an informed decision before completing the purchase."

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