Undesirable home features

Running a business is about hard work, determination and solving problems. But when it comes to buying a home, it’s often the things that we can’t fix which are uppermost in our minds.


Running a business is about hard work, determination and solving problems. But when it comes to buying a home, it’s often the things that we can’t fix which are uppermost in our minds.

Recent research from mortgage and loan broker Ocean Finance has found that factors outside our control are the biggest turn-offs when it comes to house buying. 

Top of the list of no-nos are noisy neighbours. More than half of the survey respondents said so-called ‘neighbours from hell’ would deter them from buying a property. Taking second place on the list of off-putting features are mouldy rooms – it looks like some 25 million people would think twice about a potential home with this problem, probably because it can be expensive to put right.

Ocean Finance also discovered that a general poor state of repair, a lack of central heating and untidy neighbouring gardens all made it into the top five property turn-offs.

While we are clued up about what we can fix easily in a prospective new home, we are also pretty savvy about the things beyond our control. For example, just 4 per cent of us are deterred by an overgrown garden (which we can sort out by ourselves) while more than a quarter of us are put off by an untidy garden next door (which we can do nothing about).

Features that are expensive to fix also made it onto the list of no-nos for homebuyers. A lack of double glazing was cited as a negative factor, as well as unpleasant smells such as cigarette smoke or animals.

However, the older we get, the more sanguine we are about some property challenges. Ocean Finance found that older generations seem to be more willing to put up with ‘privations’ than younger people. 

For example, one quarter of men and women aged between 55 and 64 and 27 per cent of those aged 65 and above might be deterred by the fact that a house has no central heating, compared with 36 per cent of their 25-34 year-old counterparts. The older generation is also half as likely to be bothered by the fact that a house has no double glazing as the young.

When it comes to annoying neighbours, age also plays a part. Younger people are around half as likely to be put off by noisy neighbours (perhaps they are the noisy neighbours) as older homebuyers (35 per cent of people aged 18-24 say this is an issue, compared with 65 per cent of people over 65).

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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