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Homebuyers commit after just 96 minutes

Brits dedicate less time to buying a home than booking a holiday.

Buying a home is the biggest investment most people are likely to make. You would hope that such an important investment would be given plenty of time and thought, yet amazingly Brits spend more time booking their holidays than viewing the home they buy.

Abbey Mortgages worryingly found that British homeowners spend an average of 139 minutes when choosing their annual holiday compared with just 96 minutes spent viewing a property before putting in an offer. Women can spend longer than that wondering whether to buy a pair of shoes.

Rushing into such an important purchase has led to problems for new homeowners, with almost half (49 per cent) of all movers experiencing some sort of setback with their new property.

Twenty-one per cent of homeowners felt that, upon closer inspection, the decor inside their home suffered from poor workmanship, 14 per cent experienced problems with their neighbours and four per cent said that the exterior of their home also needed attention. A further seven per cent of movers couldn’t even enjoy a decent shower due to poor water pressure and six per cent struggled to park their car.

In hindsight, 12.3 million people wish they had devoted more time and attention to detail before they put in an offer. You can learn a thing or two from other people’s mistakes:

* 4.4 million (ten per cent) wish they’d visited their property more times before moving in. First impressions last, but the more you view a property the more likely you are to see it in the cold light of day.

* 2.7 million (six per cent) wish they’d spent more time in the neighbourhood before committing to a move. This is especially important when moving into a new neighbourhood. View the area at night as well as the daytime.

* 2.4 million (six per cent) wish they’d paid for a more detailed survey. A comprehensive survey can identify any underlying problem areas that could end up costing you a fortune.

* 2.2 million (five per cent) wish they’d spoken to their new neighbours before moving in. If they’re friendly, they won’t mind talking to you. If you get the door slammed in your face you know they won’t be giving you any cups of sugar or friendly chats over the garden fence.

* 2.1 million (five per cent) wish they had checked their local amenities or schools. This is vital if you want to move within the catchment area of the best schools.

* 1.4 million (three per cent) wish they’d checked the parking situation and prices in the area. If there’s residence parking permits, you’ll have to pay an annual fee to park outside your own home.

* 1.3 million (three per cent) wish they’d researched their new journey to work. You could pay with your personal time if you don’t.

Nici Audhlam-Gardiner, head of mortgages at Abbey, comments, “It really is crucial that homebuyers do as much research as possible before making an offer on a new property.

“Moving is stressful enough, without having to worry about nasty surprises when you arrive at your new home.”

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