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Neighbours from hell put more than half off

Robyn Hall

August 20, 2013

The mortgage and secured loan broker claims that over half of us (55% or 28 million) would be put off buying a house with ‘neighbours from hell’.

The research shows that we are pretty savvy about what we can fix easily in a prospective new home, and what we can’t. For example, just 4% of us are put off by an overgrown garden – which we can fix – while over a quarter of us (28%) are deterred by an untidy garden next door – which we can’t.

Ian Williams from Ocean Finance said: “It’s good to see that buyers are generally very savvy about what gives a home a lot of potential.

“It isn’t about decoration, which can be changed relatively easily – it’s about how pleasant the area and the house are to live in.

“Buyers also seem to know that more insidious problems like mould are also best avoided unless they have the funds and the time to make all the necessary repairs and changes.”

What puts people off

Noisy neighbours (55%, 28 million people)

Mouldy rooms (49%, 25 million)

The property is in a poor state of repair (43%, 22 million)

No central heating (30%, 15 million)

Untidy neighbouring gardens (28%, 14 million)

Unpleasant smells, such as smokers or animals (27%, 13.5 million)

Badly kept communal areas in flats or shared housing (16%, 8 million)

No double glazing (14%, 7 million)

Partially completed decorating or building work (8%, 4 million)

Stone cladding (7%, 3.5 million)

Brown/green bathroom suite (4%, 2 million)

Untidy/overgrown garden (4%, 2 million)

The decorating isn’t to our taste (2%, 1 million)

Other big no-nos for buyers are a lack of central heating or double glazing – both of which are likely to lead to high utilities bills and are expensive to fix. Similarly, people with smelly pets would be well advised to banish them to the garden if they are trying to shift their house – and smokers may need to have their cigarettes outside too.

Age is a big factor as well. Younger people are around half as likely to be put off by noisy neighbours (perhaps they are the noisy neighbours). 35% of people age 18-24 say this is an issue compared with 65% of people over 65.

However, older generations seem to be more willing to put up with ‘privations’ than younger people.

For example, people aged 55-64 (25%) and 65+ (27%) are less likely to be deterred by the fact that a house has no central heating than 25-34 year olds are (36%).

They are also half as likely (10% for both 55-64s and 65+) to be bothered by the fact that a house has no double glazing (the figure for both 18-24s and 25-34s is 21%).


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