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One in five home buyers blow their budget

Take our quiz on property deal-breakers

In a bid to secure their perfect property, one fifth of home-buyers spend more than their top budget, according to our new research.

As part of the 2017 Which? Home Movers Survey, we spoke to 2,000 people who had bought a home in the last two years, and the findings show the difficulties buyers face in sticking to budgets.

It was particularly bad news for the 19% of over-spenders who went more than 15% above their planned upper limit.

Nearly half of all home movers surveyed (45%), spent about the same as their top budget, while just a quarter (24%) paid less than they had originally planned.

  • Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned home mover, finding the best mortgage deal can be a complicated business. For free impartial advice on your mortgage options, call Which? Mortgage Advisers on 0808 252 7987 

Younger buyers most likely to overspend

A third of homebuyers aged 25-29 went over their original budget – the highest proportion of any age group.

Indeed, our data showed that previous experience pays off, with a quarter (25%) of first-time buyers overspending, compared to just under a fifth (19%) of those who had bought before.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, the South East was home to the highest proportion of over-spenders – 3 in 10. The most savvy spenders, by contrast, were found in Yorkshire, where a third of respondents came in under budget.

Sacrifice or splash out? Take our Property Deal-Breakers quiz

Nobody likes to compromise, but thinking carefully about your ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’ before you embark on a property search could help you find the right home for the right price.

Exactly what to compromise on can be a sticking point. To avoid going over-budget, you might need to say goodbye to that man cave or she shed. At the same time, the home you end up buying needs to meet your family’s needs.

Over half of our respondents (57%) said they weren’t likely to compromise on off-street parking – but where would you draw the line? Take our Property Deal-breakers quiz to find out what people aren’t prepared to live without.


The true cost of buying a house

Before you start your search, it’s important to get to grips with the true cost of buying a home.

While you’ve probably already considered stamp duty (use our stamp duty calculator to find out what you’ll pay), there are lots of other costs involved, such as mortgage arrangement fees, house surveys, conveyancing charges and removals. These can slip under the radar if you don’t plan ahead, adding an unpleasant surprise to your total bill.

David Blake, of Which? Mortgage Advisers says: ‘It’s important to take a long-term approach and be realistic about affordability when buying property.’

‘Given how easy it can be to go over budget, ensuring you have all the right information could not be more important. Seeking independent mortgage advice early on is vital in order to know what options are open to you.’

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Which? Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited.

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