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Finance

£16,000 cost for home buyers who let their heart rule their head

Home buyers who let their heart rule their head when purchasing a property end up blowing their budget by £16,000, research has found.

property (PA) (2)

One in three (34%) admitted their heart strings won out over their purse strings when it came to buying their home, leading them to spend £16,193 more than they had planned on average, according to property website Zoopla.

About 44% of those who had gone over budget after finding a property too attractive to resist said it was love at first sight.

Fireplaces were the property features most likely to sway purchasing decisions, with nice neighbours and good decoration second and third.

Bay windows, original features such as floorboards, walk-in wardrobes and free-standing baths were also seductive to buyers.

But they could also lead to rows, with one in 12 (8%) couples saying they argued when putting in an offer due to one person being more besotted with a property than the other.

Home owners in the East of England stretched their budgets the most, paying £18,908 more than planned on average, followed by those in the North West of England, who forked out £18,436 more, and Londoners, who spent £17,386 more.

Those in Wales kept a tighter rein on their spending, paying around £9,591 more than planned. In Scotland, home buyers paid £14,152 more, according to the research, released as Valentine’s Day approaches.

Zoopla spokesman Lawrence Hall said: “Buying a property is a significant financial commitment, and all house hunters want to find a home that they love, so it’s understandably a process often fraught with emotion.

“In a competitive property market where stock is low, demand is high, prices are rising and interest rates are at an historical low, it’s hardly surprising to see original budget levels creeping up.

“However, buyers need to be careful to not let their hearts take over completely. The key to the process is to do as much research as possible before making an offer and striking a balance between the heart strings and the purse strings.”

More than 1,800 home owners took part in the survey.

Here are the additional amounts over budget that home owners who went with their heart paid for their property by region, according to Zoopla, followed by the average current property value:

  1. East of England, £18,908, £316,705
  2. North West England, £18,436, £177,479
  3. London, £17,386, £638,445
  4. Yorkshire and the Humber, £16,645, £163,167
  5. West Midlands, £16,548, £202,401
  6. South East England, £15,908, £373,853
  7. South West England, £15,585, £271,572
  8. East Midlands, £15,292, £191,174
  9. Scotland, £14,152, £177,956
  10. North East England, £13,895, £177,746
  11. Wales, £9,591, £175,107

Here are the top 10 property features that tempted people into buying a property, according to Zoopla:

  1. Fireplace
  2. Nice neighbours
  3. Nicely decorated
  4. Original features, eg cornice
  5. Bay windows
  6. Original floorboards
  7. Parquet flooring
  8. Walk-in wardrobe
  9. Range cooker
  10. Free-standing bath

Photo from David Cheskin / PA Wire