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What does the average buyer want? A doer-upper or a ready-to-move-into home?

What does the average buyer want? A doer-upper or a ready-to-move-into home?

Most of the people who buy at our auctions are looking for properties where they can add value, but what about the average buyer? - Which is more desirable to them - a doer-upper with potential or somewhere that’s immaculately presented and ready to move into?

Do they really want to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in? Can they actually see beyond the dated kitchens and the mouldy bathrooms, the peeling wallpaper and the care-worn carpets?

Surely most people just want to collect the keys to a sparkling new home with perfect paintwork, brand new carpets and a designer kitchen that’s full of the latest gadgets? Somewhere where all they need to do, once they move in, is to make themselves at home?

Rightmove has the data that can answer all these questions and more. They looked at 6000,0000 listings and analysed which of their features generated the most enquiries.

So, what did they find?

When they had compiled all the data, they found that both were true.

Buyers are just people and they are all different. One size will never fit us all.

Currently, however, the number one feature is a ‘Renovation Project’ - a fixer-upper in need of a refurb.

There are a number of reasons why that is the case. There will always be plenty of buyers who are looking for somewhere where they can add value through hard work and a little imagination. But, with the cost-of-living crisis and a base rate of 5.25%, finances are tight and it’s not just first-time buyers who can’t always afford what they want (or need). More and more of us are now having to make compromises.

Doer-uppers are nearly 10% cheaper than the average home. At the time of the survey, that represented typical savings of around £29,000.

Better still, a doer-upper doesn’t all have to be done at once. It can be worked on in stages, whenever any additional money becomes available. We do, though, prefer a property that requires the kind of refurbishment that we can do ourselves rather than having to call in the professionals.

‘Refurbished’ does still makes the top 10, but at a relatively lowly number 7. And, as you might expect, refurbished homes come at a premium. Typically, that's around 19% or £70,000 more than the average home or nearly £100,000 more than a doer-upper, so you’ll have to really like the way it has been done.

Rightmove’s property expert Tim Bannister says:

“This really shows the different priorities that home-movers have – some are in a more fortunate position to be able to consider buying a newly refurbished home, while others want to put their own stamp on a home and do it up from scratch, or they may realise that if they buy now they can spend time doing up the house a room at a time.”

Something else the survey uncovered was how strong our desire is for extra living and storage space. At number 3 was - ‘Loft Conversion’, at number 4 was - ‘Storage Space’, and “Cellar’ was at number 5.

Energy efficiency was another popular theme, with two spots in the top ten – ‘New Boiler’ was at a lofty number 2 and ‘Double Glazing’ at number 6.

The convenience of being ‘Chain Free” was at number 8. And, it seems, the race for space is not entirely over because ‘Garden’ was at number 9.

Last but not least was the requirement that a new home should be ‘Near a Station’ rather than having a parking space.

So, now you know - when you are buying and selling a home, it's all about individual choices.

I you are looking for a property where you can add serious value, just take a look at what we have coming up in our next auction at Phillip Arnold Auctions.

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