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House-buyers caught by hidden costs

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Almost a third of house-buyers discover substantial hidden costs after they take possession of their new property.

The finding comes from property portal Zoopla on the basis of a survey of 2,600 active buyers and sellers.

The average property transaction now takes 14 weeks to complete, said Zoopla. And nearly 40 per cent of those surveyed said when their last move completed, they found that it had cost more than they had budgeted.

Unexpected costs varied but 44 per cent of respondents said they amounted to more than £500, and 30 per cent put the figure at more than £1,000. 

Just under half of respondents (46 per cent) said they wished they had been more rigorous with their research before purchasing. One in six said they wished they had spoken to the neighbours before purchasing the property, while about the same number said they wished they had checked broadband speeds and strength of the mobile phone signal in the area.

‘Moving home is one of the biggest investments many of us will ever make so it’s only natural the process inspires a wide range of emotions’, commented Zoopla consumer spokesman Tom Parker. ‘Finding that balance between head and heart can often be the most difficult, such as deciding whether to throw out certain possessions you may no longer use but have had for years, or being emotionally invested in the price your property sells for. We hope the responses to this study highlight that these are emotions all home movers feel’.