The age old conundrum has reared its ugly head as we navigate the challenge of moving house. What’s more important; the perfect home or the perfect location? For years there has always been clear winner – location, location, location. But it now seems that there is a different view.
According to analysts at Rightmove, waiting around for the perfect house, in the perfect location could leave us all dangerously close to losing out on our next home altogether. As house prices look set to rise this year, the property search website believes that some of those moving house will soon by priced out of their favoured location.
In its first quarter Consumer Confidence Survey of more than 45,000 people, only one third said they had found what they were looking for, just where they wanted to find it, but nine out of 10 buyers also said they wouldn’t budge on their chosen location.
With buyers clearly still outnumbering available homes there is always going to be a lot of competition for those prime locations. And that is exactly what we are finding. We want to upsize a bit – a bigger garden and fireplaces currently top our wish list for the new house.
That, and to be within the catchment area of the town’s good secondary school and close to the train station. Houses like this, as you would expect, are at a premium. Of the few that I have seen come onto the market that match our criteria, all have gone to sealed bids and for, presumably, higher than the asking price.
This weekend we decided to go and have a look at a few properties, to get a feel for what was around. My husband had spotted a house that he liked, but until now I had refused to view it as it was not in our first choice location. But I eventually capitulated. And the worst thing happened. I fell totally in love with it. It had everything we could possibly want – and more; except for the location.
A quick straw poll of friends and relatives suggested that location was still a top priority for most people. After all, as so many have told me in the past 24 hours, you can change a house, but not a location.
However, if the market experts are to be believed, we could be waiting a long time for the perfect house in the perfect part of town to come onto the market – and then we will be doing battle with all the other people clambering for it.
If you really do have your heart set on a particular location then it’s time to act now, before prices rise too much. Once you sell your home you will be in a much better position to go out and get the house you want too. If, however, you are more open to options, then do your research.
Areas that aren’t currently on your wish list but may make a great compromise are up-and-coming neighbourhoods, and by moving in early, you could actually be making the savviest house move yet!