A reliable broadband connection has moved up into the top five home essentials from 8th last year, while a clear mobile signal and a good energy efficiency rating are both in the top 10 for the first time. However, ‘friendly neighbours’ (9thlast year) and access to a dedicated parking place (5th last year) have both dropped down the list.
Other property features on buyers’ ‘must-have’ lists include plenty of electrical sockets and easy access to local shops and other amenities.
Top 20 property must-haves
- Central heating – 82%
- Double glazing – 80%
- Secure doors and windows – 74%
- A garden – 69%
- A good, reliable broadband connection sufficiently strong to stream films & TV – 59%
- Plenty of electrical sockets – 59%
- Local shops and amenities – 58%
- A driveway or dedicated parking space – 53%
- A reliable, clear phone signal – 53%
- A good energy efficiency rating – 52%
- At least two toilets – 52%
- Friendly neighbours – 51%
- A bath tub – 50%
- A shower cubicle – 49%
- Cavity wall insulation – 46%
- A living room big enough for a large, flat screen TV – 42%
- A garage – 41%
- A dining room – 40%
- A landline telephone – 39%
- A new boiler or central heating system – 37%
At the other end of the spectrum, fewer buyers considered a conservatory (19%), wood floors (13%), good local schools (13%), open plan living spaces (9%) and period features (5%) a high-priority in a new home, with all of them failing to make the top 20.
GoCompare Home Insurance is warning home buyers that buildings insurance should also be on their ‘must-have’ list. Buildings insurance covers the cost of repairing damage to the structure of a property. Buyers become legally responsible for a property the day they exchange contracts, rather than the day they move in. Therefore, to protect their financial interest against any damage to the building they need buildings insurance from that date.
Ben Wilson, spokesperson for GoCompare Home Insurance said, “Buying a home is the biggest financial commitment most people will make. So, before viewing properties it is helpful to have an idea of the type of area and property you’d like to live in and think about your real ‘must-have’ priorities.
“Connectivity and energy efficiency are two massive factors for anyone thinking about a move at the moment, while the number of electrical sockets is now more important than access to local amenities. Likewise, a broadband signal fast enough for streaming, and a reliable and a clear mobile phone signal are deemed home essentials today and sellers need to be wise to these new priorities.
“Once you have found a property you wish to buy, you take on legal responsibility for it on the day you exchange contracts, not the day of completion. After that date, you are liable for any damage to the building, for example, if it’s damaged in a fire or a flood. So, to avoid the property being uninsured, it’s advisable to arrange buildings insurance cover from the day you exchange contracts.”