When selling your home, it can be hard to know exactly what people are looking for. Gocompare have revealed their annual ‘home essentials’ survey, indicating 20 property features that are essential to home buyers in 2019.
Central heating sits at the top of the list this year with 78% of home buyers considering it to be an essential property feature. Double glazing (76%) and secure windows and doors (71%) follow close behind in second and third place.
This year’s list has also seen the desire for access to a landline telephone drop out, being replaced by access to satellite television (36%). Another factor that failed to make the list are period features. Only 9% of home buyers considered period features to be essential to their prospective property.
If anything, the home essentials survey highlights the growing importance we attribute to technology in our homes. In the initial publication of the survey back in 2014, having strong broadband and mobile phone connections within a home were considered less of a priority to potential buyers. Today, 58% of people consider a strong mobile connection within their home to be essential and 61% consider good broadband to be essential to their homes. In 2014, good mobile phone signal was only considered important to 34% of people and 54% of buyers regarded a good broadband connection as a home essential.
The list saw other essential features experience an upsurge. In 2014, a good security system sat at 23% compared with 31% today. Other essential features that climbed up are bi-fold doors (2% in 2014 and 12% in 2019), sheds (21% in 2014 and 29% in 2019) and an open-plan design (9% in 2014 and 15% in 2019). But the feature that has experienced the largest increase in demand is the number of home buyers who want a living room that can accommodate a large, flat-screen TV.
Whilst some features have experienced a rise in the number of people considering them essential to their home, some features are experiencing a decline in their importance. Less buyers are considering whether their home has a shower than they did in 2014, with only 45% of people believing it to be an essential feature.
Other features that are less favourable today include a new boiler/central heating system (42% in 2019 versus 48% in 2014) and having an open fireplace or wood burner (11% today, 15% in 2014).
Despite not making it onto the top 20, GoCompare Home Insurance is encouraging buyers to add buildings insurance to their essentials list. Buildings insurance protects your homes structure including the walls and roof, covering the cost of repairs. Buyers should be aware that the day they exchange contracts is when they become responsible for the property, not the day they move in. It would be within a buyer’s financial interest to protect their new property from any potential damages that may occur from this date.
Ryan Fulthorpe, speaking from GoCompare Home Insurance, comments on the findings of the 2019 survey:
‘But, as our survey shows, connectivity is now a deciding factor for many buyers. Technology forms a big part of every-day life – whether it’s browsing the web, video or music streaming, or making a mobile phone call – people want a strong, reliable connection. And, with an increasing number of internet-capable devices developed for home use, this trend can only continue.’
In conclusion, Ryan advises home buyers, ‘Once you’ve found your ideal property, it’s important to note that you take on legal responsibility for it on the day you exchange contracts, not the day the sale is completed. On exchange of contracts, the buyer becomes liable for any damage to the building. For example, if it’s damaged by fire of a flood. So, if you’re buying a property, it’s essential to have buildings insurance cover in place from the point of exchange.’