'First Love' - March market comment
Steve Cook of Clarke Gammon Wellers looks at one of the challenges of buying property in this buoyant market.
The big challenge with this property market is that there is less time to make a decision to buy. The fewer properties on the market the more pressure there is for buyers to make a choice quickly. Figures show that in London alone there are sixty buyers for every property for sale.
So gone are the days of casually inspecting property after property over a number of months and then taking weeks to make up your mind. In this market blink and you will miss the good ones.
The trick in this market is to know what you want and be in a position to move rapidly having a mortgage offer in principle and any property you need to sell sold or at least under offer. But how do you know at which point to make a choice? The curse of the home buyer is when the first property seen ticks all the boxes but there is the temptation to pass in the hope that something better turns up. Very often it doesn't and all that will remain is regret.
The thing about choosing a property is that because all our individual needs are unique to us alone, no property will be faultless, a ten out of ten, and few will be a nine. So seven or eight out of ten is all most can expect at best. That is why so many buyers go on to improve, extend and alter. If you demand the ten out of ten property from the start you are in for a long wait.
So the knack in this market is to recognise what you want in the things you can't change - location, garden size, etc - and be flexible with the things you might be able to change such as appearance, kitchens, bathrooms, and even overall size by extension. It is possible to turn a seven out of ten into a nine out of ten to suit your particular needs.
As anyone who has missed a great chance through holding out for a perfect ten will tell you, it is better to be pragmatic and flexible. In this market decisive and quick action is required to avoid disappointment after disappointment.