Traditional or contemporary? Large or small? Near the beach or in the countryside? Everyone has their own vision of what makes a dream home. But what sort of home does the average Brit aspire to live in?
A recent survey by property website Rightmove reveals what the UK’s dream home might just look like.
What is the UK’s dream home?
As it turns out, most Brits are quite pragmatic when it comes to the type of property they aspire to live in.
The nation’s dream home, according to Rightmove, is a four-bedroom, detached property near a beach, with two living rooms, two bathrooms, a garden, garage, utility room, and an office. Most people would also prefer that their dream home be near a supermarket.
The top amenity that Brits would want to be within walking distance of their dream property is a pub. Other amenities that they’d like to have nearby are a corner shop, a coffee shop and a local market.
The majority of Brits would prefer to live in a village, particularly a village by the coast. According to the survey, first-time buyers only group who would rather live in a town.
The Rightmove study paints a clear picture not just of what a dream home means to people, but also of the effects the pandemic may have had on people’s living aspirations.
Covid-19 has clearly shifted Brits’ priorities when it comes to what they want from a home. For example, with people spending more time at home and an increasing number also working from home, it’s not surprising that most want homes with features like a large garden and a home office.
Is a dream home even viable?
Rightmove reports that earlier this year, the average price of a detached home rose to above £500,000 for the first time, driven by a ‘race for space’ as families searched for bigger homes and gardens.
These high prices mean that those looking to move right now are likely to be forced to settle for a smaller home.
But some will be focused on how they could eventually achieve their dream of a four-bedroom detached house with a garden. If this sounds like you, the good news is that there are financial products available to help you make your dream a reality.
For example, if you are working hard to build a deposit for your dream home, you could take advantage of a Lifetime ISA. This is a product that allows you to save up to £4,000 each year and receive a free government bonus of 25% (up to a maximum of £1,000) to use towards the purchase of a home.
Those with a longer time frame may want to look into investment ISAs. While investing in stocks is riskier than putting your money in a standard savings account or cash ISA, it has the potential to provide higher returns over the long term.
Is a dream home worth the hype?
Buying a home is probably the biggest single financial transaction you will make in your life. Consequently, as much as it is an emotional decision, it’s also a decision that should be considered financially.
A dream home can very easily turn into a financial nightmare. For example, for some people, a dream home basically means ‘big and expensive’. Unfortunately, ‘big and expensive’ also comes with higher monthly mortgage repayments, as well as costlier maintenance and utility costs.
Keep in mind also that if you overpay for your dream home, which is certainly a possibility in the current housing market, you risk ending up in negative equity if prices fall in the future. Of course, if you plan to live in your dream home for a long time, price fluctuations matter less.
In a nutshell, when it comes to buying a home, a little bit of cool, financial common sense is required.
Ask yourself whether you can afford all the costs that come with owning your dream home. Consider whether you might be better off settling for a slightly less than perfect property and investing the extra money in other wealth-building options.
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