News: Brit buyers fear 'rip-off'

Mon, 24 Sep 07

A new study reveals widespread concern amongst homebuyers about the potential of being ripped-off or their new property having hidden faults...

Almost a third of British homebuyers (29 per cent) are unsatisfied with their new home once they’ve moved, finding it to be more bedsit than Beckingham Palace.

The study, conducted by AA Insurance, reveals that almost a sixth (13 per cent) of homebuyers believe they did not get everything they wanted on their last home and 8 per cent were not as happy as they expected.

Homebuyers’ discontent seems to stem from lack of knowledge and fear at the buying stage. Almost a third (29 percent) admit they found the buying process difficult, with one in ten (11 percent) worried about hidden faults and over one in twenty (7 percent) concerned about being ripped off by estate agents.

Would you trust an estate agent?

Estate agents (62 percent) are viewed as the least trustworthy profession after politicians (73 percent), with less than a third (30 percent) of homebuyers saying they would go to them first for advice. Prospective buyers prefer to seek advice from other sources including the internet (18 percent), family and friends (14 percent) and their solicitor (10 percent).

Other findings include:

• Buying a house is the most daunting prospect for those aged 18-24, ahead of getting married, divorced or starting their own business

• Almost half (42 percent) of the population over 55 would rather keep renting than buy a new home

• Noisy and obnoxious neighbours cause almost a fifth (17 percent) of homeowners to regret moving house

Getting a Better Deal

To help more Brits get a better deal when buying a home, AA Insurance has teamed up with well-known House Doctor Ann Maurice to produce a guide to ‘Getting a Better Deal on Your Home’. Covering everything from the traditional methods of buying with an estate agent to less conventional auctions and private sales, the guide, which can be downloaded from www.gettingabetterdeal.co.uk, provides information which will help you make the most of your investment.

Janet Pell, head of AA Home Insurance, says: “For most people, buying a home will be the most important purchase they make in their lifetime, so it’s really important to get it right and make sure you have no regrets once the contract is signed. And once you’ve found your dream home, make sure you shop around for the best deal on your mortgage, surveys and home insurance.”

“We’ve teamed up with property expert Ann Maurice and used the expertise of The AA Team to produce a guide that offers top tips on getting a better deal when you’re buying a house to ensure you’ve got something worth insuring!”

To download AA Insurance’s Guide to Getting a Better Deal on Your Home, visit www.gettingabetterdeal.co.uk.

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