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A poor state of repair puts off home buyers in the UK, survey suggests

The top reasons why home buyers in the UK are put off buying a property are damp, bad smells, poor maintenance and broadband blackspots, according to new research.

Almost 70% of those surveyed by GoCompare said they would not buy a property with damp stains on walls or ceilings, while 63% would be deterred by smells such as damp, food, cigarettes and pets.

The research also showed that 59% would choose not to make an offer if the property was showed clear signs of poor maintenance, such as peeling paintwork or rotten window frames.

Meanwhile, parking restrictions are a sufficient deterrent for 56% of those surveyed, and 53% cited poor broadband as a dealbreaker, while the same percentage of people said that they would not make an offer on a property with unfinished building work.

Other concerns raised by around 50% of people included poor hygiene, outdated electrics, poor natural light, and unkept neighbouring gardens.

Other potential deterrents include outdated fittings and décor, with 24% put off by an old kitchen, 22% by a dated bathroom, 14% by décor and carpets which are in poor taste, while 39% do not want a small kitchen.

‘Buying a home is a major investment and most people are put off by outdated properties or those in a poor state of repair. While dated décor can be remedied easily and relatively cheaply, major flaws from poor maintenance or badly botched DIY can be expensive to put right,’ said GoCompare home insurance spokesman Ben Wilson.

‘In particular, if a property shows evidence of damp, whether it’s a stain or mouldy smell, it’s a warning sign, which depending on the cause, could be costly to repair. Our research also suggests that bad housekeeping is also a property deal breaker for many potential buyers. A grubby home and untidy garden may suggest the current home owners are not only bad at housework but may have neglected essential maintenance to the property,’ he pointed out.

‘While there are many design aspects of a property, such as the decor, which can be altered to suit individual tastes, there are others which can’t be or are harder or more expensive to change. For example, its location, whether it’s in a broadband blackspot, isn’t connected to mains gas or sewerage or, is close to a major road or motorway,’ he added.

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