Buying property and the art of compromise

Compromiseverbto allow your principles to be less strong or your standards to be lower

Having spent some of last week filming around the city with some buyers on a certain Channel 4 programme, we have been discussing the essence of compromise quite a bit! As with many potential viewers, we started off with a list of their requirements to fill that saw some swift initial adjustments once the reality of the Bath market became apparent to them. However, there were some criteria points that stayed firmly on the list despite our discussions and despite the resulting significant impact on the range of property available for them to view – in this case, these points were character, distance from town and number of bedrooms.

Given the price range available to the buyers, this refined list of requirements resulted in just two properties worth them looking at across the city. If they had compromised on character, that would have increased the number of suitable properties by at least 20. Extending their boundary up the hills of away from town a little bit would have had at least the same effect and both changes would have resulted in houses with extra bedrooms entering the equation.

Having said all of this, the buyers did love one of the properties they saw and are currently considering whether to put in an offer so they may well end up getting what they wanted!

I thought after this that a quick bit of research was in order into what people actually do end up compromising on in their search for a home.

Which surveys last year showed people were least willing to compromise on local crime levels (90%), the number of bedrooms (86%) or proximity to local schools (86%) but overall, 69% did compromise on at least one aspect. The most common factor compromised on was the overall condition of the property (29%).  garden or outside space (24%), the house’s general layout (23%) and location (23%).

If you’re looking to buy, why not try these five tips to refine your search parameters

  • Make a list of home features that are absolutely non-negotiable for you and don’t look at properties that don’t meet these base criteria
  • Make a list of features you would like to have, but are willing to compromise if necessary.
  • Decide what the “must have” amenities are for a neighbourhood before even looking at properties.
  • Consider things you can’t change versus what you can change in making compromises.
  • Stay practical. You may not be able to find everything on your wish list in a home unless you build it from scratch. If you find yourself visiting property after property and never finding a good fit, it’s time to compromise further!

George St then and now