Rural property buyers tend to have a clear list of ‘must haves’. However, buyers often spend too long being unprepared to compromise on these requirements and wind up buying something that doesn’t meet the criteria much further down the line.
Sally Fraser of Stacks Property Search takes a look at what's happening: “Many of these priorities aren’t clearly thought through. A typical example is wanting to live in a ‘good village with a shop and a school’.
It’s a great lifestyle choice, walking the kids to primary school, stopping at the shop on the way home, leaving the car in the drive. But the primary school period of life is gone in a blink, and we’ve found that many people who live anything over half a mile (and sometimes closer!) from a shop or a school will more often than not drive. Most shopping, other than last minute forgets, are purchased from somewhere other than the local shop where the range is often limited.
Another example is insisting on having ‘more than a garden’, for instance, a small paddock, or an extended garden with a wild area. If a buyer has a real need for this space, with a clear plan about what they will do with it, then it’s clearly not up for debate. But the requirement is often a nebulous one, a nice idea, but in reality it will simply represent a chore (and an expense) rather than an answer to a specific need.
One of the most frequent must haves is a period property. Buyers simply won’t look at anything that was built since the 1930s. While a pretty period house is a lovely thing, buyers will find that an open mind on this will open up the options enormously. One of the biggest favours buyers can do themselves is to completely ignore the image of the front exterior – make your initial assessment on position, location, accommodation and potential. If a property measures up to these four criteria, then go and see it – whatever it looks like!
If buyers can ignore this trinity of must haves, and test their boundaries at an early stage of the search, the process will be more successful. If two people are involved in the buying decision, we find that a proper discussion often hasn’t taken place, and are actually surprised by each other’s views when they go and see something.
A useful exercise is for each party to write a list of what they want / don’t want, and then to talk it through. Debate each point – establish what the thought process was that led to it being included. The allow yourself three (and no more than three) vital elements of the search; the rest come underneath as secondary priorities, but aspects that won’t prevent a viewing.
If you really want to find your ideal home, our most valuable piece of advice is to go out and look at property – together. Hours of search restricted to the portals will lead to months (and sometimes years) of not finding a home.”