British owners spend over £10,000 on average updating their property in first five years

Home owners in the UK spend £10,743 on updating their property within the first five years of moving in, new research has found.

Replacing floors and windows sets buyers back over £1,000 and some spend over £2,000 on furniture including almost £700 on sofas and a further £700 on white goods.

New owners will spend a lot on unexpected costs such as issues with plumbing and electricity and general repairs with the cost of repairs and renovations coming in at up to £3,500, according to the research from Furniture Choice.

Alessandra Gritt, a first time buyer in Leeds, spent over £700 replacing floors in her home in the first 12 months of living there. ‘We had to replace the carpets in three rooms, which we were unaware of before buying, as the previous owners had hidden wear and heavy staining with their furniture,’ she said.

She also spent almost £1,000 updating the electrics and wiring to a safe level after issues emerged that were not picked up in the original house survey when she bought.

Another new home owner, India Benjamin, has spent nearly £2,000 since buying her home two years ago fixing these types of issues. ‘The house was newly renovated when I bought it, but only on the surface. I had to replace the boiler within six months of buying the house. Apparently, it was nearly 10 years old, despite being in a brand new cupboard, and I’ve been advised my whole toilet cistern needs replacing. I’ve also had to replace and rewire several light fittings, and the kitchen extractor fan, as the wiring was done badly,’ she explained.

‘Buying a new property is stressful enough as it is, so it’s vital that potential buyers are aware that solely saving for a deposit isn’t enough anymore, especially when it comes to first time buyers,’ said Tom Obbard at Furniture Choice.

‘Budgeting for furniture can begin before you even look for a house; starting a Pinterest board or even a spreadsheet to get an idea of cost, as well as style, can really help to give an indication of how much you will need to save. Stick to the basics at first; a bed, sofa, and dining sets are always good to start with. Smaller items can be bought gradually if you’re on a tight budget,’ he pointed out.

‘Some costs, such as repairing hidden damage, can’t be foreseen, but having an emergency buffer in place will help to limit any financial strain these problems have,’ he added.