Half of owners made costly financial mistakes when buying their first home, poll finds

Half of home owners in the UK believe that they made costly financial mistakes when buying their first home, new research has found.

The survey from Comparethemarket, reveals that 15% wished they’d haggled more on the price of the house when buying their first property and 10% of respondents said they made a mistake in using all of their savings to fund the deposit on their first home, leaving them with no emergency savings and an inability to do any work to the property.

It also found that 8% wished they’d shopped around for a mortgage broker, and a small but significant proportion, some 6%, wished they’d ensured the home buying survey was more thorough.

Almost a quarter, 24% of first time buyers went to their bank to take out a mortgage rather than shopping around for the most competitive rate and only 12% of respondents consulted a price comparison website to understand the options available to them when choosing their mortgage.

Some 19% of first time buyers felt that using a mortgage broker added no value to the process of buying a house, but 11% said that they would be too nervous not to use one when buying their next home, demonstrating a lack of confidence many first time buyers feel in making the best financial decisions.

They survey also looked at the cost of buying a home and found that 31% of property owners would look to cut the cost of mortgage broker fees, 25% removal company fees, 20% solicitor fees, 13% survey costs and 5% other fees, such as estate agents.

‘People with no prior experience in purchasing a property may not be aware which services and products offered to them on the home buying journey are mandatory and which are discretionary and, importantly, whether they are good value or uncompetitive,’ said Mark Gordon, head of mortgages at Comparethemarket.

‘The whole buying procedure can be intimidating, particularly for those going through the process for the first time. Fears around hidden fees and dealing with estate agents, lawyers, surveyors and mortgage companies are legitimate and strong enough to put off people from trying to make a purchase,’ he explained.

‘Before putting in an offer on a property, make sure you do your research online, speak to family and friends about the process, use the variety of free tools available to check your eligibility for a mortgage, and get useful tips on how to avoid paying over the odds,’ he added.