Today’s first-time buyers have a clear idea of what they do – and don’t want – in their perfect property. But new research suggests it's not always a pragmatic approach.

As a first-time buyer, is top priority a home that is both affordable to buy and run, or are there greater considerations?

Previous generations may have yearned for a traditional two-up, two down-style property with a driveway and a garage, but priorities appear to have changed. 

Kitchen islands are the most important feature for home buyers in their mid-30s and under, according to a study by M&S Bank, which found that home office spaces, loft conversions, polished concrete floors and garden fire-pits are also among the list of first-home requirements for young Brits. 

The same study also revealed that when it comes to the biggest property turn-offs for first-time buyers, Seventies-style avocado-coloured bathroom suites rank high, along with pebbledash walls and patterned or brightly-coloured carpets. 

Frosted glass windows, Artex ceilings, net curtains, stripped pine floors, bidets and conservatories are also on the list of no-nos for modern house seekers. 

Further research from M&S Bank underlines that the younger generation are less practical than their parents.  

Almost a third (27%) admit they wouldn’t consider what council tax band a property was in, a fifth (20%) ignore the energy-efficiency of the property, and the same percentage have no qualms over the condition of the roof. 

More than a quarter (26%) also admitted they wouldn’t give any thought to access to a local GP. 

When it comes to local amenities, half of the under-35s polled said their dream home needs to be close to a good local restaurant, 24% require some green space, while 39% would not move into a house unless there was a gym nearby. 

Almost a third (32%) said a farmer’s market was a ‘must,’ while 37% said a coffee shop was essential.

Six properties currently for sale on Zoopla which have some of the key turn-ons for first-time buyers

Properties with a kitchen island 

Three-bed semi-detached in Oxford for £375,000

This three-bed semi-detached family home in Oxford comes with a new kitchen offering white gloss units, black tiles and a generous breakfast bar / island unit. There is a nice open-plan feeling through the ground floor extension, with a wooden floor running between the front living room and dining room at the rear. Upstairs there are three bedrooms and the family bathroom.

Available via Purplebricks

Three-bed semi-detached in Salford for £210,000

This three-bed semi-detached house in Salford, located close to Salford Royal Hospital, comes with a recently-fitted open-plan modern kitchen/diner complete with central island. The property also offers off-road parking, and rear garden with raised decked area.

Available via Home Estate Agents

Properties with a home office

Three-bed semi-detached in Birmingham for £299,950


This semi-detached house in leafy Bournville, Birmingham, offers three well-proportioned bedrooms. Two of the bedrooms are decent-sized doubles, and the third, a comfortable single, is set up as a well-equipped home office. Downstairs, there is a kitchen, lounge and diner, and head out through the sliding doors from the dining area and you find yourself on a well-maintained south-facing garden and patio area.

Available via Wentworth & Rose 

Three-bed terrace in Cardiff for £185,000

This three-bed terraced house in Grangetown, Cardiff, requires complete renovation, making it a great option if you’re looking for a project. The accommodation features entrance hallway, lounge, dining room, sitting room and kitchen on the ground floor. On the first floor there are three bedrooms, bathroom and home office / study.

Available via Peter Mulcahy

Properties with a loft conversion

Three-bed semi-detached in Glasgow for £250,000

If you’re looking for a home with a loft conversion, cast your eye over this three-bed semi-detached home in Kelvindale, Glasgow. Accommodation is over three levels, including a smart architect-designed loft conversion at the top of the house. The property also enjoys a south-westerly facing rear garden.

Available via Countrywide Scotland 

Four-bed semi-detached in Plymouth for £250,000

If you like the idea of sleeping in a bedroom at the very top of the house, take a look at this four-bed semi-detached house in Plympton, Plymouth. The property has been extended and improved by its current owner – including a loft conversion – making it feel like a real family home. It is set back from the road with a driveway offering off-road parking for two cars.

Available via Maitlands

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