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Why buying your home with your heart could cost you an extra £16,000

12th February 2016

  • Over a third of homeowners spent more than their allocated budget because they fell in love with their property
  • Average cost of paying over budget (going with your heart) is £16,193
  • 44 per cent of homeowners said they fell in love with their chosen property at first sight
  • Following the heart is the most costly for property buyers in the East of England – while the Welsh remain pragmatic
  • Friendly neighbours, a fireplace, and being nicely decorated were top three criteria that swayed homeowners’ purchase decisions
  • Letting your heart rule your head when purchasing a property can lead to buyers blowing their budgets by an average £16,193, according to leading property website Zoopla.

    Zoopla, which provides free value estimates for every UK home, has revealed how much more people spend when buying a home if they choose to go with their heart (buying the property they really want) rather than going with their head (buying the property that fits their original budget). For those who followed their heart, the average additional amount spent was just over £16,000.

    Over one in three homeowners (34 per cent) admitted to paying more than they’d originally budgeted, due to falling in love with their chosen property, and nearly half (44 per cent) said they fell in love with their property at first sight.

    When it comes to weighing up feelings and figures, homeowners in Wales proved to be the most pragmatic. For example, the average additional amount paid in Wales was significantly lower than the national average, at £9,591, suggesting buyers in Wales, even when going with their hearts, aren’t as likely to stretch their budgets. The East of England, however, was considerably higher than the national average, at £18,908; followed closely by the North West of England, at £18,436 (roughly 10 per cent of the average property value in the North West*), and by London, on £17,386 (approximately three per cent of the average property value in London*).

    But, it appears that a property’s ability to tug on the heartstrings can make for a tumultuous buying process; the study also found that one in 10 couples argued when putting in offers on a property due to one liking the home more than the other.

    When looking at the features of a property that swayed purchase decisions, the top three were a fireplace (22 per cent), nice neighbours (21 per cent) and being well decorated (17 per cent). Interestingly, original floorboards proved more sought after than parquet flooring and a freestanding bath was more popular than a wet room.

    Lawrence Hall of Zoopla commented: “Buying a property is a significant financial commitment, and all house hunters want to find a home that they love, so it’s understandably a process often fraught with emotion. In a competitive property market where stock is low, demand is high, prices are rising and interest rates are at an historical low, it’s hardly surprising to see original budget levels creeping up. However, buyers need to be careful to not let their hearts takeover completely. The key to the process is to do as much research as possible before making an offer and striking a balance between the heart strings and the purse strings.”

    Additional average amount extra paid when going with your heart

    Rank Region Additional average  paid when going with your heart Current average property value in region
    1 East of England £18,908 £316,705
    2 North West England £18,436 £177,479
    3 London £17,386 £638,445
    4 Yorkshire and The Humber £16,645 £163,167
    5 West Midlands £16,548 £202,401
    6 South East England £15,908 £373,853
    7 South West England £15,585 £271,572
    8 East Midlands £15,292 £191,174
    10 Scotland  £14,152 £177,956
    11 North East England  £13,895 £177,746
    12 Wales  £9,591 £175,107

    - Ends -

    For further information, please contact Tim Vooght at or on 020 3872 5615.

    Notes to editors

    Zoopla is the UK's most comprehensive property website, focused on empowering users with the resources they need to make better-informed property decisions. We help consumers both find their next home and research the market by combining hundreds of thousands of property listings with market data, local information and community tools.

    At Zoopla we are fans of transparency and everything we do is aimed at making the market more efficient for both property consumers and advertisers alike. Zoopla has rapidly become the UK’s leading online destination for property consumers to search for homes and do their market research and the favoured online marketing partner for UK estate agents, letting agents and property developers.

    Launched in 2008, Zoopla has since been one of the fastest growing websites in the UK, now attracting over 40 million visits per month and we are proud to have collected numerous awards and accolades along the way, including being named one of the Top 10 UK Tech Companies (Guardian) and one of the Top 10 Most Innovative UK Companies (Smarta).

    Zoopla is part of Zoopla Limited which was founded in 2007.

    Zoopla Limited, The Cooperage, 5 Copper Row, London, SE1 2LH
    Registered in England and Wales with Company No. 09005884
    VAT Registration number: 191 2231 33
    Data Protection number: Z9972266

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