With one in two UK homeowners partaking in just one house viewing before making an offer, home builder Countryside has teamed up with relationship expert, John Donlon, to uncover just what makes us lead with our hearts when it comes to buying a new home.
According to a recent survey by Countryside, it took just one house viewing for 53%* of homeowners before purchasing their home, describing the experience as ‘love at first sight’. An additional 25% stated that only a second house viewing was needed before making a final decision.
John Donlon** commented: “For the majority of people, buying a home is the biggest purchase they will make in their lifetime and so our logic would dictate that many visits, or certainly more than one, would be the norm. That said, our home is the centre of our lives, a place to which our emotions are tied and it is therefore unsurprising that over half of people took only one visit to know that they had found ‘the one’.
“Whilst there are a lot of differences between falling in love with a person compared to a property, there are also similarities. We have criteria for both people and houses and it’s our own individual hierarchy of values that provokes an attraction. However, for a person to say ‘I love this property’, what we’re really talking about is attachment. Just as with falling for a person, when we fall in love with a house it’s because it evokes a feeling of affection; it is the thing that has been missing, the place full of possibility where we can see our future.
“Falling in love with someone or something is a complex psychological process and there are so many factors at play but a lot of it comes down to the associations we have with that someone or something. For example if a house reminds you of a childhood home or a place that brings back fond memories, this nostalgic wave of affection will play a part. Likewise if we see a house that has features we have seen and liked before, those features will stand out to us.
“Of course for some people, buying a house is a logical decision, whilst for others it's a matter of feelings first. When it comes to couples making a purchase together, it can often be a case of combining both of these qualities and going through a convincement strategy, which makes things interesting! Find a home that meets enough of each person's criteria and you have an agreement - a ‘we’ experience.”
House viewing case study: Anna & Nathan at Countryside’s Wellington Place in Ellesmere Port
When Anna and Nathan’s baby boy arrived in August last year, the couple realised the time had come to begin the search for their perfect family home. Travelling to many a house viewing for 12 months, the new parents struggled to find a home that captured their hearts – that is until they stepped into the Show Village at Countryside’s Wellington Place in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.
Anna commented: “We were searching for over a year and just couldn’t find what we were looking for. It’s our first family home so I wasn’t willing to compromise; I knew that when I found our home, I would know straight away. Then one day we wandered past Wellington Place and popped in to take a look. As soon as I saw the Ellesmere house, my heart was set. It just clicked. I love the skylight windows in the kitchen. It feels calm and peaceful and I felt instantly at home.”
Nathan said: “We viewed a lot of houses before we visited Wellington Place; there were some that ticked a few boxes but nowhere was perfect. Our Countryside home has so much space, it looks out onto the park and the finishes in the house are such a high standard. Above all things it felt like home for both me and Anna. Anna knew first; I think her heart was set straight away, but having now found our perfect home I’d definitely say: when you know, you know!”
Deborah Hughes, Regional Sales and Marketing Director at Countryside, added: “It has been absolutely fascinating to delve more deeply into the thought processes behind our buyers’ experiences with us. When I think back to buying my first home I know exactly the criteria I had; I wanted a home that was mine where my family would be happy but it’s very hard to put that into words because what makes a house a home is such a personal thing, led by our hearts. Understanding this, and our buyers’ values, is very important part of our commitment to creating places people love.”
Countryside was founded in 1958. It operates in locations across London, the South East, the North West of England and the West Midlands.
Visit www.countryside-properties.com for further information and to book a house viewing, and follow @CountrysideProp on Twitter for the latest news.