Naive first-time buyers make key property errors

However, few consider more practical aspects important to their search such as plans for development in the area (1%), the condition of nearby properties (4%) signs of subsidence (5%) and the cost to update the property (6%).

HSBC asked 155 first-time buyers what questions they felt were most important to ask the vendor when buying a property and 100 estate agents what questions they would advise first-time buyers to ask.

The results highlight differing views; first time-buyers are more immediate in their outlook while estate agents identified more practical questions pertinent to the longer term considerations of living in and owning a property.

Peter Dockar, Head of Mortgages at HSBC, said: "It is important that first- time buyers consider more than just their immediate desires when looking for their first home, as otherwise they could well be in for a financial headache further down the line.

"While in the excitement of searching for their first property they may not like to think about the required maintenance or, the condition of items such as the boiler, these will be a concern if it is something that they have to pay to fix at a later date.

"Buying a home is a serious financial commitment so it is important that first-time buyers do their homework and are aware of all of the potential costs involved to ensure they can maintain the value of what is, after all, likely to be the biggest asset for most."

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