Buying a house is one of the most exciting things you will ever do. However, the reality of owning your home isn’t always as straightforward as the expectation…

From unexpected outgoings to pleasant surprises, there are plenty of things – both good and bad – that will keep you on your toes throughout the buying process. So, how exactly does the expectation compare to the reality?


Letting your creative juices run wild

Pinterest obsessives and home interior magazine devotees will have a vision of what their dream home will look like, whether full of 70s-inspired furniture or minimalist style. If this sounds familiar, we bet you won’t be able to wait to move into your new home and let your creative juices run wild, giving the whole place a complete makeover. There are just a couple of problems that mean home makeovers usually end up taking place over the course of a few years – budget and space restrictions. Before you start a marathon online shopping session, think: is this actually viable right now?

Deposit-tinted glasses

Don’t be fooled into thinking that a deposit is the only thing you need to budget for in the saving-up process. When you buy a home, you will also have to pay out various legal fees, a valuation fee and survey fees, all of which add up to quite a subtotal. If the property you have your eye on is valued at more than £125,000, you will even have to pay stamp duty.

Take all of this into account when searching for your dream home to avoid any nasty surprises.

Living the Stepford life

In an ideal world, you’ll move into your dream home and get to know your dream neighbours. You’ll all get on like a house on fire, in a quiet neck of the woods, and enjoy cosy nights in your respective homes. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. You could move in to discover noisy neighbours who argue or watch the TV at full volume, or dirty neighbours who never seem to clear the stray rubbish or overgrown weeds from their yard. You could even find out that your peaceful street turns into a local hangout or amateur race track at night.

To stop this from happening, pay attention to everything around you during a viewing, and try to arrange your visits at different times of the day.

Raiding the supermarket on moving day

Come moving day, you may be preparing yourself for a mammoth supermarket shop to pick up all manner of essentials, from washing up liquid to teabags. Nowadays though, the reality is that many mortgage lenders actually gift their customers with a special moving in gift – a box filled with first week essentials. Snacks, dusters and, yes, washing up liquid and teabags, are common inclusions that could spare you a supermarket run in the midst of moving. After all, you’ll have plenty of time in the coming days to raid the shelves for ingredients for the first proper meal in your new home.

Moving into a sparkling blank canvas

We all have certain expectations on moving day, one of which is arriving at a property sparkling with cleanliness. While your new home mayappear spotless, you may get a nasty shock when you come to replace that hallway mirror with one of your own… a pristine square of clean wallpaper in an expanse you didn’t realise was discoloured! If we were you, we’d pack a few strategically shaped cover-ups!

There’s no denying that buying a house comes with ups, downs and little surprises, but if you go about the process in the right way, you can make the good times outweigh the bad. Have your first home expectations proven different from the reality?