Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
12:00 AM 6th May 2024

Mistakes First-Time Homebuyers Make And How To Save Money In The UK

Image by chiplanay from Pixabay
Image by chiplanay from Pixabay
Buying your first home is thrilling, but it’s easy to make expensive mistakes when designing your new space. Property expert, Alex Hall from Dendo Design provides some common errors first-time homebuyers make and smart, budget-friendly alternatives to help you save money.

Ignoring the Floor Plan

First-time buyers often fall in love with a property without considering how the layout fits their needs. Before buying furniture, measure your rooms and sketch a layout. You can use apps to get a clearer picture of how things will look. Consider multifunctional furniture to make the most of the available space.

Overspending on Trendy Décor

Many people overspend on the latest trends, which can quickly go out of style. Instead, invest in timeless basics like neutral sofas or dining tables. Add trendy accents like cushions or wall art that are easy to switch out. Bargain hunting in secondhand shops can also help you find stylish yet affordable pieces.

Underestimating Renovation Costs

Renovation expenses are often underestimated, leading to unfinished projects and financial issues. To avoid this, always get multiple quotes and set aside an extra 15-20% to cover surprises. Learn to handle simple DIY tasks like painting or landscaping through online tutorials, which can help you save on labour costs.

Forgetting Storage Solutions

A lack of storage planning can result in clutter and frustration. Clever storage solutions like built-in shelves, under-bed drawers, or ottomans with compartments can keep your space tidy. Affordable modular storage from IKEA or similar retailers can be tailored to your specific needs.

Neglecting Lighting

Inadequate lighting is another common oversight, resulting in dim or overly harsh interiors. Aim for a mix of ambient (general), task (focused), and accent (decorative) lighting. Use floor lamps, LED strips, and pendant lights to brighten your space and create a welcoming atmosphere.

Overdoing Open Plan Designs

Open-plan layouts can sometimes result in a lack of privacy. If you like the idea of open spaces, consider adding sliding doors, bookcases, or screens to separate areas without compromising the open feel.

Overdecorating Walls

Walls filled with too many decorations can make a room feel cramped. Instead, opt for a single feature wall or a carefully curated gallery of photos and artwork to create an impactful yet uncluttered look.

Ignoring Energy Efficiency

Not considering energy efficiency can lead to higher utility bills. Improve your home's insulation, switch to energy-efficient appliances and LED bulbs, and install a smart thermostat. Sealing windows and doors can also minimise heat loss, helping you save on heating costs.

Rushing to Furnish

Some first-time homebuyers try to fully furnish their home right away, which can lead to overspending or rushed choices. Instead, start with the essentials and live in the space for a few weeks before deciding what else you need. Explore charity shops and online marketplaces for quality pieces at a lower cost.

Alex Hall, interior designer from Dendo Design says:
"Careful planning and avoiding these common pitfalls can help you design a stylish, functional first home without overspending. Take your time, and create a space that truly fits your lifestyle and budget. Enjoy the journey and learn from the process to create a home you'll love."