Desperate house hunters: What Australian buyers are most willing to overlook


With research showing first home buyers at record lows and no ‘magic fix’ for the housing affordability crisis on the horizon, it’s only understandable that buyers are willing to compromise on certain attributes just to crack into the market.

These desperate times call for desperate measures, with new research from Finder.com.au showing us just how far buyers are willing to go to get their foot in the door of the property market.

The survey asked 2,019 Australians ‘If you were to buy a property in the current market, what would you put up with to get into the market?’.

A whopping 78% of respondents said they would tolerate not-so desirable property and suburb features just to become a homeowner.

Bessie Hassan Money Expert at Finder.com.au says, ‘things that may be viewed as undesirable are now being viewed in a different light as house prices continue to climb’.

‘Wish-lists are going out the window, as buyers compromise to get their spot in the property ladder. Buyers need to be realistic and realise there’s no such thing as a perfect property,’ Bessie explains.

The top five things buyers were most willing to overlook included:

  • 45% would buy a home with ‘unlucky’ number 13 in the address.
  • 44% would gladly buy in an ‘untrendy’ suburb.
  • 42% were fine with evidence that the previous owners had a pet.
  • 41% would purchase a deceased estate.
  • 39% would buy a home even if it was within 2km of a fast food chain.

Some respondents would even go as far as to live near a noisy bar (20%) or within close proximity to a brothel (25%) to become a homeowner.

However, there are some property features even the most desperate of home buyers won’t compromise on.

The top five things buyers were not as willing to accept included:

  • Only 13% would be accepting of a bad smelling area/property.
  • 15% would overlook asbestos in the home's walls/ceiling.
  • Just 16% would buy in an area with an above average crime rate.
  • 16% would still buy in a street with abandoned cars/trailers/boats.
  • 19% would purchase a home in an industrial area.

Interestingly South Australians were the most eager to enter the property market with 14% willing to put up with all the listed turnoffs. Followed by NSW and WA at 9%, QLD at 8% and VIC at 7%.

Bessie reminds buyers to ‘keep in mind that areas change over time, and gentrification and urban renewal can shift the appeal of a suburb, so you could be looking at the next hot suburb without realising it’.

If you’re unsure whether it’s worth putting in an offer on a home because you have concerns about a potential shortcoming or structural issue be sure to pay your due diligence and get a property survey.

Bessie says, ‘Buyers should get a building and pest inspection to ensure the property is structurally sound, and to decide if any pre-existing faults can be affordably managed. In some cases, the flaw may be well worth the discount’.

For more tips for first home buyers to break into the market here are some tips to save for a house deposit while renting, how your parents can help you get your own home sooner and a guide to negotiating for first home buyers.

What compromises have you made or would you be willing to make to get into the housing market? Please let us know in the comments below.

Happy house hunting!

The Homely Team

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