Often you will read about the 'rental trap' where those who
can't afford to buy their first home get trapped in the rental
market. However agents across the country have noticed people
getting stuck in between moves too. They plan on renting for a few
months, until a home that they really like becomes available.
However, a few months can turn into years.
It is easy to see why people rent before they buy. On the plus
side, there is no chain to worry about and the work that comes with
selling your own home is already tied up and complete. Overall it
makes the whole process of buying a home less stressful and less
However on the downside house hunters can become too selective
when there is little pressure to move. If you do not choose to move
into rented accommodation when you sell, you are forced to buy
somewhere else, otherwise you would have nowhere to live. Renters
are without this pressure and they often become more judgmental and
less committed when viewing a prospective home which makes them
more likely to pull out of a deal.
Michael Fiddes, Head of Agency at Strutt & Parker comments:
"When moving into a rented home, it is important to establish how
long you would like to stay there. Obviously those renting on a
long term basis will stay in the property for a certain amount of
time. However there is a danger that those looking to buy quickly
end up renting for long periods. It sounds simple, but remembering
that you are renting on a short term basis can help avoid becoming
One way of helping to avoid the problem is to set goals and
timelines for your next move. If there is little urgency or
motivation to move you are more likely to be staying in a rented
home for longer than you had hoped. These steps can help avoid
complacency in your search for a home.
Fiddes adds: "In this market there are more people who have
sold, are now renting and ready to move when a property becomes
available. Many renters are under the illusion that they are in a
unique position and ahead of their rival bidders when they find a
property. The reality is the rental market is well populated with
not only first-time buyers who can't afford a home, but second and
third time buyers too, making it more competitive".