A fifth of homebuyers are now on the hunt for a property with originality

By Richard Jenkins
Tuesday, 22nd February 2022, 5:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd February 2022, 5:11 pm

Gone are the days property hunters long for modern dwellings, as research has found quirky characteristics and period features are now more desirable.

The study polling 2,000 adults aged 25-60 on the hunt for a new home revealed 12 per cent are keeping an eye out for properties with untraditional, renovated space in the home, such as stables, churches or even windmills.

And concealed rooms or built-in herb gardens are also on the checklist for one in 10.

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A further 17 per cent want an office in their garden, while more than one in 10 are looking for homes with a basement.

The research, commissioned by internet provider, TalkTalk, also revealed the reasons why people are in search of something more unique, with 58 per cent wanting their living space to express their personal style.

While nearly two-fifths want their property to stand out from others.

Some already live in unusual properties

It also emerged more than a third (37 per cent) prefer quirkier dwellings, with 29 per cent claiming to already live in a home they would describe as ‘unusual’.

Consumer champion and interior design presenter, Anna Richardson, who has partnered with TalkTalk, said: “When it comes to interior design, I’ve always loved the extraordinary – it’s the bold, unconventional and unique features that make a home individual to me.

“While the aesthetic is important, I’m often using multiple devices while my home flexes between being a workspace, hangout for friends and family and a cosy den to catch up on my favourite shows.”

In a video, Anna Richardson tours two of the quirkiest properties in the UK: The Cube and The Chapel.

She profiles the quirky features in each location as well as exploring the rise in non-traditional features and unusual layouts, while sharing her top tips for revamping conventional spaces.

The study also found the pandemic has changed what 20 per cent of those surveyed are looking for in a new property.

Although 65 per cent still look for a dwelling with more space and nearly two-fifths scout out homes that are close to where they work.

A further 45 per cent said a fast, reliable internet connection in the local area is essential when looking for a new abode.

And although homes with unusual setups are attractive to prospective buyers, they can also bring challenges, as nearly a fifth are concerned about Wi-Fi connectivity in a home with a quirky layout.

Jonathan Kini, managing director of TalkTalk Consumer and Direct Business, said: "Many of us are looking to extend our home or make use of more unconventional living spaces.

“Our Total Home Wifi packages are turbocharging Britain’s Wi-Fi.”

Quirky features homebuyers are looking for in a property

1.            Period features

2.            Garden office

3.            Outhouse

4.            Underground levels (i.e. a basement)

5.            Untraditional, renovated space in the home

6.            Concealed rooms

7.            Built in wall herb garden

8.            Unusual layout e.g. unconventional floorplan, stairs in the middle of a room

Anna Richardson's tips for making use of quirky spaces in your home

1.            Upcycle the ordinary to make it extraordinary

Repurposing to your own taste can be fun, thrifty and good for the planet — and you’ll end up with a unique piece of furniture to boot. A suitcase can transform into a stylish table, a steel bin can become an abstract piece of art – the only limit is your imagination.

2.     The bolder the better

Whether bright pops of colour, statement pieces or strong textures, transforming your home starts with boldness. Even re-painting an old piece of furniture can add dramatic character to a room and help to bring multiple quirky spaces together with a cohesive theme.

3.     Don’t break the bank

If social media has taught us anything, it’s that Do It Yourself saves more than just pennies. Some things are too complex but with time and determination to learn new tricks you can do wonders. Reusing or salvaging materials can also help to save money and can add to the quirky-ness if you find a hidden gem.

4.    Use your own experiences

Having a quirky home is all about expressing your own personality. I love hunting down family keepsakes that have been passed down generations. I have my father's vintage crystal glasses on display, as well as my grandfather's opera glasses - mixing modern with vintage is my personal style of choice. Being unique comes from within, don’t let your home restrict the way you’d like to live. So, while inspiration can be taken from anywhere, don’t forget to sprinkle some of your own personality in there too.

5.    Invest in fast, reliable connectivity

There are many factors that can affect a good Wi-Fi connection and unfortunately, living in a quirky home where there is an unusual layout or design can be one of them.