When do house-movers feel at home?

One in seven knows a property is right before they go inside

When looking for a new home, movers have a gut feeling about whether or not they can see themselves living in a particular place.

Research from AA Home Membership shows that the last time they were looking for somewhere, one in seven respondents (14%) knew a property was right for them even before they'd set foot inside.* Going with instinct could be why movers feel so quickly at home in their new pad.

A third of movers feel at home within a month

Sixteen per cent reserved judgement until they'd seen the first room, and 60% waited until they've had a proper look round before making a decision.

Separate research shows that it takes 29% of respondents less than a month for a house to feel like a home once they've moved in.** Twenty-three per cent reckon they've settled in after one to three months, and 13% believe it takes over a year to feel as though they really belong in their new place.

Helen Brooker, head of AA Home Membership, said: "A lot of people will rely on their gut instinct when looking for a new place to live, and do often go with that instead of weighing up the pros and cons of a particular property.

"If you have a hunch that you won't like living in a particular place it can be a very difficult feeling to shift."

While most respondents felt as though their current property was their home, 13% of under-35s said they still thought of their parent's place as home. Under-35s are also the age group who take the longest to settle into a new place – six and a half months on average, compared to four months for those aged 35–44.

Those living in the north-east settle into their new home most quickly, just under four months. Movers in Wales take the longest to feel at home – seven months on average.


* Research by Populus 11–22 July 2014, among 913 adults aged 18+.

** Research by Populus 15–18 December 2014, among 1,026 adults aged 18+.

18 February 2015