• Family ties: Four out of ten first-time buyers had to move away from their family - almost a third moved 37 miles away on average. As a result one in four now feel increased levels of stress, citing this as the biggest regret around buying their first home

  • Crime capital: One in seven moved to what they believed was a higher crime rate area in order to get on the ladder. 18% of these have experienced a burglary at their home and 19% have personally been a victim of crime

  • Commuter chaos: Over a quarter had to move further away from work, which typically added six hours to their weekly commute - that's a whopping 35 days a year. One in five claim this has compromised their quality of life

  • Flood risk:One in ten took the plunge and opted for a higher flood risk area - three-quarters are paying up to 75% more for building and contents insurance than on their previous home. 17% have already been flooded

  • Children suffer too:Four out of ten first time buyers with children had to push schools to the bottom of the wish list, moving to areas with fewer high performing schools. A third will have to move again when they apply for their children's schools

For one in ten, getting on the property ladder is a decision they later regret because homeowners feel the sacrifice outweighs the benefits. Long gone are the days of moving closer to the best schools and enjoying the 'Waitrose' effect, the harsh reality is it all comes down to affordability.

These first-time buyers have been forced to move further away from family (40%), friends (31%) and work (28%) right through to losing bedrooms (25%) and their gardens (15%). As a result, many of these new homeowners compromised their personal wellbeing and mental health in order to become a homeowner.

New research1 amongst 750 first time buyers from comparison website money.co.uk investigates the aftermath of these sacrifices. Moving away from family and friends has been cited as the biggest regret for first-time buyers.

These movers claim they now experience increased levels of stress (25%), anxiety (19%) and depression (8%). On average, these buyers had to move an average of 37 miles away from their family. In a similar vein, 26% of those who left their friends behind now feel lonely and isolated and 28% have struggled to make new friends.

Beware of the crime capital

One in seven (14%) first-time buyers moved to a higher crime rate area because it was more affordable. Sadly, one in five of these (18%) have experienced a burglary since they moved in and a further (19%) has personally been a victim of crime. Insurance premiums have also taken a hit due to the move, 30% claim their home insurance has gone up and 28% their car insurance compared to the amount they paid in their previous home.

Commuter chaos

Up to 29% increased their commute to work in order to buy a home, adding up to six hours per week to their journey - over the course of a year that's 352 extra working days. As a result of the longer commute, more than a quarter (26%) reported increased levels of stress.

An additional 13% had to compromise and cut the length of their working day in order to cope with the travel. Almost a fifth feel the extra time travelling has compromised their quality of life.

Children suffer too

Four out of ten new homeowners admit they moved to areas with fewer good schools. This could be costly in the long run with over a third (34%) claiming they will have to move home again when they start applying for schools.

More alarmingly, half of those that did not move near the best schools claim they had to falsify their address in order to get their children into a good school.
One in ten children had to move away from their existing school and their friends.

Getting a foot on the property ladder requires more and more sacrifice as prices increase. We no longer have the luxury of thinking 'location, location, location', the harsh reality is, it's a case of buying where you can afford.

Whilst it's a great idea to compromise, you really need to think about how things like a longer commute and living in a higher risk crime area play out in reality.

Quality of life and personal wellbeing are a big priority that shouldn't be overlooked. Consider all options to help you get the right place for you, such as the government schemes which are designed to help you afford your first home.

Source: Hannah Maundrell, Editor in Chief at money.co.uk

Hannah's top tips to get to help you get a foot on the ladder without having to sacrifice your personal wellbeing

  • Research government schemes which are designed to help you afford your first home.

  • It's worth shopping around for your mortgage - don't just take one out with your existing bank because you might not get the best deal.

  • The bigger your deposit the better the deal you'll get and the more property you'll be able to afford so it might be worth holding on for as long as you can and save up before buying in an area that isn't suitable.

  • Look at getting a Help to Buy ISA because free cash from the government is too good to turn down.

Notes to editors:
1. Research carried out on behalf of money.co.uk with OnePoll amongst 750 UK first time buyers who purchased their home in the last five years. The survey was conducted between 4th May 2017 and 15th May 2017.
2. 35 working days is calculated by;
* 6 hours per working week totals 282 hours per working year (assuming full time work and four weeks holiday and one week for public holidays)
* 282 divided by 8 = 35 working days