A fifth of homebuyers are now hunting for original properties.

Gone are the days when property hunters gravitated toward modern dwellings as research has shown that the quirky characteristics and features of the time are now more desirable.

A study of 2,000 adults aged 25 to 60 looking for a new home found that 12% of them look for properties with non-traditional refurbished spaces in the home, such as stables, churches, or even windmills.

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

Another 17% want to have an office in their garden, and more than one in ten are looking for houses with a basement.

The study, commissioned by the Internet service provider TalkTalk, also revealed the reasons why people are looking for something more unique: 58% of them want their living space to express their personal style.

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

Some already live in unusual houses

It also found that more than a third (37%) prefer fancier dwellings, and 29% say they already live in a home they would describe as “out of the ordinary.”

Anna Richardson, consumer advocacy champion and interior design speaker who collaborates with TalkTalk, said: “When it comes to interior design, I have always loved the unusual – the bold, unconventional and unique features that make a home feel special to me.

“While aesthetics are important, I often use multiple devices while my home can be a workspace, a meeting place for friends and family, and a cozy office to watch your favorite shows.”

In the video, Anna Richardson tours two of the UK’s most bizarre properties: The Cube and The Chapel.

She describes the quirky features in each space, as well as exploring the emergence of unconventional features and unusual layouts, and shares her top tips for updating conventional spaces.

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

While 65% are still looking for more spacious housing, and nearly two-fifths are looking for homes close to where they work.

Another 45% said that a fast and reliable internet connection in the area is essential when looking for a new home.

And while oddly designed homes are attractive to potential buyers, they can also cause problems, as nearly a fifth are concerned about Wi-Fi connectivity in an unusually designed home.

Jonathan Keaney, managing director of TalkTalk Consumer and Direct Business, said: “Many of us want to expand our home or use more non-traditional living spaces.

“Our Total Home Wifi packages make British Wi-Fi turbocharged.”

Quirky features homebuyers are looking for in real estate

1. Features of the period

2. Garden office

3. Outbuilding

4. Underground levels (i.e. basement)

5. Non-traditional renovated space in the house

6. Hidden rooms

7. Wall-mounted herb garden

8. Unusual layout, such as non-traditional layout, stairs in the middle of the room.

Anna Richardson’s tips for using whimsical spaces in your home

1. Enhance the ordinary to make it extraordinary

Redesigning to your liking can be fun, economical and good for the planet – and you end up with a unique piece of furniture. A suitcase can turn into a stylish table, a steel basket can become an abstract piece of art – the only limit is your imagination.

2. The bolder the better

Whether it’s vibrant pops of color, eye-catching details or vibrant textures, transforming your home starts with audacity. Even repainting an old piece of furniture can add drama to a room and help bring several whimsical spaces together into a cohesive theme.

3. Don’t break the bank

If social media has taught us anything, it’s that a DIY program saves more than pennies. Some things are too hard, but with time and determination to learn new tricks, you can do wonders. Reusing or recycling materials can also help save money and add originality if you find a hidden gem.

4. Use your own experience

A fancy home is an expression of your personality. I love hunting for family mementos that have been passed down from generation to generation. I have my father’s antique crystal glasses on display, as well as my grandfather’s binoculars – my personal style is a mix of modern and vintage. Uniqueness comes from within, don’t let your home limit your lifestyle. So while inspiration can come from anywhere, be sure to bring some of your personality there as well.

5. Invest in a fast and reliable connection

There are many factors that can affect a good Wi-Fi connection, and unfortunately, living in a fancy house with an unusual layout or design can be one of them.

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