Buying a home for the first time can be a daunting experience, as the world of credit scores and mortgages is pretty unfamiliar to most of us. Just how unfamiliar it is was revealed in a new study by U.K.-based real estate firm Strata Homes that shows how often consumers turn to Google for answers to some pretty basic questions on the topic.
Strata used Google search data to pinpoint the most common search queries for first-time buyers. It found that phrases such as "first time home buyer" are searched for around 9,900 times a month, while more functional queries like "how to get a mortgage" receive 5,400 hits a month on average.
These findings prompted Strata to delve further into the minds of newbie home buyers, uncovering the top discussion over the past year to identify the most pressing questions they seek answers to.
The company found that around 325,000 first-time buyers looked to Google to assess their finances and answer the question "how much can I borrow?" to buy a home. Meanwhile, another 64,000 asked Google how they could secure their first mortgage. The most surprising query however, asked by 35,000 would-be buyers, was "What is a mortgage?".
Here's the top ten questions asked by first-time buyers, according to Strata:
“Most first time buyers have an endless supply of questions and are entering into a minefield of unknowns with vast numbers of people anonymously seeking answers to their home-buying questions on Google," said Strata's Gemma Smith in a statement. "In fact, these figures prove that many first time buyers are not aware of the help that is available to them, whether that is an independent mortgage advisor, an estate agent or a new homes manager."
Strata's research also revealed that Google Trend Data shows a significant three percent year-over-year increase in the number of people searching for newly constructed homes in the U.K. Strata says this growing trend suggests that consumers are becoming increasingly confident in the ability of homebuilders to provide "trusted guidance and recommendations".