06, June, 2023

New build vs older properties: Which one should you buy?

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Buying a house can be one of the biggest decisions you can make in your adult life. With new-build developments popping up all over the country it is hard not to be drawn in by their shiny interiors and low deposit schemes. However, they are not always as they seem with many buyers complaining of substandard ceilings, missing insulation and condensation issues, people are now being drawn back to older properties. But is this the right move?

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Pros of a new build

For many first-time buyers buying a new build is the perfect way to get onto the property ladder. With the help to buy scheme, thousands of young couples and families decided to take part in the scheme helping them secure a lower deposit.

Below is a list of the pros of buying a new build property –

1. Chain-free:

This is huge for many buyers as they don’t have to worry about being held up in a property chain, relying on the person you’re buying your home from to have to be able to buy theirs. Being the first owner of the home means that you don’t have this problem.

2. Modern design:

Everything is new that is installed in the property and the décor is typically a blank canvas, perfect for buyers to personalise to their own taste. Depending on which new build it is, they is the option of being able to choose the fixtures and fittings to suit your personal taste.

3. Low bills:

New builds have to comply with the latest building regulations meaning that they tend to be a  lot more energy efficient than older properties, saving you money in the long run.

Cons of buying a new build

Although there are some clear perks of buying a new build it’s important to remember that there are some problems that you need to be aware before decided to purchase one.

Below is a list of some of the cons of buying a new build property:

1. Sizing:

Compared to an older property, new build rooms are built much smaller, for example, a three-bedroom new build property would typically comprise of two standard bedrooms with a small box room that can only just fit a single bed into.

2. Expensive:

You’ll find that despite the help offered by the government to get people on the property ladder, the new builds do cost more overall than an older property would. Especially for the size and space that is offered.

3. Garden:

Some new build properties lack the external space, which for a young couple might not pose that much of an issue. However, young families or pet owners might feel cheated with the lack of garden their property possesses.

Pros of older properties

An older property can be very attractive for buyers who want to find a property with a bit of character that they can style themselves, compare to the new build properties that are already kitted out with new kitchens and bathrooms etc.

Below is a list of some of the pros of buying an older property:

1. Character:

Older properties are more unique in their style and design so it is rare that you’ll find them to be identical unlike the rows of new builds that look the same. Many people prefer to have a home that is unique to them.

2. Neighbourhood:

A community of neighbours will already be established with older properties making it a more safe and connected area to live, rather than having to start from scratch on a new build area. Moving to a well-known area with good surrounding schools and families makes the idea of moving to an older property more desirable.

3. Sizing:

Older homes were built much bigger than the housing developments put up in recent years, rooms are more spacious and have bigger landing and hallway space. Gardens were also larger and less rigid than they are today.

4. Potential

Due to their space, the potential in older homes is huge. Yes, they may not be in the best condition when you first buy them but you have the opportunity to extend and re-design over the years.

5. Good investment

An older property is typically a good investment. Shop around and try to find a reasonably priced property that is likely to go up in value over the years. Speak to neighbours and see if their own home has increased.

Cons of older properties

Buying an older home can be daunting for potential buyers. Unlike a new build, the condition of the property depends purely on the previous homeowners and how much they looked after it over the years.

Below is a list of some of the cons of buying an older property:

1. Energy efficiency

Older properties tend to be more expensive to run than new builds as most weren’t built well-insulated or with double glazed windows. To upgrade the property to become more energy efficient will be an extra expense to you.

2. Improvement costs

Although you may pay less for an older property initially, the money you save will be more than likely used to renovate the home to how you want it. This could mean that you have to live in a property whilst it’s being redone or you have to move out, which could incur more costs until the property is liveable again.

3. Roots

Old trees, particularly those that were planted near the property can cause a big issue. They can affect the foundations of the house and be the start of subsidence, which if left untreated can be a huge cost to you.

4. Insurance

Older properties are sometimes more expensive to insure than new builds, as older homes pose more risks i.e. outdated electrical and plumbing systems and the stability of the house’s foundation.

All in all, after looking at both new builds and older properties there are pros and cons for both. It all depends on your budget, style and location. If you’re still unsure which one would be better for you, research both new builds and older properties in the area you’re looking to move to and see which one stands out. It is also advised that you make a list of things that are a must in a house. For example, if 3 bedrooms is a must then a new build might be too small for your family. Identifying what you really can’t live without will make the decision much easier.

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