When deciding which house is right for you, you may have to choose between a new or older building. Both types of property have their advantages and disadvantages, and we’ve listed some of these below in order to help you decide what kind of home is best for you.
Reasons to buy an older home
Neighbourhood - Because most existing properties are located in an established neighbourhood, buying an older home could not only offer the opportunity to get to know your new neighbours before you move in, but also the possibility of having an established Neighbourhood Watch action group maintaining the safety and well-being of occupants.
Character – Having been lived in is likely to have given an older property a sense of character and a unique history. You could be a fan of the previous owner’s work in the garden or simply like the idea of living in a house with period features.
Negotiating power – The purchase price of an existing home is negotiable between the buyer and seller, and the mutually agreed price could even be influenced by the owner’s desire to sell and move on.
Reasons to buy a new home
Personal taste – A new build offers a clean slate to its first owners as you’ll be able to fit your home with the tiling, flooring and decorating that you desire. This may not be so easy to do with an existing property as you would essentially need to ‘undo’ the decorations and fittings of the previous owner, and this could prove to be considerable work.
No moving chain – Purchasing an existing home means you will be a part of a moving-chain, and this could threaten your completion date. With a new build, this stress is avoided as there is no uncertainty over the move-out date of previous owners (however, delays in the completion of the building work could affect your move-in date).
High specifications – Because new homes have to comply with the latest building regulations – such as the most up-to-date heating systems and insulations – they are more likely to be fitted with modern, high-specification appliances and materials. This is highly advantageous because it means you will be able to settle straight in to your new home rather than worrying about potentially expensive maintenance costs and DIY.
A new community – The idea of joining a new and emerging community may appeal to you more than joining an established neighbourhood because it offers the opportunity to make new friends who are in a similar situation to you. If that’s the case, then a new build is certainly advantageous.
Energy efficiency – Living in an energy-efficient home can save you hundreds of pounds each year on energy bills, and, on average, new-build homes are six times more energy efficient than their older counterparts with each household generating around 60% less CO2 emissions.
Warranties – Because there are some problems associated with new-build properties, around 80% of them carry the NHBC (National House Building Council) 10-year warranty, which means that your home is automatically insured against these problems.
Leasehold – New-build homes are often sold for longer leaseholds, which means that buying one could save you money as you do not need to spend money renewing a lease.
As listed above, there are pros and cons for purchasing a new-build property and also for buying an existing home; you’ll need to carefully consider what matters most to you in your new house in order to make the right decision for you.