It’s the age old question when it comes to purchasing a house: Do I choose a new build or old build home? Well, that really depends on what you’re looking for in terms of key factors such as style, budget and location.
Some people prefer the quintessential charm and stability of an older existing property, whereas others want a more modern, low maintenance home that’s ready to be moved into.
If you’re still deciding whether a new build or old build home is right for you, we’ve put together a useful list looking at the pros and cons of each to help you find the perfect place to call home.
Pros of a new build house
- A blank canvas
One of the main appeals to buying a new build is that you can customise it however you wish, without the need of renovation work.
If you are purchasing off-plan, some house builders will give you the option of choosing your own fittings, furnishings and colour schemes too.
- Energy efficient
New build homes are designed to comply with the latest building regulations. This means better insulation for the walls, floors and loft, double-glazed windows and modern appliances are standard to make them as energy efficient as possible.
- 10 year warranty
Most new homes in the UK come with a 10 year warranty and insurance guarantee – something you don’t get with existing properties.
A warranty may provide cover on any major structural defects or construction issues, from faulty pipes or electrical wiring, to unsealed windows and any issues with the house’s foundations, roofs and ceilings for example.
- No housing chain
With a new build property, the buying process is hassle-free as there are no housing chains to hold you back from moving in, so you can unpack and enjoy your new home straight away.
Cons of a new build house
- New Build Premium
Like new cars, houses are normally sold with a hefty “new build premium”; this is an element of value which is essentially lost as soon as the house is occupied. A premium of around 10% is quite normal when you compare a brand new house to a very similar one which has been occupied for a few years, (although this figure can alter drastically from development to development).
Mortgage offers are usually valid for up to six months, however if there are unexpected delays or problems regarding the construction of your new build home, your offer may expire.
This can change the move-in date to be a couple of days or weeks behind schedule. People may also have to find alternative accommodation in the meantime, which will lead to extra costs on rent and storage.
Unfortunately, new builds get a bad reputation for a lack of quality. This can be exacerbated during times of high house construction where shortages of skilled trades can result in corners being cut. You may expect snagging issues such as loose tiles, uneven surfaces, scratches to doors and windows, or improper plastering and paintwork.
It’s best to get a snagging survey done before you move in so that the builder can correct any minor or major defects, saving you money in the long-run.
Finally, more than often, new builds tend to lack character in comparison to older period properties.
This is because developers like to maximise profits by fitting as many houses on one site and ensuring each property is uniformed in the plot space provided, meaning they’re a lot less spacious too.
Pros of an old build house
- Unique style
From grand Georgian and Victorian terraced houses, to the charm of a suburban 1930s dwelling, old build houses are rich with history and unique features such as ornate fireplaces, stained glass windows and porches that really makes them stand out to buyers.
It’s all about location, location, location. Modern homes are built on newly developed land that does not have an established neighbourhood, and usually placed on the outskirts of the main town.
Older properties are surrounded by a community of homeowners who have lived in the area for years. They are also nearby important amenities such as shops, schools and public transport, making it easier to commute to work.
Typically, older homes were built with spacious rooms, high ceilings and big gardens, which is ideal for growing families and to cater to our modern storage needs.
Cons of an old build house
- Renovation & redecoration
When moving into an older existing property, you may want to start renovating or redecorating to make it look and feel more modern, like fitting a new bathroom or kitchen. This is one disadvantage you’ll have to consider regarding your budget.
- Less energy efficient
Older houses are commonly less energy efficient than their newer counterparts. Depending on the age of the house and when it was built, there could be a number of reasons – from poorer heating systems which make it harder to heat up an entire house, galvanized pipes that are prone to rusting, a lack of wall insulation or single glazed windows instead of doubled/tripled.
- Maintenance costs
As a result, the cost of maintenance and general upkeep is likely to add up, resulting in higher monthly costs and repair work to fix certain features in order for the house to run like a well-oiled machine.
So, whether you decide to buy a new build or old build house, the experts at Torus Chartered Surveyors in Altrincham can help you get the most out of your preferred property.
We provide comprehensive Home Survey services to first-time buyers, existing homeowners and property developers across North Cheshire and Greater Manchester, including Help To Buy valuations, RICS Condition and HomeBuyer Reports, and RICS Building Surveys.
For advice and more information, please call 0161 929 7892 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All enquiries are welcome and a friendly member of our team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.