When it comes to the decision of buying a new home, there will be a decision of whether you want a new build property or an older property.
In fact, it can be one of the first things that will come to your mind, as it can determine the areas that you look, and so on. While one isn’t better than the other, it all depends on your family, your circumstances, as well as the budget that you are looking at. So taking a look at some of the pros and cons of buying a new build property, and then looking at what some of the advantages and disadvantages of buying an older home are, can help to give you a bit of balance and then you can think about what may be right for you.
There is a shortage of homes and the government is trying to do something about it, as you don’t have to look too far from you to see somewhere like a Redrow new build estate or something similar close by to you. So there is a big focus on building new homes for people (especially first-time buyers). There are also some incentives to encourage more and more people to buy and get on the property ladder, with things like Help to Buy or Shared Ownership. So if this sounds like something you’d like to be doing, and getting ‘on the ladder’ sooner rather than later, then this post is for you. The real question is, what kind of property will you choose?
Some Advantages of a New Build Property
So the question is, why buy a brand new home? Does a brand new home even appeal to you? First-time buyers tend to be the main target for new builds, but anyone looking to downsize, relocate, or those with growing families, have many reasons to want to buy a new build.
- Chain free
If you have heard horror stories of people in the process of buying a home and then ‘the chain’ falling through, then having a home that is chain-free can be incredibly appealing. And when you buy a home straight from the builder, there will be chains, so it can take an element of stress out of the move.
There are several new build properties that can be bought with some of the government’s schemes, as mentioned above. There can also be some other incentives that a housebuilder can offer, such as added extras for free, or have the builders pay things like stamp duty.
One of the most appealing things about buying a new home, is that in the UK, new homes tend to be covered by a warranty, usually up to ten years. So if there are any problems because of how it was built, they can be quickly dealt with and fixed, at no cost to you.
- Energy Efficiency
Because new homes are built to a high standard and are built with new and modern materials, it can mean that the home is well insulated, making it much more energy-efficient than older homes. This can save you some money, for sure.
Some Disadvantages of a New Build
If you will be getting a mortgage to buy the house, then it is important to remember that mortgage offers only tend to be valid for six months. And if there are delays with the build which can be common, then it could put a delay on getting your mortgage and making the sale.
Although a new build estate is likely to have properties of all sizes, they will all have a pretty similar look to one another. So for some, they feel that new builds lack a bit of character as they can all look the same.
- Less Space
It makes sense for a homebuilder to get as much out of the space they have for building homes. So as a result, these homes can be a little on the smaller side, especially when it comes to gardens and parking.
One thing to do before you complete on a new build home is to do a snagging check. This can be anything from a door not closing properly to needing a lightswitch moving. Because the homes are built-on mass, there can be snagging issues from time to time. Do the checks before you move in, and it will help your maintenance costs in the long-term (unless it is something that goes wrong and is covered by the warranty).
- Service Charge
There is something that not everyone is familiar with when it comes to new build homes, and that is that there tends to be a service charge for the upkeep of the estate. Although, older homes tend to cost more to run, adding the service charge in can make the costs roughly the same.
Some of the Advantages of an Older Home
This isn’t going to be high up on everyone’s list, but an older home will have had time to create a bit of an identity, through the classic craftsmanship that occurred when the home was built, and they are likely to be much more unique. In comparison, new homes can be a little bit more ‘cookie cutter,’ but of course, there are advantages to that as well. Homes can have some history too, and for many, can be a huge selling point. Plus, there may be an established neighborhood, unlike a new build community, because as you can imagine, everyone is new.
The purchase price of a house that is a little older can often be negotiable, and the prices given are often a guide price. Because of something you have looked at like the condition of the home, or things that have come up when you did a survey, you could offer less than the guide price. So more wiggle room for your budget.
Typically, depending on where the older home, is, it is likely to have more space and storage than a new build home has. You just have to drive around some new build estates to see homes that are quite cramped together, with small gardens and very little parking. Space can be something that is appealing for growing families, plus the fact that it will mean more scope to extend the property if needed.
Some Disadvantages of an Older Home
The disadvantages of an older home are often going to be the advantages of a new home. And one of those things is that with an older home, there is likely to be a chain in the selling process. If all goes well when coming to sell it won’t be an issue. But when things go wrong, it can be a real pain.
New build homes are more modern, and as a result, will come with more modern things like high-performance locks and alarms as a standard. You can add these to an older home, but can cost you to do so.
- Maintenance and Renovations
Renovations and extensions will all add up for an older home, especially if you need to do something big like changing insulation in the roof or walls. The cost of the general upkeep of an older home can really vary, depending on just how old the home is, but it does tend to be more than a new build.
As you can see, there really are a range of things to be thinking about when it comes to buying a home; do you have a preference?
Disclosure: This is a partnered post.