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Should You Buy A New Build Or Older Home?

You may be wondering, should I buy a new build, or an older home? There are pros and cons of new build homes and old properties, and it also depends on your personal preference, budget, location and whether you need to sell your house quick.

Before you make a final decision, there are a few things to consider. For instance, if you’ve always wanted to live in a house with high ceilings and original features, a new build property is not for you. But, if you want a low maintenance house that is ready to move in to, then buying a house before it’s built could be the answer.

Advantages of buying a new build house

To answer the burning question on homeowners’ lips, “should I buy a new build”, we have listed the main benefits of purchasing a new property. These include:

  • It is brand new! Everything is clean and untouched with no need to decorate – just unpack and go.
  • Buyers can often select the fixtures and fittings to customise the finish to their taste.
  • It is more energy efficient, saving you money. Often, double-glazing, insulated roofs and airtight doors are installed as standard.
  • Some builders offer incentives such as deals on stamp duty and cash back. They also offer a 10-year warranty from the National House Building Council (NHBC).

Photo credit: MKLato/Shutterstock

Drawbacks of buying a new build house

When purchasing a new home, there are certain things you must avoid. These are the following reasons whether you should not buy a new build property:

  • It’s hard to know whether your furniture will fit inside. Some new homes are quite small so you need to check that you have space for your wardrobes.
  • Make sure you know what’s included in the price. Is that shiny high spec kitchen standard or will it cost you extra? Are carpets and flooring included? Gardens are often smaller too and don’t always come with a lawn.
  • Before completion, you will undoubtedly need to go through the new home snagging stage, which can be incredibly tedious. This is when you give the builders a list of things that need to replaced or fixed before you move in. You can do this yourself, or employ a snagging company to do it for you.
  • New homes are not always situated in the best locations, as they are usually built on the outskirts of town. This may mean owning a car is a necessity, which may be an extra expense you do not want.

Photo credit: JeniFoto / Shutterstock

Advantages of buying an old house

The benefits of owning an old home instead of purchasing a new build include:

  • Older properties tend to have more character and traditional features, such as a fireplace, articulate coving and picture rails.
  • Rooms in old houses are generally bigger with plenty of storage, unlike new builds where they are often small and cramped. Outside spaces are also larger with more room to entertain and let the children run around.

Drawbacks of buying an old house

As much as everyone loves an old property, they can come with drawbacks. The disadvantages of old homes include:

  • If the house is old and occupied by elderly homeowners, it may need completely modernising. This could mean the re-wiring, plumbing and replacing the kitchen and bathroom. Not to mention the roof may also need replacing – this will be checked by your surveyor.
  • More often than not, an old house will need renovating or decorating to make it your own. This is fine if you don’t mind the inconvenience of living in the house while the work is completed.

Whether you prefer old or new as long as you have done your homework and know the costs involved, either one could become your dream home.

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