New build homes and older properties both have varying qualities that are desirable depending on your moving requirements. New homes generally need less maintenance and are more energy efficient, while older homes have more character and charm.
To work out whether to buy a new build or an older property, you should think about what you want in a property. Do you want somewhere that is low maintenance and keeps warm easily in the winter, but comes with less charm and less of a garden? Or would you prefer a characterful property with thick walls and ample parking, but could be susceptible to leaks, wear and tear?
Compared to modern new builds, many period properties are surprisingly spacious. Room sizes are large despite often having low ceilings, and Georgian properties are huge, so no need to worry about whether your furniture will fit in.
Many modern properties are now made with breezeblocks and plasterboard, whereas older properties have thick walls made of brick or stone. These thicker walls mean homes are kept cool in summer, and warm in winter. They are also great sound insulators, making them the perfect home for musicians.
Period properties are more likely to have ample parking and long driveways. New build estates are carefully planned out to maximise space, and therefore communal parking areas are common. In the past, huge developments were less common, and multiple cars per property not an issue, so homes were often surrounded by open land instead.
Often when a home is first built the home owners may find a few snags or defects. But with a home that has stood for decades, or even hundreds of years, the past owners will have been alerted to and already fixed any issues.
In general, older properties come with larger gardens. New builds now come with very little outside space – just enough to sit at a table and maybe have a small section of grass or some potted plants.
The soil in these gardens is also substandard, comprising mostly of compacted sub-soil, in which you may find it hard to grow plants.
Benefits of New Build Homes
There are now regulations set on builders to ensure that properties are as energy efficient as possible. This means new builds are well insulated with cavity wall foam and double-glazing. As a result, these homes are cheaper to run.
A Blank Canvas
If you are looking to put your stamp on a property then a new build is perfect for you, as it comes as a blank canvas. Often home buyers are able to choose everything from the carpet colours and kitchen style if they buy early enough in the construction phase.
Moving into a new property means there is no waiting for someone to move out. There is no moving chain, so getting into your new home should be hassle and stress free.
With a new property comes financial options. You could apply to the UK’s help to buy scheme, or why not look for a developer offering a deal including cash back or free landscaping.
A new build home will come with a 10 year warranty, so if anything was to break, the developer is obliged to have it fixed ASAP for you.
New Build or Old Build?
New build homes might be a better option if you are a family or thinking about starting a family, as these properties are built to the latest health and safety regulations. Bringing up children, you may also be a little strapped for cash when maintenance is needed. A warranty from the builder is very much welcome for this kind of situation.
That’s not to say period and older homes aren’t good for families. Older homes can be great places for adventure when you’re younger. Older homes also offer plenty of scope for development, whereas new-builds are in a pristine show-room condition, with everything done for you.