If you’re looking for a property to buy, you will probably have an idea of what you would like. But maybe trying to decide whether to buy a new build or a period property is proving tricky. If so, we have put together a pros and cons list to try and help guide your way to a decision.
Benefits of a new build property
New build properties can be a great decision, especially for buyers looking to take advantage of the help to buy scheme. And here are some of the reasons why.
Guaranteed to make you smile!
Most new builds now come with a 10 year warranty and a 2 year developer warranty. This gives you peace of mind, that there is accountability to fix issues, should there be any teething problems.
Can be kinder on your wallet
There are a few reasons this might be the case. There tends to be fewer big costs associated with a new build, for example, the windows and doors should all be new and therefore won’t need replacing. New builds are also built to higher energy efficiency standards too, saving you money on bills in the long run!
Depending on who you buy from and your budget, a lot of modern new builds are fitted with the latest appliances, many with ‘smart home’ features and accessible layouts. Things like USB plug sockets and lights that connect to an app can be found all over the UK.
Personalise to your taste
With a lot of new builds which are still in progress, you are often asked to choose the fittings and fixtures to personalise the finish to your taste. In some cases you can even have a say in the layout. This means you have a say in creating the blank canvas that you can put your own stamp on once you have moved in.
Safe as houses…
Modern new builds are required to be built adhering to strict regulations. Amongst other things, they use the latest fire-resistant technology, along with windows that also provide escape routes to ensure your safety.
Especially for first time buyers, when buying a new build there is no forward chain to consider. You won’t have to deal with the emotional rollercoaster that is praying for everyone else’s sales to go smoothly, which is a big part of the stress of buying a house!
Cons of a new build
Like with anything, there are also some cons to purchasing a new build.
Although there is no forward chain to the purchase, the backwards chain (if you aren’t a first time buyer) could mean that you have to find alternative accommodation before being able to move into your new house if the sale on your property completes before your new build home is ready. Even if you’ve been given a date you can move in, things happen and delays occur so it’s definitely something to think about.
If you’re purchasing a new build property which has yet to be built, it can be a challenge to visualise the space you’re going to have, and what storage this can accommodate to house all of your belongings. Some people find it easy to visualise, while others struggle to imagine what the show home could look like once you’ve moved in.
Sometimes, like when buying a brand new car, the price of the new build is slightly higher than an established build. This can be attributed to the fact you can move in and enjoy your house straight away, rather than having to decorate or do work to the rooms first. You may also find that the value drops shortly after purchase, before then hopefully increasing.
Period property benefits
So what are the advantages of purchasing an older property?
It’s got roots
With an established period property, you know that it’s been there for years, and therefore unless other buildings of similar standing locally have started to have issues, it’s unlikely that there will be structural issues. (Although it’s still important to get a professional opinion in the form of a survey!)
Character like no other
With older properties you get less of a copy and paste vibe from not only the outside, but the inside too. Large stone, old beams, quirky doorways, original fireplaces. To some, this less than clinical look is off-putting, but to others features like this create a warm and homely feeling that make a house a home.
The bigger the better
When you look at an older house, you will more than likely get more land for your money. Back when older houses were built, there weren’t so many people looking for homes and therefore there wasn’t the need to fit quite as many into a small plot of land as there is now. You are also likely to find higher ceilings and larger gardens, too.
Making a house a home
Unlike with new builds, you may be able to change the property by adding an extension, or changing the layout, to really make the space work for you once you’ve lived there for a while. Looking around at what the other properties have had added to them may help you make this decision. The addition of space, or change of layout may also contribute to an increase in value.
Period property: the cons
As with most things, as they age, they need a bit of TLC to restore them to their former glory. Unfortunately the parts that normally deteriorate with houses are the bits that could throw some unexpected costs your way. Things like windows, doors, boilers and roofs in an older property can be expensive to fix or replace.
If the property has listed status, there will be rules you have to follow when changing anything. You will almost certainly have to get permission to change anything on the outside and also to change the layout of your property on the inside.
Buying an older property generally means that you will more than likely be part of a chain, and therefore it can make purchasing a house more stressful. Longer chains mean longer sale times, the longer the sale takes to go through, the more opportunity there is for things to go wrong.
Older houses aren’t as energy efficient due to older methods of building and materials that aren’t made using the latest energy efficient technologies. This could pose an issue, particularly if you think you might like to let out your property at some point, as government regulations stipulate that rental properties with new tenancies should adhere to a minimum energy efficiency standard and work to bring older buildings up to standard can be costly.
Looking to buy?
We have a whole section on our website dedicated to buyers. Everyone is different, and whether you're a young couple looking to purchase your first home, or you're retiring and looking to downsize - we're hereto help.