New build vs old house: which is best?
Moving home can be a stressful period, so understanding the options available to you can lessen the load. For instance, are old houses better than new ones, or should you focus your attention on a contemporary build? We’ve outlined the benefits and drawbacks of moving to a new build vs old house, as well as key considerations you should be making, to help you come to a decision on your next home.
New build homes pros and cons
Whether you’re part exchanging or purchasing your first property, buying a new build can be an exciting and momentous occasion. To give you a better idea about whether a new development is the right purchase for you, we’ve framed the new build homes pros and cons.
Benefits of buying a new build
- A fresh start
The obvious benefit of buying a new build is its fresh and modern feel, designed with all the latest features. Similarly, a new home means a blank canvas for you to express your own personality and imprint your character throughout the property via your layout and design choices.
- Energy efficient
New homes are developed with an eye on efficiency, with well-insulated walls and double glazing often the norm. These features allow you to heat your home more quickly, and make saving on household bills that little bit easier.
- No property chains
A major hesitancy for many buyers is the prospect of entering a long and tiring property chain. However, buying a new build ensures you can move straight into the property. Smoothen the process even more, and remove the chain at your end, by selling your home to a property purchasing company, like Good Move, for a quick house sale.
- 10-year guarantee
New homes generally come with a decade-long building warranty assurance, which covers structural integrity and quality of building work. Before you commit, however, make sure you’re fully aware of the terms and some elements might expire before the ten-year mark.
Drawbacks to new build properties
- The waiting process
If you’re buying a home before it’s been fully built, you may have to accept potential delays or development difficulties that push the move-in date back. Similarly, you won’t be able to fully experience or see the finished product until you actually move in. You’ll likely be offered the opportunity to explore a show home, but it’s not yours!
- New builds are expensive
Built with modern specifications in mind, new builds are generally more expensive than their older counterparts, so expect a bigger hit to your budget.
- There’s no character
When moving into a new home, it’s important to consider how importantly you prioritise the charm and character of a building. Do you want a blank canvas, or would you rather a space rich in history and personality? If you favour the latter, a new build might not be for you.
Key pointers when buying a new build
If you’re buying a property off plan, that is before a developer has completed the build, there are a couple of key considerations you should be aware of:
Property developers are likely to lower the cost of a new home if it means guaranteeing a sale, rather than completing construction without a certain buyer, so don’t be afraid to negotiate on price. The earlier you show interest, the more likely you are to get a decent chunk chopped off of the cost.
- Use your imagination
If you’re exploring a show home, while your potential new house is being built, make sure you go in with an open mind. It isn’t your property, so don’t be put off by design or layout choices you don’t agree with. Try to focus on the space as a whole, and what you could make of it.
Buying old homes pros and cons
Are old houses better than new ones? It’s difficult to answer this question outright, so we’ve pulled together buying old homes pros and cons to help you determine whether a more traditional property is right for you.
Why you should buy an old home
- History and character
Whether you’re looking for original features, such as rustic exposed beaming or tall and impressive windows, or you’re after that priceless charm that only comes with time, old properties are renowned for offering charismatic personality.
- Spacious living
Grand-scale housing developments haven’t always been common, and older homes were generally built with more land attached to them. As such, traditional properties often come with more spacious rooms and bigger gardens to enjoy. This is especially helpful if you’re hunting for a home fit for the family.
Since older homes are likely to have been built with more surrounding land, rather than within a densely populated area, parking spots are unlikely to be at a premium. In fact, the chances are an older home will have space for at least a couple of cars on a personal driveway.
Old houses are usually built with nice, thick walls that offer a sturdy structure designed for resilience against the elements. Traditional homes have stood the test of time, and continue to hold up against weathering and wear and tear.
Old home drawbacks you should consider
- Inefficient insulation
Despite old houses generally being built with thicker walls, their structure can lead to drafts becoming commonplace. This makes insulating your home a little trickier, with each room taking longer to warm up.
- Wear and tear
While an old build’s external and structural resilience is a favourable factor, you should expect internal wear and tear or general signs of tiredness. From dated interiors and layouts to neglected features, damp, and leaks, you might be required to give an old home a little TLC to get it up to scratch.
- Specialist maintenance
When managing an older home, difficulty may arise when the time comes for renovation or repair; some vintage and traditional features or methods may not be commonly used today, so you might have to enlist the help of a specialist at a premium.
Things to remember when buying an old home
Whether you’re looking to better understand the history of a property or figure out if you should extend your budget to accommodate renovations, we’ve outlined the top three things to remember ahead of buying a new home:
- Ask questions
When buying an old build, make sure to enquire about the house’s condition, its history, and any major renovations that have been made. This information is all readily available, so equip yourself with all the facts before committing.
- Get a survey
Surveying a property is standard practice, but especially important when purchasing an old house. A survey highlights any irregularities or potential repairs you might need to make when you move in.
- Budget for renovations
Even if you’re happy with the survey, and nothing untoward crops up, it’s always better to be prepared with a little extra money for potential renovations and repairs. The house might not have any particularly glaring concerns, but the chances are you might want to update and modernise a little anyway.
As far as new build vs old house goes, each comes with its own merits. So, it’s important that you weigh up the benefits of each, and consider which factors you prioritise most strongly. For more buying guidance, selling advice, and all the latest industry news, explore our blog.