New vs Older Property: Which to Buy?

So, you’re ready to buy a property. But do you choose an older one or a new build? 

Making the decision between the two can be tricky. On the one hand, older properties are steeped in history, while on the other, new builds are freshly made and ready to become your own. 

If you’re torn, here are some pros and cons to help you decide. 

Old properties: the pros

There are plenty of reasons to consider purchasing an older house. One of these is the stories, charm, and character that they bring. Original features, such as parquet floors and stained glass windows give these older homes a unique identity that can’t be found in new builds. Depending on the type of property, there’s the potential to uncover old fireplaces in bedrooms and bells used for the servants. 

Another major plus point is that they are generally cheaper. This might be because they need some renovation work, or it might be that it’s in an area that’s not attracting the higher prices. If you love the idea of a project, this could be a bargain that’s waiting to be snapped up. 

In fact, being able to see beyond any renovation work that needs to be done can mean you’re making a smart investment. Once revamped, you might want to sell and you could get an excellent resale value.  

Old properties: the cons

while having a project could be exactly what you’re looking for, you do run the risk over spending more than you budget for on repairs. Older properties are more inclined to be damp or mouldy and have woodworm, and, depending on how extensive this is, you could find that you have to rip up floorboards and call in the experts to paint and replaster – all of which costs money. 

If you were buying this older property as an investment for the future, mould and damp are a major consideration. According to furniture specialists Hammonds, mould or damp on the walls put off almost two-thirds (62%) of potential buyers. 

Another issue with older properties is the regulations in place. There may be old planning conditions to factor in or the building may be listed, so you can’t do the work you’d like to do. 

New properties: the pros

New properties are ready-made just for you. You can move right in without worrying about having to do any renovation work. 

You can also decide if you want to revamp a space and this can usually be easily done. For instance, if you want to add a walk-in wardrobe or build a dedicated office now that we’re all working from home, that can be easily arranged as new builds tend to be a blank canvas. 

Also, if you’re buying a property so you can rent it out, you’re more likely to attract tenants. This is because they are more inclined towards a property that they can live in without having to complain about damp or mould – and damp and mould are less of an issue when the property is brand new. 

Newer properties also often have modern features. They’ll be made with energy efficiency in mind, with solar panels and eco-friendly materials, include security systems, and other features that the modern house buyer is looking for. 

New properties: the cons

New builds are often expensive. The more innovative the property, the bigger the price tag. As these houses are already built using these contemporary techniques and details, you can’t negotiate on the price that comes with these innovations. 

Also, there’s not much character to these properties. They are all standard sizes in similar layouts to the houses next door. 

Ultimately, the house you buy will come down to your personal taste, your budget, and your vision for the future. 

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