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New-build homes versus older homes

Unsure whether to go for a new-build or a period property? Here are the advantages of brand new and existing homes.

Guest Author
Words by: Annabel Dixon


Do you prefer a shiny new-build home or an older property full of history and character?

There's no right or wrong answer. It all comes down to what is important to you.

But it's not always an easy decision to make. We've drawn up the advantages of both new-build homes and older properties to give you a helping hand.

The benefits of new-build homes

1. You can get financial help to buy a new-build home

The government has several schemes designed to offer a boost to buyers of new-build homes.

The three main schemes for new build buyers are:

House builders also offer incentives and benefits to buyers. These can include things like:

  • Paying your stamp duty or deposit

  • Free fixtures and fittings, white goods, interior design advice or landscaping

  • Part-exchange deals, where they buy your existing home and sell it on

  • Assisted sale, where they help to sell your existing property. 

It's worth speaking to house builders directly, as they may have further buyer incentives and benefits in place.

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2. You can buy your new home chain-free

If you're buying direct from a house builder, you won't risk getting stuck in a property chain - or being gazumped.

This can speed things up and reduce the stress of moving house, as you're not relying on anyone but the house builder.

3. New-build homes are more eco-friendly

Many new-build homes are designed with green credentials in mind – and that means cheaper bills.

New research shows that new build homeowners will save an average of £2,500 a year on energy bills when the Energy Price Guarantee increases on 1 April 2023.

Good levels of insulation and high-efficiency heating systems help to cut down on carbon emissions, while the inclusion of A+ rated white goods also reduce energy consumption.

Double or triple glazing, low energy lighting and dual flushes to reduce water usage are installed in many properties as standard.

Additional features such as bike storage and electric car charging points encourage greener living, while eco-friendly considerations such as tree planting and the creation of bee and bird-friendly environments may also be featured in developments.

4. New-builds are safe and secure

Thanks to the high building standards now required of new-build homes, top safety and security measures will be in place when you buy.

These typically include fire safety, locks on doors and windows, lighting and security alarms.

The security of new-build homes can mean your buildings and contents insurance will be cheaper.

5. Your home comes with a warranty

The vast majority of new-build homes are covered by the National House Building Council’s (NHBC) 10-year warranty.

In fact, more than 90% of new homes built in the UK are covered under warranty by various providers.

A warranty can help you secure a mortgage, as well as giving you peace of mind and potentially save you money on repairs in the long-term.

There is also a Consumer Code designed to protect buyers of new-builds.

6. You can make it your own off-plan

Many developers work off-plan, which enables buyers to have some input into the design of their home.

Extra plug points for kitchen laptop working? All taken care of.

Essentially, a new-build property will also be move-in ready, so there’s no need to spend time redecorating your new living space.

You’ll be ready for that WFH video call as soon as you’ve unpacked.

7. Family-friendly locations

Many house developers aim to not just build new homes, but create a sense of community and belonging for the residents.

New-build home developments often boast convenient locations on the edge of towns, close to schools, nurseries and supermarkets.

For some developments, they'll contribute to the expansion of local schools or even fund a brand new school.

Some also focus on building green spaces to support local ecosystems and have a positive impact on wellness.

Find a new-build home

Looking for a sparkling new-build home? We've got thousands to choose from.

The benefits of older homes

1. Older homes are bursting with character

If history and character are important to you, an older period home may be right up your street.

There might be a particular type of older home that you love, whether it's Georgian townhouses or Victorian terraces.

From sash windows to ornate fireplaces, period features are a major pull for many buyers.

2. You can track the value of older homes over time

There's plenty of snooping you can do on older properties to see how they - and their value - has changed over time.

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Looking at a property's history can help you decide if it'll be a good purchase for you and if you can expect its value to rise further.

3. You can research the condition before buying

Most older homes come with quirks but you're unlikely to get any major surprises if you carry out a property survey and examine the pre-sale searches.

What type of survey do I need?

If you're on the hunt for a project home, a survey means you can be safe in the knowledge that it's structurally sound - and maybe even get a bargain price.

4. You can make major changes - and add value

While you may have bought the property for its character, this doesn't mean you can't make alterations.

From major structural work to smaller jobs to improve the property's aesthetics and boost its eco credentials, there's plenty of scope to put your stamp on it and add value.

Period properties were built for a different time, so extending the kitchen or converting the garage could see you add a tidy sum onto the value of your home.

Find out what your home's worth

5. Your utilities are already connected

Broadband, energy and other utility deals should be straightforward to sign up, with these services already set up by the previous owner.

However, it's usually worth checking if you can switch to get a cheaper deal.

How to set up gas and electricity when you move house

6. An older house means an established garden

An established garden is likely to hold some colourful surprises when it comes into bloom in summer.

Some older homes have larger plots too, simply because more space was available when they were built. It's not always the case, but it can mean an older home gives you more privacy and expansion options.

7. Established locations

Older homes tend to enjoy locations closer to town and city centres, whereas new builds often sit on the outskirts.

It depends on what you like from your location, but the central location of older homes can be convenient and save you both fuel and time.

Ready to find your dream home?

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We try to make sure that the information here is accurate at the time of publishing. But the property market moves fast and some information may now be out of date. Zoopla Property Group accepts no responsibility or liability for any decisions you make based on the information provided.