New-build homes versus older homes

New-build homes versus older homes

By Annabel Dixon

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

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. So we've drawn up advantages for both new-build homes and older properties to give you a helping hand.

The benefits of new-build homes

1. New-build homes often offer incentives and benefits

The government has a number of schemes designed to offer a boost to buyers.

The Help to Buy loan equity scheme helps first-time buyers and home movers with a 5% deposit buy a new-build home. 

The First Homes scheme offers first-time buyers and key workers a 30% discount on new-build homes. 

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

Find out more about the First Homes scheme and Help to Buy equity scheme.

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 getting gazumped! And if you are a first-time buyer, you will have nothing to sell either.

3. New-build homes are more eco-friendly

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

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

The latest mod cons mean top safety and security measures should be in place. These typically include fire safety, locks on doors and windows, lighting and security alarms.

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.

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 to for that office video call just as soon as you’ve unpacked.

See new homes for sale

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. 

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

Older properties tend to be found in already-established locations. That means you'll be able to look back at the property's value over time. 

Visit My Home to see a home's previous sales history

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?

4. You can make major changes to an older home

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.

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.

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.