Deciding whether to buy a new or old property is a question faced by most house hunters.
Do you opt for the period property with it’s charming features and character, or do you go for the new build that offers low-maintenance living from the start?
Each individual house has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages and new doesn’t always mean best.
However, housebuilders like ourselves are pushing boundaries in terms of architectural style and finish. Gone are the days of the ‘box’ design and instead exclusive developments are being created in desirable locations, that are energy efficient, boast fabulous contemporary designs and have excellent build quality.
Here are some of the real advantages to consider:
1. It’s exactly that… brand new!
A new build house is exactly that: brand new. No one has lived there previously so there’s no wear and tear to deal with when you move in.
Each previous owner of an older property will have changed it slightly to suit them as well as making improvements and repairs.
In some cases, people won’t have maintained the property correctly meaning you can inherit some nasty surprises in the form of costly renovation.
A new build is a blank canvas ready for you to make your mark.
Typically, new build properties are presented in a neutral fashion which you may still need to pay for decoration to give it some personality.
However, the real benefit is that you aren’t having to undo someone else’s work or living style.
In some homes, you may be able to choose fixtures and fittings depending on how far the build is in progress.
For instance, you might be able to choose your entire kitchen, tiles in bathrooms and en suites, as well as carpets or flooring.
You may be able to have some say in the configuration of a home when it’s a new build property depending at what stage you get involved in the purchase.
For example, you may be able to choose to have extra storage added, a larger utility room or a particular feature you require.
You can usually upgrade to more superior fixtures and finishes, if you so wish.
Buying a new build home, there can be the benefit of not having to compromise on what you really want.
You simply do not get that kind of flexibility or choice when you move into an older property.
When considering the pros and cons, those buying a period home will usually always find there’s something they don’t like or want to change.
3. Peace of mind
With a new build home, the property will be covered by a trusted warranty provider, such as LABC Warranty this is usually applicable for a 10 year term.
This gives you protection against something going wrong including structural defects.
Once the property is built, the warranty is split into two periods – the defects insurance period, which covers the first two years, and the structural insurance period which covers years three to 10.
It doesn’t cover all problems, however, so always read the small print.
Appliances included with new build properties will also have their own warranties, usually for at least two years.
You don’t get this kind of cover against problems arising when you buy an existing property and you would have to pay yourself to get them sorted out.
4. Built for today’s living
How we live now compared to decades ago has changed dramatically. A new build property is built with today’s living in mind. Space tends to be open plan and multi-functional.
A living room will incorporate a family’s needs offering a space, say, adequate for cooking, eating, watching TV and children doing homework, all in a single open area.
There will be areas for working from home, much more a requirement now, since the Covid pandemic.
New builds tend to come with easy access to the outdoors. Bi-fold or sliding doors will lead to big terraces and patios with space for a barbeque and tables and chairs.
This has been included to meet the growing demand of buyers wanting to enjoy the outdoors as much as the indoors.
Bedrooms will come with large en suites as well as a family bathroom, something period properties don’t always have space for.
New houses will also accommodate owners’ need to have a car or two.
With this in mind, these homes will provide ample driveways and parking, again something period style homes often don’t have.
Your new home should be spotless with no need to pay for a deep clean because the previous owners have left it in a mess.
There’s also nothing left over from previous occupants; for example, any discarded items or rubbish left which you have to deal with.
Every room is empty and ready to live in with pristine carpets or floors.
All your kitchen appliances are shiny and sparkling, having never been used before.
You have the peace of mind that it’s clean.
6. Low maintenance
Buying a new house will generally require less immediate maintenance.
Features such as self-cleaning ovens and wipe clean floors mean a new house can be a lot easier to keep dirt-free.
You won’t need help in getting the exterior painted or repointed as soon as you move in.
You’ll also have a new roof and gutters.
When considering the advantages and disadvantages, many new build homes are generally much easier to maintain.
This gives you more time to enjoy the things you love rather than having to employ a cleaner or get out the duster or a paintbrush yourself on a regular basis.
New houses can incorporate all the latest technology such as underfloor heating and smart technology in terms of heating, lighting and music, all remotely controlled.
AI and smart home technology are becoming a major feature of the way we live and new build properties can fully incorporate this along with all the required wiring and infrastructure during the build.
An older property is less easy to adapt to being able to offer new technology.
Improved technology also means better security; new build homes will have properly fitted locks and at the top end of the scale, sophisticated CCTV and video entry devices.
Although you can add technology to a period home, it’s a lot easier to move into a property where it’s all been put in at various stages of the build.
8. Environmentally friendly
A positive of buying a new build is that it will be built to exacting standards in terms of heating and ventilation.
Many new builds are now being created to a ‘passivhaus’ standard, built to reduce your energy bills to a minimum, offering impressive energy efficiency.
Solar panels can be incorporated, not always easy on period houses because of their rooflines.
You end up with a home that is really warm in the winter and cool in the summer, saving you on bills and aiding the environment too.
The EPC, energy performance certificate, will usually be an A or B meaning peace of mind that you aren’t going to have to replace insulation or put in draught-proofing as you often need to when buying a period property.
Data from EPCs shows 82% of new homes from January to March 2020, were given an A or B rating.
When buying a property, its Energy Performance Certificate will indicate any improvements needed and with period properties, these can be costly.
Even if you aren’t buying a ‘passivhaus’ a modern home should include energy efficient features as standard such as double or even triple glazed widows, insulated walls and doors.
9. Outside space
Most new houses will come with a garden that has been newly laid to lawn, fenced, often using something more aesthetically pleasing such as willow panels and with flower borders dug and sometimes even landscaped.
So, you are not inheriting an overgrown garden which needs trees and bushes cutting back as you can with a property that isn’t a new build.
Rather than spend your first few weekends getting a gardener in, you can simply enjoy it.
Plot sizes do vary but new build developments might provide an ideal lifestyle for all kinds of buyers.
Developers like ourselves usually create gardens that can be seen from the main rooms meaning you can keep an eye on children playing.
You’ll also have peace of mind in that the garden will be secure.
10. Easier to buy with restrictions in place and no chain
Buying a new build can be easier in that you can view the property without any sellers.
With buying new build properties, you are buying with no onward chain, which can make the move a lot easier, quicker and less stressful.
When you’ve put in an offer, you also don’t have the risk of being gazumped or a seller pulling out.
Having no chain gives you more ability to negotiate on moving in when you want to without the pressure of having to tie in with the people selling.
When buying a new home, usually developments will have sales offices, open at the weekends, which can make choosing fittings and fixtures or simply revisiting the property to check sizes of rooms a lot easier.
11. Sense of community
When you buy new, you are often buying into a ready-made community.
A new house can be part of an exclusive development and the developer will have also factored in proximity to shops, amenities such as a doctor’s surgery and schools.
If there aren’t such facilities, new ones may be being built as part of the overall development so you could end up with really good services and shops, all in one place and in walking distance.
Some new houses will come with communal facilities such as a park, community hub, gym or swimming pool complex.
In some developments, there may even be a concierge meaning there is someone on hand to take parcels and post for you in your absence.
12. Extra incentives when buying a new build property
Even with top-end new homes, developers often still offer incentives to buy.
You can get appliances included, secure a discount or sometimes negotiate a part-exchange deal all as part of the sale.
Schemes that offer financial help also tend to be exclusively for new-build homes. Or take advantage of the many mortgage offers specific to new-builds or energy efficient homes.
These additional extras aren’t usually something you can get with an existing property.
So, there are many positives of buying a new build property, particularly right now.
The process of buying a new house can be very much easier, with no chain, and you can end up with a home much more tailored to your needs and modern way of living.