Should I Buy A New House Or An Old House?
The housing stock in London is very varied, a real mixture of modern and period architecture, ranging from modernist tower blocks, Georgian stucco-fronted mansions, Victorian terraced houses and brand-new river facing apartments. It can be tricky to decide whether you should buy a new house or an old house. If you find you can’t decide – don’t worry, we can help you.
Let’s look at the pros of new homes first.
Warranties and Guarantees
All new homes are covered by a 10-year new home warranty and insurance guarantee. This means if anything goes wrong – leaky roofs, faulty foundations, etc. it is the builders’ job to fix them and you do not have to pay. What’s more, if you buy an off-plan property (before it’s built) the warranty will ensure that you will get your money back if the project fails.
They are built for modern living
New homes are built to modern tastes and styles. They are often built with the latest technology installed and using new finishes. New technology can often save you money; double or even triple glazed windows will save you on energy bills. According to a report by Home Builders Federation, owners of new houses spend around £629 on utilities, which is half of the average old homes’ bills. They are also built to the latest building regulations, meaning they are usually very well acoustically insulated too.
It’s a good investment
As the property market becomes more and more built around renting, rather than owning property, it is logical for investors to invest in properties that are built specifically for rent. In light of ‘generation rent’, built-to-rent properties are on the rise, these newly built properties are built exclusively for renters.
Lock up and Leave
If you travel a lot, either for work or for play, then the peace of mind given by having a property that will be securely locked up and left without having to worry is absolutely fantastic.
Security & Amenities
New homes often have concierge services incorporated in them. The concierge will act as a first stage of security, ensuring that your property has a presence at all times. In addition, the concierge will usually offer a range of services from taking in parcels to recommending a local cleaner – many also have agreements in place with certain local businesses so you can take advantage of any potential savings.
If your new home is part of a complex, the chances are that there are amenities in place specifically for use of the residents. These could include gyms, swimming pools, lounges and green spaces for use exclusively by the residents. The cost of these amenities is covered by the service charge.
Your vendor is chain free
As a plus-point, it’s hard for this to be overstated. As your vendor isn’t purchasing a property themselves, there is no chain above for you to worry about. There isn’t a risk of your vendors’ onward purchase falling through and stalling your purchase.
Help to Buy
If you’re eligible for the Help to Buy scheme, you can enrol and the government will be able to lend you up to 40% of the value of the property in London with only a 5% deposit.
The property is ready to go
If you’re buying a new build property, the property will be 100% finished and ready when you move in. Unlike in an older home, there will be no improvements that can be made, everything will be completely optimised.
As the property is purpose built, there are none of the odd nooks and crannies you can sometimes find in older properties.
Sometimes, a developer will offer certain incentives to purchase via them. This could include certain furniture, perhaps car parking or maybe a contribution towards stamp duty. This does vary from development to development, so you’ll have to double check with your Estate Agent.
Old houses may be old, but there is a certain value to them. Here are the pros of buying an old house
Old houses usually have a certain amount of elegance and charm. They are not churned out identically like the new properties, they were built with more thought and character. Their elegance and sophistication are not something you would find in new houses.
These homes were built a few decades ago where land was still abundant, thus older houses sometimes have more spacious rooms.
Make it your own
If you wanted something that was more of a project, that you could put your own stamp on, you probably wouldn’t want to tear out new fittings in a new house, but amending an old house can ensure that you have a bespoke product which exactly fits your needs, though you will need to factor-in costs of renovations of course.
Older homes are sometimes priced more competitively than newer homes, depending on its size and location. As a new home comes with all the mod-cons, a similar sized property in a similar location can cost more.
If you were to do works to a property, putting on an extension, re-wiring and generally updating, the likelihood is you’ll probably end up increasing the value of your property.
It’s available now
As the property is already built you don’t have to wait for completion meaning that you may be able to move in to the property sooner than if you had to wait for a new-build property to be finished.
Older properties tend to be in older, more established neighbourhoods with more of a sense of community. Newer properties, by contrast, sometimes need time to develop their neighbourhood feel.
Sometimes the older construction techniques used in the building of older properties can be more sturdy and durable than in their new counterparts. Techniques such as brick- and timberwork can be tougher than some new cladding alternatives.
If you’re buying an older home, the chances are someone will have lived in it before. Inheriting the properties’ history can make you feel like part of a rich tapestry and the opportunity to add to that history can make a home filled with cherished memories.
Unlike with a new property, in an older property you are not using something for the first time. As we’ve discovered, part of the draw of an older property is the charm of it. With sympathetic additions and updating, this won’t be sullied, unlike with newer properties, which are likely to become more quickly out-moded.
Whether you’re buying a new property or an older property, they each have their benefits and drawbacks. We are more than happy to advise you on buying properties. At James Pendleton, we have experts in all areas, so don’t hesitate to contact us!