New Build vs. Tried and Tested


As with everything in life there are pros and there are cons in every large decision that we face included the purchase of a home. Whether you opt for an older property or decide on a brand new build can hinge on a number of factors, and both options have good points and bad points.


New Build Homes – The Case For

A new build home can be very appealing. Everything is new and, in theory, in good working order. You may have the opportunity to choose from a range of kitchen units, worktops and tiling in both the kitchen and the bathroom(s).

The roof, windows and doors will all be in sound condition and compliant with current British Standards. Fitted bedroom furniture is a popular feature and many house builders will give you the choice to have a fire place or not, and to choose between French and patio doors.

In essence you have a wide choice and a blank slate to work with. Yes, you will probably have to buy flooring for the whole house, but you won’t have to rip out someone else’s and your new home comes with guarantees. These are the pros to a new build, but what are the cons?


New Build Homes – The Case Against

New build houses generally have smaller rooms, and some show homes may even have no doors, giving a false indication of space. Additionally, the settling of the property can cause stairs to come away from walls and nails to ‘pop’ out of walls. In extreme cases cracks can appear.

There will be very few light fittings, no window dressings, no flooring and the chances are your back garden will be left resembling a building site. These are the downsides to a new build but are tried and tested homes really any better?


The Pre-Owned Property – The Up Side

Generally in older properties, the room sizes are more generous and the chances are the house will have done all its settling. Gardens will be more mature, and possibly larger depending on location. 

Fixtures and fittings may be sold with the property, providing a stop-gap between moving in and having to replace curtains, carpets and lights. White goods are more likely to be left as well.

Depending on your taste, you may find a suitable property that you simply bring your furniture to and you are good to go. These up sides can be more financial than aesthetic in nature, but what if you really don’t like the décor?


The Pre- Owned Property – The Down Side

If the property is really old, you may find that you are entering a time warp filled with avocado bathroom suites and Paisley-pattern carpets. If these are not to your taste, they can be hard to live with. You may find yourself faced with the cost of replacing flooring and bathrooms as well as kitchen units and woodchip wall paper.

The older the property, the more likely some structural work may be required, if it hasn’t already been undertaken. This is the biggest downside. Many glorious, well-proportioned, large properties that are 100 years of age or more can become money pits.

If you are looking for some practical advice, think it through carefully before setting your heart on anything. Keen on an older property? There is no harm in consulting a professional like an architect who can tell you about the area, the property and the long term challenges you may face.

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