New House or Old House: Which is a Better Buy?

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Are you wondering which is better to buy, new house or old house?

There comes a time in everyone’s life when we have to start acquiring our own properties. If you’re reading this then I guess you are at that phase.

Choosing the best home to buy between a new house and an old existing house is not a straightforward decision. Believe it or not, making your first home purchase comes with a lot of pros and cons for you to weigh.

Buying your own house is a huge step to make and much thought must be given to it. Both types of home come with their considerable advantages and disadvantages so the final decision is based on your preference really.

If you are looking for a newly built house, you may have to sacrifice on some specifications like location, space and character.

On the other hand, most resale houses have these things.

Making a final decision will be up to you ultimately but I am hoping to smoothen the process for you as I weigh the variables involved.

The following points should help you make a decision that suits your demand and serve as a guide as you compare both options.

So! Is buying a new house a good idea?

Before I became financially capable of getting my own house, I used to live in an old home with my sister.

But now, my wife and I live in a new house. That has been our preference over time.

I will be explaining some of the reasons why we made this decision as you read further. Hopefully, I am able to help you make the right decision.

Pros of Buying New Homes Vs Old Homes

Maintenance (Age is always a factor): To best understand this, I am going to ask you a question. Have you ever bought an old and new car or appliance?

If you have then you must have realized that the old ones are usually less reliable and require more maintenance when longevity is accounted for.

The same goes for a home. No matter how expertly built home is, old age will at one point start to creep in. Existing houses come with some inevitability like replacements, upgrades, and repairs.

That’s the honest truth.

You might say “but I can easily repair the damages” but does the end sometimes justify the means? I mean, why risk paying money to have repairs and maintenance done only to have different issues pop up down the line?

Buying a newly built house gives give you more peace of mind. And if for any reason you choose to buy an old house, please do a thorough home inspection to have an idea of the things that need fixing.

Warranty: We all love a Warranty don’t we? New homes come with a warranty which is something old homes don’t have. The advantage with a Warranty is the peace of mind you have that you won’t be taking losses on some defects in your home.

There are three main providers of new home Warranties in the UK for example – the National House-Building Council (NHBC), Premier Guarantee and Local Authority Building Control Warranty (LABC). The NHBC is the most popular among them and presently covers 80% of new builds.

NHBC offer Warranty in form of Buildmarks to new house owners. According to their website, buying a home is typically the largest investment people make and Buildmark provides warranty and insurance protection to newly built or converted homes.

Cover starts from the exchange of contracts and lasts up to a maximum period of 10 years after the legal completion date.

Personal Style: Some of us love to leave our mark on everything we own. The same goes for houses. Buying off-plan gives you this flexibility in customization that you won’t get when you purchase an existing home. You can have a say in your fittings and even the layout.

Yes, you can achieve this with an old home but at what extra cost? But then again, this depends on your taste and style. Some people just prefer the classic home settings.

Energy Efficiency: There can be no doubt that a new home will be more energy-efficient than its older counterpart. This is because technology improves every day and so does building standards, materials and home appliances.

Add that to the fact that new-build homes must comply with recent building regulations. According to data from Energy Performance Certificates, 80% of new homes have the highest A or B ratings.

Better Communities: New communities mean better town planning and as such, residents can benefit from improved shopping areas, access to parks, transportation and more. This increases the appeal to tenants.

Older communities often suffer from a lack of consistent planning as it often looks like freestyle of construction sites. But this hangover effect on style can sometimes create a classic charm that can’t be reciprocated in new communities.

 

Other pros of newly built homes are

Chain-Free: While this may not matter to everyone, some prefer to be the first person on the chain of buyers.

Incentives: Developers need to make sales in order to fund other projects. This means they often offer incentives to prospective tenants in order to get a sale. These incentives can range from paying for your stamp duties to offering loan buy downs.

Part Exchange Scheme: New build house also gives you the opportunity of part exchanging your existing home for a new build with a home builder. If you are moving house and not a first-time buyer you might consider home part exchange scheme.

 

Cons of Buying New Homes vs Old Homes

Space: Home developers these days are all about the profit. And let’s be honest, with the ever-increasing population and demand for homes they can’t really be blamed. Developers now squeeze as many houses as they can into their sites. This often makes new builds a lot less spacious than the older ones.

Developers now compromise on room size, garden size, packing garage and more. This of course only becomes a problem if a bigger space is your preference.

Quality and Complication: If there is something new builds have been criticized for in recent times, it would be that the quality can sometimes be upsetting. This could be as a result of developers wanting to spend as little as possible while generating more profit.

A piece of advice I like to give is that you do a professional snagging survey as soon as you are able to.

Delays: You might not think of unexpected delay in completion as an issue because what’s an extra week or month right? But the truth is that some delays stretch months. This can cause inconvenience and also incur unwanted expenses.  Especially as people sometimes move into a temporary location until the completion is done.

Character: New communities are specially structured and planned by the city and town planning. What this means is that there is sometimes a fixed structural plan. This often removes that daring and classic looks of the old communities. In some old communities, for example, it is not uncommon that you will see Victorian, Georgian or 1930s suburban architecture. That is a type of identity that new homes lack.

 

In conclusion, there is no good or bad choice when it comes to buying a new-build home or old existing home. The ultimate decision is your choice and preference. The most important thing, however, is that you know what buying both entails.