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New builds vs older homes

New builds vs older homes

Read on to find out which type of property ticks the most boxes on your 'must-have' list

A bit like being a cat or a dog person, homebuyers often fall into two distinct camps - those who would only ever consider a contemporary property and those for whom a place with history and character is a must. It's a personal choice, and one that isn't always necessarily set in stone, for the fact is there are advantages to both.
Taking the pros of buying a new build first, one of the most obvious is that you can quite literally unpack and go. What's not to like about moving in and immediately enjoying your new home, complete with all those sparkling new fixtures and fittings. There really should be very little, if anything that needs doing, which comes as a huge bonus if you're adverse to calling in the painters and decorators, or heaven forfend, doing it yourself!
That's not to say you can't stamp your mark on a new build, because if you buy off plan, you can often have a say in the design. The builder may let you choose fittings and sometimes fixtures too. Indeed, they might even tweak the layout to better suit your needs.
What's more, in order to secure a sale some developers will throw in extras as an incentive. With the imminent ending of the stamp duty holiday, wouldn't it be nice if someone else footed that bill, or perhaps a plush new carpet might persuade you to sign on the dotted line?
Another advantage to modern living, especially in top-spec developments, is that they are often fitted with all-singing, all-dancing tech, be it underfloor heating, USB plug sockets, electric blinds, video entry, smart home systems... the list is endless.

Energy efficiency resulting in lower bills is also a huge asset of new builds. Thanks to stricter building regulations they have better insulation and less water consumption than older properties. Indeed, data from Energy Performance Certificates shows over 80 per cent of new homes have the highest A or B ratings, compared to just 2.2 per cent of existing homes.
Then there's the fact that new builds can often give first time buyers the leg-up onto the property ladder they may desperately need. For the fact is such schemes as Help-to-Buy and Shared Ownership are only available on homes that has been constructed in the last two years and have not previously been lived in.
Finally, you'll have more peace of mind buying a new build as it will be a chain-free sale with no chance of someone pulling out, causing the whole chain to collapse. In addition, the purchase of the property comes with a 10-year warranty should you encounter any problems a little further down the line.

Now the case for period properties, with probably the first and foremost being character. Whether it's sash window, ceiling roses, original fireplaces, wooden flooring, skirting boards, dado rails or cornicing - these charming period features are what make potential buyers fall in love with older homes as they are part of the its history and can't be replicated in modern properties.
Then there's the fact that a period home often has potential to extend and reconfigure and thus provides the opportunity to not only stamp your mark on it and make it better suit your lifestyle, but also to add value. In contrast, the value of a new build starts to depreciate the moment you move in (you should plan to live in one for the longer term if you don't want to risk losing money).
Space is another major benefit of an older home, with rooms usually significantly larger. From sizable bedrooms and big reception rooms to plenty of storage - if it's square footage you're after then a period property's for you. What's more, that spaciousness usually extends to the outside, too, with older homes tending to have much larger gardens compared to the ever-shrinking backyards of new builds.
In addition, when you buy an older home, you know that it's survived the test of time. It's a sturdy property that has weathered the years and is still standing, and that's pretty reassuring when making such a significant investment.

Location is another advantage a period home will often have over a new build. Typically, older properties enjoy the best locations because they've had first dibs. Often near to towns, train stations and local amenities, these sought-after spots secured by builders of old are what modern day developers can only dream of.
Last but not least is an established community, with older properties more likely to be surrounded by neighbours who've lived there for years and who know each other and care about the area. Amenities, meanwhile, will also be much more established, such as local pubs and restaurants.
In conclusion, there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to deciding between a new-build or a period property, it simply comes down to personal preference and what you want to get out your new home. Whatever you decide however, just make sure you have all the necessary information about your preferred property before exchanging contracts.

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