Old or New - Which
Works Best for You?

With 5 million new homes forecast by the year 2027, there promises to be plenty of choice around for new house buyers…

The rise in the number of divorcees, singletons and investors has led to a surge in demand for new homes, fuelled by the fact that bricks and mortar have surprisingly remained a steady investment for a relatively long period.

Buying a new home is said to be the easier option and it certainly has many benefits to a ‘time-poor cash-rich’ buyer. Developers are falling over themselves to offer a bundle of incentives on each new property they build, eager to offload before the first brick even gets laid. It’s also true that as our lives get busier, buyers want an easy life and to be able to move in and start living in their home straight away.

So, what benefits does a new home bring?

  • Cash Incentives: This is a buyer’s dream. Most builders are so keen to shift their new homes (particularly at the end of their financial year) they are offering deals such as paying the deposit and stamp duty, or even cash towards your mortgage payments. This looks a good deal and can be, however remember that you will have to shell out this money first as it is only redeemable upon completion of the sale. Remember also that new build properties tend to market at quite a significant premium, so compare their prices with existing properties in the area, and shop around with other builders. There may also be terms and conditions affecting the deal, which could include completing within a particular time frame.
  • All Inclusive Deals: Shop around and you will find developers who realize that a kitchen without appliances is quite simply, not an option! Many now provide integrated essentials like a cooker, fridge freezer, dishwasher and washer/dryer as standard. This will save you thousands of pounds at a time you are already shelling out on the most important shopping ‘must have’ of your life. These items will no doubt be built into the asking price, so you have probably already paid for them in the high premium that comes with buying a new home however they do mean that you can move in and get on with your life from day one.
  • Lower Running Costs: There’s no doubt that fuel bills are on the rise as utility companies pass on increasing costs, and a new home is approximately four times more energy efficient than an old one. Developers offer insulation and double glazing included as standard and some builders even offer a ‘green’ choice with solar powered heating, built in water saving features and using recycled, renewable and environmentally friendly materials wherever possible. This can save you hundreds of pounds in the long run. Changes in the duty on ‘zero carbon’ homes will also save you money on your utility costs – from October 2007 all new zero carbon homes costing up to £500,000 will pay no stamp duty. Zero carbon homes costing over £500K will see a reduction in stamp duty of £15,000.
  • Repairs & Maintenance: These are certainly less of a consideration in a new home, compared to an older property which has many ‘hidden’ costs. You don’t need to worry about replacing decrepit heating systems, faulty electrics or rotting windows in a new property and you can move in without the hassle and mess associated with refurbishment and renovations.
  • Peace of Mind: Each new home comes with a ten year NHBC warranty designed to protect owners of newly built homes (see NHBC website for more details). Many also offer additional guarantees over and above the NHBC warranty. In addition, the Sales Managers at each development should be able to guide you through the buying process and advise on reputable mortgage companies and solicitors
  • Part Exchange: Sounds simple, and it often can be. If your home is difficult to shift or you want to move in a hurry then this is the ideal opportunity. They will arrange for a valuation on your existing property, and then offer you a percentage of its market value. If you are happy to forego this differential in exchange for a quick and hassle-free move then it’s the ideal solution. In some cases you get to pick the best plots on a new development, and can also reserve it at an agreed price and then watch it make thousands of pounds before you have even moved in!
  • Spaced Out: Government guidelines decree that the maximum amount of square footage should be provided on the least amount of land, therefore the new build ‘box’ has been overtaken by three storey designs offering accommodation over three floors. These extra bedrooms can often be turned into a home office, a playroom or additional sitting room on the top floor, giving you a surprising amount of space. Many of the homes also provide additional en-suite shower rooms and fitted wardrobes.

There are many benefits to buying a new property compared to an older one, and for some buyers the decision is a no-brainer. BUT don’t get swayed completely by the glitter and glam of a new home …. Consider the benefits of an older property before your make your final decision. It may bring an established neighborhood, larger room sizes, individual layout and certainly bags of character to your life.

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