New build vs pre-owned property

News at Townends | 22/07/2019

New build vs pre-owned property

There are many benefits to buying a new build property. For starters, the absence of a chain means the process is usually more straight-forward. You might also be able to choose your brand new fixtures and fittings, so your home is tailored to your taste from the moment you move in.

If you’re looking to purchase a home, you might be coming across new build properties for the first-time. So, what are the benefits of buying new build vs an existing property? Our sales team explore the pros and cons.

Interior design

New build properties tend to be built for modern living. They usually include open-plan rooms which maximise the space available and place the kitchen at the heart of a home. Housebuilders will also consider the demands of modern buyers, allowing for technology that is now part of our everyday lives.

However, new build properties will naturally come with some initial ‘snags’. Although many buyers enjoy being the first people to live in a new home and your housebuilder will quickly fix any issues, a pre-owned property is tried and tested. An older property may also have more quirks that give it that unique edge, such as period features.

Putting your stamp on it

One of the big benefits of a new build property is being able to buy off-plan and to pick your plot. Your housebuilder will be able to show you the layout of the whole development site which will include all the plots where your chosen home will be located. If your property is yet to be built, you’ll also be able to select work surfaces, carpets and bathroom/ kitchen suites.

In general, new build properties are tastefully designed with neutral décor, which enables you to easily put your own stamp on your home.

Outside space

New build properties can come with smaller gardens which may need some work. You’ll probably need to add in plants and even turf for a lawn, unless agreed with your housebuilder. Pre-owned properties will have a more mature garden ready to explore.

If you’re looking to extend your home, it’s worth looking to see whether existing properties are within a conservation area which might limit your options, or whether a new build plot provides space for expansion. New build developments tend to be more concentrated, so may also offer less parking space than an older property.

Community living

If you’re buying a brand new house, you’ll also be part of a new community. Buyers will usually arrive at their new properties in phases, so everyone is new to the immediate area and keen to establish contact. If you’re part of a larger development, builders often need to include new amenities such as playgrounds, shops, nurseries and schools.

However, existing properties are well-established with all local amenities up and running, including initiatives such as children’s playgroups or community cafes. It can take some time for a whole development to be built and connections to be established.

A chain reaction

It’s very normal to find yourself in a chain when buying a home. If you’re moving to an existing property, it’s more likely there will be an occupant, who will also need to move to another property which may be pre-owned, and so on. A new build home doesn’t have an ongoing chain, so if you’re a first-time buyer, you don’t need to worry about anyone else’s situation.

However, if you need to sell a home before moving, some developers also offer a Part Exchange option where they will purchase the home from you (usually at a slightly reduced price) and then sell it on.

Energy efficiency

Running a new property tends to be cheaper as it will be built using modern materials and building methods. Research from the NHBC (1) found that families living in new build homes could save up to £1,400 a year on all their energy bills vs a typical four-bedroom Victorian property.

Before buying any property, make sure you review its Energy Performance Rating (EPC). This certificate rates a property’s energy efficiency from A-G and tells you more about its typical running costs. If you do opt for a pre-owned property, the EPC will also show you what you can do to improve its long-term energy efficiency, such as adding new insulation or double glazing.   

Guarantees and perks

New build homes will usually come with a ten year warranty and insurance cover, such as NHBC Buildmark. This will give you a two year warranty from the builder and a further eight years insurance against structural damage to your home. Some housebuilders may offer additional perks such as upgraded fixtures or fittings, or payment of stamp duty, so it’s worth asking whether they can offer any extra incentives.

However, if you buy a pre-owned property, any new additions such as boilers or windows should come with a guarantee which will last for a number of years. Before you buy the property, ask your solicitor to seek clarification of any major updates. Find out when key items were installed and ask for the guarantee documents.

Affordable schemes

If you’re a first-time buyer or an existing homeowner looking to move up the property ladder, check to see if you’re eligible for Help to Buy. With this scheme, the Government will lend you up to 20% of the cost of a new home (40% in London) which is interest free for five years. This means you’ll only need to raise a 5% cash deposit and find a mortgage for the rest.   

If you’d like to hear more about Help to Buy, speak to our mortgage experts at dot financial services to see if you’re eligible and to learn more about the latest deals.  

Speak to your local experts

Whether you buy a new-build property or an existing home, the most important factor is to find one that you love. If you’d like to know more about the new build developments or pre-owned properties in your area, contact Townends on xxxxx or click here.