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New build homes vs pre-loved homes – pros and cons discussed

  • 27 Apr 2020

The thought of taking on a property in need of huge repairs can be daunting. Tackling things such as a leaking roof, damp, lack of insulation and potential subsidence all cost money, require patience and a lot of time. But, is it financially more beneficial to take on a project property or is buying brand new going to provide less of a headache?

The pros of buying a “doer upper”

Not only will it often cost less than buying a brand-spanking-new property, but it also gives the chance to be in complete control of how the property will look and feel when the renovations are complete. From the layout, colour schemes and quality of the finishes, every decision will be for the renovator to make. 

A property that needs a little bit of TLC is also likely to be cheaper to buy in the first place. It be possible to move into a dream location for a fraction of what a finished home would cost.

The main thing to consider is the cost of the work that needs doing – if this hugely outweighs the cost of buying a new home, then it may be wise to think twice.

There may also be the chance to add lots of value to a doer upper, especially in the kitchen and bathroom. For example, spending £10,000 installing a new kitchen may add £20-30,000 onto a property’s value.

But, as with any renovation, ensure the budget is available to get the work done. Whether money is saved up or one of the other lending options on the market needs to be considered, these types of renovations may be worth it in the long run.

The pros of a new build

If it would be preferable to move into somewhere requiring virtually no work at all, a new build may be ideal. Not only will there be no chain above the buyer (meaning as soon as finances are in place, the purchase can be completed) but new build properties are extremely low maintenance, thanks to the fact they are built to the latest regulations.

Plus, if the property is chosen off-plan, it is likely the final finishes can be influenced. This could include things like the choice of flooring, tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms and more. Whatever it is, it provides the chance to put a personal stamp on the property.

Of course, there are cons to both

Like with anything, there are downsides to each side. With an older property, it may be possible to go over budget on renovations, as problems may surface as soon as work begins, and with a new build, often developers will give a strict deadline on when a purchase needs to be completed, putting pressure on both the buyer and mortgage lender. 

Before a decision is made, it is important to take a look at the pros and cons of both, as this will give confidence when making the final decision.

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