May 30, 2023

Old Houses Versus New Builds

When buying your perfect home, there are important factors to consider. For instance, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the property, the number of storeys it has, its location or even the size of the back garden.

All these elements make up the contributing factors of whether you fall in love with the property, or not, as the case can be. Often one of the biggest decisions for people purchasing a new home is whether they should invest in an older property with character or a new modern build. A long-standing debate amongst many homebuyers, but which one really is the best fit for you?

In this blog we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of buying an older house versus a ‘new build’ and hopefully this will help you to decide what’s right for you.

The Advantages of Buying a New Build Property
  • Everything is fresh and new – From the skirting boards to the window frames, everything is newly fitted and should be in pristine condition, and therefore it will not need to be updated or replaced for quite some time.
  • Personalised touches from the get-go – Quite often, whenever you buy a new build house, the developer will let you have a say in the style of the interior finish, such as the kitchen design, bathroom suites, wall finishes and flooring.
  • Pay less for energy – New homes will be better insulated and have a more advanced heating system than an older homes. Furthermore, since June 2022 Northern Ireland building regulations were upgraded and energy efficiency in new build houses have been improved by 40%.
  • 10 year structural warranty – A legal requirement, the warranty provides protection for new homeowners for 10 years, and covers any defects found once the buyers move in.
The Disadvantages of Buying a New Build Property
  • Building timeframes – When you buy a home ‘off-plan’ it hasn’t been built and you will have to wait until the property is ready for occupation.
  • New home premium – New build homes are usually more expensive to buy than comparable older houses. However, they will be built with modern building materials and come with lower maintenance costs.
 The advantages of buying an old property
  • Charm and character – For some homebuyers, it’s hard not to fall in love with the specialcharm and character that older houses offer, particularly one with stunning features.
  • It may cost less upfront – An older home can sometimes be cheaper to purchase than a more modern property. Unlike most new builds, older homes would tend to come with a larger garden. This is usually the case for the majority of period homes constructed in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

The disadvantages of buying an older property
  • Wear and tear – Homes that have been around longer will have aged and experienced general damage to the interior and exterior over the years. It’s quite common for an older house to have damp issues, outdated electrical and plumbing systems and you could end up spending more on repairs and maintenance.
  • High maintenance and renovation costs – All buildings require annual maintenance and as they grow older, they will need to be updated with some needing new kitchens and bathrooms. Depending on the extent of the work, house renovations can add up to be quite a costly expenditure.
  • Poor energy efficiency – Generally speaking, older homes are usually draughty and much harder to heat, due to inadequate insulation, old windows and doors and inefficient heating systems.

Ultimately, the decision to opt for a new build over an older home comes down to personal preference.

At Fraser Millar, our homes are not ultra-contemporary or overly traditional but very much built with our own character and a timeless quality.

We have also adopted low energy building, Passivhaus design into our whole-building approach with clear, measured targets, focused on high-quality construction. Every house is Passivhaus certified through an exacting quality assurance process that guarantees the highest standards of energy efficiency and quality craftmanship.

Our South Belfast Lancaster Park show home is open every Sunday between 2-4pm, so why don’t you come along and see for yourself and you just never know, it could be the development for you!