When looking for a new home, many people are attracted to new-builds. To make your search simpler, let’s look at the pros and cons.
One major pro to the newly built home is the fact that you have a home which remains under a warranty. Similarly, the electrics, gas pipes, water conduits and boiler will still be under warranty. If anything falls off or falls in or – whatever – you can call someone and know they have to fix it. For anyone who’s ever bought a fixer-upper, or bought an older home and dealt with headache after headache, that is a very big draw indeed. If this is the first concern on your list then new-builds may well be the only choice for you.
However, a big concern with new-builds lies in their very small rooms. Compared to my hundred-and-something-year-old house, which resembles a TARDIS in that its tiny exterior hides a well-proportioned three-bedroom house with high ceilings and spacious rooms, new-builds tend to have cramped rooms which are presented so as to look roomy but generally don’t feel it when they’ve been filled with your own furniture. If large rooms are of any importance to you, then new-builds – apart from the personalised build – will be off the cards virtually immediately.
Another drawback is the fact that builders today tend towards strange layouts. It is quite adventurous to think of yourself as having a laundry room and garage on the ground floor, and then a kitchen, dining and living room on the first with the bedrooms on the second floor. But considering alternative layouts in practice becomes a different game. There are, in fact, reasons why homes have customarily had the living spaces on the ground floor and the bedrooms on the first and (possibly) second – and this means that unconventional layouts can really put a spanner in the works. Do you really, for example, want to cart your entire weekly shop up a flight of stairs? How will sleeping on the second floor impact on your fire evacuation route? Can your kids really enjoy your garden if you have to sit in the utility room to supervise them?
Finally, consider the fact that, unless the estate you’re moving into is completely finished, you will have to deal with a building site for some time to come. Homes will remain to be built and in addition to the noise and dirt from that consideration, people will drive up to your home and look appraisingly at its front aspect, peering in the windows and clogging up your driveway. Convenient? Not so much.
There is much to be said for the lovely certainty that your home is under warranty, and of course the tidiness of a new-build estate is not to be sneezed at. However, unless you intend to cope with all the above issues in some form or shape, you may well find an older home more suitable.