New build property or an existing home, Which do you prefer?

Estate Agents

4th March 2020

New build property or an existing home, Which do you prefer?

I recently agreed the sale of an existing family home in a development that there where still quite a few brand new properties available to buy.  Not only was the property I was selling more popular with home buyers, but in the end it was agreed for a higher asking price as of that of the brand new house.  The reason for this was that the owners of the existing house had done an amazing job in the decoration and improving the property inside and out, to the extent that the people viewing the house instantly fell in love with the warm cozy home on offer as opposed to the newly built houses available just around the corner.
In saying that a new build house gives the owner the ability to create their own masterpiece on a blank canvas.  New build properties are generally aimed towards the first time buyer market and are usually the main 3 bedroom semi detached properties.  The excitement and endless possibility of moving into a property in which you are the first to reside within, is very appealing to first time buyers.  Also it is worth noting that new build properties also benefit from a building guarantee scheme which can oversee any major structural problems that may arise up to 10 years after the initial purchase.  However, even though most new build properties are turn key with walls painted, kitchens fitted and carpets laid, there still can be much to do to warm up a new build property such as window coverings, wall paper, light fittings and personalisation of the properties exterior.

Older buildings offer character and individual qualities that are lacking in many modern buildings.  They are more often better proportioned benefiting from larger rooms.  However if considering an older building you must consider the energy performance rating of the house.  This rating should be displayed on all advertising material relating to the property.  It will give you an indication of how well (or not) the property is insulated and how energy efficient the property is.  This will give you an indication of how much the property will cost to heat.  If a property is less energy efficient and has poor insulation it will be more expensive to heat than the opposite.  Also if looking to purchase a period building you would be wise to check if the building is listed or not (Your trusty estate agent will know this).  If the building is listed there will be restrictions with regards to changing (renovations) certain features of the building as they are deemed to be historically important.  For example, this could mean that you cannot change the old sliding sash windows for double glazed uPVC.  Also make sure you get a survey done to see if there are any problems that may be costly to repair such as damp (rising or penetrating), rot in the joists etc and subsidence.  The asking price should be a good indicator if there are any major works to be undertaken.

If renovating an older home to sell, try and increase the energy efficiency as much as possible.  Look about insulation for the cavity (if there is one) and the loft.  If within budget, upgrade the heating system.  Try as far as possible to keep and even enhance any period or individual features.  Use these features to make the property stand out from the crowd, a kind of unique selling point for your property.

When selling an older building it’s important to remember that you are competing with all the shiny new build properties out there.  To do this you must offer something other than freshly painted grey walls and tiled floors.  Point out to your agent all the improvements you have made to your home, create warmth in the house when the viewings are taking place, if in the evening, turn on the lamps, light the fire and get some fresh flower/plants in the property.  Ensure the property is spotlessly clean, depersonalise and declutter as much as possible and have the best version of your home on display for the potential buyer.