There is no shortage of new homes being built every year. The choice is wide and varied. Records show that the first quarter of 2021 has brought almost 50,000 new homes. Fortunately, there are convenient online platforms that can help you find your dream home without feeling overwhelmed by the number of options. The websites, such as Korter, list all property developments and provide convenient search tools, coupled with detailed information on each project.

The question is, is it better to buy a new build home or an older one? Some people prefer only new build properties, while others are adamantly against them. As with all things, there is no definite answer to whether a new build is worth it or not. All you can do is review all the pros and cons and decide what works better for you.

Pros of Buying a New Build Property

1.  Ready for you to move in – A new build home provides you with a blank canvas and freshly-done works, meaning that there is no need to make any emergency repairs at the beginning. You can just bring your belongings and get settled. Even if you’d like to paint the walls or change a few things, a new build property offers a better foundation than an older home, and it will require less time and effort on your part.

2.  Home buying schemes – It’s not easy for a first-time buyer to purchase a home. However, there are some schemes, such as Help-to-Buy and Shared Ownership, that can ease your burden a little and help you buy your first real estate.

3.  Incentives – Sometimes developers include some extras to make their offers more attractive.

4.  Modern lifestyle – New build developments tend to feature state-of-the-art technologies as well as smart home features. Moreover, many property development companies strive to include everything a person might need for comfortable living, such as a gym, a concierge, or a lounge area.

5.  Choose a design – When buying off-plan, some developers can suggest that you choose finishes, colours, appliances, or designs. Most of the time, buyers are provided with a few available design options or colour schemes to choose from.

6.  Low bills – The latest building regulations make sure that new build properties are more energy-efficient than older homes. According to Energy Performance Certificates, over 80% of new developments have been rated A or B, the highest ratings possible in terms of efficiency. Meanwhile, only 2.2% of existing properties have been able to achieve the same.

7.  No onward chain – When buying a new build property, you can be sure that you are the first owner, and there’s no chain of buyers above you. Being part of a delicate continuum of buyers may cause a lot of stress.

8.  Warranties – Unlike existing homes, new build properties come with a warranty, providing homebuyers with some peace of mind. Although they don’t cover everything, there are still plenty of things that they do cover.

Cons of Buying a New Build Property

1.  Space – In an attempt to raise their profits, some developers fill their sites with as many properties as possible at the expense of space. For the most part, they reduce storage space and the size of the rooms. The lack of space can also result in you struggling to fit your furniture in your new home. Meanwhile, older properties tend to be more spacious.

2.  Decision fatigue – Although some might be delighted to get a blank canvas and let their imagination run wild, others may feel overwhelmed by endless options, various finishes, and different types of designs. Trying to find the right option takes time, slowing you down. In addition, the options offered by the developer often are pretty limited.

3.  Property management expenses – A lot of new build developments are managed by private companies, and their services come at a price. In addition, maintenance costs can increase over time, catching some homeowners off guard.

4.  Leasehold – Flats are leasehold properties, which means that there are additional costs, such as maintenance charges and ground rent. In addition, leaseholds provide you with ownership rights for a limited period of time. A lease can cover 90-120 years or even 999 years, making it possible to pass on your real estate to your descendants. The latter option is usually preferable, of course.

5.  Legal part – The legal part of purchasing a new build property can be more complicated than the one you’d have to deal with when buying an existing home. In addition, some developers insist on using the conveyancer of their choice, which may put your interests at risk. To make sure that your funds are protected, and the contract is in your favour, refrain from using the developer’s solicitor.    

6.  Poor quality – The majority of criticism directed towards new build projects has something to do with poor quality, defects, and imperfections, found upon moving in. There may be significant structural issues or minor cosmetic imperfections. Nevertheless, you can make the developer fix them by conducting a snagging survey. It’s better to do a snagging inspection before your legal completion date. That way, the property development company can get everything fixed before you move in. However, you can conduct a snagging survey at some point during the first two years of living as well, but it may take longer for the developer to repair any reported defects.

7.  Build delays – It’s not uncommon for a new build to have its completion date delayed due to some unexpected issues or even bad planning. Apart from the frustration that comes from waiting, such delays may cause you additional losses and expenses as you’ll most likely have to find new accommodation. Sometimes the terms of mortgage offers can also change over a long period of time. To avoid any delays, it’s important to carefully choose your property development company.

8.  Limited negotiations – If you are purchasing an existing home, you can try to negotiate and haggle the price. However, property development companies usually refuse to decrease the listed price.

When it comes to choosing between a new build home and an existing property, there is no right answer that works for everyone. It’s important to take into account your own needs and preferences, weigh up all the pros and cons, and conduct comprehensive research before making a decision.