Should you buy an old house or a new-build? It’s a question that you’ll inevitably end up asking yourself if you’re buying a new home or a buy-to-let property, and it’s also one that we’ve looked at a bit before on the blog.
In this post, I thought I’d set out to examine 5 prevalent myths about new-build properties and see just how much truth there is to each of them.
They’re Smaller Than Older Houses
You’ve probably read about the naughty tricks builders use to make new-builds look bigger – show homes with 3/4 size furniture, no internal doors and mirrors everywhere – and they’re all true. Plus, you’ll more likely than not be less than a couple of metres away from your nearest neighbour.
Unless you’re paying a premium you won’t get much of a hallway, one of your bedrooms will probably be pretty small and you might not even get a garage. But, if you’re looking to downsize, then less storage space might actually be just the nudge you need to get rid of some clutter.
I’ll Lose Money If I Try To Sell Too Early
Not true. Someone in a new-build estate round the corner from me is moving out after being in the property for about 8 months. They listed the asking price £20,000 higher than what they paid for, and it sold. In just three days!
There are so many factors in play – desirability of area, number of houses on the market, how nice the house itself is – that it’s impossible to say whether you can or can’t sell a new(ish)-build for profit without taking them into account.
They’ll Stay Newer For Longer
As someone who has lived in a new-build property, I can tell you that this isn’t completely true. The good news is that you won’t need to replace the boiler, fixtures or anything like that for a few years unless they’ve been installed incorrectly.
You can, however, expect to see minor cracks around windowsills, skirting boards and ceilings start to appear within a matter of months. Overall though, new-builds are still much lower maintenance than creaky older houses.
I’ll Have To Live Near Social Housing
New estates have a certain quota of affordable housing that they have to meet, but affordable housing isn’t the same as social housing. Some people worry about their neighbours being “benefit scroungers” who’ll make noise all hours of the night.
This is actually fairly unlikely – if the property is part of a shared ownership scheme, the new owners will still need a reasonable deposit and may well be paying a monthly figure that’s not that much lower than your mortgage. Either way, they’ll also be subject to scrutiny from the housing association if there are any complaints.
I’m Going To End Up Living On A Building Site
This really depends on what phase of the development the builders have reached when you move in. But, even if there are only a few houses left to go up, don’t underestimate how disruptive it can be.
Prepare for dust EVERYWHERE (not the first time I’ve ranted about this…), to be woken up by assorted beeps and squawks of “stand well clear, vehicle reversing” and for lorries to block off your drive at any moment.
So, some of the myths are true and some of them aren’t. What does that mean for buyers? We think that, when you’re looking at properties, “can I see myself enjoying living here?” is a better question to ask yourself than “am I willing to risk buying a new/old house?”