Pros & cons: buying old vs. buying new

Posted on 27 Nov, 2020

Something old or something new? There are so many choices when it comes to buying a property, so Viewber has weighed up some pros and cons on your behalf.

Perform a search on Rightmove and there will be over 900,000 properties for sale to choose from, from heritage examples hundreds of years old to brand spanking new houses where the dust hasn’t had the chance to settle.  There are pros and cons attached to both old and new properties, which Viewber endeavors to sum up below.


Buying old

- Sell for more with the right architecture: Did you know there is a property style that sells for thousands of pounds more than any other house type? New research by property portal OpenBrix found Georgian properties commanded £100,000 more than other property types when on the market. Edwardian and Victorian properties can also pack 20% extra in asking price punch.

- You’ll become a heritage caretaker: Planners like to keep homes with period character and architectural charm exactly that way, so any ambitious ideas to rip out and remodel may need permission – and that can even extend to simply repainting the exterior. Restrictions are especially stringent if your property is listed, or if it falls in a Conservation Area or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

- How old you go will affect the price: Your perception of ‘old’ can influence how much you pay for a property. Period homes from the Edwardian, Georgian, Victorian and Regency periods command high values due to their solid construction, lofty proportions and ornate details. Homes built between the 1930s and 1970s, however, can still offer character and construction prowess but may come with more affordable asking prices.

- You can add value by restoring: Instagram is teeming with great home rennovation accounts, showing how run-down and dilapidated properties can be restored to their former glory. From eBay bargains and skip finds to cruising auction houses and reclamation yards, a ‘doer upper’ can be done on a budget and sold at a premium to someone who hasn’t got the time, skill or vision to become a refurbishment expert.

A few of our favourite Instagram accounts to watch:

Chloe - thewhitepinesproject

Sophie -

Charlotte - flamingostyling

Suszi - suszi_saunders

Lou - onefoureightlondon

Lara - say_yes_to_the_nest


Extra considerations include:

- Cost of modernizing, including new electrics, plumbing and glazing

- EPC rating, which can impact energy efficiency and cost of utility bills

- Sale-ability, with period character having a wide audience willing to pay more


Buying new

- Reserve early and choose your finish: If you buy off plan or early in the construction process, you may be able to choose the types of kitchen cabinets, tiles and floor coverings that are installed. This allows you to customize your new home without the hassle of sourcing materials or employing a trade to fit them.

- Make money before your new home is even built: this perk comes with a warning, as it depends on buying off plan as early as possible and prevailing marketing conditions. The strategy is to hope house prices rise in value while the property is being built, meaning it’s worth more when you move in than what you paid for it at reservation stage. A well-researched location and bullish attitude to risk is required, as there is the danger that the market crashes during construction and the value of the house decreases.

- Remodelling may be easier: as well as being freer of covenants from local planning departments, new homes tend to feature more non-load bearing stud partition walls that generally don’t need permission to move or take out. This gives future flexibility to freely re-imagine spaces according to your lifestyle needs. Property Price Advice has a great guide to removing internal walls.

- You may suffer an identity crisis: buyers of brand-new homes have to balance out the feeling of newness and the ‘first’ to use anything with the fact your home will probably look just like your neighbour’s – and maybe hundreds more in the same location. New homes are not for everyone, especially if individuality and unique character are on the ‘must have’ moving list.


Extra considerations include:

- Annual services charges, which are prevalent on developments with communal facilities

- Incentives, like part exchange and money towards moving costs, can offset the price premium attached to brand new

- Usually sold with a 10-year structural warranty and good energy efficient credentials


An impartial Viewber property report can be a crucial part of your decision-making process, featuring photographs and video footage, if required. We can visit any property for sale in the UK - sometimes with less than 24-hours’ notice - so why not book a Viewber today?


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