New built or used home

When it comes to moving home, you have two choices - new-build or used. Both come with their own advantages.

We’ve put together a list that will help you to decide whether to buy a new home or go for a used home. 

Of course, at Larkfleet we reckon you’re better off with a new-build home (well, we would say that, wouldn’t we?) but we’ve tried to ‘put both sides of the argument’ in the following list.

  • • New-build homes today are often 20 per cent smaller than homes built in the 1970s.
  • • Parking is often limited in new developments.
  • • A new-build property is often cheaper than a broadly equivalent used home.
  • • Newly built homes are often very close together so you may not feel you have the privacy you want with, for example, windows over-looking your garden.
  • • For first-time buyers, buying a new-build is a good idea as you won’t find yourself in a property chain because there will be no one living in the property - you can take your time and negotiate a mortgage to suit you.
  • • New-builds are particularly attractive to first time buyers because a 20 per cent interest free loan for five years from the government means you only have to find a 5 per cent deposit under the Help to Buy scheme.
  • • When you decide it is time to move on, a new-build might be easier to sell than a used home.
  • • Energy costs will be lower in a new-build property because it must meet tougher building regulations for things such as insulation and double glazing than older properties did when they were built.
  • • As new-builds are built under the housing legislation of the 21st century, they are generally a lot safer than older homes. They will usually come fitted with safety devices such as smoke alarms.
  • • Most new-builds will have a ten-year warranty that gives you security in the face of any major problems with the property. Even if you get a full survey done on a used home (which can be expensive) there is no guarantee that it will uncover all the potential problems with the property and you will not get any warranty from the seller.
  • • Used homes can have more character, individuality, history and charm. They are also often part of an established community – which you may fit into or you may not. A new-build home is generally part of a development where everyone is moving into the area for the first time and it can be easier to make friends.
  • • Used homes usually have more space and storage which is great if you have a big family.
  • • Used homes usually also have bigger gardens. Great if you enjoy gardening or need space for the kids to run around – not so good if you don't!
  • • You will have fewer hidden costs and less maintenance work straight away in a new build. A new-build home may come with new appliances such as freezer and dishwasher and it will certainly have a new heating system – all of which will be under warranty. A used home may not have appliances and, if it does, they will be old – as will the heating system.
  • • If you enjoy DIY and want to make your home unique, then you may favour an older property so you can really make your own mark. If you don't have the time, money or enthusiasm for DIY, a new-build home may be best as it shouldn't need any work for the first few years.
  • • You will get after-sales service with a new home that you won't get with a used one. It should be perfect when you move in (see our advice on 'snagging' but if there are minor problems such as windows that don't lock or taps that leak, the builder will sort them out. In a used home, you're on your own from the day you pick up the keys.