New-build or old house? The pros and cons of buying both

New-build or old house? The pros and cons of buying both
So, you've decided to move and you're looking to buy a home in London.

That's great news, but you're probably just coming to terms with the sheer amount of choice the capital offers.

And that's not just in terms of areas to live in, either.

London offers a huge variety of properties, from classical period homes to modern and contemporary new-builds.

You could already be asking yourself: 'Should I buy a new house?'

Well, when it comes to buying old or buying new, it's a big decision and one with pros and cons on each side.

So, we've looked at the best things about both and some of the hurdles you might need to be aware of...

New-builds vs period property

While the pros of buying a new-build property here in London might be obvious to the naked eye, even brand, spanking new properties need to be fully researched so you can be sure you're doing the right thing.

Period homes, meanwhile, are naturally older, so for all of those glorious period features that come with them, sometimes buyers do find nasty surprises waiting for them once they've signed on the dotted line.

The pros of buying a new-build

As we alluded to above, the main pro of buying a new home is exactly that - it's new!

Nobody has lived in the property, so everything inside is pristine and it can almost feel like the property was built specifically with you mind.

New builds are often spacious and are built for modern living, so there's a strong chance you'll get a large kitchen diner, en suites to bedrooms and plenty of off-street parking - even a garden, which is a real luxury in London!

New-builds also come with builder warranties, such as the NHBC certificate, meaning if something goes wrong with the property in the first 10 years of ownership, the builder will put it right at no additional cost.

Even if you sell the property within that 10-year timeframe, the certificate passes to the new owners which can be a great selling point when your property goes on the market.

The cons of buying a new-build

One of the most common mistakes buyers make is being lured into thinking that new-build asking prices are non-negotiable - simply because the property is brand new.

This is not the case and you should make a suitable offer as you would for an existing property when buying new.

However, new-builds do often come with heftier price tags than existing properties so be prepared to potentially pay a little more if your heart is set on one.

Another problem with new-builds is they often aren't built when buyers purchase them.

This is known as buying off-plan and while doing so can sometimes mean you get to have a say on things like fixtures and fittings, if a builder falls behind and your home is not ready to move into, this can cause problems with mortgage applications and your living arrangements.

New-builds also usually require a little time to settle on to their foundations so often buying one requires a pot or two of filler and paint as walls do have a tendency to crack in the early days.

The pros of buying a period property

With the popularity of period properties showing no signs of slowing up and, due to the ravages of time, fewer and fewer good quality homes like this available, they do hold their value thanks to demand.

So, a period home can be a solid investment for any buyer - especially if you bag yourself a good one that is unique in the area or perhaps ripe for an extension.

And there's another pro of period homes. Often they take well to additional square footage being added and the mix of old a new for, say, a new kitchen diner can really give a Victorian or Edwardian London home the wow factor - as well as adding value.

The cons of buying a period property

Put simply: age.

It's important to remember that, while many London period homes have been beautifully cared for over, in many cases, more than 100 years, they are still old.

That means they have been lived in by many people and been battered by the good old British weather over a long period of time.

And that means when you buy one, sometimes you can get a surprise or two.

And sometimes that can be costly.

Moreover, unlike a new-build a period home's decor may not be to your taste when you buy it, so that can mean additional expense to bring it up to a standard you can call 'home'.

London estate agents

Whether you're looking to buy new or old, Ellis & Co will almost certainly be able to help.

We've got more than a dozen branches across London and many, many great properties for sale and to rent.

Give your local branch a call to see what's available right now.