The kind of property you buy will depend on a number of factors – personal taste and requirements, number and size of the rooms, location and external features. Traditionally speaking, newer homes cost more than older ones, but this is no longer the case. As the occurrence of new builds increases, more affordable options are now available. So, why would you choose to buy an older property? As with buying a car, if you had the option of buying a new one, why would you go for an old ‘banger’? – well, you’d be surprised how many do, and this is why;
- Traditional construction – If you’ve walked buy a new build housing site recently, you will no doubt have noticed how quickly the houses start to appear. But is this a good thing? Older properties are generally very solid, after all, they’ve weathered many storms over the decades, and are still standing proud! Also, it has to be said that most older houses will have been built by hand using genuine craftsman, with meticulous attention to detail. The building process was much slower back then, and traditional stone was used in many homes. This is not to say that newer homes are poor quality, but just take a look at the width of the walls in older houses, and you will see the quality and workmanship
- Bigger Gardens – Generally speaking, land was much cheaper to buy years ago, therefore builders tended to build on larger plot sizes. This gave them the option to incorporate large gardens to the front and rear, and space for out-buildings, such as sheds and garages. Of course, this is not always the case, but newer homes do tend to have very similar small garden spaces. This is a big consideration for many buyers, especially those with small families.
- Character – This really does come down to personal preference. How do you like your home to ‘feel’? Many like the simplicity of new builds – i.e. straight equally proportioned walls (certainly much easier to decorate!), but many just love the way that an older property feels. Yes, you may get slightly wonky walls, narrow staircases and low ceilings with an older house, but many people choose a property for that exact reason. Features such as original fireplaces and ceiling beams can actually sway a buyer when they go to view a house.
- Neighbours – Again, it may not always be the case, but generally speaking, there is a lower rate of ‘turnover’ with old houses. Families live in the same house for generations, passing it down over the years. This also applies to potential neighbours, they may have been there for some time, and this can often lead to better ongoing relationships.
- Neighbourhood – Many older properties are situated in more rural areas, whereas new-builds (generally) are built in highly-populated areas. This rural location provides a range of benefits – for example, less traffic and parking charges, and visually appealing exterior surroundings. For those who love nature, this can be a major selling point
So, clearly there are a lot of benefits to be had when buying an older property, but it’s clearly down to your personal preferences and requirements. Of course, older properties also have their bad points, for example ongoing maintenance costs, but some people will not even consider viewing a new-build, they instead prefer a home with a little more history. Before you buy, take the time to look at a combination of older and newer properties, you will soon find out what works best for you.