Tom and I want to move house this year.
Sounds like a simple dream, but it's not.
We live in Leicester, which, as cities go, is pretty historic. I love old buildings, especially old houses; they have so much charm and character, and heaps more space than their newer counterparts. However, our budget won't enable us to buy one of those historic but already renovated houses that grace the pages of Beautiful Homes or Ideal Home magazine. If I'm honest, as much as I dream of living in an old house with its period features and large rooms, I don't want to spend the next 10 years of our lives doing up an old run-down house. I want to get on with living my life and one day raising babies in a home that's safe for their tiny toes and curious hands. So now we're faced with a dilemma many of you have already faced... do we buy old or do we buy new?
On New Year's Eve, we had a house viewing on what is my dream home; a massive three-bed, double fronted property built circa 1910. However, it needed £10k spending on it before we could move in and, as it was at the top of our budget, we wouldn't have that kind of money to spend before moving in. It took me a long time to grieve for that house, and if I'm honest I think I'll be dreaming of it for many more months to come - it has since sold - but I was intimidated by all the work that needed doing. If we bought new, nothing would need doing for years.
This weekend coming, we're heading to a new housing development to check out some houses we really like the look of. Last summer we also considered buying a property in a new development.
It seems that we're flitting between buying old and buying new...
Pros of buying new:
- A blank canvas
- Energy efficient/cheaper to run
- No work to do
- 10-year guarantee
- Secure & safe
- Get in early and you can customise aspects of the design
- Already open-plan
- Manageable garden size
- Soulless & lacking character
- Smaller in size in comparison to similar older house
- Estate living
- Un-established community
- Lack of storage
- Allocated parking/no driveway
- No room to extend
Pros of buying old:
- Loads of space/large rooms
- Character in abundance
- Loads of storage
- Cheaper to buy
- Established neighbourhood & community
- Loads of work to do
- Not energy efficient/can be expensive to run
- Ongoing maintenance
- Hidden defects, like damp or woodworm
- Large garden
Have you had experience with buying a new build home? How was it? Would you do it again?
Any tips on things I should look for or questions I should ask the saleswoman?