Are you planning or thinking about moving? What an exciting time! If you are searching for a new home, there are plenty of different and sometimes difficult choices to make – after all, it is going to be one of the biggest commitments to make. Do you want to move into something ready made with a minimum of fuss? Or do you want to take on a more difficult project to renovate your dream home, mould it exactly into what you want it to be? Below, we explore some of the pros and cons of fixer-uppers and new build homes, as both come with advantages and disadvantages of their own. 

New builds

A new build is a freshly made home, a tabula rasa, a blank canvas, if you will! You’ll be the first owners and can move in as soon as work is complete. 

Pros

One of the main benefits is that from the moment you buy the house, you’ll be able to move in without making alterations. Plus, new builds unlock financial support to help you make the purchase – Help to Buy and Shared Ownership are particularly useful and only available for new builds. New build homes are also fitted with the latest technology and by law complying with the latest building regulations; which will make them more energy efficient, thus bringing down your energy bills

If you are managing to buy the house early on, you might even be able to have a say in the building process and design of the final house as well – moulding and further personalising it from the get-go. 

Cons

If you want space then a new build might not be for you: they’re often built on sites packed with other new homes and offering less space (especially storage), coming with smaller buildings and slimmer rooms. Plus, if there’s a delay in completion you might find that you must rent your old property for longer. 

Some builds are not made to the highest quality. If you are looking into buying a specific home, get yourself a professional looking over snags and structural issues, for it to be sorted out with the builder before you must come up for it.

It is also worth checking if the property belongs to the local council or a private management company, for which the monthly taxes might be way higher than you are used to pay – a growing issue in the housing market.

Fixer-upper 

A fixer-upper is a property that needs a makeover or renovation before you can move in – they’re often seen as project homes and can be real treasure troves for DIYer! 

Pros 

As the property needs repair, you can usually get it for a low price – even if it’s in an excellent neighbourhood. On top of this, even though you’re paying for renovations the house will rise in value and should cover your initial costs. Plus, as you’re in charge of the renovations, you can decide exactly how you want to design the house.

There are a lot of wonderful, sometimes historical homes, ranging from elegant Victorian style to mock Tudor houses. If you buy an older home, you buy character – and space. 

It is also likely that you are going to move into a tight-knit and established community that you can get to know once you settle. 

There are going to be a lot of issues going with a fixer-upper, but it also offers a lot of potential for decoration and crafting projects. Especially when you want to get involved with constructing and room structure. You will need an extensive set of tools as well for this – SDS max drills are an excellent place to start as you build your collection for getting to work!

Cons

On the flipside, those renovations and projects can be expensive – especially if there’s a surprise problem or the list of things to fix and create is a long one. And as renovations may take a while, you’ll have to find somewhere else to stay at the same time or keep renting your old space for longer. Most often, there is no way to move into the property on day one, like there is with a new build.

Buying a property off the hands of others also mean, that you must deal with the previous owners; which can end up being quite stressful and, in the worst-case scenario, end in not buying the house entirely. 

Energy efficiency is a huge issue in older buildings – be prepared to either spend a lot on energy bills, or a lot into the renovations to bring the property to the standards of today. 

Bottom Line

Searching for a new home is exciting. Whether you want the convenience of a new build, or the thrilling project of a fixer-upper, there’s plenty of choice out there for you, and neither is right nor wrong – it all comes down to what you want and enjoy. Good luck in finding the right property for you!

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