So, you’ve decided that it’s time to move home. Your family is getting bigger and there just isn’t space for all of you anymore. Or maybe you just want to find somewhere with better schooling opportunities for the kids and more work opportunities for you and your partner. Whatever the reason for the move, it’s going to be a tough process. There are all sorts of things to sort out on moving day and in the weeks and months after you arrive. But before you even get to that stage, you’ve got to find a new home first.
Finding the perfect family home that fulfils all of your needs can be hard and it’s important to look to the future. For example, if you’ve got younger kids that are sharing a room at the minute, that’s not going to last forever. They’ll need their own room when they’re older so you need to account for that when choosing houses. You also need to think about the neighborhood and whether it’s safe for children to play outside and whether there are good schools etc. Once you’ve found the perfect neighborhood to move into, you can start looking at some properties. At this point, you’ve got another big decision to make; should you buy a new-build or an older property? There are pros and cons to both and in the end, it comes down to personal preference but to help you tackle this decision, here is a list of some of the benefits and drawbacks of both.
When you’re moving into an older property, it’ll be as the last person left it and it’s up to you to make any changes that you’d like. Sometimes, you might have to make sacrifices if you can’t afford to make large scale changes. But when you’re buying a new-build property, you’ve got more options for customization. That’s especially true if you’re buying a build to order (bto) property. Take a look at this hdb bto November 2018 for an example of how it works. If you’re buying a bto property, you’ll get to be involved with the construction process and make decisions about which rooms go where. That’s a massive bonus because you can create a property that suits your exact needs. Even if you’re moving into a new property that has already been built, you’ll still get a say in what appliances go in there and how it’s decorated. This saves you a lot of time and effort when you move in because you don’t have to do any work on the house.
An older property is more likely to have issues that need fixing and it’ll be up to you to pay for it. When you’re viewing the property, it’s important to get a survey done so you know what work needs doing before you agree to buy it. In some cases, you can even ask the previous owner to carry out this work as a condition of you buying the place. In a new-build property, however, you won’t have that issue. There shouldn’t be any repairs that need doing because the place has only just been built. If there are problems, the majority of new properties come with a builders guarantee so you won’t have to pay out for any work that needs doing. This is a big bonus if you’re on a tight budget and you can’t afford to do loads of work on a new house.
In general, new properties tend to be more secure than older ones. The doors and windows will be made of stronger materials and the locks will be newer so it’ll be harder for somebody to break in. An older property with wooden doors and windows might look a bit nicer but it’s also not as secure. A house that isn’t as secure is going to cost you more money to insure so keep that in mind when you’re comparing the cost of houses. On top of all of that, an older property may have dangerous building materials like asbestos or lead paint that you’ll need to deal with, otherwise, they could be putting your family at risk. This is something that you can pick up during the survey before you decide whether to buy the house or not. Although older properties may not be as safe, that doesn’t mean you should swear them off entirely. You can make them safe if you take the right precautions when you move in.
Budgeting your money well is a priority when you’ve got a family. Kids are expensive so you can’t afford to be wasting money. Your energy bills are likely to be one of your biggest monthly expenses so anything you can do to cut back on them is a bonus. A new-build property is going to be insulated a lot better than an older property so it’ll be a lot cheaper to heat. The boiler and all of the appliances in the house will also be newer and modern appliances are way more energy efficient than older ones. On top of that, the windows and doors are more likely to be double or triple glazed, which cuts down on energy usage as well. You can, of course, put new appliances in and change the windows and doors in an older property and you could even have some more insulation put in but that’s going to cost you a lot of money. Changing the insulation in the walls is quite a big job as well so you’ll probably have to delay moving in for a while. If you’re really concerned about energy usage, a new build property is probably best.
This is where older properties come into their own. As a general rule, you’ll pay a fair bit more money for a new-build property over an older one. You will probably have to spend some money doing work on an older house but even then, the overall price often works out a lot cheaper. If you’re really working on a tight budget, you might be better off finding an older property for a good price and spending some time renovating it.
The cost of land is high so when developers are putting up new-builds, they try to get the most out of the space they have by putting houses quite close together. That’s why it’s quite rare to find a new-build with a large garden. But a lot of older properties will have a nice big outside space. This is a big bonus for families because it gives the kids a nice area to play in when they’re too young to go out and about on their own. Trying to keep kids active is harder than ever and having a big garden of your own can be a big help. It’s not impossible to find a new-build with a large garden but it is difficult and you’ll probably pay quite a bit for it because they’re in high demand.
Having a home built to order has a lot of benefits but there is one big drawback. It’s not that uncommon for the completion dates of a new-build to be pushed back a couple of times. In some cases, it’s not too much of a problem because the date isn’t pushed back by that much. But if the build is going to finish much later than expected, it can cause some problems with your mortgage provider.
There are a lot of benefits to buying a new-build property and often, they’re the best choice for families, just be aware of the potential drawbacks before you make your final decision.
Note: This is a collaborative post.