New build estate vs ordinary house(23 Posts)
We are looking at an area to possibly move to - we know the area fairly well, it's a suburb of a city. Our budget of up to 300K is enough for either a new build 3-4 bedroom house (Barratt) on a development or the cheaper end of the 3/4 bedroom houses locally - so we would end up with a doer upper or no garage or tiny 3rd bedroom space or some other compromise. We have two DC, secondary age.
I've never lived in a new build and there seem to be nothing but horror reviews about how everything leaks/takes years to get snagged/is shoddily built. Or they turn out to be improbably small. What are people's experiences? It's tempting with all the other hassle, to move into a house that is ready to live in, but not if it turns out to be a nightmare.
I'll never buy a new build for all the reasons you mention. Buy something at least 50 years old - yes there will be maintenence work but the bones of the house are sturdy and robust.
I've lived in a new builders - we were the second owners though, not the first, so maybe some of the initial snags had been sorted out.
It was great! We lived there for five years and nothing ever had to be mended! We live in a much older property now and it's much colder (ancient boiler) and slates keep falling off the roof etc.
I'm not someone who cares much about the 'character' of a property so a new build suited me.
New builds generally have crappy sized plots too.
Go with the older or doer upper.
It depends on you, your personal circumstances and your preferences. I have lived in two new build properties and a period property. The advantage of a new build it that most things are covered by the house builder. I think the quality is generally ok and I accept we had a few 'snagging' issues that were easily rectified.
I think that new builds get a lot of bad press but there are advantages, low maintenance, cheap to heat. Our current house has lovely large rooms so I think generalising that all new builds are small is not true. Yes our house does not have a huge garden but that suits us for now.
As with all properties there are pros and cons. Depending on your circumstances it will affect your judgement.
If you get in early on a development you can choose the plot that suits you as well.
I love our new build. It's warm and no drafts, very clean, lots of space and if anything goes wrong the builders come round and fix it for me.
I love ours. Best house I have ever lived in. You can't generalise on size of rooms etc as 'new Build's just means it's newly built. It doesn't mean it is part of a massive development with tiny houses. It could well be much bigger than older houses with the same number of bedrooms. What it does quarantee is newness, so new boiler, new roof, new electrics etc. My previous houses ranged from hundreds of years old to 1960s and I really appreciate the newness and the low maintenance of our new build.
I lived in a new build and I loved it! Brand new everything, warm house so very little heating bill, no issues at all.
I wouldn't choose live in one personally as I find them too close together and on tiny plots, plus the neighbourhoods seem soulless somehow (I realise this is bolleaux) HOWEVER my BFF just moved into one and she loves it and I have to say she's had a much easier time of it than we have with all the nasty post-purchase surprises in our ~character~ house!
The downside of a house over 50 years old is 50 years of bodging. That can be worse than any new build snagging
when you discover the leaky underfloor pipe after it's rotted your kitchen units
The best thing is to take each house you consider on its own merits, without ruling out anything potentially suitable.
We personally chose a 1970s house as we got much more house and plot for our money than a newbuild when we were looking. We got a 4 bed detached for the same price as a 4 bed new build semi, but our rooms are significantly bigger/ especially the living areas.
Round here there isn't much difference in price between new build houses and older houses. I'd much rather a new build with no surprises and low maintenance than an older property that could potentially have a whole host of problems.
For some reason new build flats are priced almost the same as new build houses and they are being snapped up. That I don't understand.
Ours is a Taylor Wimpey, not new anymore, we've been here 12 years now but I love it. Rooms are big, we got the good 'side' of the road so we have big gardens. The other side of the road (Bovis) got tiny triangles of garden. That kind of stuff needs to be paid attention to before you buy. Developers vary. I'm not wholly sure about Barrett but I would put them at the middle of the scale for quality, lower than Wimpey when we were looking (as I say though, that was 12 years ago).
It depends what you want.
1. Less issues (generally), little maintenance, cheap to heat, often similar families / maybe social for teenagers & children. If you buy early you can sometimes choose kitchen / floors / finishes etc.
2. But (generally) smaller plots with houses very close to each other (you'll know your front / back/ side neighbours very well) so limited privacy and not generally much scope to extend or change layout as needs change, rooms are generally smaller as they shoehorn in downstairs loo / utility / ensuites. In my experience they don't hold value as well as older properties as there's always another new estate down the road and people who want new build are not always interested in 'nearly new build'.
I wouldn't want a new build now just because I like houses with a bit more character and more flexibility in terms of layout, but when we bought one as our first house, it was great. Worked for us.
'New builds' aren't all the same. Some new builds are crap and tiny, just like some older houses.
We bought a new build as our first house while we were expecting our baby- we didn't want the hassle of jobs and diy etc as we moved in while I was 9 months
pregnant. It has worked out well so far. Our plot is really quite big as it's on a corner and our garden is a nice size. The rooms are big too- certainly no smaller than an equivalent 'older' house.
There's a lot of snobbery about new builds, but it really depends on the specific house, development and plot. Just like any house!
Some of the new build issues that people talk about are wild generalisations. Not every new build has a small plot and not every old house has a huge garden.
If the new build has better size distribution for the bedrooms, than an older 2 bed and a box room then that could be the better option. As someone said upthread you just need to consider each property on it's own merits and in terms of which can best meet your needs within your budget.
We bought a new build this year with Barratts. Lovely house and cannot fault the service from the site team. We didn't have any major snagging issues, just things like bits of paint needing touching up, chipped window handles and stuff, which was all sorted out within a few days. Room sizes are really good - obviously if you buy a two bed terrace then you're not going to have much space, but when you start looking at 3/4 bed detached houses the rooms are plenty big. We have three good size doubles and a single room, and you'd fit a double in the single if you wanted as a guest room but probably wouldn't have space for much else then. Rooms are generally bigger than all the other houses we looked at. Yes gardens are little but plenty of space for kids to play, bbqs etc so depends what you want really. Not sure I'd ever buy anything but a new build now, would take some serious convincing! Oh and price wise it was cheaper than all the older houses we looked at.
We bought a 1940's semi. It's solid and a big plot but we've had countless issues (bodged old extension that leaks, terrible wiring, boiler breaking twice, garage falling down etc). Countless times I've wished we'd bought the new build and could just live our life.
But we've saved and will be starting an massive extension in the NY (simultaneously can't wait and am dreading it) so we will end up with our perfect house - it's just taken a lot of time and patience. You need to think short and long term - can you save to do something up if it needs it and will you have enough space for your family whilst you wait.
I have lived in my new build barrat house for 18 months. Never had anything but tiny snagging issues and they were all resolved easily, I have been really pleased with the service and the house even though I had my reservations at the start. They also provided extras like free flooring, tiling and appliences when we put a bit of pressure on.
A new build will have a guarantee for 10 years on the building and 5 years for the stuff inside usually. I don't have to worry about my boiler breaking down or something going wrong with the plumbing because it will all be fixed for free - you can't put a price on that if you are on a budget. The resale value for ne builds isn't great though so that's worth considering.
Oh and for the size of the house our garden is huge - ignore what people say about 'tiny plots' you will obviously see the house or at least the plot before you buy.
Thanks. We are good at DIY and have done up a couple of lovely old houses, that's our comfort zone, but due to other factors in life we need minimum hassle if we move again. And ideally 2 identical kids rooms!
Minimum hassle = new build. I've spent nearly 6 years cursing my semi 😄
This is my 2nd new build and I love it. First one was Barrett and the sales and aftercare was excellent. Any snagging issues (which were minor)just required a call/e-mail and they came out same week usually to fix it. The house I am in now has two huge bedrooms and one smaller and a decent garden plus two large cupboards, built on wardrobes and a loft. We looked at a range of houses older and new before devising new was what we wanted. The builders are still on site so fine round if needed to fix anything (they did guttering in 5 minutes if us calling).
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