The Pros and Cons of Buying an Older Property

Early on in your property search or even before you start your search, you are likely to have a preference for either new properties or older properties. Or maybe you’re still not sure and are open to both options. Let's have a look at the pros and cons of buying an older property and if you want more information, you can read our guide to buying a home.

An old wooden farmhouse slowly decaying on a hill

Character

Older houses usually have attractive details that add to character and charm such as fireplaces, wooden beams and original flooring. This is usually lacking in new builds which don’t have detail and have a more blank canvas look. Buying in a neighbourhood full of old attractive houses can have a good well-established look and feel about it compared to new neighbourhoods full of new build houses.

Size

Older houses are usually bigger than their new build equivalents as they were built when families were generally larger. And because they were built when land was more plentiful and cheaper, they are often on larger plots of land which opens up the potential to extend. Gardens of older homes are usually bigger so they can be a good option for families with children.

Price

The price of an older house is generally lower than the equivalent new build house but this does, of course, depend on location and condition of the house. Or if they are similarly priced, you are likely to get more for your money with bigger rooms and larger gardens etc.

Prime Location

Older homes are usually located closer to the commercial and business districts of a town or city and within good proximity to schools, local shops, banks and public transport. New houses however, are usually built on the outskirts of a town or city further away from local amenities.

Maintenance costs

The cost of maintaining an older house is likely to be more with older plumbing and wiring systems, outdated heating systems and even chimneys that need draft excluders. Decoration costs may also need to be budgeted for depending on how well the house was kept by the previous owner.

Less energy efficient

Older properties are usually not well insulated which means energy bills are likely to be more than a new house which has the latest energy efficient traits and double glazing as standard. There are ways to make an older home more insulated of course, but it is an added expense to pay for.

Lack of storage space

Older homes were generally not built with storage space in mind as people simply didn’t own as much stuff. The design of cabinets and drawers were much smaller compared to those of newer homes which utilise every possible area for storage.

In conclusion, whether you prefer an older or newer house will depend on your priorities such as whether you need more space or want a smaller minimalist living arrangement. Or it may just be a preference with aesthetics and whether you like a house with character or prefer a blank canvas to create your own mark from scratch. Buying a house is one of the biggest and most daunting tasks you will ever undertake, so think carefully about what your priorities are before you start your search for your dream home.

Old or new homes will usually still require some type of financing, so remember to use our mortgage comparison tool to get the best options available.

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