Buying a Home - Old or New?

Old homes tend to have character and a curious feeling of being settled into their surroundings. They have seen people come and go and for this reason people tend to be nostalgic about them. They tend to be central to villages and towns and those in the country tend to offer a ready-made community. If you are considering buying one, you may have an image in your mind of a little cottage, an open fire, fresh flowers and a climbing shrub outside the front door.

The romanticism of an older home can whisk us off our feet and before long our visions blind us from what we should see. As magazine perfect the house could become, chances are it will cost you a little more than you expect. If you are going to buy an older home, be sure to invest in time to investigate its structural soundness. A property that looks sound to a lay man's eye may look very different to a surveyor. Be prepared to take an element of risk when putting an offer in on an old property, after all if you find it needs drastic surgery you need to be prepared to pay for it. Make your inquiries while you still have the option of walking away. It is worth mentioning that many mortgage companies will not release monies until they are satisfied that the more serious issues are addressed.

On the other hand, older homes tend to be more spacious, 'individual' and altogether more appealing. Gardens tend to be bigger in older homes and sometimes even come complete with a vegetable plot!

In contrast, new properties tend to look stark. They have not yet settled into their surroundings well and the shrubbery has yet to grow up. Builders are interested in building as many properties on a plot as possible and this can sometimes mean you are crammed in with many other residents. The gardens tend to be fairly landscaped and neat although depending on the nature of the development still have the potential to be of a decent size. With so many houses on a plot, look out for windows overlooking your garden, you need your privacy.

Newer properties can be very well priced, especially for the first time buyer. They tend to be covered by the builder's insurance for a fair few years after completion. This ensures that any teething problems the property may have are dealt with without the expense. They also tend to be very energy efficient and fitted with new fixtures and fittings such as kitchen cabinets. If you buy off plan, you can not only negotiate a good deal but you might be able to dictate the color of your carpet.

It is a matter of preference of course whether you subscribe to rustic and old or fresh and new. The important thing to remember is that you should be open-minded to viewings and choose the one you feel most comfortable in.

Dave Matthews is a freelance copywriter. He writes articles for a range of interests, causes and businesses - in this case Shepherd Gilmour, an established and trusted Manchester Estate Agent.

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