Some people have very strong ideas when it comes to the age of their ideal property with many seeming to prefer the look and character of older properties. However, with so much development happening in Peeblesshire at the moment Ruth Montgomery looks at the potential benefits of buying a new build property over an existing house.
Reduced Carbon Footprint and Energy Bills
One attractive aspect of a new build home is that they tend to be far more environmentally friendly than older properties. The insulation is usually superior. They often have triple-glazed windows and doors. The latest “smart technology” employed by many builders and the newest appliances make the homes more energy efficient. In addition to reducing your carbon footprint living in a new build home will also reduce your energy bills. The Scottish Government has acknowledged that there is a climate emergency and is committed to making all homes in Scotland zero carbon by 2045. Within the building industry we can expect a transition to new minimum energy efficiency standards and the expansion of low carbon, renewable heating systems.
Fewer repairs and no surprises
One of the most obvious benefits of buying a new home is that they require fewer repairs than older properties and, because of their newness, you are unlikely to have any unwelcome surprises when you move in. New build properties are built to the latest regulations and specifications and are required to be sold with structural warranty for a period of 10 years from the date of completion. This protects the home owner in the event of major structural damage, defective waterproofing or drainage.
When buying an older property you are usually relying on the terms of the Home Report survey. This may be unproblematic. However, occasionally, you may move in to your property only to discover an issue which was out with the scope of the Home Report survey. For example the surveyor may have commented on the state of the roof having looked at it only from the ground and you discover that the roof is in fact in a worse state than thought. (It should be noted here that you can of course instruct a roofer to carry out a full survey of the roof before buying but many people, if they have no reason to suspect there are problems, choose not to). With a new build you know exactly what you are buying.
A blank canvas and less work
Often builders allow purchasers to have input into the interior design – you may be able to choose the fixtures and fittings, colour scheme and flooring. The idea that you can move in to a brand new home, freshly decorated to your own taste or with neutral colours is very appealing to most.
When you move into an older property you have to make do with the previous owners’ décor and taste until you have the time, energy and money to redecorate. With a new build you can just unpack your things, relax and enjoy.
Also, new build properties usually have factors appointed to deal with the maintenance of any shared areas (eg. this could be a stairwell in a flat or a landscaped/play areas within a housing estate). This is attractive to some as it takes the hassle out of trying to organise shared repairs or grass-cutting with neighbours.
Ruth Montgomery, Solicitor