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Should You Choose an Old or New Build?

One of the great things about buying a house in the Essex and Suffolk areas is the huge choice of properties available. From sprawling period properties to ultra-modern homes, there’s a big choice of architectural looks, so there’s something to suit all tastes. However, sometimes the choices can feel a little overwhelming, and a common debate for those buying in the area is whether to choose a new build or a more traditional, period property. It’s not just about how the property looks, there’s a lot to consider when picking a home, and here are some things you should think about when looking in the area. 

Move-in or fixer-upper?
What’s often appealing to new build buyers is that their home is in move-in ready condition. You just move your furniture in, and make the place feel like your own. There are certainly lots of new builds in the Essex area, especially on the outskirts of Chelmsford and Colchester, with both flats and larger family homes being built. 

However, there can be limited options for personalising a newer home. If you opt for an older build that needs some work, then you do have more design options, and for some people it’s worth the investment to get the look they want. There are often older properties such as terraced homes in need of repair in Essex, but the market moves quickly so you need to snap one up. 

The size of a home, and how the space is used, is obviously going to be a high priority. There have been a lot of articles about how homes are getting smaller, and it’s generally true that a three-bedroomed home from the 1970s will be bigger than one built today. However, some people prefer a more compact home, so a new build might suit their lifestyle. When dealing with your estate agents, get measurements for each room and think practically about how much space you’ll need versus how much you can get on your budget. 

Running costs and other expenses
We all want to keep our bills as low as possible, and the type of home you buy can have a big impact on energy bills. When you look at houses for sale, you’ll notice they have an energy efficiency rating which should give you a rough idea of the cost of your bills. Things to consider include:
· Heating costs – older, larger properties are often expensive to heat
· Leaseholds – some newer leaseholds can have costly fees attached
· Service charges – Some newer flats are managed by companies so have maintenance costs
· Parking permits – period properties are sometimes on roads with little parking, meaning a resident’s permit needs to be purchased
· Home insurance – Home insurance can vary massively depending on the type of home and where it’s located, so it’s important to do your research

Location is often the key thing buyers are interested in, and what’s available on the local market will obviously vary. If you’re looking for a property for sale in a small town, then there might not be many older properties for sale, but there might be new builds nearby. If you’re willing to be more flexible on location, you may have more choice, so it’s worth talking to estate agents who know the area well. A lot of London commuters are moving out as far as Suffolk, meaning areas on the faster train routes are highly in demand and can be competitive.  

Need to find the perfect home in Suffolk or Essex? Contact us to see how we can help you find your dream home.
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