CASH-strapped buyers may be seduced by seemingly ‘cheaper’ second hand properties but it can cost £50,000* to bring an old house up to the same standard as a new build. Still, you may find yourself asking: is buying a new build a good investment?
What is the new home ‘premium’?
You will likely hear talk of paying a premium for the privilege of living somewhere that no one else has. But take a moment to think about what you are getting in return – a highly insulated, energy efficient, built to modern standards home; one with a stylish new kitchen and beautiful bathrooms, never-used appliances, a 10-year warranty, and the prospect of no repairs and minimal maintenance. Compare that to an older second hand property that might need anything from a cosmetic makeover and a few repairs to complete remodelling and a new roof!
Buying a brand new home means all the hard work has been done for you and finished to perfection. You should also be able to choose your kitchen and bathroom styles and other fixtures, fittings and accessories to personalise your home. You’ll simply be able to move – without having to worry about how to improve. But, with so much included from the outset, do new builds increase in value?
Will my new home hold its value?
“There’s a perception in some quarters that a new home will reduce in value as soon as you move in, similar to driving a new car off the forecourt. But that may be a very short term issue, if an issue at all,” explains Jon Bryan, valuations manager at property sales specialists Property Perspective.
“If you decide to sell your home while the builder you bought from is still on site then, yes, for a short time your home might compete with similar designs that could potentially sell more quickly or for more money; but only for the very reason that you bought a new home in the first place!
“However that’s very much a temporary issue and once the builder has moved off site your home has a big advantage over the competition. That’s because a well maintained, ‘nearly new’ home will most likely achieve more money than a similar size older style property, as there is less maintenance to consider, better insulation, improved energy efficiency, more stylish contemporary kitchens and bathrooms and living spaces better designed for the way we live now.”
Over time a well maintained new home should increase in value – subject of course to the prevalent market conditions – whilst an old home could deteriorate further without some pretty hefty repair work.
If a second-hand home was built by a quality, five-star builder, like Redrow, you will often see their name referenced in the estate agent’s ad and that’s always a good sign
Are all new homes the same?
It’s important to make sure you choose your new home carefully and buy from the right developer.
“Similar to buying a new car, the better quality and more premium brands tend to hold their prices for longer, especially if they are well maintained and looked after. If a second-hand home was built by a quality, five-star builder, like Redrow, you will often see their name referenced in the estate agent’s ad and that’s always a good sign,” Jon adds.
So, what are the key things to look for if you want to be sure that buying a new build is a good investment?
Here’s our guide:
• Location is everything: a popular development will often establish a reputation as a desirable place to live and this will help to keep prices buoyant. Redrow has eight placemaking principles that guide the creation of all our developments. You can check them out here.
• Attractive streetscenes: Carefully designed layouts, aesthetically pleasing architecture, strong kerb appeal, larger than average plots and quality landscaping will give your new home that ‘cut above’ feel for longer. Sensitively designed developments that include new or enhanced wildlife habitats are one of Redrow’s specialities. We even think about the birds, the bees – and the hedgehogs!
• Superior specification: Choose a home that offers well-planned space, quality fixtures and fittings, and meets, or preferably exceeds, modern day regulations. Redrow’s homes have higher ceilings, taller doors and windows, and deeper skirting boards than the norm; while kitchens, bathrooms, bedroom furniture, tiles and appliances are all from top quality, well-known brands. Each new home can be personalised using the specification choices and optional upgrades available in My Redrow.
* Based on the cost of bringing a similar size, older property up to the same standard as a brand new four-bedroom detached Oxford