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New vs Traditional?

September 2021
When buying a property, there are a range of house styles to consider, from a detached 1930s residence with a refurbished, contemporary finish, to an 1800s Grade II listed character home with original features. Each type of property has its pros and cons, but what sets apart new builds and older properties, and what should you know about each before considering a purchase?
On the rise with independent developers and established companies alike, new build properties are incredibly popular with a variety of people, including first time buyers, young professionals, families and the elderly. 
There are many advantages to buying a newly built home, one of the biggest being that not much work will need doing to the property when you move in. Everything is new and neutrally decorated to accommodate as many people as possible and therefore all you have to do is move in your furniture. This can be practical for those who don’t have much time on their hands to refurbish or redecorate.
There is also no upward chain to new build houses, so there can be less time to wait to move in, depending on the stage of the build.
In terms of reliability, you receive warranties on the property for appliances and structural guarantees. Typically the warranties associated with the house itself last around 10 years and are in place to protect you by ensuring any faults that surface are rectified.
However, there are some drawbacks to new homes. Compared to older properties, the rooms and garden sizes are generally smaller. The proximity to neighbouring houses can also be closer, if built as part of a larger development, due to developers fitting as many houses as possible on the land to maximise profit. 
Character properties are beautifully unique and full of traditional features like exposed wooden beams, ornate coving and original fireplaces. Depending on what work has previously been done, character properties often offer the opportunity for a project of sympathetic modernisation,
creating a tailored home with a mix of old and new. Victorian semi’s in particular make for wonderful family homes, with generous accommodation, usually set over three floors if a loft conversion has been completed.
Some older properties may be listed if they hold historical significance and therefore will require that certain aspects are preserved. There are three different types of listed buildings – Grade II, Grade II* and Grade I.
Grade II – Buildings of special interest.
Grade II* - Important Buildings of more than special interest.
Grade I – Buildings of exceptional interest, examples being Buckingham Palace and Big Ben.
An advantage to purchasing a listed building is that you become the custodian of such an individual property, which has interesting history behind it. Not many people own listed buildings – around 1.6% of properties are listed in the UK (400,000 compared to the 25 million properties overall).
Most likely, the property will sit within an idyllic location and be of a substantial size. The value is also likely to appreciate due to the uniqueness, so it is a worthy investment. 
Unfortunately, there are some downsides to buying older properties. Due to the age of the building, it is likely to require works more frequently, of which can be quite costly depending on the issue. 
For listed properties, you will need specialist insurance, which is more expensive than your normal home cover. If you are planning to refurbish the property or make alterations, you will likely need permission to validate what works you will be doing to check it doesn’t affect the listed features of the building.
Every property will have its advantages and disadvantages, however it is important for any buyer to do adequate checks on what they are purchasing through their solicitor and surveyors.