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Karl Hick, managing director of Larkfleet Homes (www.larkfleethomes.co.uk), says home buyers should look beyond the price when thinking about buying a new home – because a newly-built house will be cheaper to run than a previously occupied home.
Writing on the EasternNewHomeBuyer blog (www.easternnewhomebuyer.wordpress.com) he says:
“When you are buying a car you have two options – a brand new vehicle or a used one.
“When you are buying a home you have a similar choice – and in many ways, the reasons why you would opt for one rather than the other are similar. A new house comes with a range of benefits.
“However, unlike a car, a new house will cost pretty much the same as a used one. There is no great financial benefit in buying second-hand.”
Among the benefits of buying new, says Karl, are a guarantee, the fact that you won’t need to make repairs to cover ‘wear and tear’ for several years, and a range of schemes to help meet the costs of purchase – including money from the government – which are not available on anything except new-build homes.
In addition, he points out, the running costs are likely to be much lower with a new house than an old one. For example, houses are now built with much higher standards of insulation than they were only a few years ago. Your ‘running costs’ in gas and electricity bills could be £600 per year less with a new home than a used one built in the 1970s. And with gas and electricity prices rising every year, that £600 saving will go on rising year on year as well.
Then there is the cost of decoration. Karl says:
“You may be lucky and move into a second hand home which has been decorated throughout in ways that match your taste. It is much more likely that you will move in and want to start redecorating straight away.
“With a new home you have a ‘blank canvas’ and, with many builders, if you start your discussions early enough – before the house is completed – you can specify everything from paint colours to the choice of kitchen units. Carpets, cookers, kitchen appliances and other fittings (all brand new, of course!) can usually be included in the purchase price.”