Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions we will make in our lifetime, so it’s not something to be taken lightly. A house is more than a roof over our heads; it’s a place where we nurture ourselves and our loved ones, pursue our hobbies and interests, and entertain our friends. For some, their home may even be their place of business or a place to retire. So choosing a place where all this happens is a major responsibility. We need to decide:
Where to live Our community and neighbourhood is an important part of choosing our home. We need to be sure that it’s the right ‘fit’ for us and our family.
Budget We need to buy within our comfort zone of financial commitment.
Spec What kind of home, how much land, how many bedrooms? Is a large kitchen important or an en-suite bathroom?
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Aside from these, there is another decision we need to consider carefully. Do we want to buy old or new? Both have their advantages. With a new home you know that things like wiring and plumbing are also new. You know that foundations and damp-courses have been properly laid, but providing you look for an older home that has been renovated this shouldn't be an issue.
I have built brand new homes as well as living in established homes of between twenty and eighty years old, and in my experience I would prefer to buy an older home any day, and here’s why:
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- I like the idea of ‘re-cycling’ a house. There are so many beautiful older homes on the market. Who wants to go through the hassle of building when it’s already been done for you?
- In most cases, established homes already have fencing, gardens, sheds, plus window & floor coverings. Think of the added cost of adding these to your new home.
- Older homes are well-built. While I’m not disputing the quality of new homes, an older home seems to be more solid. They have stood the test of time.
- They have character. Seriously, who can resist those old wooden doors, thick walls and ceiling roses of an aged house?
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- Even modern décor looks great in an old house. You can get away with a mix of old and new and it won’t look out of place.
- Older houses have history. I love researching and finding out the story of my house.
I can understand the attraction of building a new home. You get to choose the layout and the colours. You might like the idea of being the first person to live in your home. I have to admit that, although a lot of thought and planning went into the two new houses I have lived in, they are definitely on my list of favourite homes. My favourites have been the old ones, the older the better. I've still put my individual stamp on them, but there’s just something romantic and alluring about an old home that has seen a parade of owners. They hold a mystique that I can’t resist.