Family Home

The difference between old and new builds as a family home

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For many families, looking for a house to buy is not as simple as finding four walls and a nice garden in the right area. The house has to become a family home, with enough flexibility to accommodate each family member’s needs over the years.

With new build home completions on the rise, more new builds are available on the housing market. This means more families are considering what kind of home might be better suited to modern family life.

Here are some of the main factors that might influence which way you go when looking to buy a new home.


Interior and Exterior Design

When it comes to pre-existing house builds, it’s inevitable that a new owner will inherit the décor of its previous inhabitants. From small decisions like the colour of the bathroom walls to larger undertakings like open-plan living or a concrete patio, older homes are intrinsically “second-hand”.

Meanwhile, new build properties represent a blank canvas for families, allowing them to stamp their own identity and sense of style on the house both inside and out. Not only does this make for a unique opportunity to start from scratch, but it also means you can spend much less time and money altering a space, or attempting to make prior alterations work in the context of your family.


The Neighbourhood

Old and new build neighbourhoods also differ significantly. Each has their own unique benefits, depending on what you’re looking for.

Pre-existing builds are well-established, with neighbourhoods and amenities that have developed over decades. New builds are new for everyone, and you’ll likely find yourself bumping shoulders with your next-door neighbour as you both move in.

Established neighbourhoods might have the edge on safety due to neighbourhood watch programs and local diligence, but new build areas are generally more secure by virtue of better street and home lighting.


Running Costs

With the ongoing cost-of-living crisis threatened by even bigger energy bill rises, it’s no surprise that running costs are really important to house hunters at the moment.

Pre-existing homes can vary wildly in terms of how efficient they are to run, depending on when and how they were built. For example, pre-1920s builds did not use cavity walls, making for a costly home to heat.

By contrast, new builds are largely uniform when it comes to efficiency; stringent building regulations ensure that each one meets a high bar for minimum standards. As such, new builds are better insulated and less expensive to keep warm.



Space can also be a dividing issue when thinking about buying a house.

Older builds often take advantage of larger land plots, with bigger rooms, more garden space and separate garages in some suburban areas.

On average, new builds are built on smaller plots than pre-existing homes, but this is done smartly, with every inch of space used to the best possible effect.

If a large garden is of particular importance to your family, an older build might be a better fit for you. However, new build gardens can do a lot with a little land, and the versatility of their interior living spaces can make up for the smaller overall footprint.

There are lots of good reasons why new builds and older homes could be the right fit for your family. Considering all the pros and cons before you start house hunting will make the moving process much easier, and help you to find the perfect home. Which style of house is the best option for you?

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