Mar 01, 2023

Should you buy a new build or an older home?


New Build vs Older House

A question that many potential first time buyers ask is “should I buy a new home, or go for an older property?”

The answer to this is subjective and depends on your personal preference as well as your situation.

I have run a successful New Homes department in Gloucester along with an online estate agency selling older properties for the last twenty-five years so am familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of both.

The aim of this article is to outline the advantages of new-build and existing property to help you decide whether to go for a new build or an older house.

The New Build

New Homes

Buying a new house is similar to buying a new car. The joy of buying a fresh new home that hasn’t been lived in before and with pristine walls and flooring beats buying a 1930s semi with an aged kitchen and bathroom. Often if you buy early enough you are also able to make your own colour choices and move in with the tiling, flooring, decorating and appliances all configured to your own personal taste.

You’ll also receive a builders warranty such as by the NHBC (National House Building Council) 10 year warranty which will give you peace of mind should there be any major issues.

When you buy a new home it is always chain free which makes the purchase easier and eliminates the stress and uncertainty of purchasing an existing property which may be subject to survey and a lengthy onward chain. The completion date could still be effected by building delays, however.

There are also government schemes currently in place for purchasers of New Homes such as the Help to Buy scheme which may enable you to buy with a 5% deposit and the help of a 20% interest free loan. More details on the schemes available can be found on our Help to Buy guide.

New Homes are built to the latest standards so not only should you expect low maintenance and unexpected costs, but also cheaper running costs. The energy efficiency ratings that new builds have are likely to be well above those for an older home. It is said that new-build properties are six times more energy efficient than existing, older homes, and generate 60 percent less Carbon Dioxide emissions per household.

Moving into a new estate can provide an opportunity to meet new like-minded friends as part of an emerging community.

The Older Homes


Michael Tuck Sold it Board

On the flip side, if you want a bit of character and original features then an older house is hard to beat. If you are DIY minded and enjoy making your own mark on a property then an older house could be a better option.

Research shows that homes built in the 1970s are 20% larger than new build homes so you could purchase a like-for-like home for 20% less. Also forty years ago there was room for a garage and a driveway for two cars. Nowadays the layout of modern housing estates are influenced by land owners extracting the highest value which leads to higher density housing.

Build quality has varied over the decades, but generally Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian properties where built at a time when land, labour and material costs were lower, so there was more time to lavish on them. Many post-World War I properties are of an inferior build when labour and material shortages and rising population began a decline in size and quality that largely continued to the Seventies.

Buying an older property means that you are buying into an existing and established neighbourhood, so it is possible to observe or even meet the neighbours before you move in.

So in summary if you like DIY and character buy an older property, whereas if you prefer convenience then a new home is probably for you.


Hear what our clients have to say...

Michael Tuck Lettings in Quedgeley have managed our rental property for the past 11+ years.

During this time their professionalism has never dropped. In the early days, Ian, Graham and Vikki-Lee were a huge help to a novice landlord. I’m pleased to say they are still there with a helping hand. Claire has always been the nudge I needed for the necessary insurance and safety checks. Having had some difficult times over the past couple of years I would like to say a special thank you to Lianne who has been there to help wherever she could.

We are in the process of selling the property and as expected Miles and Otis are dealing with everything with Tucks usual professionalism.

I have no hesitation in recommending this lovely, friendly office.

Linda Parker

I cannot recommend Michael Tuck Estate Agents enough.

They were so professional and so prompt with their communication. In particular we would like to mention Charlie for his regular updates and extremely helpful service in the sale of my mothers house. We were in a particularly long chain, and he went over and above to assist us in the communications between the buyers and sellers in order for our chain to proceed. He even contacted Solicitors and helped progress the exchange.

“We are certain if it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t have sold our house! We cannot thank him and his team enough.”

Kelly Durkin

Miles has gone above and beyond to ensure buying our first house has been a smooth process. He has offered clarification and reassurance at all steps of the journey, making us feel like valued clients.

“We would recommend Michael Tuck Estate Agents.”

Hollie Blunt

Michael Tuck New Homes in Gloucester assisted us selling three phases of our development in Kingsway, Gloucester.

“All of the staff were very professional and knowledgeable sales people who represented our company as if it were their own.”

If we were to need help selling our homes in the Gloucester ara again they would be the first phone call i’d make.

Stephen Holbrook. Abbey Homes

Tony and John, Abbeymead branch, supported us during very difficult circumstances (and we don’t just mean Covid!)

The same applies to other staff when answering queries etc.

“They were unfailingly courteous and returned phone calls and emails promptly.”

David Duncan

I have been a customer of Michael Tuck Lettings in Abbeymead for coming up to 2 years now.

I would like to highlight Kurt and James for there forever ending support and excellent communication. Their joint efforts have filled me with confidence in the ability to keep my family safe in a home we love.

No matter the complexity or need they are always on hand to support and come to some form of reasonable resolution.

For this reason I would recommend Michael Tuck to all my family and friends and will hopefully continue to stay a customer of Michaels Tucks until I purchase my own home. Thank you

“Being a contact centre manager I know how important customer service is and I must say that Michael Tuck has not disappointed.”

Jay Preece

Miles and the team have been brilliant from start to finish during the sale of our house.

Miles especially went above and beyond with sales chasing when I think most other people would have probably given up! Really happy with the service.

“Such a friendly and professional team and nothing was too much trouble.”

Anna England

I was recommended Michael Tuck Estate Agents in Abbeymead by a friend, thank you friend!

I would like to say a big thank you and well done to the team who are very friendly, helpful and have taken the strain out of what was a fairly long house sale.

Special thanks go to Chloe and Tony for their positivity and Chloe thank you for your good humour which lifted me during the long process!

“I would highly recommend them for a first class service”

Jane West

Michael Tuck Lettings in Abbeymead have been a fantastic letting agents looking after our house for the past 17 years.

We have recently sold the house with the sales department.  Kurt has looked after us incredibly well during the 17 years of lettings and Tony, Andy and Chloe have made the selling very easy. Thank you

“The staff are professional, approachable and easy to contact.”

Claire Rawlinson

I have recently bought and sold through the Gloucester branches and cannot praise Miles and the team highly enough.

In what has been a very testing time for the industry, Miles and all the staff have worked tirelessly in my purchase and even more so my sale.

Thoroughly recommend Tucks every time. Special thanks to Otis. Thank you guys it’s been an absolute pleasure.

“Their drive and communication skills have been amazing.”

David Lichtenstein