Would you buy a new build or modern property?
What are the advantages of a modern property?
Katie Macdonald, Senior Property Consultant at Simpson & Marwick has been debating buying a modern home and has surprised herself with her recent purchase of a new build flat. She talks us through the benefits that a new build property can offer here.
A fan of traditional
Having always been a fan of traditional architecture in Edinburgh, I never thought I would be writing about this topic in a positive way. However, having recently purchased a new build flat, which again is something I thought I would never do, I feel well placed to comment. Of course the charm and character of traditional properties with their period features must not be underestimated, but there are definitely a number of benefits in buying new build or modern property.
A lifestyle choice
With capital growth in property now not being as likely as it was back in the heydays of the boom, buying property I feel should be more of a lifestyle choice rather than a vehicle for growth. Of course in the long term we will eventually see prices rising again, but this is likely to be very a long, long term view. So is it not more important to buy a home that you are going to enjoy coming home to at the end of the day?
You're covered, just in case you need it!
With lending still being tight and buyers needing at least a 10% cash deposit, not many buyers have extra cash to spend on improving a property if it requires work. If you are buying a new property it doesn’t need to be cosmetically improved and bathrooms and kitchens are brand new with appliances all under warranty. Of course the entire building is normally covered by NHBC so anything significant that may go wrong is covered. As traditional tenement properties get older there is more likelihood for roof and external stone repairs. Buyers can get hit with significant repair bills for these shared areas which they may not have anticipated.
Parking and outdoor space
Often an important driver when buying a home is parking. With private residents’ parking being generally standard in modern developments there is no driving around looking for a space.
Factors manage and look after all the communal areas and although a fee is charged for this, it takes away any hassle of who is going to clean a communal stair or look after a shared garden. Coming into a bright, secure shared entrance and getting a lift to my home is certainly more enjoyable than previously entering into a dingy tenement stairwell!
Energy efficiency and cost cutting
It’s also a great option for downsizers or the elderly who no longer want the responsibility of a traditional property. The energy efficiency of modern property with new central heating systems, double glazing and insulation not only makes it a more enjoyable environment but reduces bills. With some of the weather that we have been experiencing over the last couple of years I am sure it has pushed some buyers to choose a new build over a traditional property?
A lot of modern flats also have the benefit of a balcony which is certainly something that is appreciated when we are treated to a rare few hours of sunshine! Not something so common with a traditional flat.
However I should mention, location as ever is still key to an intelligent purchase. Whatever style of property a buyer goes for, its location is fundamental to how much the property will increase in value and how easy it will be to sell on in the future.
Quality of life
Of course this is just one point of view and I will always love traditional property and will most likely end up in one in the future. However, I think new build/modern property has its place in this market, more so than it did 5 years ago. It is certainly a good choice for either single or couple first time buyers with limited funds, downsizers and simply just those looking for a quality of lifestyle that is not as easily achievable with traditional property.
About the author
Katie Macdonald is a Senior Property Consultant at Simpson & Marwick and has been with them since 2009. She has worked within solicitor estate agents in Edinburgh for the past 10 years and specialises in carrying out valuations, advising clients on the marketing and sale of their property and bringing new properties onto the market in Edinburgh and the Lothians.