New Build v Second-Hand Home

New Build v Second-Hand Home

New build or second-hand home? With such an important decision comes great responsibility so it’s always advisable to take the time to weigh up the pros and cons of each.

Here we take a look at just some of the advantages and disadvantages of both options to get all you first-time buyers and upgraders thinking!

Location, Location, Location

If you’re looking for a base in close proximity to a city or established town, you will have far more options with a previously owned home. There is, in general, a continuous stream of such houses coming on and off the market in more populated areas. A significant portion of new housing developments tend to be located in areas that are still experiencing growth. Therefore they may not house many of the amenities and services that would already exist in more built-up locales.

Contemporary or Character-Filled?

Ah, the burning question. A newly built home scrimps on character but offers the convenience of the turnkey experience. On the other hand, a pre-loved property filled with individuality is wonderful, but older builds can expose many unexpected problems when you (literally) peel back the surface. Complete dedication to an extreme DIY project may be called for.

Go Green

Energy saving is currently a hot topic. While previously owned homes may take some adjustments (and substantial investment) to bring energy ratings up a notch or two, new builds are required to meet certain criteria in this area and will be eco-friendly by their very design. Not only will this up the resale value of the house down the line, but it will also afford you continuous savings on your regular bills.

Treasure Trove

A brand-new house also means forking out for brand-new fixtures and fittings, which can be an expensive business. Opting for a second-hand home means not only do you inherit the plentiful character handed down through the decades, but you might also find that previous owners will leave behind their white goods, saving you quite a significant sum in the process.

Everybody Needs Good Neighbours

Deadset on purchasing a second-hand beauty? Lucky you – you have the advantage of sussing out your neighbours and getting the lowdown on the area before you decide whether to take the plunge. That said, those investing in a new development aren’t doing so badly either. They benefit from being part of an emerging community that grows together, rather than being the bearer of the ‘blow-in’ tag, which can take some time to shake.       

Brass Tax

Oftentimes your final decision on the ‘new versus second-hand home’ conundrum will come down to one simple factor: affordability. While a ‘fixer-upper’ will make far less of a dent in your pocket than a new development, incentives such as the Help to Buy Scheme (which ends on 31st December 2019) and decreased stamp duty costs that exist for new builds (1% of house price, excluding VAT) are worth researching and considering so you’re educated on all options.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

Flor McCarthy is one of Ireland’s leading lawyers, certified by the Law Society of Ireland in Data Protection Practice. Flor has extensive expertise and hands-on practical experience in privacy, data protection and GDPR issues for marketers. He was chosen as Munster Solicitor of the Year at the Irish Law Awards in 2018.