Home Buying Guide: Choose A House

  • Do you want a new or an older house? If you are buying a very old one make sure you have looked into what this can entail. Old houses can look lovely but cost a lot to keep up in terms of maintenance and heating bills. Newly-built homes can also have drawbacks, such as higher prices than 'secondhand' ones, and the requirement to buy before they are fully built, but advantages include less maintenance and decoration costs, and often complimentary extras thrown in by the builders such as carpets, curtains and fitted kitchens (though you will not necessarily get to choose your own decorations). Remember new builds can be poorly built too, and you should consider a proper survey. There are additional guarantees for newly built homes under the NHBC guarantee scheme, but you do not want to have to call on these guarantees. It is far better to have any outstanding works (or 'snagging') dealt with before you move in.
  • Do you want a terraced, semi-detached or detached house, or a flat? If you want a flat, do you want a purpose-built one or a conversion? All have their advantages and disadvantages: consider space, privacy, noise, parking and character. How much does each one matter to you?
  • How much decorating or improvement do you wish to make to a property?
  • Do you want a leasehold or freehold property?