Buy a new house? Or buy an old house?

This week estate agent Gareth Cheshire, the original NP Property Blogger, helps you consider what’s right for you.


When you embark on your venture to buy a home one of the most common decisions to make is whether to buy a new  house or purchase an existing home.  Each choice has its advantages and there is no single answer that works for everyone.

Here are some of the things that you may wish to consider as you decide which route to take:

Advantages of buying older houses:

  1.  Many people are drawn to developed neighbourhoods for the sense of community already established.
  2. Many people enjoy home improvement so an existing property may have small projects waiting to be done.
  3. Existing homes are often found in older, more convenient areas rather than out of town.  In many cases, an older home offers the opportunity to expand and build a unique property.
  4. The house may well have some unique design features that can be enhanced for an individual feel

Advantages of buying a new house:

  1. Everything is brand new and you don’t have to do a thing; hence the phrase “turn-key”
  2. New homes will be energy efficient so should save on heating bills
  3. Safety – new homes are built to strict standards to make your home as safe as possible
  4. Developers are currently offering a range of incentives to attract buyers.  So as well as your new home, you may be able to negotiate new carpets, blinds, turfed lawns and other sundries.
  5. The biggest advantage of all may be that developers are currently offering a range of part-exchange deals that will take all the hassle and aggravation away from you.


To decide what really is best for you – to buy a new house or consider an older one, and how to approach developers, contact your local, professional, independent estate agent.

Considerations when buying a property.

Don’t let your emotions cloud your judgement when you’re ready to buy a property – advises local property expert, Gareth Cheshire.

Wait!  That house may seem like everything that you have ever wanted, but before you make an offer, take some time to consider a few things on top of the size, style and price.

Don’t make an entirely emotional purchase

When buying a property, it is easy to let emotions get in the way of reality, much like life.  I regularly find that buyer excitement brings on a sudden case of amnesia about many facts that will make a difference.  Some times people want something so badly they won’t ask the relevant questions upfront.  There is nothing more frustrating for our vendors than having a purchaser start asking obvious questions 6 weeks into the transaction; (after both parties have spent money on legal fees) and then threatening to pull out of the purchase.

Always do your homework

My advice to all potential buyers is to do your homework and don’t be afraid to ask the difficult questions, to both the vendor and yourself, right at the start of the transaction.  In addition, always be prepared to answer any questions the agent may ask you at the start of the transaction.  With over 30 years experience I still find couples arguing 6-7 weeks into the transaction when they utter the line, “I told you you should have asked that when we first looked at the house.”

Check out planning options in advance 

If you are thinking of building an extension or altering the property make your enquiries with the local authority at the start.  You can then establish whether your proposed Olympic-sized swimming pool will be approved. It is not the seller’s fault when you establish the day before exchange of contracts that the property cannot be turned into the house of your dreams.

Establish all the facts early on: what you want from the property and what the estate agent needs from you.

Property presentation matters

This week local estate agent Gareth Cheshire advises on a FAQ and why property presentation matters – “What can I do to generate more interest in my property, other than dropping the price?” 

One of the most frequent questions that I am asked by vendors is, “What can I do to generate more interest in my property, other than dropping the price?”

Beware of overpricing

This can be answered in two parts.  Firstly, some houses ARE overvalued to begin with: agents advise a vendor on a price which is markedly over value just to get the listing, therefore keeping the boss back at the office happy that they’ve got another instruction.  Then, surprise, surprise, some weeks later with minimal viewings (if any), the only option offered to the vendor to try and sell the property is to drop the price.

Be realistic with your house price

We are all fickle creatures and motivated by money, my years of experience in estate agency have proven time and again that people will invariably go with the agent who values their house at the highest price even if an objective view shows quite clearly that it’s overpriced. Having established that a property is being marketed at the correct value, many vendors are increasingly disillusioned and disheartened that nobody is coming to look at their house. One of the greatest wonders of the modern world is the internet and it’s changed the whole face of estate agency and the selling of houses – property presentation has never been more important! But however wonderful this 24/7 access to information is, it needs to be used to best effect; maximising the amount of people who want to come and look at an individual property.

Present your property in the best possible light

The key to this is ensuring that a property is seen in the best possible light – property presentation. The pictures taken by your agent HAVE to show your house off and make people want to take a further look by arranging a viewing.  It sounds very simple – and it is – but photos showing only half a room and the bottom part of a wardrobe are very common but are of no use to anyone.  Similarly, taking a photo of the least attractive aspect of a property is no use as a potential selling tool; getting a potential purchaser to your property because they like something they have seen means that when they do view it in person, the pokey downstairs bathroom may be ignored because they like the rest of the house.  The key is getting them to the property in the first place.

Photo tours of your property

We use professional photography to present your property in the best possible light and to provide the best possible chance of creating interest and importantly, viewings.

So call 01633 869 086 to talk to the property professionals and remember – there is a buyer out there for every property, but whatever the property, vendors and their agent must make every effort to maximise viewings.