Wednesday, 30 January 2019

New home for a new life?

Middle aged couple ready for moving day
There comes a time in life when you just know you have to make a move.

The ‘trigger’ for the decision to up sticks and move house is different for different people.

It often has to do with changing family circumstances. Maybe the kids have left home and you don’t need the sort of house that was ideal for a growing family. Or maybe your choice of location was dictated by the need to be close to particular schools and you’re now free to live somewhere different.

Changing employment can be another trigger for a move. You are earning more now that you were when you moved to your current home. You can afford somewhere bigger – so why not enjoy the fruits of your success with a better home?

And a house more conveniently located for commuting to work might be good. If you can save just 15 minutes travel each way on the daily journey to work and back, that adds up to around a whole working week of your life each year that you won’t spend travelling. What could you do with an additional week of ‘you time’ every year?

Or maybe you need to move closer to your parents. Or your children and grandchildren. Or the golf club.

Whatever the reason, you’ve decided to make a move.

There are lots of factors that influence where you move to. Location, obviously. Size of home. Price.

New build or second hand home?

Another factor you may want to give some thought to is the type of property. When it comes to moving home, you have two choices - new-build or used. Both come with their own advantages.

Things that you might want to consider when making that choice include:

  • You may actually be eligible for government help with the purchase. It is commonly believed that the Help to Buy scheme is just for youngsters and first-time buyers. But it’s not. You could get up to 20 per cent of the purchase price on what is basically an interest-free loan from the government if you are buying a newly built home with a price tag of up to £600,000.
  • A new-build home can be fully decorated to your own taste and ready to move in. Talk to the builder early enough and you can probably choose from a range of things such as floor and wall tiles, bathroom fittings, door handles, light switches and more - as well as specifying paint colours - to ‘personalise’ your home. If you buy a second-hand property you’re stuck with whatever the previous owners chose. And if you’re not keen on it, you’ll spend a great deal of your time (and money) over the next few months changing it. Do you really want to do that?
  • A new-build home will have a new central heating system and can come with new appliances in the kitchen, all covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. The garden fence is new, the windows are newly painted, there’s no moss on the roof and the gutters are clear. So, you know you’ll have no expenses in these areas for a good few years to come. 
  • Most new-builds will have a ten-year insurance-backed warranty that gives you security in the face of any major problems with the property. Even if you get a full survey done on a used home (which can be expensive) there is no guarantee that it will uncover all the potential problems with the property and you will not get any warranty from the seller.
  • You will get after-sales service with a new home that you won't get with a used one. It should be perfect when you move in, but if there are minor problems such as windows that don't lock or taps that leak, the builder will sort them out. In a used home, you're on your own from the day you pick up the keys.
  • If you are buying a new-build you won’t find yourself stuck in a property chain because you don’t have to wait for someone else to move out before you can move in. So, you can generally fix a moving date and stick to it. That really does make life much simpler!
  • Energy costs will be lower in a new-build property because it must meet tougher building regulations for things such as insulation and double glazing than older properties did when they were built.