Wine tastes better with age, but can the same be said for property?
It can be pretty easy to get caught up in the shiny appliances, unused bathrooms, pinterest-worthy gardens and swanky mod cons. But while there’s undeniable appeal to a new property, the ‘fixer-uppers’ can carry their own cool perks too. So we’ve put together a list of what to consider in both before making your decision.
The obvious benefit of buying new is that you’ll be the first to live in the place; no need for immediate renovations or repairs (you hope!), with everything clean and in working order. On the other hand, buyers looking for an existing property are often attracted to the idea of renovating to their own design taste, or one with a unique history that they can make their own.
According to Wayne Browne, Client Relationship Manager at Prudential Real Estate, if you don’t have the cash to spend on doing the property up, you’re better off shopping for an updated property so you can ‘move in and unpack’ rather than wait until the work is done. Without money in the reserve to renovate, the decision will come down to one thing; can it be enjoyed now. If you’re just entering the market, an older home can appear to look like a money pit, with luxuries such as a swimming pool, bedroom ensuite or alfresco requiring thought (and a good budget) to add into an older home. For that reason alone, many first home buyers are opting to buy something that’s ready to live in and high on the easy-care factor.
Want to know your neighbours before moving in? An existing property might be for you. Many buyers want to meet people who know the area – the best schools, where to catch the bus, the name of the local butcher or florist. Likewise, others may prefer to start afresh with a new development or off-the-plan purchase, where they can be one of the first to experience and foster a community.
Quality and value
We’ve all heard it; they just don’t make them like they used to. And when it comes to buying old, there’s a lot to be said about those with ‘good bones’ that have stood the test of time structurally. It’s important to remember that in real estate, new doesn’t necessarily mean ‘better quality’ or ‘cheaper’. In fact, many people decide to build a new property when buying an existing one isn’t financially viable. Quite often older homes will carry larger scope to upgrade and resell for more, a great perk for investors who are looking to value-add. New properties in areas zoned for rapid growth can also be at risk of oversupply, and potentially be harder to sell or rent down the track.
Ultimately, the best home might be one where you don’t have to choose between old or new, but which has some updates and scope to convert to your dream abode.