New builds v older properties

It’s a case of love them or hate them. Some people will only buy new builds and others won’t even consider them. To help you make that decision, have a look at our guide to the pros and cons of new builds versus traditional properties.

New builds can be very appealing for a number of reasons:

  1. Energy efficiency – new homes are well insulated and include double-glazing as standard, therefore they are often cheaper to run that older properties.
  2. Blank canvas – new homes are walk-in condition.  You get to choose almost everything from the colour of the kitchen worktop, the bathroom tiles and the carpets. However, remember that you will be stuck with magnolia walls for the first couple of years while the property settles and dries out, so no painting or wallpapering!
  3. Layout – new builds tend to be built with the modern home owner in mind so builders have thought carefully about the use of space and modern living requirements.
  4. No property chain – the moving experience should be hassle free whether this is a straightforward purchase or a part-exchange deal, as there are no chains involved.
  5. Deals – there are more and more new builds popping up around Edinburgh so look out for various deals and offers including stamp duty paid, cash back, flooring throughout and landscaping.
  6. Warranty – most new builds come with a 10-year warranty. This does not guarantee that your home will be free from snagging defects, however they do provide useful cover.
  7. Community – many people find that buying a home in a brand new estate allows you to build and be part of a community alongside people who have all bought at the same time and are often new to the neighbourhood


However remember also to think about the following things.

  • New builds tend to be smaller in size than traditional buildings – small room size, lack of storage, low ceilings, and limited roof and attic space.
  • Soundproofing – new build flats in particular can suffer with plasterboard walls which do little to prevent the transmission of sound throughout.
  • Snagging – new homes are often riddled with mainly small defects, or snags as they are known in the trade, and is a major source of frustration for many homebuyers.
  • Gardens – new build gardens often comprise of little more than compacted sub-soil. Owners often find problems with drainage and landscaping costs need to be taken into account.
  • Difficult to add value – If you are planning on moving up the property ladder sometime soon, then remember there will be little that you can do to improve a brand new home, if you hope to get more money when you resell it.


Not only do we have the expert knowledge of the housing market, both new build and traditional properties, but McQueen Legal has a dedicated new build team with specialist staff who work closely with the mainstream house builders.  So if you are looking for a new build then please get in touch.

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