Why would anyone choose a newbuild over a character property for its looks?

(91 Posts)
treacleturkey Sun 28-Jul-13 17:14:37

I realise new builds are a lot better to run (economically) and so benefit the environment, but man, are they plastic and unattractive!!!

TallulahBetty Sun 28-Jul-13 18:28:15

Don't new builds have warranties? That is very attractive.

Jan49 Sun 28-Jul-13 18:59:54

I prefer older houses but worry about the maintenance for a Victorian house so we've always bought 1930s semis, a compromise really.

When I bought my first house in the 1990s all our friends seemed to be keen to buy new builds, which surprised me. A lot of them seemed to see an old house as second hand and like buying second hand clothing and they wanted a house that had never been "used" by anyone else. confused

I like old features that tell you things about how people lived in the past and have character.

I think the only new build I'd consider buying would be a flat. For a house I don't like anything newer than the 1950s.

noisytoys Sun 28-Jul-13 19:05:03

Most of my friends live in new builds and they are lovely, cheap to maintain, don't need doing up etc

The only 1 thing that made me go for an older property instead of a new build was the issue of storage. In my older flat I have a huge loft space, floor to ceiling airing cupboard, alcoves in every room, built in cupboards. Non of that is in my friends new builds and although we have the same amount of rooms, my flat is bigger and we have a hallway with doors leading off that rather than doors leading off the living room. It makes a huge difference in terms of how spacious it feels

VelmaDaceDinkley Sun 28-Jul-13 19:16:15

My house is 100 years old with period features, old sash windows and high ceilings.

It's also:

dark and dingy
freezing cold and draughty in winter
there are patches of damp
there isn't a right angle in the place which makes decorating difficult
it is difficult to find furniture to fit the odd dimensions
things are always going wrong with it
it has been subject to some dodgy DIY over the 100 years which needs correcting
it's difficult to clean
there aren't enough plug sockets, and the ones we do have are in random locations

I can see the attraction of a modern house TBH grin

Englishroses Sun 28-Jul-13 19:35:27

availability is a big issue locally. All the olds are enjoying the character properties and have no intention of leaving. I blame the baby boomers for these issues!

timidviper Sun 28-Jul-13 19:45:17

As others have said there are pros and cons. Our house is 100 years old and needs a lot of maintenance, heating, etc but it is far more spacious than a modern equivalent.

One thing I loved when DCs were younger was that they could thunder about upstairs without us worrying about the noise where new houses aren't as solid

MarshaBrady Sun 28-Jul-13 19:46:53

I love Georgian very much. Big, square, light rooms with high ceilings.

Also love modern design, mostly due to the amount of light because of all that glass.

apatchylass Sun 28-Jul-13 19:50:56

Never lived in a new build but tried to buy one once. I was attracted by the straight walls. I got so fed up of Victorian terraces - fireplace on one wall, radiator on another, so nowhere for the furniture to go. And alcoves that didn't quite fit anything.

New builds have fitted wardrobes, en-suites, off street parking etc. I don't think they're necessarily ugly, just modern. in 50 years time our grandchildren will be cooing over how cute and quaint all the noughties houses are!

MarshaBrady Sun 28-Jul-13 19:52:59

They do have to be designed however, with thought to space and light.

purplewithred Sun 28-Jul-13 19:58:02

I did a self-build. It is beautiful. It will probably carry on being considered beautiful for about another 20 years, then start to look at bit old fashioned, then look really naff for about 50 years, then suddenly become period and quaint and beautiful again.

solveproblem Sun 28-Jul-13 19:58:59

Maybe some people don't like rising damp and mild prone properties?

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Sun 28-Jul-13 20:13:32

I live in a very characterful Victorian terrace which is so pretty that people stop in the street to take photos. The walls are built of rubble and the lovely original sash windows are single glazed and would cost a fortune to refurb or replace. If you want to hang a picture you have to excavate a 6 inch square hole and rebuild it before you can get a picture hook to stay in! It is hideously inefficient in terms of layout and running costs.
Our business is building modernist, modular houses in a factory. They take about 12 weeks to build and 2 weeks to install and per square foot are cheaper than bricks and mortar. Ours are built of structural insulated panels, steel, glass and oak. I can't wait to move into one of ours, hopefully this winter.

BikingViking Sun 28-Jul-13 20:18:04

I'm with Antidote on this one - right down to the childhood spent living with continuous renovation, damp etc.

I live in a flat built in 2006 now and bloody love it. Takes me an hour or two tops to do a weekly clean (which I did this morning then the dc's and I spent the day at the beach smile )

Ideally you should always live in the ugliest building in the immediate vicinity - that way you can look out of your windows at all the much prettier neighbour buildings without having to see your own grin

BikingViking Sun 28-Jul-13 20:21:10

Also, I didn't have the heating on at all over winter and we were fine (could even wear t-shirts inside when the windows weren't open) and it gets pretty cold here (Scandinavia). I still have traumatic flashbacks from my childhood and going to bed wrapped up virtually in coat, hat and scarf despite the heating being whacked up...

Viviennemary Sun 28-Jul-13 20:28:41

I like a period house as much as anybody else. But some aren't that attractive and some new builds especially the more expensive ones can be nice. It's all a matter of taste.

notamumlol Sun 28-Jul-13 20:29:51

I absolutely despise period houses

PlatinumStart Sun 28-Jul-13 20:30:08

I have a Victorian town house - four floors lots of stairs, love it but not particularly practical.

I am currently renting a new build elsewhere and have to say though its pretty dull looking, ensuites for every bedroom, fitted wardrobes and large rooms make it a very attractive option

Bonsoir Sun 28-Jul-13 20:33:27

Lots of old properties are horrid, impractical, expensive to maintain... And new builds can be lovely.

MrsBungle Sun 28-Jul-13 20:34:39

I moved from a Victorian to a new build - well, it's 20 years old so not that new! I liked my old house. I also love my new house. I like modern. My new build is nice. It's double fronted, nice red bricks. It doesn't look plastic at all.

Themobstersknife Sun 28-Jul-13 20:36:39

Shudder all you like.
Makes my gorgeous, spacious, economical, environmentally sound newbuild house, with plentiful storage, lovely bright interiors and large rooms cheaper, because of all the shudderers like you.

Me, I could never see the appeal of period features. But each to their own.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Sun 28-Jul-13 20:50:54

I'm a bit baffled by everyone's spacious new builds (maybe you have a bigger budget).

We bought a Victorian house because a modern house on a similar budget would have had one less bedroom. Apart from the master all the bedrooms would have been pokey. Also there was no storage anywhere and the gardens were titchy.

I think for us to afford a spacious new build comparable to ours it would be double the cost (minimum).

I love the period features, the layout is fantastic and its so spacious but it is freezing in the winter.

Bunbaker Sun 28-Jul-13 20:52:39

I grew up in and Edwardian house, moved to a Victorian terrace house then to a couple of newish houses. Then we had a 200 year old house that was beautiful and full of character... and damp/woodworm/mice/insufficient insulation. It needed rewiring, new plumbing and a new boiler and cost a fortune to heat. It was a lovely house, but the maintenance was eye wateringly expensive so we moved to a newish house - one of four individually built and not on an estate. Our utility bills were halved immediately and this house is so easy to maintain and clean that I'm afraid that for practical reasons I will stick to newer houses.

nkf Sun 28-Jul-13 20:54:15

I would love a newbuild. I have spent far too many hours on old property. Moneypits, the lot of them. I long for a small, easy to eat retirement home. I can be the character.

Themobstersknife Sun 28-Jul-13 21:01:35

WhenSheWasBad I suspect it depends where you live. Older properties where I live are few and far between and therefore sought after and more expensive.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sun 28-Jul-13 21:02:30

newbuilds are only plastic and unattractive if they are plastic and unattractive, the same way that character properties are only dingy and damp if they are dingy and damp. My newbuild isn't very attractive but it is more attractive than the rows of pit houses and the badly rendered '30s semis that my area is littered with. There are some lovely old properties around here but they cost about £350k more than mine for the same space. I don't have a spare £350k, and I like to be warm. My old Edwardian house had an immersion heater that could only be used if the burglar alarm was set confused. I can't be arsed with stuff like that and i have sufficient character of my own, I don't need to depend on my house for it.

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