A simples guide

Buying an old build or a new one

If you’ve recently decided it’s time to make your first house purchase, or move from your present property to buy a bigger one you’ll see both older houses and new builds in the estate agents’ windows.


There are advantages and disadvantages to both, so what do you go for? An older house with charm and character, or a new build, with a building guarantee and no chain, either way you will want to get new building insurance particularly if you have a mortgage.

Older builds

If it was built before 1970 its likely to be bigger than the average sized house is nowadays. Chances are that it will have a good sized garden, a garage and/or a driveway. However, as the house has been around for a while it could have problems such as a leaky roof or an old boiler. Maybe the windows aren’t double glazed and the front door isn’t as watertight as it used to be.

Maybe the kitchen and the bathroom are old fashioned and need replacing or updating. Don’t forget to add this to your budget because a new kitchen or a bathroom isn’t cheap. It could just be a case of aesthetics and the house needs a lick of paint and some new carpets to spruce it up.

The nice thing about an older house is that it will have some character and not look exactly like all the other houses in the street. It might have a porch or stained glass in some of the windows and inside you might find tiling instead of carpets. Many people love older properties because of the characteristics and these outweigh any problems that such features might cause.

old house new house
row of new build properties

New builds

New builds are often easier to buy because there isn’t a forward chain and therefore potential delays will be reduced if the house is finished. A new house may not have a large garden or a garage and it will probably look exactly the same as all the other houses built at the same time. However, it will have a new kitchen and bathroom, and new windows, doors and roof, which means less problems and money spent putting things right. Of course, all new houses might may have snags, which are small things that may appear in the first few months, such as cracks in the wall, or a door not closing properly.

Most new houses are covered by a warranty called Buildmark, from the National Housebuilders Council (NHBC). If it isn’t then think very carefully before buying as you may not be covered by any guarantees the builder offers. The NHBC gives property owners a ten year guarantee against defects in your new build. The first two years of the guarantee cover the costs of repairing damage to your home and putting you up in alternative accommodation if you need to move out in order for the work to be done. Between 3 and 10 years your home is covered for a range of structural faults which include staircases, walls and floors.

New Build Home Insurance

Once you have your home, you may want to insure the building and the contents. Even if you have a new build, you will need new build insurance because the NHBC warranty does not cover you for fire or flood for example.

Building insurance will insure you to rebuild your house if it’s destroyed. When you are thinking about the sum insured, remember that the market value of your home does not reflect the cost to rebuild it. The actual rebuild value should be on the survey you had done before you bought the property, or if you ask for buildings insurance from comparethemarket.com it will tell you the suggested rebuild value.

Buildings insurance for your new build will cover the structure; the walls, roof, windows and all the fixtures and fittings like the kitchen and the bathroom. The contents are all the things you have in your home that you can move around like the furniture, carpets and personal items like computers and cameras.

You can get a list of great value new build insurance quotes for buildings and contents by answering the questions about your home and its contents on our comparison page. The cheapest policies are usually purchased online with your buildings and home contents insurance bought from the same provider. Start a quote and see how much you could save.

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