Phil Spencer explains why an older home might not be the best choice for a first-time buyer

Will you be going for a new build or old house?

When it comes to buying a first home it can be a bit of a minefield trying to work out what you want from a house. Do you go for a new build or old house?

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Luckily celebrity property expert Phil Spencer is on hand with some advice. Writing for Zoopla, the Location, Location, Location presenter explained the pros and cons with a new build or old house.

New build or old house?

room with bunting wall tiles and curtain

(Image credit: Jeff Spicer/PA Archive/PA Images)

'The thought of walking into a brand spanking new house and life quickly settling back to normal is rather tempting. That's what a new build can offer,' says Phil.

However, if you have your heart set on a period property, Phil points out: 'If you're all about the character and environment where let's face it, you're going to spend a good chunk of time, then no amount of maintenance costs are likely to put you off.'

exterior of house with green foliage and brick wall

(Image credit: Future PLC /Polly Eltes)

Phil explains that the perks of an older re-sale home lie largely in it already being established.

'Older properties tend to be found in areas that have already matured. In turn, this provides more peace of mind over house prices than new properties in previously uncharted areas,' the property guru explains.

There is also the added bonus that a long-standing home is likely to come with a more mature and beautiful garden.

An older re-sale home will come with a list of potentially less than perfect quirks, but Phil doesn't dismiss these as a pitfall. 'At least these will be expected and should have come upon the presale searches. If your freshly-plumbed new build springs a leak and floods the property, it is far more disappointing,' he writes.

exterior of house with brick wall and potted plant

(Image credit: Future PLC /Olly Gordon)

Alternatively, one of the biggest benefits of opting for a new build home for a first-time buyer is the incentives and benefits. 'The Government sees new build property as a way of helping people on to the housing market so Help to Buy and Starter Home schemes are in place which can mean a new build is a more viable option,' says Phil Spencer.

There is also the added bonus of new homes being designed to be more energy-efficient, therefore cheaper to run. They should also have all the up to date safety and security measures in places such as alarms and locks.

The Love it or List it presenter also points out that you shouldn't risk any hold-ups when buying the property if you're not relying on another homeowner. 'The advantages of not being reliant on another homebuyer needing to sell before you can buy can save time and frustration – and also means no wasted legal fees if the chain collapses through no fault of your own,' Phil writes.

Overall, it will come down to personal preference whether you opt for a new build or old house.

Related: Phil Spencer says you should do THIS if you want to buy a house by 25

Hopefully, Phil's tips have helped you work out what you want and need from a new house.

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.