For some people, only brand spanking new will do, and this applies to buying a home as much as a car, sofa or suit. There’s of course a certain appeal of taking possession of something that has never been used and shaped by someone else, as well as a sense of the pristine. When buying a property the pristine has hefty financial advantages, from a 10-year build guarantee (in many cases), the prospect of a year or two free of repairs (ideally!) and perhaps lower insurance costs (in Florida). There’s also the advantage that your home might offer the latest technology and fashionable finishes, as well as a higher build quality than something built at the height of a property boom a decade ago. This is a factor behind the current trend towards new build in the overseas industry in the Spanish and Florida markets in particular where buyers are rejecting outdated or outmoded properties in favour of the “new generation” new-builds that have begun to be constructed after a hiatus of several years in the construction industries. A lot of lessons have been learnt in the industry since the global downturn ended several years of frenzied property investment and developers have realised they are having to respond to buyers that are more discerning and demanding.
For many buyers, a “character-less” new-build can never compete with a piece of history, and here is the main appeal of a resale property or at least a period one. Decades of wear and tear can be part of a property’s appeal think of ancient stone floors polished by generations of owners and a property’s uniqueness can be appealing to buyers and renters. But do make sure you have a survey undertaken before you buy a resale property although not necessarily customary in countries like Spain and France because the older a property, the greater scope for hidden problems. With resales, “what you see is what you get” does not always apply although you can see how the property works as a home and its surroundings, which you can’t do when buying off-plan or mid-construction. Do also check whether a property complies with modern building regulations and if any alterations or extensions come with the correct planning permissions