Julie Hough, Freelance Writer

It’s the feeling we all anticipate when buying a new home; finally being king or queen of your own castle! Whether you’re starting small or putting your stamp on a stately home, you’ll probably face the same question most home-buyers face; whether to invest in a new build or a pre-owned home. When you think of the character, history, and unique features that come with some older buildings, it’s easy to see why some home-buyers prefer to purchase an older home. But there are a number of downsides to investing in an older home which can lead to unexpected repairs and expenses further down the line.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why buying new could be the path for you, with a more energy-efficient makeup that could save you hundreds of pounds each year.


According to a study by Aviva, the famous Highclere Castle otherwise known as the home of Lord and Lady Crawley of Downton Abbey, roughly goes through a whopping 5,120 litres of water every day, and that’s before taking garden maintenance into account. While this might not be the standard for most pre-owned homes, it’s good to know that most new-built homes have some water saving advantages up their sleeve. Many new homes are fitted with energy efficient dishwashers, which can save you money on water, especially if you’re feeding a big family. New build homes are also less likely to get blocked pipes, which greatly reduces the risk of a burst pipe. And if you are up-keeping a garden, a rain-collection system is a one-off investment that could save you on excess water for years to come.

Heating and Electricity

These days newly built homes come with double or triple-glazed windows and well-insulated lofts as standard. This can effectively prevent heat from escaping your home, which means your heating won’t go to waste. While you might miss out on the period fireplace, you’ll be kept cosy and your pocket will certainly notice the difference, especially in winter months when heating bills are at their peak.

When it comes to installing electrical wiring in a home, standard practise has improved drastically over time. In a new build home, you can be extremely confident that you won’t encounter any unexpected damages or hazards, eliminating the need for rewiring, and potentially saving you a hefty service charge. According to the Aviva research, the estimated annual energy cost for Highclere castle is £85,000.

Structural Maintenance

Built in 1842, Highclere Castle has seen its fair share of weather and wars, and its walls have certainly taken a beating over the years. In 2010 it was announced that the owners needed to spend a whopping £11.5 million on repairs to walls and ceiling due to water-damage. While this may be a little above the average cost of repairs, in a new build home you can be confident that everything from its walls, ceilings and fittings are exactly that: new! In a new build home there’s very little chance of having to make repairs to roof-tiles, door-hinges, and anything else that suffers the wear and tear of time.

Hopefully these facts will give you a bit of guidance if you’re facing the common question of whether buy new or pre-owned. Although they may seem like minor differences to begin with, remember that a modern energy-efficient home could save you hundreds of pounds annually, as well as being better for the environment. And remember, a new build is a blank canvas; you have a huge amount of freedom to decorate however you like.

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