Blog homepage   >   Moving   >   The truth about new build homes. Our experts bust the myths of old vs new

If you’re looking to move or get on the property ladder, one of the most important decisions you’ll be making is whether to buy a newly-built or a previously-owned home. 

Selecting the right property for you and your family is vitally important as it will be the backdrop for day-to-day life for many years to come.

Here, our expert team are dispelling the myths and tales of ‘buying new’ that sometimes cross the desks of our sales teams and in turn, highlight why buying a new-build can be the best choice for you and your family.

1. New-build homes cost more

Fraser McCallum, Sales Manager at Cala Homes (North), says: “Similar to older properties, new build homes have to go through valuation processes to ensure they are mortgaged at the correct value - and the price tag of the home isn’t the end of the story.

When buying a new build, you are avoiding the possibility of entering into a bidding war to secure your property, potentially adding tens of thousands of pounds to the final cost of your home, which often cannot be added to your mortgage, adding pressure to your deposit funds.

When selecting your new build home, all building, plumbing and electrical work is new, as are the kitchens and bathrooms, which you will often have the opportunity to select and style yourself. This saves on any costly renovation expenses, as well as unexpected costs associated with renewing the internal workings of the home.

Alongside our two-year warranty, Cala homes also come with an additional third-party 10-year warranty, through the National Home Building Council’s (NHBC), ensuring that added peace of mind."

According to a recent report from the Home Builder’s Federation, entitled Cleaner Greener, Cheaper, purchasing a new home rather than an older, less energy efficient property can make a real difference to the environment. Last year’s new build purchasers are saving 576,000 tonnes of carbon emissions meaning they are doing their bit to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and saving themselves hundreds of pounds per year as well.


2. You won’t know what your home looks like until it is complete

Stala Thomson, Sales & Marketing Director at Cala Homes (Chiltern): “Buying off-plan (before it is built) or during its construction can have its advantages, from  selecting your preferred plot to choosing your bathroom tiles and kitchen units. However, some worry about not seeing their home ‘in real life’ before they sign on the dotted line. We often have the same housetypes available that purchasers can view, either on their selected development, or at a site nearby.

Modern technology also allows realistic virtual tours of housetypes for househunters to view before purchasing anything, which can be done from the comfort of your sofa. This allows us to provide our purchasers with as much information as possible prior to their reservation.

Cala also has a selection of Ready for You homes. If you are looking to make a swift purchase, our selection of build complete homes could be yours in as little as four weeks (subject to contracts being exchanged). What’s more if you have a dependent sale, we can make it chain free with Part Exchange.”

3. New homes aren’t constructed very well

You may have seen pictures of badly built homes and the horrific tales of crumbling brickwork. Stephen Kelso, Group Product Design Manager, says: “The idea that new build homes are built to this standard is however indeed a myth.

“In fact, buying a new build ensures your new home is well-built, and meets current regulations on safety and modern building legislation and techniques to ensure a quality, futureproof and up-to-the-minute home. The design and construction of new build homes is heavily inspected across the industry to ensure the highest quality is achieved. The NHBC warranty offered by Cala also ensures the work is completed to the correct standard, meeting all modern legislation.

"At Cala, we are incorporating new technology into our homes, such as PV panels and Air Source Heat Pumps, that can help to save energy and reduce your home’s impact on the environment. We place importance on the materials used, boiler efficiency, water-saving systems, quality insulation and the research, trial and roll-out of the latest sustainable innovations.

“As a responsible housebuilder, Cala’s focus is ensuring we consistently deliver great skill, care and unwavering attention to detail in each one of our developments across the UK. This has been demonstrated by our site teams who have been recognised many times by the NHBC Pride in the Job Awards – the highest award that site managers can achieve.

“Cala’s Construction Academy of Excellence is a bespoke, industry-recognised training programme which ensures new homeowners will benefit from an exceptionally high level of quality and service from the foundations up.

“Homebuilders also often have other accreditation such as a Home Builders Federation (HBF) five-star rating, which is formed from direct feedback from customers. Cala is rated five-star for customer satisfaction by the independent industry body. We have a longstanding reputation as an award-winning housebuilder, but the HBF’s five-star accolade is particularly meaningful as it is the result of positive feedback from the people that buy and live in our homes.”


4. The rooms are always smaller in new-build homes

According to research, the average UK house size is 729 sq.ft*, whereas the average new build home from Cala is 1,165 sq.ft (based on a three-bedroom home).

In addition to generous amounts of space, the varying housetypes to meet different budgets and family dynamics mean that homebuyers can select the most appropriate size of home for their needs that fits perfectly with their day-to-day family life.

New build homes often have built-in wardrobes, additional washroom facilities and adaptable spaces that can easily flex to what’s required for modern 21st century living – from WFH spaces to a home gym or playroom. So, contrary to this myth, new build homes can offer more flexible and adaptable spaces better suited to the needs of today.

New build homes have also been able to adapt their designs and layouts quicker and more effectively to adapt to modern ways of living and the changing needs to homebuyers, especially in recent years with the seismic shift in those working from home, looking to utilise space to workout and use their garden more.

Steve Rule, Cala’s Group Design & Technical Director, said: “Our Light & Space Collection homes are designed not just to allow family members to co-exist, but to really thrive together and enjoy the space they live in, whether they are working, relaxing or enjoying time together.

“In recent times, elements which enable home working have become crucial – if working from home is easy to set up and runs smoothly, this has a knock-on positive effect on our whole lifestyle. That’s why we have carefully considered and designed our homes with the new WFH reality in mind.”

5. You are being kinder to the environment when you buy an older home

Oliver Cooney, Group Sustainability Analyst:

“It is true that older properties do have the environmental benefit of already having embodied carbon locked up into their product, the associated infrastructure and amenities, therefore retrofitting them is the better choice in terms of environmental impact instead of knocking them down and building new. However, the reality is that there aren’t enough good quality homes for everyone currently and these advantages would only remain relevant if the older properties are to be retrofitted – being brought up to more modern energy efficiency standards, as well as being switched to a low carbon heating solution. The other harsh reality is that a lot of older homes are more likely to have issues such as faulty fixtures, leaky plumbing, inadequate insulation and unpleasant draughts, leading them to be inefficient in terms of their operation.

"New homes such as Cala’s are built to a much higher quality and have much better fabric efficiency due to the superior levels of insulation and airtightness. Many of these benefits come from the use of modern methods of construction, such as timber frame, which not only helps provide a consistent quality build but also reduces the embodied carbon of the home itself. Technologies such as solar PV panels and EV charging points for electric vehicles are now a common feature of new build developments, along with roll out of Air and Ground Source Heat Pump heating solutions to replace gas boilers. All of these green design elements of Cala homes can help to reduce homeowners bills as well as their emissions. To find out more about the exciting journey we are on to reduce our home’s impact on the planet, take a look at our Sustainability Strategy.

"Another advantage of new build homes is the opportunity to enhance the habitats and environment in and around the sites we work on. At Cala, biodiversity is now a key consideration for our new build developments. We have launched our own Urban Wildlife Strategy, a first for Cala Group devised by our Thames region, which creates a design framework that establishes a biodiversity standard for every new home, incorporating features such as specialist hedgehog fencing, bat boxes and native tree planting across developments.”

We are focussed on creating homes that have generous amounts of light and space, making our new build homes a great choice for those seeking a real haven in their home.

Stala Thomson, Sales & Marketing Director at Cala Homes (Chiltern) said: “New build homes have come a long way in the last two decades across the industry and they are a great option for those who want to have a blank canvas and the most up-to-the-minute technology and appliances in their home. In contrast to some myths you may hear about new builds, they can also be suitable for lots of different budgets, without a compromise on quality or space.

“We would urge anyone considering a new build home to come and visit us at one of our developments to put those myths aside and view the lifestyle available and consider all of the benefits that new builds can offer.”

Read our benefits of buying a new build home blog for more information.

To find your dream Cala home today, visit our Homes for Sale page.


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