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The costs associated with buying a second-hand home

After making the decision to buy a house and then spending months saving for a deposit, you need to start viewing properties. But should you opt for a new-build or second-hand home?

To help you come to a decision, we’ve compiled a list of potential house buying costs you’ll face when moving into an older property.

Survey

Getting a survey is a vital part of buying a house, no matter what the age of the property. But while new-builds only need a basic home condition report, second-hand homes require a more comprehensive (and costly) survey such as a homebuyer report or a building survey.

If you’re unsure about what type of survey you may need, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) website is a great source of information.

Redecorating costs

It’s very rare that a second-hand home will be ‘ready to go’ when you move in, so it’s vital to factor in some redecorating costs, even if it’s just a lick of paint to bring the interior up to date.

Some houses will need more extensive maintenance work, so make sure you don’t overlook this cost that you’ll most likely have to pay once you move in.

Energy efficiency and running costs

Older buildings are not always energy efficient, so make sure you factor in utility bills. Pay attention to the Energy Performance Certificate and ask plenty of questions when you are on viewings.

If you need to upgrade the boiler, roof insulation or windows, do your research and look out for any funding that may be available to you via energy suppliers or the Government.

Home and car insurance

While new homes are always built to the latest and highest security standards, older properties may not be so well-secured. From old front door locks to easy-open window catches, keep in mind that second-hand homes may not be up to modern standards, which may push up the cost of your home insurance.

Many older properties, such as terraces, only have on-street parking, which will likely increase your car insurance costs. If you’re in doubt about whether to buy a second-hand home, make sure you go and view a range of different properties, including new builds, to help you make a decision. Ask plenty of questions on viewings, do your research, and take your time to find a house that suits both your tastes and your budget

This guide to second hand homes was produced in collaboration with Countrywide, the UK’s largest and most successful estate agency and property services Group.

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