If you’re just getting on the property ladder, congratulations. If you’re already on it and weighing up a move … read on.
In our counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, we are spoiled for choice with property ages and types.
From a period property to a new home, you can find many.
In Holt, a bijou North Norfolk honeypot, there is a beautiful town centre, crammed with Georgian architecture. King’s Lynn has older buildings as does Norwich as a former centre of the wool trade. The coastal towns of Cromer, Sheringham, Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Lowestoft are characterised largely by late Victorian and Edwardian period homes.
Holidays for the middle classes
They mark their nascence as holidays of choice for Britons who arrived on newly built railway lines. Gorleston and Lowestoft used to have a rail connection too. Bricks for these homes largely came from Somerleyton and Lowestoft is famed for its yellow bricks – yet no Wizard of Oz is ever spotted there. Jane Austen, the Georgian author, mentions Cromer in one of her novels.
The whole area though has seen massive inward migration, with the result that new builds are common across the two counties.
In Norwich, Costessey, to the west, has seen large new developments as has Sprowston to the east. Great Yarmouth has seen suburbs like Caister and Bradwell explode in terms of new homes and Lowestoft is dotted with new builds – like in Parkhill and Carlton Colville.
What are the advantages of new homes?
- Firstly, people cite their insulation levels. Like buying a fridge in 1980 or one in 2020, the newer one is bound to be more energy efficient. Combination boilers, low E double glazed windows and doors, high wall and loft insulation come as standard with new builds. Building regulations. This does mean that newer homes have higher thermal efficiency and lower running costs.
- New builds come with a 10 year warranty from the NHBC for peace of mind.
- Better layouts. You can see modern homes have layouts more suited to 21st century living – like open plan, kitchen, dining areas, with French door access to the rear garden (which are smaller than old homes).
- Financial incentives to buy new. Help to Buy is a popular scheme.
- You can customise a new build – with kitchens and bathroom choices being possible.
From an architect and planning point of view, it is easier to match the bricks on a new build if you decide to have a single or double storey extension. You won’t have to hunt tiles and bricks from salvage yards to make extensions aesthetically pleasing.
Why buy old?
Like antique furniture or rare vinyl records, there can be something unique about an old house. Apart from the suburbs where 30s semis predominate, they can be eclectic. Walk down Elmgrove Road in Gorleston for example or Marine Parade and see how different each home is. Some argue that the lower insulation levels and higher running costs are worthwhile for owning something with character. You won’t get help to buy schemes on a home built in 1903 but you do have something with historical significance. Some property experts claim that new builds depreciate in value over a shorter term, whereas older ones often appreciate.
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