Converted Homes – Old with a Touch of New

When you think of new developments don’t always think completely brand-new. Some that are brand-new are criticised for being soulless and uninspiring, yet a number of them are very interesting conversions. This means the developer’s bought an old building – say, a Victorian school – and has covered it into a number of flats and maybe townhouses. Sometimes, new housing might be built alongside the old property in the grounds, too.

Many old buildings have great proportions – high ceilings and big rooms – that can benefit from. And if you’re lucky, there might be a number of original features (or at least features that have been partially restored), such as tall skirting boards, dado rails (where pictures originally hung) or floor-to-ceiling windows, that will be fantastic to have and will ad value when you later sell the property.

They joy of a converted property is that you really can have the best of both worlds: the old combined with the new. You get a lovely, old, period building with a wealth of character, while you also get modern conveniences that our forebears weren’t fortunate enough to enjoy.

Keep in mind, however, that well-converted properties don’t come cheap, and typically, as 24/7 Man with Van London have said, cost more than a straightforward new-build. You will be expected to pay extra for the conversion work and for the honour of owning some older features that add character. But at the end of the day, I believe these dual-purpose old-new combo homes will hold their value better than a simple new-build.

Whether you opt for a straight new-build or a conversion of something old into something newer, remember that a property is only old once or refurbished to this degree once. Effectively, you are paying the builder’s premium, but you do get on the ladder at least.

Tenants vs owners
I would also advice keeping an eye out for the proportion of owner-occupiers (buyers who will live there) to investors (buyers who plan to rent out the property). You won’t be necessarily get a straight answer from the house builder, but it is better if you can try to buy in a scheme where there are more owner-occupiers. Otherwise, the turnover of tenants will make the place feel itinerant, with nomads wandering in and out.

For all the negative press you might read, living in a new scheme can be great fun. You will meet people, a number of which will be first-timers, too. You’re all in the same place, and it’s new and exciting for everyone. A decent developer will host a few social evenings so you can meet one another. Failing that, you can set something up yourselves. Some schemes have their own websites or Facebook pages, where you can exchange information and suggestions contributing greatly to the beginnings of new communities.

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March 27, 2013 | Author: | Posted in Home Improvement, Moving house


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