Period property vs new build

Q: I’m buying a property with my boyfriend. He wants a new build, I want a period property. How do we reach a compromise on style?

A: This is a common conundrum. Buying a property is always a compromise, whether you’re buying alone or with a partner, so now’s the time to adopt an open mind and good communication skills!

Firstly, the accommodation itself is completely different. New build properties tend to have an average ceiling height and quite practical layouts and space. Period properties, on the other hand, can have lots of character such as large windows, high ceilings and cornice detailing. Their layouts aren’t always as well planned out though – they may have once been part of a house that has been carved up into flats.

You need to decide which style you prefer. The best approach is to get out there together to see what’s available and view different types of properties. This takes the pressure off as you’re not walking in to each thinking ‘is this the one?’ and preparing for a battle if you hate it, but can see that your partner likes it. If you can’t decide on one, you could, for example, search for a recently refurbished warehouse conversion which has all the character of a period property but has been converted for modern residential use.

There are also many developments which can present a happy compromise. I’ve viewed properties which have been former hospitals, working mills or warehouses, where the period building has been retained and restored, with additional new build homes built on the site. This gives buyers the opportunity to buy within the restored building, benefitting from the period features, but also the infrastructure of buying within a new development.

If you have a question you’d like Jo to answer please email or tweet her @joeccles.