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What are the benefits of buying a character home?

Fri November 24, 2017

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When looking to purchase a Sydney property, there's a certain appeal to new builds and contemporary designs. This isn't surprising, especially when these homes offer the very best of modern technology and 21st century living.

However, investing in an older 'character' home can come with significant benefits. For some buyers, it's a question of personal taste, and you're either a contemporary or a character person. For others, the distinction isn't quite so clear, so in this article we'll take a look at a couple of reasons why an older home may be the perfect choice. 

Buying new comes at a premium, with developers building their margins into the price in order to make their profit.

Character homes as bargains

One of the biggest reasons why buyers gravitate towards older homes is price. Buying new comes at a premium, with developers building their margins into the price in order to make their profit. This can come with benefits, such as being able to liaise with the developer during design and construction to add in specific features, fixtures or fittings. Even so, the extra cost can place new builds out of reach for some buyers, particularly if it's their first property purchase in Sydney. 

By contrast, the prices of older homes usually reflect their true value more accurately. Character homes are also easier to move into, as all the essential amenities (internet, telephone, electricity) will have been set up by the previous owner, and taking these over is far simpler, and usually cheaper, than setting everything up from scratch. 

It's far easier to renovate a character home than a new build - tailoring it to your needs and adding value along the way!It's far easier to renovate a character home than a new build - tailoring it to your needs and adding value along the way!

More room to renovate

Another benefit that older homes have over new builds is their ability to be easily renovated. If there's something in a character home you'd like to change, you can simply knock down a wall or two, rearrange the layout or even add an extension. In brand new properties, all of this will have already been designed by the developer, and while it's certainly not impossible to renovate a new home, it isn't always the best decision financially unless you work closely with the developer from the get-go. 

For many buyers, renovating an older home is a great way to add value and make a profit when it comes time to sell the property. Even just one renovation such as adding a new bedroom or bathroom can have a big impact on the sale price. According to Complete Home, adding a bedroom can cost $50,000 to $80,000, but the price difference between a three and a four bedroom home is as much as $400,000, so it's well worth the investment! 

It's critical to complete thorough checks before buying to make sure there are no hidden problems

Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean that buying a very tired, well-lived-in property will be a great investment. It's a simple fact that older homes are more likely to require maintenance, and while this is part and parcel of the character experience, it's still critical to complete thorough checks before buying to make sure there are no hidden problems that will end up costing a lot to repair. 

Finally, there's that pesky word: 'character.' New homes with modern designs are beautiful, but can sometimes lack the 'soul' that makes an older house homely, warm and welcoming. There's no rhyme or reason to which houses have more or less of this than others, but there's still something about older Sydney properties that just feels like home to so many buyers. 

Regardless of which type of home best appeals to you, the team here at Laing+Simmons can help. Get in touch with our friendly team today to find out more. 

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