My Worst Secret…

To date, I’ve bought and lived in 3 houses throughout my thirty-something lifetime. Each has been an older, second hand property – a bad admission for a house builder, but not one of them new build.

However, buying a second hand property has not necessarily been deliberate. I’ve never been the type to say ‘oh I don’t like new build’ or ‘I only like character properties’, quite the contrary as I’ve always stated to anyone who voices those opinions about the huge benefits of new build and to dispel the myths that are too often mentioned surrounding new build properties.

But as the owner and Managing Director of a new build development company, I’ve felt it goes against the grain a little! So I decided to do something about it….

Last month I moved into a shiny new build….and wow…and such ‘wow’ that I felt the need to write about it.

I don’t think that people who live in second hand properties quite appreciate what it is like to walk into, and live, in a new build house. I say that as I sit and ponder what to do with my life this Saturday morning…should I go to the gym…. should I read a book in a coffee shop, or go walking in the rain? (even a shiny new build can’t help with the weather!) So many choices, but why do I feel such time and freedom….and then I realised: it’s the house! No longer do I sit with my weekend morning coffee and think ‘oh, I must replace that broken roof tile today/reseal bathrooms/repaint a room/reseal the draughty window seals’, or any other imaginable house chore. They’ve disappeared…gone…vamoose!

The other thing I don’t think I actually appreciated, even though I was the ambassador for new build in the conversations I mentioned earlier, quite how true the myths of new build actually are. For years I’d dismissed comments about sound insulation and stud walls, comments that suggested that thermal qualities couldn’t be as good because how can they be with that thin blockwork? But quite how right those statements have been have even surprised me. The plasterboard in my home is so dense that sound from room to room and floor to floor is non-existent; thermal tightness so blatant that the moment the wind blows the insulation reacts with warmth. Put it this way, when I listened to the radio on the way to work at the end of August and the presenters had reached to put their heating on, I laughed as that used to be me…but not now.

It’s funny too, I always thought I liked the quirks of my old properties. The quirks of random room shapes and sizes, and making something useful out of a cubby hole that then offered some sort of storage. And I’m sure I did like them at the time. But as I sit in my new build, with every room layout designed to exact dimensions and storage provided, I realise how life should be.

I now know I’ll never look back and consider buying period or older properties again. Low maintenance, and what will definitely be much cheaper running costs (my team tell me that a new home could save you £1,410 p.a. compared to energy costs of £2,460 for a Victorian 4-bedroom detached with some modern improvements)….will be the order of the day.

Enjoy new build folks, it’s the future!