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Period or Modern – Which Type of Property Should You Choose?

If you are thinking about buying a home, one of the major decisions you will have to make is whether to opt for a period or a modern property. At Anderson Associates we have decades of experience in carrying out building surveys in south east London, east London, Kent, Essex and Suffolk, and so are ideally placed to look at the advantages and disadvantages of different property types. Here are some of the key factors to consider when making your choice.

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Period Properties – Plusses and Minuses

Period properties tend to offer better room sizes and high ceilings so if you have a growing family or need the space then they may be a better option than many modern homes. However this can mean the rooms are draughtier, or cost more to heat.

Older properties can also boast distinctive features such as fireplaces which add character and value, which may add selling point if the property is sold in the future. Period houses are often closer to town centres with good transport links, and are more likely to come with gardens than many modern homes in similar locations. These can be ideal places to relax, or, if you are not a keen gardener, may offer the space for extensions and additions to the original property.

With period homes, you may also have to spend more on ongoing maintenance and repair work. For instance, they can come with older plumbing and wiring which might need replacing at some stage.

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The Pros and Cons of Modern Homes

Modern homes are more likely to be up-to-date with building regulations and minimum safety standards. For example, windows have to be of a minimum size so owners can escape in the event of a fire. The property may also still be covered by an existing warranty such as the Buildmark scheme offered by the National House Building Council.

Modern properties are also likely to have lower running costs, particularly in areas such as heating. However not only are the rooms likely to be smaller, but storage space will probably be more limited. You may have to be creative with the internal décor to give it an individual feel; many recently-built homes are built to similar specifications.

What Sort of Survey?

Every home has its own individual characteristics, and Anderson Associates can carry out expert surveys of all different types of property.

We always recommend a full building survey for all properties, whether period or modern. For new build properties a detailed ‘Snagging survey’ is advised. These surveys are far more in-depth than a mortgage valuation or home buyer report, and will tell you what you need to know about the property. Any defects or flaws will be listed, along with an action plan for putting it right.

With period properties this may mean checking on the quality of previous repair and maintenance work to make sure this has been done to a good standard. For instance, recovering a slate roof with heavier concrete tiles and not adding extra support or compromising ventilation to the roof or timber ground floors areas which may have been blocked off, which could encourage damp and rot in floors and roofs.

We can also carry out structural surveys if there is a question over the structure, which will identify any major issues with the main walls or roof of a building. (This is only normally done if the property is in poor condition and unlikely to be mortgageable).

Although there are unlikely to be major structural issues, problems can still crop up with modern homes. We can carry out ‘snagging’ surveys for new-build properties. This looks at the standard of workmanship and the overall finish of external areas like the roofing and brickwork, and the quality of internal fixtures and fittings.

It should always be remembered that with any age of property, there are numerous factors affecting its overall condition. The main two are how well it was originally built and the quality of materials used at this time, in addition to how well it has been maintained since then up to the present day.

Anderson Associates  are Independent chartered building surveyors with decades of experience in the property market in South and East London, Kent, Essex and Suffolk. We work directly for you and not the lender, which means there is no potential conflict of interest. So whatever type of property you want, be it a period house in East London or a modern flat in Kent or Essex, we will be able to help with the right type of survey.

You can raise any potential issues or specific concerns with us before we examine the property. Where appropriate, we can also deal with other organisations involved in the process, such as solicitors and local authorities.

Follow the link above to get in touch with us.




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Whether you need a simple valuation or a full structural survey as well as being expert building surveyors we’re happy to give you free, impartial advice on anything to do with buildings and property.
Anderson Associates
(Head Office & Correspondence Address)
Warneford House, Portal Avenue
Martlesham Heath, Ipswich
Suffolk IP5 3QY
T. 01473 623 656
T. 0800 652 8285
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Registered Office: Anderson Associates (Surveying) Ltd. | Warneford House, Portal Avenue, Martlesham Heath, Ipswich, Suffolk IP5 3QY
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