New build vs. old build

Šime Unić
New build vs. old build

A common dilemma that people aiming to invest in a new property have is whether to invest in buying a new build or an old build property. At first, this may seem like a no-brainer because who wouldn’t want a new apartment or a house, but upon closer inspection, you will see that the old build has a lot going for it, too.

That’s why we’ve prepared a comparison of these two types of property for you. Additionally, you will be able to see what are the most important things to keep in mind and, in some cases, the choice is anything but easy. Here’s what to consider when choosing between a new build and an old build.

The price

It’s logical that the price of a newly-built property will be higher than that of an old build, but old build properties usually come with additional investments that have to be made if you want to refurbish them. So, you need to have some extra funds ready to be added to the price of the old build. The exact amount will depend on the shape the property is in.

That’s why it’s a good idea to have an expert check an old build house or apartment. They will be able to immediately tell you how much you can expect to invest in renovating the place. It is possible that the seller has already renovated the property to help it achieve a higher price, but it’s also possible that you will have a lot of work to do before you’re fully satisfied with your new home.

new build


There are two types of insulation to be mindful of when comparing new build and old build - thermal and acoustic insulation. When it comes to thermal insulation, new build properties usually have excellent energy ratings (A+, A or B), whereas old builds rarely get an energy certificate that puts it above the C rating.

This means new builds will require less energy to keep the interior warm.

However, old builds usually have thicker walls, which significantly diminishes the noise coming from neighbouring apartments and allows you to feel more comfortable in your property. Thick walls also act as great thermal insulation, so if you decide to renovate the place, your focus should be on new windows. These are usually the main problems old builds have when it comes to thermal insulation.


No matter if you’ve decided to hire an interior designer or redecorate the place by yourself, there are some notable differences you need to be aware of when approaching these two types of property.

As mentioned, you can expect to invest a certain amount of money in old builds to create an interior that suits your needs, especially if no such investments have been made for a while. On the other hand, purchasing a new build is often done even before the property is built, which allows the buyer to influence the design and create a somewhat luxurious interior design if they so desire.

However, old builds allow the buyer to inspect the quality of execution and of the materials used. New builds sometimes see their investors make compromises when it comes to the quality of the materials used, so, although the interior design is done according to your specifications, problems can erupt very soon.

Therefore, if you’re buying a property that’s still being built, especially if we’re talking about an apartment building, make sure the investor is someone you can trust.

old build

Location and infrastructure

One of the most obvious differences between these two types of real estate is their location. Old builds are closer to or right in the city center, whereas new properties are usually farther away. Finding a new build in the center of cities such as Zagreb or Split will, therefore, be quite a daunting task.

A property’s location also comes with numerous other things you need to think about: distance from your work, schools and kindergartens nearby and similar details all need to be considered. New builds are often parts of carefully planned neighbourhoods that will likely have everything you need.

For a normal everyday life, it’s also important that your new piece of real estate has plenty of parking space. This can be a problem with old builds because they are closer to the city center and therefore exposed to worse traffic. Usually, there are fewer parking spaces, too. Parking spaces are usually an important element when it comes to planning new builds. Many new apartment buildings have their own garages and it is even possible to buy or rent your own parking space.

An elevator can also be extremely important. Older tenants, people who are not fully mobile and even pets can all benefit from it immensely, especially if we’re talking about an apartment building with multiple floors. New builds have a big advantage here because they almost always have a new elevator fitted into them, whereas this is not the case with old builds - even if they have an elevator, it will most likely be fairly old.

We should also mention that you will probably have to pay more for the reserve fund in old builds and that these properties will likely demand more repairs. This means that you may have to work on reaching a consensus with other tenants.


When it comes to things such as heating, electricity and water, you have to be aware that in old builds some of these things cannot be read separately for each unit. This is not the case in new builds. For the former group, this means that you won’t be able to impact your monthly expenses as much.

Furthermore, it’s possible that old builds will require you to invest in quality plumbing or wiring, which can incur relatively high costs. Still, a recently renovated old build shouldn’t have these problems, but you should nevertheless carefully check these things before making a purchase.

newer build


So, an old build doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad choice. On the contrary, this can mean a quality apartment (or house) at a reasonable price, plus, you get a pretty good location. However, it’s very important to thoroughly check the property so that you know what additional expenses to expect.

New builds bring advantages such as parking spaces and new elevators and you may even be able to influence its design if you’re buying something that hasn’t been built yet.

In any case, no matter which type of property you’re looking for in Dalmatia, Terra Dalmatica is the place where you will be able to find it. A wide array of apartments, houses, weekend houses and even plots is sure to impress and the simple interface allows you to find out whatever you want to know.

Get in touch and our agents will help you acquire your ideal property and help you collect all the necessary papers!

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