When I buy a dishwasher, a new fridge, a TV, I do look at those energy efficient labels stuck on the front and always opt for A, A+, A++ – and who wouldn’t with fuel costs absorbing a big percentage of household expenditure?
If I test drive a car, I look at MPG of each vehicle, albeit with a bucketload (not a pinch) of salt as we all know they’re incredible optimistic and misleading figures. Urban is the only realistic data and even that can be difficult to achieve with normal driving styles.
But with a house, we pay far less attention to running costs and more to location, space and decisions made from the heart.
I think though, given the rising costs of gas and electricity, property buyer habits may be changing.
My first house was a Victorian terraced in Shaw, Oldham, which was tiny, but generally cold, next I bought a 70s bungalow with cold spots near Leek, Staffordshire, then a limestone new build in the White Peak. I gradually went from old to new you see, consciously,
A move north in 2002 saw us buy brand new again, and that, apart from the north facing conservatory, was cost efficient to heat and run, until we upped sticks again and moved to Norfolk and a sprawling Edwardian villa, built for the railway line in Gorleston, and named The Futurist Hotel until the 70s.
It was a grand home and it cost about a grand to heat a month.
Original, single-glazed sash windows were restored, fireplaces opened up, cast iron radiators dotted in every room, but the gas and electricity bills were monstrous.
Looking back now, I wish the estate agents when we bought it, had admitted it had a chequered recent history and was about as thermally efficient as Stephenson’s “Rocket” but they didn’t – and should I really expect them to? No.
In 2016, tired of the Z rating of The Futurists, we moved again to a brand new development, close by, built by Persimmon.
The difference in running costs is stark, as you’d expect.
External temperatures of zero see the internal thermostats drop to 19 degrees and gas (and electricity) bills are miniscule.
£10 a month we currently pay for a 5 bedroomed detached home, as opposed to wads of notes in the previous home.
I don’t honestly think we’d ever buy an old property again.
New ones do lack character, and often get a bad press, but they’re comfortable, ultra warm and leave you and your wallet glowing.
I’d imagine this “Hadleigh” type home has an A++ rating – though I’ve yet to find the sticky label on its cream-rendered front.