The Good:1. Maintenance will probably cost you less for the first few years due to all the fixtures and fittings being brand new.
2. New build properties can be cheaper to heat due to their modern insulation and double glazing. Older properties often don’t have this benefit.
3. All new build properties come with a warranty from the NHBC (National House Building Council). For the first two years you can report any defects, small or large, and you will also have a 10-year warranty for any serious structural issues.
4. A lot of people like the idea of being the very first people to live in a property. No one has ever used anything and you get to make it entirely your own. 5. Sometimes you have more personalisation options with a new build. Developers will often let you choose the fixtures and fittings before they are built.
The Bad:6. A new build can cost more upfront than an older property – in much the same way that a brand new car will cost more than a second hand one, but similarly, the brand new house will depreciate in value as soon as you move in, so you’ll want to stay there as long as possible to avoid losing money in selling at a loss. If you aren’t planning on staying put for long, perhaps a new build is not for you.
7. It’s easy to assume that because something is brand new, that it’s going to be absolutely perfect and you don’t need to check it, but this is not the case. As with any purchase, you need to do your research. The developer is under no obligation to tell you anything, so have the house surveyed, check out the local area and speak to the neighbours – it’s ultimately your responsibility to ensure everything is up to standard.
The Must Do:8. Similar to number 7, you must make sure you have shopped around before making a decision. Find out about the developer’s reputation online, can anyone vouch for their new builds? Make sure you see a few different houses on different developments before you commit to buy. As the biggest purchase you will ever make, you should ensure that it is everything you want.
9. Read the small print. This is especially true if you’re buying a house before it’s been built. You don’t want to find yourself moving into somewhere while there’s still diggers next door, ending up with a different house to the show home, or discovering that the building works can be delayed and your mortgage offer won’t last (most mortgage offers last 6 months). These are things that you will need to find out about before you sign anything.
10. Get a survey done. We briefly mentioned this before, but even with a new build, a survey can save you hundreds, if not thousands, before you even move in. Whether your developer has been sloppy with their building work, or they simply made mistakes, the likelihood of you finding a defect with your new home is quite high and sometimes only a survey will pick this up, particularly in the case of difficult to spot issues like subsidence.
A new build survey is called a ‘snagging survey’ and your developer is under obligation to rectify any problems that a survey finds during the first two years of living in your new build, and within 10 years if it is a structural issue, so make sure you take advantage of this.
Are you buying a new build home? Give us a call on 0800 038 6446 and we’ll answer any further questions you may have. If you’re looking for an affordable conveyancing quote with fixed fees and a no move no fee guarantee, get a quick quote from us in seconds.