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Top Tips For Buying A New Build Home
New build homes are a fabulous option whether you’re a first-time buyer, have a growing family or are down-sizing in later years.
- Many people like the fact that they will be the first to live in the property
- Repairs and redecoration costs should be minimal for the first few years
- You can often select fixtures and fittings to tailor the property interior to your taste
- New properties usually come with guarantees. As well as NHBC’s 10-year warranty, other companies provide warranties and insurance for new homes, such as BLP’s housing warranty insurance
- You should enjoy lower running costs and energy bills as the latest materials and technologies are used in the construction
- Depending on the developer, there may be incentives such as part exchange or assisted move that take away stress of selling your existing property
As with any big purchase, you should do a little research before choosing your new build
- Get to know the developers – in the area where you want to buy and research them online. Look out for where they are mentioned on forums and see what people are saying. Don’t let it put you off completely but let these forums inform you of the issues you need to be aware of
- Get talking – if the development has been partially completed ask the neighbours how they found the process of buying and how they are settling in. You might pick up some top tips for negotiating and things to watch for in your contract
- Explore the area – get a feel for what you’re buying by visiting the site and the local area – especially if it’s not close to where you live now. Look at transport links, try your journey to and from work, walk to local facilities and so on.
- Find out when the whole site is due to be completed – roads and pavements tend to be finished off last which could make access to your home a bit bumpy for anything on wheels. Site construction traffic, dust, noise and workers’ cars can be a nuisance – are they going to be there for weeks or months?
Brand new houses are always more expensive than a pre-owned house and, just like a new car, a new build house will depreciate in price the minute you turn the key in the door. Even in a rising property market you may not get your money back if you have to sell again within a year or two. Here are some top tips for tackling this:
- Compare the new build home you are looking at with similar “old” properties in terms of value, space and rental value in the local area. Check the price per square foot and compare it with the resale market so you fully understand the extent of the premium you will be paying.
- Negotiate with the developers. Find out what other properties on the site have been sold for on Zoopla or Rightmove. There can often be deals to be done at the end of their financial year, or when there are only a few properties left to be sold.
- Shop around for good deals. Many developers offer incentives to differentiate them from other local developers, such as free furnishings, a car parking space, or by paying your legal fees or stamp duty. If you can’t negotiate money off the price, the offer to pay your stamp duty is often the best freebie as it will probably save you the most money, but be aware that any incentives offered by the developer over about 5% will impact on how much your lender is willing to hand out. Part Exchange and Assisted Move offers are also great value and can make everything proceed more smoothly
- Plan to stay put for a few years. Future proof your purchase by ensuring it fits with your personal plans for the next few years. Could a new partner move in? Could you comfortably fit a new baby in? Will there be space for the kids’ cars when they start driving? Can the kids walk to school or is there a bus service? Is the GP easy to reach if your health deteriorates?
- Think about adding value. Is there scope to add value in the future – a conservatory on the back, or a landscaped garden or loft conversion? You may not be able to afford it now, but it may be an option in the future or make your home an attractive proposition to future buyers wanting to add to it.
The most important consideration is how you feel when you walk through the door. Do you get a ‘wow’ feeling? Can you instantly imagine your furniture in each room? Are you already planning the house-warming party? If the answer is yes and the price and timing is right, go for it and enjoy!
This article is based on a feature published by the HomeOwners Alliance. To see the original article in full, click here.