Top tips for buying a new build home
Buying a new build home can be a great option. Lots of people like the idea of buying something that is ‘brand new’ to them and so hasn’t been used before. There’s also the fact that redecoration, maintenance and repair costs should be lower for the first few years.
One other great advantage of buying brand new is that if you reserve your new home in the very early stages of construction or buy off plan, you will be able to choose internal fittings such as kitchen, bathrooms, appliances and tiles to your individual taste.
Energy efficiency and running costs can also be lower than those of an existing home.
So, assuming you are looking for a brand new home, what should you do to make sure you get the right house and the right deal? Here are just a few tips to help you:
- Start by doing a price comparison with similar older properties in terms of the space you get and the location.
- Think about how long you want to stay in your new home. Buying a brand new property is a bit like buying a new car in that there is a ‘depreciation’ factor to consider. This is because you are paying a premium for the fact that everything is brand new. So, if you are only going to be staying for a couple of years, you may not get as much for the house when you sell as you paid for it.
- As with any major expense, shop around before you buy. It’s often possible to get the builder to give away incentives such as free carpets, fully landscaped gardens, contribution to legal fees or even payment of stamp duty. If you do manage to bag some incentives, remember that it may affect the amount you can borrow on mortgage. Your Solicitor or mortgage broker will be able to advise you about this.
- It’s worth knowing that at certain times in the financial year, builders offer more incentives because they are keen to include as many sales as possible in their half year or year-end financial results.
- New homes do come with a guarantee. The most common one offered is the National House Builders Council 10 warranty. Make sure you get to know what any guarantee offered actually gives you as there are limitations.
- Don’t rely on the specifications given in the builder’s glossy brochure for the home that you have chosen when it comes to measuring for things like floor coverings. These are only approximate measurements and can vary.
- When you buy off plan or when the property is in the early stages of construction, any dates for completion given by the builder are only indications of when they think it will be ready. Delays often happen due to things like bad weather or shortages of materials.
- The brochure for your new home may look wonderful, but don’t just rely on this. Try to find out where there is a fully constructed show home or newly built one that is of the same type as yours so that you can visit and walk around it.
- If the site has some properties that are already built and lived in, arrange to speak to the occupiers so that you can find out first hand what it’s like to buy from this builder.
- When you first reserve your new home you will probably be asked to pay a ‘reservation fee’. Make sure you are serious about your purchase before you pay it as its generally not refundable if you change your mind.