Due to the national property shortage, there’s considerable emphasis on new-build homes at the moment, with the government pledging to build a million such properties between 2015 and 2020.
Getting on the property ladder is one of the biggest steps you can take. New-build homes are an excellent option for first-time buyers, growing families or even retirees. However, they can come with problems that many buyers don’t tend to notice.
Why buy a new-build home?
There are a number of advantages to buying a new-build home. Here are some of our top reasons for doing so.
- Getting in early: A number of property developers offer the opportunity to purchase a home before it is even built. By buying off plan in an area where house prices are constantly rising, your property will be appreciating in value before you’ve even moved in. Buying off plan also allows you to make the most of the ‘blank canvas’ of your new home, giving you the opportunity to choose your fixtures and furnishings.
- Specifications: New homes are built to the latest specifications, so any major repairs should be unnecessary for the first few years.
- Guarantees: New-build homes come with a 10-year National House Building Council (NHBC) warranty that covers all structural defects. In most cases, developers should also provide their own two-year warranty.
- Incentives: There are a number of government schemes to help you buy a home, including Help to Buy and the Starter Homes initiative, which are only available with the purchase of newly built properties. Other incentives might include all or some of the deposit being paid for by the developers, or having stamp duty paid on your behalf. You may also get free fixtures and fittings, such as dishwashers, refrigerators, carpets or curtains.
- Flexibility: A new-build home comes without the hassle of being involved in a chain, meaning that you can move in at your own pace.
- Cheap bills: New-build homes are usually built and fitted out with the latest energy efficient appliances, tend to be well insulated and come with double or triple glazing, making them cheaper to run than an older property.
However, new-build homes do not come without their pitfalls …
- Delays: Any hold-ups in construction could lead to your mortgage offer expiring.
- Disruption: Being one of the first to move in means you could find yourself living on a building site while the rest of the homes are completed.
- Sizing: Large numbers of new-build homes are often crammed into a relatively small area of land, which means room sizes will usually be smaller than those of older properties.
- Risk: Plans and marketing brochures won’t always give an accurate picture of what the home actually looks like once it’s built.
- Snagging: You should ensure that your sale contract includes a snagging provision. ‘Snagging’ is the process of detailing any minor errors, items for repair or defects in the property that will need to be fixed by the builder. It may be advisable to hire a professional snagging company as you will need to compile a comprehensive list of corrections to be addressed before you complete.