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What to consider when buying a new-build property?

By lucmin on 3rd January 2017

If you are looking to buy a new-build property or would like more information about the process here are a few things to bear in mind before you make the move.

 What are the differences to purchasing a new-build home compared to a residential re-sale property?

If you would like to buy a new-build home you need to be in a position to exchange contracts in 28 days with, in most cases, a 10% deposit. However, some builders may accept 5% if it is a long-term completion date.  Once you have agreed to purchase your new home, a reservation deposit of  £1,000 or £2,000 will secure your chosen plot (a percentage of which will be non-refundable in the event of an abortive purchase). You will then be committed to instruct a solicitor and get your mortgage in place.

Completion will be on notice.  Unfortunately you won’t be given a definitive time until the NHBC (National House Building Council or similar regulatory authority) and building regulations are signed off by the local authority. You will then be given 10-14 days to complete the purchase.

One of the biggest benefits of buying a new-build property is there is no chain above or below so the process is a lot easier.

How does the cost of a new-build home differ to a residential re-sale property?

There isn’t much room for bargaining to get a cheaper deal and generally you won’t find discounts on new-builds. You pay the price advertised because you have the option to select the plot of your choice and can often choose materials for your new home for a bespoke finish.

If the first phase of the development sells well, a developer may put up the price of the next phase.  However, if the first phase is slow to sell you may be able to negotiate stamp duty, carpets or parking space included for example.

Would the buyer of a new-build home have a choice over materials and finishes of the property?

Some developers will offer a bespoke service for your new home, allowing you to choose tiles, flooring and sometimes kitchens.   Make sure you check with the developer beforehand to see what options you have.

Are there any hidden costs when purchasing a new-build home?

A developer will need to state at the outset what is included such as utilities, flooring, white goods, landscaping, etc. Some developers do not provide those things, so make sure your budget allows for additional essentials not included in the purchase.

How do garden sizes compare to residential re-sale properties?

On average, the land around a new-build property will not offer you the same size of a residential re-sale plot. This is because of high land values and the necessity for density in planning, resulting in slightly smaller gardens.

 Is there anything else you should consider?

Your new home should come with a 10 year build warranty such as NHBC/Premier/BLP and, subject to individual developers, will also have a period of responsibility for snagging any construction problems with your new home.

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