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Posted on 28 February 2022

Buying a New Build – the good and bad

There any many things to take into consideration when buying a new build, some good and…

There any many things to take into consideration when buying a new build, some good and some bad. We’ve done our best to address some of the pros and cons when purchasing a new build property.

What counts as a new build?

It may sound like a silly question but it is more comes up more often than you would think. In short, it is a house that has never been lived in before. As soon as someone moves in the property is no longer a new build and instead becomes a modern home.

The Good

So, what’s good about buying a new build?

Warranties

Unlike existing houses, new builds come with a warranty that can cover quite a lot. It’s worth mentioning that not everything is covered so make sure you know what’s included before you commit to buying. this can be very important if you are buying ‘off-plan’ (before it’s built).

Customise before you move in

One very good upside to buying a new build is being able to make it yours before you move in. Choosing what flooring you want, what style of kitchen you prefer and even where plug sockets go can be a big incentive to buy new.

Better buying power

Schemes such as ‘Shared Ownership’ and ‘Help to Buy’ only apply to new builds. These can help you get a much better house than you otherwise would without government-backed support.

Energy Efficiency

As new houses are built to modern standards they are going to be more energy-efficient. Some reports suggest up to 84% of new builds achieve an EPC rating of A or B, much better than older houses. This means new homes will save you money on your energy bills, a good thing with the price of energy going up.

No chains

Chains can be one of the most stressful parts of the moving process, the more in the chain the harder it is to coordinate. With new builds, there is no one above you so you just need to organise yourself and your buyer. That said, if your new build is delayed you could find yourself feeling pressure from others in the chain as you’re holding things up.

The Bad?

That’s all good but what about the possible downsides?

Low quality and lots of snags

It is pretty normal to find faults or ‘snags’ with new builds, just check out Instagram #snagging. If you are worried about this there are a few things you should do. Firstly, get a Snagging survey done before you exchange and move in. Secondly, thinking back to warranties, make sure there is a provision for snagging included in the contract. This means the builder is responsible for fixing issues you spot such as poorly fitted flooring.

Delays

Another downside to new builds is that they don’t always get built on time. Supply delays and resource shortages regularly cause schedules to overrun which can have an impact on you, especially if you are in a chain or looking to move out of rented accommodation. It is well worth investing some time on google to see what kind of reputation the builder has for delayed builds.

New build premiums

It’s worth remembering that you are paying a premium to move into an empty, brand new property. Reasons such as; the latest standards, higher spec fixtures, and warranties are often used by builders to justify the extra mark-up. Recent figures suggest this premium can be as high as 28% greater than the equivalent ‘used’ property. It’s always worth seeing what older homes you can get for the same budget just to make sure you are as informed as possible.

Extra charges

With greater numbers of new-build estates being constructed local councils are choosing not to take on the maintenance. This leaves it firmly in the hands of private management companies to pick up the shortfall. So as a new homeowner, you may be asked to pay fees towards the upkeep of communal areas such as; parks, commons and playgrounds. These prices will increase and some homeowners have found themselves unable to challenge these management companies, make changes or influence costs so make sure you do your homework first.

For more help, advice and news about buying property, solicitors and conveyancing – including how Exchange Train could make it easier and cheaper – visit our website.