New build properties and their developers have a somewhat mysterious façade. Those who haven’t bought a new build home before are faced with negativity from the media and horror stories across the internet forums. However, people are quick to jump on any qualms before recognising the good in something. All ages of property have their advantages and disadvantages and new build homes are no different. Discover the pros and cons of buying a new build home below.
The pros of new build homes
A new build home is a blank canvas and many development companies will give buyers the option to choose from a range of fixtures, finishes and flooring. Having this freedom to spec the house out as you wish (within reason) is appealing to many and takes away the rigmarole associated with redecorating an older property when you move in.
Many people who buy a new build home are drawn in by the fact that nobody has ever lived in the home before and it does not have any history. This also means that there are less likely to be issued during the purchase of a new build as there is no upward chain. Or, in the case of first-time buyers investing in a new build, no chain at all. Most companies providing new-build homes also offer both the Help to Buy and Start Homes Initiative to make owning your own home easier.
All new build homes are built to the latest industry specification and many developers offer warranties or insurance on the homes they erect. Regardless, all new build properties come with a 10-year warranty from the National House Building Council, giving new homeowners peace of mind should anything go wrong. Due to these levels of protection, many new build owners find that maintenance costs are low for the first few years living in the property. Furthermore, due to the modern insulation and double-glazing used during the building process, newly built properties tend to be more energy efficient and energy bills tend to be lower than older homes of the same size.
The cons of new build homes
Whilst new build homes are usually as attractive as their computerised brochure images, they come with a premium price tag. Just like buying a brand-new car, the price depreciates the minute you move in and they tend to only hold their price if you live in them for long enough.
In some situations, you may never actually see your new home until it has been built. By this point, the deposit is paid and the mortgage is sorted; there is no backing out. Whilst you may get shown around a similar show home and be presented with drawings and brochures, sometimes your new home doesn’t match up to your expectations. Many also find that the rooms of their house and their garden are smaller than they anticipated when they move in, or that they are going to spend the next 12 months living on a building site whilst other homes on the site are built.
Whilst developers paint a perfect picture, new build buyers beware – there are often teething problems. Sometimes delays in construction can mean your mortgage expires or issues that weren’t flagged up in a snagging survey suddenly rear their heads. Whilst any credible development firm will always provide after-sales care, it can vary dramatically.
How to avoid new build pitfalls
Research is the key to finding a reputable new build development company. Whilst it can be appealing to purchase a new home simply because it is in the location you desire, check the reputation of the developer before you even think about stepping into the marketing suite. Simply speaking, not all new build homes are built equally and not all developers are outstanding. Get as much information as you can before you commit to buying a new build home and always seek the legal expertise of a solicitor to help protect you and your money.