Considerations when buying a new build

With a dramatic shortage of homes to buy, national and local government are under increasing pressure to build more homes and we are certainly seeing more developments popping up.

There are many benefits to buying a new build home in that no one has ever lived in it, meaning all fixtures and fittings are brand new and never used. Some developers give buyers who commit early enough the choice as to where things go and what extras they want including.

However, there are certain precautions that buyers should take to avoid the dream home turning into a new build nightmare.

New Build or ‘Off-plan’

There is a big difference here. A new build will be completed, and whilst there may be other phases on the same development still underway, the actual property you intend to buy is built and available for you to view. However, remember if work on the rest of the development is still underway you will want to find out an estimated completion date otherwise you could find yourself living in a building site for a long time!

Off-plan means that the property has not been built or is not yet completed. In this instance always seek legal advice so you know exactly what you are purchasing and when it will be delivered.

New Build Premium

Because you are purchasing everything brand new, you are likely to pay 10-15 per cent more than the current market value but the equivalent property second-hand. Whilst some developers may be open to some negotiation, it really depends on how strong the local market is, how many properties are available in the development, the quality of the fixture, fittings and finish. Until a scheme becomes established in its market (unless it’s a, be prepared for the fact that your home may not be as easy to sell as it was to buy.

Leasehold properties

Leasehold is one of the great property scandals of our era which continues to blight homeowners if they are not aware of the conditions they are signed up to. Sometimes a well-maintained leasehold scheme can add value by providing common land, service maintenance, and shared facilities such as a gym, pool or security. Often, though, this ends up being an additional cost for ground rent which can increase year on year.

Even if the property is freehold, it’s useful to check who will have responsibility for any common spaces on the new build housing estate such as parks or greens.

Read the small print

Always ensure you understand what’s included and not included in the purchase price agreed and the guarantees. New build homes come with the NHBC warranty covering

structural defects, but you need to understand the detail in the developer’s own warranty that cover more detailed aspects of your home.

Also remember, housebuilders and developers are not currently under any legal obligation to be signed up to a redress scheme, such as The Property Ombudsman (TPO) or Property Redress Scheme (PRS). This means if you have an issue with the service provided by the developer and they are unwilling to address it, you are unlikely to be compensated. Many developers sign up to redress schemes voluntarily and it would be wise to find out if the one you are looking at is covered by TPO or PRS.

Just be aware that you are buying an asset whose value will likely depreciate rather and appreciate over the next few years so do your research on the developer to avoid issues that all too often arise with buying a brand new house.

If you have purchased a new build property in the last few years and now need to move but are having trouble selling, WeBuyProperty will be happy to discuss your situation and give you a no-obligation valuation to purchase your property for cash.

Phone number: 0207 938 3007 or 0207 449 9797