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Buying a New Build Home Process

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Whether you are buying a newly built home for the first time or moving up the property ladder, we’ve got you covered.

New build homes are known as forever homes.  You’ll be the first to move in, giving you a blank canvas to create the home of your dreams.

However, you don’t want to buy a house of horrors.

If you’re keen on a property in your area – or even far away – and you’re thinking of selling your current home in order to buy a new one, read on to get some helpful information about buying a new build.

Table of Contents

Buying a New-Build home

What is a new build?

A new build property meets certain criteria to be categorised as a true new build. In this section of our new build home guide, we explain what these criteria are and why you might want to consider buying a new build property.

The benefits of buying a new-build home

There are many advantages to choosing a newly built home, from energy efficiency to the fixtures included. We outline the key benefits of buying a new build property.

What is included in a new-build property?

New build homes can come with a range of additional features, including appliances, flooring, and double glazing. We list some of the things that may come with your newly built property.

How to negotiate a new-build house price?

The price advertised for a newly built home is not necessarily the price you should pay. We explain why it’s important to negotiate the house price and how factors can determine if you’re successful.

What are premiums?

It can be confusing to understand new build premiums, especially for first-time buyers. We explain the terminology in this section of our guide.

How to buy a new build and get a mortgage?

Buying a newly built home involves several steps, from assessing your financial situation to applying for a mortgage and finding a solicitor. We outline the different steps you should take when purchasing a newly built property.

How much deposit do you need for a new building?

When buying a new build, you will need at least a 10% deposit and ideally 20% to get a better mortgage deal. If you have a Lifetime ISA, this can be put towards your house purchase.

Freehold vs Leasehold

When purchasing a newly built property, you may come across freehold and leasehold homes. We explain the freehold and leasehold terms, as well as what to watch out for when buying a newly built home.

buying a new build home
New build homes can come with a range of additional features, including appliances, flooring, and double glazing.

Pros of buying a new build

These are just some of the advantages and disadvantages of buying a newly built home. All of them should be taken into account when deciding to make such a purchase:

  • Everything is brand new, so you don’t need to paint, repair or discard anything – you can simply unpack and move in! In some instances, developers may be eager to complete the sale and could cover things such as stamp duty, deposits and even furnishings that estate agents may not cover.
  • Having a ‘chain-free’ sale is something everyone buying a home loves to hear. Without a chain, the process is much simpler and smoother. Lower bills are a blessing in times of high utility costs – new buildings typically have much better energy performance ratings than older properties, thereby resulting in cheaper bills and potentially cheaper mortgages if you can secure a ‘green’ mortgage.
  • A new build is essentially a new product, so it’s protected by a warranty – something you won’t get with an existing property. If you buy off-plan, you can even design it yourself, with some builders allowing you to have a say in the layout and fittings.
  • There are various ways to purchase a property, making it easier to get onto the property ladder. Deposit unlock, help to buy and shared ownership are all schemes that are designed to support first-time buyers.

Cons of a new build home

  • New builds are often densely packed with other properties in the same area. Developers aim to maximise their profits, so the properties are smaller and have less outdoor space. Rooms and driveways may be smaller than expected.
  • The value of a new home can drop quickly after you move in. With new builds popping up so rapidly, your home may not be as attractive to potential buyers compared to newer homes nearby.
  • Management charges can be pricey, and companies manage many new builds. This means that the owners of the properties on the estate must pay for any shared spaces. This cost can vary, and there’s little homeowners can do to avoid it. Add this expense to your mortgage, and your outgoings will soon add up.
  • Defects may be found in the construction of some new builds due to the speed at which they are built. Usually, these are minor issues, but there may be structural problems at times. You can always have a surveyor inspect the site once you’re allowed in, and they can inform the builder to ensure the issues are resolved.
  • Delays may cause you to miss your planned move-in date. You are dependent on the builders to complete the work on time, but it may not always happen. This could be manageable, but you may have to pay additional rent, storage fees, and utility costs while you wait.

Buying a new build home process

  1. Finding your new home – When buying a newly built property, you may have to purchase it ‘off-plan’ – where the house has not yet been built or is only partially finished. This means you may be able to have more freedom to design certain features of the layout. You can also benefit from the potential increase in the house value before you move in.
  2. Reserving your home- Once you have found a development which meets your needs, you’ll need to reserve it. Costs usually amount to around £1000.
  3. Organising paperwork – Organising paperwork is an important, albeit dull, part of the process. You’ll need to appoint a conveyancer and secure a mortgage agreement in principle. As these usually last up to six months, you should try to get a clear idea of the completion date. Speak to your mortgage provider about extensions if necessary, or ask if a specialist mortgage for new builds is available.
  4. The wait to move in: You may have to wait a while before getting the keys to your new house. Developers usually give two dates: a short stop – when they expect to have the project completed – and a long stop, which is the date by which they must have it finished. If they don’t meet the long stop, you may be entitled to compensation.
  5. The final steps- In the weeks leading up to the completion date, keep in contact with your conveyancer to ensure everything is running smoothly. When all is good, you’ll be ready to move in. It’s a good idea to get a snagging survey done so any issues with the property can be recorded and sorted before you move in.
When do you pay a deposit on a new build house
Consider the financial year end of the company building the property and when there are just a few spaces left, as both of these can be good times to make a lower offer.

When do you pay a deposit on a new build house?

With any property transaction, there is a deposit required. You may already have paid a reservation fee of around £1000, but remember that this is not the same as a property deposit.

When the conveyancer completes the paperwork, you will need to exchange contracts and pay the deposit at that time.

Can you decorate a new build house straight away?

Many of us are excited to make a new home our own, particularly if we have had a part in designing it. Unfortunately, a new build needs time to dry out before you can start decorating.

Wallpaper and paint should be left for 6-12 months, otherwise, you may cause damage which could be costly to repair.

How much can you negotiate on a new build house?

A new build may be more expensive than an existing property, but that doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate the price.

Research other new builds in your area to get an idea of the house prices, and look at how long they have been on the market and how many have already been sold.

If the new build is an off-plan property, the team may be willing to negotiate as they need to secure finance for the other properties in the development.

Consider the financial year end of the company building the property and when there are just a few spaces left, as both of these can be good times to make a lower offer.

Do you Have a Property To Sell?

If you have a property to sell, we’d love to be able to buy it for cash.

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