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To Buy A New-Build, Or Not To Buy?

With the Help to Buy Equity loan scheme from the government, more and more first time buyers are able to secure properties unlike ever before. Though, in all the excitement, buying a property is still a difficult venture and an expensive one too; thus, families, couples and those purchasing alone are opting for new-build properties which are energy efficient, brand spanking new and come with a builders guarantee and a ten year warranty. With little money to go around to begin with, the purchasing of new-builds has increased with popularity and Giles Hannah, managing director of VanHan, an expert in new development London sales comments:

‘Off-plan new-build sales are becoming popular once more. Many buyers prefer new build properties because they are well designed for today’s living and benefit from air conditioning and good insulation.’

New-builds nowadays are comparatively modern, to a generation ago and are therefore easy to manage and are perfect for all ages. Additionally, new-builds tend to be chain-free, and therefore a substantially positive deciding factor for many as there is far less risk of a purchase falling through.

To buy a new-build, or not to buy?


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So what are the benefits of purchasing a new-build home?

  1. Many people love the idea that they will be the first to live in that property
  2. Buyers can sometimes opt for certain fixtures and fittings to the tailor the property, to finish to their taste, especially if it’s an off-plan property
  3. Repairs and decoration costs will be kept at a minimum for a few years at least as everything is brand new and never used
  4. New properties usually come with builder’s guarantees and an NHBC 10 year warranty
  5. New-builds are built to be energy efficient and therefore the property has lower running costs and energy bills

What are the potential problems and pitfalls you may encounter?

  1. You may encounter dodgy developers. It’s best to get to know developers who have been recommended, and who know the area. Look at reviews to see what people have commented on; both good and bad. You can also visit their sites they have worked on and ask the residents of their opinion.
  2. Premium pricing. Building a new house can cost a bomb – so compare the new build home you are looking at with similar ‘old’ properties, which are similar in value, space and rental value. It’s paramount to negotiate with the developers and find out what properties are selling for.
  3. Property may not be ready on time – whether you have a purchased a property off-plan, or it is near to finishing as part of a complex, or you have hired developers to build your dream house, you can’t estimate a completion date. You will need patience, time and the money to ensure you have somewhere else to stay in the meantime.
  4. Snagging can occur. These are defects caused by poor building. These snags can be costly to fix and should be factored into budgeting.
  5. Buyers tend to buy properties before they’re finishing, so reliant on the developer’s show home or architectural plan. Watch out for developers to trick you into thinking you have gained space


Photo credit: Norbert1986/Shutterstock

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