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There are plenty of advantages to purchasing a newly-built home.

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  • New build flats and houses tend to be more energy efficient than older houses or flats, they may include the latest fixtures and fittings and, of course, they are chain-free. 

    Many house builders also offer generous financial incentives for prospective buyers. But there are other things to consider as well, such as choosing the right property developer and conducting adequate property inspections.

    Advantages of buying a new home

    Buying a newly-built property can be a very exciting and practical way to create a ready made home. You can view thousands of new build houses and apartments from Britain's leading property developers here on PrimeLocation.

    Energy efficiency

    Modern building regulations dictate that house builders meet certain standards regarding the energy efficiency of homes, making them more environmentally sound and also saving the homeowner money on bills. These features include:

    • High quality insulation throughout the walls, roof and floor
    • Energy efficient boilers and heating systems
    • Double glazing
    • Energy efficient light bulbs (regulations in England & Wales require at least two rooms are fitted with energy efficient light bulb fittings to take low wattage bulbs)
    • Better draught proofing

    Financial incentives

    Generous financial incentives are often on offer for buyers and this makes new homes particularly attractive for first time buyers struggling to get their foot onto the ladder. Such incentives might include all or a proportion of the deposit paid for by the developers, or your Stamp Duty paid on your behalf.

    Location

    Builders know that location is one of the most important considerations for buyers and are very careful about developing on land that is close to all the local amenities, such as schools, doctors, shopping facilities and transport terminals. Search for new build homes for sale to check out the local amenities and facilities available in a particular area.

    Modern fixtures and fittings

    Most new homes come with the latest fixtures and fittings to attract a purchase. These might include a fully fitted kitchen, bathrooms and toilets with all the latest mod cons. Many also come with en suite facilities for at least the master bedroom.

    Security and safety features

    The latest building regulations require that adequate security and safety features are built into the specifications of the property. These will most likely include smoke and burglar alarms.

    Chain-free purchase

    Being brand new and with no inhabitants, there is no chain to worry about. This means transactions can happen more quickly and you aren't delayed in making your move.

    Blank canvas

    A newly-built home is essentially a blank canvas for you to make your own mark upon. Although the basics will be in place and some neutral decoration will have been undertaken, you will usually have the option to fit out the property to your own tastes.

    National House Buiding Council certificate

    All builders that are members of the National House Building Council will provide a 10 year warranty and insurance policy on the property to safeguard you against any major problems with the building and to give you peace of mind.

    Find a reputable house builder

    When looking for a newly-built house, check that any builders you come across are members of the National House Building Council. Members must maintain the building standards and rules set by the council and should give you confidence that the property is built to a high quality. The National House Building Council will inspect the property to check that standards are being maintained during construction.

    Do your own research

    Conduct your own research on the house builder to make sure you're satisfied with their quality. This might include:

    • Visiting the site to see how it is being managed
    • Finding out if the builder or site manager has won any industry awards
    • Seeing if residents already in the development are happy with the quality of the product
    • Searching the internet for information and feedback on your builder
    • Asking to see previous developments from the same builder and checking with residents who live in them for their opinion.

    Negotiate with the house builder

    You will have the chance to negotiate the price of the property with the builder and your success will often depend on whether there are homes that have remained unsold for longer than expected. If the builder has targets to achieve and the properties need to be sold sooner rather than later, you may just be able to negotiate a better price. You should also remember that there will be other angles for negotiation, such as promotional deals on mortgages or payment of Stamp Duty. See if you can negotiate extras into the deal, such as flooring, having the garden landscaped (many will not include a finished garden with the property), curtains and so forth.

    Show homes

    Most developments will include a show home, is the developer's opportunity to sell the property to you, and the property will often be decorated to the highest spec.

    However, the show home may be different from the property you're interested in, so make sure you get the opportunity to see the actual property you intend to buy if it's in a suitable state of development. Be sure to clarify what is included in the property, as most show homes will have the extras that do not usually form part of the sale.

    If you're buying off-plan, read more about how to buy a property off-plan.

    Choose a solicitor that has experience of newly-built homes

    It's often advisable to instruct a solicitor that has experience of managing the purchase of new properties. They will have the experience to negotiate with builders for retentions and they can advise you about delaying completion until problems or snags are sorted out by the builder. If possible, try to use an independently selected solicitor, rather than one recommended by the builder. 

    Snagging

    The term snagging is used to describe minor errors or defects in the property that will need to be corrected by the builder. Before the legal completion date, make sure you conduct a thorough snag inspection of the property to identify any problems that need addressing. These might include doors not opening and closing properly, fixtures not being installed correctly, faulty water pressure and so on.

    You can conduct the inspection yourself as long as you know what to look for, but it is advisable to hire a professional snagging company, who will inspect the property thoroughly and provide both you and the builder with a list of corrections that need to be addressed before you complete. Remember, you're paying a lot of money for the property, so it's in your interest to make sure you're getting a high quality product. Again, make sure the snagging company is independently selected by you and not by the builder.
     
    Re-inspect your property
     
    After the first six months of living in your property, conduct another inspection, or note down any problems with the property since you've been living there and notify the developer in writing. Your builders are obliged to fix problems identified within the first two years of completion, otherwise the National House Building Council will. Normal issues, such as shrinkage and drying out, are not covered by the warranty.
     
    Get searching now
     
    PrimeLocation lists literally thousands of new properties for sale across the country, from Britain's leading housebuilders. Search for new build flats and houses for sale right now on PrimeLocation.
     
    Related information

    Some information contained herein may have changed since it was first published. PrimeLocation strongly advises you to seek current legal and/or financial advice from a qualified professional.

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