Buying a new build? Don't miss these 5 tips for success

Buying a new build home offers many buyers the opportunity to get onto, or move up, the housing ladder. There are plenty of advantages to new build homes, including being able to specify the layout and look of your home, and low repair and decoration costs. 

Despite commanding a higher price tag than some older properties on the market, if built to the right specifications, new builds will be more energy efficient and have comparatively lower energy bills Here are our tips to help you buy with knowledge and confidence: 

Does the property have a new homes warranty? 

New properties usually come with guarantees, such as the National House Building Council (NHBC)’s 10-year warranty, but some developers will also provide additional warranties or guarantees. This varies from developer to developer, so it is worth checking.  A warranty ensures that certain defects to the property will be fixed by the developer.

Ensure you know what you’re getting

If you are buying ‘off plan’ (without seeing the actual house), it can be hard to envisage exactly what your home is going to look like when you move in – don’t be swayed by the show home, as your new pad won’t come with all the staging props! 

Make sure you ask the developer for a list of everything the property includes. Will the garden be landscaped? Are white goods, carpets and fittings included? Having a list up-front will help you when it comes to the exciting part of shopping for your new home, as well as helping to avoid any misunderstandings and unexpected costs later down the line.

Can I negotiate a price? 

When buying a new build, it can be difficult negotiate a purchase price, however, we recommend ensuring that you negotiate some incentives, for example, will the developer pay the stamp duty, install carpets, fitted wardrobes or even help with energy costs for a certain period.  Don’t be shy, if you don’t ask.

Do I need to use the housebuilder’s conveyancer or mortgage broker? 

It is not uncommon for developers to encourage buyers to use their preferred conveyancers or brokers  for a house purchase. However, as with all house purchases, you can select an independent solicitor or choice of lender to help you complete the process. This is an important decision and choosing your own conveyancer can be helpful in ensuring that they have your interests as a priority, rather than the developers’.

How are new builds valued when they haven’t been built yet? 

Developers will set a price for properties, which will then usually be checked by your lender to make sure the price is fair. Mortgage lenders will calculate their valuations ‘off plan’, which means that they will look at the blueprints, floor plans, and any marketing material  to arrive at a price.

We provide 6-month mortgage offers for new build homes. This is longer than the average mortgage offer due to the property not being built yet! If you would like to talk about a mortgage as a first-time buyer or for a new build home, appointments with our mortgage advisers are available in the evenings, Saturdays and weekdays via video, phone or in branch. Book online here.

Luke Pummell Head of Direct Sales

Luke leads the direct mortgage and savings sales through our branch network and online services.

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