If you are looking to move house then you might have thought about buying a newly built home direct from the developers. But, what are the pros and cons of buying a new build property?
Here are what we consider to be the main advantages and disadvantages of buying new builds:
Advantages Of New Build Properties
One of the biggest advantages of buying a new build is the fact you won’t be buying into a chain. That means, as soon as your finances are in place, you can look to complete the purchase.
It also removes the risk of being gazumped and can help make the whole house move less stressful. However, be aware that once you have agreed to buy a new build, the developers will often set a deadline for when you need to complete by. This can add pressure if you need to sell your own property to fund the move.
New build properties are built to the latest regulations and specifications, meaning that it’s unlikely you’ll need to worry about repairs for a while. They also come with a 10-year NHBC warranty to cover structural defects.
Add to this the fact many home builders offer their own warranties too, and you’ll definitely gain some peace of mind when buying a new build.
Influence The Final Finish
If your chosen new build is still being built, it may be possible to influence the exact finish inside the property. This could be things like your choice of flooring, tile colour, or even minor alterations to layout.
Whatever it is, it gives you the chance to make the property ‘yours’ and reduce the need to change anything once you move in.
Depending on your eligibility, it may be possible to benefit from government incentives such as Help To Buy when buying new a build property. Many such incentives are only available on new builds.
Talk to the developer as they’ll know what current incentives might save you the most money.
More Energy Efficient
As new build properties are built to the latest specifications and building standards, they are often more energy efficient than older properties.
In a country where energy costs seem to be ever-increasing, this can lead to significant savings on your energy bills over the coming years.
Everything Is Brand New
Many people love the fact that no-one else has lived in a new build property before them. That means everything is brand new and should be spotlessly clean.
Disadvantages Of New Build Properties
Harder To Get A Mortgage
Because new builds are often sold at a premium price, lenders are often stricter with the maximum loan to value (LTV) they will lend for a new build property.
This means you may need to have a larger deposit to be able to get a favourable mortgage rate than you would if you were buying a similarly valued older home.
In addition to this, developers will often only give you 28 days to complete a purchase after you have put down your deposit. This can be a tough deadline for some mortgage lenders to meet.
Property May Not Be Built Yet
Depending on which stage of the build process the developers are at, the house you buy may not actually be built yet. That means you’ll be relying on show homes and imagination to understand exactly how your house will look when completed.
This also means there a risk the property won’t be quite what you hoped it would be when you finally get the keys. Plus, if you are in a chain you may need to consider moving into rented accommodation while you wait for your new build home to be finished.
Questionable Build Quality
Although new build properties are built to the latest specifications and regulations, there is a tendency nowadays for firms to use cheaper materials in order to increase their profit margins.
This is why you’ll often find new builds contain a high proportion of stud walls. These offer poorer sound insulation and can be tricky to affix heavier objects to, such as mirrors and bathroom fixings.
Smaller Rooms And Gardens
Because developers need to maximise the number of properties they build on a site in order to increase their profit margins, new build properties tend to have smaller rooms and gardens.
So, even a 4 bedroom new build house may not be much different in size than an older 3 bedroom house.
Possibility Of Disruption
If the development upon which your purchased new build property sits is not completed when you move in, be prepared for a period of disruption.
Noise, vibrations, road closures, and excessive mud and dirt are all common on housing developments where work is still ongoing.
Of course, any disruption will only last until the development is completed but it’s worth finding out the timescales the developers are working to so you know what you are letting yourself in for!
Less For Your Money
We mentioned it earlier but it really is true that most developers price new build properties at a premium. You are paying for the fact that everything should be in perfect condition and under warranty. You are paying for the fact no one has lived there before you.
If you want the best value for money, an older property will give you more property for your cash.
Pros And Cons Of Buying A New Build Property – Summary
So, as you can see, there are a number of pros and cons of buying a new build property. If you want something which doesn’t need anything doing to it for a few years, has never been lived in before, and is built to modern standards, a new build property may be right for you.
However, if you want to maximise what your money will buy, enjoy larger rooms and gardens, and avoid the excessive plasterboard walls common in new builds, stick with an older-style property.
Whichever type of property you decide to buy, make sure you check out our guide on how to choose a removal company before the big day arrives.