Top ten tips for buying a newly build property
If you are looking for your dream home, you could do a lot worse than to consider a new-build property.
It can be quite different to the normal buying process though, we’ve called on Jim Bowers, sales manager at Arley Homes, who has given us his top ten tips for buying a new build property:
1. Get to know your builder
Buying a house is one of life’s major milestones and for many it can be a stressful experience. The housebuilder should do everything they can to make the process as smooth and hassle free as possible, but you can also play a part in the process.
Regular contact with the developer and the sales team will help build a relationship of trust and give you peace of mind every step of the way.
2. Don’t bust your budget
It’s imperative you think about what you can afford and take on board the expenditure which comes with owning a house.
Look for instance at the council tax rates for the area and speak to a financial advisor about whether you’ll need a mortgage on your property. Many housebuilders will be able to advise you on this.
3. Early bird catches the worm
Reserving your new home early in the construction process can often pay dividends, especially if you’re keen to secure a specific plot.
You also may have more say over the interior specification and in some cases the home’s internal layout. Most housebuilders will offer a choice of kitchen units, flooring, carpets and tiles for example.
4. Don’t worry if you can’t sell your home
If you are selling a home in order to buy a new-build property, it’s worth considering a part-exchange deal.
Many housebuilders operate part-exchange schemes, and providing you are happy with the deal offered it can be the best way to move, stress free with a guaranteed sale and no chain to worry about.
5. How does it measure up?
Take a tape measure to your prospective new home and record the internal dimensions – including ceiling height – to make sure your furniture will fit. Pay particular attention to the stairs and door widths and the garage space if you plan to park your car in there.
6. Be flexible about location
We’d all like to live in the desirable parts of town, but sometimes budgets prevent this. Take the time to research the areas you’d like to live, think in particular about transport links, local amenities and schools for example.
It’s worth having two or three locations in mind where you’d be happy to live you can then look at the developments in those specific areas.
7. Think Green
Ask the developer about any environmentally friendly additions to your property. It’s worth noting that new builds are around 40 per cent more energy efficient than older properties with better insulation, heating, lighting and double glazing.
Many housebuilders are also now introducing eco-friendly measures into the specification of their homes with features such as eco-taps and even solar panels. These are not just good for the environment but also for your bank balance.
8. Show off with a show home
Show homes are designed to have the wow factor, with high-end specification including carpets, kitchen units and landscaped gardens. Traditionally show homes are held back until the remaining properties on the development are sold or reserved.
If you’re particularly keen to purchase a show home speak with the developer and they’ll advise you on the best steps forward. It’s important to realise that in most cases you won’t be able to move into the property until the final stages of the build programme.
9. Seeing is believing
First impressions count and you can often be seduced by a show home’s immaculate look and feel. Make sure you look at the finer details in your property, take a walk around the plot, paying attention to the build quality and make a mental note, or jot down any imperfections or snagging areas.
Look at the landscaping, fixtures and fittings, if they’ve taken the time to perfect these areas, chances are the rest of property will follow suit. Should you have any concerns or issues voice them with the housebuilder or sales team.
10. Don’t just take their word for it
Take the opportunity to speak to your potential neighbours or ask the housebuilder whether they have any customer testimonials they can show you.
It’s always good to hear how other people have found the moving process or the reasons why they chose to buy. It may help you decide one way or other whether this is the house for you.