1. Do your research
Get to know your developers before you commit to buying a house. Do some research online and read customer reviews, but don’t solely create your options based on these. All new build houses are built differently so it’s important to do your homework before deciding which is right for you.
2. Visit the site
Once you’ve decided on the area you want to live in, go and visit the different new build development sites in the area. This is a good opportunity to speak to the staff and ask them any questions or concerns you may have about buying a new build on their plot.
3. Speak to neighbours
If part of the development has already been completed it could be worth knocking on the neighbours doors to have a quick chat with them. Have they had good experiences of dealing with the developers? Are they happy living here?
Many new builds come at a premium price which can be as much as a 10% premium. It would be said that this ‘premium’ you pay is for the extra perks you get with a new build, such as new fixtures and fittings, guarantees etc. If you’re planning on staying put in your home for the next five years or more, for instance, then you will no doubt get your money’s worth out of paying this premium cost. However, if you’re only staying in the property for the next couple of years, you might not reap the benefits of paying the premium. It is in this sense, that the property could be said to depreciate in value.
5. Snagging survey
If you buy a new build, it’s recommended to have a snagging survey carried out before you complete on the exchange. This survey is designed to detect any problems with the property, ideally before you move in. This will highlight any defects, from minor things like unfinished painting and faulty fixtures, to major issues such as subsidence and damp. The developer is obliged to put right any wrongs that are found, as long as these problems have been found within a 2 year period since the purchase date.