The Questions To Ask When Buying A New Build House
When buying a new build house, it is important to be fully informed with everything you need to know. This article will go over not only questions you need to ask your new build home provider, but also questions to ask yourself to help you assess whether a new build home is for you.
Questions to ask yourself
Before you start your search for your new build home provider, you should ask yourself some key questions. Think of these as a small checklist to confirm that a new build home is the future home for you. For a more comprehensive list of things to consider before you buy a new house, we also recommend reading our blog on how to know if you are 100% ready to buy a new house.
What is my Budget?
When searching for a new build home, you may not be shocked to find out that they can be slightly more expensive upfront than a second hand property.
However, this slight price jump is to be expected with any new product in any market, because new products come with advantages over old products. In the case of new build homes, they hold many advantages over older properties, such as:
- They are often more energy efficient. This results in a cheaper house to run.
- They are often easier to personalise upon purchase. For example, at Clarendon Homes we often take personalised requests for carpets, tiling and more.
- A 10-year warranty. A new-build home will usually come with a 10-year warranty, giving you additional peace of mind for the long term.
- No property chains. Moving into a new property means there is no waiting for someone to move out, so getting a new build is often less stressful than buying a previously occupied house.
This is not to say that second hand properties are a complete no go. They too hold some unique advantages over new builds, such as generally being a bit cheaper and more parking space. It is important to consider your personal needs and budget when deciding what house is right for you.
It is also important to remember that (sadly) the purchase of the house is not your final expense when it comes to moving in. There are plenty of other costs to consider for new homeowners. To find out more about these, we recommend reading our two previous blogs:
Are there Financial Schemes to help?
If you are a first-time buyer in England, you can apply for a Help to Buy Equity Loan. You can borrow a minimum of 5% and up to a maximum of 20% (40% in London) of the full purchase price of a new-build home, as long as your homebuilder is registered with Help to Buy. The equity loan, the deposit you have saved, and your repayment mortgage cover the total cost of buying your newly built home. This government scheme is a great help for first time buyers who are seeking a new build home. It runs from April 2021 – March 2023, so there is plenty of time to take advantage of this low interest loan which can go a long way towards your deposit.
If you are a prospective first-time buyer between the ages of 18-39, you could also look into opening a Lifetime ISA. This government scheme is great for working towards your deposit, because for every £4 you put into a Lifetime ISA, you get £1 free from the government, up to £4000 per tax year. This means that every year you can get a free £1000 towards your first home from the government, which isn’t a bad deal! Naturally with such bonuses available, there are significant caveats. When depositing into a Lifetime ISA, you can only withdraw your money when you are using it for your purchase of your new home (up to a value of £450,000) or after the age of 60. So when opening a Lifetime ISA, be aware that any money deposited will generally not be easily accessible apart from these two situations. For more details on Lifetime ISA’s, read here.
Can I reserve in advance?
New builds will often require you to pay an upfront reservation fee before you can fully purchase in order to take the product off the market. This is not a factor when purchasing a previously owned property, as you don’t pay anything until you exchange contracts. But rest assured, as this reservation fee is usually taken off the final price of the property, so it is not an additional fee.
The construction of the new build might also not be fully completed at the time of reservation, so you may need to be prepared to wait a slightly longer period of time before you can move in. In this case, ensure you ask your home provider when they expect completion date of the property will be.
Questions for the Builder
Once you have decided you are ready to buy a new build house, one of the first things to do is to pick a builder to provide you with your home. This is a very important stage of your buying process, so you should consider the below questions before coming to a decision…
Am I buying from a Reliable Builder?
This is one of the most important questions to ask. You need to purchase from a high quality, reliable builder who you can trust will provide you with the new build home you are after.
The problem is, every business is going to say you can trust them. So how do you see for yourself? One key indicator of future performance is past performance. Ask to see their recent developments, particularly if there are any which are similar to the ones you are looking at, to look at if their finishes live up to your standards. Other indicators include testimonials from previous customers, how long they have been operating as a property developer and online reputation (e.g. social media).
These questions don’t require us to provide much explanation behind them, but they are important questions to consider nonetheless…
- What does their new home warranty include?
- Can they provide copies of the property plans, drawings, specifications and paperwork?
- Is the property leasehold or freehold?
- Is the site on mains drainage, is there a pumping station and who maintains it?
- How many allocated parking spaces does the plot have?
- Is there a management company or any shared facilities on site? If so, what are the costs associated with this?
- Is the house fully finished? E.g. are carpets/flooring included, patios laid, gardens turfed?
This article is by no means an exhaustive list, there may be several other questions you want to ask before buying a new house. After all, this is a huge decision in your life, so it is important to be as well informed as possible. If you are thinking of buying a new build house, our experienced team at Clarendon Homes will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our developments, feel free to get in contact today!
Got any questions or feedback on the blog? Or maybe a topic you would like to be covered in a future blog? Email firstname.lastname@example.org today, I would love to hear from you!