Top tips for buying a new build home

There are many advantages of buying a newly built house or flat – maintenance costs are usually minimal, energy bills are often a lot cheaper than older houses, and if you’re a first-time buyer there are currently Help to Buy incentive schemes that can give you a foot onto the property ladder. But don’t rush into making an offer – here are some tips for ensuring you get the best possible deal on your new home.

1. Negotiate

Just like any other house on the market, the developer’s price is the asking price, and you may be able to negotiate a better deal. This will depend on a number of factors, including how far along the development is, the location of the property, and the level of demand. Generally, the earlier you express an interest the better price you will be able to negotiate, although you may also be able to get a good deal at the end of the financial year or if there are only a few homes left. If you can’t persuade the developer to budge on asking price, you may be able to haggle for other additional extras, such as flooring, additional fixtures, or stamp duty costs.

2. Check what’s included

If you’re buying off plan, you won’t be able to see the physical property yet, so make sure you know exactly what you are paying for. Will you have a parking space? Are the white goods included? Will it be carpeted? Compare the price with similar sized older houses on the market to see how much of a new-build premium you’d be paying.

3. Research the developer

Before you rush into making an offer, carry out some due diligence on the developer. Visit other sites they have built and see how they look. If you meet any current residents, ask them whether they are happy with their new home (you can also Google the developer to find out what people are saying online). Most important of all – make sure the builder is signed up to a warranty scheme. This will offer you protection if the builder goes bust after you’ve paid your deposit and ensures that the home is built to the agreed standards. Check that your contract has a ‘snagging’ provision so you can sort out annoying teething issues (loose guttering, wall cracks, doors catching on carpet, etc.) directly with the developer.

4. Research the development

As well as making sure that the builder is doing the best possible job on your new build, you’ll want to make sure that the site is going to be a neighbourhood you’ll want to live in. Find out how many of the other flats/homes have already been sold and who is buying them (permanent residents or investors). Neighbours can make a big difference to your quality of life.

5. Don’t make big changes until after completion

If your new build hasn’t been completed before your mortgage offer expires you may need to re-apply. Changing jobs or making large purchases can affect your eligibility, so be wary of making any major life changes until after you complete.

Our expert team members can talk you through the purchasing process from start to finish. Contact Lillicrap Chilcott today for more information about available properties.