Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past 17 years at some point you would have seen Kirsty Allsop and Phil Spencer helping people find their perfect property.
While I enjoy the show, I’m quick to get frustrated when one of the buyers requirements is for a property with character. What is that supposed to mean? More often than not it just means old, they just don’t want a new build.
I’ve no problem with old property, in fact I like them and before buying our property I was open to both new and old properties.
We decided on buying a property off plan. A decision made somewhat easier by the developer having a show home in the style that we would be buying. Typically no expense was spared on the show home and it could have been easy to get carried away with the options list, trying to replicate it.
A new build home suited our circumstances perfectly. We could just move in knowing that all we had to do was choose paints and wallpaper and cushions, lots and lots of cushions, oh so many cushions.
- More energy efficient – new builds can be up to 4x more energy
- If you’re buying off plan, you might benefit from the fact that you aren’t tied into a chain
- Developer will often offer guarantees for minor fixes, usually for around two years
- The NHBC will offer a 10yr warranty, through their Buildmark
- You benefit from the ability to spec your house, however you want it
- Depending on your circumstances developers might offer incentives or discounts
- No one else has lived in the property
- The developer will ask you to their offices where it can be easy to get carried away with options, especially if you have already seen the show home
- There are a number of factors that are not in the developers control, i.e. the weather, so you could experience construction delays
- If you buy early, you will more than likely be living on a building site until all phases are complete.
- Developers recommend that you don’t decorate straight away
- Your new house has not yet settled so flaws will appear as the house settles, this will happen regardless of how good the developer is.
- Developers will have wanted to maximise profits so would have built as many houses on the land as they could so you might be overlooked by neighbours
- Thin walls will mean that noise will travel, so if it isn’t noise from your neighbours you will definitely get some from others in the household.
- Depending on its position, gardens can be small so might not suit a family
Considerations in buying a new build
Buying any property, whether it’s new or old isn’t something that can be taken likely but if you have set your sights on a new build here are a few things that you should consider before signing on the dotted line.
Will it be a long term or short term commitment?
New builds are renowned for being small and whilst it might suit you as a couple, if you are thinking of starting a family you might have to consider moving, incurring further costs in moving up the ladder.
What’s your budget
The asking price is only the start of the property buying minefield. There are also a number of associated costs including legal fees, stamp duty and lets not forget those fees associated with the mortgage, such as the arrangement fee and account fee.
Can you get any help to buy a property
We were only able to buy a property because I was the beneficiary of a will, I have no doubt that if this wasn’t the case, my wife and I would be caught in the renting trap of wanting to buy our own property but not being able to save for a deposit because of high rents and the general high cost of living.
If you are eligible, i.e a first time buyer the government will offer you some financial assistance to help buy your first property. There’s the Help to Buy scheme, Help to Buy ISA.
I might be biased here, but I don’t believe that you should disregard a new build home purely for the fact that it doesn’t have character, an original fireplace or parquet flooring doesn’t make a home
Not only does a new build give you the opportunity to create your own character, but if purchased correctly it can also save you money in its energy efficiency and its ease to adapt to your way of living.
Sorry Kirsty, I won’t be knocking any walls down just yet.