Before buying a new home, a key decision is whether to choose a new build or an older property. Older properties have character, tend to be more spacious and include unique features. New builds, on the other hand, are brand new and provide various benefits. For a start, you know that no one has ever lived in a new build before and it’s a blank canvas just waiting for you to put your own stamp on. To help you decide whether buying a new build is the right choice for you, we’ve detailed the advantages that newly built properties have to offer below.
The benefits of buying a new build
Ranging from energy efficiency and low maintenance to developer incentives and affordability schemes, there are numerous benefits when it comes to buying a new build.
No property chain
As the first owner of a new build, you don’t have to worry about being stuck in a property chain. This removes the stress of having to wait for someone to move out as you would with a pre-owned home. There are no frustrating delays and you can move in as soon as your purchase completes.
You won’t be gazumped
One risk you face when buying a pre-owned home is being gazumped. This is when you’ve had an offer accepted by the seller but they then later accepted someone else’s offer (usually because it’s a higher one). This doesn’t happen with a new build. You pay a reservation fee to the developer and then often have a quick deadline of 28 days to exchange contracts.
As they’ve just been built, new builds are in much better condition than older properties. You can expect to do very little maintenance, if any, when moving into a new build. You may face some initial snagging issues, such as the internal doors sticking, but these will be dealt with by the developer. Inside a new build, the bathroom suite and kitchen appliances will be brand new and the décor will be a neutral colour. This means you can simply move in, unpack and settle into your new home in Bexley.
New builds are much more energy efficient than older properties. They have to comply with building regulations, which include specific requirements for ventilation and heating. New builds have excellent insulation, LED lighting, double glazing, efficient boilers, high-efficiency appliances and water-saving systems. Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) have shown that over 80% of new-build homes have the highest energy-efficient ratings of A or B. This means you can save a considerable amount on your energy bills compared with an older property.
New builds cater to modern lifestyles. They tend to have an open-plan layout and each space serves multiple functions. Studies are often included as working from home has increased in popularity. As well as a family bathroom, the main bedroom will often have an en suite bathroom. Parking is taken into account too with either a garage or large driveway to accommodate one or two cars.
As mentioned earlier, your new build in Bexleyheath will have a brand new fitted kitchen, which often comes complete with appliances, and a new bathroom suite. Depending on the stage the developer has reached with the property, you may be able to choose the fixtures and fittings you want. If buying off-plan, you may even be able to have some input with the layout of the property.
Your new-build home can also incorporate smart technology, such as smart thermostats and lighting. Safety is also taken into consideration with a new build. For example, smoke alarms will be fitted and fire-resistant materials used. Some new builds will also have video entry devices and CCTV.
Many developers offer incentives to persuade you to buy a new build. These can include paying your stamp duty, covering the legal fees, paying your moving costs, providing appliances or upgrading items, such as fitting premium carpets or premium worktops in the kitchen.
Just be aware that if these incentives total more than 5% of the purchase price, your new build mortgage may be affected. The lender may deduct the amount that’s over 5% from the property’s value. This will reduce the amount they’re prepared to lend you.
Schemes to help with affordability
If you’re struggling to afford a new-build home, there are schemes available to help you:
- Shared ownership. This enables you to buy a percentage of a new-build property and pay rent for the remaining share.
- Deposit Unlock. With this scheme, you only need to pay a 5% deposit and secure a 95% mortgage via a lender participating in the scheme.
- First Homes Scheme. Available to first-time buyers in England, a discount of at least 30% is given on the price of new-build properties.
New builds have a warranty, which is usually provided by the National House Building Council (NHBC). This NHBC Buildmark warranty is valid for 10 years. It provides you with protection should there be any defects in your home’s construction. Most developers provide their own new-build warranty too, which usually applies for the first couple of years. It’s important to check that a warranty is available otherwise you won’t have any recourse if any flaws are discovered in the construction. Also, be sure to check what the warranty covers you for. It won’t protect you against unexpected incidents, for example. For this, you need to take out new build home insurance.
The drawbacks of buying a new build
We’ve mentioned the many benefits of buying a new build but, as with any property purchase, there are disadvantages to consider too. New builds lack the charm that older properties have and tend to be smaller in size. You may also pay a higher price than you would for a similar older property. This is called a ‘new-build premium’. It can be harder to arrange a new build mortgage because of this as the value of your home may drop within the first few years.
Also, developers usually set a 28-day deadline to exchange contracts from the time you pay the reservation fee. This can also cause problems when trying to secure a new build mortgage as the short timescale makes it harder for lenders to complete the mortgage process in time.
Another issue to bear in mind is that there may be a delay with the completion. Unexpected issues invariably occur with construction projects so if you buy a new build off-plan, be prepared for a delay. Again, this may impact your mortgage. Some lenders will start the mortgage process again while others provide new build mortgage offers that are valid for longer to allow for this. Our mortgage brokers can help you with all of these issues. We deal with specialist lenders who are adept at handling new build mortgages.
Secure a mortgage for your new-build home
When you’re ready to buy your new-build home, just give us a call on 01322 907 000. Our mortgage brokers are proficient at arranging mortgages for new builds in London, Kent and Edinburgh. We work closely with lenders that can meet the 28-day deadline set by developers as well as those who can work around unexpected completion delays. If you need help financing your new-build purchase, our mortgage brokers can advise you on the schemes available, including Deposit Unlock, the First Homes Scheme and shared ownership. To help protect against unexpected issues, we can also arrange mortgage protection insurance for you as well as your new build home insurance.