Having lived in two new builds and designed for several in and around Milton Keynes and nationwide. I am often asked what to consider when buying a new build home. A whopping 250,000 new build houses are built every year in the UK in order to meet the ever-increasing housing demand. More and more of us are investing in new build properties so I’ve put together a few things you may want to consider if you are about to embark on buying one.
Let’s start with the pros:
- Great deals with the government/developer especially if you are first time buyer. Many developers offer a reduced rate of deposit, some as low as 5%. If you are keen to get on the property ladder with a limited budget then a new build is a great option. Some developers also offer part exchange for your existing home.
- The biggest benefit when thinking of what to consider when buying a new build home is that EVERYTHING is brand NEW! New build homes are exactly that. Great for those who love a blank canvas in a perfectly clean, unused property. This may be ideal for those of you who don’t want to fork out a fortune for new kitchen and bathrooms. It could be ideal for those who would rather have a nice clean kitchen/oven. I have to admit I am one of those with OCD!
- Great for mod cons to some exception. New build properties are equipped with brand new taps, baths and ovens. However don’t expect them to be top of the range smart appliance. Unless of course, your new build developer is high end. More on that in the cons section.
- New build homes come with an NHBC warranty of 10 years. There are a number of different areas covered within the warranty such as walls, ceilings, stairs, foundations and more. For full details check out, their website for full details: http://www.nhbc.co.uk You will find that your builder will also cover a number of different areas such as your boiler.
- You can totally stamp your mark on a new build your home with little downtime. The great thing about a new build home is that you don’t need to touch a single thing structurally. So you can whip out your paintbrush and make your home feel homely in no time! I always advise my clients to work on their designs sooner rather than later. The white clean walls will only look good for so long until it starts feeling a bit draining. Before you know it, 5 years have passed and you’ve not touched a single wall!
- One of the best things to consider when buying a new build home is being able to choose finishes. If you start discussions in the early stages with the developer you may be able to upgrade your finishes. The developer will have a list of materials from suppliers and where you can select your finishes. Anything from kitchen worktops to floor tiles. If there is something you don’t like, it doesn’t harm asking to select choices outside of their range. This is something I did with our current property and opted for large 60x60mm floor tiles which made such a big difference. So much so the developer used the same tiles in another property.
Above: New build home based in Milton Keynes for an interior design project I worked on
Here are the Cons
- Pointing out the obvious here, new build homes are not for those looking for a project house, period property or a renovation house. New build properties are sometimes seen as lacking in character. In that, they lack features found in character properties e.g. picture rails, Crittal windows, feature fireplace. However, I feel you can absolutely add your character through interior design. As seen in the image above, one of the designs I worked on in a property in Milton Keynes.
- The finishes can sometimes lack quality and durability, which means you may have to renovate bathrooms/kitchens within 5-10 years. Builders tend to buy bog-standard white goods and kitchen goods. So the durability factor is significantly reduced compared to quality products.
- In short, you get what you pay for! It is highly unlikely to have a say in the bathroom and kitchen goods installed by the builder. This is because your property is covered by the developer’s guarantee with the goods they have sourced and installed. So if you’ve been eyeing up those slick bathroom taps you may have to wait till after you have bought the property.
- One thing to note when considering purchasing a new build home is the soundproofing or lack of. Not the best of soundproofing due to the fact that the walls are paper-thin and do not have much soundproofing between floors and walls. Although each new build property is sound tested before signed off there still seems to be a lot of sound travel between floors. The soundproofing is nowhere near as good as a proper solid wall as found in older homes.
- Generally, new builds tend to have smaller gardens and can be quite cramped with properties close to each other. This doesn’t apply to all new builds as I have seen some gems where the garden is substantial and the developer was restricted by space so created larger plots.
Are you about to buy a new build home? Let me know any questions down below.
Looking for inspiration for your own new build? Check out my portfolio here.
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