There’s a lot to love about new build homes. They’re a blank canvas, there’s no stressful chain and you might even be able to earn an incentive from the developer. Here are a few tips if you’re thinking about making your next property a new build:
#1 You can negotiate
It’s easy to imagine that new builds come at a fixed price and take away any prospect of haggling. In reality, that’s not the case at all, and there’s plenty of room for manoeuvre. Look at property finder sites to get a feel for how much homes are being sold for in the surrounding area and work from there. The best deals are usually reserved for the end of the financial year or when the developer only has a few homes left to shift. You’ll be surprised by how much they’ll move on the price.
#2 Check what comes with the property
One of the big attractions of new builds is that they come with many of the fixtures and fittings included. Don’t always presume that you’re going to get everything, though, and always clarify before agreeing on a price. Fixtures like washing machines and tumble driers don’t always come with the property by default, and even larger installations like fridges are sometimes removed.
#3 Research the developer
Getting to know the developer is crucial, and there are a few ways to do it. The website is a good place to start, but don’t rely solely on the information displayed there. Nearly all developers will have a construction history, so search out reviews of their previous builds. Property comparison sites like Linden Homes are a useful way of finding other builds by the same developer. Even better, visit previous developments to get a feel for how the properties are holding up and how local communities are faring.
#4 See if there are any incentives
Most developers will offer some kind of incentive for buying a new build. These range from the big (the developer will pay your stamp duty) to the small (perhaps they’ll cover the cost of new wallpaper). Larger incentives can have a tangible effect on your budget, so it’s always worth clarifying so that you don’t miss out.
#5 Consider help to buy
Help to buy isn’t always applicable (it’s usually reserved for people purchasing their first home), but if you can get a help to buy loan, you should seriously consider it. Help to buy loans are often government backed so they’re completely secure, and they’ll pay a percentage of your purchase cost to get you on the property ladder. The terms are often extremely attractive, with lengthy interest free periods.
#6 Use your own conveyance solicitor
Last but certainly not least, some developers will try and cajole you into hiring their solicitor for the conveyance process. Developers want to push sales through quickly. Their solicitors are paid to do the same thing, so they’re more likely to rush ahead without due diligence and bow to the developer’s demands. Hiring your own solicitor, completely separate from the developer’s, ensures an impartial force that’s always acting on your behalf.