Helping UK new home buyers

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The first thing to consider is your reason for moving. If lack of space is the reason, consider if it would be easier and cheaper to improve rather than move. An extension may be able to provide the extra facilities you require. You would save the costs associated with selling in particular, Estate Agents fees and Stamp Duty. However extensions are not for everyone. You could have problems with your chosen builder and there are design and planning issues to consider as well as having to live with the dust, dirt and lack of privacy whilst the addition is being built.







Location

What is your new home budget?

What accomodation do you require?

Tips on visiting new home developments

Show Homes caution!

The surrounding area





Preparation

Before setting out to visit the developments advertised in local publications or featured on new home searching websites, it is sensible to make some preliminary considerations :-


Location

Decide which area, county or town you would like to move to. Find out which of these most closely match your needs for work, schools, amenities, transport links and leisure. Do your research for the areas you are considering before looking at developments. Check the level of Council Tax and whether the area or development is subject to a risk of flooding. Also check the area for levels of crime and the quality of schools.





How much can you afford to pay

Have your existing house valued (if you have not already done so) and deduct the outstanding balance of your mortgage. This will give you an equity figure that you can put towards the new home. The next step is to find out how much you can afford to borrow on a mortgage. This depends on income, but as a guide, is likely to be a multiple of 3.5 times gross salary. Factor in any savings you are going to put towards the purchase price of the new home and the total gives your maximum budget figure. It is crucial not to ignore the associated costs of moving, which are in addition to the purchase price.


The following is an example only. Your personal circumstances will vary. Your mortgage offer is subject to status and may be different.

Remember that the builder may have incentives on offer that may help you to afford to pay a higher price. These can include stamp duty paid, part-exchange and deposit paid. Don’t forget to bargain.


Accommodation

This is a matter of your own preference and can often be a compromise on what you can afford and what is available on your chosen development. Start with the checklist below and note which features are essential and which are desirable to you and add any of your own.



Visiting developments

The first step is to find developments in the particular area you are interested in. The major house builders’ websites have details of both current and future developments. You can request the builder’s development brochures online and also register your interest in developments that have yet to be released. A new homes search engine website can direct you to developments in your area of interest. If you are staying in your current area, check local property papers. In all cases make a note of the opening days and times of the sales office on the development. Contact the sales office by telephone to check that your requirements are available. It will be disappointing if you turn up to discover that all the three and four bedroom houses have been sold and the only homes available are flats.


Take with you a list of Questions to ask and the What to look for sections of this website, along with a list of your own requirements. You may find having a tape measure with you helpful.


If you are buying "off-plan," ask to if you can view other homes the developer has completed in the area. Check if the builder has a good reputation. If you have the opportunity, talk to his existing customers, especially on the development you may be considering.


Show Homes

When viewing a show home, don’t be taken in, or put off for that matter, by the style of décor and furniture selection. This may be a consequence of an interior designer who aims to shock or make a statement perhaps with the notion that it will be a talking point to attract further visitors!

Mirror 'window frames'  to make show home appear bigger

Many show homes are presented in a way that is  unappealing to a lot of people. Be advised that sometimes builders furnish the show homes with scaled-down furniture to make the rooms appear larger than they are, for example a double bed may be only 4ft wide! Think very carefully where you would put (or fit) your own furniture.


The surrounding area

Before you make a reservation be sure to check out the surrounding area. Speak to local people and ask if it is a quiet and generally pleasant area.Look to see the mix of local residents, are they mostly retired, or young people with families? Are properties in the area predominantly owner-occupied? What is the proximity to amenities and schools you may wish to use.


If you are happy with everything you can go back with confidence and reserve your chosen plot.


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 Buying a new home

Initial Considerations

Current house value:

£180000



Net equity:

£130000



You earn £32k, max mortgage

£112000



Sub total

£252000



Maximum price:    

£237500