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.
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 :-
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Current house value:
You earn £32k, max mortgage
|Do's and Don'ts when buying a new home|
|Types of new homes available|
|Buying an apartment|
|Advantages of buying a new home|
|Disadvantages of buying a new home|
|New home buying procedure|
|Questions to ask the builder|
|Regulations to protect buyers|
|Consumer Code For Home Builders|
|Never use housebuilder solicitors|
|Property title deeds|
|What to look for when buying a new home|
|When to buy a new home|
|Builder's optional extras|
|Buying in a recession|
|New home warranty|
|Buying an apartment|
|Considerations when buying a flat|
|New homes can be bad for your health|
|Why buyers avoid new homes|
|Consumer Code Dispute Resolution|
|Claiming Compensation - Adjudication Scheme|
|Tricks of the showhome|
|Sales advisors and sales centres|
|Timber frame construction|
|Timber frame new homes|
|Timber frame - what you need to know|
|Quality issues with timber frame homes|
|Fire and timber frame new homes|
|What the NHBC does|
|The cost of moving to a new home|
|Tips to sell your existing home|
|Health and safety|
|The site manager|
|Advice on renting a home|
|Air Source Heat Pumps|
|New stamp duty calculator|
|Scotland LBTT calculator|
|Removals and moving home|
|Packing and planning the move|
|Checklist for change of address|
|Choosing a mortgage|
|Avoiding mortgage refusal|
|Help to Buy|
|How to save on home insurance|
|Home insurance policy conditions|
|Flood insurance claim|
|Renting do's and don'ts|
|Section 106 Agreements|
|Community Infrastructure Levy 2010|
|After you move in|
|DIY and home improvement|
|Choosing a tradesman|
|When you find problems|
|How to complain|
|Making a Subject Access Request|
|Taking a builder to court|
|Regional Managing Director 1|
|Regional Managing Director 2|
|Executive Chairman 1|
|Executive Chairman final letter|
|NHBC warranty claim|
|Subject Access Request|