Helping UK new home buyers
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When buying early on a development, ask to view other homes the developer has completed in the area. Check that the builder has a good reputation. If you have the opportunity, talk to existing customers.
Buying a home in the early stages of a development can result in your securing a new home at an agreed fixed price. This can result in your new home increasing in value (depending on property market conditions) during the period of construction which can be up to six months. Normally you will be buying ‘off-plan’ before the show home has been opened. Many builders like to know they have found a number of buyers prior to the show home launch. It may give other buyers confidence that the development offers good value etc. Once the show home is opened it is usual for prices to increase, often quite markedly. However you will be able to see the quality of the homes already completed and get a “feel” by visiting the show home(s). You may also have an opportunity to see and possibly inspect, (subject to safety considerations) your home being built at the various stages of construction and will have the greatest potential opportunity to make various selections and options to personalise the property to your own particular requirements.
An 'early-bird' or 'up-field' reservation is different, as you are pre-reserving a particular plot without the price being released. You are then given first refusal on this plot when it is released for sale. Builders normally release plots for sale a few at a time in a certain order. This is because they need the development to be completed in a particular sequence, usually for pricing, presentation, access and safety reasons. Keep in mind the price subsequently released could be higher, as the builder will already know he has 'an interest' in that particular plot.
It is desirable to buy a property that has been constructed during a period of dry settled weather. It therefore makes sense to select a plot that is started in the spring and built over the summer months. Conversely, avoid plots started in October to March as it is likely these will be soaked during construction and take the longest to fully dry out with the potential for a greater degree of shrinkage cracking. Ask yourself; how wet did it get before it was watertight (roofed). Plots started during this period are sometimes a low priority for the builder if they cannot be included in the next interim or year-end figures.
In most cases putting your existing home on the market in the Spring, especially in time for the Easter and May Bank holidays can give you the best chance of finding a buyer. More on selling.
Buying a new home that is scheduled for completion just before the end of the builder’s financial year or to a lesser extent, half-year, often results in a property being rushed and a poor standard. It is not difficult to assess when a particular plot will be completed. Once the scaffolding has been removed, it is normal for a house to be completed in ten to twelve weeks. Any property you may be considering should therefore be free of all scaffolding before the end of September or the end of March at the latest, depending on the builder’s financial year.
If you are considering an already finished (stock) property during the run up to the builder’s year-end, you are in a good position to get a large discount if you can “complete” the purchase on or before the year-end date. You may also be able to negotiate carpets and other extras as part of the deal.
A large proportion of house builders’ financial year-ends are in December, which is not the best time to move, especially into a newly built home. The builders are usually closed down over the festive period and arrangements for emergencies, should anything go wrong in the first few days, may be limited. It can also be more difficult to sell your current property during the winter months.
When buying a new home at the beginning of the builder’s new financial year (check link) be aware that builders may not be inclined to either price realistically, or give good discounts, as they will have time on their side to meet their required sales targets.
Do not only consider when the home was built, but at what time of the year it is likely to be finished. Again you will want to move into your new home on a fine day, or at least reduce the risk of it raining that day! It is therefore advisable to choose a property that will be finished so you can move in between May to September.
|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|
|Timber frame construction|
|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 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|