Benefits of buying a new build
For many buyers the main benefit to buying a new build is that you can be assured that your home is build to all the latest specifications.
You can reasonably expect that little to no repairs will need to be carried out in the first few years of living in the property, and you generally won’t need to do any decorating when you move in. New build homes will come with a 10-year warranty, covering any structural defects for that initial period.
Personalising your new home
If you buy your home ‘off-plan’ you may also be able to choose some of the fixtures and fittings, allowing you to personalise the property without having to put in any of the work yourself.
When buying a new build, you do not need to worry about getting stuck in a chain, as the sale of your new home won’t be dependant on a previous owner buying another property.
Availability of Help to Buy Equity Loans and new build mortgages
You may be able to benefit from the government’s Help to Buy Equity Loans Scheme, which is exclusively available to new build buyers.
Mortgage lenders often apply stricter rules to purchasing new build property. In general, when buying a new build property your mortgage lender will only let you loan up to 85% of the value of a house, and 75% of the value of a flat.
If you can’t put a deposit down of 15% for a house, or 25% for a flat, you can apply for a Help to Buy Equity loan. You can combine the amount you loan with your deposit and the mortgage to be able to afford your property. This will allow you to buy a property with a smaller deposit.
The amount you can loan under this scheme is dependent on where you buy:
- In London you can loan up to 40% of the property value
- Anywhere else in England and Wales you can loan up to 20% of the property value
Disadvantages of buying new build property
When you buy a new build, you exchange contracts often months before the completion date. That means that you are committed to the purchase a significant time before you are actually able to move in. If you do wish to pull out during that ‘waiting period’ you can only do so by losing the deposit and other fees you have already paid.
Before, or after the exchange of contracts you could be informed that there is a delay in the build, meaning you must wait longer before you can finally move in. This is not uncommon, and it could cause issues if you are also selling your old property.
With our extensive experience in new build purchases we can often anticipate issues before they arise, and work with you to mitigate the consequences.
Other issues you may face
As you often commit to the purchase before the property is completed, you have likely made your choice based on marketing materials and potentially visiting a show home. It’s a difficult decision to make, as the final product might not be completely as you have expected. The brochure could have been vague on certain details, or other issues could occur. In many cases, new homeowners have reported small issues and defects after moving into their new home, with some property developers being reportedly slow in response.
If your new build home is in an area or street where many houses are built at the same time, you may be living with building works going on around you for some time as well. If roads are still being laid out and new homes are still being build you may face further infrastructure issues. There may not yet be a good internet, phone and TV provision and in some cases, where the whole street is new, you may even have issues getting your post delivered.
It may seem quite stressful, but it does not need to be. It’s important you’re aware of what to expect so you can plan ahead and enjoy the entire experience of buying your new build home.
Our new build conveyancing services
When you buy a new build, the conveyancing process will pose extra challenges. There are often months between exchange and completion, and delays in the build, defects in the new home and unclear specifications are relatively common issues. With the help of an independent – specialist new build conveyancing solicitor you can go through the conveyancing process, safe in the knowledge that issues which are foreseen will be acted on accordingly.
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