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Buying a new build - good idea/bad idea?

(11 Posts)
RelocatorRelocator Sun 16-Mar-14 09:19:10

To my complete surprise, I've seen a new build house I really really like. I've always been a period features kind of a gal before (current house is Victorian) but this new build has a fantastic layout and it has got me tempted.

What's put me off in the past was experience of my PIL's house, which was that classic pokey, cheap finish, no storage, loads of snags kind of a house built by one of the big companies. Would have been a good sized 3 bed but they had squeezed in an extra bedroom and ensuite so small you could barely open the door. That kind of thing.

But this house we viewed this week has a fantastic layout, ticks all of our boxes in terms of rooms/features. It's a smaller local builder who the estate agent says has a good local reputation (well he would say that wouldn't he?) The finish seems to be good - all Siemens appliances etc. Really good sized rooms with loads of storage too. It's one of three detached houses on a plot set within an otherwise very established residential location. Great location for schools and you can walk to the shops.

As far I can see the downsides are the ceilings feel a bit low, I'd want to check out the soundproofing and do a bit of research on the builder. The garden is a little smaller than I would prefer but not too bad and would look much better with planting I think. There's obviously no character but it has a nice feel. What else do we need to consider? Will it depreciate? This is totally new territory for us.

HaveToWearHeels Sun 16-Mar-14 10:06:31

I love my new build. Like you I love period features and have lived in victorian houses, my new build is so much easier and cheaper to live in. It is light and bright and clean. I think things have changed with new build designs over the years, our has a very large entrance hall, most of which could have been used to make the rooms off it slightly larger (large enough in my opinion), so too some may seem a waste of space, however I love having a large hallway.
I say go for it.
It's not in Earley, Reading is it by any chance ?

RelocatorRelocator Sun 16-Mar-14 10:09:57

Thanks Have - no it's not in Earley!

specialsubject Sun 16-Mar-14 10:11:44

the appliances should be very low down on your list.

flood risk? Does it get any sun? Soundproofing (as you mention) Solidly built - e.g beams in the roof big enough, not 'only just big enough'?

it may well be fine but look past the shiny things. They may be there to distract you.

RelocatorRelocator Sun 16-Mar-14 10:23:22

Good point special How would I find out about the beams? There is a bedroom in the loft so it's all plastered.

I do worry a bit about snagging and plumbing and stuff. There are several bathrooms (too many really, I may lock some doors grin ) and my worry would be whether the boiler and plumbing is actually up to them all being used at once.

I only mentioned the appliances as our current house had had the kitchen done up by previous owners but the cooker is crap and yet I can't justify changing it. Better decent appliances than rubbish ones surely?

One of the other two houses already has a family living in it - do you think it would be OK to knock on their door and ask them how they are finding it?

RelocatorRelocator Sun 16-Mar-14 10:24:58

Garden is south-south east facing so it should get a reasonable amount of sun. Would want to go back in the afternoon (we viewed at lunchtime) to see what it's like then.

Flood risk I think would be low but obviously something to check out with any house these days.

mrsddoodle Sun 16-Mar-14 12:06:31

Have lived in both styles of houses. New builds definitely cheaper to live in, with regards maintenance costs, bills, efficiencies. The NHBC warranty provides some peace of mind for 10 years at least.

I did find it a bit harder to put our own mark on a new build home, as ours already had everything chosen, ie, the kitchen, bathroom, tiles etc.
But we've put in a log burning stove, decorated rooms with colours other than magnolia, and we are getting there.

And we once bought a semi new build, which was a disaster, as the sound proofing was terrible.

I think it depends on if you are the type of person that likes a project as if everything is done it could be a little boring. I like the idea of having a project and home improvements to look forward to, but in reality don't have the time or patience, so a new build is a better option.

Glasshammer Sun 16-Mar-14 12:13:19

I think often the asking price is a little high. New build sold in my area didn't seem to hold their high value when resold years later, while in other locations they have being more sought after when resold

HaveToWearHeels Sun 16-Mar-14 17:33:27

Glasshammer, we bought ours in August 2007 (although didn't move in until a year later), just weeks before the bank crisis, it was marketed at £465k and we got it for £425k. We were a bit nervous when we came to remortgage as it is a pretty difficult house to put a value on (although a 4 bed we have two rooms in the roof which could be used as bedrooms/study/gym/den, but we have just had it valued at £500k.

specialsubject Sun 16-Mar-14 18:04:26

the bathroom issue is entirely valid - we sold our house to someone who was delighted to have fewer bathrooms even with a family!

please check flood issues thoroughly. Thinking of the brand new estate near me which was entirely flooded before some of the houses were even finished. Developers do not care.

I hope it is ok though!

CrapBag Mon 17-Mar-14 11:31:28

I don't know if this is the case everywhere, but we have a few new developments where I live and the prices of them are utterly ridiculous.

They are trying to do up old shabby rough areas and make them nicer but even with the new houses, there are still a lot of the old ones there with the same tenants in. IMHO they are not worth anywhere near the price that they are charging for them.

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