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Benefits of new build homes?

(16 Posts)
LyraIsLost Fri 31-Jul-15 10:19:45

I am hoping to finally buy my first home and have seen a new development in a good area. The house prices are very good for the area and I'm wondering what the catch is and why a new build is cheaper than a previously owned home? This will be my first property and as you can probably tell I know nothing grin any advice appreciated!

DownWithThisTypeOfThing Fri 31-Jul-15 10:27:29

My first home was new build.
pros:
really cheap bills as so energy efficient
plug sockets in useful places and plenty of them!
no major maintenance for first few years
no need to redecorate, just decorate as you feel like.
brand new appliances
well designed spaces - our current 30s semi is bigger, but the space isn't as well configured for "modern living"

Cons:
if you buy one of the first houses on the estate it will be cheaper as they want you in quick but this means if it's a large estate and they'll be building for a couple of years at least, you will be competing against virtually identical brand new houses if you try and sell.
Also, when you sell, a lot of people prefer brand new or period. A new-ish house might be difficult to shift.

Having said that, we sold our new build after 2 years, made a profit and moved on. We love our current 30s semi but no denying its a money pit in terms of energy bills & maintenance. And of course the extension we built because if the teeny kitchen.

LyraIsLost Fri 31-Jul-15 10:40:15

Really good point regarding selling up, thanks - that hadn't even crossed my mind!

shinysparklythings Fri 31-Jul-15 10:45:43

We are in a new build and it is amazing. I would absolutely recommend my home builders. The house is so clean and new, doesn't need any work doing, we also had the option to move walls and stuff as we bought it when they had only just started building it.

Be aware though of things not included. A lot of the big builders don't include things that I would call essential so although the headline price looks good all the extras soon add up. We went with a local home builder and everything was included.

Think about things like carpets/flooring, outdoor tap, fencing, turf.

QforCucumber Fri 31-Jul-15 10:48:47

We moved into our new build about 18 months ago, I do love it.

We bough 'off plan' so it hadn't been built yet, foundations weren't even dug. Got to choose the one with the biggest south facing garden on the site plan. Choose our own kitchen and bathrooms. Also worth negotiating with the sales people, we got free carpets and underlay, half glazed doors in the downstairs, the rear garden turfed and also integrated white goods.

Cons we have found are a slight lack of storage space for daft things like ironing board and hoover (we use the garage as it's integral) and had to get the builders out a few times for maintenance.
I quickly got bored of magnolia so now in the process of decorating everywhere.

ozzia Fri 31-Jul-15 10:58:38

You get 2 years (well with Bovis anyway) of being able to phone with issues and they just come fix them

Very cheap bills

Lots of aerial sockets (although no aerial so be aware of that one!)

Lots of plug sockets

New appliances

Most people move in at a similar time so it's not you moving in near people who have an established community

cowbag1 Fri 31-Jul-15 11:04:22

New build owner here too. I echo what pps have said. Wd love our new build but little niggles include:

-small bedrooms. The showhomes can be very misleading and are often dressed with small furniture to disguise this.
-lack of front garden. The passersby staring in our living room is irritating!
-odd parking arrangements. Not just our house but the lack of spaces for other houses too has led to a few parking disagreements around here!

It's lovely to move straight in and have almost nothing to do though. 3 years on and we haven't done a single bit of maintenance yet. Do cost up things like lights, wall fittings, carpet, turf etc though as these often are not included.

LyraIsLost Fri 31-Jul-15 11:04:31

Thanks everyone. If you live in a semi detached, do you find the new builds offer better quality sound protection than old semis? This is important to me as we currently live in a flat with pretty loud neighbors. Would hate to buy a home and discover we can hear next door's barneys.

Sorry for totally random questions, these are just the things that have crossed my mind.

PeterParkerSays Fri 31-Jul-15 11:07:06

Are you sure the house is cheaper and it's not just the price for your contribution of a help-to-buy scheme, cunnigly disguised to get people interested?

If they are genuinely cheaper, find out about what the land was previously used for, if it's on a flood plain, what schools they're in the catchment for etc. There will be a reason the houses are cheaper, even if it's just a tiny garden, a garage you can't fit a car in, a tiny smallest bedroom that wouldn't fit a full width single bed, or thinner walls. I know of someone who visited a friend and hit his head on the top of doorframe as costs had been cut on a new build by reducing the height of the doors (he was 6"4).

cowbag1 Fri 31-Jul-15 11:07:37

We can't hear talking but can hear doors slamming and children shouting. We are joined to our neighbours by our stairways so that does provide some sound proofing when we're in the living room.

PeterParkerSays Fri 31-Jul-15 11:08:17

With a semi, look for one where the doors are together, so the living rooms are apart, iyswim. That would reduce the noise but no, what new builds I know tend to have less soundproofing than older semis.

DarylDixonsDarlin Fri 31-Jul-15 11:09:26

New builds are amazing Imo. I hadn't thought of what Down has pointed out above, re competing with other brand new homes in the same development if you wish to sell before they're all completed, yes that's true.

Ours was the last on the development to be finished, although we picked the plot off plan long before even half of them were completed. We chose a plot with what looked like a big garden, although it was not to scale, the garden did indeed turn out to be big compared to others nearby. Builders had been using it as a store for materials and plant etc, as ours was one of the last to be finished, so that worked in our favour.

Ours has really good storage, plenty of cupboards, that was dependent on the house type we chose from the designs available - our near neighbours have pretty much the same sq ft but less storage cupboards, yet they got more kitchen units than us! hmm we had to pay to get extra put in. We were able to choose colours for tiles, lino and carpet throughout as we'd reserved it at an early stage.

Seven years in and we've had to spend no money on major repairs - just basic decorating, light bulbs, resealing the bathroom with silicone, replaced hallway carpet as was v.grubby, had front door replaced under warranty as it cracked with the heat from the sun on it shock couple of issues with upstairs windows which again were under a guarantee for 10 yrs. Obviously during this time we've been able to put away a small amount each month for when major things need doing - when the DC are a bit older we will replace carpet/kitchen/bathroom etc, I'm expecting the oven to break down soonish, but those sorts of things will happen regardless of the age of the house.

For us the main benefits have been .an energy efficient home and lack of repairs needed. I'd take those things over 'character' of an older house any day!

I also really like the fact that we are the only people who have lived in our house, the dust is all OUR dead skin, no one else has rubbed their toe jam into my bedroom carpet before we moved in grin I realise this is totally ridiculous

DownWithThisTypeOfThing Fri 31-Jul-15 12:02:50

Oh and I dream about the bathroom we had in our new build...amazingly powerful shower and a bath that was slightly longer than usual but shallower and wider - I could lie virtually full length but it apparently took less water - I've never seen a bath the same shape since.

Yy to the sound thing - New builds are very well insulated so of course this helps with keeping sound down but as a pp poster says, look for houses that have adjoining hall ways which then separate the living rooms. Our new build had back to front sets up so our living room was at the front but the house next door had their living room at the back.

Our new build was in an area which was just starting to be redeveloped - it had been quite industrial. Since our house was built 10+ years ago there's been a new shopping/leisure development about a 10 minute walk away, a new built secondary school, a new rail station...if you can get an idea of what else is happening in the area, it might give you a few more pointers?

RedBlu Fri 31-Jul-15 13:46:22

We moved into our new build end of last year and love it. Its a semi but seems to have good soundproofing as we rarely hear the neighbours. Before moving to our house, we lived in a 1980's flat with people either side and below and the soundproofing was virtually non-existent, we could hear everything!

The obvious pro of a new build is you are the first to live there, so no worries about re-decorating, unless you really hate magnolia.

Our house is quite spacious, the rooms are all good sized and we have a large garden. However, we moved a few miles out of town so generally the plots are a bit bigger than say a development closer to town.

Be aware that what you get as standard varies from builder to builder. Ours came with pretty much everything (fences, turf, outside lights, outside tap, etc) but it didn't have flooring.

IndyBindy1 Fri 31-Jul-15 22:44:35

I didn't want a new build when we were looking, but ended up with a four bed townhouse that was two years old. Our neighbours have a five year old and one year old and we never hear them. The garden is smaller than we'd ideally like, but then neither of us enjoy gardening so probably a blessing.
The rooms are a great size and the house is so warm. Colleagues at work have said this week that they have put their heating on to warm their houses a bit as the temperature has dropped. We've had the windows open whilst at home for weeks now as the house is so well insulated.
When we move in a few years I will definitely look at new houses again as everyone I know who has bought an older house has had an extension built at great cost to give them the space, living configuration they want.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 01-Aug-15 18:02:28

Old houses can be a money pit or a lifelong project as crumbling bits need replacing.
Sometimes people delight in saying new properties have no character - "I couldn't live in a rabbit hutch!"

We did look at older places but the ones within budget needed work or had signs of future expense or quirks we were expected to lump because, "It's always been this way".

Or the field beside it was suspiciously ripe for development or the vendors started talking about hauling away original features that were selling points.

We found some new builds that promised lower heating bills and top notch glazing along with new appliances and smooth straight walls, (could never have hung vertical striped wallpaper in our previous house).

Relocating some distance, having got a buyer we didn't fancy risking being in a further chain, nor unpacking and moving temporarily into rented accommodation.

I like to think our new build was waiting for us.

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