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Tips on buying a new build?

(16 Posts)
Stylingwax Thu 13-Aug-15 08:35:32

Have just put an offer in on a new build. Wasn't keen on new builds as a) bit characterless, b) bit overpriced, c) bit smaller than non new builds. But having looked at over 30 houses and had surveys done on 2 with catastrophic results, we have decided to bite the bullet and buy (am also pregnant so could do without stress of a chain, and know a rough moving date).
House is last to be built on site, others occupied, managed to negotiate a decent contribution to stamp duty and a change in completion to suit my timelines.
Does anyone have any watch outs for buying a new build? Have already covered questions on snag list, warranties, local amenities, schools, and nearby planning permission with developer.

ozzia Thu 13-Aug-15 08:40:52

Don't be surprised if there are aerial ports but there is no aerial

Push them to make sure the house is as you want it. For example they only had a little hand held shower over the bath, I got them to put in a longer hose and effectively put in a proper shower over the bath

Make sure you look for issues that they can fix. I have a Bovis house, you get 2 years to give them issues to repair. A day more than 2 years and they won't help anymore so stay on top of it.

Mainly I love mine as I got more space than I could have afforded otherwise and I got the house on the day I needed it

ozzia Thu 13-Aug-15 08:42:55

Oh and the walls are not exactly the most robust so any knock and they dent/mark. I think they only put one layer of paint on the walls.

So when putting up shelves or anything else be careful

thehousewife Thu 13-Aug-15 08:43:35

Don't buy their carpets, they are crap. And they rip you off!!
Think about plug sockets, TV Ariels etc, we had extra put in as was so worth it! Especially the one we had put in the cupboard under the stairs!!
They charge you extra for EVERYTHING so be careful. I moved kitchen units about too etc to suit me which was nice.
On the whole though I love love love my new build. Like you never thought I'd buy one but at the time it suited us and still does grin
Oh and get an outside tap put in if you can. Enjoy your sparkly new home x

ozzia Thu 13-Aug-15 08:46:29

Oh yes I forgot about the outdoor tap, ask for one or you won't get!!

Husbanddoestheironing Thu 13-Aug-15 08:53:32

Have bought several new builds in last 20 years and a few suggestions: Make sure you still get a decent survey done, not just the valuation one (as they will probably suggest). It's much easier to force the builders to fix any bigger issues that are raised before you complete the purchase.
Also expect high standards- it should be better than most older houses- but not perfection, unless you are buying very high spec and paying a lot more for it. Otherwise you will just end up disappointed.
Finally make sure you read through all the covenants and restrictions yourself and question formally via your conveyancer anything you aren't sure about or don't understand. Don't rely on your conveyancer to raise things otherwise. Some new builds have some very odd clauses.

Stylingwax Thu 13-Aug-15 08:53:57

Really helpful..thank you! Would never have thought of outside tap!!

QforCucumber Thu 13-Aug-15 09:00:13

Turf, Carpets, pretty much everything in the show home comes at an extra cost.

We got their carpets as we negotiated them and turf free of charge and it meant we could move in straight away, then over time have started to replace them as we go.

Paid extra for an internal garage door.

Didn't pay for an outdoor tap, asked the builders quote - and got it £20 cheaper from a local plumber. Same with spotlights and sockets - dp is an electrician and couldn't believe the prices they were charging.

We had no aerial, but the cables were all there in the loft ready to connect one.

Ruhrpott Thu 13-Aug-15 09:01:30

Ours also didn't have electric in the garage as standard. We also got the bath turned round 180 degrees and an extra shower over the bath fitted with a shower screen so my teenagers didn't have to shower in the en suite.

Also check what your neighbours have paid on nethouseprices and negociate hard. Try and get your extras included in the price before you sign.

Duckstar Thu 13-Aug-15 09:09:52

Definitely get some sort of warranty above the NHBC. Our builder had a 2 year warranty. Any problems in that time with the house were covered. It was very useful. I had front door repainted, bathroom extractors replaced and some roof tiles replaced after a storm.

Remember the house will move a lot in the next few years so you may be doing a lot of caulking! Our developer also warned us that if we painted walls within a year then may find paint was "absorbed by walls".

Watch out for service charges. Quite standard on new builds, especially if there is an unadopted road in estate. They often don't get charges right for first few years and so you can end up paying top up charges till they get budget right.

We are currently trying to move house. I wanted "period" this time and the surveys/problems have been a nightmare. New build was a lot less hassle.

LiquidAshTree Thu 13-Aug-15 09:28:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

specialsubject Thu 13-Aug-15 11:15:08

in short, there's no less stress than with buying an older house!

remember that new houses, like new cars, drop value if something better comes along.

Stylingwax Thu 13-Aug-15 11:27:51

thanks again everyone.
Stupid question - but if it's not built, and I have to exchange before it is, how do I do a survey? Surely the survey would then only pick up things that need to be fixed straightaway? Rather than helping you negotiate on price?
Didn't know about service charges either but will check.
And will thoroughly read all the small print.
There is a 5 year builder's warranty on it as well.

Husbanddoestheironing Thu 13-Aug-15 11:46:34

I don't think usually the survey would help you negotiate price on a new build, but just find anything major that needs fixing before you complete. I've never paid more than just a small holding fee before the house was almost complete, so I don't know how that would work- I don't think personally I would want to exchange before I had been able to walk round it even if not quite finished, as it does tie you in to a purchase a bit more.

QforCucumber Thu 13-Aug-15 11:52:41

We had no choice but to exchange within 3 months of reserving the plot so a similar situation, we didn't get a survey done but we were welcome to visit the site anytime and check the progress which really helped us, they allowed us to move positions of sockets and query why the plasterboard was being kept outside in the rain (i Was not happy about that)

that was in the November and we didn't get the keys until march, House is fine been in just over a year and other than general settling in cracks we have had no issues.

Hero1callylost Thu 13-Aug-15 12:22:15

Make sure your solicitor checks out the situation re road adoption. It can add months to the conveyancing to sell a house on an unadopted road and it can take years for the council to take ownership. I recently sold a new build, 5 years old, and because the council hadn't yet adopted the road and there wasn't a section 38 agreement in place my buyer's solicitor wanted us to pay a £200 indemnity policy.

The builder will probably advise you not to paint/wallpaper for 6 months to allow the house time to dry.

Budget for curtain rails, toilet roll holder, house number etc, all those boring things that add up and you take for granted in an older house!

In mine the builder didn't lay the turf properly so it looked like a coir mat within a few weeks - get stuff like that sorted via snagging.

Also complain about anything not up to standard - they nly tiled a tiny bit of the whole wall of my bath/shower, making it impossible to have a shower without soaking the wall. I complained and they came back to tile the whole wall.

Agree don't get their carpets - they lay cheap underlay so they don't last.

Enjoy stamping your mark on it!

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