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Please share your experiences of buying new builds.

(11 Posts)
whinegums Fri 21-Aug-09 17:33:17

Hi. I always imagined a big ole house of sorts for me, DP and toddler DS. However, DP suggested we look at a new build estate, and I have to say I'm pretty impressed and feeling that could be the way to go. We would get a good deal as we're first time buyers with a large deposit - when we looked around the show home today, we were offered a discount of £17k, an upgraded kitchen, carpets, etc.

Soooo, I just wondered if you would be good enough to share your good and bad stories of buying new houses, and if you've got any tips or hints?


MamaKaty Fri 21-Aug-09 19:16:15

This is a great time to buy a new build - there are so many fantastic offers out there at the minute.

My top tip for buying a new build is DON'T PAY FOR IT UNTIL SNAGGING IS FINISHED!!

A close friend of mine paid the final payment on hers before all the final niggly bits had been done - and it was nearly a year of phonecalls later before everything was finally finished. This was simple stuff like wiring in the kitchen and finishes to skirting board etc.

The other really important thing at the minute is to ensure that you're buying in an area where the other new properties are sold or are very likely to sell - the last thing you want to do is end up in a development surrounded by empty houses which means the prices keep dropping!

whinegums Fri 21-Aug-09 21:30:50

Cheers MamaKaty - surely there are more of you out there who have bought a new house???!!!

piprabbit Fri 21-Aug-09 21:34:33

I've only ever lived in new build houses, and I love them... all clean and ready to go. Plus, builders often let you tailor them to your own requirements if you sign-up earlier enough e.g. kitchen and bathroom finished, locations of power points and TV sockets etc. etc.

Totally agree about holding back until snagging is complete....

CMOTdibbler Fri 21-Aug-09 21:38:07

Friends bought a new build - they really wished that they'd paid someone to do a proper desnag survey for them. The builders did sort everything out in the end, but they found thing after thing which just took a bit of sorting.

They were lucky that they moved for work and the company bought the house from them, but as their house was on a huge new development it was difficult to sell houses as there were still new ones for sale. Worth thinking about.

I'd also check the sound proofing - you could hear everything from their ensuite in the sitting room below

But they did like having no maintenance to worry about

puffylovett Sat 22-Aug-09 12:48:19

Sister bought a Barratts new build and had no end of problems with it - like everyone has said, withold some of the payment untill all the snagging issues are resolved.

whinegums Sat 22-Aug-09 15:04:29

Hmm, interesting, thanks all. I take on board the snagging issues, and we've already raised this with the developer. I think we've decided to go for it - we're now trying to decide between two houses - exactly the same model, but with differences in the gardens, the locations and when they'd be ready.

Lilyloo Sat 22-Aug-09 15:06:35

I would get an independant professional to check everything out before final payment.
We still have lot's of unfinished things in our house 7 years later!!

GrendelsMum Mon 24-Aug-09 09:59:27

A friend bought a new build a few years ago in the same village that DH and I lived. This was supposed to be a smart new build estate with some pricey houses by a very well known company.

He'd say that the advantage was he got to have a bit of a say in how it was finished off - so he had a shower room that his slightly disabled dad could use easily, and he had the kitchen layout tweaked to be how he likes. The house was fully decorated, so he didn't need to do any decorating. He also got them to allow him to go in before it was finished and put cabling throughout the house. He also says there's a nice atmosphere on the estate.

On the down-side:
- the parking is really terrible, I think because most people there have two cars (despite the council having tried to encourage public transport and cycling since it's so near town) and each house has one parking space.
- they STILL haven't finished the roads or pavements round the estate.
- the kitchen cupboards are picked to look expensive at first glance, but they're actually pretty cheap and not very practical for people that need a lot of storage
- there wasn't a pavement or even a proper, clean road leading to the main village for a couple of years. Walking along the road was quite unpleasant.
- all the planting on the estate promptly died, and was replaced by weeds.
- some of the rooms in his house really are a bit pokey, although some are lovely and big. I think the dining room may not actually be usable as such, for example.
- the house gets very hot and airless on a hot summers day, compared to our house which stays cool. He's fitted air conditioning to try to sort this out.
- when he moved in, there was a view of some trees from the big windows upstairs sitting room, and there's now a view of some houses very close up (gardens are tiny)
- the garden may have had something dumped in it at some point that's still killing off any plants put in a specific space

HTH! Actually the house is not bad, but it's being on an estate that is taking about 6 years to complete that I think is pretty awful.

whinegums Mon 24-Aug-09 17:39:59

We've done it! Got a further reduction on the price and upgrades thrown in, and hopefully the house will be ready in November!

GrendelsMum, that's an interesting list! Thanks for doing that, I've gone through it -

There is space for two cars at each house, and a garage, and visitor parking.

They are doing the roads and pavements as they go, and so far, it all looks fine.

We got an upgraded kitchen, you can really tell the difference, from the thickness of the worktops to the sizes of the cabinets. There are plenty of cabinets, and the kitchen is a good size.

The roads and pavements out of the estate already exist, and are maintained by the council.

All the communal 'green' areas are maintained by a factor.

The rooms are suprisingly unpokey - we expected it to be a bit cramped, and were pleasantly surprised.

We live in Scotland!!! There are plenty of windows, and the house is quite high up, so should catch a breeze on the few hot days we get!

There is an old tree at the back, which cannot be removed. The area is likely to stay as open space, so we're not overlooked, and we have one of the biggest gardens on the estate.

Won't know about anything being dumped in the back garden until we try to grow anything!

The estate will take a further couple of years to complete (apparently) but the part we're in is almost finished now.

Thanks for taking the time to do that list, it's made me a feel better about it all - that I wasn't going, oh no, I missed that.

GrendelsMum Mon 24-Aug-09 20:19:57

Pleased it was helpful! Sounds like your estate is much better. I think that where my friend went wrong was that he very carefully checked everything inside the house (so he didn't have much of an issue with snagging etc), and didn't think to check anything about the outside, which was the thing he couldn't control.

The garden problem's a bit weird, as he did make sure it was all cleared of anything dodgy before he moved in, but there's just this one patch where everything dies. Not much that you can do about that, I think.

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