New Builds, is it right for you?

When buyers are looking for their new home, new builds can be a great option. There is plenty of choice throughout Liverpool right now, offering a range of styles to match the lifestyle of every buyer.

Getting on the property ladder is one of the biggest financial commitments you will probably ever make. Here at David Michael we want to walk you through the whole process step by step.

There are so many advantages to new builds; here are some of the top reasons to buy one:

You can get in early - Many developers offer properties off-plan, which means you can choose and reserve your home before it is even built. Sometimes you may even get the property cheaper, as off-plan is often offered for less than later developments.  Prices normally increase with each subsequent release of plots.

You can build it around you - You don't have to worry about what's under the carpet or the wallpaper as you know the property hasn't had 60+ years of people adding their own personal stamp, in their own personal way (let's be nice and say non-professional finish).

Some developers take it a step further and offer a choice of kitchen cupboards and plug sockets, garden landscaping and the colour of your worktops.

The earlier you reserve a new build the more choice you have; just be careful with extra charges that might fall into the small print.

It's low maintenance - It’s nice to know that when the property is complete it is ready for your couch and TV. It could be years before the decor looks dated and needs a touch up.

You get cover - The property may well be registered with the National House Building Council (NHBC), in which case it will come with a 10-year warranty and protection scheme. Other companies that provide warranties and insurance for new-build properties include BLP.

It's flexible - If you are a first-time buyer and not selling a property you are not waiting for a chain to resolve so you can complete your purchase. Once it's built - it’s ready to move into.

Bills are cheaper - The latest energy efficient appliances, and features are built in most new properties. This means they are cheaper to run compared to older properties.

Types of new-build properties for sale:

You will find a wide variety of new-build properties for sale. To make the search less daunting, draw up a list of your requirements. Now that you have that list, put it in order of importance, for example is a garage more important than a fourth bedroom? Is an open plan kitchen less important than a large garden?

This also includes the type of property; flat? Terraced? Semi- detached? Number of bedrooms? Think about the future, is it going to be a bachelor pad or a family home?

Some features you may want to consider:

  • Parking

  • Gyms & spas (mostly in flats)

  • Access to shopping

  • Gardens/ outside space

  • Estate parks

  • Gated community

  • Car charging

Looking at show homes:

Most new builds will have a show home to display the finish and quality of the property but please remember this will be there best work. You may have to pay extra for what you see. Tour the site and understand that you may have to travel to another site to see a different style of property than the show home

Dealing with off-plan property:

Buying a property off plan (it's not built yet) has many advantages - including you being involved with your new home from scratch. When doing this it's best to agree a long stop completion date with the developer. This means you will be entitled to compensation if it is not finished on time. Being delayed could cause problems when it comes to your mortgage lender. Mortgage offers typically last between three and six months. Some mortgage deals will give longer terms for new build properties but it's best to speak directly to your broker about this.

Don’t forget the new-build home checklist:

You will want to ensure that your contract allows for a snagging provision. This is used for detailing minor issues, repairs or defects. Once work is complete you will want to carry out a complete inspection of the property and alert your developer to anything that needs fixing.

Here are some potential issues to look out for:

  • Plumbing and electrics

  • Brickwork

  • Tiling

  • Walls, floors and ceilings

  • Glass

  • Paintwork

  • Plaster

  • Carpentry

  • Fitted furniture

  • Gutters

Peace of mind with a new home warranty:

NHBC's 10-year new home warranty, includes:

Pre-completion insolvency cover: You are protected if your house builder or developer becomes insolvent once you have exchanged contracts.

Cover for the first two years of ownership: Your house builder or developer is responsible for rectifying certain damage.

Insurance cover for parts of your new home: You have cover for specified areas of the property, such as damage to floors, staircases, drains and windows, from the third year of ownership through to the tenth.

Other firms that offer warranties and insurance include BLP and LABC.

The Consumer Code for Home Builders has been established to make purchasing a new-build home fairer and more transparent for buyers. It applies to all building firms that are registered with the UK’s major new home warranty providers. The code stipulates that your house builder or developer must provide all the necessary details for you to make an informed decision about buying a new property.

They are also required to give you a transparent and easily understandable contract. Your house builder or developer must give you reliable information about the timings around construction, completion and handover of your new home. You will be entitled to your reservation fee if you encounter unreasonable delays.

The code extends to an after-sales service too. If you are unhappy with your new home or your house builder or developer, the Consumer Code for Home Builders provides an independent and low-cost dispute resolution scheme that will determine your house builder’s responsibilities without the costly process of taking your case to court.

Incentives for new property:

There are many schemes in place to help buyers secure a new-build home. The Government’s Help to Buy scheme helps first-time buyers and homeowners in England to buy a new home or an older property. The equity loan element of Help to Buy is applicable to new-build properties only. You will need to secure a minimum 5% deposit while the Government will provide a loan of up to 20% of the value of the property.

Often developers may offer their own incentives such as;

  • Paid Stamp Duty Land Tax

  • Paid deposit

  • Free fixtures and fittings, white goods, interior design advice or landscaping

  • Cashback

  • Part-exchange deals, developer buys your current property.

  • Assisted sale, where the house builder or developer helps to sell your current property.

How to boost the value of new-build properties:

When you buy a new build, you are buying the property at its best. Once you move in it losses it's new build smell. But you can still add value if that is important to you. Most new builds are bought and kept for a few years before putting back on the market.  Build an extension. Think about building a loft conversion, double-storey extension or a conservatory on the back of your home.

Stay for longer, think ahead. If you are planning to start a family, a one-bedroom flat is unlikely to be an appropriate purchase. So, buy a spacious house that will suit you in years to come and cut out a potential move in between. Add features to the garden areas to get the most out of them.

New builds can be a great option for buyers at any point in their lives, especially with all the different sites popping up around Liverpool. Best of luck with your search and remember if you need any advice please get in touch.

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