Is Buying a New Build Home Right for You?

There are many reasons why you could be considering buying a new build house – it could be that you’re a first-time buyer planning to take advantage of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, you’re expanding your family, or you just love the idea of living in a home that’s completely brand new!

What’s great about new build homes

A new build property is really exciting, as not only will you be living in a home that nobody else has lived in before, but you’ll be moving into a new community too! But those aren’t the only advantages of a new build home. Other benefits of new build properties you can look forward to include:

  • Having brand new fixtures, fittings, carpets and décor throughout, so you won’t need to worry about redecorating (unless you want to!) or making repairs for a few years
  • Having the option to choose some or all of your fixtures, fittings and decorations, as well as white goods, so you can tailor your home to your individual needs and tastes (although this will vary from housebuilder to housebuilder)
  • A 10 year guarantee on your new home from the National House Building Council (NHBC) and often additional guarantees, warranties or insurance from your housebuilder
  • The potential to enjoy lower running costs and energy bills, as new homes are often built to be considerably more energy efficient than older properties
  • Not being stuck in a chain, as you’ll only need to think about selling your current property
  • Options or incentives that can make buying your new build home more affordable, such as having your stamp duty paid by the developer, part-exchange if you already own a property, or the Help to Buy scheme for first time buyers

Questions to ask when buying a new build home

Purchasing a new build property certainly offers many exciting benefits. But when deciding whether a new build, or particular development is right for you, you should consider the following questions:

  • How reputable are the developers or housebuilders? You should research them online and read reviews or testimonials, and visit their previous developments in your area
  • How well-established are the local amenities? Consider the transport links in your local area and the existing amenities, such as shops, schools, and leisure facilities, and whether they meet your needs
  • How long until you can move in? Of course, when buying a new build home, you have to wait for it to be completed. If you are buying ‘off plan’ (before building has begun), it’s wise to obtain a ‘long stop’ completion date from the developer so you know when you can expect to move – and you may be paid compensation if your home isn’t ready by that date
  • How long do you plan to stay there? New build properties depreciate in value as soon as you move in, and this may take several years to grow. So they’re ideal for home buyers who are planning to ‘stay put’ for at least a few years
  • Can you negotiate on the price? It’s worth knowing how to negotiate on your new build house price – start by comparing other properties in the area, and then weigh up the cost of ‘extras’ or incentives that the developer is offering you. If you don’t think they’re worth it, you may be able to agree a lower price, or a different deal
  • Will there be a ‘snagging’ provision in your contract? Should you encounter any minor issues with your new home, such as missing fittings or chips in the paintwork, a ‘snagging’ provision will ensure that the developer is obliged to fix these for you within a certain time
  • Will the property be leasehold or freehold? If the property is leasehold, you will need to pay ‘ground rent’ to the freeholder and may also need to obtain permission to make any major changes to your property, depending on the clauses in your contract 

What you need to know about mortgages and new build houses

The good news is that the process of getting a mortgage for a new build home is just like any other mortgage! Mortgage lenders can make an offer to you on an ‘off plan’ property, so your mortgage will be in place as soon as you’re able to complete the purchase.

An important thing to bear in mind however, is that mortgage offers are only valid for a set period of time (typically six months), so you will need to know whether your new build home is due to be completed before your mortgage offer expires. In the instance that your property will not be ready for this date, you may be able to request an extension on your mortgage offer from your lender, although in some cases the lender may wish to reassess your circumstances to ensure that they have not changed.

You can take a look at all available mortgages at Newcastle Building Society here, with our best current interest rates. If you’re a first time buyer thinking of purchasing a new build property as your first home, you’ll find our information on saving for a mortgage deposit really useful, and you can find out more about our range of savings accounts here - including our Newcastle First Home ISA, which offers a bonus of up to £1,000 when you buy your home with Newcastle Building Society!

Should you have any questions about mortgages with Newcastle Building Society, one of our qualified mortgage advisers would be delighted to speak with you. Call us now on 0345 606 4488, or book an appointment at your local branch now.

Your mortgage will be secured on your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.