New Year, New Home – BGC’s Top Tips For Buying a New Home

Negotiate on price
Generally, the earlier you arrive at a development, the better deal you should get unless there is significant interest with high demand for the house type/size and location. Speak to a local agent and get a balanced view of the market.

Once you’ve found what you’re looking for it’s time to negotiate. Early reservations can be hugely beneficial, particularly in terms of options available to you relative to additions, layout changes and extras like fitted wardrobes, alternative appliances and improvements to a property’s finish.

Never assume the property will be worth more by the time it’s completed. The secret is to enjoy it – it’s new, and it’s all yours!

Find out exactly what you’re getting
The nature of buying off plan means there’s nothing to see yet – so be sure you know what you’re getting for your money. Does the price include turf for the garden, white goods and a parking space?

Look beyond the show home. Before a development is complete, builders use show homes as a sales aid. But this is only an indication of what you’re buying.

Your own home will be in a different plot – all of which will alter the light and noise levels. Keep in mind that often the show home will only have skeleton furniture, so picture it with all your belongings.

Don’t forget…
To check out what’s available under the government’s First Home Choice and First Home Fixed Schemes. For more information we can help you.

Find out how many other units have been sold
You don’t want to be the only resident on the block – or worse – surrounded by a building site for the next 12 months, so find out how much of the development has been sold. Ask also about the ratio of owner-occupiers to investors.

Check the builder is signed up to a warranty scheme
Whether you’re buying off plan or an existing home, make sure your builder is part of a warranty scheme.

NHBC’s Buildmark is the largest but others include Premier Guarantee and LABC Warranty.

A warranty scheme will offer you protection if your builder goes bust after you’ve paid the deposit. It will also ensure the home has been built to agreed standards and provide a third party resolution service in the event of disagreements.

Don’t change jobs before you complete
Mortgage offers tend to come with a three or six month shelf life and if yours runs out before your home is completed, you will have to reapply. But a lender could refuse you the second time around – especially if your circumstances have changed.

Conduct a snagging survey
Snagging refers to teething problems of a new-build home – for example cracks which appear in settling walls or loose guttering.

That’s why, at some point between exchange and completion, you’ll need to conduct a snagging survey and make sure everything’s fixed before moving in.

Such is the good practice here by developers that often snagging is done once you’ve moved into your new home. And in the main, they’re very responsive to all/any reasonable issues that may arise.

Tim Groves
Black Grace Cowley

tim@blackgracecowley.com
(01624) 645555

 


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