As good as new?

Berkshire Life - - Six Of The Best - WORDS: El­lie Fells

With hous­ing de­vel­op­ments spring­ing up left, right and cen­tre, buy­ing a new-build home may well seem like a favourable op­tion. Be­fore mak­ing the big move, how­ever,

there are some im­por­tant things to con­sider

In 2017, the govern­ment pledged to build 300,000 new homes ev­ery year by the mid-2020s in a bid to ad­dress the na­tional hous­ing short­age, and to­day huge new de­vel­op­ments are a fa­mil­iar sight in most towns and cities. Berk­shire is a par­tic­u­lar hotspot for new homes, as Oliver Par­menter from the south­ern branch of de­vel­oper David Wil­son Homes ex­plains: “There are many new homes be­ing built in the county, es­pe­cially in ar­eas such as Spencers Wood and Shin­field.

“Berk­shire has proved pop­u­lar due to its prox­im­ity to Lon­don, and we have seen a num­ber of cus­tomers move out of ar­eas such as Houn­slow into de­vel­op­ments in Wok­ing­ham, for ex­am­ple.”

With var­i­ous govern­ment ini­tia­tives in place to in­cen­tivise buy­ing new homes too, such as the Help to Buy Eq­uity Loan Scheme, more and more of us are opt­ing to buy a sparkling new prop­erty.

Be­fore start­ing your search, be aware that the process of buy­ing a brand-new home is slightly dif­fer­ent to usual. It may well be the case that you have your eye on a de­vel­op­ment, but that the houses them­selves haven’t been built yet; this is known as buy­ing a house ‘off-plan’. In this in­stance, you’ll visit the show home, but don’t be won over by any lav­ish dec­o­ra­tion, and try to see the house more in terms of its over­all style and the qual­ity of the fin­ish.

“David Wil­son Homes would also highly rec­om­mend reg­is­ter­ing your in­ter­est in your pre­ferred de­vel­op­ment and then speak­ing to an ex­pe­ri­enced sales ad­vi­sor,” says Oliver. “Many house builders will also pro­vide tes­ti­mo­ni­als from happy cus­tomers that will give you an in­di­ca­tion of the qual­ity and over­all sat­is­fac­tion.” Once you’ve de­cided on a plot or prop­erty, you might need to pay a reser­va­tion fee, which can be around £1,000, and this won’t be re­fund­able.

Per­haps the main ben­e­fit of buy­ing a new-build is that ev­ery­thing is brand new. As a re­sult, the house should re­quire much less main­te­nance than an older prop­erty, and in the­ory, it will be years be­fore you need to worry about things like new win­dows or roof re­place­ments. Most homes will also come with a 10-year war­ranty with NHBC, which will cover any struc­tural de­fects with the prop­erty, and many de­vel­op­ers will pro­vide their own war­ranty too. If you’re buy­ing off-plan, you are also likely to be able to have a say in the de­sign choices that are made, such as the wall colour and floor­ing.

Build­ing re­stric­tions mean that your home will fea­ture all the most modern fa­cil­i­ties. “A new three-bed­room home has at least 38 elec­tric sock­ets, mounted at knee height to pro­vide easy ac­cess, for ex­am­ple,” says Steve Wood, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive at NHBC.

To­day’s reg­u­la­tions also mean that new houses have to be as en­ergy ef­fi­cient as pos­si­ble, which of course means the po­ten­tial for lower bills, too. “Well-in­su­lated homes built to cur­rent reg­u­la­tions will cost ap­prox­i­mately half as much to heat as Vic­to­rian homes that have un-in­su­lated solid-brick walls,” Steve adds.

How­ever, a new home brings

Plots 275 and 276, Croft Gar­dens, Read­ing, David Wil­son Homes South­ern

New­bury Race­course de­vel­op­ment, David Wil­son Homes South­ern

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