As good as new?
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