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What should you be on the lookout for with a new build property?


With the demand for property ever-increasing, it’s highly likely you’ll have seen the odd home development popping up wherever you live. In the last few years, we’ve seen the number of new-build homes sky-rocket – in fact, rates have reached an all-time high.

There is certainly a benefit to purchasing a new build property, whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking to relocate and settle into your dream home. However, this is not without risk as the Surrey experts from Seymours Land and New Homes explain below. Ensure you aren’t caught out when purchasing a new development property as we detail common challenges.

Soaring prices

New homes are in great demand and prices have been consistently increasing, making them a good long-term iNew homes are in great demand and prices have been consistently increasing, making them a good long-term investment especially for the buy to let landlord as well as the everyday homeowner.

New build buyers are often under the misconception that the asking price is non-negotiable. However, this certainly is not the case – you can still make an offer in the same way you would for an older property.

Whilst the developer may not accept this, you can begin negotiations. You don’t want to feel as though you’ve paid through the roof for your new home.

If it appears a price negotiation is not on the cards, you may be able to see if you can meet halfway elsewhere – perhaps a few furnishings could be thrown in or the stamp duty could be paid on your behalf. This will still offer you huge savings in the long term as the buyer.

Builder’s reputation

It’s likely a new home will be one of the largest purchases you will ever make and you certainly wouldn’t enter into this blindly. You’ll want to spend time researching the builder to ensure you walk away with your dream home rather than one with hidden issues that could be costly later down the line.

The House Builders Federation conduct a survey annually of all new-build purchasers to monitor the quality of build and service that builders are providing across the industry. Remember a new home will not have been tried and tested like an older property, so you’ll want to know what you are buying is a quality investment.

Check your warranty for snagging

The NHBC (National House Building Council) scheme is a 10-year warranty and assures buyers of new-build properties that they have protection should disaster strike. This is highly important, but another clause you should be checking for as a buyer is for ‘snagging’ in which you are able to check the property for any defects or poor finishes before completion. You want to move in with peace of mind so, it’s vital this part of the buying process is not skipped. Otherwise, you may find yourself having to make several minor claims through your warranty insurance.

So, what should you be checking during this process?

  • Paintwork
  • Plastering
  • Brickwork
  • Installation of fixtures and fittings
  • Window openings
  • Kitchen Worktops
  • Taps, switches and sockets
  • Roof tiles, guttering and downpipes

Whilst a warranty is a fantastic way to provide you with peace of mind, the snagging stage will ensure you are happy with the overall finish before you move in. You won’t be left with any unexpected surprises on the day you move, adding extra jobs to your already long list of to-dos with a new property. Feel at home the second you enter with a snagging clause.

Delays to your move-in date

Buying off-plan can mean you can customise your home far more as the development is still in the building stage, yet you may face the risk of delays. Unfortunately, delays to building work are rather common through no fault of the developer.

But, as a valued buyer, you should ensure you are covered as part of your contract. Agree on a long-stop completion date, meaning the developer will be liable to pay you compensation if the proposed deadline is missed.

Moving in should be an exciting prospect and if this keeps getting pushed back, it can be a taxing and stressful experience – particularly if you are moving out of a previous property with a strict exchange.

Speak to an experienced land and new homes team

If you have concerns about a property, speak to an established estate agency that has experience working with reputable home developers. They’ll be able to reassure you of the quality of a new build home and answer any questions you may have.

Remember, research is crucial before making a purchase of any kind – particularly one that has such an impact on your life. So, be sure to ask for reviews and testimonials along with a portfolio of previous developments to make an informed decision. Be aware of the common issues and understand how these can be overcome.


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