Whether you’re buying a property for the first time or if you’re looking to move home, one of the first decisions you’ll be likely to make is – should you buy a new-build home or an older property?
Of course, there are pros and cons to both and you’ll need to think about what suits your circumstances best, but in this instance, we’re going to take a look at what the benefits are when it comes to buying a new-build property.
Customise your home to reflect your needs
One of the biggest advantages of buying a new-build property is that you can customise your home to reflect your style. Once you’ve locked down which home and plot you want with the house builder the fun part can begin with choosing things such as fixtures and fittings.
Most developers allow house buyers to decide on a lot of the finishing details such as worktops, cabinet styles, tiles, flooring, tap finishes, sink style and more. There’s plenty of opportunity to turn what at first is a blank canvas into a functional space.
Luckily, most house builders are in tune with the latest trends, therefore, there should be something that aligns with your taste. Sometimes, developers will have a standard range that’s included within the purchase price of the home with a premium range available but at an additional cost. Just make sure you don’t rush any of these decisions as it’s going to be something you live with for a while so it needs to be carefully considered.
Furthermore, being able to customise your home to suit your style can save you a lot of money in the long run compared with buying an older property. This is because if you’re buying an older home the existing homeowner is more than likely going to have a completely different taste to yours when it comes to home improvement.
A new-build property requires less maintenance
One of the main reasons a family, for example, may decide to buy a new-build home is the fact they often require less maintenance than an older property.
The reason being new-build properties are typically built to the latest building regulations, meaning they are more energy-efficient and require less maintenance than older homes. This can result in lower utility bills and fewer repair costs, making it a cost-effective option in the long run.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay on top of any regular upkeep of a new-build – sadly they don’t come with an inbuilt house cleaner. So remember to look after your home and make sure all the appliances are in working order as this could impact the price you sell the property for in the future.
As with most consumer products bought new, a new-build property should come with a warranty that covers any defects or problems that may arise within the first few years of ownership.
Make sure you check that the property developer you’re looking to buy a home from offers one as it’ll reassure you that they’re less likely to cut corners on the build.
Buying a house is a huge financial investment and you don’t want to have to worry about covering the cost of repairs as soon as you move in. That’s why choosing a developer that offers a warranty will provide you with peace of mind.
Energy efficiency and smart technology
Another benefit of choosing a new-build home is that they often come equipped with the latest technology, such as smart home features, energy-efficient appliances, and high-speed internet.
Being built to the latest building regulations mean they’re more energy efficient than older properties as well. Since the cost of living crisis has made us all more conscious of soaring energy prices and the environmental impact on the way we live, a new-build home can make day-to-day living more convenient and enjoyable.
Buy chain free
Another pro to choosing a new-build property is you’re buying directly from the developer, which means there is no chain.
One of the most popular questions we get asked as conveyancers is how long the house-buying process takes. When you’re in a chain, more often than not, your property transaction is going to take a long time. The reason being the longer the chain the more chance of things going wrong and the process only moves as quickly as the slowest person in the chain.
Whereas buying a new-build can make the buying process smoother and faster, as there are no other parties involved. However, you’re not completely in the clear – sometimes house builders face delays that are out of their control such as shortages in materials or other external factors including the weather so you’ll still need to bear this in mind when buying off-plan.
Sometimes house builders offer buyers incentives to buy from them including solicitor fees, cash contributions or 5% towards your deposit, and costs towards stamp duty fees. These can make buying a new-build more attractive as they can ease some of the financial burden of buying a property.
Furthermore, some developers an involved in government/independent party schemes such as:
- ‘First Homes’ scheme: If you’re a first-time buyer – under the ‘first homes scheme’ you could buy a property for 30% – 50% less than the market value. Only available in England, the property can either be a new-build from a developer or a home you buy from someone else who originally bought it as part of the scheme.
- Deposit Unlock: Set up collaboratively between lenders and the home building industry this scheme offers first-time buyers as well as existing homeowners the opportunity to buy a new-build property with a 5% deposit. The rest of the 95% mortgage is available from a select few lenders.
- 95% Mortgage Guarantee: Similar to the Deposit Unlock scheme, the Mortgage Guarantee scheme was set up in the first year of the pandemic after many lenders withdrew their 5% deposit mortgage products. To help stimulate the market and support those with smaller deposits the government introduced the 95% mortgage guarantee scheme. Again, this is available to first-time buyers as well as existing owners, yet isn’t limited to new-build properties.
- Lifetime ISA (LISA): While the other schemes help towards the immediate purchase of a property, the LISA scheme is a long-term savings product intended to support younger people in saving for their first home, or for later life. Applicants can save up to £4,000 each year, while the government will contribute a further 25% of each new payment.
There are several advantages to buying a new-build home. You’ll be given a blank canvas on which you can tailor your home to suit your style from the very beginning, it could save you money on everyday bills thanks to it being built to the latest building standards.
Furthermore, provided you’ve chosen a developer that offers one, any issues or defects should be covered in your warranty and several developers will offer incentives and schemes to help you buy one of their properties.
The final decision, though, on whether you buy a new-build home or older property will come down to your lifestyle and needs.
If you’re looking to move home and you are looking for a professional licensed conveyancer to manage your property move – get a free instant conveyancing quote from Enact conveyancing today.