Here's to New Beginnings

I've thought long and hard about whether or not to write this blog post, the content is personal but it's also important that the message I have is shared. There's a lot of life lessons to be learnt here - for you and me, and I want this blog post to be an inspiration to you as well as a hug if you're going through bad times yourself. 

So with that said, this blog post is going to be entirely different from the other posts on this site - I don't think it'll be the last of this kind, but life is full of surprises, so please bear with me.

Something happened to me this week that will inevitably change my life. My partner and I broke up. Some people will see that as a big deal, others won't and your opinion is your own to have, but for me it's a massive deal. We've known each other for almost four years, we've been in a relationship close to three and a half of those years and I can honestly say it has been the most incredible time of my life! Together we traveled New Zealand, Bali and Australia, we've completed Bucket List items and we bought our first home together last year. I am writing this blog post from the dining table we built together, underneath the gallery wall brimming with photos from our travels. I have a view of the decking we built together, the rabbits we've treated like our children and the canvas prints we bought before we even moved in (they are so us!) It all seems so sad and heart breaking - and believe me, I'm heartbroken. A big part of me feels empty, as though everything that felt right in my life has just suddenly evaporated and all of a sudden I feel like a rabbit caught in the headlights. 

The reasons for which we broke up is not important and won't be discussed here, they're important and personal to me and no doubt for him - we've both got our own lessons to learn from this; but for me it's how I recognise those lessons and how I'm going to implement changes to better myself from this moment on. 

I need to acknowledge what I do have - I have a beautiful roof over my head, he is still (and always will be) a great guy I know he won't leave me out on the streets and I still trust him, I have a great job which I love and I have recently qualified as an Interior Designer - something I have been working hard to achieve this year. My family and friends, albeit they don't live close enough to pop over for a coffee, but they have all called me, they have all rallied round and shown their support - a support network I have only recently realised was there! And here I am broken, physically alone, somewhat financially poor and yet I am brimming with positivity because I know I am going to be okay, come what may. 

He is with his family, he is healing in his own way. I am healing in my own way, I am taking my time to breathe and think. I have some decisions to make, not right now but when the hurt has subsided a little and when our minds are clearer. Do I want us to get back together, if he even wants to in time? If not, do I want to stay here? Do I leave the house and job I love? Shall I move back home? Can I even afford to? All of these questions are big and they are scary; they are questions I never even imagined I'd ever have to ask myself. I always envisioned I would marry this man, have children with him and grow old with him. All of a sudden the plans I'd subconsciously made for our future have been torn away from me and there isn't a back up plan. But that's the lesson here! You can only live in the here and now, the future isn't always what you expect and you can't live in that happy little bubble in your mind where everything is perfect. Sometimes the future is ugly. Sometime's it's full of storms and rough seas - but of course, we never plan for those storms to happen and they take us by surprise.

What I'm trying to say is it's great to plan for the future, it's great to have goals but it's also important to prepare a back up plan. What's going to happen if things don't turn out the way you'd hoped? Whether they're your dreams or shared dreams nothing in this world is guaranteed. 

For me, right in this moment my health and my career are all I need to be focusing on right now. My love life needs time to heal and space to breathe, whatever happens we'll both come out of this as better people. 

When it comes to health you should always look after number one first, if you are happy and healthy then it emits rays of happy sunshine from within you and it impacts those around you. If you're depressed or ill then again it will affect those around you even still, but it's whether those around you are willing to support you through those bad times and acknowledge that this isn't "you" and help you get back to "you". If they aren't willing to support you, then are they really the kind of people you need to be surrounding yourself with? 

When it comes to your career it is important to be focused and to set clear goals, but don't let it consume you or your home life or your partner. As a single pringle I could spend every minute of my free time focusing on building my career - but will I actually ever see another human being this year if I did that? Would I actually leave the house? I can bet not, knowing me. There's a line that must be drawn, but it's knowing where to draw that line whether you are single or not.

The most important thing for me is ambition, drive, passion. If you have the drive to be the best possible version of yourself then you have the drive to be the best boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, father/mother, family member, colleague and boss anyone could ask for. If you don't invest time in yourself and do things that make you happy then you will only resent yourself and those around you. Your achievements will turn into your bad decisions and those you love will turn into your enemies. Find the happy medium, draw that line but be true to yourself.

Love and hugs,

Shellby x

Help To Buy: Everything You Need To Know

The decision to finally make that first step onto the property ladder is not the one and only big decision you have to make. There are other decisions to make, that go beyond choosing the perfect property, the location, the kitchen and carpet (if you're buying a new build.) You have to make a decision as to how you intend to finance your purchase and how much you can realistically afford to spend. 

If you're not blessed with a money tree you may be considering other options in order to afford your dream home. Not everyone has the ability of being able to save up a hefty 10%+ deposit in a relatively short amount of time, and if getting the keys to your own home is something you hope to do this year you should definitely consider the option of Help To Buy.

Before I go into telling you the pros and cons of Help To Buy I should first of all mention that I am not a financial adviser and I do recommend that you do your own research through Government websites and that you speak with an adviser (and here's more reasons why you should speak to said adviser.) But I am an advocate for Help To Buy. Because we used it to buy our first home. And I would do it again. 

Pros:

Our financial adviser recommended we use the Help To Buy Equity Loan scheme because neither Tom or I are bringing in mega bucks each month, but our wages are fair. He advised we could afford to buy a house without the assistance of the Help to Buy Equity Loan, but our mortgage repayments would be higher each month and we'd be saving up for a deposit for at least a year and that would be by living incredibly frugally. 

He did the maths with his mortgage gadgetry and the difference in the figures was staggering. We came out of the appointment knowing exactly what we were going to do. We were going to use the Help To Buy Equity Loan scheme. 

The next thing we did was look at new builds and suddenly our options were wide open! 

Without the Help to Buy scheme we would've been looking at houses around the £100,000 mark because even £10,000 would've taken us a good year, almost, to save up for. Using the Help to Buy scheme meant that we could've, if we wanted to, afford a house up to £170,000 but we chose to purchase around the £150,000 mark; making our mortgage repayments super low and super manageable, which gives us more spending money for decorating and social life! 

It also meant that we only had to save up a little over £7,500 deposit and between us we managed that in just a few short months and we allowed ourselves a social life and we had money to spend on furniture as soon as we moved in!

Cons:

The 20% loan from the Government isn't free money, and you shouldn't make that mistake of thinking that now you've got your keys and a manageable mortgage that there's nothing left to worry about on the horizon. Sorry friend, but you should really start saving right front the start. In 5 years time the Government are going to want their money back. And you will have two options.

Option 1: Pay back the loan in direct debits. The lovely folks at Help To Buy are great at giving you a forecast for how much your direct debits are expected to be in 5 years time. From memory, I think our repayments will be about £45 a month, and then gradually going up year on year until the loan is repaid. £45 a month is not a massive amount of money, and there is no reason why you can't start putting that to one side straight away. 

Option 2: Sell up and repay the loan. Hence the phrase - equity loan - the idea here is that in 5 years time your property should gain enough equity for you to pay back the loan. I'm not going to lie to you, this prospect scares me a little. No one can guarantee that house prices will rise by that much, and even then the idea, for me, of paying back £31,000 is terrifying! That said, if property prices happen to slump or stay the same, you still only pay back 20% of the properties current value. The reason this worries me is if property prices do slump then that leaves no equity to put towards your onward move, which is generally larger and more expensive. I guess this highlights the importance of saving from the start. 

With all of the above said, Help To Buy has opened doors for many, many buyers and I don't doubt that it'll have an impact on house prices in 5 years time. I'm no expert, but who knows? Everyone is going to need to sell up at some stage and a lot of people are going to be in the same boat - needing that extra 20% of equity - so this may have an impact on house prices. 

Also - what's to say that you buy a property with a 10% deposit and struggle through with high mortgage repayments and in 5 years time there is another financial crash - you will stand to lose a hefty amount of equity anyway. 

So you may as well enjoy 5 years of affordable mortgage repayments with enough left at the end of each month to pop away in a high interest savings account. 

Well that's my two cents - what are your thoughts on Help to Buy? Have you used it? Are you planning to use it? Leave a comment below!

Why You Should See A Financial Adviser Before Buying Your First Home

If you're saving up for your first home chances are you have already thought about your impending mortgage and you've probably even researched some deals. But what if I told you you were wasting your time? What if I told you that there are people out there willing to help you find the cheapest deal with minimal effort on your part, for free?

Now I've got your attention.

When Tom and I returned home from travelling in September 2015, we had very little money and nothing to show for our trip except for some really worn out backpacker attire and some cool photos! We quickly found work and got ourselves sorted with a car and when Christmas was over we started saving for our first home together. In June 2016 we moved into our new abode.

What we envisioned would be an arduous, painstaking process of saving, dreaming and wishing for the day to arrive where we could finally afford to properly look at new homes was actually a relatively painless and quick few months. Tom took me to look at some new builds on Valentines Day (yes, I'm a lucky girl!) and in April we reserved our perfect home. So if you've been saving for what feels like forever, or if you're just starting out on your journey to home ownership - here's my absolute #1 tip! (You can thank me later!)

See an independent financial adviser!                                                        

Money suddenly becomes even more important and precious when you're looking to buy a home than it has ever been before. Every pound you earn is another pound towards your deposit. Which is why it's important to start off your journey on the right path.

I'm an Estate Agent - that's my full time job. I work in the Land and New Homes department. I sell new build houses for a living. I speak to first time buyers on a daily basis. And I cannot stress enough just how useful it is to go and speak to a financial adviser who works for an estate agency. Tom and I spoke to one of my colleagues to get our mortgage - and it's not because it was a "perk of the job", it's because I genuinely believe and understand the benefits of speaking to an independent adviser. When you toddle off to the Halifax or Natwest, or some other bank, their advisers can only sell you their products. It could take you weeks, even months, to find the best deal! Why do that to yourself? 

Find a local estate agent that offers their own independent mortgage advice. Or, if you've already found your new build home, ask the builder if they can recommend an adviser.

At work our advisers check a panel of over 200 lenders. The way I describe it to clients is it's like searching a compare website, except the adviser cuts out all the jargon and finds you the best deal. Tom and I did our own online search for comparison and the cheapest deal we found was a little over £420 with Natwest. My colleague managed to find us a mortgage for £387 a month + £200 cashback on completion with Nationwide. Our search with Nationwide didn't even come close to that. The adviser knows the tricks of the trade. If the service is free, which it usually is, let them find you the cheapest deal. There will likely be a cost involved when you take out the mortgage for the advisers services, but trust me you will likely not get as good a deal if you go to the bank direct and that adviser is worth his weight in gold if he can save you that level of moolah!

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that saving money on your mortgage repayments each month will save you money in the long run. So I ask you, what is the harm in spending just one hour with a financial adviser who can potentially save you hundreds of pounds? 

It's a no-brainer to me.

 

Step By Step Guide to Buying Your First Home

Purchasing your first home, or any home at any stage for that matter, can be a pretty scary and stressful time; but if you do it properly it needn't be neither! Here's my step by step guide to buying your first home!

Step 1 - See a Financial Adviser

Do not skip this step!! You have no idea just how important this first step is. I am an estate agent. I sell new build homes for a living. I speak to many first time buyers every. single. day. I cannot even begin to tell you how many people come to me after a few weeks of searching and ask me for the contact details of that financial adviser again, because they didn't listen to me the first time. 

Before you even begin looking around show homes or flicking through glossy brochures, go and see an independent financial adviser for mortgage advice. Ask family and friends if they know anyone specifically or find a local estate agency that offers this service. An initial chat should be free and believe me when I say the advice will be invaluable! 

Why is this such an important step? Because without knowing how much you can realistically afford your search for a new home - new or old - is futile. Sure, you can run a quick search online from the comfort of your sofa or you could head straight to your bank, the bank you've banked with since you began using a bank. The bank you've banked with since forever are not loyal to you. They aren't. Their deal is not the best deal. It isn't. And what harm can a free appointment with an independent adviser do? Go in and see the fella (or lady) and ask them to give you a rough idea of the best mortgage deal they can get you. 

To put this into perspective for you. Tom and I did a search online ourselves to find a mortgage. The cheapest we found was a little over £420 per month with Natwest. We went to see an adviser at work and with his knowledge and tricks of the trade he managed to find us a mortgage for just £387 per month with Nationwide with £200 cashback on completion! WINNER!

You can't expect someone to potentially save you hundreds of pounds and for the service to be free - there will be a charge for the service if you take out the mortgage they find for you, but trust me the deal will not be any cheaper if you go to the bank direct and the charge is minuscule in comparison to the saving you've achieved! 

Another big reason to see the adviser - they can tell you how much you can realistically afford. You're forgiven for not realising how much it costs to be a home owner - don't get to thinking all you have to pay for is the mortgage, gas, water, electricity and food. Oh no there's much more than that! The adviser can talk you through the extra things you need to consider and budget for. He'll make sure you have enough left over each month to live on and save. He'll help you come to a budget range that you should be looking in. 

My colleague did the maths and said we could afford to buy a home up to the value of £200,000 but we wouldn't have much money left over to live on or save for the future. He said to realistically look at a maximum of £170,000. To be even more comfortable we decided to look in the region of £150,000 and we're super pleased we did. 

Financial adviser. Trust me. Book that appointment!

Step 2 - Location, location, location

First time buyers often look further afield for their first homes. It could be a case of affordability and a lack of dependents to think about schools for - so consider looking outside your initial search area. Tom and I spent several weekends driving around the areas close to where we worked and currently lived and the out-skirting areas. It's okay to say you want to be within a certain number of miles to a place of work, but you will become used to a slightly longer commute if necessary and what's to say you will remain at your current workplace forever? 

You will find areas you definitely don't want to live in. You will also find areas you won't mind living in, but only on certain streets. And you will find areas you would pay a million pounds to live in - and you'd really have to. Make a list of certain streets, villages and towns you want to live in as well as areas you don't want to live in - this will help when you come to searching for homes to look at. 

Step 3 - Decide on your needs

This is a very important step and will take a level of discussion if you're buying with someone else. It's also worth discussing this with family members. If you don't have children, purchasing your first home is going to be very easy. There is no need for you to purchase a big 4 bed detached property with enough room for two cars plus room for cars for when the kids learn to drive and the family come to visit. 

Be realistic with your needs, otherwise you'll end up purchasing a house that's too big, will cost too much to maintain and your weekends will be spent doing house work! 

Make a list of what you'd ideally like in a home, what you're willing to compromise on, what would be a bonus but isn't essential and also what you definitely don't want.

Tom and I initially started looking for a 3 bedroom property with a good sized kitchen diner with plenty of space for entertaining. Off street parking for 2 cars at least was essential, a garage was preferable and we wanted a good sized back garden, again for entertaining. An en-suite to the master was a bonus but not essential. We didn't want anything more than 3 bedrooms. Again, our ideal budget was £150,000 but we could stretch to £170,000 for the right property.

In the end we bought a 2 bed end terrace, no en-suite to the master. The kitchen is tiny but it's plenty big enough for the two of us. We have no garage but we do have 2 off street car parking spaces and there are communal spaces directly opposite for guests should we need them. Our back garden is small but ample for the two of us and guests. Our home cost us £155,000. It's perfect. 

Step 4 - Book some viewings/visit some show homes

Now for the fun bit! The bit you've been waiting for!

No doubt you've already had a peek online and you've got some properties lined up already. Now you know you can afford one and they're in the areas you like - it's time to go and view them! View as many houses as you can, but don't view them for the sake of it. The idea is to be realistic and don't waste your time and the sellers time. 

If you're looking at new build properties - view as many show homes as possible. Unfortunately not all developments will have a show home of the exact house type you're looking at, bonus if they do, but if they don't just ask if they have any that are almost built or finished? Sometimes the sales rep will let you look inside one that's almost finished. You may have to use your imagination but you'll get an idea of size. Don't forget - new build homes always look smaller without carpets and paint on the walls!

Step 5 - Make an offer

Once you've found the right house - and trust me, you'll know - put an offer on it! If it's a second hand home you'll need to go through the agent and there may be some negotiation involved. 

If you're looking to purchase a new build - put an offer in on that one as well! Offers on new builds are often unheard of as many buyers think the price is fixed. The likelihood of having an offer lower than asking price accepted is unlikely, but the builder may throw in some upgrades or extras for you - like carpets or turf if they aren't already included. 

As an estate agent working in new builds I already new we were paying above premium for our property. Our home didn't come with an integrated washer dryer, carpets or turf as standard. The builder wouldn't accept a lower offer on the property but he threw in all the extras we could've asked for. We didn't just get carpets - we got the upgraded carpets, the really fluffy stuff. That would do nicely. Yes, we're a smidgen concerned for resale value - but that's not something we plan to concern ourselves with too much for another 4+ years yet and who knows, the economy could sky rocket or it could go to shit and take house prices with it. Be realistic, don't pay stupid money if your gut is telling you it's the wrong decision and don't be afraid to walk away. Chances are the seller/builder will come back if they want your business, or you've dodged a bullet and something much better is waiting for you. 

Step 6 - Choose good solicitors

If you are buying a new build, the builder will likely want you to use the recommended solicitor and they may even use it as an incentive. The builder paid our stamp duty if we used their recommended solicitor. We were first time buyers and the choice of solicitor didn't really matter to us - in fact it likely saved us some effort. Plus, I deal with solicitors every single day so I knew enough about the process already to keep the solicitor working hard for us. 

If your offer is accepted through an estate agent consider using their recommended solicitor also - ask if they don't offer an option. Chances are the agent will earn a slither of commission from it but the bonus will be that the agent will be used to dealing with that specific solicitor every day and communication is key when a property purchase is going through the legal stage. 

I hope this step by step guide has helped somewhat. 

If you've got any tips of your own - or even a question to ask - leave a comment below!

Pros and Cons of Buying a New Build Home

I'm not going to lie to you, there is a good, bad and ugly side of buying a new build home - just like there is when buying a second hand home! But it's always a good idea to be prepared. 

So here's a list of what to expect from buying a new build home.

Pro: You have some level of customisation with a new build. If you reserve early enough, you have the opportunity to choose the kitchen style and colours, carpets and tiling and any other choices the builder allows. 

Con: Sometimes the choices aren't to your taste and can sometimes be quite limiting. The choices are often contemporary, modern styles which won't date too soon but if you prefer an older, more traditional style you may have to do some negotiating with the builder to fit your own bespoke kitchen.

Pro: All of the hard work is done for you! You get a modern, finished product! 

Con: More often than not the walls are painted a delightful shade of magnolia - not everyone's cup of tea. If Magnolia isn't your bag, I'm afraid it's a recommended good 6 months until you can paint over it. Again, the standard style of finish may not be to your taste, but at least you have a blank canvas and smooth walls to redecorate on!

Pro: No maintenance or major works to do as soon as you move in! The only thing you have to worry about it buying furniture to fit the space and your taste. There's no old appliances to worry about, the plumbing and electrics are all new and no hidden damp patches behind the wallpaper!

Con: There is such a thing as "snagging" - and sometimes not all homes are finished with pride. Don't even get me started on the snagging issues we were faced with - and oh my goodness I could tell you some horror stories from work! Just be prepared and request to see your new home before move in day so that any major snagging issues can be highlighted and fixed in time.

ro: A huge financial benefit is that most new build properties come with integrated appliances! That's at least 3 massive ticks off the shopping list! No need to buy a cooker/oven, fridge freezer or washing machine!

Con: Some builders don't offer these, and if they do it's usually at an extra cost! Try to negotiate these extras into the price, and if the builder won't negotiate then shop around and see if you can get them cheaper. Don't forget to consider delivery charges and timescales!

Pro: New build homes are built and designed to the latest energy saving standards! Saving you money!

Con: If you can come up with a con for energy efficiency, let me know because I can't think of one!

Pro: Affordability is key for any home buyer at any level. The price you pay for a property needs to be justified and for new build homes the price tag is justified by that "brand spanking new" smell, feel and quality!

Con: Compared to second hand homes, new build homes do cost more. You do pay a premium for a new build home, it's a fact. It's like buying a brand new car fresh out of the factory.

Pro: The bigger builders often have show homes to look around to give you an idea of the build quality, the finish and inspiration for decor and layout. 

Con: Show homes are often spec'ed up with the upgraded features which can add up when you ask for them to be included. Make sure you ask the sales rep to point out any upgraded features in the show home if they aren't already obvious.

Pro: Being a part of a brand new community is a great feeling! New build developments are designed better than they used to be with more green space and lifestyle considerations. More and more buyers are looking for that perfect lifestyle now and that's what the developer has to focus on. New parks, wide paths, plenty of parking and homes with tasteful exteriors are just a few things to expect from a new build development. 

Con: If you buy on an early or mid phase of a development you could be living on a building site for some years! Expect lots of mud, unfinished roads and potentially early morning wake up calls from building machinery. 

Pro: Architectural designers are considerate with the internal layout of new build homes and you may find that what initially appears to be a small property, actually offers tons of space for furniture and storage. 

Cons: New homes are generally built on smaller lots than most older homes these days. If you're looking a huge backyard and a bedroom big enough to fit a king size bed, wall to wall built in wardrobes, dressing table and even a chaise then I'm afraid you should look elsewhere. Most new builds are built for the essentials and cosy living.

I hope this list has helped you in your consideration for a new build or second hand home. It's fair to say that both sides have their pros and cons, but it's what matters and what's important to you that counts!

10 Reasons to Buy a New Build Home

When you're looking for a new home - whether it's your first, second or fifth or sixth - it may, or may not, have occurred to you that you have three options.

1) To look at new build homes

2) To look at second hand homes

3) To look at both

You may have already made up your mind - especially if you plan to use one of the Governments new home buying schemes - or you may not have even given these choices a second thought. If you're looking at all homes - new and old, or old-ish - then there is nothing wrong in that at all!

But have you weighed up the pros and cons of new and old? 

If not - then here's 10 reasons why you should consider a new build home.

1) Blank canvas

The number one reason why most people look to purchase a new build home is because it is a blank canvas. Usually, if you reserve your new home early enough, you can even have the opportunity to choose some of the internal finishes! Bonus! Sometimes, when looking at a second hand home, ghastly decor choices can be a real off put - especially if you don't think you'll have the spare cash to redecorate straight away. Albeit most new build homes come with the good ole magnolia walls - but at least it's better than 1970's wallpaper or 80's vibe luminescent paint choices - unless, maybe that's your thing?

2) Customisation from the get go!

Linking in with the above point, as I mentioned, if you get in early enough you could even have the opportunity to choose your kitchen, tiling and carpets! Most builders offer a range of kitchen choices for you to pick from when you reserve your new home off plan. The choices are usually pretty standard - but the bonus is they are current and contemporary. The chances of them dating while you own the property are slim! 

3) Affordability

Another massive, HUGE bonus with new builds these days is the affordability. It is true, I will admit, new build homes do come with a premium on the price tag simply because you are paying for something brand spanking new - er, hello - unused toilet seat people!! With the Government Help to Buy schemes that are oh so irresistible to the home buyer - first and second time - new build homes are more affordable than ever!

4) Peace of mind

New build homes often come with a 10 year warranty. With the big builders, this is often provided by Premier Guarantee or NHBC. The long and the short of it is - at each build stage the warranty provider will come to the property to sign off on quality and build standard. The warranty acts like an insurance on your behalf. If something goes wrong with the property within the first 10 years - i.e. the roof caves in under heavy rain for example (lets hope not!) then the warranty provider will pay out for the repair. If you look at it this way - the warranty provider is not going to risk a big pay out, so they are going to check your new home over at every possible stage to ensure build quality is up to scratch - it covers them as well as you. 

5) Location, location, location

Most new build developments, especially those by the bigger builders, are located on the edge of towns and villages. It's all to do with how planning works, but it's a bonus for you as a buyer! If you've got your eye on certain towns or villages, chances are a new build development will happen there if it hasn't already. And if it has, or is happening now, chances are it will happen again soon! Local councils have quotas to fill when it comes to new home targets and small fields and plots of land on the outskirts of towns and villages are ripe for development. 

6) Better than "standard"

With the big builders competing against each other to appeal to you, their target market, the "standard spec" of new homes is becoming more and more competitive! Some builders offer carpets as standard, others offer integrated appliances. Generally, the more "standard" details such as door handles and sink taps have a more appealing finish and it's these details that, surprisingly, can turn a buyers attention completely. Tom and I were looking specifically for a 3 bed new build but ended up buying a 2 bed new build partly because the standard of the internal finish was much, much better. The internal finish of the 3 bed felt cheap and lackluster. 

7) Make it yours

If you purchase your new build home off plan there may be the opportunity to make some bespoke changes to the internal layout. I'm not talking about making a three bedroom property into a two bedroom with an en-suite instead or making a kitchen diner into a full open plan kitchen, diner, living space! That's a lot of costly work for the builder and could potentially mean planning restrictions will apply. However, things such as plumbing and electrical changes may be possible. It's worth asking the question, and there may be a small charge for any extra work or materials involved, but it gives you the opportunity to make the room work better for your needs.

8) Greener!

New build homes are designed and built with the latest energy efficiency building standards! Not only is this better for the environment, but it will save you some pennies too!

9) Decisions, decisions

If you're a first time buyer then looking for a new build home that meets your needs is the easiest, and probably most fun, looking for a new home is ever going to be! There are so many different styles and sizes to choose from. Some come with extra off street parking, whereas others come with an extra bedroom. Some are fully open plan, others have a separate kitchen diner. The only decision you have to make is exactly what it is you are looking for, what you are willing to compromise on and find something that fits the bill - and I bet it won't take long! 

10) The incentives

Builders want you as their customer, so they will often bend over backwards to get your business. When you've found your ideal new build home make sure to ask the sales rep what's included - and if something isn't included, ask for it! Most builders will offer some kind of incentive if you use their recommended solicitors for example. Incentives are ripe for your choosing, so go ahead and ask and you might find that you get! 

If those top 10 reasons to buy a new build home haven't gotten you excitedly looking for view homes in your area I don't know what will!