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!
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.
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!