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!