A row of terraced houses in Hackney, East London.

First time buyers – Is a new build right for you?

When buying your first home there are hundreds of things to consider. The deposit, personal finances, the property market, solicitor’s fees, stamp duty, and the list goes on. However the biggest question in recent years has been whether you should buy an old or new build property as a first time buyer. Safestore, the UK based self storage company meet people from both sides of the fence who require temporary storage solutions during the moving process. Using temporary storage throughout the moving period can help make the process easier dependent upon your requirements.

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Recently built brick houses of traditional design on a housing development in Northern England.

It’s important to fully investigate whether an older house or a new build is the best option for you.

Below are some key considerations when looking at new build homes.

Advantages –

  • Help to buy equity loans are only available on new build properties. This means that a home can be purchased with a 5% deposit.

  • A new house comes with a choice of different internal packages, which allows you to choose a style finished to your personal taste and requirements. This can add to the cost, but could work out easier and cheaper than doing this yourself in the long run.

  • A lot of new builds are now registered with the NHBC (National House-Building Council), which would mean the new home would be under warranty for the first 10 years of you owning it.

  • Dependent on your development company you may be able to gain access to the property before completion, to fit carpets, curtains and blinds before the move. However, it is important to wait until most of the work has been completed to avoid any mess or damage to the new furnishings.

  • In some instances new build homes will tend to throw in the carpets, tiling or stamp duty for free to ensure they gain the sale of the house. It is worth seeing what else you can get thrown into the deal.

  • The layout of a new build home is perfect for 21st century living. You can sometimes even opt for open plan kitchens, en-suites and walk in wardrobes. Being able to get involved in the design process is a huge benefit of purchasing a new build.

  • New build houses are mostly built to be as eco-friendly as possible which isn’t only great for the environment, but also for your bank balance as bills will be reduced. Look for properties with the HQM (Home Quality Mark), as these are expected to be up to 50% more energy efficient than existing UK dwellings.

Disadvantages –

  • If you do want the house to be made to your personal tastes with regards to flooring, bathroom tiles, lighting and other internal fittings, then this will be an additional cost on top of the house price. Always ask what is included internally within the house when purchasing.

  • If you buy the house before it is completed, you could be waiting some time before you move in. Some contracts will have a ‘loop stop’ clause, meaning you could be compensated if the work isn’t finished by the agreed completion date. Make sure you are fully informed before signing anything.

  • Often mortgage lenders won’t release the final loan until all work is completed.

  • Like with any property, there could be some teething problems. Cracks can be produced by dried-out plaster or there could be faults with electricity fittings or plumbing. On the plus side, contract dependent, these should all be covered under the warranty.

  • It can be hard to order larger electrical appliances and furnishings such as fridge freezers, dining room tables, sofas and armchairs. This is especially difficult if you are currently living in your parents’ home or renting furnished accommodation, as storage and clutter becomes a real issue.

It is easy to see why so many first time buyers are opting for new build homes, for both monetary benefits and simplicity. Being able to move straight into your home without any real work needing to be done really does save a huge amount of time and hassle. When trying to make purchases for a new house, storage options should be considered. It’s important to note that products like sofas and even tables can take from weeks to months to be made and delivered. To ensure you can settle into your new home as soon as possible, you can get these furnishings delivered to a short-term self storage room until your home is ready. This saves clutter and stress, or weeks without essential furnishings whilst you wait for delivery.

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