The population in the UK is rising fast. So much so, there’s a real housing crisis that is making life a misery for families up and down the country. According to Crisis, we need another four million homes just to keep up with demand.
In many areas of the country, your best chance of getting on the property ladder involves the purchase of a new-build home. But a modern property isn’t for everyone. If you’re not sure, consider the various pros and cons involved in buying a property directly from a builder.
The pros of buying new-build homes
You choose what your home looks like
If you’re involved in the building project from day one, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to choose a range of features and fittings. You may get to choose paint colours, kitchen cupboards, tiles, taps, light fixtures and a lot more besides.
In most cases, a new-build home is delivered to its new owner with the bare minimum of decorative features. This means you have a blank canvas on which you can express yourself. When you buy an older property, this isn’t always the case.
There are usually fewer issues to deal with
When you buy a new-build home, you can be fairly sure that it’s ready to move into. You don’t have to worry about things breaking down or failing shortly after you move in. And even if there are problems, your builder is legally responsible for putting them right.
And it’s not just structural issues you don’t have to worry about. Buying from a developer means you don’t have to worry about the upward property chain collapsing.
There’s often help
You’re much more likely to get help from the government to buy your home if you’re dealing with a major developer. The likes of Help to Buy and Start Homes Initiative can make getting on the property ladder a lot easier — and cheaper. Schemes such as these are often developed in conjunction with national house builders, so the entire buying process is simple and accessible.
Homes are built to modern standards
Building and environmental standards change fast these days. You can now be certain that a new-build house complies with all the various energy-efficiency and building guidelines. This isn’t always the case with older homes. An energy-efficient home is usually easier to sell than older properties. And such a home can drastically reduce your energy bills.
The cons of buying new-build homes
They’re often more expensive
Buying a new home from the builder gives you a property that’s ready to move into. You won’t need to do any repairs or improvements, and that’s something you might have to pay a premium for.
There are often better bargains to be found if you’re prepared to move into an older home. Yes, you might have a lot of work on your hands, but the price you pay is significantly lower than it is for the average new-build.
There’s an element of the unknown involved
New-build homes are being snapped up very quickly these days. And in some cases, they’re being bought before ground has been broken. To make sure you don’t miss out on the new-build of your dreams, you’ll have to sign a contract and pay a deposit before you’ve seen your new home. And that’s always slightly risky. While your prospective new home might look great in a brochure, you can never be sure until you’re looking at bricks and mortar.
New-build homes often suffer from niggling issues
Not all new-build homes are delivered to their new owners in perfect working condition. In fact, there are often teething problems during the first few months. It’s not unusual for builders to be working on snagging lists long after a property changes hands. Issues such as cracking walls, movement, faulty plumbing and damp do arise from time to time. If you’re buying an older home, a survey will identify such issues before you commit.
Most people are very happy with their new-build home — even if there are a few teething problems at first. But it’s always best to be aware of the worst-case scenarios before you take the plunge.