When you’re looking to buy a new home, there’s often a huge selection to choose from. Setting out what kind of property you want can help narrow down the list. From how many bedrooms you need to the location, there are plenty of important factors to consider. One of the first you may want to think about is whether to opt for a new-build property or not.

Every year, there are thousands of new homes built across the UK and you could be the first person to move in. Even after the pandemic affected housebuilding in 2020, more than 120,000 homes were built, according to figures released by NHBC.

You may be tempted to buy a new build for a variety of reasons. Perhaps a new development happens to be in an area you’d like to live in. Or maybe you’re using the government’s Help-to-Buy Equity Loan Scheme and must choose a new build for your first home. Whatever your reasons, you should understand the pros and cons of a new-build before you put in an offer.

The benefits of buying a new-build property
  • There will often be little work for you to do

If you want to move straight into a property without having to take on projects, a new-build can be attractive. There will often be little maintenance work that you need to do, and you’ll have a blank canvas to put your own stamp on. It can make moving home less stressful. If you buy your property off-plan, before it’s built, you may be able to have a say in things like the tiles used in the kitchen or even the layout.

  • A new build is likely to be more energy-efficient

New-build properties must comply with energy efficiency regulations. As a result, they’re likely to be far more energy-efficient than older properties. This can make your home more attractive when you sell it, as well as reducing your energy bills.

  • A new-build won’t be part of a chain

Buying a new-build means you don’t have to wait for the seller to find a new home. It can speed up the process of buying and put you in an attractive position if you’re selling a property.

  • Most new-builds come with a warranty

While not every new-build property benefits from a warranty, most are guaranteed for 10 years. This can give you confidence and means you won’t have to worry about large maintenance costs in the short term. Be sure to check what a warranty will cover and any restrictions that may be in place.

  • You can buy a new-build while using the Help-to-Buy Scheme

If you’re a first-time buyer and hope to use the Help-to-Buy Equity Loan Scheme, you will have to purchase a new-build property.

The drawbacks of buying a new-build home
  • You’re likely to pay a premium for a new-build

If you compare a new-build property to a similar property that is older, the new-build will likely cost more. As a result, your mortgage outgoings will probably be higher. The new-build premium can mean the value of your house falls in the short term, so if you’re planning to move relatively quickly, this can be a problem.

  • New-build properties can be less spacious

Property developers trying to get the most out of land may squeeze in as many properties as they can. In some cases, this means new-build homes are less spacious than older properties, particularly when it comes to storage areas. When viewing a property, make sure you look at the measurements and how the space will suit your lifestyle.

  • The quality of new-builds can vary

New properties have received bad press for poor quality in recent years. It’s important to note that this isn’t always the case, but that quality varies. While it’s a new build, it’s still advisable to pay for a snagging survey. A snagging survey involves an expert highlighting the defects that the developers should fix, and they may liaise with the developers on your behalf. Even with a new property, things may not be perfect.

  • Developments can face delays

If the property isn’t yet complete, keep in mind that developments don’t always run smoothly. A delay in when you can move in can have a knock-on effect. For example, your mortgage offer may expire, it could affect the sale of your own property, or you may need to rent a home for longer than expected.

Are you ready to search for your new home?

Whether you decide a new-build is right for you or not, the home buying and mortgage processes can be complicated and stressful. We’re here to help you throughout the process and secure the right mortgage deal for you.

Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.