Top tips for buying a newbuild home


TVs, computers, cars: buying brand new gives a real sense of curiosity, pride and satisfaction. When it comes to buying a newbuild property, however, it’s not just about the novelty factor.

Not only does your home come with eco-friendly modern design and fresh décor, but you’re investing in something that will bring pleasure long after your new phone upgrade.

Here are our top tips to help you get the best out of buying new.

It’s showtime, people!

Sometimes seeking a newbuild home can feel like window shopping – most new developments will have a snazzy showhome that’s attractive, but not always quite what you’re after.

So before visiting a variety of properties, write down your wish list of boxes that must be ticked, such as the size of the rooms, garden area, access and parking etc.

Chatting through these with the sales agent will give you a better idea of just what’s available.

It will also help you to better imagine what your new home will look and feel like – this is especially true when buying off-plan, before your house is even built.

Wear your haggle hat

The property market goes up and the property market comes down, but one thing stays the same: there are always opportunities to negotiate the price of your new home.

When buying a car, you’d think it wise to visit several showrooms to compare their deals. The same goes for houses: it pays to shop around different developers.

Use s1homes to discover the most up-to-date house prices in your chosen area.

This gives you leverage when making an offer that suits your budget.

And don’t be shy: also ask about offers of added extras, such as furnishings, high-end fixtures and fittings and cash-back schemes.

Make sure you’re covered

Ask about any extra costs, such as factor’s bills for shared spaces, both indoors and outdoors – for example, there may be maintenance bills for parks and landscaped areas.

And, while the standard of newbuild homes is higher than ever, always check the developer is signed up to an approved warranty scheme.

This is a guarantee that proves your property will meet safe construction standards. It also protects you should the developer go bust.

The best known example is the Buildmark warranty from the National House-Building Council (NHBC).

A builder or developer with a warranty will also stick to the Consumer Code for Home Builders – which means they must give you a realistic timeline of when your home will be finished.

Life doesn’t always go to plan, so if there is a delay (an ‘unreasonable’ delay is defined as six months for a house and 12 months for an apartment) to the finish date in the Contract of Sale (the document you sign when you exchange contracts and pay your deposit), the builder must refund your money and all fees.

Get to know the neighbourhood

Inquire how many homes have been bought and by whom, as it’s important to know who your neighbours are going to be. If you have a young family, for example, you’ll want other kids around for wee Petal. If you’re retired you might prefer a quieter life, surrounded by other retirees.

Remember, it’s not only a house you’re buying, it’s an entire neighbourhood, so always take the time to walk around a new development.

Is it well maintained? Are there enough green spaces for walking Puggles the Pug or safe play areas for wee Petal and her pals? Are there shops and schools nearby?

If building work is not complete, visit other developments by the same company to get a feel for what life will be like in yours.

You might also want to find out if there are plans to build new houses or roads near you, as this could have an impact on your development.

Use our top tips when visiting newbuild homes on s1homes

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