We all know the song / saying – “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” and I feel the same way about trying to briefly set out the main pros and cons of buying a New Build home.
It is, however helpful to do so given the huge new-build programs underway in Harrogate and District and the importance of the New Build sector in our property marketplace.
Space does not allow me to list all the Developers building locally but they include “big fish” like – Barratt (David Wilson)/ Bellway/Berkeley-DeVeer/Miller/Persimmon/Redrow/Taylor Wimpey etc plus a great many other smaller but very serious players.
OK – here is a very broad overview :
- – PROS – new build homes usually come with a 10-year NHBC warranty (sometimes a LABC – Local Authority version) covering structural defects. Most Developers also provide their own two-year warranty.
- – CONS – properties are not always completed on time and if there is a delay in construction, your mortgage offer could expire.
- – PROS – new homes are built to the latest specifications so significant repairs should not be necessary for several years – and being energy efficient, they should generate lower utility bills.
- – CONS – many (not all) new builds come with some snagging issues only discovered after hand over and aftercare can vary.
- – PROS – if you buy “off-plan” you may be able to choose fixtures and fittings, tiles etc. – and you start from a blank canvas.
- – CONS – CGI site plans and coloured brochures are not the same as “seeing and believing” in the real thing.
- – PROS – there is no “ upward “ chain and not dependent on other parties.
- – CONS – many new builds feature smaller rooms than older properties and not all furniture /belongings will fit.
- – PROS – many Developers will offer deals – typically upgrades in the kitchen/bathrooms etc. and even paying the SDLT ( Stamp Duty)
- – CONS – teething issues are not unknown as the building is new – and vary from problems getting Satellite TV/Broadband installed to getting the post delivered to your home on a building site.
- – PROS – HTB (Help to Buy) equity loans are available on New Build homes for FTB’s (First Time Buyers) only.
- – CONS – if you are amongst the first to buy, you may end up living on a building site for months (even years) while the whole build program is completed.
Finally, as we all know – broad overviews don’t cover all eventualities.
I’ve mentioned that Developers will do deals – which could be free carpets etc. – but they usually want to “upsell” on fixtures and fittings, lighting and tiles, etc. and you can end up paying a sizeable “New Build Premium.”
This is more than OK – especially in Harrogate where house prices are rising almost on a monthly basis right now but should you need to sell very soon after moving in, you could find that the near-identical new build house around the corner is available with brand new appliances (cooker/fridge freezer and dishwasher etc.) plus the bespoke options available at the same price.
Finally, in the interests of balance – I’d say that construction delays can be bad news for a Buyer who may lose their property sale, which is required to fund the purchase of the new build. However, unforeseen setbacks are also encountered in the preowned/existing marketplace.
If you are a Harrogate homeowner, potential FTB or involved in the local property market in any way, then please get in touch with us for a free no-obligation chat about the above and the property services we provide in Residential Sales & Lettings.
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