In his latest article, Richard Broadhead talks about what you need to consider when buying a new build property.

Buying a new build property can be an exciting venture, offering modern designs, energy efficiency, and the opportunity to be the first owner. However, purchasing a new build comes with its own set of considerations and unique aspects that buyers should be aware of. From understanding warranties and contracts to navigating snagging issues and managing completion dates, being well-informed is crucial.

Researching the Developer

Before committing to a new build property, it is essential to research the developer and their track record. Look into their reputation, previous projects, and customer reviews. Establishing the developer’s credibility and understanding their commitment to quality construction and customer satisfaction can provide reassurance about the reliability of the project.

Comprehensive Inspection and Snagging

While new build properties are expected to be in pristine condition, it is important to note that most developer’s contracts do not allow you to delay completion on the basis that minor works are still outstanding such as turfing, carpets etc.  For this reason, it is important to conduct a thorough inspection as quickly as possible after completion and there are specialist companies who will carry out snagging reports for you.  You should also check that the contract makes it clear that the developer will address these points within a certain timescale.

Understanding Warranties and Guarantees

New build properties typically come with warranties and guarantees that provide protection against structural defects and substandard workmanship. The most common warranty in the UK is the NHBC Buildmark warranty, but other providers, such as Premier Guarantee and LABC Warranty, also offer similar coverages. Familiarise yourself with the details of the warranty, including its duration, coverage, and any additional guarantees provided by the developer.

Contract Considerations

Reviewing the purchase contract thoroughly is crucial when buying a new build property. Pay close attention to the payment schedule, completion dates, and any contingencies or conditions that need to be met before completion. Ensure that the contract includes provisions for potential delays, penalties, and dispute resolution mechanisms. Seeking legal advice from a property lawyer specialising in new build transactions can help clarify any uncertainties and protect your interests.

Completion Dates and Delays

Completion dates for new build properties can sometimes be subject to delays due to construction issues or external factors beyond the developer’s control. Maintaining open communication with the developer and staying informed about the progress of the construction can help manage expectations and ensure a smooth transition to your new home.

Ongoing Development and Amenities

Consider the surrounding area and any ongoing development plans that may impact the property and its surroundings in the future. Research the local amenities, such as schools, transportation links, shops, and recreational facilities, to ensure they meet your requirements. Being aware of any planned infrastructure projects or changes in the vicinity can help you make an informed decision about the long-term prospects of the area.