Questions to ask housebuilders before moving into a new build property


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Buying a property is often the most expensive purchase you’ll ever make.

A new build home is a blank canvas and many of the issues affecting older homes won’t apply, but there are still key questions you should ask your housebuilder before you sign on the dotted line.

1.What are the bills likely to cost?

The housebuilder should be able to answer this question but it’s still worth double checking. If a council tax band hasn’t been assigned yet, the local authority will provide a temporary banding.Other considerations you need to make include the price of electricity, gas and water in the area, as well as the speed of broadband.

The latter is a key consideration if you plan to work from home or might need to occasionally.

2.What warranties does the home come with?

Around 80% of new build properties, including those developed by Barratt Homes, come with a NHBC 10 year Buildmark Warranty,which gives you a 2 year fixtures and fittings warranty and a 10-year structural warranty.
Find out more about our NHBC Buildmark Warranty and what that means for your property, whilst manufacturers warranties will also ensure any appliances purchased with the house are covered for a stated period of time

3.What’s the price per square foot?

This will make it easier to compare your chosen property with other new build and older properties in the area.You’ll want to ensure that you’re getting good value for money, but remember that price per square foot doesn’t take other aspects into account, such as whether the house is south facing, or if there is on-street parking or a driveway.

4.Can I visit another development?

If the development is at an early stage, to get a feel of what the development will be like when it’s finished, you should arrange to visit a completed development that’s similar to where you’re looking to buy.

5.What’s the best deal you can do?

The best way to keep costs down is to speak to a New Homes Mortgage Adviser (NHMA). They work independently, and have knowledge from across the market.

They’ll advise on how you can go about paying stamp duty and other necessary fees, ensuring you’re well placed to make savings wherever possible.

When speaking to a developer, you could enquire about any other available offers such as a deposit boost or the payment of Stamp Duty or estate agent fees.

6.What extras can you offer me?

Depending on your housebuilder, you may be able to get a free package or cash incentives as they try to stand out from their competitors.It’s always worth asking.

7.What’s the area like?

If you’re new to the area, you can ask your housebuilder or any neighbours who have already moved in about any nearby amenities. Some information will be provided on the builder’s website and brochures, but you should always double check that it’s correct.If it says the nearest train station is a ten-minute walk away and this is important to you, why not try the route for yourself. If you’re going to be commuting by car, go on a dummy run.

It can be worth visiting the area at different times of the day to see how busy the roads are. You could use Rightmove’s school checker to find out if you’re in the catchment area for good schools and spend time exploring the local parks, libraries, shops and sport centres.

8.What can help you offer?

We have a range of specialists who can provide advice during this process, including Sales Advisers and conveyancing solicitors.For legal matters, New Homes Mortgage Advisers can provide mortgage advice – guiding you through the process and taking care of lots of the work for you.