Guide to buying a new build
If you’re looking for a new home but don’t want to renovate, a new build could be the way to go. New-build homes are energy-efficient, equipped with modern features and stylish décor. Most even boast a 10-year warranty and require a smaller deposit.
Here’s everything you need to know about buying a new build, from the benefits and schemes to help you buy to exchanging contracts and moving in.
What are the benefits of buying a new build?
Buying a new-build home comes with great benefits:
- You can buy new homes before they are built
- They are energy-efficient
- They may be under warranty
- They are chain-free and more flexible
- They are low maintenance
- You can personalise them
- Buying schemes are available
You can buy new homes before they are built
Many developers offer off-plan properties, meaning you can buy them before they’re built or before construction has started. It’s a great way to move to an area you like or where there is high demand.
They are chain-free and more flexible
First-time buyers and those selling another property are not part of a chain when buying a new-build home. This means you can buy your home at your own pace and move in once it’s ready.
New-build homes are energy-efficient
New-build homes tend to be better insulated, with double and tripled-glazed windows. This means lower utility bills and higher energy-efficiency.
According to indicative figures from the HBF – Watt a Save’s report from February 2023, home buyers could save more than £3,100 a year when buying new. This is because 85% of new-build homes have an EPC of A and B as opposed to older properties.
All our Barratt homes are up to 63% more energy-efficient, with high insulation and argon-filled double-glazing as standard.
They may be under warranty
If your new-build home is registered with the National House Building Council (NHBC), it will come with a 10-year warranty and protection schemes. Some developers also offer a two-year warranty on top of this.
If you buy your new-build home with Barratt Homes, you’ll benefit from a 10-year structural warranty, covering the costs of any damage from faults. We also offer a 2-year features and fittings warranty.
Buying schemes are available for new-build homes
Many developers offer schemes to encourage people to buy a new-build home.
Buying your new home with Barratt Homes means you can take advantage of unique offers, whether you’re a first-time buyer or an existing homeowner.
You can personalise them
Some developers let home buyers choose design aspects of their new build. This could be everything from doors and plug sockets to garden landscaping and tiling.
At Barratt Homes, we always keep home buyers’ needs in mind. We design modern and spacious homes with multi-purpose rooms flowing between indoors and outdoors. When buying your dream home with us, you can style it as you like. Pick from a wide range of flooring, appliances, furnishings and fittings.
They are low maintenanceOne of the main benefits of buying a new-build home is the low maintenance. You won’t need to do repairs or redecorate when you move in, most likely for the first few years.
What schemes are available when buying a new build?
You can access great offers if you’ve set your sights on one of our elegant homes:
- Deposit Unlock
- Part Exchange
- Home Reach
- First Homes
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an existing homeowner, you can buy your new-build home with just a 5% deposit with Deposit Unlock.
Looking to sell your current home? We can help. We can take your home to Part Exchange and be your guaranteed buyer. Forget about estate agent fees and chains and focus on your brand-new home.
Home Reach is a Government-backed scheme letting you buy one share of the property you want. Our partner company, Heylo, will own the other share and act as your landlord. You’ll pay a lower monthly rent for the part you don’t own.
The First Homes schemes are designed to help first-time buyers get on the property ladder. Selected brand-new homes are available with a 30% discount on market value.
What are the stages of buying a new build?
Agree to a mortgage in principle
Before reserving your home, you’ll need a mortgage in principle. Mortgage offers usually last between 3 and 6 months, so ensure your completion date is within this timeframe. If not, it may become invalid.
It’s worth getting a mortgage adviser to discuss your options. They know the market better and can advise on the best options for your circumstances.
Reserving your home
Once you’ve set your eyes on a property, it’s time to reserve it. Contact one of our Sales Advisers, who will ask a few questions and take it off the market. You’ll pay a reservation fee between £500 and £1,000.
After you pay the fee, you’ll receive a written agreement outlining the following:
- The price of the property
- What you're buying in detail (e.g., if the property has parking)
- When the reservation agreement ends
- Any additional costs
- Terms and conditions, which outline what you'll need to do if the purchase falls through
Read more about the costs of buying a new home with Barratt Homes in our guide.
The next step is to appoint a conveyancing solicitor to deal with the legal side of your purchase. They’ll ensure the contracts aren’t working against you and guide you through the buying process.
Appoint a conveyancing solicitor
Secure your mortgageAt this stage, you should already have an agreed mortgage in principle. Now it’s time to get a formal offer. Your mortgage lender will arrange for a surveyor to evaluate the property.
If you’re buying off-plan, the evaluation is based on the plan the developer has provided.
Pay the deposit
The deposit for buying a new home is usually 10% but can range between 10% and 30%.
When it’s time to exchange contracts, you have 28 days. Your conveyancing solicitor will check the following:
- The terms of the contract
- The title of the property
- The planning documents
- Any additional paperwork
If everything is fine, you’ll need to sign the relevant paperwork.
Before moving in
Before moving in, we recommend checking for issues. You can make a list of things that you notice are damaged or not perfectly up to scratch so that you can notify the developer in time. Here are some key areas to check:
- Walls, floors and ceilings
- Fitted furniture
Do you have to pay Stamp Duty on new builds?
Like any other home purchase, you’ll need to pay Stamp Duty on new-build homes. Stamp Duty Land Tax is paid on property or land bought in England.
A survey is typically completed when you secure your mortgage. If you are buying off-plan, the evaluation is based on the plan the developer has provided.
Yes, stamp duty is payable on new builds in the UK. The amount of stamp duty depends on the purchase price of the property.
The process of buying a new build has many factors that can affect the process, but typically depending on your financial situation and the build stage of the property it can take up to several months.
It is not necessarily harder to get a mortgage on a new build, but there may be different requirements or restrictions in place. A New Homes Mortgage Adviser will be best placed to ensure you get the best mortgage available for your situation.
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