New Homes | Why buy a new build?

New Homes | Why buy a new build?

Read this essential guide to the benefits of buying a new build

Looking for a new home but don’t want the hassle of a chain or a doer-upper? Are you looking for your first home, wanting to downsize, upsize or would like a property that is brand new? Or need help getting on the property ladder with a Help to Buy initiative? Take a look at the many advantages a new build can offer…

The benefits of a new build

Perhaps one of the most attractive reasons for choosing a new build is that you will be the first to live there. Everything will be new – and you should expect not to have to carry out repairs or redecoration for some time – plus, you will have the peace of mind that the property will come with a 10-year NHBC warranty.

Anna Whitting, assistant manager, Ocean, concurs: “One of the main benefits of buying a new-build property is that it’s less likely to require the same level of maintenance that you’d face with an older property. New build homes also have the added peace of mind of a new build warranty.”

Charlotte Brown, marketing manager, Lifestory, adds: “New build homes are designed with the needs and wants of modern homeowners in mind, offering lower maintenance which allows you the time to enjoy the best of life.”

Depending on when you commit to a new build, you could even get a say in the final fit such as colours and fittings, so that your new home will be tailored to your specific taste. 

Or you could be offered a buying incentive such as free carpets – or maybe the development has a gym.

Laura Weller, marketing co-ordinator, City & Country, says: “Buying a new home often appeals to buyers looking for a low-maintenance, energy-efficient property in their preferred location. Internal and external design are key and many new build homes offer the latest technology, modern layouts and a high specification. More certainty in completion dates and price also means that buying new can be easier.”

A new development now has to meet stringent energy efficiency and sustainability targets, which is good news for you, the buyer, as you can expect low energy bills as a result.

Mya Castillo, sales & marketing consultant, The Chocolate Factory, says: “Buying a newly built property means you are investing in a home built to the highest standards of modern construction, energy efficiency and design’.”

Here are just a few such initiatives you would expect to find:

  • Wall, ceiling and underfloor insulation to aid heating and save on energy costs
  • Double-glazed windows
  • High energy-efficiency appliances
  • Solar panels

Furthermore, to help protect the environment, the government announced back in January new energy efficiency standards to lower energy consumption and bills, with: “All new buildings to be constructed so they are highly energy efficient,” – housing minister Chris Pincher.

This followed a response to a consultation on the ‘Future Homes Standard’, whereby the “government set out plans to radically improve the energy performance of new homes, with all homes to be highly energy efficient, with low carbon heating and be zero carbon ready by 2025” – https://bit.ly/3mvb4VJ

In order to meet the new standards by 2025 – that homes will produce “75-80% lower carbon emissions compared to current levels… new homes will be expected to produce 31% lower carbon emissions from 2021”. 

And this can only be good news for home buyers.

‘Generation rent to generation buy’

While the stamp duty holiday announced in the budget at the beginning of the year by chancellor Rishi Sunak has since passed, there are still a number of government policies for house buyers, namely:

First Homes Scheme
First-time buyers with a household income of under £80K can qualify for a discount of at least 30% off the buying price. The only caveats are:

  • you must take out a mortgage of at least 50% 
  • not all developers offer this scheme. It is down to you, the buyer, to find them
  • the resale price is capped at £250K (local authorities can stipulate lower)
  • you must sell it with the same discount that you have received

95% Mortgage Guarantee Scheme
Launched in June, the ‘New Mortgage Guarantee Scheme’ can help buyers who have small deposits gain a mortgage. Lenders will be offered “a government-backed guarantee to safeguard against potential lending risks” to encourage them to lend to buyers with just a 5% deposit. IE, the government guarantees the portion of the mortgage over 80% (Source: Which?).

Sunak said the policy would turn “Generation Rent into Generation Buy” with the re-emergence of high loan-to-value mortgages, most of which vanished during Covid-19.

The scheme is applicable to houses up to £600,000 and available for existing homeowners (and is useful if you want to renovate).

The guarantee will be valid for up to seven years and the scheme ends 31 December 2022, subject to review. NatWest, Lloyds, Santander, Barclays and HSBC are some of the major players who have signed up to the scheme. 

For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2OqfEYT

Help to Buy Scheme
This has been available for some time now and offers buyers a 20% equity loan (London, 40%) from the government for new builds in England and is available now only to first-time buyers. (Wales has its own scheme.) Buyers need a minimum deposit of 5% and a mortgage to cover the value of the rest of the property.

John Morgan, director, Juniper Homes, concludes: “The appeal of a new build is all about being the ‘first’: first to live in a home; first to use everything; first year snagging problems all dealt with; plus, peace of mind of a 10-year insurance backed structural warranty. 

“The same applies to an historic conversion, retaining character in retained original features, high ceilings, huge windows and original fireplaces. Combined with the latest effective building techniques the result is something quite unique: all the firsts, plus character and history.”

Cathy Parnham

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