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News: The pros and cons of buying new build homes

With over 160,000 new homes being built across the UK every year there is an enormous amount of choice when it comes to buying new.

Many people will only buy new, claims New Build Inspections, and return to buy another new home despite the problems of getting building snags fixed.

A short guide from the firm outlines the advantages and disadvantages of buying a new build home and helps to explain why some people love new homes and some people detest them.

Advantages

New homes are Energy Efficient New homes are well insulated and include double-glazing as standard making them cheaper to run than older homes; they even come with an energy rating certificate. However, watch out for excessive use of expensive-to-run halogen lights and rooms that receive little or no natural light requiring lights to be on throughout the day.

A Blank Canvas You get to choose almost everything from the colour of the carpet to the type of worktop in the kitchen, but be warned you will be stuck with magnolia walls for the first two years while the property settles and dries out.

Stress Free Move The house builders have perfected the moving process and with no property chain the experience should be hassle free. For those opting for part-exchange deals there is even less to worry about.

Great Deals The housing developers know how to sell new homes and come up with some great offers. Incentives include: stamp duty paid, cash back, flooring throughout, landscaping and even free cars!

Secure and Safe New homes are safer and more secure than older homes. Fire safety is helped by the use of smoke alarms, fire doors, and fire retardant materials. New homes often include security locks, burglar alarms and security lighting as standard.

10-year Warranty Most new homes come with a 10-year warranty by Zurich Municipal, the Premier Guarantee or the NHBC. These do not guarantee that your home will be free from snagging defects and are primarily insurance schemes for the developer and not the home owner, but they do provide useful cover and it is not advisable to buy a new home without one.

Disadvantages

Small Size Small room sizes and a lack of storage space is often cited as the most common complaint about new build homes. The current trend of building three storey homes that eat into useful loft storage is making the problem worse.

Plasterboard Walls These don't support much weight and do little to prevent the transmission of sound throughout the property. Of course, many re-sales are just the same.

Parking In addition to building three storey houses with smaller room sizes, the developers maximise the number of units on a piece of land by reducing the number of driveways and replacing them with communal parking areas and shared drives. This can lead to disputes with neighbours over parking.

Snagging New homes are often riddled with defects, or snags as they are known in the trade. This is a major source of disappointment and frustration for homebuyers because most don’t expect any snags and it can take real determination to get the developers back to carry out the necessary remedial work.

Hidden Costs New build buyers often wrongly assume that moving into a new home is cheaper than a second-hand home. As well as the obvious costs for landscaping, curtains and flooring, there are also some less obvious costs that should be factored in. These include the cost of a snagging inspection and the fixtures and fittings that successive owners in a second-hand home will have installed, such as coat hooks, towel rails and door stops.

Gardens New build gardens often comprise of little more than compacted sub-soil. If you are lucky this will be covered with, at best, poorly laid turf. As well as making it very difficult for plants to thrive this often causes major problems with drainage and turf frequently dies before the new owner has even moved in.

Further information is available from www.newbuildinspections.com

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