What to look out for when buying a new build home!

Even though there are many advantages to buying a new build property, one will also have to look out for some pitfalls too…

A very attractive prospect to many buyers is being able to move into a fresh, never-been-lived-in home that offers the new owners a complete blank canvas to style and decorate, but new build homes don’t all come without their pitfalls and potential purchasers are urged to do their research into the pros and cons of these properties before making an offer.

According to researchers from NetVoucherCodes.co.uk, investigating the developers and comparing their individual deals and incentives is a must, also identifying whether the property is leasehold or freehold.

“New builds usually carry a bit of a premium compared to older houses, but there are plenty of benefits of buying a new house that make the slightly higher cost worth it. Not only do you get to move into a property that is brand new, with no work to do, most come with a warranty to cover any defects or issues within a certain period of time too. Buyers can also often select fixtures and fittings to tailor the property interior to their taste, and if the property is built to the correct standard, homeowners should be able to enjoy lower running costs and energy bills. However, there are also a number of common pitfalls new build buyers are at risk of falling into unknowingly.” said a spokesperson for NetVoucherCodes.co.uk.

To help families with side step any potential problems, NetVoucherCodes.co.uk’s have listed a few top tips.

Ask around

If the development has been partially completed, ask the neighbours about their buying process and how they’re finding it since moving in.

They might offer you some tips for negotiating or things to look out for in your contract.

Get familiar

Do as much research as you can on the developers. Look out for reviews and discussions online and see what people are saying.

Don’t let bad reviews put you off completely, but rather inform you on the issues you need to look out for.


Snagging refers to teething problems of a new-build home – for example, cracks which appear in settling walls or loose guttering.

That’s why, at some point between exchange and completion, you’ll need to conduct a snagging survey and make sure everything’s fixed before moving in.

You can do this yourself using a ready-made checklist, or hire a specialist company to do it for you.

Make sure there is a “snagging” provision in your contract to allow you to get little issues sorted – such as doors catching on carpets – directly with the developer, as well.

Confirm the details

Buying off plans means that your new home is likely to be just a foundation or, at best, the framework of a house when you secure the plot, so there’s very little to see.

So you should always ask for a list of everything the property includes. Are white goods included? Will the garden be landscaped?

Finding out exactly what you get in writing before signing away on a sales contract is hugely important to avoid confrontation further down the line.

Shop around

Many developers offer incentives to differentiate them from other developers, such as free furnishings, a car parking space, or paying your legal fees or stamp duty.

Do your research and shop around to see which best suits your needs.

Have foresight

When buying a new build home, you should plan to stay put for a few years. Future proof your purchase by ensuring it fits with your plans for the next few years.

You could also think about whether there is scope to add value in the future. Is there room for a conservatory on the back? Or a loft conversion?

Leasehold vs. Freehold

Knowing whether your new build home is freehold or leasehold is absolutely essential. Leasehold means that you have a lease from the freeholder to use the home for a number of years – but there are often conditions attached.

Restrictions can include obtaining your freeholder’s consent for alterations to the property, subletting, and even owning pets, amongst other things.

You should avoid buying a leasehold property or insist that you will only buy if they turn it into a freehold.