The benefits of buying new-build

New Build homes

Eco and other benefits of buying a new-build home

If you’ve ever lived in a draughty Victorian property, where heat escapes from the gaps in the sash windows and there seems to be never-ending repair bills, then a new-build home can be very appealing – it will also come with many extra features a traditional home can’t offer.

Be more energy efficient

First and foremost, a new-build will be much more energy-efficient than most existing homes. By 2025, the government expects newly built homes to produce 75% to 80% fewer carbon emissions compared to current levels. 

New-builds on the market today are working towards these high energy standards, with new homes in 2021 producing 31% lower carbon emissions. This means that windows will be double or triple glazed, walls, door and roofs will be insulated, and heating will be energy efficient, so homeowners can benefit from lower running costs and energy bills. Apartments in newly developed XI Manchester Waters at Pomona Strand, in Manchester, or XI Chatham Waters at South House in Chatham, Kent, for example, are double glazed. 

Cut the cost of fixtures and fittings

Buying light fittings, kitchen appliances, carpets or wood flooring, door furniture and all the other elements that make up a home can add thousands to your move-in bill, so check with the developer whether any of these items are included in the price.  And remember, you’ll save money on hiring an electrician or fitter to install them too.

For example, at the Chatsworth Stables development of three- and four-bedroom houses and three-bedroom bungalows in Badwell Ash, Suffolk, integrated white goods are included in the price. Check out Chatsworth Stables’ virtual tours on ihometrade.com.

And if you’re buying at the start of a project, you may be able to have a say in the choice of fixtures and fittings for your particular property.

Save cash on decorating

As well as the knowledge that you will be the first person to enjoy your new home, with all the finishes being brand-new, you won’t have to factor in the cost of redecorating and refurbishing in the first few years.

Benefit from leisure facilities

Some apartments in new developments come with added perks, such as gyms and residents’ cinemas. XI Manchester Waters, for instance, has an on-site gym and state-of-the-art cinema, as do apartments in XI Michigan Towers, in Salford, which also feature ‘Zen-like’, landscaped communal gardens.

Sign up for a warranty against defects

Check whether the new-build home you are interested in comes with a builder warranty, which is a type of insurance policy that offers you peace of mind that you’ll be covered should things go wrong with your new home. 

Typically lasting for 10 years, in the first two years after the house has been built, the warranty will cover minor defects, such as condensation on the windows or a problem with the plumbing, as well as major problems with the structure of the building such as the foundations or roof. From year three, major structural defects will be covered. 

If you’re buying off-plan, a warranty will offer cover if the developer becomes insolvent before building your home, so your deposit can be returned.

The National House-Building Council’s (NHBC) Buildmark is the best known builder warranty scheme. The NHBC, for example, offers cover for from exchange of contracts if the builder become insolvent and is unable to complete your home, paying 10% of the original purchase price or £100,000, whichever is lower.

The two other main schemes are the Local Authority Building Control Warranty (LABC) and Premier Guarantee. These schemes offer arbitration if the builder fails to carry out remedial work in the first two years.

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) also runs a warranty scheme, as do BLP insurance and Checkmate.

With all builder warranty schemes, always check the small print to see whether there is a minimum claim amount or excess to pay and make a claim as soon as you spot a problem.

Get your ‘snagging’ list done

Most builders will also agree to a ‘snagging’ clause to fix teething problems when you first move in, such as damaged paintwork, a broken light switch, or a chipped worktop – another bonus that you wouldn’t get in an old property when you’d have to put up with wear and tear from the previous owner.

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