10 questions you need to ask before purchasing a New Build home.

27 April 2021

When looking to buy a new home, there will probably be lots of questions you want answers to but with New Build properties there are some specific things you should find out from the developer, especially if the property hasn’t been finished yet.

At Wheatcroft Homes, we pride ourselves on transparency, trust and building great relationships with our clients and work hard to ensure you have everything you need to make an informed decision on whether a property is right for you. We have therefore compiled a list of 10 questions to ask that we believe are especially important.  

1. When will the property be completed and ready to move in to?

If the property is not yet finished it is unlikely you will be given an exact date, but you should be provided with a 1-2-month window, depending on the stage of build.

2. What is the cost and are there any discounts or incentives available?

The level of interest in the development, how long the properties have been on the market, how many properties are reserved and how many are left to sell are some of the factors that will determine whether you are likely to be successful in getting a discount on the list price or any incentives. Some things you may be able to get ‘thrown in’ are flooring, upgraded appliances, additional sockets or landscaping or you may get a contribution towards Stamp Duty or moving costs. It is always worth asking even if the answer isn’t what you’d hoped for!

3. Do you take part exchange on an existing property?

Most large house builders have a part exchange policy and will offer to buy your existing home to take the hassle and stress out of buying and selling. Although we don’t have our own internal scheme, we work with a leading provider of Part Exchange services to enable us to offer this option to prospective purchasers.

4. Is there a choice of kitchen, bathroom, tiles, flooring or any upgrades?

Were you dreaming of a quartz countertop in your kitchen? Depending on the stage of build, you may be able to have a choice on some of the finishes within the property or request a different specification of oven or microwave if you are a budding MasterChef! We may also be able to help you if you want something specific that we don’t offer as standard. 

5. Can I have copies of all drawings, plans and specifications?

You should always be given enough information from the developer to understand what you will be buying and what is included. We will always provide you with copies of plans and drawings when you have reserved a property that has not yet been completed. Just be mindful that sometimes these can be subject to change, but we will always notify you if anything is going to be different to that originally specified or drawn.

6. What are your customer care procedures?

It’s worth finding out how you will be looked after both during the sales process and after you have moved in. We pride ourselves on the personal and friendly care and attention given to all our clients from the moment you make your first enquiry with us and for two years after you have been handed the keys so you can be assured we are with you every step of the way.

7. What happens if something goes wrong with my new home?

You will usually have a set amount of time after moving in to report any little snags or defects that you find to the developer. After that the Developer should be responsible for any defects that occur within the first two years (not including wear and tear or damage covered by your insurance) and a structural warranty should be in place for any structural problems that arise for up to 10 years after you move in, giving you added peace of mind.

8. What help is available for purchasing our new build home?

Buying a new home is one of the largest purchases you will ever make and therefore any financial help you can get will be invaluable. This may be pointing you in the direction of an independent mortgage advisor to help you find the best mortgage available to helping you get on the property ladder by using the government’s Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme. This scheme is only available to first time buyers on new build properties enabling you to borrow up to 20% of the purchase price (40% in London) from the government, with you contributing a 5% deposit and securing a 75% mortgage.

9. What are the neighbours like? 

If you’re moving into an unfamiliar area, it’s well worth finding out what the neighbours are like as well as their sizes. Will there be mostly young families or couples? This can help you decide if this is the right community for you. 

If you do choose to move to a development of new homes, you and your neighbours may be moving in around the same time. This can be a big advantage when it comes to creating a friendly new community.

10. Is there a Management Company and what are the service charges?

The roads and shared spaces on many new housing developments are often not adopted by the local council and therefore developers set up a Management Company to deal with the maintenance and repairs of roads, footpaths, landscaping and open spaces. Sometimes a managing agent is employed but with smaller developments the homeowners often have a share in the company and collectively run it. Each property owner will have to pay an annual service charge to pay for the upkeep and these costs can vary widely between estates depending upon their size and the services required to maintain it.

Make sure you find out as much as possible about the Management Company and associated charges so you can decide whether or not this will influence your decision to buy.   

Whatever your query, the team at Wheatcroft Homes are always happy to help. No question is silly and we want to make sure you enjoy this exciting time as much as possible, so feel free to contact us via email info@wheatcroftland.co.uk or by filling out our contact form.