So I put a question box up on my Instagram stories the other day and thought I would answer them on my blog. I remember how many questions we had before purchasing our New Build so I thought this might be helpful for some of you.
I’m struggling to know which area to buy. How did you decide?
We knew we wanted to stay local as both sets of parents and our families are all local. Also we have an amazing GP who really understands our daughter’s complex health needs so that was a major factor too. I’d recommend driving around the different areas and getting a feel for where you could be potentially living. Go to the local shop and get a feel for what it’s like.
How long did it take for your house to be built?
From putting down a deposit I think it took 10 months. We didn’t mind waiting though, it was worth it. I think it can be much quicker but we wanted a specific plot and it was one of the last ones on the estate to be built.
Do you get to choose your own kitchen?
Yes we did. When you buy a new build early on you get to customise it from a range of options. The options meetings were stressful as you only have a couple of hours to decide and make choices! Luckily we both had an idea of what we wanted before we went so it wasn’t too bad.
Did you get a snagging survey or wish you had?
We didn’t get a snagging survey done. My husband is in the construction trade so he knew what needed to be pointed out. We wrote a huge two page list of everything that was wrong and most of it was sorted out very quickly. We needed both front and back doors replaced and as the frame wasn’t fitted correctly they both need changing again, so we are still waiting for that 2 years down the line…Our bathroom tiles were put on upside down in places, so they had to redo the whole bathroom. We didn’t have many shrinkage gaps in the walls and overall the build was good. We bought from Miller Homes and they have been pretty good really.
If you don’t feel confident knowing what to look for with snags I’d say get a snagging survey done.
Do you get the house with carpets and flooring or do you have to buy them yourself?
The house comes as an empty shell. No carpets or flooring, unless you pay the builder to do them. We paid Millers to do our bathroom tiling as we thought it would be easier but we did everything else ourselves. So if you are thinking of buying a new build, take into consideration that you need to add flooring throughout and to add it into your budget. Some builders offer free carpets throughout the home but it just depends.
We bought a new build but heard we should have bartered for deal. Is this right?
As us Geordies say ‘Shy bairns get nowt’ meaning you won’t get if you don’t ask! In theory Builders should be as open to negotiable as any other home seller. We did haggle and we got our stamp duty paid and a sum of money given towards the options, so we could have our tiling done, upgraded showers, bath, trims, extra sockets put in etc etc.
Would you buy another new build?
Personally we probably wouldn’t buy another new build but I guess if my husband wasn’t as handy as he is it would definitely be an option. Our dream is to buy some land, design and self build our own home.
Is your property freehold or leasehold?
We did our research and decided to pay extra for the freehold of our property. That means we own the property and the land in which it’s built on. Just before we bought our home there were some nightmare stories about people having bought their house leasehold. I know on our estate a lot did go with leasehold but I think some are now trying to buy the freehold.
Did you get to see your house before you completed?
Yes, we had two visits. One pre plaster and one when it was nearly finished. It was lovely to look around and it was the first time we had been in that style of house that way round as the show home was the opposite way.
Were they any delays?
I think our move was put back about 2/3 weeks from the original date which wasn’t a problem. We then didn’t move in for another 2 weeks as my husband renovated the double garage into a play/sensory room. So we moved in just before Christmas.
Do you recommend going to show homes?
100%. Visiting show homes became our lives for over a year! We would visit different homes around the area and it really helped us visualise where we would be living and built up the excitement even more! Unfortunately we have to travel an hour to see the show home of the Home we bought as it was a 5 bed and they don’t sell as many as they would a 3 bed. I really miss our little weekend visits though!
Is there anything you regret?
There is nothing we regret actually. We love where we live, we have some brilliant neighbours and as we are on a new build estate there is a lovely sense of community that I’m not sure you get moving in somewhere older. Everyone is in the same boat so we all help each other out. We even have a Facebook group for our estate which is lovely.
Should I pay the builder to do any extras or should I get them done once I move in?
It will always be cheaper to get it done by your own tradesmen but bear in mind it will probably make a mess of your decor. Somethings can also be impossible to do after. For example we put some spotlights in our bay window. We asked for them before the build so they raised the bay window so they could get the electrics in. If we had waited until after we couldn’t have done it. Weight up the pros and cons of what is better to do before.
Is it worth getting our garden turfed by the builder?
In a short answer no…we didn’t get our garden turfed but our neighbours had theirs turfed and they wish they hadn’t. The builders leave the gardens how they are so if there are rocks, cement and etc they just turf over it all. I would recommend just paying someone to do it afterwards and they will do a good job.
Any financial advice?
Make an appointment with a financial advisor to talk through your finances. A good credit score really makes all the difference with getting a good mortgage. Check your rating on www.experian.co.uk
Thank you for reading
Stay safe and well