Undecided whether to buy a new build or older property? 7 reasons which may sway you to investing in a brand new home
2nd March 2023
As with most things, buying something brand new usually comes at a premium and buying a new property is no different. But when it comes to your home, new builds can save you cash in the long run compared to buying an older property. From lowering your monthly bills to knowing you are covered by a housing warranty - the savings soon add up.
According to Zoopla’s Consumer Expert Daniel Copley, whilst there is an increased awareness of the energy savings to be made from living in a brand new home, not many people realise the flexibility and choice that buying a new build can also afford. He comments, “Often people assume buying a new home means they don’t have the opportunity to put their own stamp or personality on the property and they will end up with a house the same as their neighbour. In fact, if you buy off plan, there is so much you can do to make your home personal to you, from the choices of fixtures and fittings, flooring and tiles to even the layout of your home.”
At Zoopla, we have rounded up some of the key benefits of moving into a new build home - some more known about than others - and a selection of our favourite new builds for sale.
Whilst it’s common knowledge that new builds are cheaper to run thanks to better energy efficiency, the extent of the savings may surprise you. New-build homes need to meet legislation around high energy efficiency standards, and as a result they're both eco-friendly and cheap to heat and run.
More than 80% of new builds have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of A or B, compared to just 3% of older homes. New-builds often have condensing boilers, double (or triple) glazing, insulation and solar panels and usually come with the latest energy-efficient appliances and heating
In fact, research by the Home Builders Federation in 2022 found that new-build home owners save around £2,600 a year in energy bills on average - a massive saving and significantly reduced carbon footprint.
2) Peace of mind
Most new builds come with warranties, so you won’t have to fork out for any major structural repairs or nasty surprises when you move in.
Furthermore, most major housebuilders have signed up to the New Homes Quality Board (NHQB) aimed at improving both the quality of new builds and the redress process for consumers tackling things like snagging. This means that properties should adhere to the New Homes Quality Code and should anything go wrong, you have access to a New Homes Ombudsman Service to help should any developers fall short with their aftercare for example.
The Consumer Code for Home Builders (CCHB) also gives protection and rights to anyone buying a new-build home. Under the code, buyers should be treated fairly and fully informed about the home before and after they sign the contract.
Remember also that all white goods will be brand new when you move into a new-build which means they are less likely to break, be more efficient to run and will be under warranty. This includes fridges, freezers, cookers, hobs, dishwashers and washing machines - make sure you get any warranty documents off the builder when you move in.
3) Forget expensive surveys
When purchasing a resale property, it’s common to get a survey report into its condition which depending on how in-depth you decide to go, can cost between £400 and £950 on average.
With a brand new house, many people decide not to commission a survey at all instead opting for a ‘snagging survey’ that costs around £300. It can be used to spot any minor defects before the sale goes through such as chipped worktops, poor joins in the woodwork, and doors that don’t shut properly. It can also be used to alert you to bigger issues, such as dodgy electrics and faulty plumbing. If you don't use a snagging survey, remember it's a good idea to go through the property yourself and compile your own snagging list for the developer before you move in.
4) Added incentives
Developers sometimes offer deals to help sell their homes, such as throwing in fixtures and fittings or upgraded white goods. Many house builders offer even bigger incentives especially during quieter periods to help sell homes within their developments which help them to hit their targets. These could include paying your stamp duty, paying your deposit, free fixtures and fittings, interior design advice or landscaping, cashback or part-exchange deals.
Of these, the offer to pay your stamp duty is likely to provide the biggest saving but remember, first-time buyers are exempt from stamp duty up to £425,000 on properties costing up to £625,000; for everyone else, it kicks in at £250,000.
As with everything in life, you don’t ask, you don’t get so be sure to discuss what additional incentives you may be able to secure when putting an offer in.
5) Buying schemes
Help to Buy may have ended however there are still a number of initiatives to help first time buyers get onto the property ladder. The newest scheme, Deposit Unlock, has been launched by the house-building industry to enable first-time buyers and second-steppers to buy a new-build home with just a 5% deposit. 39 house builders, from Barratt to Vistry, are taking part and the scheme is available to help you buy any house or two-bedroom+ apartment.
Shared Ownership is a government scheme that offers you the chance to buy a share of a property and because you only own a part of the property, you can buy it with a smaller deposit and mortgage but remember you’ll still have to pay rent and some fees on the parts you don’t own.
6) Buying chain free
If you are a first-time buyer or not selling another property then you’re not part of an onward chain which means you can buy a new home at your own pace. Move in as soon as the home is ready or set a move-in date that works for you, without waiting on other buyers in an upward chain or the worry that the chain might collapse.
7) Make it your own off plan
A massive advantage of purchasing a new-build property is that you can tailor the property to your taste - depending on what stage the build is at when you pay your deposit.
This could include selecting your own fixtures and fittings for the bathroom and kitchen and the configuration. You can stipulate exactly what you want from the get-go meaning you shouldn’t have to spend much money (or time) on decorating or renovating down the line. Note however that this may come at an additional cost so do check with your developer.
Debde, Saffron Walden
Available for £900,000
Bishops Itchington, Southam
Available for £500,000
Offers over £900,000
Available for £600,000
Available for £430,000
St Asaph, North Wales
Available for £424,995
Available for £750,000
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For further information, please contact PR Team on [email protected] or +44 (0)20 3873 8770.
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