Buying a new build – our tips

New build purchases – what to consider

Thinking of buying new build property? check out our tips below.

If you are buying a property new from a developer or builder there are a few things worth bearing in mind to help you get the best and smoothest deal possible.

Check out the whole development site

Have a good look around the development and all the available units before deciding on the one for you.

If a unit is on ‘special offer’ there is likely to be a reason for it. Does its positioning make it less attractive? Has it’s internal space been compromised to suit other units in the block? These factors may not be an issue if you are buying for investment, but may be more of an issue on a home purchase.

Sometimes it is worth paying a little more to get a lot more.

What is the build quality like?

Some builders have better reputations that others but whoever is building have a good look around to check out the finish of the construction, you should need little more than your eyes to spot poor quality workmanship. Although your property comes with a guarantee, you do not want to have to use it.

Drive a hard bargain

Developers are interested in turning land into profit. They buy land, wait until it is a profitable time to develop it, then put in cash to complete the development. They want their cash back to move into the next development so do not like unsold properties hanging around.

In most cases it makes sense for them to ‘do a deal’,  so offer under the ‘sale’ price and if you want extras thrown in, like an upgrade on finish quality, or stamp duty land tax paid, ask for it.

If you have a price that feels right for you, do not be afraid to put it forward. Particularly where there are just a few properties left on a development. No developer wants to keep a sales office open on a site in order to shift a few final units.

If the builder is offering you an allowance towards your deposit, don’t forget that this needs to be cleared with your mortgage lender, as not all mortgage lenders treat builders deposits in the same way.

28 day exchanges

A developer will often request a ’28 day exchange’ meaning they want the contracts agreed, signed, and exchanged within 4 weeks. This is a very tight timescale if you have not already put down some groundwork so have your mortgage offer in principle ready and your solicitor selected.

request a new build mortgage now


New build properties will not always value for the ticket price so do not be surprised or alarmed if yours does not. If it comes in under value it gives you an opportunity to renegotiate, after all, you do not want to pay more than the property is ‘worth’.

Is it common for buyers to select a valuation for mortgage purposes only on a new build property. This is on the basis that a newly built unit does not require much scrutiny. However, it is well worth considering the more in depth homebuyers valuation report. We have seen these homebuyers reports pick up issues even on new build properties that the buyer would otherwise been unaware of.

Your solicitor will run ‘searches’ as part of their work which, among other things, establishes the history of the land on which the development is built. Pay careful attention to this if the land is on a floodplain, landfill, or in an ex-mining area.

Affordable housing options

If you need an affordable housing option you do not have your pick of properties on the development and only selected units will be available.

Wehn seeking a property under the Help to Buy, New Buy, Shared Ownership, or other affordable housing scheme, be aware that each developer will have earmarked some properties for exclusion under one or other of these schemes. Check with the sales teams first as to which plots are available under which affordable housing scheme.

Developer/Builders end of year dates

Why is it important to know when developers or builders have set their trading end of year point?

The sales team working for your developer will want to push their sales figures at year end (and half year end) to improve their bonuses. Therefore, there may be better deals to be had in the weeks leading up to the end of a trading period.

Trading year end points for the major UK developers

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