New home builds are a tempting prospect for would-be first-time buyers. After all, if you were going to buy any other product that you’d prefer were reliable and long-lasting, you’d want to opt for something that’s fresh out of the factory. What’s more, with new builds you won’t have to worry about an upward chain of purchases that’ll hold up your purchase and cause you all manner of stress!
But new home builds have acquired, in recent years, something of a reputation for being dreadful. This is down to several factors, but corner-cutting by developers looking for a short-term buck is probably the largest contributor.
So what can be done to prevent your new-home purchase from being a disastrous one? Let’s take a look at some of the tips you should follow when making your move.
Research the developer
Not all property developers are the same. Some are honourable; others less so. So how is a buyer to tell the difference between one and the other? The answer is: with considerable difficulty. The best way to spot the cowboys is to look online. Look at a few relevant forums in search of complaints. If you notice a pattern of grumbling, then it’s generally a sign that all is not well with the developer in question. Naturally, don’t take such things as proof positive that things are awry; but it’s generally a good place to start.
Talk to purchasers
The best way to see if a developer is up to scratch is to talk to people who’ve already had experience with them. Put the general word out on social media that you’re looking for opinions. If you receive an avalanche of complaints, then you’ll want to avoid the developer in question. As with your online research, it’s worth being sceptical of many of the complaints you receive – but if you see a pattern, then you’ll want to take it into consideration. When soliciting opinion, it’s worth being polite – it takes time for a person to communicate their thoughts, and so a little politeness will probably go a long way.
Check the warrantee
A good developer will be registered with a warrantee provider. This provider will in turn provide a consumer code that’ll detail all of your rights, along with information about how the build is progressing. If your build encounters a really long delay, then you’ll be entitled to a refund. A warrantee will also guard your deposit in the event that the builder should go bust.
Get the property surveyed
You might not be allowed to legally enter the property until you’ve completed. That’s why it’s best to get someone else to do it for you. Independent snagging companies offer this service; they’ll be able to appraise you of any flaws in the building before you pay for it. Buyers have bought properties with giant holes in the walls before, and so this is a step that you can’t afford to neglect. Part of this preparation should include seeing that your home and contents policy protects you against problems – you might have to take your developer to court. While this isn’t an eventuality that many homeowners will want to think about, you’ll be grateful that you did in the event that something does go wrong. If you’re unsure that you’ve done everything you can to satisfy the problem, then it’s certainly worth getting in outside advice to guide you through it.
Appoint a solicitor
You’ll want someone fighting your corner in the event that something does go wrong. And you’ll want someone to provide you with advice to ensure that the likelihood is a remote one. This person is your solicitor – appoint them early, and benefit from their wisdom regarding contracts, cancellations and other potential problems.
Don’t buy in June or December
Towards the middle and end of the calendar year, developers often look to cut corners in order to get more money before their accounts arrive. This might be good for the short-term appearance of the company’s finances, but it’s generally bad news in every other respect.
List any defects
Once you’ve gotten into your home, you’ll want to immediately take a look around and take note of any defects you encounter. This will be useful if you need to take remedial action later on. Once you’ve gotten everything done, it’s worth contributing your thoughts on the procedure to the new home builder reviews survey. House builder reviews of this sort can then be used to improve the state of the industry in the future.