Should you buy a new build?

Caroline Cassidy

Many people want to buy old houses for their character and locations whereas others get fed up with the amount of decorating involved in a old house and the long upper chains involved when trying to move in. With hundreds of thousands of new houses being built every year, next time you move home, perhaps you should consider buying a property on a new development. Here are some of the pros and cons of buying a new build house.

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As mentioned above, a new build house won't require a lot of redecorating to update from the previous owner's taste. Some developers will give you the option of designing your new home so that it is already decorated to your taste.

New build houses have to conform to energy efficiency standards and so they will have the best double glazing, excellent insulation and the latest energy-saving devices so your new home will have lower running costs than an old house.

New houses are secure and safe since the will be fitted with smoke alarms, fire doors and fire retardant materials. They will also have burglar alarms, security lighting and security locks as standard so you can sleep soundly at night.

Since there is no one living in your new home, you don't have to worry about an upper chain so your moving experience is considerably less stressful than with an old house.

Often developers come up with incentives to entice buyers to their new builds. These can include having your stamp duty paid, cash back, white products, landscaping and flooring throughout the house. You certainly wouldn't get these bonuses with an old property.

Most new builds should come with a 10-year warranty from companies such as the National House Building Council, Zurich Municipal and Premier. They provide useful cover but do not guarantee your house will be snag-free.

What problems could you face if buying a new build? Firstly, new builds can be fairly small as developers try to squeeze as many properties as they can onto a piece of land. This can eat into your new house's storage parking space.

The walls in new houses are often made of plasterboard rather than old-fashioned concrete and so sound may travel through easily.

Just because a property has just been built, does not mean there are no defects, or snags as they are known in the trade. Many new home owners are frustrated by the number of snags they encounter in their properties. If you have problems with your new build you can contact a company such as New Build Inspections, which is an independent snagging company that will send professional builders to inspect your house.

If you have building experience, you can download a snagging checklist from for £14.99 and carry out an inspection yourself.

And remember that when viewing a show home, it is not necessarily representative of the house that you will end up with.

A new build can offer an exciting fresh start but of course there can be pitfalls involved just as there can be when buying an old property. Hopefully our tips here will give you some idea about whether or not to buy a new build.