5 things I wish I’d known before I chose a developer
5 THINGS: I wish I’d known before I chose a developer
Buying a house is one of the biggest life decisions you can ever make and you need to make sure you have thought of every eventuality.
Here’s a few tips on things to look out for when choosing your housing developer.
Is the build good quality?
Get to know the developers in your area and look carefully at the show house. Go to see other developments by the same builder and look at the homes and the roads.
If you see any homeowners while you’re looking round you could ask them for their experience with the builder.
Research developers online and look out for where they are mentioned in forums and what people are saying. Sometimes these are mainly full of people moaning, so don’t let it put you off, but it will give you an idea of issues you need to be aware of and discuss with the builder before you buy.
You'll want to be sure they have a good reputation before you commit to a new build home.
What happens if there’s any problems when I move in?
Small issues when you move in, such as a poorly fitting door or patchy paintwork, are known as snags. Be sure to check there is a snagging provision in your contract.
This will allow you to get the smaller issues sorted directly with the developer.
Be sure to find out which new home warranty is included on your new home. Most warranties apply to the first 10 years after the home is purchased. This will be useful if you have larger problems, especially later on, as most snagging contracts are for two years.
National House Building Council (NHBC) warranties are the most popular ones and are applied to more than 80% of new homes and provide buyers with great peace of mind.
Can I use my own conveyancer?
Some developers will put you under pressure to complete so make sure you are not pressured into using their own conveyancing solicitor.
They like to exchange contracts as quickly as possible hence having their own panel of solicitors.
But while it’s nice to complete quickly, there’s a large amount of your money involved and if you use a good quality, independent conveyancer they will be more likely to act in your interests and not bend under pressure from the developer.
Sustainability and energy efficiency
The environment is important to all of us and no doubt you will be wanting your new-build to be as eco-friendly as possible. But it’s more than a home having good insulation and double-flush WCs.
A study by the Bartlett School of Planning looked at 140 developments across England built since 2007 and found that some new developments were failing to respond to environmental problems, with ‘significant numbers’ of schemes falling below the minimum energy efficiency requirements.
The Larkfleet Group of Companies is committed to creating communities that are as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible.
Solar panels are fitted as standard on many of its homes resulting in hundreds of thousands of kilowatt-hours of free energy being produced every year for home buyers, cutting their power bills and reducing global warming by eliminating CO2 emissions.
The company also plants hundreds of trees and shrubs on new housing developments to create new open spaces, playgrounds and similar facilities.
Can I negotiate the price?
Prices aren’t always fixed. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with the developers!
Find out what other properties on the site have been sold for by looking on Zoopla or Rightmove. Sometimes there are deals to be done at the end of their financial year, or when there are only a few properties left to be sold.
Some developers might pay your stamp duty or throw in the carpets, flooring or white goods. It’s always worth asking!
Good luck with your house hunting. Knowledge is power, and the more you can learn about the builder and your new house before you exchange contracts, the less likely you will be to have a problem you hadn’t thought about!