The good and bad of new builds

Buying a new build comes with some great benefits, but there are also things you need to look out for.


You will most likely have the opportunity to define how you want your new house to be decorated, assuming it hasn’t already been completed. This can include things such as fixtures & fittings, colour schemes, tiles and even appliances.

You will not have to worry about being in a chain and you will be able to specify a moving date that fits in with your schedule. This flexibility will provide you with a good bargaining chip if you are selling an existing property.

New build homes are built in-line with modern safety requirements and should come complete with fire safety doors, alarms and fire resistant materials. In addition, the modern focus on environmental responsibility means a new build property is likely to be far more energy efficient than an older property with double glazing and full insulation usually coming as standard.

One of the big pluses is the limited amount of maintenance you will need to undertake, especially compared to an older home.

In the current economic conditions there are some great deals available as developers look to remove liabilities off their books. You should prepare to negotiate hard and look for opportunities such as no stamp duty, cashback options and a furniture and appliance allowance.

Your new build will likely come with a 10 year warranty but you will need to examine exactly what it covers to ensure you are comfortable. Again, you can use this as another bargaining point.



Typically a new build developer will aim to get as much value out of their available land as possible. This means homes are normally positioned very close to one another which can be a problem for some people.

Another negative is that homes are sometimes built to the minimum size possible in order to maximise profit margins, resulting in smaller rooms and poor quality finishes. In addition, a common complaint is the lack of storage available with small wardrobes and limited loft space a common complaint. Always do your homework and check that you know what you are getting for your money before committing. Always check your furniture will fit where you intend it to go.

Quite often, there are still small jobs or issues that require work to finish when you move in. This is known as snagging which is the responsibility of the builder to address. Normally you will have an opportunity before the property is complete to specify exactly what needs to be finished. Getting a commitment from a developer after they have “finished” the job can be difficult as they will have likely moved on to a new project, so make sure you are thorough.

The calibre of gardens in new build properties is often poor with the size typically on the small side. Often the conditions for a thriving garden are thwarted by poor drainage and the use of low grade sub-soil.

New builds are a great way to find that perfect family home. Always, remember to do your homework to ensure buying a new build is a positive experience.