Posted in: Buying Guide, 28th January, 2020

10 questions you should be asking your new build developer

When you are looking at whether or not to purchase a new build property, it can be difficult to know what you should be asking your new build developer, especially if there isn’t actually a property there for you to look at!

We have put together the top ten questions you should be asking your new build developer to help.

1 – What else have you built?

When you are looking at any new development, it is a good idea to find out what other developments your new build developer has delivered, and if they are within travelling distance, go and have a look at them. It will give you an idea of the quality of work that they deliver, their style of build and development layout, and what you can expect from your new build home.

2 – What do I get with my new build home?

If you are looking to buy off plan, it can be hard to envisage exactly what your new build home is going to look like. It’s a good idea to ask the developer to give you a list of everything the property includes. Will the garden be landscaped? Are white goods included? Having this list up front will help you when it comes to the exciting part of shopping for your new home, as well as helping to avoid any misunderstandings later on down the line.

3 – What is included with the new home warranty?

The new home warranty is designed to give you peace of mind that should there be any problems with your home, they will be put right. The warranty typically lasts for 10 years, with the first two years covering work the builder has done, known as the ‘defects’ insurance period. Years three to ten are the structural insurance period. It is a good idea to ask your new build developer exactly what is and isn’t covered, and how long it is covered for.

4 – Freehold or Leasehold?

If you are purchasing a new build flat, the property is more than likely to be leasehold, meaning you will have a lease from the freeholder to use the property for a certain amount of time (usually between 90 and 999 years). If you are looking to purchase a new build house, there is a chance the property could be freehold so it is worth asking.

5 – How many other properties have been sold? Who has bought them?

As you would if you were looking at an existing property, it is a good idea to get a feel for the development, who will be living there with you, is it likely to be families, or young professionals, or have property investors bought some of the development, meaning that the houses will be rented out.

6 – What help is available for purchasing our new build home?

Buying a new home is one of the largest purchases you’ll make in your life and everyone benefits from a little help. From low deposits to help to buy there are schemes in place to make your dream home a reality and the site staff are really well placed to point you in the right direction.

The house builder is also really well placed to refer you to an independent mortgage advisor, meaning you’re getting some impartial advice on where and which mortgage to take out.

7 – How long will the building take, and will you put a long stop completion date in?

Depending on how far along the development is, it is always a good idea to ask how much longer the work is likely to take.

8 – Are there any restrictive covenants? Restrictive covenants are often used by developers on large developments to prevent homeowners from changing how the property looks so that everything remains uniform. This could mean you might not be able to extend your property as you were planning, or if you wanted to get some sort of cable television that requires a dish outside your home, you may need to ask for permission to do so. It is worth asking what, if any, restrictive covenants are in place in advance, so you are aware of where you stand.

9 – Can I purchase my own appliances or materials?

Were you dreaming of a marble countertop in your kitchen but the developer doesn’t have one on offer? Ask if you can purchase your own materials and have the builder install them. As before, if you don’t ask…

10 – Can I use my own conveyancer?

This might seem like a silly question, but some housing developers will try to encourage you to use their solicitor to complete the sale as quickly as possible, but you can use your own should you wish to do so.

The bottom line is that whatever you’re query, the friendly team at Russell Homes are always happy to help. No question is silly and we want to make sure you enjoy this exciting time as much as possible, so ask away…