10 FAQ's in buying a new build property

1.    Is the plot cost included?
When you’re exploring new construction options, you’ll see that each plan comes with a base cost. This is the cost of the structure itself, as well as base interior and exterior features (we’ll get into those in a little bit). What may not be included is the cost of the land, so be sure to ask if the plot cost is figured into the base. If the plot cost is included, ask if there are premium costs for certain plots. It’s possible that the base cost does include the lot, but the remaining lots in the development all have added costs for certain features that you can’t opt out of, such as look-out windows in the basement or wider yards. If the plot cost is not included, ask what it is (and whether there are additional premium costs) and factor those into the base price for the house.

2.    How long will building take?
It’s important to know what you’re getting into timing-wise with a new build property. If you have a house to sell first or you’re, planning on staying with family or going to be renting.  The building process is prone to delays and you will be unable to get a finite schedule for how long the build will take, you will get a general idea of what you can expect. Find out, if the build time includes the time it takes to get the permits, this could take up to 45 days to obtain.

3.    What warranties are provided with the house?
Just because a home is new doesn’t mean there are no problems. This is why new homes come with a few warranties that protect you in the event of a mishap early on, including a short term whole-house warranty and a longer term structural warranty. Ask your developer 
what warranties  are included and their expiry date. It is possible to buy your own home warranty, but why should you when the builder should cover you for at least the first several years.

4.    What are the standard finishes?
Ask what types of finishes are included and go through the model unit with the sales representative and ask them to point out what’s standard and what is not. It is more common for you to meet with the designers after you’ve gone under contract.   So get your designer cap on and start thinking about what finishes, i.e. carpets and worktops you want as well as appliances otherwise you could find that there is a difference in the price you wanted to pay and what you are requested to pay.

5.    Are you allowed to purchase your own appliances or materials?
Had your eye on an Aga MasterChef? It’s possible that you may be able have it and the builder install it.  However, there are builder who will allow you to purchase your won appliances, but you cannot purchase your own materials like paint etc. Keep in mind that, in terms of appliances, you probably will have to make some purchases, such as dishwashers and refrigerators.

6.    Will you get credits if you bring in your own materials or appliances,?
For example if your base price of your new construction home includes a fridge worth £400, but you’d like to upgrade and purchase the fridge of your dreams, an American style fridge, costing £800. Will you get £400 off the purchase price for not having the fridge that’s included in the base price? Some builders offer credits for any upgrades or self-purchased materials or appliances, while with others you will need to negoitatethe originally included item. Credits are a nice touch, but they’re not usually standard, so it’s best not to go in expecting that you’ll get money off the base cost for purchases like these. In general, builders don’t like to lower the base cost, but if they do offer credits, that’s a win for you.

7.    Is landscaping included?
Depending on the size of your garden, landscaping, including sodding and putting in trees and plants, can set you back a fare few pounds. Is that a cost you’ll have to factor in on top of the home purchase? Some builders include your basic garden work, while others leave you with unfinished land that becomes your responsibility to landscape.  There is also  a set amount of time, per the contract to complete this work. Ask what is included in the landscaping and the warranty on the materials so if your grass dies or some else occurs you’re not responsible for fixing it.

8.    Does the contract include a cost escalation clause?
New builds are renounced for last minute hiccups, to avoid being on the hook financially it is wise to ensure your contact does not have a cost escalation clause which allows the builder to charge you for any unanticipated costs that arise as a result of necessary labour or materials. So, if timber prices go up before the builder has purchased the materials for your flooring, or an unexpected delay adds a few weeks onto the build, you’re libel for those costs. If you want peace of mind and would rather not deal with the stress of unanticipated costs, find a builder that doesn’t include a cost escalation clause.

9.    Are there any homeowners rules or regulations?
Even if there is no homeowner’s association for the development, the builder may still set some guidelines as far as what is allowed and what is not on your property. For example, you may not be able to use a particular type of fencing or install a shed in your backyard. It’s better to ask these questions early on and have peace of mind rather than move in and find out that you can’t turn your house into your dream home.


10.    Are there any financial incentives for using the builder’s preferred lender?
Some builders offer discounts on closing costs if you obtain your mortgage through a company that they have a relationship with. Ask if these sorts of financial incentives are available, but make sure you shop around and get the best advise from a financial advisor before making your decision about where to get your mortgage and do not base it on a discount alone – you may still be able to find a better deal through other lenders. It’s still good to know however if there are benefits to working with the builder’s preferred mortgage company then make a note of exactly what they are and then compare before choosing. 



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