New Builds And "Snagging Issues" - The Pros & Cons Of Buying A New Build
I read a great article from Property Road about the pros and cons of buying a new build property.
Included in their list of pros is that there is no chain which makes the move less stressful, low maintenance as there shouldn’t be the need for repairs in the foreseeable future and the property also comes with a 10-year NHBC warranty to cover structural defects, and you may be able to influence the final finish. It may also be possible to benefit from government incentives (e.g. Help to Buy) and the property should be more energy efficient which, at the moment, could be a significant saving. Finally, which to some people is the most important, everything is brand new!
Some of the disadvantages are that it could be more difficult to get a mortgage, especially now that the banks are looking to undervalue properties to reduce their risk and, depending on which stage of the build process the developers are at, the house you are buying may not actually be built yet. This means you’ll be basing your purchase solely on how the show house looks. Other issues include build quality, smaller rooms and gardens (which has always put me off buying a new build. I’m from South Africa - Space is important!), the possibility of disruption and noise if you move in before the development of all the properties is completed, and the fact that you get less for your money as most developers price these properties at a premium.
Picking up on the quality issue, BuildScan reported that the average new build home today comes with as many as 157 snagging issues, which is almost double the average of 80 found in 2005. Some snagging issues can be relatively easy to put right, including problems like poorly fitted doors, substandard plastering and low attention to detail, although inconvenient and shouldn't happen in the first place. However, new build snagging issues can also be much more severe, such as poor installation of damp-proof coursing and pipework. You may think that these are all covered by your guarantee, but it’s not always guaranteed that the developers will be in business once all the units are sold, especially if there are major building issues with the properties.
You’ll need to decide what your priorities are; a modern, new, unlived-in property or more for your money, larger rooms and a five-a-side pitch outside your back door? The decision is yours.