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Explaining new builds for first-time buyers

When you’re looking to take your first steps onto the property ladder, new build homes are so beneficial, and we’re not just saying that because we build them! For first-time buyers, new builds provide a fresh canvas for you to move into, and because of this, the house-buying process differs from existing property purchases. Plus, there are so many other positives that come with buying a newly built property as your first home.  

To help you discover what these plus points are, we’ve created this handy guide, explaining all you need to know. Simply read on to become an expert in the buying process.

How do I know if I’m a first-time buyer?

If you’ve never bought a property before, you’ll presume you’re a first-time buyer, and you’re right. As definitions go, a first-time buyer is, “a person buying a house or flat who has not previously owned a home and therefore has no property to sell.” 

So, if you’re currently sharing a home with your partner, friend or family member(s), but don’t pay for the mortgage, you still count as a first-time buyer. So long as your name isn’t on a mortgage deed, you can enjoy all of the benefits first-time buyers receive. 

Why should I buy a new build as a first-time buyer?

New build homes reap so many benefits for first-time buyers, and although many people will have already professed this to you (including popular news outlets), you’re probably not as informed as you’d like to be. That’s why we’re here to help.

So, what are the benefits of buying a new build as first-time buyers?

  • Buying a new build home means no one has ever occupied the property, so you’ll be the first person (or people) to move in and make a house a home.
  • There’s a reduced chance of repair costs since the property was only recently built, when compared to a Victorian property, for example.
  • The cost of redecoration can be kept to a minimum with new build homes, and as a newcomer to the housing world, this saves you a lot of money. 
  • Often, you can choose certain fittings and fixtures to be incorporated into your chosen property, so it’s tailored to your specific needs.
  • According to the House Builders Federation, new build homes can save residents around £2,600 in energy bills each year, which is music to anyone’s ears in this current climate. 

New builds are usually covered for more

New build homes typically come with guarantees that older properties might not, such as NHBC’s Buildmark 10-year warranty. This is a warranty that many newly-built homes come equipped with, which means the building company has complied with the NHBC Standards regarding construction for:

  • Design
  • Materials
  • Workmanship

All of our homes are covered by NHBC’s Buildmark warranty, which is just one of the many benefits of purchasing your first home with us.

Plus, many companies offer insurance and warranties like Premier Guarantee and Local Authority Building Control too, which are highly beneficial.

Local Authority Building Control (LABC) offer new home structural warranties to housing associations, builders and self-builders across England. This ensures a new build development is supported from its foundation to the practical completion of a property.

Premier Guarantee

A Premier Guarantee protects any homeowner (or rental tenant) from Structural Defects in a newly built property, for the first 10 years, from the date of completion. This means that as a first-time buyer, your new build property is protected from expensive repairs within the first decade of living there.

Energy bills can be a lot cheaper

Buying a new build as a first-time buyer is a wise choice in terms of energy bills. Because a property that’s been built more recently is typically equipped with the latest features, including smarter heating appliances and improved insulation.

For example, when you buy a new build home with Strata, the property will be equipped with brand-new, premium appliances with excellent energy ratings, which saves you money and makes the moving-in process a lot smoother.

New build homes are generally better insulated compared with older properties, too, and as a first-time buyer, you’ll want to save as much as possible on your home in the early stages of becoming a homeowner.

Our tips for first-time buyers

  • Review your developer – we at Strata know how important word-of-mouth is, so when you’re looking to buy your first new build home with us, conduct research online and see what we/they offer, as well as what’s being said about us, our competitors and how we compare.
  • Visit the location of the home you’ve seen a listing of online – this provides you with a more in-depth feel for the surrounding area, the people and how long it takes to venture to the shops, schools and leisure centres, for example.
  • Speak with the neighbours when you’re visiting the property – everyone was a first-time buyer once, and they’ll likely offer advice on their buying experience.
  • Visit a developer’s other housing developments – for instance, if you’re interested in living in Chesterfield or nearby in our Destination 14 home, venture to our 360 development and take a walk around. You’ll be able to see what it’s like living there, and potentially meet new residents who rate their home highly.

These steps might seem simple, but they’re worth noting down and remembering when you’re new to the housing world. They will help if you feel a little overwhelmed, or just want to rejig your memory on what to look out for.