New build homes: the pros and cons

If you’re ready to buy a home, and you’re considering a new build property for its modernity and ease of purchase, or you’re torn between a new build or an older house, then weighing up the pros and cons will help you to decide.


Government schemes – 100,000 new build homes have been bought using government schemes such as Help to Buy since its inception in 2013. The Help to Buy: Equity Loan for example means the government lends you up to 20% of the cost of your newly built home, so you’ll only need a 5% cash deposit and a 75% mortgage to make up the rest. This is the main pro for buying a new build home, these schemes can’t be used for older properties as they are exclusively for new builds.

Structural warranties – new built properties come with a 10-year warranty for structural defects. This means you will have peace of mind knowing that should the structural integrity of your home be compromised that you are covered with the developers.

Efficiency – new build homes don’t come with the creaks and cracks of an older home, they’re brand new and in perfect condition. They come with lower running costs due to having double glazing, the newest fittings and fixtures, and good insulation. This means they’re more energy efficient and your utility bills and maintenance costs should remain low for several years.

Personalization – another great advantage of a new build home is that nobody else has previously lived in it, no past paint jobs to cover up or old furniture left behind means you have a blank canvas to work with. With a lot of new build homes, you can pick the fixtures and fittings when it’s being built. This gives you a chance to personalize the house and gives you the advantage of planning the space and décor around any future plans you may have, like kids.


Delays – the most frustrating aspect of a new build property is that there are likely to be delays. Due to developers building units of new builds at a time it can mean construction and building runs over schedule. To make matters worse a delay can cause an issue with your mortgage offer depending on the length and validity of the offer. Most mortgage offers tend to last 6 months, should a delay be longer than this you may have to reapply.

The finished product – with a new build you are buying a proposed property. Even if you have seen the show home the end product may be different, and your visualisation of the house might not be what you expected. New build homes are usually smaller than older homes and due to being built in units they tend to come with smaller gardens and inadequate parking spaces. Also, new builds are built from plans and can lack individuality and the quirkiness that an older home could offer.

Disruption – a new development can also cause a disruption in your living conditions, should you be one of the first to move in you may well find the building is still going on around you for a good few months. Essentially you could be moving into a building site which comes with the added annoyance of construction noise and equipment.

After sales – the offer of an after sales service should be seen as a pro – however sometimes contractors and developers are slow to fix defects and not all respond quickly to repair requests. Some contractors and developers have been pulled up on this already so make sure you check the company’s customer service record before purchasing. Also, not all problems show up at first, so you may need to splash a bit more cash and identify any problems by conducting a snagging survey before you move in and keep a list should any issues begin to arise. You can conduct this yourself but a professional would be able to detect anything from bad water pressure to ill fitted fixtures which you can then pass onto your developer.

The above post is intended to be informative but does not constitute advice – financial, legal or otherwise. Any opinions given are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of SO Media.


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