Buying a newly built home

Many home-buyers are choosing newly built properties because of the quality, sustainability and choice they offer.

New property checklist

If you are thinking of buying a newly built home, the National House-Building Council (NHBC) suggests you:

  • make sure the property is protected by a good warranty provided by a reputable company such as the NHBC ten-year Buildmark warranty and insurance - some developers use other warranty providers and can give you full details of the cover in place
  • if a new property is not covered by an NHBC or equal warranty, make sure that the final building control certificate is available
  • check your builder is NHBC-registered by visiting the organisation's online register
  • if your builder is not registered with NHBC, check that you will be offered cover from another reputable company and check that the builder has a good local or national reputation by asking to look around homes the builder has completed before and chat to previous customers if possible
  • visit the site - if it's tidy and well managed, this will give another clue about the attitude of the builder and commitment to quality
  • if you need a mortgage, ask your lender at an early stage
  • employ a solicitor and seek professional advice if you are in doubt
  • take time to understand the NHBC Buildmark cover - once you have exchanged contracts get the Buildmark documents from your solicitor and read them carefully
  • before taking possession of your home make sure you inspect it carefully
  • wait until the home is fully completed before you move in
  • once you have moved in, thoroughly check your new home again - reporting any defect in writing to your builder - keep a copy of the letter
  • if in dispute with your builder, write to the NHBC
  • you should always consider getting a structural survey done, especially if your home is more than a couple of years old and outside of the initial two year period of the Buildmark cover
  • National House-Building Council website(external link)

Rates

When you buy your newly built property, you must tell Land & Property Services (LPS) immediately to avoid a backdated rate bill.

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