Buying a newly built home

Many home-buyers are choosing newly built properties because of the quality, sustainability and choice they offer. If you are thinking of buying a newly built home here is the National House-Building Council's (NHBC) checklist of things to look out for.

Checklist

Make sure that the property is protected by a good warranty provided by a reputable company. Most new homes are protected by the (NHBC) 10-year Buildmark warranty and insurance but some developers use other warranty providers and can give you full details of the warranty in place. With a new property not covered by a NHBC warranty or equivalent, ensure that the final building control certificate is available.

Check whether your builder is NHBC registered. You can do this by visiting the Register on the NHBC's site. If your builder is not registered with NHBC, check that you will be offered cover from another reputable company. 

  • Check that the builder has a good national or local reputation. 
  • Ask to look around homes the builder has built before and chat to previous customers if possible.
  • Visit the site - is it tidy and well managed? This will give another clue about the attitude of the builder and his commitment to quality.

If you need a mortgage ask your lender at an early stage. Employ a solicitor (or licensed conveyancer) and seek professional advice if you are in doubt.

  • Take time to understand the 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.
  • Always wait until the home is fully completed before you move in. Once you have moved in check your new home again thoroughly.
  • Report any defect in writing to your builder and make sure you keep a copy.
  • If in dispute with your builder write to the appropriate NHBC office.

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.