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  • Olivia Thomas

How to... Buy a NEW HOME

Amber Valley has seen a number of new build developments popping up over the last 12 months or so, with the Devonshire Gardens development in Crich, the Damstead Park development in Alfreton and the Wistanes Green development in Wessington being some of the more recent ones. As we approach the end of 2017 I think it is very likely that the number of new housing developments will increase throughout 2018, with planning permission already going through for several new building opportunities in the Amber Valley area.

But what do you need to be aware of if you’re thinking of buying one of these new homes?

Buying a brand new home can be a very distinctive and exceptional experience – however, as with all property purchases, it also comes with its own set of challenges. Here of some things to consider if you’re embarking on a new home purchase.

Are you getting value for money?

If you are buying your new home off plan (which means before the building has been completed or, in some cases the spade isn’t even in the ground yet!) how can you really tell if you are getting good value for your money? You really ought to consider what your new house is really worth.

There are several factors which should be considered before agreeing to purchase.

You’re much more likely to get a good deal and a good building plot on the site, if you purchase at the very beginning of the new development process. The number of interested buyers will also impact the price, as will the value of house prices of the wider property market. Amber Valley is currently attracting a lot of interest from buyers both inside and outside of the area.

I would always advise you to do some research and compare prices with similar property types on other local developments in the area. Speak with a local estate agent to see how well a particular town or village is performing. If you are buying a new build and don’t currently live close to the area, local agents can also give an insight on local schools, transport links and leisure activities.

No sale price is ever set in stone, always decide on your budget, but be prepared to remain flexible and always negotiate!

Be sure you know what you’re getting

The difficulty of buying off plan means that there's nothing to really see – so you need to use your imagination but always be extra sure that you know what you're getting for your money. Does the property include white goods or a parking space for example?

Your own home will be in a different plot, on a different floor plan and often a different building entirely. They are a great starting point but be sure to take off those rose-coloured spectacles when thinking about the practicalities of living in your new house.

Check that the builder is signed up to a warranty scheme

Whether you’re buying a new home which is already built or you’re buying off plan, make sure that the builder completing the development is part of a warranty scheme.

A warranty scheme will offer you protection if your builder goes out of business after you’ve paid the deposit. It will also ensure that your house has been built to the relevant standards and provide a third party resolution service in the event of disagreements.

Complete a snagging list

Snagging refers to teething problems of a new-build home – for example cracks which appear in settling walls, loose guttering or missed grouting.

Make sure that you have a good look around your purchase between exchange and completion. Make a list of issues with anything in the property no matter how trivial they might seem, this is your new house and you want to make sure everything is sorted and fixed before you move in. (you can download checklists online which might help you).

EXTRA, Extra, Extra – Always ask.

The majority of people only buy one new-build home in their life and there are no benefits in being too polite. Always see what extras you can get added to your purchase free of charge. These can be additional light fittings or plug sockets, choosing your flooring or carpets even built-in appliances, every little helps and some developments even offer incentives with help to pay for legal fees.

And always remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

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