5 questions first time buyers should ask when purchasing a new build home7 April 2021
Purchasing your very first home is a significant milestone and one that every first-time buyer should be excited about. This is your first step onto the property ladder and the only way is up. However, the buying journey can be stressful for many, particularly when you have never done anything like this before and your life savings are on the line. Here, we reveal the top five questions that first time buyers should ask themselves and our Sales Executives when visiting one of our Marketing Suites in the West Country:
1. What is my budget and how much can I afford to borrow?
It may seem obvious, but we have seen first time buyers come through our door and let the excitement of reserving a new home takeover before they have really considered what they can afford. Before searching for a new build home, make sure you review your finances and ensure that you have enough funds for the deposit of your desired home. Working with an independent financial advisor can be really beneficial as they can determine whether or not you can afford the mortgage repayments on a new home or how much more you need to save to get there.
2. How does Help to Buy work and should I be using it?
The Government’s Help to Buy schemes can be really beneficial to first time buyers who are keen to get on the property ladder but are struggling to save a full deposit. There are a couple of schemes available which could be useful depending on your situation. One of the most popular schemes is the Help to Buy Equity Loan. Available to first time buyers only, this scheme allows you to put down as little as a 5% deposit on a home which falls under the regional price threshold (£349,000 in the South West). The Government will lend you 20% of the value of your new home through an Equity Loan and you will secure a mortgage for the remaining 75%. There are certain terms and conditions so make sure you ask one of our Sales Executives for full details.
3. What are the future plans for the area and could I see myself living here?
When visiting a new build homes site, particularly if you are visiting very early on in the build stage, it can be hard to imagine what the neighbourhood will ultimately look like. Make sure you ask your Sales Executive what the future plans are for the surrounding area. Is the housebuilder planning to build more phases? Will new shops and local amenities be built nearby? Are there any plans to improve the surrounding road network? Ask these questions so that you can paint a picture of what your new neighbourhood will look like and determine whether the area suits your needs and requirements. At Devonshire Homes, we not only build new homes but we commit to improving the local area too. At Applegate Park in Kingsbridge for example, we will be making various contributions: £265k towards secondary education; £207k towards sports and recreation and £20k towards early years education.
4. What will be included when I reserve my new home?
Every housebuilder is different so that is why it is important to ask your Sales Executive what exactly is included within the price of your new build home. Some developers will charge house hunters extra for turf in the garden, a shower over the bath or fitted wardrobes for example. At Devonshire Homes, we offer many of these little extras as standard, giving you so much more for your money. You can always call and speak to one of our Sales Executives to ensure you are clear on the specification of your new home.
5. Is my new home Freehold or Leasehold?
This is an important question to ask as many homeowners get caught out. Most homes are freehold properties which means that you own the property outright, including the land it’s built on. This is important to know as if you own the land, you will be responsible for the maintenance of that land so you will need to factor in the costs for that. Homes through shared ownership schemes are usually leasehold. This means that you own the property for the length of your lease agreement with the freeholder (landlord). Once your lease has come to an end, the ownership returns to the freeholder unless you can extend it (source: West).
At Devonshire Homes, all of our houses are freehold. Only apartments tend to be leasehold and occasionally a garage if this was under a coach house for example.
We hope you found this blog useful and that you now feel equipped with plenty of questions to ask yourself and your Sales Executive when you next visit a Devonshire Homes site. All of our Sales Executives are experienced, qualified and knowledgeable so please don’t be afraid to ask them any questions you may have about the home buying journey.
Click here to view our current developments. We hope to welcome you into one of our Marketing Suites soon! Remember, we are currently running an ‘appointment only’ policy so please contact our Sales Executives to make an appointment before you travel.