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Five questions you should ask your home builder

24 February 2022

Buying a new build home is exciting with so much to look forward to throughout the journey. From choosing your carpets and floor tiles to connecting with a community who are also buying on your chosen site, there are so many pros to buying a new build home. During this whirlwind of adventure, it can be easy to forget to ask important questions. Purchasing a new home is a big investment so it’s essential that you are clued up.

So, what questions should you ask your home builder? Read on to discover the questions that should be at the top of your checklist.

1. What are the future plans for the area?

It is likely that when you visit a new build homes site, the scheme will still be in the development and construction stage and there won’t necessarily be many completed buildings to see unless you are buying one of the last homes. Of course, the first thing you want to look at is the different property styles, but make sure you find out what the future plans are for the site and the surrounding area are. Will there be improvements or changes to the local road network? Are there plans for new shops or local amenities? How many new homes will there be once the site is finished? Will there be plenty of green spaces? Your housebuilder should be able to answer these questions which will give you a better idea of what the area will ultimately look like.

If you’re new to the neighbourhood, make sure you ask what the local area is like. Does the city, town or village have good schools? Is it regarded as a safe community? Are there existing supermarkets, restaurants, coffee shops and newsagents close by? Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions!

2. What will be included in the price of my new build home?

Every housebuilder is different, so it is important to understand what exactly will be included in your new build home. Do tiled floors come as standard? Will you have to pay extra for integrated appliances? Is a turfed garden included within the price? These are all important questions to ask so that you don’t get caught out by hidden costs.

Unlike some other housebuilders, at Devonshire Homes, we offer many of these features as standard. All our new homes come with turf in the gardens and some of our properties include integrated appliances in the kitchens. A selection of homes even come with nifty little extras such as USB ports and carefully considered mixer taps positioned in bathrooms which avoid cold water splashing on your arm as you turn on the shower in the morning! Click here to watch a video of our Sales Executive Stephen demonstrating this cool little feature.

3. Can I purchase my new home using the Government’s Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme?

The Government’s Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme is an excellent scheme which helps first time buyers get onto the property ladder with just a 5% deposit. There are certain terms and conditions that you need to be aware of and not all new build homes can be purchased using the scheme so it’s important to ask your housebuilder which homes qualify.

Only available to first time buyers, the Help to Buy: Equity Loan can be used to purchase a home up to the value of £349,000 in the South West. Different regions have different price caps which you can check here. Other terms and conditions also apply. Mortgages must be capital repayment and it is only available on properties occupied by the mortgage holder and not buy-to-let. Click here to find out more about the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme and use a Help to Buy mortgage calculator to view the full breakdown.

4. What does a new home warranty cover?

All new build homes should be covered by a warranty. The three most popular providers are the National House Building Council (NHBC), Local Authority Building Control Warranty (LABC) and Premier Guarantee. At Devonshire Homes, all of our properties are covered by either NHBC or LABC.

Warranties are essentially insurance policies for your new home, giving you peace of mind that if anything goes wrong with your property, the housebuilder will cover it. However, it’s not always that simple and there are terms and conditions that you need to be aware of which can vary from housebuilder to housebuilder.

Typically, building warranties will last for 10 years but providers will expect the housebuilder to remedy any defects within the first two years. Defects include problems such as a leaky window or doors catching on carpets. Major structural defects such as problems with the external renders, roofs, ceilings and chimneys are covered for up to 10 years. General maintenance is the homeowner’s responsibility.

It’s important to ask your housebuilder plenty of questions about the type of warranty they have in place for their new build homes and make sure you understand the terms and conditions to avoid any disputes in the future. You can find out more in this handy article.

5. When will my new build home be ready for occupation?

If you are buying off-plan, make sure you ask when your new home will be ready for occupation. Obviously, you will want to know an estimated date so that you can book a moving company and pack up your existing home, but it is also important to know from a financial perspective. Most mortgage offers are only valid for a maximum of six months. If your new home isn’t ready for occupation by the time the six months is up, you will need to reapply for a mortgage or an extension to your existing mortgage offer.

Within that time your circumstances may change. For example, you may have moved jobs, are no longer earning enough or suddenly have a debt you need to pay off. All of these factors can affect your mortgage application so it is important to know how soon you can move into your new build home to avoid complications with your mortgage.

We hope you found our five top questions to ask a housebuilder useful and remember, there’s no such thing as a silly question. Our Sales Executives are on-hand to answer any questions you have about the Devonshire Homes buying process so don’t be afraid to ask. After all, buying a home is likely to be one of the biggest purchases of your life!

Do you have any top tips for other buyers or questions you would like answered? Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram as we would love to hear from you.