Whether or not millennials really are wasting their money on sandwiches instead of mortgage deposits (we’re not), buying a house can be an absolute minefield. From solicitor fees to estate agent waffle, there is SO much to get your head around. When we bought our home, we ummed and ahhed over the type of property we wanted. Once we established that we hadn’t won the lottery, therefore we weren’t about to settle on some sprawling estate, it came down to older property vs new builds. We both love the idea of an older property needing a bit of work to make our own. That said, once we started to do our research, new builds came out on top in terms of space and budget every time. We could get SO much more for our money with new builds.
Over time, we’re slowly getting round to making the most of the space we have and adding the personal touch. I have a few projects up my sleeve this year, but for now I’m sharing my experience on what to watch out for when you purchase a new build.
Your developer will give you an estimated moving in date when you put your deposit down. My advice? Don’t pin everything on this date! Our house was actually ready for us to move into around a month after we were told it would be ready. Therefore, it’s worth thinking about when you’re moving out of your current place (if this is your first step on the ladder, I’m guessing you have a rental term!), and what you are going to do with all of your furniture etc. in the interim. Think about additional costs this could incur such as negotiating another month in your existing property, or factoring in storage fees.
You also need to think about tying in flooring fittings with your moving date. Make sure your suppliers can offer a degree of flexibility if you are organising this yourself.
Lol I must have been our builders nightmare. I spent ages scrutinising every corner of our home to build a snag list as soon as we got our keys. Basically a long old list of things that aren’t quite right. I found a sketch on a wall which needed to be repainted, along with some plumbing issues, and our front door needed replacing. Be specific, and pedantic, no one is going to pay as much detail to your own home as you are. There will always be something to pick up on with new builds.
So, I sent my 5 page document (lol) to our building developer. Then the constant chasing for updates began! If they can let you slip off their to do list, then they probs will, so make sure you get everything you need from them before they disappear!
Lack of internet
Oh my god. This was the absolute bane of my life! For the first 6 months of living in our new home we had NO INTERNET. The amount of chasing I did, the amount of checking all of the internet providers websites, it was SO frustrating! I know, I know, first world problems, but so much of our lives rely on internet access these days. Coupled with the fact that at the time, we couldn’t get 3G or 4G in our house! Lol my phone was literally only good for text messages and phone calls…what? One day I wanted to know what the weather was going to be like so I actually text my friends to ask them to Google it for me. I also got wildly obsessed with Candy Crush.
So many other people I know have ended up in the same situation with new builds, so ya know, just one to be aware of.
Ooooh the temptation to get slapping that paint on the walls and adding a bit of personality. Well, hold your horses, because the advice is to let your house “settle” for a year before you decorate. We actually were v v sensible and held off until this point, but I actually don’t think it’s a deal breaker. You might see a few cracks appeared in the walls here and there, but nothing that isn’t easily fixed. So whilst you should technically wait, if you can’t contain yourself you may have to do a few fix ups in the future.
Expectations vs reality
This was a biggie for me when it came to our garden. The plans showed our garden with access to an area in which to keep our bins. In reality, our garden was incredibly sloped, with no access to a bin store. I guess the plans change a little as they finish the plot, but I got pretty hung up on this when we finally saw it. But, with a ton of levelling out we came up with a design we’re really happy with. It totally disguises the massive slope!
I don’t have many photos as it’s all a bit of a mess after the winter and needing a little bit of love ahead of summer. However, I have included a quick photo from when it was just finished. I really want to give our garden a bit of love again this spring though, so maybe that’s something for a future blog post.
I’m guessing that this could apply to plenty of other bits and pieces in a new build. Essentially you are buying something hugely significant without actually seeing it beforehand. That’s crazy right! Just be prepared that things might change along the way, and you might need to adapt a few ideas to fit with your property.
I would love to know if you have any tips to suggest? Or any similar experiences?