Guest Article from Liz Lucking: Buying a New Build

publication date: Mar 26, 2009
author/source: Guest article by Liz Lucking, Westone Housing Services

The deal is done.  You are buying a new build property and the builder’s sales team, in their sales office have told you everything that will be included.

Remember most new builds do not have these following items as standard:-

• TV aerials
• Telephone connection
• Rear garden landscaping
• Window dressings
• Flooring
• Light fittings
• Bathroom fixtures (toilet roll holders and towel rail)
• Door number (you will be surprised at this)

These items when purchasing your new property will become a large added expense, should you not have negotiated this at the time of the deal.

One the day of completion you arrive at the site and want to take ownership of your property.  The sales person states that you need to be shown how items in the property work and they proceed to walk you around the property.

• They run through all the controls regarding the appliances and the boiler
• Explain about the openings of the windows
• Go through the keys and then wish you well

Sometimes you will get a bottle of champagne and flowers or a goody box and sometimes nothing.

When buying a new build there are certain things that you should ask and do before the final sign over:-

• Check your sales agreement before arriving to check what was included.
• Take a friend who is not emotionally involved.  The reason for this is that they will not over look the obvious and be swayed by the gifts and accept possible blemishes to the final finish of the property.

Check all fixtures and fittings:-

• Screws to all door handles and locks.
• Do all the electrical sockets have the right amount of screws in them and are they tight?
• If carpets are fitted have the fitters left any screws under the carpet (this does happen)?
• Is all the grouting to the tiled areas complete (sometimes there are air bubbles causing breaks in the grout).
• Ask to have the bath side panel removed to check the plumbing (I have been into a property where on releasing the bath water the waste pipe house fell into a hole under the bath detached itself from the bath waste and flooded the floor below). Okay this is covered, but you have the stress of trying to deal with it.
• Check that the appliances are fitted correctly if supplied with the property, also check there is power going to the appliance (sometimes on integrated appliances the fitter forgets to turn on the socket behind the appliance, this then results in the kick board and the appliance being removed to get to the socket).
• Check the waste pipe for the washing machine to see if there firstly is a hole cut to get your waste pipe to it and secondly if there is still a cover fitted as they sometimes do to avoid leaking.
• Check if the emulsion paintwork is smooth and there are no patches. Look at the walls in several different directions.
• Check if the gloss work is acceptable.
• If you have arranged with the builders to fit window dressings then check the fixings (don’t be shy).
• If you have arranged for the rear lawn to be laid with grass, check if they will guarantee the quality of the lawn and any removal of debris should it work its way to the surface.

On a recent visit to a new build as an onlooker (I was arranging to fit window dressings) I noted a few very minor faults and I asked if the snagging had been done. The reply I got was that snagging was a dirty word and that they don’t do that anymore.

They now do a 'three days after you have moved in fault find', this you report to the site office and they arrange to come around and fix any issues.  You may say well that’s OK, which it probably is but is this convenient?  Builders only work from 8.30 am to 4.30pm on most occasions and unless you are a home worker or self employed then it doesn’t normally work out very well. Personally I would rather have the property correct from the first instance and not require further visits from workmen that I have no previous knowledge of.

So, when buying a new build, think through your checklist on the days leading up to and completion very carefully.

Guest article submitted by Liz Lucking, Westone Housing Services
01733 320500

Please Note:-
The views expressed in this article are of Westonehousing and not necessarily agreed with or supported by Designs on Property Ltd.



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