A guide to buying a new build home

A guide to buying a new build home

During the many years we’ve been in business, we’ve experienced pretty much everything that can, and sometimes does, happen during the process.

In this guide, we share everything we’ve learned about buying a new build and the different options if you need to sell a home first.

It’s a myth that moving home is always a stressful experience.

With proper planning, a good estate agent and excellent professional services, such as a good solicitor, your dream move should go, well, just like a dream.

This guide is designed to answer your questions in plain English (we don’t like jargon, either).

However, we are always delighted to answer any other questions you have and to keep you informed at every step of the process.

Here’s to a happy move.

In This Guide

Are new builds really worth it?

When you visit a show home, it’s easy to imagine yourself sitting at the beautifully laid table, sinking back into the comfy sofa or settling in for a night’s sleep in a luxury bedroom. Every room has been set up to tempt you. But is a new build home really the right choice for you and your budget?

We’ve explored some of the plus points of a new build property.

Shiny & new

The main advantage of a new build is exactly that: its newness. Breathe in that fresh paint smell and enjoy the soft fluffy carpets. Everything is pristine, there’s no 1970s wallpaper to contend with and you don’t have to make endless rounds of tea for builders (milk, two sugars, and don’t forget the digestives).


New homes are covered by a 10-year warranty (as per NHBC regulations), so you’re also buying peace of mind. The warranty should protect you against any structural issues, but always read the small print so you know exactly what’s covered. All appliances will be newly installed and will have their own guarantees, too.

Chain free

The two words every buyer loves to hear! With no other parties to contend with, the buying process should be easier to navigate. Also, once you’ve reserved your new build, it will be taken off the market.

Energy efficient

The two words every buyer loves to hear! With no other parties to contend with, the buying process should be easier to navigate. Also, once you’ve reserved your new build, it will be taken off the market.

Make your mark

Depending on what stage of the build you buy at, most developers offer a choice of fixtures and fittings as part of the purchase price. So, you can choose your kitchen or bathroom tiles without the hassle of spending every foreseeable weekend shopping around

Built to meet all current safety standards

Developers must incorporate safety measures such as smoke alarms, fire-resistant materials and circuit breakers, making life easier when you move in.


Developers often include various incentives when buying a new home, such as offering to pay your stamp duty or legal costs.

Buying off-plan

When the property marketing is competitive, buying off-plan may mean you buy the house of your dreams and avoid missing out.

New build jargon explained

Understanding the terminology used when buying a home can be daunting. Here we explain some of the jargon used when buying a new build home.

Creating a snagging list is something you create when you check the new build for minor issues that be rectified by the builder. Ensure your solicitor includes a snagging clause within the contract to avoid any issues after completion.
The National House Building Council (NHBC) is a scheme which offers a 10-year warranty on a new build home. Most major new build companies subscribe to NHBC, however, other schemes can also be used such as Local Authority Building Control (LABC).
The predicted energy assessment (PEA) is required when the plans are prepared for a new build home. This target energy assessment is based on how energy efficient the home is once the build is complete; the energy rating will need to meet the target figure in order to receive the final sign-off by the building inspectors.
Short Stop vs Long Stop Completion
Short stop completion date refers to the date that the builder expects the build to be ready and you can have the keys, providing all the legal paperwork is complete. Long stop completion date is the date the builder has to legally complete by.
Estate or Management Charge
New build estates will sometimes include an estate or management charge that is payable either monthly, quarterly or annually. The charge covers maintenance of the area such as green spaces, pavements, lighting etc.
Computer generated imagery (CGI) is often used by developers to showcase how the home will look once it has been completed.

Part Exchange & Assisted Moves

New home builders often have offers that help you when purchasing one of their properties. The main incentive to move into a brand-new home is the extra furnishings and fittings that they include.

However, sometimes developers will allow you to do a Part Exchange or an Assisted Sale of your existing home to help you on your house move journey. Some developers have their own names for these options, but they are pretty much the same thing.

Part Exchange Part Exchange is a great option for some people. The new home builder will basically purchase your house from you at an agreed figure. Most developers will want your new home to be at least 30% higher in price than your existing home. You can then move into your new home without the hassle of arranging viewings and getting held up on your sale with a chain to complete.

Assisted Moves An Assisted Move is where the the new home builder will arrange for a valuation of your home through a local estate agent. They will then agree a market value for you to sell your existing home within 4 to 6 weeks. If you get an offer that matches the value the developers have put on your home, you will have to accept it.

  • The new builder normally pays any estate agent fees
  • Your move is generally much quicker
  • You avoid the risk of a chain collapsing
  • There is no guarantee a new builder will accept the offer of part exchange.
  • The builder may offer you less than market value for your home

If the thought of owning a brand new home appeals to you, we would love to hear from you. Our dedicated Land & New Homes Manager, Chris Garford, can assist with all aspects of buying a new build home including:

  • First Time Purchases
  • Part Exchange
  • Assisted Move
  • Help-to-Buy
  • Mortgage Advice
  • Solicitors
  • Self-Build
  • chris.garford@knightsbridge-estates.co.uk
  • 07503 632 487

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