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Essential guide (pros and cons) to new-build homes

Author: Craig Bees Published: 30th March 2021 09:04

New build: the award-winning Moat Lane development in TowcesterNew build: the award-winning Moat Lane development in Towcester

Few issues divide the house buying public more than the question of new builds - but love them or loathe them they are here to stay, as any trip outside South Northants will show you with new developments springing up constantly in neighbouring Bucks, Warwickshire and Oxfordshire as well as Northampton itself.       

Closer to home you will be aware of on-going Towcester area expansion which has seen  several new housing developments in villages such as Silverstone, Greens Norton, Litchborough and Wood Burcote as well as recent town growth in the new housing opposite the racecourse and, more centrally, the award-winning Moat Lane development.

For some, new-builds are the antithesis of period properties that embody British architecture at its finest from Regency terraces to thatched cottages. For others, they represent 21st-century living at its very best, with light, airy rooms, modern gadgets and energy-saving devices.

Many people tend to lean heavily towards new-builds or period properties, either drawn towards their character or the convenience of modernity, although those favouring new-builds are steadily increasing in number.

Aesthetics aside, the pros and cons of buying new-build properties are quite finely balanced so let’s take a look.


Thanks to initiatives such as the government’s Help to Buy scheme it is much easier, particularly for first-time buyers, to get funding and, from this week (April 1, 2021), as the scheme allows you to buy a ‘second-hand’ property, we may see an increase in demand for the more established homes.

With most new-builds, it is possible for the buyer to work with the builder to customise a property and choose bathroom fittings, kitchen appliances etc. As the first owner of a property, you can stamp your mark on it from day one and do not have to live with the design choices from previous owners.

Most new-builds also come with a guarantee from the builder. If a property is registered with the National House Building Council, it will have a 10 year warranty and protection scheme which will help reduce maintenance costs.

New-builds can be more energy-efficient than older properties, often with better loft insulation etc.
New-builds are generally laid out in such a way to reflect the realities of modern family life, with a large open-plan kitchen-***-dining-room-***-living area. This often supersedes the separate spaces favoured in older properties.

And if you buy off-plan you may get a discount so a new-build may prove to be a good investment.

Points to consider

Some new-builds can be less spacious than older homes with lower ceilings and less storage space. This can be an issue if you are not careful and may lead to an abundance of clutter.

As land is at such a premium these days, new-build properties may be closely bunched, and have smaller gardens, than, say, Edwardian properties. That said, people who typically buy new-builds favour being out and about more than gardening.

Like new cars, which depreciate in value after a few hundred miles, brand new homes are not brand new for ever. If you have to sell a new-build after 12 or 24 months, try to make sure you cover your costs when moving on.

While the best new-builds are generally built to the highest standards, it is worth having a ‘snagging survey’ carried out before buying one to avoid any surprises in the future.

The anticipated completion date of a new-build property may not be exact. This need not be a problem but too long a delay can sometimes put a mortgage offer in jeopardy.

Worth noting that many new home developers invest in and re-develop period properties, often into blocks of flats, so there are plenty of instances where a homeowner can benefit from the best of both worlds.

This is not a debate in which there will ever be a clear winner. But it’s best to have an open mind on the subject and not miss out on new or old properties when they come on the market.

Property Q&A:
where you get the chance to ask us what you need to know.

Q: How do I know if I will pass the Lettings affordability test on a rental property?

A: Generally there is a 2.5x income rule but some landlords do insist on 3x income. You need to multiply the monthly rent by 12 and that figure again this time by 2.5. The total is the salary you will need to earn in order to pass that part of the referencing.

If you have any questions call our office and we will be happy to help.
Send all your property-related questions to craigbees@bartramandco.co.uk. I look forward to receiving them.

Monthly draw: April marks the start of your chance to win a case of Italian wines (red/whites/mixed).

How To Enter: every valuation and instruction for sale or rental between now and Wednesday April 28 2021 will be entered, the winners being notified by e-mail.

So if you’re thinking of selling or letting your property and want to win this great prizes call (01327) 359164 and speak to our sales or lettings team.

Best wishes

Craig Bees, MD Bartram & Co

Tel: (01327) 359164 E-mail craigbees@bartramandco.co.uk

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