Buying a brand-new home removes a lot of the anxiety related to buying an existing home. Are there hidden maintenance costs ready to leap at you when you least expect them? How long will it take to retrofit before you can decorate? None of these worries are attached to a new build property. It is move-in ready, never used, and up-to-date. There is no need for disruptive and expensive renovations – a housewarming party on day one. But there are certain things to consider before closing the deal on a new build.
But, before that, what are the full benefits of purchasing a new build home?
Modern amenities and design – new build homes are constructed with contemporary design elements and often include modern amenities such as open-plan layouts, energy-efficient features, advanced features, and integrated appliances. They are built with the latest building regulations and construction techniques, providing a comfortable and convenient living environment. They have light-filled spaces, improved ventilation, and elegant finishes.
Energy efficiency – they meet higher energy efficiency standards compared to older properties. These homes have higher-rated Energy Performance Certificates. They have better insulation, high-performance windows, LED lighting, efficient heating systems, solar panels, and energy-efficient appliances. These help lower energy bills and reduce carbon footprint, contributing to lower running costs and environmental sustainability. New build properties in Scotland are fronting the New Build Heat Standard, a part of the Scottish government’s net zero plans for the country.
Reduced maintenance and repair costs – new homes do not require maintenance in the near future. Major structural components like roofing, flooring, walls, plumbing, electrical systems, in-built appliances and fixtures & fittings are brand new, reducing the likelihood of repairs in the initial years of homeownership. Additionally, many developers offer warranties and after-sale services for new builds, providing peace of mind and potential cost savings. These homes also do not require retrofitting as they have efficient heating systems, insulation, and lighting.
Personalisation options – depending on the stage of construction, purchasing a new build home may provide opportunities for customisation. Some developers offer a range of fixtures, finishes, and interior design choices, allowing buyers to tailor living spaces according to their needs and lifestyles.
Financial incentives and assistance – the Scottish government offers various schemes to support new build home purchases. New Supply Shared Equity and Shared Ownership schemes make ownership of new builds more affordable.
Structural warranty – new builds typically come with a structural warranty for potential structural defects for a specified period. This warranty offers protection and reassurance to buyers, as they can resolve structural issues without incurring costs, unlike with an existing build.
Amenities – new build developments often include amenities such as parks, play areas, and communal spaces. They are in close proximity to shops and schools. They also create a vibrant and cohesive community.
Lower running costs – with energy efficiency in place, running costs are lower compared to older properties. Reduced energy consumption and can lead to long-term savings.
Chain-free property – brand new homes do not have previous owners. You don’t have to wait for previous owners to move or worry about the deal falling through.
What should you consider when buying a house in Scotland?
There are several principal aspects to consider before buying a new build. These considerations will help you decide on the best home your money can buy.
The development – high-value developments increase property value. The location and the surrounding area of the development play a crucial role. Is it placed convenient for commuting, shopping, schooling, and recreation? Most developers choose the family-friendly countryside to build their homes. Developments create cohesive communities and social ties, useful for socialising and security. If you are buying a home for your family, ensure the property is in a catchment area for the schools you prefer. A location well-connected by transport links is convenient for daily commutes. You should have easy access to a rail station and bus routes.
The size of the property
Are you downsizing or upsizing? A family home usually requires 3-4 bedrooms. And, if you are retiring, consider whether you need space when children and grandkids are visiting. You may also want to consider parking facilities. Homes with garages provide you with more convenient and secure parking. A garden is a usable space to set up swing sets, a potting shed, a fire pit, or even an office pod. It can be invaluable to some.
As we mentioned before, there are incentives when buying a new build. The Scottish Government offers first-time buyers and priority access groups the New Supply Shared Equity (NSSE) scheme. You will pay between 60% and 80% of the home’s cost, and the Scottish Government will hold the remaining share under a ‘shared equity agreement.’ The Shared Ownership Scheme allows you to own a 25%, 50%, or 75% share of a home and the rest by a housing association with an ‘occupancy charge’ included. So, if you can’t afford the total cost of a home, these schemes might help.
Take into account your household income, job security, loans you are already repaying, and capital you can sell when considering the purchase price of the property you want to buy.
You will need a new build mortgage. The mortgage lender also needs a mortgage valuation to process the mortgage application. Buying off-plan allows you to secure a desirable plot and personalise it to your choice. Find out if the purchasing price includes the Land and buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT). When you reserve a property, you need to pay a reservation fee.
You can be assured of quality when you choose an established developer. Visit their website, read reviews, and learn more about their services and developments. Usually, the builder provides a 10-year warranty by housing warranty and insurance provider. It adds to accountability.
Experienced builders who have been in the business for several decades offer expertise, skill, and innovation. It is also a sign that their homes and developments were successful products. A long-standing home builder with a good reputation completes the development within the proposed timeframe, and there is no risk of project abandonment.
Buying a new build home comes with a wide range of benefits. However, it’s important to conduct thorough research, inspect show homes, review developer track records, and consider factors such as location, price, and long-term value. Engaging with reputable developers, lenders, or solicitors who specialize in new build properties can provide guidance and ensure a smooth purchasing process. GS Brown homes are designed and built to premium standards by an experienced build team. Everything from major structural components to finishes incorporates high-quality material and skilled craftsmanship. Have you checked out our development yet?