Bright new things

By at home

With their emphasis on clean, green living, new build homes are rapidly forging ahead in the popularity stakes.

New build homes.
They’re a bit like Marmite aren’t they? You either love ’em or hate ’em. Or that’s
what you’ve always thought isn’t it? But be prepared to change your mind. New build homes have seen a transformation in recent years and, not only that, they’re being built to fight climate change.

The big issue
New homes have come a long way in the last few years. No longer regarded as boxy and a bit boring in terms of style they are now up there with the latest design trends. They’re also 10 times more energy efficient than their Victorian equivalents which, of course, means lower running costs for you and reduced pollution for the environment. Whether a development is sympathetic to
the environment or not is now the deciding factor in whether the project gets the go-ahead.

Buying made easy
Whenever you buy a home, there’s a lot to organise and plan, but going for a new build really helps to make the buying process easy.

  • You can either buy a brand-new home that is ready to move into or a new home that has yet to be built. With the latter, you literally buy off-plan.
  • All new builds will have a show house on the site to give you a really clear idea of what your finished home will look like.
  • Your house builder or developer will normally require a small holding fee to secure the property. This stops somebody else buying
    it before you have put down a deposit. Be warned, though – you’ll have a limited time to pay this deposit, so check the timescale.
  • Once you have paid the deposit, you can instruct your solicitor. You won’t have a chain ahead of you so things tend to run smoothly.
  • New builds don’t need surveys, but your mortgage lender will insist the house has a valid warranty and an independent inspection before any funds are released.
  • You won’t exchange contracts with a new home, but you do complete as with any other house purchase.
  • Before or just after you move into your new home, check the house carefully for any problems or defects. If there is anything you are not entireley happy with, present these in writing to the site manager as soon as possible to avoid further issues. The developer or house builder should then come to rectify the problems.

Eco-friendly homes for the 21st century and beyond..
In 2006, Gordon Brown’s pre-budget statement required house builders to build ‘zero carbon’ homes to tackle climate change, and form part of the government’s target to cut CO2 emissions by at least 60% by the year 2050.

A zero carbon home is one that returns to the National Grid as much power as it uses over a year.This means having solar panels and wind turbines fitted to generate the energy to cancel out its greenhouse gas emissions.

Zero carbon homes are exempt from stamp duty. At present, only a handful of the 150,000 homes built each year qualify, but developers are constantly working on changes to help the environment.

House builders have a good record for tree planting. And 67% of new developments are built on brownfield sites, thereby bringing redundant land back into positive use.

Andrew says..
New builds offer low running costs and, in recent years, really attractive architecture and a mix of home sizes that attract a range of age groups and people.
Cons: If you move in early, it may mean living on a building site. New builds also cost more.

photograph: shutterstock

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