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BLOG: Buying a new-build house – do you need a survey?

Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you will make in your lifetime yet with a new-build property, you are often expected to sign on the dotted line without having been inside the door! You wouldn’t do this with any other substantial purchase, and you shouldn’t do so with a new-build house either!

Here is some advice on surveys for new-builds, particularly those bought “off-plan” from large housebuilders.

 

Know your warranties

Although buying a new-build home does come with some assurances by way of warranties, these only extend so far. Most new-build houses come with NHBC Buildmark warranty (or equivalent), which usually covers both major and minor issues with the property for the first two years. After this period, however, the warranty will only cover serious matters, such as structural issues, for a further eight years.

In any event, if it is possible to get any defects and snagging items addressed before you move in, it will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. Besides this, if you are buying a new-build you will want everything to be in perfect working order so you can enjoy living there straight away without having the hassle and disruption of repairs being undertaken once you’re all moved in.

 

Snagging

Unfortunately house builders are not required by law to allow buyers to view their property before completion takes place. You are, however, within your rights to ask to do so. If the housebuilder is agreeable you may wish to get this added into your contract.

When viewing your new home try to look beyond the fresh paintwork – there is often a fairly long snag list with new-builds. For example, we have recently seen water entry due to poor cavity trays on a new-build estate in Longridge, cracks to masonry on an estate near Clitheroe, and extensive render problems on an estate in Preston.

Also be sure to check that everything you have paid extra for has been included in the build. It is amazing how often add-on items get overlooked!

 

Get professional advice

Just because it is a new house that hasn’t been lived in before, why not have it inspected by a Chartered Surveyor? It may be a good idea to have a professional surveyor accompany you on your visit to conduct an inspection and prepare a Snagging Report on your behalf.

As this is an independent inspection designed specifically to identify faults in new properties, an experienced Chartered Surveyor will pick up on problems that you might have missed. The benefit of this is that it is the developer’s responsibility to resolve any issues that may be observed within the new-build before you move in. It will therefore be within their interests to rectify any problems that have been identified as soon as possible to allow the sale to progress.

Lea Hough are able to conduct comprehensive Snagging Reports on new-build properties to give you peace of mind before you move in. We can inspect the roofs and external fabric; loft and internal finishes; electric, plumbing and heating services; external grounds and garages.

To discuss your options with us and get a quote, please contact us today.

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