Many people that opt to buy a new-build property do so because they believe that it is a stress-free option, and that the property will not require any repairs or alterations. In reality, many new-build homes are a far cry from the well-decorated and professionally dressed show home that housing developers present!

Here we look at some of the myths around buying a new-build home and how buyers might be able to avoid some of the common issues encountered.

The Building Society or Bank’s “Survey” will identify any problems

If borrowing money via a mortgage, your lender will usually require a Valuation Report to be completed before they agree to release the money. Some buyers are under the impression that this is a survey, and that any issues with the property will therefore be identified during the inspection. This is not the case; a Valuation Report does not report upon the condition of a property or the standard of work that has been completed on it. It simply identifies the valuation of the property.

Everything will be completed to a high standard

Just because a property has been newly built, it does not mean that it will be perfect! According to the Home Builders Federation (HBF), 94 per cent of new-build homeowners report at least one defect once their property is complete, with many buyers finding tens or even over 100 faults! This can obviously be hugely disappointing if you are unaware in advance of moving in. In some cases, the issues can be so severe that it may be that it is necessary to move out whilst repairs are undertaken – something that no new homeowner would want.

Having a Chartered Surveyor undertake a Snagging Inspection in advance of completing on the purchase will allow for any issues of workmanship, work which has not been completed to the agreed standard or specification and/or any potential issues which are not compliant with the relevant Building Regulations to be identified.

If you are buying ‘off plan’, you will want to instruct a Snagging Inspection as soon as the property has been built. 

I can get any repairs under the NHBC warranty

Whilst it is true that new-build properties come with a warranty, of up to ten years, the reality of getting any repair works undertaken can be far more difficult than home buyers anticipate. Accessing help from the NHBC is not always straightforward and there are also some surprising things that NHBC warranty does not cover. The timeframe in which any defects arise can also be key. Whilst the first two years offers the most protection, any underlying problems that only arise after this time are less likely to be covered.

Even if you find that you are able to make a claim for works to be rectified, many people do not account for the disruption this may cause to their home and life. Identifying issues prior to moving in by way of a Snagging Inspection Report applies pressure to the house builder to complete repairs. This means you can avoid having your home life turned upside down after you have moved in.

Lea Hough Chartered Surveyors are able to carry out Snagging Inspection Reports throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria.

To find out more about our services for new-build properties or to obtain a quote for a Snagging Report, please contact us.

Preston Office
Telephone: 01772 458866
Blackburn Office
Telephone: 01254 260196
Clitheroe Office
Telephone: 01200 320040
Lancaster Office
Telephone: 01524 899850
Lea Hough is a trading name of Lea Hough & Co LLP, which is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales under partnership number OC306054.
Registered Office: 7 Ferry Road, Office Park, Preston, PR2 2YH.