Why buying a new-build could save you money

Why buying a new-build could save you money

By Esther Shaw

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From warranties to cheaper bills, how new homes are good for your bank balance long-term.

Buying something shiny and brand new usually costs a premium. But when it comes to our homes, new-builds can save you cash in the long run.

From deals to lower day-to-day running costs, here’s how opting for a new-build property can keep your bank balance healthy and save energy, too.

1. New-builds come with cheaper bills

New-build homes need to meet high energy efficiency standards and should be eco-friendly and have lower utility costs as a result.

More than 80% of new-builds have an energy efficiency rating of A or B on their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

By contrast, only 3% of existing homes have an EPC rating of either ‘A’ or ‘B.’

New-builds often have condensing boilers, double (or triple) glazing, insulation and solar panels. They also usually have the latest energy-efficient appliances and heating.

New-builds save buyers around £138m per year in energy costs, according to the Home Builders Federation. That's £52 saved per month for each household.

If you opt for a new-build, you can enjoy not only lower energy bills, but lower running costs more generally. What’s not to love about savings and a smaller carbon footprint?

2. Deals and special offers on new-builds can cut costs

Many housebuilders offer incentives to help sell homes within their developments.

Incentives help developers to hit their targets. Examples include free white goods, free furnishings or car parking space. 

Other perks might include paying your legal fees or stamp duty.

Of these, the offer to pay your stamp duty is likely to provide the biggest saving. But remember, first-time buyers are exempt from stamp duty up to £300,000.

3. New-build warranties can save you money on repairs

The Consumer Code for Home Builders (CCHB) gives protection and rights to anyone buying a new-build home.

Under the code, buyers should be treated fairly and fully informed about the home before and after they sign the contract.

Any home built in line with the CCHB will also come with a housing warranty. 

While there housebuilders don’t legally have to follow the CCHB, most of them do. In fact, lenders often require homes to be built this way to offer mortgages against them.

Any homes built using Help to Buy will come under the code and offer warranties.

The cover is for 10 years and protects you if there are any major problems with how your home has been built.

The cost of any major repairs will be covered by the insurance. This means fewer nasty financial surprises, and it can save you money on repairs during the life of the warranty.

The UK’s main new home warranty bodies are NHBC, Premier Guarantee, LABC Warranty and Checkmate. 

Find out more about what the CCHB means for your rights as a buyer.

4. Homes can be customised, so you won’t have to make expensive changes

Another advantage of purchasing a new-build property is the fact you can tailor the property to your taste. 

This might include selecting your own fixtures and fittings. You might decide on the position of cupboards and plug sockets. Or pick the colour of kitchen worktops.

As you can stipulate exactly what you want from the get-go, you shouldn’t have to spend money (and time) further down the line.

5. Repair costs should be minimal for the first few years

With a sparkling new-build home, you’re unlikely to have to fork out for repairs. 

At least, in the first few years and especially if it's been built to the latest specifications.

This lower level of maintenance should mean savings for you as the owner. 

6. You won’t need the most expensive survey when you buy

When purchasing an existing house, a survey is a comprehensive (and expensive) report into its condition. Different surveys cost between £400 and £950 on average.

But with a brand new house, you may decide not to commission a survey at all.

A ‘snagging survey’ is a simpler option and costs around £300. It can be used to spot any minor defects before the sale goes through.

Minor defects might include chipped worktops, poor joins in the woodwork, and doors that don’t shut properly. 

It can also be used to alert you to bigger issues, such as dodgy electrics and faulty plumbing.

If you don't use a snagging survey, it's a good idea to go through the property and compile a snagging list yourself before you move in.

7. New white goods means lower maintenance costs

Fridges, freezers, cookers, hobs, dishwashers and washing machines. All white goods will be brand new when you move into a new-build. 

Make sure you ask the developer to give you their guarantees. Brand new goods are less likely to break down and cost you money.

Plus the warranties should mean you save cash on repairs.

8. Higher levels of security could mean cheaper insurance

New-build properties come with high levels of security which can reduce your insurance. 

Many new-builds have burglar alarms fitted as standard. Some flats and developments are gated, have concierge services and CCTV.

These factors count in your favour for buildings and contents insurance and can make it cheaper.

9. There are buying schemes available for new build homes

There are several buying schemes available to help you purchase a new build home.

Deposit Unlock

The newest scheme, Deposit Unlock, has just been launched by the house-building industry to enable first-time buyers and second-steppers to buy a new-build home with just a 5% deposit.

Seventeen housebuilders, from Barratt to Vistry, are taking part and the scheme is available to help you buy any house or two-bedroom+ apartment.

Find out more about Deposit Unlock

Help to Buy

Help to Buy is another scheme designed to help first-time buyers onto the property ladder.

Through the scheme, the government lends up 20% of the property value (or up to 40% in London) to help you buy your home.

Find out more about Help to Buy

Shared Ownership

Shared Ownership homes can be new builds, existing properties, houses or flats.

Shared Ownership is a government scheme that offers you the chance to buy a share of a property from a housing association, a non-profit-making body that provides homes.

Because you only own a part of the property, you can buy it with a smaller deposit and mortgage.

Find out more about Shared Ownership.