September 22nd 2023

Your Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Buying a New Build Home

Your Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Buying a New Build Home

Buying a new build home can be an exciting and rewarding journey. From modern designs to energy efficiency, new builds offer a range of benefits. However, navigating the process of buying a new build can be complex, requiring careful consideration and planning. To ensure a smooth and successful home buying journey, it’s crucial to approach it with careful planning and preparation. In this comprehensive step-by-step guide, we will outline everything you need to consider before embarking on your home buying adventure. By following these steps, you’ll be well-equipped to make informed decisions and find your dream home. But don’t worry, you won’t have to go-it-alone. At Jones Homes, our team of very friendly and knowledgeable advisors are there to help you through each step of the way.

If you have a home to sell, checking out our tips on how to sell your old home is a great start.. Also, ask our sales advisors about Agency Assist: the moving scheme that allows you to reserve your new home whilst we help you to sell yours.


Step 1: Save for a Down Payment and Costs

Start saving for your down payment and moving costs as early as possible. A deposit payment can help lower your mortgage payments and improve loan terms. Additionally, be prepared to cover moving and legal costs. Our sales advisors can offer guidance. Explore possible down deposit assistance programs, especially if you are buying your first home. These things change over time, but deposit incentives from builders and possible government schemes might be available to you.


Step 2: Determine Your Needs

Think about what you need in a home. Consider the size of the house, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the layout, and the location. Think about your lifestyle and what amenities are important to you. For example, if you have kids, you may want a home close to schools and parks. Prioritise your requirements to help narrow down your search and streamline the decision-making process.


Step 3: Assess Your Finances

Before you start looking at homes, it’s essential to assess your finances. You need to know what you can afford to pay for a house. Look at your income, expenses, and credit score. You can use online calculators to estimate how expensive a house you can afford. Also, check your credit score to ensure you qualify for a mortgage with favourable terms.


Step 4: Create a Budget

Once you have an idea of how much you can afford, create a budget that includes all your monthly expenses, such as car payments, student loans, credit card payments, and utilities. Also, include any expenses that come with owning a home, such as property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs.


Step 5: Check Your Credit Score and Improve It

A good credit score is crucial for securing favourable mortgage terms. Obtain a copy of your credit report, review it for any errors, and take steps to improve your score if necessary. Pay your bills on time, reduce debt, and avoid taking on new credit obligations in the months leading up to your home purchase. There are many free services available to help you manage your credit score, such as Clear Score and Equifax


Step 6: Research Builders and Developments in your area of interest

Thoroughly research reputable builders and developments in the areas you are interested in. Visit the websites of different builders to explore their portfolios of house styles, and assess their reputation. Are they members of the HBF? Do they have a 5-star rating for customer satisfaction? Consider visiting show homes or attending open house events to get a first-hand experience of the products and finishes on offer.


Step 7: Get Pre-approved for a Mortgage

Obtaining a pre-approval from a mortgage lender is a critical step before starting your home search. It involves a detailed financial assessment and verifies your ability to secure a loan. A pre-approval strengthens your position as a serious buyer and helps you set a realistic budget while searching for homes. Jones Homes can recommend independent financial advisors who specialise in new build mortgages.


Step 8: Engage a Solicitor

Find a reliable solicitor who specialises in the process of buying new build property. They will handle the legal aspects of the purchase, including title searches, contract reviews, and land registry checks. Engaging a solicitor early on will ensure a smooth process and help you understand your rights and obligations. Jones Homes can recommend a solicitor who is familiar with new build home purchases to help make the process a little easier, but you are free to use any solicitor you choose.


Step 9: Reservation and Reservation Fee

Once you have identified a new build development you are interested in, contact the builder or their sales representative to make a reservation. Pay the reservation fee, which is typically around £500 to £1,000, to secure the plot. Ensure you understand the terms and conditions associated with the reservation. The sales advisor will be there to offer a helping hand to get you through the purchase process onto the next step in your home buying journey.


Step 10: Exchange Contracts

Once the property reaches the stage of completion specified in the contract, your solicitor will guide you through the exchange of contracts. At this stage, you will be required to pay a deposit, usually 5-10% of the purchase price. Review the contract thoroughly and seek legal advice if necessary.


Step 11: Completion and Handover

Upon completion, your solicitor will finalise the purchase by transferring the remaining funds to the builder. You will receive the keys to your new home and complete a handover process, during which the builder will familiarise you with the property, its systems, and any warranties or guarantees. Congratulations! You’re now a homeowner.


Step 12: Snagging and Aftercare

After moving in, document any issues or defects you notice through a snagging list and inform the builder promptly. Most builders offer an aftercare service to rectify any problems that arise during the initial period of ownership. A new Jones Home will come with a 10-year warranty and insurance cover from NHBC Buildmark. This will give you a Jones Homes two years’ builder warranty and then a further 8 years’ insurance provided by NHBC against damage caused by any failure to meet NHBC Strict Technical Requirements. You probably won’t need it, but it’s great to know that you’re covered just in case. Always follow up with the builder to ensure that all issues are resolved satisfactorily.

Buying a new build home requires careful consideration and attention to detail. By following this step-by-step guide, you can navigate the process smoothly and confidently. Remember to conduct thorough research, engage professionals, and communicate effectively with your representative to ensure a successful and satisfying new build home buying journey.

It’s an exciting time, so also be sure to enjoy making plans to turn your new house into a new home. Check out some of our other articles about interior and garden design.