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7 questions to ask when buying a new build property

Buying a new build property can often be appealing for first-time buyers, those who want a quick move, or simply for piece of mind that everything will be in order when they move in. 

However, there are some crucial questions to ask before you put that deposit down for your new home. Although buying a new build home often feels like a safe option, there are some things you must consider – and some could leave you forking out hundreds of pounds more than you initially expected.

New build property

For example, some developments may require you to pay a maintenance fee for the upkeep of the estate – such as play areas or green spaces, and others might have certain rules about parking. 

We have rounded up seven things you should consider before buying a new build property.

Who are the developers? 

Before you buy your new build property, compare, contrast and get to know the developers. Look out for reviews online – what have others experienced when moving into the estate – have they had a positive experience? Search for Facebook pages and local forums of people who may have moved into the area to see if any issues have been raised. 

Get talking to others on the estate who have already moved in – do they speak highly of their home and the developers? 

Also, there may be multiple developers building new builds in the area – look to see how the properties and prices compare. Never rely solely on the developer’s promotional materials, and do your own research. 


People moving into new builds often think the price is fixed and there is no room for movement. However, you may be able to negotiate a price, especially at the end of their financial year, or if there are only a few properties left to be sold. 

Make sure you shop around for a good deal. Different development companies offer different incentives, including money towards your deposit, or a free upgrade of your white goods or furnishings – so look around to see which one suits you best. 


If you are buying a new build property ‘off-plan’ be aware that there may be some delays. Buying off-plan is when a buyer secures a home before it has been built or before construction has even started. Although the developers may give you a rough date of when you may be able to move in, be aware that issues can arise which could result in your move being delayed. 

Delays could cause major issues, especially if you are involved in a chain when selling your own house, or are moving for a particular reason – for example, a new job or a baby. Delays can also affect your mortgage deal if you are not a cash buyer, so bear this in mind.

You should get the builder to agree a ‘long stop completion date’, which means they’ll be liable to pay you compensation if they don’t finish the work by that date.


Before you put down a deposit for your new build home, make sure you are aware of the parking situation on your development. New build estates can often have small or narrow roads which can make parking difficult for households with more than one car. 

Don’t assume you will be allocated a parking space or the space will be nearby – so make sure you check the contract. Also, check the rules around electric charging points and if there will be an additional fee for this.

Meanwhile, there may be rules around commercial vehicles – such as work vans, or large vehicles such as camper vans from being parked on the estate, so make sure you confirm this before buying. 


Make sure there is a ‘snagging’ provision in your contract to allow you to get issues sorted with the property. This could be minor faults such as cracked paintwork, to major problems with drainage and pipework. 

It is advisable for all new build homeowners to get a pre-completion inspection and to employ their own independent pre-completion snagging inspector. It is also a good idea to get a snagging survey after you move into your new build home, to identify any snags as soon as possible. 

In most cases, you will have two years from your completion date to report any defects to your housebuilder, which they are legally obligated to fix under your property’s warranty. 

New build estate management charges 

Be aware of new build estate management charges. If the development is built on land that has not been adopted by the local authority, the developers, builder or third-party management company may pass the fee of upkeep onto the residents.

At present, these maintenance fees are unregulated and uncapped, meaning that in some areas, developers can hike the charges as they see fit.

Garden quality 

Ensure you check the quality of the garden before purchasing the property. Some residents who recently moved into new built homes said their garden has drainage issues, and their children are unable to play outside. Others say they are prone to potential flooding, and this can be expensive to fix.

Many buyers of newly built homes said they wish they had known more about what to expect in terms of topsoil provision and the potential for flooding.

Before buying, ask your conveyancing solicitor to check your property has Building Regulations sign-off for the drainage system. 

Further reading

Purchases – Oakwood Property Solicitors


To make a start on the next step in your property journey, get in touch today to book a consultation with a member of our team. Call us on 0113 218 5727 to find out how we can help you.

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