At Reeds Rains, we are passionate about and selling new build homes. Our aim is to share this passion with customers who are considering purchasing a new home. In our ongoing series, 'Why Buy New?', we explore the numerous advantages, from financial savings to social benefits, that come with investing in a new build home. In this third instalment, we delve into the importance of new home warranties and the potential savings in maintenance costs and how new homes provide homeowners with a sense of security and relieve them of extensive maintenance tasks, offering a hassle-free living experience.
Understand what your New Build Warranty covers
The magic word "warranty" holds immense appeal when purchasing a new home as it eliminates the need for worry. To a certain extent, this holds true. A warranty serves to protect buyers in case any mistakes were made during the construction process. However, it is essential to conduct due diligence to understand the extent of coverage provided. In most cases, a 10-year warranty is offered, split into two stages. The initial two years cover defects in the builders' work, such as improperly sealed windows or slightly misfit pipes. Subsequently, the next eight years encompass major structural problems, including foundations, roofs, and load-bearing parts of the floor. It is important to verify that the warranty is backed by an A-rated insurer, ensuring their reliability in fulfilling their commitments.
> Eight year structural insurance period
When purchasing a new home, it is recommended to obtain a specific home buyer's survey, commonly known as a snagging inspection. This inspection is designed to examine workmanship and identify any potential issues. Thus, even before the warranty comes into effect, buyers can have peace of mind. The warranty acts as an additional safety net, protecting against any unnoticed problems. Although moving into a brand new house is exciting, it is important to note that no one has previously lived in the home, which means potential minor issues may have gone unnoticed.
Do you still need home insurance if your New Build property has a warranty?
It is crucial to remember that a warranty cannot replace home insurance. Home insurance is necessary to cover unforeseen events like flash flooding or accidents. Additionally, warranties do not apply to any modifications or additions made to the house. For instance, issues arising from the addition of a conservatory or loft conversion would not be covered. Reporting any issues promptly is vital to ensure a successful warranty claim. Allowing defects to worsen and cause additional, potentially costly, damage may result in an unsuccessful claim.
New Builds have lower maintenance costs than pre-existing homes
The key point to consider is that new build homes generally experience fewer issues due to up-to-date building standards, new materials, and modern devices. According to a report by the Home Buyers Federation (HBF), upgrading a pre-existing 3-bedroom semi-detached home to meet new build standards can cost over £70,000, which includes internal renovations, rewiring, insulation, roofing, rendering, doors, and windows. Despite this significant cost, many UK residents underestimate it, with only 5% expecting to pay such an amount. However, 41% of home buyers acknowledge the appeal of low maintenance as a motivation to invest in new homes.
> 41% of home buyers acknowledge the appeal of low maintenance as a motivation to invest in new homes
While maintenance costs still exist, it is advisable to allocate the recommended amount of 1% of the property's value each year to cover these expenses. However, roofs have an estimated lifespan of about 25 years, and the exterior of a house typically requires painting every 5-10 years, allowing for longer avoidance of major costs compared to average second-hand homes. Maintenance tasks, such as gutter clearing, boiler services, and garden upkeep, tend to be more affordable and manageable. Given the busy lives of home buyers across different age groups and budgets, the hassle and cost of home maintenance are aspects that one would not want to add to their to-do list. Therefore, purchasing a new build home ensures peace of mind.
Source: LSL Land & New Homes