• Dear Guest, and welcome to RailUK Forums. Our non-railway discussion forums are currently restricted until members have five or more posts, and you will not be able to make a new thread or reply to an existing one in this section until you have made five or more posts elsewhere on the forum.

Would you buy a new build house?

Status
Not open for further replies.

telstarbox

Established Member
Joined
23 Jul 2010
Messages
5,295
Location
Wennington Crossovers
There are new houses being built across the UK at the moment but would you move into one?
My work is loosely related to this but with a couple of exceptions, the housebuilders' products don't thrill me in terms of design. On the other hand you should get an energy efficient house and a reasonable confidence that it won't fall down on day 1. Has anyone on here bought a brand new pad?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

birchesgreen

Established Member
Joined
16 Jun 2020
Messages
2,061
Location
Birmingham
My friend bought a nearly new house (think was about 5 years old) and it had more cracks than my one built in 1950, plus its tiny!

Obviously more energy efficient but I don't think I'll ever go new...
 

Mcr Warrior

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2009
Messages
4,334
Personally no. Twenty first century houses do seem to have a reputation not dissimilar to mass produced British cars built back in the 1970s. :rolleyes:
 

Iskra

Established Member
Joined
11 Jun 2014
Messages
4,491
Location
Chapeltown, Sheffield
Yeah, bought mine 4.5 years ago. It’s nice, affordable, very energy efficient and under warranty. Plus you get benefits like Yorkshire Water not getting around to installing a water meter for 4 years... :D Also, you know what you’re buying, there should be no nasty surprises and once you’re in you don’t have to do any costly work to them for a fair few years (although plenty of people choose to). You also don’t have any complications dealing with the previous occupants.

Downside is the lack of storage space in rooms, and you do hear some horror stories about new builds. Also mine was handed over a few months late, although it didn’t inconvenience me too much personally.
 

Cowley

Veteran Member
Associate Staff
General Discussion
Railtours & Preservation
Modelling & Games
Joined
15 Apr 2016
Messages
11,058
Location
Devon
My friend bought a nearly new house (think was about 5 years old) and it had more cracks than my one built in 1950, plus its tiny!

Obviously more energy efficient but I don't think I'll ever go new...

What I would say from the point of view of decorating plenty of new builds and new extensions over the years is that I’d expect quite a bit of settlement and various cracks appearing over the first few years of its life. These are not generally much to worry about at all and I always tell customers to get in touch with me after a couple of years and I’ll go back and sort it out for them.

Would I buy a brand new house?
No probably not unless I was involved or at least able to see the build as it progressed, but that’s just my personal preference from working on many many houses both old and new.
Some modern houses are very shoddy but then again some can be very good. Personally I like a good solid Victorian brick house but I can see why people buy new.
 

HSTEd

Veteran Member
Joined
14 Jul 2011
Messages
13,560
No, modern houses are just shrunken and more poorly built knockoffs of a house that was suitable circa 1975.

They aren't optimised for the conditions we have today.
 

westv

Established Member
Joined
29 Mar 2013
Messages
3,284
Yeah, bought mine 4.5 years ago. It’s nice, affordable, very energy efficient and under warranty. Plus you get benefits like Yorkshire Water not getting around to installing a water meter for 4 years... :D
You saw that as a benefit?! You must use a huge amount of water.
 

Tazi Hupefi

Member
Joined
1 Apr 2018
Messages
582
Location
Nottinghamshire
The new home warranty isn't worth the paper it's written on either in my experience.

I bought a "luxury new build" as a buy-to-let a couple of years ago and it's been nothing but trouble, and the builders have used COVID as an excuse why they can't fix the various outstanding issues. It will inevitably end up in the County Court if things carry on like this!

The property superficially looks 5 star, very well to do, but stepping inside, the cracks, leaks, poor finishings, lazy shortcuts etc don't take long to become apparent on a second glance. They promise to fix everything when you get the keys, and note it all down, but good luck getting them to do anything once they've got your money.

It makes me wonder what the property looks like behind the walls and under the floors!

The only reason to buy a new build today would be to benefit from the various government first time buyer schemes.
 

Peter Mugridge

Veteran Member
Joined
8 Apr 2010
Messages
12,144
Location
Epsom
No, not unless I'd paid an architect and a builder myself.
I'd agree - and I'd go further and want a solid brick built place made to last. In fact I'd probably go for solid floors as well like in an office with ducting for all the wires, pipes, etc. It would cost more to build, but should be much lower maintenance in the long term. For the roof - slate, not ridged tiles.
 

Bevan Price

Established Member
Joined
22 Apr 2010
Messages
5,759
IF anyone is buying a new house, make certain that it includes purchase of the freehold. Avoid leasehold property like the plague.
Leasehold typically means that somebody else owns the land on which the house is built, and you can be charged ground rent for having your house on their land. And the land can be sold to speculators who then make exhorbitant increases to the ground rent. Equally, be cautious about buying flats where a "service charge" applies.. Sometimes such charges have been increased to "unaffordable" levels.
Many such cases have been featured on "You and Yours" on BBC Radio 4.

(That applies to England -- Scottish law may differ.)
 

Cowley

Veteran Member
Associate Staff
General Discussion
Railtours & Preservation
Modelling & Games
Joined
15 Apr 2016
Messages
11,058
Location
Devon
I’m helping a friend rebuild a large house on Dartmoor this year which involves knocking down a third of it and replacing it with a new build.
It very much comes down to the effort put in at this stage as to how good it’ll eventually end up being.
Parts of what we’re retaining will be hundreds of years old, but some of the stuff that was rebuilt after a rather dramatic fire in the 1920s is incredibly shoddy and is going to have to be totally dismantled and replaced if we want to avoid any problems in the future...

Seeing some of what was done a hundred years ago has really surprised me actually. You’d imagine the Master Craftsmen in those days doing a splendid job and being proud of their work, but not a bit of it. Some of the workmanship is absolutely appalling. :lol:

Houses are a really mixed bag and some older stuff can cause major problems when the (over) engineering fails. But then some modern houses are built down to such a price that they’ll always feel like poor quality housing.
Just try and learn as much as you can when you’re buying folks.
 

Journeyman

Established Member
Joined
16 Apr 2014
Messages
6,278
I bought a new build five years ago. It's been perfect for my needs and I'm really happy with it.
 

Bayum

Established Member
Joined
21 Mar 2008
Messages
2,465
Location
Leeds
I would. If I had the money to design my own and have input on rooms etc I’d do that. Unfortunately, I’m 31 and single so not even able to get a foot on the ladder.
 

westcoaster

Established Member
Joined
4 Dec 2006
Messages
3,991
Location
DTOS A or B
Brought one last year and moved in in december. Very happy so far a few snags but builders have been on these in an instant. Nice large modern detached house, energy efficient and surprisingly large garden.
 

Iskra

Established Member
Joined
11 Jun 2014
Messages
4,491
Location
Chapeltown, Sheffield
You saw that as a benefit?! You must use a huge amount of water.
The benefit was, that they subsequently couldn’t/wouldn’t charge me until they installed a meter ;)

The new home warranty isn't worth the paper it's written on either in my experience.

I bought a "luxury new build" as a buy-to-let a couple of years ago and it's been nothing but trouble, and the builders have used COVID as an excuse why they can't fix the various outstanding issues. It will inevitably end up in the County Court if things carry on like this!

The property superficially looks 5 star, very well to do, but stepping inside, the cracks, leaks, poor finishings, lazy shortcuts etc don't take long to become apparent on a second glance. They promise to fix everything when you get the keys, and note it all down, but good luck getting them to do anything once they've got your money.

It makes me wonder what the property looks like behind the walls and under the floors!

The only reason to buy a new build today would be to benefit from the various government first time buyer schemes.
While I didn’t have any major issues, they sorted out the ones I did have straight away, although I can see that if you aren’t the assertive type that they could wriggle out of stuff, but I was quite insistent so they sorted it out.

I would. If I had the money to design my own and have input on rooms etc I’d do that. Unfortunately, I’m 31 and single so not even able to get a foot on the ladder.
I was 26, single and on a fairly normal income, it’s not impossible!
 
Last edited:

Snow1964

Member
Joined
7 Oct 2019
Messages
1,092
Location
West Wiltshire
Yes, have bought an ex showhome, but you do have to choose your builder carefully (actually not the building company, but quality of their site manager)

Upstairs is great, 4 bedrooms, all with built in wardrobes, big walk in shower in ours and we have a 6 foot bed in it and plenty of space. House is just under 1600 square feet.

Downstairs the layout isn’t that well thought out, we have a second snug lounge, but the main Kitchen-dinner is L shaped and kitchen isn’t that practical. It’s a family home with relatively small built in fridge-freezer etc. We had to add extra cupboards.

Being an ex showhome, was better decorated, and garage is part insulated (as it spent 18 months as the sales centre), garden was properly stocked with plants etc, but there are some cracks where top of wall meets ceiling. It does have advantages, in last 6 months (autumn and winter) only cost £650 for gas and electric (with thermostats set to 21.5c), as its well insulated.

Would I buy another new house, maybe, but never from the smaller or cheaper end of the range

Our builder sorted out initial niggles really fast

But if we did buy another house, we now know where to look for cost cutting (check quality of window handles, do taps splash floor in bathroom because sink is small, quality of internal door handles and hinges, how many shelves in airing cupboard, how many rows of paving slabs does patio have, size of freezer, did they use 6 inch duct on kitchen cooker hood to reduce noise, does it have any solar panels, is it underfloor heating or cheapest radiators, are their data cables from router position to TVs locations and study to avoid using wifi, is there fibre broadband to house etc.

Whatever home you are looking to buy, try and work out where you will put 10 key items which you won’t use everyday, as it shows if design has any practicality or should be avoided : Suitcases, ironing board, vacuum cleaner, wellington boots, winter coats, box of Christmas decorations, lawnmower, broom + mop, clothes airer / drying rack, shopping bags / rucksacks.
 
Last edited:

kermit

Member
Joined
2 May 2011
Messages
485
Thinking about it, the newest house I've ever lived in was a 1930s semi, and the rest have been 1850 - 1900. Leaky roofs and windows, rot and woodworm have been intermittent but persistent challenges, but big rooms, quirky shapes, cellars and above all at least one coal fire have more than made up for that. Modern houses seem antiseptic, bland, and soulless to me. I love to sit in an old house and try to imagine the very first occupants coming through the door, what their lives were like, and what they would think if they could travel through time to see the house as it is today.
 

Bayum

Established Member
Joined
21 Mar 2008
Messages
2,465
Location
Leeds
The benefit was, that they subsequently couldn’t/wouldn’t charge me until they installed a meter ;)


While I didn’t have any major issues, they sorted out the ones I did have straight away, although I can see that if you aren’t the assertive type that they could wriggle out of stuff, but I was quite insistent so they sorted it out.


I was 26, single and on a fairly normal income, it’s not impossible!
Oh really? How did you manage it?
 

Iskra

Established Member
Joined
11 Jun 2014
Messages
4,491
Location
Chapeltown, Sheffield
Oh really? How did you manage it?
They just never installed one originally, I set up a direct debit, rang them a couple of times to remind them and they said don’t worry about it. They finally got around to it this January so now I have to pay. Just a spot of good luck I guess. I think I was the only one they missed originally so couldn’t be bothered to come back for just one house.
 

LSWR Cavalier

Member
Joined
23 Aug 2020
Messages
1,139
Location
Leafy Suburbia
@kermit
Quirky shapes? Please tell us more!
I like going by the endless terraces on the train into London, when they were built they were identical, now every single one has been upgraded, extended, all are different. An interesting challenge to imagine the thousands of people who lived there, especially the first owners who bought the freehold for a few hundred pounds.
 

Bayum

Established Member
Joined
21 Mar 2008
Messages
2,465
Location
Leeds
They just never installed one originally, I set up a direct debit, rang them a couple of times to remind them and they said don’t worry about it. They finally got around to it this January so now I have to pay. Just a spot of good luck I guess. I think I was the only one they missed originally so couldn’t be bothered to come back for just one house.
I meant buying a house at 26 whilst single.
 

route101

Established Member
Joined
16 May 2010
Messages
8,522
I meant buying a house at 26 whilst single.
Same here, should be more help to single people.

A lot of these new estates the houses are close together, no privacy with the neighbours.
 

Iskra

Established Member
Joined
11 Jun 2014
Messages
4,491
Location
Chapeltown, Sheffield
I meant buying a house at 26 whilst single.
Sorry :D

Well I got help to buy so only needed a £6.5k deposit as a new build 3 bedroom semi in an up and coming part of Sheffield was only £130k.

Same here, should be more help to single people.

A lot of these new estates the houses are close together, no privacy with the neighbours.

You have to choose your plot very carefully :)
 
Last edited:

kermit

Member
Joined
2 May 2011
Messages
485
@kermit
Quirky shapes? Please tell us more!
I like going by the endless terraces on the train into London, when they were built they were identical, now every single one has been upgraded, extended, all are different. An interesting challenge to imagine the thousands of people who lived there, especially the first owners who bought the freehold for a few hundred pounds.
My experience of Victorian terraces is that whilst they looked superficially similar, they were rarely as identical as some designs on modern estates are. In some areas the plots were bought one or two at a time by small building firms who built to their own design, then bought another plot further along with the proceeds of sale. I once viewed one to buy that was built in a wedge shape to use up the remaining land up to - yes - a railway boundary. Another that I lived in from about 1840 had, I think, been subject to botched open plan surgery, followed by hasty reinstatement of a solid supporting wall between the front and back rooms. The give-away was the angle of some of the upstairs door frames as the house had evidently sagged by at least 6 inches! More frighteningly, we had a chimney fire there, as the unscrupulous landlords - yes you Mr and Mrs Newton of Ingoldmells! - had just bunged a gas fire over a fire place without sweeping the chimney. We had no mobile phones or landline phone back in the early 80s, and in the time it took me to walk over the park and find a working phone box, the wallpaper on the chimney breast had started smouldering. The landlords were cross with me because I then got a sweep in to do the other chimneys, who reasonably refused to refit the fires he took off, because he wasn't CORGI registered. They sent their son-in-law round. He didn't appear to be in possession of a certificate. Carbon monoxide? What's that? Sorry, drifting off topic, jumpers for goalposts.......
 

TheBigD

Member
Joined
19 Nov 2008
Messages
1,058
Bought a new house in 2012. No major issues, but a large number of snall ones, though the builder (Persimmon) sorted the snagging list quickly.

Some of the small issues were shoddy workmanship, faults like radiators not level, utility room where the gap for the washing machine failed to take in to account the skirting board, doors not hung level, etc etc.

I negotiated a whole lot of extras from Persimmon (worth around £15k) but once help to buy came in they put the price up £10k and withdrew all incentives.

The rest of the development was erected after help to buy came in and was built really quickly and some of my neighbours have had some quite severe issues (one made it on to BBC Watchdog!).

The biggest issue in my neighborhood now is the conversion of family homes to wretched HMOs and all the issues that they create.

I'm currently in the process of moving out the city to a small village.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top