Yes, that’s right… ya girl is officially a homeowner! It’s been a whole month since Dan and I first picked up the keys and it’s still not the least bit real but don’t worry, I won’t bore you with my rollercoaster emotions!
I will, however, bore you (joking, you need to know this!) with everything we didn’t know before buying our first home, especially a new build home.
Buying a house seems straightforward – what could possibly go wrong right? You’ve got all these professionals that you trust will help you but let me tell you now, there will always be unintended hiccups along the way!
So, sit tight, as I’m about to tell you four things that you should know before signing on that dotted line!
1. Research sites exist… so use them!
I may still be holding out hope that somebody creates tinder for potential neighbours, but in the meantime, I’ll settle for websites that allow me to work out my monthly outgoings.
Our local authority website was a great starter place for two OCD finance freaks who had no idea what they were doing & needed to figure out how much we’d be spending per month.
We also wanted to get a grip on our utility bills.. cannot tell you enough from previous experience these always come to bite you on the ass!! We searched comparison websites to find out rough figures and added it into a spreadsheet!
It really helped us when we sat down and saw the numbers. Use this basic template as a starting point and it will really help you out.
2. You can negotiate.
Don’t let anybody tell you anything different! There is such a misconception about negotiating the price of a new build home and I have no idea why.
You’d negotiate on buying a brand new car? So why not this…
We were lucky as our apartment was the last one in the block to be sold and didn’t come with some features the others did – i.e. a balcony. This gave us good bargaining tools, along with a couple of other things we noticed.
Another great tool to negotiating the price is knowing the prices of plots on your development. So once again, do your research! There are great websites out there like the land registry so get your best Nancy Drew hat on and get digging.
Eyes glazing over? Grab a cuppa and stay with me… we’re almost there!
3. You’ll wear more than a homebuyer hat
Ohhhhhh the joys of buying a new build home… or any home for that matter!
I’m all for being helpful but by god I felt like I was doing peoples jobs throughout my home buying journey! [insert facepalm emoji here]
Let me be clear, my broker and solicitors were great, but they were bloody awful at communicating with each other.
I was in my own personal Ground Hog Day time loop, repeating the same information again and again! Be warned, you will become that crazy bunny boiler girlfriend calling every five seconds for an update to every Tom, Dick and Harry!
4. Beware of fees, fees and you guessed it… more fees!
Hidden fees are something you have to do your homework on – and question.
When we got our contract sent over to review, we noticed something called ‘engrossment fees’ which were a few hundred pounds. This was the first time we’d heard or seen it so were so confused.
Turns out, it’s a fee payable to the developer’s solicitor for supplying the legal documentation. Yes! You heard that correctly!
YOU HAVE TO PAY THEM TO EVEN ALLOW YOU TO BUY THEIR PROPERTY!!
Unfortunately, it’s something you can’t get out of but definitely should’ve been made clear as it’s something we did not budget for at all! Ask your sales advisor at the development or solicitor – they’ll be able to find out and should tell you how much it will be.
Well there you have it… four things I wish I knew before buying my first new build home! Are there any that you wish you knew?
Comment them below!