Moving into a new build house

Last updated: January 2024 | 3 min read

Embarking on a journey to a new build home? Navigate through are new builds worth it with this enlightening guide, packed with insights and practical tips. Uncover key aspects like questions to ask when buying a new build house and learn effective strategies for how to fix problems with a new build home. Your path to a smart, informed move starts right here – full of valuable advice tailored just for you.

What to know before exchanging contracts

Role of the local council and ground rent in new build properties

New build homes often involve local council interactions, particularly regarding planning permissions and community infrastructure. This interaction ensures your new property aligns with local development plans.

Ground rent, a periodic charge you pay as a leaseholder, is another factor to consider. Typically, this fee is nominal, but it's vital to review the terms. Understanding these aspects helps you avoid surprises post-purchase.

Understanding building regulations and warranties for new build homes

Building regulations ensure new properties meet specific safety and construction standards. Familiarize yourself with these regulations; they play a key role in your home's quality and safety.

Additionally, most new builds come with warranties, like the NHBC 10-year guarantee, offering protection against structural defects. Knowing the coverage details of such warranties is key for future peace of mind.

Steps to take after exchanging contracts but before completion

Scheduling a professional snagging survey

Once contracts are exchanged, consider arranging a professional snagging survey. This inspection identifies any issues or defects in the new property, from minor cosmetic concerns to significant structural problems. Addressing these issues before completion can save future headaches and expenses, ensuring your new home is in perfect condition.

Coordinating with removal companies: Tips and comparisons

Selecting the right removal company is essential for a smooth transition to your new home. Research and compare different companies, considering factors like cost, services provided, and customer reviews.

Plan ahead and book early to avoid last-minute stress. Efficient coordination with a reliable company ensures your belongings are transported safely and timely.

Preparing for your move into a new house

Essentials to manage before the moving day

Informing Royal Mail of your new address

Updating your address with Royal Mail ensures your post reaches your new home. Start this process as soon as you have a confirmed moving date. Complete Royal Mail's online form, which is quick and user-friendly.

It's a practical step to avoid missing important documents or letters. You'll need your new postcode and door number for this. Remember, redirecting mail can take up to 10 working days, so act promptly.

Arranging for new utilities: Internet, phone line, and central heating

Securing utilities for your new build home involves several steps. First, identify providers servicing your area. Internet and phone lines are essentials for modern living. Research providers to find the best deals and coverage. For central heating, know the system installed in your new build. You may need to set up an account with a local energy supplier. Contact these providers well in advance of your moving day to ensure a seamless transition.

Home demonstration: Understanding all the appliances and systems

Most new build homes come with various appliances and systems. Attend the home demonstration offered by your developer. It's a valuable opportunity to learn how your new home's appliances work. This includes central heating, window vents, and potentially unfamiliar systems. Take notes and ask questions. Understanding these systems from the start prevents future issues and ensures your home runs efficiently.

Final checks and measures

Measuring spaces for furniture and soft furnishings

Before moving, measure spaces in your new build home for furniture and soft furnishings. It avoids the hassle of discovering that items don't fit on moving day. Measure room dimensions, door widths, and stairways. This ensures your furniture can be moved in easily. Consider the layout and how your current or new furniture will look and fit in the space.

Ensuring fire and smoke alarms are in working order

Safety first. Check that all fire and smoke alarms in your new build are functional. This is usually a standard feature, but double checking adds peace of mind. Test each alarm and familiarize yourself with their locations. If any aren't working, contact your developer immediately. It's a small but crucial step in ensuring the safety of your new home.

On your move-in day

Conducting the final walk-through

Using a fine tooth comb: Double-checking every detail

Moving into a new build house, your first step is a thorough walk-through. This is where you scrutinize every nook and cranny, ensuring everything is as agreed. It's your moment to notice any discrepancies or unfinished areas. Open and close all doors and windows, inspect surfaces for blemishes, and ensure all fixtures and fittings are correctly installed. It's not just about aesthetics; it's about making sure your new home is structurally sound and ready for you.

Confirming the snagging list with the site manager

Snagging lists are crucial in new builds. This is your compiled record of every minor defect or unfinished work you've noticed. Meeting with the site manager, you'll walk through this list together. Your aim is to confirm that each item is acknowledged and a plan for addressing them is in place. This interaction sets the tone for post-move-in support and rectification of any issues.

Setting up your new home

Directing delivery drivers and unpacking essentials

Your new address, perhaps unfamiliar to delivery firms, requires your attention. Guide delivery drivers to ensure your belongings arrive safely at your doorstep. It's a good idea to have a clear plan for directing them, particularly if your new build is in a newly developed area that might not yet appear on some maps.

Start by unpacking essentials – the things that make your first few days comfortable. This includes bedding, kitchen essentials, and toiletries.

Setting up furniture and organizing living spaces

Now, focus on the larger task of setting up your living spaces. Your new house is a blank canvas, awaiting your personal touch.

Assemble and place furniture thoughtfully, considering the flow of each room. It's tempting to rush, but take your time to envision and create spaces that feel like home. Remember to run taps, flush toilets, and perhaps keep windows open for a while to aid ventilation.

The first few weeks in your new build home

Adjusting to your new environment

Managing the house drying out process and avoiding excessive heat

Moving into a new build house, expect a period of 'drying out.' This phase is completely normal. Your new home releases moisture accumulated during construction. Keep the house adequately ventilated. Resist turning up the heat excessively. It's tempting in a new build, but gradual temperature increases prevent internal structural damage. Regular airing out helps maintain a balanced environment.

Learning your new local area: Bin collection days and nearby amenities

Familiarise yourself with the local area. Key details like bin collection days are essential. Check the local council website for schedules and nearby postcode information. It's also helpful to learn about amenities such as parks, supermarkets, and transport links. This knowledge not only eases your transition but also enhances your living experience in the new environment.

Maintenance and troubleshooting

Dealing with small cracks and the drying process of internal walls

Notice small cracks in the walls? This is common in new build houses. As materials settle and the house 'breathes', minor fissures can appear. Regularly inspect these areas. Small cracks usually require simple cosmetic fixes. For larger concerns, consult your builder, especially if under warranty. Maintaining vigilance in these early weeks ensures long-term structural integrity.

Regular checks and maintenance of kitchen appliances and central heating

In a new build, it's vital to keep an eye on kitchen appliances and central heating. Double-check their functioning. Refer to instruction manuals provided for correct operation. Regular maintenance ensures longevity and efficiency. This proactive approach not only prevents unexpected breakdowns but also enhances your comfort and safety in your new home.

Long-term considerations for new build homeowners

Engaging with your community and local council

Understanding service charges and community guidelines

New build homeowners often encounter service charges. These are fees for maintaining shared spaces and facilities in your development.

It's important to regularly review the details of these charges. They can include the upkeep of gardens, cleaning of communal areas, and the maintenance of shared facilities. Knowing the breakdown of these costs helps in budgeting and understanding where your money is going.

Additionally, staying informed about any potential increases in service charges is key. This information is usually available through homeowners' associations or directly from the property management company.

Community guidelines, set by either the developer or the local homeowners' association, also play a significant role in the living experience. These guidelines can regulate various aspects of community life, such as parking arrangements, acceptable noise levels, and restrictions on property modifications. Familiarizing yourself with these guidelines is essential. It ensures you live in harmony with your neighbors and adhere to the community's standards.

Participating in local council activities and initiatives

Active participation in local council activities can greatly enrich your living experience in a new build area. Councils often host community meetings, events, and initiatives that allow residents to engage with each other and with local government.

These platforms are also a way to voice any concerns or suggestions you might have about the local area, especially those specific to new build communities like yours. This could include topics like infrastructure development, public service availability, or community safety initiatives.

Engaging with your local council can also keep you informed about any upcoming changes or developments that might affect your neighborhood. This proactive involvement not only strengthens community bonds but also ensures that your voice is heard in matters affecting your living environment.

Maintaining your property

Regular property checks and updates on warranty documents

Conducting regular checks on your property is an integral part of maintaining a new build home. These checks should be thorough and cover all aspects of the property, including its structural integrity, plumbing systems, electrical installations, and any smart home features.

It's also important to pay attention to the warranty documents that come with a new build home. These warranties usually cover major structural defects for a set period. Ensure that you understand the extent of these warranties, including what is covered and for how long. Keep these documents updated and in an easily accessible location, so you can refer to them or make claims if necessary.

Planning for future renovations or changes

When planning for future renovations, it's crucial to consider both personal needs and the impact on your home's value. Whether it's an extension, a new kitchen, or a loft conversion, these changes should align with your long-term living plans and enhance the functionality of your home.

However, before embarking on any significant renovation project, it's essential to check if there are any restrictions or required permissions. This could involve seeking approval from the local council, especially if your changes affect the external appearance of the house or if you live in a conservation area. Additionally, some new build developments have covenants that restrict certain changes, so it's important to verify these details with the developer or homeowners' association.

Thoughtful planning and adherence to regulations ensure that any modifications enhance your living space without causing legal or community issues.

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