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Buying a New Home: Everything You Need to Know

Buying a home is one of the most exciting times in your life. Whether you’re a first-time buyer, looking for more space from your second home or looking to downsize, imagining this next chapter is a fantastic feeling. The last thing you want to do is dampen the excitement with worry, which is why when you’re looking at new-build homes from a reputable builder, you should feel assured that you’re in safe hands. Though the process of buying can be confusing, this article should help you on your journey.

The process of buying a new build home


Buying a new build home offers plenty of benefits, whatever stage of the ladder you’re on, from confident construction built to modern regulations to greater energy efficiency. But what are the main steps to look out for on the way? Between deposits, reservations, moving day and beyond, here’s everything you need to know.

Not sure if now is the right time to buy? We’ve already covered that here.

Step 1: Set your budget

You’ve decided: it’s time for a change. Whether it’s from a new job, a growing family, or you just fancy living closer to loved ones, the first step before all others is to figure out your budget. What’s the price you can comfortably afford? What could you stretch to if needed? What would your ideal figure be? Don’t forget, when considering your funds, you should also consider the cost of living in the area as well as what you could be looking at paying for bills, like council tax, water and gas.

To give you more peace of mind, we can put you in touch with a fully independent financial advisor – free of charge. This way, you can confidently discuss your financial position with a dedicated professional who can give you a better understanding of how much you can realistically afford, and your overall buying position on the whole.

Step 2: Save your deposit

If you’re already on the ladder, you might have some form of a deposit already. If you don’t, or if you’re a first-time buyer, the next step is figuring out and saving for your deposit. You’ll need this to secure a loan for your mortgage, so the more you can save, the better your rates are likely to be. Again, we can help put you in touch with a financial advisor to help you work through all the details.

Just remember, at Durkan we do offer Deposit Unlock – a scheme that lets you buy with just 5% deposit, regardless of whether you’re a first-time buyer or existing homeowner.

Step 3: Get a mortgage in-principle

While you don’t need a mortgage in-principle to start viewing houses, it’s a good idea to do so. Pre-approval shows that you’re a serious buyer and it’s handy to have it on hand to secure your future home. Depending on the lender, these can last between 30 and 90 days  before it expires, so it’s best to do this once you know you’re serious. Plus, it never hurts to know what your options are.

Step 4: Research your developers & viewing

Right, now for the really fun part – researching your developers and viewing properties. Looking at house builders, contacting estate agents and enquiring with your chosen developer are all great ways to get your foot in the door. Enjoy being shown around the homes you’re interested in, explore the developments, and be sure to make a day of it to see what local life is like. Once you know you’ve found ‘The One’, it’s time for the next couple of steps.

Step 5: Find your solicitor

Found your dream home? Time to enlist your conveyancing solicitor. Best practice is to know who you’re going to contact while you’re still viewing, but the important part is to have them on board by the time you’re ready to make your offer. To make things even easier, we can recommend solicitors who have preferential rates and are already familiar with the development.

Although the process of exchanging on second-hand homes can take anything from a few weeks to several months, new build turnarounds can happen relatively quickly. And there’s plenty of paperwork to get through in the meantime.

Step 6: Reserve your home

Though mostly exciting, reserving your home can be a little scary. This step is the time for agreeing on final details and the price – and this is where your previous budget work really comes in handy. Depending on the developer, there may also be a range of incentives and offers available to discuss, such as contributions to stamp duty, deposit, mortgage payments, legal fees and even furniture. Well, that’s what we offer at least.

Step 7: Sort your finances

Now comes the slightly boring, but very important bit: the funds and paperwork. Your solicitor should lead you through what they need for their part of the job, but you also have some choices to make. Now you’ve reserved your home, you need to secure your mortgage and, eventually, pay your deposit. Smaller things to consider are expenditures like surveys and any additional fees you may need to pay between reservation and completion.

Step 8: Get ready for exchange

Exchange is just around the corner! This is the final stage before signing on the dotted line for the last time to get all your documents in order. Read everything through, check all your details are accurate, and most of all – get excited to start your new chapter.

Step 9: Pop the bubbly

It’s Completion Day! Whether your new house is ready to move into straight away or you’ve got a long stop date to look forward to, a celebratory glass of bubbly is more than called for. Now’s the time to start thinking about moving and getting to know your local area and community.

For excellent tips, read ‘Top 10 tips for moving house’ here.


Tips for buying a new home


Tip 1: Check for incentives and offers

It’s always worth checking with developers what incentives they may have available. We’ve already mentioned our Deposit Unlock scheme, but we also offer services like Assisted Move – where we help you sell your current home – and may have a range of incentives that can help alleviate the financial stress of moving, such as contributions to stamp duty, legal fees, and cashback on certain builds on offer. Keep an eye on the Durkan website to find our Homes of the Month in each development.

Tip 2: Know your warranties

All of our homes benefit from a ten year warranty, reflective of Durkan’s commitment to the highest levels of quality and service. We offer this warranty to give our homeowners better peace of mind should any issues arise, knowing they won’t have to pay out of pocket to get applicable issues fixed if something happens.

If there are any minor issues that need addressing, our customer care operatives are on site to help. With any more complex issues, we resolve to correct these within a maximum of 30 days, positively and efficiently.

How Durkan Homes can help you

We put customers at the heart of everything we do – an ethos that stems from our heritage as a family-owned company with over 50 years of experience and passion for our work. We’re excited about the future and care about the homes we create and communities we bolster.

That’s why, when it comes to buying your new build home with us, we’re dedicated to finding your perfect fit, supporting you throughout the process, and helping you get settled in the moment you unlock your front door.

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