To buy, or not to buy? Our guide to why new build homes can save you money, now and in the long-term.
Despite the cost-of-living crisis, the UK’s love affair with home ownership rumbles on. For those who have set their heart on becoming a homeowner, new builds offer a high quality and affordable option, both in terms of initial outlay and running costs. Here are some top tips and insights from the Durkan Homes team.
We’re in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis. Is now still a good time to buy a home?
Recent headlines have left some people wondering whether they should put their home purchase on ice. For savvy buyers however, now is still a great time to get a foot on the housing ladder or make a move. Market fluctuations and pressures are inevitable and tend to be cyclical, but they don’t change the fact that we all need a home and a place to call our own. There are a few things to consider here. Firstly, home ownership often works out better financially than renting. According to the HomeLet Rental Index, the average monthly rent in the South-East of England is £1,205. By contrast, according to Santander, the average monthly mortgage repayment in the South-East is £935 so, even with rising interest rates, buying tends to be a better financial option than renting. There are also wider advantages too, in terms of investing your money in something you’ll ultimately own and having the flexibility to redecorate, put down roots and really make the place your own.
It can be hard to save right now. What if you’re struggling to raise a deposit?
Money is definitely tight for a lot of people and managing to save a big deposit can be really tricky. That’s where government schemes such as the Help to Buy: Equity Loan can offer real benefits. You can apply for the loan regardless of your income and then use it to top up whatever you can borrow from a mortgage lender. The deposit can be as low as 5%, and you don’t have to pay interest on the loan for the first five years. It’s a great scheme to help make home ownership more affordable, but there isn’t long left to apply. Applications close on 31st October 2022, and your housebuilder must have finished building your home and have a new home warranty in place by 31 December 2022. So, if you think it could make a difference for you, then now is the time to act! At Durkan, we offer Help to Buy at our Wintringham development for new builds in St Neots, Cambridgeshire which is a beautiful, community-focused collection of one and two bedroom apartments and two, three and four bedroom homes.
What about moving costs?
Moving costs are definitely something to consider if you are buying a home, but again, the great thing about new builds is that there are often incentives on offer from housebuilders like us that recognise every little bit helps. Right now, for example, we’re offering incentives on our home of the month at our Wintringham development.
Once I’ve moved in, will I be able to afford my energy bills?
Buying a new build is actually a great way to save on energy bills at a time when they’re at record highs. New build homes have to meet increasingly stringent Building Regulations which means that they’re a lot more energy efficient than older properties. According to the HomeOwners Alliance, data from Energy Performance Certificates shows over 80% of new homes have the highest A or B ratings, compared to just 2.2% of existing properties. It’s also worth noting that properties with high Energy Performance ratings can be eligible for green mortgages, which effectively reward you for saving energy in your home. Major lenders such as Barclays, NatWest and Nationwide are already on board, and some are giving cashback or lower interest rates for homes that meet a minimum level of energy efficiency.
What if something goes wrong, that I’ve not factored into my budget?
When budgets are stretched, unexpected costs can cause a real issue. Appliances breaking can be a costly and expensive business if you’re in an older property, but appliances in new homes – such as ovens – are brand new, less likely to break and are ultimately covered by manufacturer guarantees. This helps to give peace of mind and means that in the unlikely event that something goes wrong, for the most part, it’s covered.
Should I take the plunge?
Everyone’s situation is different but, ultimately, we all need a home that we can enjoy. If you’re spending money on rental costs, or living in an old and inefficient property, the chances are that buying a new build is a good long-term option for you. As far as the best quality housebuilders are concerned, boxy floorplans and décor that lacks character are things of the past. Layout and amenities of new developments also tend to be carefully considered nowadays, providing a real community feel. All in all, new build developments are not only a good financial option, they’re also a brilliant canvas into which you can inject your own personality and style, without compromise.