Here are some top tips to make the most of your visit from NHBC, the UK’s leading warranty provider and standard setting body for new homes:
- Condition of the site – is it tidy and well-managed? Look out for NHBC Pride in the Job flags or site boardsas an award-winning site manager is a very good indication that your new home will be built with quality workmanship in mind.
- Which way does the house face? – South-facing windows can improve the energy efficiency of a home because solar energy warms the walls and floors of a building, but North-facing windows offer a more consistent quality of light.
- Timescales – When is the house likely to be completed and ready to move into? It is natural to want to move as quickly as possible but your chosen plot could be a few months from completion, especially if you are buying off-plan.
- Personalisation – Which areas of the house can you personalise to your own taste? Make a list of what you would like or need in your new home. In most cases, you will be able to choose the kitchen and bathroom finishes, but depending on the build stage you may also be able to reposition radiators or add electrical sockets.
- Peace of mind through warranty cover – Is the builder registered with NHBC? Check before you visit. If the property is covered by NHBC’s ten-year Buildmark then you are covered even before the home is completed.
- Will my furniture fit? – Take measurements of large items such as beds, sofas and dining room tables, and then measure up the space in the show house to check that your belongings will fit. It is also a good idea to see what storage is available for vacuum cleaners etc.
- Consumer Code for home builders – The code gives protection and rights to purchasers of new homes. Ask to see a copy of the code and make sure that you are protected during each stage of the buying process.
- Energy efficiency – Ask to see a copy of the home’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) as this will give you a good indication of how energy efficient the home is and how much the utility bills are likely to cost. Ask if the home has been fitted with any renewable technologies that may reduce bills even further.
- Council tax banding – find out which council tax band the house will be allocated to and what the current yearly charge is for that band. The sale price of the house may not necessarily be an accurate guideas bandings are based on what a similar property would have been worth in 1991.
- The wider community – Check the full site plan to see where open spaces, parkland and play areas for children are planned, as well as new facilities such as schools, GP surgeries and local shops. This will give you a sense of how the community will develop over time.
Remember the sales teams are here to assist you – do ask lots of questions throughout the visit.