There are some fantastic new build properties in St Albans. From the stylish apartments to luxurious townhouses, a newly built home offers numerous benefits for home-buyers – like state-of-the-art fixtures and fittings, driveways and gardens, and a layout that’s tailored to modern living.
If you’re looking for a new build home in the area, here are some tips to ensure you find the perfect property.
Tips for buying a new build in St Albans
- Talk to local estate agents. View an estate agent as your local expert. They’re not just there to sell you a house; they’re also a great source of knowledge when it comes to new build developments in the area. If they know what you’re looking for (in terms of the surrounding area too, not just the house itself), they’ll get in touch as soon as something suitable comes on the market.
- Explore further than the developer’s brochure. The home developer’s marketing material is designed to be as appealing as possible. It’ll certainly provide you with some idea about what the property is like, but it won’t tell you everything. Visit the development if you can. See what amenities are close by. Is it easy to reach the train station, for example? Are there convenient shops nearby? What about the other houses in the vicinity – does it feel like a good area? These are all vital questions to ask when you’re investing in a property.
Check whether it’s leasehold or freehold. Most new build houses are freehold (i.e. you own it outright), but that’s not always the case, so it’s worthwhile checking. If you’re buying a new build apartment, it’s likely to be leasehold – as such, you should familiarise yourself with the details of this arrangement, and most importantly of all, find out how many years are on the lease.
- Don’t be swayed by the décor. As with any home, a new-build’s interior décor can be adjusted to match your tastes. Often, developer showrooms are deliberately as neutral as possible, to enable you to easily imagine the house decorated in your unique style. Also, if the home hasn’t yet been built, you’ll be given some say about certain aspects of the décor.
- Find out about warranties. Most reputable developers offer warranties for their new build properties. NHBC’s Buildmark is the most commonly used warranty scheme, though there are others too, such as LABC Warranty or Premier Guarantee. The warranty will cover you while the property is being constructed (offering protection if the builder is unable to finish the job), and ensures that the building work is carried out to the appropriate standards. It should also offer a ‘peace of mind’ guarantee for 10 years after you move in.
- Can you add value? When purchasing any home, it’s worthwhile considering resale value, should you decide to sell it on. Are there any changes that can be made, to make it more desirable to future buyers? For example, is there scope for adding another bedroom with an attic conversion? Alternatively, could the garage be converted, or an extension be added to the back? These improvements usually add tens of thousands to the asking price.