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Buying (fairly) new build .. is Homebuyers Survey necessary?

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  • Buying (fairly) new build .. is Homebuyers Survey necessary?

    I'm thinking not, as the house we're buying is only 3 years old and therefore is still under the Builders guarantee. Do you think a survey is needed? Would we be foolish not to get one?

  • #2
    Difficult one, I would guess that the Builder's policy is the NHBC. Now this is good but only really covers major building defects, not quite as much as most people think. See page 5 of the nhbc buildmark policy notes pdf you can download from the nhbc website - can be surprising.

    A homebuyer report will also look at a lot more detail that the NHBC won't be interested in ie
    • the general condition and particular features of the property.
    • particular points which should be referred to the client's legal advisers.
    • other relevant considerations concerning, for example, safety, the location, the environment, or perhaps insurance.

    Matters which are judged to be not urgent or not significant are in general not included in the report but the surveyor will mention matters judged to be both helpful and constructive.

    New homes like second hand can have problems, chances are it's ok but may be worth the safety of knowing exactly what you are getting. Keen "DIY'er" damage etc. It's really a judgement call on the individual house.


    • #3
      An NHBC report is pretty useless after 2 years - most new builds have a number of snagging issues, some easy to fix, others not. However, under the NHBC agreement, the developer will only fix issues raised within 2 years of building.

      After that, any issues - aside from major structural issues - are entirely the responsibility of the buyer.

      I bought a property that was only 3 years old, and there have been a number of significant issues - the latest is that apparently that a number of radiators have been plumbed in wrong, so when the hot water goes on, it also flows into some of the radiators, even with the central heating off. Not good in summer!

      So, basically, treat the NHBC agreement as pretty worthless after 2 years, unless there's a chance of the property falling down.


      • #4
        It's a couple of hundred pounds that could save you a few thousand pounds. Always worthwhile unless you're taking one straight off the production line.