Are you excited about buying a new build property? You may be looking at a development, where some of the new houses have already been built. Or you could be buying ‘off plan’, meaning the developer has secured land and planning permission and has designed the homes, but your home has yet to be built.

When you buy a new build, sometimes called a self-build property, you will need to secure the home with a deposit before a brick has been laid.

If you’re not buying from a pre-prepared development, you’ll need a plot of land to build the house on. You may have bought some land, or perhaps you’re using land owned by a parent. If you’ve done either of these, you’ll need planning permission to build your house. This is vital because if you build without planning permission, the local council can force you to tear down your house. Mortgages for new builds are different to those on other types of home. The loan money gets released in stages as the house is being built. You’ll need to secure a mortgage before you sign a contract with a developer, so talk to our advisers and we’ll get to work.

New build mortgages are more complex, so it’s vital the lender knows the timescale for releasing the money. At CARA Mortgage Services we’ll ensure all these details are sorted out for you.

Here are some good points to getting a new build home:

  • You’ll be the first to live in the home, so it will feel more personal
  • There’s no chain so you’ll have no hassle with home owners
  • You can possibly choose your own fixtures and fittings
  • Repairs or any damage should be minimal for several years
  • New builds usually come with a long guarantee
  • You may have a say in the home’s design and size


What to watch out for with a new build:

  • Make sure you get to know the developer. View other homes that developer has built, and talk to owners if you can, to check to quality of the build
  • If you’re buying on a new development, make sure checks are done on the land, such as flooding risks, and also make sure transport is adequate for your work and shopping
  • Compare the new build to older homes on the market, and see if the price you’re paying is worth it
  • If some of the homes on a development have already been built, talk to the new occupants, and also check on a property selling site like Zoopla to see what the house price was. If it’s cheaper than you’re being asked to pay, you can negotiate with the developers
  • If you’d love to add a conservatory, or loft conversion at some stage, ensure you’ll be able to do so
  • Check at every stage of the build to make sure you’re happy with the workmanship. Get a surveyor if necessary to make sure it’s being constructed to a high standard. Unfortunately, there are poor builders out there.
  • If you get a guarantee from the builder, check the documents thoroughly, especially the small print. It’s worth the price of a solicitor to ensure the developers and/or builders will be liable for any faults in the build.


While your new build is being constructed, you’ll need to ensure you’ve the funds for a deposit (about 15%) and enough money to live on until it’s built. This is obvious, we know, but nonetheless we’ve seen people underestimate the costs involved, especially since the mortgage money is released in stages.

You’ll need a contingency plan just in case your house isn’t finished to schedule, too. It’s unlikely, but it does happen that buyers of new builds can be subject to delays, and the homebuyers can wait an additional few months to move in. Again, talk to our advisers about this.

There is a Help To Buy scheme set up by the government for new build homes. One of the schemes is shared ownership, designed to make homes much more affordable, where you can buy from 25% to 75% of the home and rent the rest of your home. Our expert advisers can go through every option with you regarding new builds.