05 March 2024 ·

A guide to buying new

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New build homes have become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly amongst first-time buyers. There are plenty of reasons why this is:

  • Access to schemes like Save to Buy and Deposit Unlock
  • No buyer chain
  • More energy efficient
  • 10-year warranty
  • Everything’s new and unused
  • Aesthetics
  • Buyer incentives

While there aren’t a huge number of differences to the homebuying journey whether you buy old or new, there are certainly still a few and we’re here to guide you through them!

Be the first to know

Most developers start advertising their homes several months before they  launch, so it’s a good idea to do your research and get ahead of the game. You can do this by:

  • Following preferred developer’s social media accounts
  • Signing up to a developer’s newsletter
  • Reading the property sections of news publications like Metro and Evening Standard

If you keep on top of what’s happening with developments, you can make sure you’re front of the queue for new launches, incentive offers and events.

Buying ‘off-plan’

Did you know that you can buy many new build properties before they’re actually built? This is called buying ‘off-plan’.

Not only does this give you plenty of time to make arrangements like agreeing the exit of your rental agreement (if you have one) or securing a mortgage in principle, but it’s also a great way to make sure you don’t miss out especially if an area or development is in high demand.

Incentives and schemes

Many developers offer different incentives and schemes to help you with your home purchase.

Schemes like Deposit Unlock are only available on new build properties. Deposit Unlock was launched by the house-building industry to give first-time buyers access to new build homes with just a 5% deposit.

Find out more about Deposit Unlock here.

Keep an eye out for these to help you save some money or give you that little boost you might need to get a foot on the ladder.


Along with the costs you would expect when buying a home such as your deposit and solicitor’s fees, there are a couple of others to be aware of when buying which are specific to new builds.

When reserving a new build property, you’ll be asked to pay a reservation fee. This typically cost between £500 - £1,000, and are required to secure the property and take it off the market. Don’t worry, this fee is deducted from your purchase price when you exchange.

Finally but perhaps most importantly, pick somewhere you love! New builds are almost like a blank canvas and present a great opportunity for you to create your dream home and something that is truly yours.