New Build Inspections


New Member
just a little rant and an attempt to get my thinking laid down because i am going round in circles.....

We live in a high rent/property price area. Saved long and hard and got a small deposit . Due to high local house prices went through the shared ownership mill several times and on each occasion got either the goal post changed or pipped to the post.

HTB called us for a new build offer just outside where we live (40 min commute) and this reflected in the house prices. Very nice reduction which means rather than looking at tiny flats we could look at houses.

It’s not a bad build all told. Driveway parking, already completed green spaces and our plot is decent size house at 1000ft2. due to start building any day now. We have absolutely no illusions it will be perfect and we know it’s not going to be a ‘dream house’. We also will be paying for a professional snagger with a follow up service. We have reserved the plot though we are not in love with the house and could walk if we wished - its just much better than our current situation.

We currently live in a rented poorly maintained old build and pay an eye watering sum for the privilege (more than the mortgage on the new build by a few hundred). I have a dish under the boiler because it leaks when it rains. We have horrific condensation on the windows and mould in the bedrooms due to poor insulation, root ingress into the drains and leaks from the guttering.

There is a bucket under the bathroom sink as a tap pipe is leaking but as it only does it intermittently (as with the boiler) the landlord has refused to do anything. There was a long term leak under the kitchen. But that was resolved however the kitchen is still damp. We run a dehumidifier all day and night and steam clean the windows and walls every two months. it should also be noted its the best rental in the area!

So I announced to my family that we were buying a new build and all I have had is emails of horror stories, you tube clips and links to media articles. (all which i had already read and absorbed when researching)

I have been told no, stay where you are. New builds are the devil. However they seem to think renting a shi*hole is ok and just par for the course? stories of when they had it worse in their first flat.... but its was a great time of their lives, carefree and no mortgage.

Just move they say… like its simple, you are free as the wind. In their eyes you are not ‘tied down’ with a mortgage you can kick up your heels and where you lay your hat is your home. No word of a lie after fees, checks, pet deposits, deposits, check in fees, credit checks, cheap van rental my last move was over 3K and you never used to get your deposit back (though I imagine the deposit schemes have stopped that little earner for the LLs) the deposit for the house is less than this!

They have knocked my confidence a bit though and though I was going into this new build purchase with my eyes open, forewarned and forearmed. I have read and researched, aware of issues. knocked on doors all over the first phase and had feedback from current residents (10 couples 4 no issues/3 very minor snagging/2 some leaks/1 major issues built over air bricks and fitted windows wrong) got a solicitor that hates new builds so will write in a load of stops and balances into the contract and we are happy to walk if they don't agree.

however with my family's unrelenting missives of doom they have made me second guess myself.

so i am going round and round and round... rent forever and be in a shi*hole or own my own shi*hole!

agggh i cant decide.
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Well-Known Member
Why not buy a second-hand home, one that you actually like! Not one you are "not in love with"
Any new home will have defects, you WILL have a hard job getting nay house builder to rectify the defects.
At least you do realise the value of a professional snagging inspection.
But..........everyone is right, new homes are always bad news, so my advice is buy an older cheaper, larger, home with bigger windows and bigger gardens more parking and better privacy.
but get have a full structural survey.

Help to Buy is encouraging a lot of people to buy new when they shouldn't.


New Member

Sadly its not that easy. 3 bed houses under 250K with garden and parking across a three county search - 0 (thats a lie there was one, but it one of those over 60 home for life ones) I could get a ex newbuild 2 bed flat without parking. I am sure the neighbours would love the noise of family, 3 cats and dog through the paper thin walls - no garden and no big windows. Or an ex authority flat roof house in a bad area.

or HTB - 1000ft 3 bed detached with a garage, in a great location - not overlooked - drive way - short walk to a park - less than rent

We have been notified by the LL that the rent is going up quite significantly as uni rents have gone up, so that puts a end to the discussion. With that rent increase we wont be able to save any more. The OH is now 43 so we had to pay extra for a mortgage as its on a shorter term. so this will likely be our last chance to buy. Ever.

So, its all about going into this with all the knowledge to make sure i get the best build.

1. I very subtly let them know i have a friend high up in the NHBC and that they have a keen interest in my build (i do, but it's in an unrelated admin role - but they don't know that) :D It seemed to get their attention, and pause for thought.... but i doubt it would worry them to much.

2. i have a recognised cognitive disability so i have advised them as a disability they are obligated in law to make reasonable adjustments. So i will be taping all meetings. They were really really reluctant.... but conceded.

3. i have a site manager meeting in a week to review the plans - i have 28 questions that are build specific - from - why is the house on the GOV. planning permission portal very very different from the one being shown by them - down to really petty minute stuff like joist placement on the second floors.

4, I will be letting them know before completion i will be having a monumental all singing all dancing, comes with whistles and bells - epic scale survey done. They will be going through the house with a finetooth comb.

5. Professional snagging with follow up (also drop a hint that i will be sending both the survey and snagging report to my mate at the NHBC)

so, rather than condemning me for poor choices, because trust me i am between a rock and a hard place, could you help me with advice? help me make the best of this situation? 'dont do it' wont work here.

what do i need to ask, what do i need to make them think that my house needs to be near as goddamn perfect they can make it or there will be hell to pay.

empowerment rather than castigation.
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Well-Known Member
What you have said, if you say it to any housebuilder should get you a better new home. not a perfect one as no one cares enough to build perfect anymore.

A professional snagging inspection is essential.
Don't use the builder's solicitors.
And read the information on my website and blog!