First-time buyer guide: Five top tips to buy your first home at a new-build development in Yorkshire

Authored by olivia.f
Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2023 - 15:42

Barratt Homes and David Wilson Yorkshire East supports first time buyers in Yorkshire with its top tips on purchasing a new-build home.

Around 58% of individuals aged 18-39 who do not currently own homes are thought to remain optimistic about their dream of purchasing a home within the next decade, despite the ongoing cost of living challenges¹.

Additionally, in recent research conducted by Barratt Developments, more than two in five Brits are said to be also powering through despite the current challenges as they consider buying a home with a friend or family member2, shining a spotlight on the many ways first-time buyers could take that step onto the housing ladder.

With the current interest rate holding at 5.25% with cuts unlikely any time soon3, Barratt Homes and David Wilson Yorkshire East have shared their top tips for getting on the property ladder:

  1. First-time buyer support

Saving for your very first home can feel like a struggle financially especially with the ever-changing housing market, rental costs, food prices and cost of living generally, making many feel like their first home is a moving target. 

A real benefit to navigating buying your first home is knowing what is available to you in terms of support. When buying a new-build, you can often take advantage of an independent financial advisor, who can let you know how much you can afford to borrow, estimate your monthly repayments and advise you on the mortgages available to you. 

Once you have crunched the numbers for a new-build home, find out if the First Homes Scheme can offer you further help. This is a brand-new Government-backed scheme designed to help first-time buyers onto the property ladder. Under the scheme, homes are available with a discount of 30% of the market value on selected properties in England up to a maximum of £250,000 after the discount is applied. 

But this isn’t the only way to get help with purchasing a new-build home as a first-time buyer, housebuilders often provide financial incentives that simply aren’t available to those buying second hand homes. 

Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes offer various schemes to assist first-time buyers in purchasing a new-build property. For instance, the Deposit Unlock scheme allows buyers to acquire a new home with only a 5% deposit and a 95% mortgage on specific plots. 

Alternatively, buyers can opt for the Deposit Boost scheme, where they can augment their 10% deposit by an additional 5%, resulting in a total 15% deposit. Moreover, through the Key Workers Deposit Contribution scheme, Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes contribute £1,000 towards the deposit for every £20,000 spent on a brand-new Barratt home purchased by a key worker.

  1. Reserve your dream home

Once you’re in a comfortable position with your deposit and first-time buyer support available for you, it's time to explore developments in the areas where you have always dreamed of living. 

Drive around those areas to discover the amenities and pop into the sales offices of your local new-build development to speak with the advisors on the best options for you and to give you a feel of where you might be living. 

Visiting a variety of Show Homes will also help you to envision how your new home might look and what furniture you could need to make it yours. 

Once you discover your ideal development and home, it’s time to reserve your plot. In tandem with this process, make sure you have a solicitor that specialises in new-builds and conveyancing, to ensure they have the expertise to prepare the property transfer documents. Your Sales Advisor will be able to recommend an independent solicitor with expertise in your housebuilder and purchasing new to ensure all your questions are answered. 

Following reservation you will exchange contracts within the timeframe stated as part of your reservation agreement. This is when your deposit will be paid, which will be approximately 10% of your property purchase depending on any first-time buyer support you have. 

  1. Choosing your home options

The beauty of a new-build home is that it's a blank slate for you to make your own and that doesn’t just start from moving day. Once you have reserved, depending on the build progress of your home, your Sales Advisor will invite you to the development to choose your design options. A real benefit of buying new is having the opportunity to talk to your Sales Advisor throughout the entire process, and they will be able to tell you your individual design and upgrade options available for your home and what’s already been included in the build already. 

With Barratt and David Wilson Homes’ developments, these choices include upgrades such as kitchen designs, bathrooms tiles, upgraded sockets and light switches, and eco-friendly options, some of which come as standard with your new home or have an additional cost. 

If you reserve your new home at a later stage in the building process, some options may have been chosen for you such as the kitchen. However, not choosing still has its benefits including everything still being fitted and ready for moving day and the possible luxury of integrated appliances without the extra cost. 

This makes your new-build home move-in ready helping you prioritise bigger furniture purchases.  

  1. Legal 101

The legal fees, as well as exchanging and completing on your new home for the first time, can be the hardest part of the home buying process with lots of legal jargon and additional costs to understand. 

These include: 

  • Mortgage arrangement fee - this will be paid to your mortgage provider either upfront or it can be included as part of your mortgage. Cost - £0 to £2,500
  • Property valuation fee - your mortgage lender will conduct a valuation of your new-build home to ensure the amount you’re borrowing reflects the true value of the property. Like the mortgage arrangement fee, this can also be included as part of your mortgage. Cost - £150 - £300 
  • Professional snagging - While many homebuyers conduct a survey on second hand homes this isn’t strictly necessary but for peace of mind under the New Homes Quality Code you are able to appoint a professional snagger to review your home for you. You will also receive an NHBC Buildmark Warranty ahead of moving in, which covers your home for up to 10 years with Barratt and David Wilson Homes. Snagger cost - £300 to £600
  • Mortgage broker fee - as a first-time buyer you want to secure the best mortgage possible so you might seek advice from a broker who can give you expert information for your circumstances. Mortgage brokers often work on a commission basis from lenders, however some charge a percentage of what is being borrowed. Cost - £0 to £500
  • Stamp Duty - this is a tax paid to HM Revenue & Customs when you purchase a property. However, first-time buyers don’t pay this tax on their homes unless the property is priced over £425,000
  • Conveyancing fee - this will be paid to your solicitor or conveyancer to cover their time and any costs incurred during the process for transferring ownership of the property and searches. Cost - £0 to £1,500
  • Land registry fee - HM Land Registry will charge you a fee to register you as the legal owner of a home. Your solicitor or conveyancer will arrange this payment for you and it’s significantly cheaper to complete online. Cost - up to £500  
  1. Moving Day

Now you’re so close, you can see the finish line!

Earlier in your new-build journey, you will be informed with a move-in timeframe upon exchange of contracts. 

The final part of the process is the completion. Once your new-build is ready, the developer will send your solicitor a notice to complete 10 working days prior to completion. On this day, your solicitor will transfer the funds from the mortgage provider, and hey presto, you’ve bought your first home. 

Your journey doesn’t end with your developer the day you move in. There is a whole team of people working right on site who can answer questions, help you get settled in and address immediate snags. Six to eight weeks after move-in day, the customer care team will take care of you until you have been in your home for two years. After that the NHBC Structural Warranty will give you and your home peace of mind until it's 10 years old.