Property expert reveals why 95% of Yorkshire new builds come with defects

James Brook FRICS, Founder of Novello Chartered Surveyors

Whilst there’s no such thing as an issue-free home, new build properties are popular amongst Yorkshire homeowners because they’re viewed as a “safer bet”. But this damaging misconception is causing thousands of new build homeowners to move into a home that is masked with nasty surprises that can cost thousands of pounds, and years to rectify, according to Yorkshire-born property expert James Brook FRICS.

Research by Home Builders Federation (HBF) has revealed that 95% of new build properties come with at least 1 defect, with common issues including poor plastering, bad brickwork and damaged windows.

One Yorkshire family recently found 180 faults with their new build home and were eventually forced out due to flooding. The property, which was purchased for £350,000, had faulty windows and doors that wouldn’t open properly and a faulty boiler.

These results are validated by the work of Novello Chartered Surveyors, co-founded by James Brook FRICS, whose surveys suggest that more than half of new-build properties are hiding defects, even though they’ve never had a previous owner.

James Brook FRICS said“ New builds are particularly popular amongst first-time buyers, who see them as a safer bet than older properties. However, the misconception that new builds are issue-free needs to be addressed so that all buyers can make an informed decision before they purchase a new build property.

New builds usually come with a 10-year warranty designed to give prospective buyers peace of mind. But claiming on that warranty can be a nightmare for many buyers, with large housing developers doing everything they can to shift the blame away from themselves. Sites are given extremely tight deadlines to complete the houses, leaving them susceptible to both cosmetic and series issues”

Many buyers don’t think it’s necessary to hire a chartered surveyor to conduct a snagging list or a RICS homebuyer report for a new build – after all, it’s new which means there shouldn’t be anything wrong with it. Yet alarmingly, a recent report highlighted that the average new build snagging list contained between 50 and 150 defects.

James said “When you move into a new build property, it should be in immaculate condition, however, this often isn’t the case. We’ve seen many buyers hit with nasty surprises and huge repair costs for issues that could have been identified and rectified at the very start of the buying process.”

Buying a house is the most expensive purchase most people will ever make in their lives. Yet it’s a process that has an overwhelming amount of conflicting information. If you are looking at buying a new build, you deserve a property that has been built to the highest standards and is free of issues.”

“Working with a chartered surveyor before the contracts are exchanged is the only way you can avoid potential heartache with a new build. It’s a chartered surveyor’s job to give honest, impartial, advice about a new build properly. Unlike an estate agent or property developer, they have no vested interest in the outcome.

“Though it may cost you an extra £1000 or so to get a snagging list or RICS homebuyer report conducted by a chartered surveyor, it will save you thousands of pounds in the long run if the survey comes back with issues. It also gives you leverage to renegotiate with the housing developer to get the issues rectified before you move in.”

Novello Chartered Surveyors has recently launched a brand new service, which is a combined Snagging List and RICS homebuyer report specifically tailored for prospective new build property owners.

These products will work in tandem to give a complete view of the current state of the property and what the existing issues could progress into. The snagging list is designed to identify issues both cosmetic or more serious, internal or external whilst the RICS homebuyer report will tell you if the property is safe and habitable and give you an overview of its condition.

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