Simply put, a new build is only a new build when you buy it directly from the builder and you are the first owner. It stops being new the moment you move in, at least for marketing purposes!
There has been a huge amount of press coverage on new build properties, the shortages and "help to buy schemes", good and bad press for the industry in general and the current increased activity by builders.Many view new property as the easy way to buy, considering it less hassle as there is a perception that there are no maintenance costs.Most builders are registered and provide a ten year NHBC guarantee or similar cover. It is important to note however, that this doesn't mean there is no ongoing maintenance.
We always tell out clients to never assume anything and to always read the small print. This is not a blanket cover, meaning that the owner can sit back and have no maintenance work to do for the next decade.
A car for example, may come with a guarantee but it doesn't mean the tyres, oil, windscreen washer fluid and brakes will last forever and no one would assume that you could drive for year upon year without checking them.
A building is the same. It is made of a huge number of individual elements, utilising differing materials of varying life spans. There are areas of the building that will require maintenance if not replacement within a year. Be fully aware that maintenance items are not covered by the terms of the NHBC guarantee.
The level of usage has an impact on maintenance. For two similar properties on an estate; one owned by careful newly weds, the other by a family with three large rugby playing teenagers, the wear and tear in all likelihood will be substantially different.All too often we see kitchens that have water damage to the ceiling. This is rarely the responsibility of the builder and purely relates to the owner not understanding their responsibility to carry out maintenance to the bath/shower above.
No matter what you buy, you have to look after it and maintenance is essential or it will deteriorate. Being proactive is the key to protecting your investment.
Homes rarely come with any guidance. This can this be a minefield, particularly for the first time buyer.