Most first-time homebuyers find visiting a show home an exciting yet daunting experience. Follow these 10 tips from the NHBC and you will find it easier to understand what to look for and enjoy your visit.

Tip # 1 What is the condition of the site?

If the site is clean and obviously well managed, and has NHBC flags and signs on display, then it is a good sign that the homes in that development will be constructed to the best possible standards.

Tip # 2 Will the area eventually provide everything you need?

Looking at the full site plan will show you how the area will develop in future, and provide the necessary facilities like parks, children’s playgrounds, doctor’s surgeries, schools, shops, and so forth.

Tip # 3 Follow the safety rules!

As with most new developments, there will probably be plenty of building activity going on when you visit a show home. This can be dangerous, so follow the safety advice you are given, and stay in the specified show home area.

Tip # 4 What to do when you’re inside the show home

Find out where you can customise the house to suit your personal taste. As with most new homes, you can more than likely choose bathroom and kitchen finishes. If the house is still in the early construction stages, then you can inform the developer where you would like your radiators to be positioned, as well as where and how many electrical sockets you would like in your new home.

Tip # 5 How will your furniture fit into your new home?

Make a list of the measurements of your large pieces of furniture, then measure the rooms in the new house to see if your furniture will fit in comfortably. Check too, if there is adequate storage space for other large items, like your vacuum cleaner and so forth.

Tip # 6 Will your new home be energy efficient?

To get a good idea as to how energy efficient the house is, and what you will be paying for electricity, ask the developer to show you a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), and if any renewable energy technology will be installed to reduce costs even more. Take into consideration too, that sun entering a home through south-facing windows will warm the walls and floors and improve energy efficiency, while windows facing north will provide constant, and better natural lighting.

Tip # 7 Remember the warranty!

Find out if your new home will have a building warranty, such as NHBC’s 10-year Buildmark warranty coverage.

Tip # 8 How long before you will be able to move in?

Although you are excited about your new home, and want to move in as soon as possible, remember that once you have chosen your plot, especially if you are purchasing off-plan, it could be several months before building is complete. The developer should be able to give you a good idea as to when you will be able to move in.

Tip # 9 Which council tax band will your home be allocated to?

Since the price of your new home will not give you an accurate indication of the current annual band costs, ask which council tax band your house will be allocated to.

Tip # 10 Find out what protection and rights you are entitled to as a new-home owner

Ensure that you are protected during all stages of the buying procedure, by asking to see a copy of the Consumer Code for Home Builders.

Further information is available at

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