Buying a new-build house

I mentioned in a previous post that one of the most exciting pieces of news that I’ve had recently is that my new house will be ready to move into at the end of this month (two weeks to go!)

To go back a few steps however; when I went to Australia in November I really thought that I would find myself wanting to go back there permanently, and I even had a Visa appointment to see what my job prospects would be.  Before I left on the trip I found myself a little lost living in Southampton and longing for a warmer climate and more outdoors-y lifestyle.  What happened instead is that I adored Australia but I also missed home – I missed dog walks with Bodhi, paddle-boarding on the Hamble, Sunday roasts in country pubs and the roots that I’ve laid here (although I wish my friends and family were a little closer together!) I had the most amazing adventure but I pledged that 2019 would be more of a year of stability – making closer networks of friends, finding a place to call home and making it a sanctuary, and just relaxing and going with the flow a little more.  There’s been so much change over the last few years that I really feel the need to just find some normality now and enjoy ‘what is’.  (To put that into context, in the last two years I’ve sold a house, lived in three different places, got divorced and worked three different jobs.  I kind of wanted things to stay the same for a little while).

new build house
Me in my hard hat and boots at my new house!

With this in mind, I’d only been back from Australia for a few days when I started going to view houses.  I always find that ‘drive’ to throw myself back into things when I’ve been away, and although I knew I was incredibly lucky to be coming home to live back with my parents, I also yearned for a space of my own.  After viewing a few houses that were just ‘not quite right’, I went back to a development of new builds that I’d actually seen a few months earlier when I was still renting and ended up not being able to leave the contract.  But now, I could think of nothing better than a brand new home to call my own.  The location was great (for those of you who are local, it’s near Hamble and Bursledon – near the river, the country park and with lots of walks for Bodhi dog!), and it was close enough to work, friends and family, but quiet enough to give me that space and fresh air that I love.  I signed on the dotted line, winged over my deposit and plot number 59 was officially mine.

In the past when I’ve bought and sold houses it’s not been through a developer, so this time it was a little stricter in terms of them having their recommended solicitors and mortgage brokers.  The process of selecting a mortgage and conveyancers can be a little bit of a minefield so I didn’t really mind going with their recommendations – the whole thing has actually been relatively stress-free as the developers have spoken directly to the solicitors, and being a new build there’s been a precedent for all the legal documents so the solicitors have them all in their back pockets.  Two things that were recommended to me at the start (and have almost always been when I’ve taken out a mortgage) were getting a life insurance quote and considering income protection insurance.  This offers you protection should you become ill or lose your job – obviously this was a particular concern of mine as I’m taking out the mortgage on my own so I don’t have a partner’s income to fall back on.

The development is owned by Barratt Homes.  To be completely transparent, I did have some issues with them at the start as when I saw the development plans, the property wasn’t exactly as they had described it, and they essentially gave me the choice of walking away or accepting that it was actually a terraced property rather than a semi-detached.  In the end though I decided it was too perfect to let go and I just sucked it up.  Since then they have been helpful and they’ve kept to the timescales they originally promised.  The exciting thing about a new build is that I’ve been able to choose all of the units, carpets and tiles so it will really feel like its my own.  It’s a two-bedroom property with a little garden and a garage so it’s absolutely everything I need.   My plan for the decor is to make it quite scandi/mid-century, keeping the white walls, with lots of nice prints and of course lots of plants.  After saving for the deposit, and having to buy a fridge, dishwasher and flooring, I am not going to be able to buy much furniture initially so I’ll have to make do with what I already have in the early stages, as well as doing lots of hunting on Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace! (I’m also really lucky as my Dad has made me a dining table out of scaffold planks, with hairpin legs.  He’s such a clever sausage!)

I can’t wait to get the keys on the 31st.  Having started a new job at a new organisation a few weeks ago I am so looking forward to finally having some real permanence and stability in my life, and really getting stuck into this new chapter.

Would you buy a new build property?

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