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Moving into a new build home checklist

Troy Stevens 28 June 2022

There’s nothing like the feeling of moving into a new-build house. Everything is clean and new, and you don’t have to scrub away decades of other people’s dirt before it feels like home. 

Just because it’s a newly built property doesn’t guarantee it’ll be smooth sailing once you’ve got the keys, though. 

Here’s our moving into a new build home checklist. 

The home demonstration 

Before moving into a new build home, make sure you book a comprehensive walk-through of your new property with the site manager. During this, they should show you how everything works – from the heating system, shower, kitchen appliances, energy meters, alarms and garage and loft access. 

Make sure everything has its relevant safety certificate and user manual.

Try to do this in advance of your move-in date, as on the day itself, you’ll be far too distracted/ excited to take anything in.

Check everything yourself

It’s best to do this on the day of your home demo before you move in. Take your time inspecting the property for any faults – no matter how small. Things like a cupboard door not closing properly or low pressure in a shower won’t have necessarily been picked up by the builders – but they need to be sorted. After all, you’re likely paying a premium for a house in perfect condition.

Take a notebook or smartphone to document everything you see and don’t let yourself be rushed. Let the site manager know in advance you plan to give the place a good going-over – and send your results in writing to the builders immediately after your visit, giving them time to rectify any issues.

Book a snagging survey

A snagging survey is basically the new-build equivalent of the home survey required when buying an older property.  

You will have done an informal version of this yourself (see point 2), but the snagging survey is a more thorough version carried out by a professional. It also holds more weight than your own inspection – and it’ll substantiate your case if anything major needs rectifying.

The snagging survey highlights more serious things like structural issues and poor workmanship. It also looks for breaches in building regulations or industry best practice and will ensure the property meets the terms of its warranty.

The snagging survey should ideally be done after works have been fully completed but before you’ve moved in.

Get it on the map

You’re not just the first person to live in the house, you’re the first person to reside on that piece of land. This means that your brand-spanking-new postcode might not be recognised by the Royal Mail and other delivery organisations.

Speak to the site manager – have the developers been in touch with the local council to get the postcode registered? Only once this has been done can companies update their databases – although patience is key as this can take a while. 

Housekeeping

There are some ‘moving admin’ that nobody, not even new-build owners, can escape. 

Does the property come with broadband already installed? If not – get an engineer booked ASAP – or face a wait of several weeks for the internet. Similarly, we all need our rubbish collected, so ensure the council has provided wheelie and recycle bins and informed you of the collection days. It’ll also be up to you to contact the council and utility providers to open accounts and start paying your bills.

Also, check-in with your solicitor to make sure they have received the necessary paperwork before moving day – this includes the new property warranty documentation and official details of any ground rent or service charges due.

Teething problems

Just as you’ll need a few weeks to settle into your new abode, the house itself will go through a period of adjustment. It’s just been built, so you might experience some creaking, condensation or tiny cracks in paintwork as the materials settle and the house ‘dries out’. 

Most of this is normal, but contact the site manager to discuss anything that’s worrying you. If they’ve finished the project and moved off-site, call their regional office and follow it up with an email, so your concerns are in writing.

Your new build is likely to be snag-free, but it always pays to do your own independent checks and make sure you get exactly what you’re paying for.

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