Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Smart Buyer's Bible; before You Enter the Luxury World of Show Homes, Ask Yourself Some Serious Questions, Says Homes Expert Fay Sweet

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Smart Buyer's Bible; before You Enter the Luxury World of Show Homes, Ask Yourself Some Serious Questions, Says Homes Expert Fay Sweet

Article excerpt

Byline: FAY SWEET

Everything you need - and it's all new WITH such large amounts of money involved and future happiness at stake, buying a new home requires rigour and rational thinking. However, for many people, the heart still rules the head.

"Property buying is an emotional business, but it is crucial to take your time and avoid making snap decisions," advises Dave Mitchell, spokesman for the New Homes Marketing Board, which runs New Homes Week. Staged later this month (20-26 March), the event promotes the advantages of new-build homes over old, and encourages people who have never bought new-build to take a look at the latest projects.

" Everyone knows about the importance of location, but the range of benefits when buying new-build homes is not widely appreciated," says Mitchell, who is a new-homes convert.

He admits that he would never have considered buying a new property until he visited a development near Maidstone, where he spotted and bought his own home.

"Among the great pluses of buying new is that you can enjoy your home from day one, and don't have to spend your time decorating or rebuilding; so if you like the location, make sure the kitchen and bathrooms are also what you like. You must look carefully at the rooms. Are they the right shapes and sizes for your lifestyle, and is there room to cope with changes - such as working at home - in the future?"

He adds that energy efficiency is a major advantage in recently completed properties. "New homes are now around 40 per cent more energy efficient than they were just six years ago, and can be as much as four times cheaper to run than a similar Victorian property."

Local facilities should be checked out, too. "Often people overlook things like

The buyer's guide proximity to schools and transport links, but these are all important once you have moved in."

The right questions, the right answers Mitchell suggests that buyers should start their search with a cool head and a checklist. "Begin with your idea of Utopia, but be prepared to be flexible.

You are never going to tick every box, but be clear about your priorities. …

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