Your new build property has finally been completed and moving day is just around the corner!
It’s an exciting time, but before you start moving into a new build, there are some things that all homeowners must do to ensure that everything runs smoothly when it’s time to move house.
Those who buy newbuild homes can look forward to a brand new property, pristine fixtures and fitting and a quality build where many happy years will be spent.
With this in mind, here are our top tips for buying newly built properties so that when you move into new builds, you’ll have a seamless and stress-free experience by using our moving-in checklist.
In this article you’ll find:
- New build home checklist handover
- Before moving into your new build home
- After completion on your new home
- On the day of the move
- After you’ve moved into your property
New build home checklist handover
Before your move-in day, you should arrange a home demonstration or handover. At this appointment, the housebuilder will show you around your brand-new property and teach you how to use everything.
- The building site manager should take you around the home, showing you how the central heating system, appliances, and fire alarm work as well as how to find the stopcock and meters for your energy bills. Ensure that you’ve been given manuals for all your appliances and switch each one on to detect any immediate issues.
- While you’re at this meeting, walk around with the plans, going over everything carefully. Is everything exactly as was promised in your plans?
- Don’t be afraid to check anything and everything during the handover appointment. Flush the toilets, run the taps, check for any leaks in the sinks and bath, check the switches and sockets work and that the windows and doors all open properly and lock correctly.
- Often bathrooms and windows will have issues. Check that all tiling is sealed and smooth and that any gaps have been filled in around your windows. Even check the roof space to make sure there is loft insulation. Switch all the kitchen appliances on too and run them empty to ensure they function without tripping the power.
- If your new home has a garden, lift the turf up to check there’s soil, not rubble there, and check whether any water is pooling.
- If you spot anything, note it down and take photographs. Once you’re armed with these details, you can approach the home developer to ask them to rectify the issues before you move in. Don’t count on the site manager who’s showing you around the property on the day. Put all the problems you’ve discovered in writing and send them to the housebuilder straight after the visit.
- Most importantly, make sure that the builder knows ahead of time that you’ll be checking everything thoroughly so they can make an appointment that’s long enough – a half-hour slot won’t be sufficient.
Before moving into your new build home
Since your property is brand-new you’ll have a little more to arrange before your arrival when compared with a standard house move since you’ll be the first person to live at the address.
Here is a move in a new house checklist to get you started with organising.
If you’re a first-time buyer and have been researching moving into new build houses, check out the Help to Buy equity loan which your mortgage brokers can assist with.
Have a professional snagging survey carried out
You should do this before completing the purchase, but some developers don’t allow new build inspections for snagging purposes before completion. In such cases, book the survey in immediately after your moving in date. You can read more about new build snagging surveys if you click here.
Have a structural review carried out
A structural engineer can carry out this property inspection to ensure there are no structural defects in the external or internal wall, floor or roof which could affect the house price. Also, that all building regulations have been met during the construction process.
Measure the new property for any soft furnishings you need
Avoid spending a lot until the contracts are exchanged, and legally the property is yours, but at least you’ll be able to begin planning where you will put furniture.
Set up the internet
Often it takes a few weeks to arrange for an engineer to visit your property and set up broadband connections. Make your appointment as quickly as possible, so you don’t need to cope without the essentials for weeks.
Let Royal Mail know your postcode
Since your home is brand-new, its address may not be registered with many business’s databases. Your builder should contact the council to obtain a new postcode and address, and this postcode will then be live once Royal Mail has been informed.
If you tell them first, you’ll save yourself time, and you’ll also eliminate any issues you may experience getting contents insurances. Many firms only update databases slowly, so be prepared for delivery drivers to need directions from another nearby postcode.
Order your bins
You should contact the local authority to arrange wheelie bins to be delivered to the property. Find out when the bin collection days are too.
Order a number for your door
You’ll only need to do this if the builder hasn’t provided the property with its own number. Putting one up immediately after moving in will make it easy for delivery firms and the postman to find you.
Compare removal company quotes
You should shop around if you want to find the best removal company with the lowest price. Alternatively, if you’re moving your possessions yourself as a money-saving option, click here to find out more about which van size you need.
After completion on your new home
Remember that your checklist for moving into a new house doesn’t end at the property handover.
Moving into any new build properties means you need to check the paperwork carefully.
Your Conveyancer or solicitor will request the essential documentation from the developer/builder and should receive everything before the day of completion. Ensure they’ve received all the following:
- A copy of the NHBC Foundation Buildmark or other new property warranty and insurance documents.
- Details of whom the ground rent or service charge needs to be paid to.
- A copy lease if the property is leasehold.
- The energy performance certificate.
- Guarantees and instruction manuals for all the appliances in the property
On the day of the move
When moving in day comes around, there are several steps you should follow to make sure that everything runs smoothly:
- Check everything – look around the property once more to check everything works correctly. Run your hands over all the surfaces to check for dents, scratches, holes, gaps and snags as, after you’ve moved in it’ll be difficult to argue you didn’t create them. Should you find anything, lodge them with the builder as issues before signing any paperwork.
- Check the meters – ensure the utility provider’s serial numbers are correct for the meters and take new meter readings.
- Locate the stopcock – this will ensure you know how to quickly switch off your water supply if an emergency arises.
After you’ve moved into your property
Immediately you arrive, you can begin a snagging list of your own. Larger issues must be directly raised in writing and sent to an appropriate contact at the housing development company.
Smaller issues can be raised with your builder.
Although you have two years to complete this, it’s best to do it quickly, so there’s sufficient time for the builder to rectify everything.
Ideally, it’s best to get everything dealt with while the housebuilders remain on site constructing the other properties since it’s harder to make them come back once they’re working elsewhere offsite.
Bear in mind that it’s unlikely you’ll spot everything that would be identified by a professional snag inspector.
Also, if the developer turns out to be unresponsive when you ask them to take action, getting an independent professional snagging survey adds more weight to the complaints you’re making.
The first few weeks in your new build
In the first few weeks after you move in, remember the property is drying out still, which may lead to some small cracks because of shrinkage.
If the property is exposed to excess heat, these cracks may worsen, so resist turning up the thermostat too high.
Make sure, too, that you’ve received your confirmation of your title registration for the property from HM Land Registry.
This could arrive a few months after completion. Should it not arrive, chase this up as well as confirmation that you’ve paid stamp duty (where applicable) with your conveyancer.
Allow everything to settle – it’s only natural to worry that there may be a problem with your new build – after all, it seems like every news report and email you read after a newsletter signup is full of stories about the problems with new builds. However, not everything is actually an issue.
Both efflorescence and condensation are two entirely normal things. Condensation is a result of your property drying out.
If you keep the window vents or windows open and use an extractor fan in the bathroom and kitchen when steam is being created, the moisture will be able to get out more easily.
It can either be wiped or brushed away, but if you see it appearing regularly on your internal walls, you should speak to the builder since it could indicate a problem.
Moving into a new build home: summary
Now you have our moving into a new house checklist of things to do when you’re moving into a new build you’ll have a smoother and more straightforward process.
It’s important to check everything and leave nothing to chance!
Your new build home should be an exciting journey and, with Moovshack, we want to make sure that it will be.