Should you consider retiring to a newly built home?

9 April 2018

an older couple cooking and spending time together in the kitchen

Moving home is one of the biggest decisions we make, and no less so for people approaching retirement age. So, if you are looking to move when you retire, how will you choose a property that is right for you? After all, your requirements and lifestyle may have changed over the years.

An estimated 450,000 moves made each year are by those aged over 50, also known as the ‘last-time’ buyer hoping to make their later years the best years! In a survey by NHBC in 2017 of more than 100,000 new-build homeowners, 20% were aged over 55; almost certainly attracted by the prospect of living in a home which is easier to manage and enjoys lower maintenance and running costs.

With NHBC’s latest new home registrations figures showing an increase 6% in 2017 compared to 2016, it’s a great time to think about visiting a showhome in an area you’re considering moving to. NHBC highlights how buying a newly built home can not only reduce costs but also benefit buyers wanting to retire to a hassle-free home:

  • A blank canvas – A new home is easily decorated to personal tastes and comes free of DIY disasters from previous owners. In most cases, buyers can personalise their new home with a choice of kitchen units, flooring and tiling, and have a fresh start in the garden too. With new homes requiring lower levels of maintenance less time is spent on jobs around the house.
  • Lower utility bills – New homes are built to high levels of energy efficiency, which reduce the amount of gas or electricity needed to keep the house warm. Research from the NHBC Foundation and Zero Carbon Hub revealed that new-build homes built to 2013 standards could save up to £1,400 a year on their energy bills when compared to older homes.
  • Chain free – Being part of a long property chain can be extremely stressful and can often cause unforeseen delays. With a new home, there is greater peace of mind as no upward chain means a smoother and faster move.
  • Buildmark warranty and insurance– around 80% of new homes come with an NHBC Buildmark warranty and insurance policy, which currently protects 1.5 million homes across the UK. Buildmark provides a number of features including:
    • Pre-completion insolvency cover – protection if a builder becomes insolvent after exchange of contracts.
    • Builder warranty for the first two years after legal completion – the builder is responsible for putting right certain damage and defects.
    • NHBC insurance cover for years three to ten – to cover the cost of putting right damage caused by defects in specified areas of the home.
  • High levels of satisfaction – Results from the 2017 industry survey on customer satisfaction with new homes, facilitated by NHBC, found that 90% of people surveyed said that they would buy a new build home again, with a similar proportion indicating they would recommend their builder to a friend.
  • Better safety and security – New homes come with safety and security features as standard, including smoke detectors and robust locks on front and back doors.