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Step-by-step guide to buying your first home

From what it costs to buy a new home, to independent financial advice and buying and moving schemes and importantly, what you will need for setting up a new home.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer, looking for a bigger home, or even downsizing, there’s a lot to consider when buying a new home. Before you become a homeowner, it’s a good idea to make a list of your priorities. Are there are any schemes you can use if you’re buying new?

How much will your new home cost you to run? What's included and can you personalise it? Importantly, too, what impact will your new home have on the environment?

What do you need from your new home?

  • Make a list – listing out criteria of what your current home is lacking in, and what you need from your next home is always a good place to start. Divide your checklist into ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’.
  • Rooms - thinking beyond bedrooms, what kind of layout would you like in your home? Do you need a space to work from home? What type of layout would work best for spending time with friends or family? Would an en suite make life easier?
  • External - do you need off-street parking? A garage? What size would you like your garden to be?
  • Storage and free space – are you downsizing but still need room for treasured possessions collected over the years?
  • Location – do you need access to schools, major road links and public transport?
  • Community – are you relocating? Would you like to be part of a brand new community, who grow together?

Could your move be made more affordable?

  • Moving and buying schemes are designed to make your home purchase quicker and feel easier, and to help with the costs of buying a home.
  • Deposit Unlock – designed for first time buyers who were hoping to use one of the government buying schemes, Help to Buy, before it ended in 2022, Deposit Unlock enables you to buy a new build home with just a 5% deposit. See https://bloorhomes.com/offers/deposit-unlock
  • Mortgage Subsidy - available on selected Bloor homes, this provides a contribution towards your mortgage to help lower your monthly payments. See https://bloorhomes.com/offers/mortgage-subsidy
  • Part Exchange – do you have a home to sell? Part Exchange is ideal for those wanting to sell quickly, saving you time waiting for a buyer on the open market. See https://bloorhomes.com/offers/part-exchange
  • Assisted Move – Bloor’s Assisted Move scheme eliminates the need to find the best deal with your local estate agent and better yet, you won’t need to pay their fees either. See https://bloorhomes.com/offers/assisted-move

How much will your home cost to run?

  • The cost of running a home will depend on its overall energy efficiency. It’s worth taking note of the home’s EPC rating because if it’s scored at the lower end of the scale - from A (best) to G (worst) - the home will cost more to run. See https://bloorhomes.com/buying-guide/energy-efficiency
  • Heat loss – check if the home has been fitted with suitable insulation and glazing. Bloor homes come with double glazing, thermal efficient hardwood composite doors, plus thermal insulated cavity walls and concrete floors as standard.
  • Boiler check – it’s important to find out how your home is being heated. Energy efficient boilers are available with thermostatic valves to help you regulate room temperatures, saving you from using energy to heat up the whole house and saving you money!
  • The stats speak for themselves – the HBF's Watt a Save Report – Jan 2024 reports that compared to those who own an older property, new build homeowners save up to £2,200 on energy bills annually. See https://www.hbf.co.uk/news/hbf-report-watt-save/

What’s included in your new home?

  • Fittings and fixtures – it's not unheard of to move into an older property and there not be a lightbulb in sight. Read your contracts carefully so you know what should be in the house when you move in.
  • Appliances – from knowing where to cook your food to where you’ll find the ingredients, it’s important to check whether you’ll need to buy a new fridge and cooker for your new home or if it will be included. Moving into a new build home often means you get the luxury of a brand new kitchen with an energy efficient oven included. See https://bloorhomes.com/specification
  • Custom choices – depending on the stage of build when you buy a brand new home, you’ll also have a number of interior options and extras to choose from. These can include flooring, wardrobes, turf and so on. 

What might you need to change?

  • Old vs New – one of the biggest differences between a new build home and an older property is that you’ll be walking into a blank canvas and won’t need to refurbish, remove or decorate over a previous owner’s handywork. Ask yourself how much time and money this renovation work could cost.
  • Repairs – are there any maintenance jobs which will require your urgent attention? Calculate the cost implications and whether you will have the budget available for any work that’s needed. Buying a new build home provides peace of mind as you will be protected by product warranties, your housebuilder’s aftercare team and the NHBC’s 10-year guarantee on structural works. See https://bloorhomes.com/why-buy-new
  • According to the Home Builders Federation (HBF) new owners can expect to spend more than £70,000 upgrading an average property to meet new build standards.
  • The report – Get on with Living – (Feb 23) calculates that the cost of bringing a three bedroom semi-detached home up to the standard of a new one would total £73,271.80. But, according to research within the report, 71% of the population expect to need no more than £30,000 to upgrade their home. Almost a quarter anticipate spending between £10,000 and £20,000.
  • The HBF say that typical works to the average three bed semi-detached property would cost £61,489.30. If adding exterior rendering and guttering this would rise to the £73,271.80 quoted.
  • In the report, the upgrade cost estimates are broken down as follows: 

Kitchen £10,550

Bathroom £5,000

Central heating £6,000

Rewiring £6,225

Plastering £9,250

Flooring £2,264.30

Insulation £1,950

Windows and doors £12,000

Roofing £5,500

Guttering £900

Rendering £10,882.50

Decorating £2,750

What impact will your home have on the environment?

  • Eco-friendly design – the era a home was built in will determine the environmental criteria the property would have been required to meet. As the pressure on climate change increases, and with the HBF reporting that residential property in the UK accounts for over 20% of the country’s emissions, housebuilders are focused on building homes which provide a positive impact on the environment more than ever. See https://www.hbf.co.uk/news/hbf-report-watt-save/
  • Future Homes Standard – a government initiative which Bloor Homes is proud to support, the standard seeks to deliver net zero carbon homes as soon as 2025.
  • Research area – if you’re moving into a new build home, we recommend looking into the efforts the housebuilder has made to enhance the environment and give back to nature. Bloor Homes work alongside landscape designers, ecologists and arboriculturists from the very start of a development build, assessing existing habitats to ensure wildlife and people can thrive. See https://bloorhomes.com/buying-guide/sustainability

Learn more about the Bloor experience and how our homeowners benefit from buying new: https://bloorhomes.com/testimonials