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Are you currently looking to move into your dream home?

You may have found a new build that seems perfect. A lot of new builds are modern, accessible due to part exchange schemes and set in desirable locations.

However, with many new build homeowners finding snagging problems when they first move in, it can be off putting to purchase a new build.

To help you move into your new build, we have created a checklist to make sure your house is perfect after you have moved in.

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Firstly, what is a snag?

Snag is basically another word for a defect. When people use the word snag, they use it to refer to a functional issue within their property. For example, a scratched window, a hinge on a door that is missing or a faulty light fitting.

According to a study created by New Homes Review, they recorded that 87% of their customers they had spoken to this year moving into a new build had experienced snagging issues.

The words snag or snagging are slang terms within the industry.

What is a snag checklist

A snagging checklist refers to a list of repairs that have been highlighted that need to be mended by the developer.

The list can be used to show what issues have or have not been mended for the homeowner and this checklist helps to check whether the quality of your new build meets living standards.

This checklist differs slightly from a regular house survey as it helps identify minor problems that a normal house survey wouldn’t.

Who will put together a snagging checklist?

The list itself is put together by the developer and the appropriate authority, however input will also be made by the architect, buyer and a solicitor/buying agent working on behalf of the buyer.

There is no doubt that the construction company that made the property is responsible for the standards of the property; as it is part of the terms and conditions in the contract.

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Outside checklist

To make sure your house is up to scratch, standards need to be met on the snagging checklist. This list looks at both inside and outside your new property. The most important areas to look at are:

  • Walls and gates

  • Outdoor pipes – making sure the drainage system works

  • The roof – that none of your tiles are cracked or loose

  • Brickwork – does it meet living standards and have enough coating?

  • Garage – is everything in working order?

  • Driveway – is the surface laid evenly? Will you have clear access?

Inside checklist

The next part of the check, the inside of your property. These snags are usually just cosmetic; however, this doesn’t mean they don’t matter. When looking inside, you should look in depth at:

  • Paintwork – is everywhere (including ceilings) painted to a high standard

  • Bathroom – this will have an in-depth list but is the room up to scratch? Is everything in working order?

  • Kitchen – any slight defects could have a major impact further down the line. Similar to the bathroom, this room will have an in-depth list

  • Doors – is everything even?

  • Staircase – make sure to walk up and down them to check they are even

  • Windows and their frames – are parts scratched?

What are the most common snagging defects?

The most common effects that come up on these checklists are:

  • Missing acid wash on the outside brickwork

  • Skirting boards that aren’t fitted properly

  • Patchy paintwork

  • Broken tiles on the roof

  • Insufficient insulation on the property

  • Bathroom grouting not completed

Should I buy a new build?

As with any investment in property for renting, you must ensure that your yields are high enough and ensure your running costs aren’t too large.

Bear in mind that with a new build, it’s possible some of the specifications may change during the build, and that the release of the keys is delayed if the house hasn’t been completed yet.

It’s difficult to get a concrete date for completion of a new build, which has the knock on effect of not knowing when you can move tenants in and start being paid rent.

New builds can be suitable for many different types of tenants, from young professionals to families with children. This is partially due to their location; new estates are usually built in highly sought after areas, and those which are benefitting from regeneration.

Some of the larger estates will have amenities built within them, such small supermarkets or transport links.

Sometimes, the earlier in the build process, the cheaper you can purchase a property. Some developers offer discounts of up to 5% for an early bird sale, but this can carry its own risks.

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What about maintenance and running costs on new build homes?

New builds don’t need refurbishments as they are shiny and clean, though if you did want to paint the walls you’d need to use a breathable paint so that the timber in the walls and fresh plaster can thoroughly dry out. Check with the developer the terms for redecorating as sometimes you have to wait a year.

Even though they’re new, there’s often teething problems with these properties. Put together a snag list to send to the developer, there’s usually a timescale where you can get these fixed for free. Snag lists can include all sorts, such as wonky tiling in the bathroom or scratches on the doors.

Mathew McCorry

If you read my property blog now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you and I will make you read it.